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Sword Beach D-Day Landings Options
#161 Posted : 11 October 2020 20:40:59

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Many thanks again to Tony, Mark, Phil and Derek!Blushing Things are coming along now and I've just got the first two buildings on the base as you'll see below!

As the first trial run in miniature house painting I decided to go for the trio of shops, mainly because they are off to the far right ‘off centre’ as it were, and also because there was more I could try out on them than the basic houses. Photo 1 shows the first of the resin castings, the ‘double shop’ in the process of priming with Vallejo Grey Primer. Photo 2 isn’t one of the shops of course but the Half Timbered House. This was one of the reject castings (because I couldn’t sand the base flat!)Blushing Other than that it was OK so I used it as a guinea pig to try out various combinations of window painting over a single primer coat. I tried various shades of grey for the window recesses (on the other walls as well) and different types of white paint for the frames, even painting a whole window in gloss white enamel and then using acrylic black ink to fill in the panes leaving the frames showing through in white – that actually worked quite well but in the end I decided on plain black for the windows with Mig Satin Black with Mig Matt White for the frames (second from the right on the bottom row in this pic). The next step was to give the shop walls a touch of colour as shown in Photo 3. This was the first problem – I didn’t have any suitable pastel shades of paint so the blue and green seen here was created from a darker shade of blue and green Vallejo acrylic mixed with the matt white. The problem is, I only made enough to paint the castings with a couple of coats, if I make a big mess later on I can’t simply ‘re-touch’ the base colour! (Mind you, with all the shell damage I can always add some more scorch marks!) The single shop is shown in Photo 4 with a nice ‘magnolia’ wall paint – or in this case, Vallejo Tan Yellow mixed with white. This one will be having a red tile roof (once my bottle of Vallejo Terracotta arrives), the double shop will be having a slate grey roof.
The trial window painting taught me a few things, first of which was I needed a new ‘best’ detail brush! My new set is shown in Photo 5 – a set of six ranging from 000 through 00, 0, 1, 2 and 4 (wonder what happened to 3?) The ones in the card don’t look very straight but they always do until they are straightened up in clean water before use. These were Ebay of course, just over £6 for the set, which is pretty good value considering how much they cost individually in art shops. My old ‘best brush’ is shown in close up against the new one in Photo 6, Old Faithful is probably 25 to 30 years old now, only ever used for water based paints and still gives good service – just not so good as the new one! Shown above the brushes is the first section of windows underway. The process is long and very delicate: first the windows are painted in with the black. Once dry, the outer white frames are painted in. Note the roof hasn’t been painted yet, this is because of the handling and resting on various edges that the windows require. The window frames have to be painted horizontally to avoid overshooting or smudging. The house is rested upright to paint the bottom frames, on its right side for the right hand frames, on its left for the lefts and upside down for the top ones! If I painted the roof first there wouldn’t be much paint left at the edges by the time I’d finished one wall!Blink The inner ‘cross’ frames can be painted ‘right way up’ but with even more care required. Sometimes a repeat procedure is required, a splotched outer frame needs the black to be re-applied to tidy it up and if the cross frame goes wrong its easier to paint it out and re-do it once the black is dry again. One of the large walls on the double shop building actually went perfectly and no window needed re-touching, I was really chuffed with that one! As for the others – well we got there in the end! During my web searching looking for Frenchie looking shops I found an excellent pic of 1940’s era shop signs. Some blown up (I mean enlarged) examples are shown in Photo 7 with the whole page-full at normal size. As one of the doubles was painted blue, I decided to make it a fishmongers, (and I did remember enough of school French to know it wasn’t a shop for selling poison!) The others required a trip to the on-line translation. The ‘Poissonnerie’ together with a bread and Michelin advert are shown in Photo 8, one of the nicer looking signs turned out to be a Blacksmith’s which seemed a little out of place on the sea front! The green shop beside it became an ‘Epicerie’ or Grocer’s whilst the little single shop called ‘The Emperor’s House’or ‘Maison Empereur’ is a Restaurant with delusions of grandeur, (the other side door says ‘Café’)! In Photo 9, the grey slate roof is finally painted in with Vallejo Blue Grey, in the photo the Grocer’s is basic grey whilst the Fishmonger’s has been dry brushed with a light grey mix to bring out the tile detail. Note also where the roofs are damaged up to the edge, I’ve painted the terracotta and its lighter version to simulate the damaged walls beneath. Now came the sneaky bit. The windows are moulded with frames, which have to be painted in, but the dormer windows in the roof are moulded flat and featureless (except for the Hotel dormers which are moulded in and I’ll have to paint those). This is where the good old white decal inkjet paper came in again. Using the ancient Corel Print House design program I made up a simple set of black rectangles with a white cross superimposed over the top. I then reduced the design down until it was the same size as the dormers on the models, this is shown in Photo 10 with a close up view below. This was printed out onto the top edge of the decal paper, allowed to dry overnight and then given a coat of spirit based varnish to seal the design in. In hindsight I should have left a slightly larger gap between them but never mind! These were carefully cut out with a safety razor blade leaving a thin border to provide the outer frame and then dampened with Humbrol Decalfix and then left on a scrap of plasticard to release from the backing as shown in Photo 11. When they were movable I slid them across with fine tweezers and gently picked them up to place on the dormer window faces as seen in Photo 12. The long awaited (actually it didn’t take long at all to come) Vallejo Terracotta is used to paint the red tile roof of the Maison Empereur Restaurant in Photo 13. Compare the ‘bare’ paint finish with the dry-brushed finished roof in the following photos, the detail brought out with the lighter highlights makes all the difference! The ‘Empereur’ sign is actually in place in this shot, but is very difficult to see at this angle. Photo 14 shows the latest addition to the decal collection, again using the Print House program, I created a set of different sized French flags to be waving from the liberated houses. I actually made a big ‘boo boo’ with this lot – I should have designed the flags with a mirror image down the centre like the British Ensigns and flags above but totally forgot! So now, instead of cutting the decal out and folding it at the flag staff end, they are cut out twice as high and folded over at the top. Doesn’t make too much difference fortunately and the finished flags are seen in Photos 15, 16 and 17. Note the missing top of the drainpipe on the restaurant (caused by an air bubble during casting) has been added in with stretched sprue, damaged and bent outwards for better effect. I took some of the unused figures from the damaged fret and painted them up to represent ‘civvies’, they can be seen on the pavements before the shops were added in Photo 18 and also one stood by the shelled window on the upper floor of the restaurant proudly draping a British flag out of the hole!
Finally the finished section is shown in Photo 19 with the civvies and buildings all in place. One thing I’m still considering is telephone poles! A set of them comes with the European Buildings set – they are over scale and the wrong shape as I’ve discovered looking at French telephone poles on D-Day photos but I’m still toying with the idea of scratch building some in brass rod and using EZ Line to add the wires – it might add a little more ‘3D’ height to the street scene. But we’ll see later!
In the next installment, its on to the two houses and hotel – I’m not looking forward to that hotel – not counting the dormer windows which I’ll have to paint, the ruddy thing’s got 108 windows to do!Crying
Until then, stay safe and Happy Modelling to you All!

Plymouth57 attached the following image(s):
Painting the shops pic 1.JPG
Painting the shops pic 2.JPG
Painting the shops pic 3.JPG
Painting the shops pic 4.JPG
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
#162 Posted : 11 October 2020 21:30:03

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Very nice buildings Robin.

Spot on for the location and very neatly painted.

Happy Modelling

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