Saturday, March 22, 2014

New photo backdrop

When I attended the Amherst Railway show in Springfield, Mass. this year, I had several folks wanting to use my barn diorama for photo opportunities. Unfortunately, the diorama is much smaller in real life than people imagine and does not accommodate larger vehices. I did so want to be able to see a piece from Joe Enriquez or Ralph Ratcliffe look well in my barn. And Andy Madden made some valiant attempts with his camera with satisfactory results. And as good as they turned out there was something not quite at home about them. So I turned to my diorama building again and designed and built the garage repair interior that you can see here.

I started with Evergreen styrene brick patterned sheet cut to a proper size and fit the windows and door. Using a spray can satin black decanted into the airbrush, I put a coat on it and a sheet of plain styrene for the floor. I used a mixture of Terra Cotta and Crimson Red thinned with Windex in the airbrush to give several successive coats to the walls allowing for drying between coats (accelerated with a hair dryer). A thin coat of clear flat lacquer was then sprayed on. To that, I applied a mixture of powdered chalks in a gray color and alcohol. This dried quickly of course and was buffed with a paper towel followed by another coat of the clear flat lacquer. Some dusting with dry chalk powders finished the walls. The windows and door were painted with Ivy Green acrylic.

Attention was turned to the floor already in black. I scribed expansion joints in the plastic and scuffed it up a bit with fine sandpaper. Again, using cheap craft paints, I thinned gray, tan and black for the airbrush with Windex and sprayed several coats allowing them to dry between each. A thin coat of the clear flat lacquer on that and when dry, a series of acrylic washes to simulate stains.

In order to get the walls to sit firmly on the styrene floor I glued a piece of styrene L channel to the floor and when set, the walls to it. A small storage loft was built in one corner with stairs.

It was then a matter of creating and adding details. a small workbench was built out of wood and the rest of the details were from my collection of cast metal, resin and laser cut card stock. Some signage was created on the computer and printed. As time goes on I will be adding and taking away details to suit my fancy. I have been using Microscale Liquitape to fasten details so they can easily be moved or removed.

A few pics here of me fooling around with the camera in my new garage.

I'm sure you will be seeing a lot more of this in the future. The lighting possibilities are endless. I would like to , at some point add a roof system with lighting and a chain hoist but at this point, I can't figure out how to support it without putting an obstructive post in my camera positions.

Well this was a very quick, fun build. Thanks for looking. And do something nice for someone today.


Rob Pav said...

Just love the new display. Needs more automotive clutter. Air Compressor, Floor Jacks, Tool boxes, old tires, ....

chester said...

Thanks Rob, New picture up top with more clutter!