Ewww ... it sure is dusty in this thread ... let's see if we can get things moving a bit ...
Alrighty, after far too many real life distractions and a bit of a modeling lull, I decided to get back into this by scrapping the original second story of the cafe with plastic siding and re-doing it with board-on-board construction. First step, make a BIG glass of iced coffee ... then see if we can whittle some novelty siding from the leftover stir sticks.
The tools are simple enough ...
Score across the face of the stick about halfway thru ... then slice from the top ...
Bevel that edge ... then cut a matching groove on the bottom of the opposite side so the boards will nest together. The first 5 or 10 are a bit tricky and/or tedious ... by the time you've made 50-60 of them, it's smooth sailing! Getting more color variations out of those Ranger Crackle paints ...
Yeah, let's do that. The Ranger Crackle paints (aka "Tim Holtz Distress Crackle") work really well, but the colors are, um ... well, they're pretty weird ... or at least not what we as modelers would choose. Haven't had much luck at tinting those colors with acrylic paints, but the Ranger paints do inter-mix well and you can tint the finished colors with acrylic inks ... so let's give that a try.
I ended up using 7 crackle colors and maybe 8 ink colors just to paint one small batch of green boards.
But this approach does seem to provide quite a variety of options for getting subtle or even very dramatic variations in coloring using those crackle paints.
Following is a summary of what I did on the first little batch ... additional thoughts, ideas, suggestions, criticism, etc. are welcome. The paint was applied in three separate layers
as follows ... and after the second layer, you'll see some notes about stopping there for some applications.
The boards were stained using a couple of Mike Chambers' ink stain formulas (#6 and #9). Then I taped them down, and masked the little groove along the top of each board to avoid building up thickness there (so the boards will nest together properly during construction).Prep:
Stain the boards, mask grooves, spray gloss coat, layer of hairspray, another layer of gloss coat.First layer:
Three shades of Ranger crackle were applied ... the Antique Linen (beige), the Vintage Photo (brown) and a blend of the two ... these were streaked and dabbed across the board ... somewhat randomly ... NOT covering every bit of the surface (let some stained wood show thru). The dabbing is a bit crude and should probably by used ONLY on the first layer, after that it will become too obvious.
Let the crackle set for 10 minutes or so. Mix up some acrylic inks ... generally diluted 1 drop of ink to 3 drops of wet water. Used these Vallejo colors: Wood Grain (very reddish brown, essentially scarlet), Skin Wash (very orangish), Sepia (golden brown), Brown (which has a red tint) and Smokey Ink. These were streaked across the surface of the boards ... "randomly" isn't quite the right word but fairly close ... various streaks here and there where they looked right.
The inks were NOT applied as washes (no overall coverage). Take a sharp knife and lightly score the surface of the paint (not cutting into the stripwood) ... or poke with knife or brush to do some chipping. Let that dry a bit, then scrape surface lightly to dislodge loose chips.
Best to use some cheap brushes, as the crackle paint is a bit rough on them. I used the bigger brush to streak on the crackle and the smaller brush to streak on the inks.
Let the first layer dry overnight; apply another coat of gloss coat, then hairspray and gloss coat again ...Second layer:
As mentioned, the Ranger crackle paints do intermix well ... though the color selection isn't exactly what you'd call a "basic palette". So, some creativity and experimentation is in order. I used the Old Paper (green), Antique Linen (beige), a mix of green and beige, hints of Broken China (blue) and Picket Fence (white) ... streaked across the surfaces of the boards ...
Let that set for 10 minutes or so, then follow with diluted inks ... Vallejo Woodgrain, Brown, Sepia, Smokey Ink, Flesh Wash ... and P3 (brand) Skin Wash and Reaper Blue (VERY dilute on the blue). Score, scrape, chip as desired. Stop here?
Actually, yeah, this seems like a good stopping point for a lot of applications ... lots of nice variation in the coloring, layers of old paint with varying degrees of oxidation ... will definitely use this on some other projects and/or parts of this project. But, I want a more subtle effect for the siding on the building, so I'll go on and do a third layer ... with minimal chipping.
Let the second layer dry overnight, then gloss coat / hairspray / gloss coat ...Third layer:
Used the Broken China (blue), Black Soot and Fired Brick with the Old Paper (Green) to mix up three custom shades of green ... streaked those on followed by streaks of the plain green. Disregard that salmon-colored blob
... unless you're planning to paint some siding with the Fired Brick (red) ... then it's good to note that mixing some of the green with that produces some nice orange tones that will be useful there ... and using some black and/or brown will add shades in the other direction.
Mix up some inks again: Vallejo Brown, Seia, Smokey Ink, Skin Wash and Green (dilute more than others) ... and Reaper Blue (very dilute) ... apply that, then lightly score, chip, etc. as desired. Oh yeah, should have mentioned to scrape/chip the bottom edges of the boards after each application.
BTW, the Sepia and Flesh Wash inks have yellow/orange tints, so the blue ink gives those a nice shift towards the greens.
Needless to say, after the long lull in posting, I'm a bit out of practice with shooting the pix and getting the proper color balance ... this was the best I could fix the straight-on, close-up shot (about 4x actual on a 19" monitor) ... but it gives a suggestion of the variations in color tones ...
And it gets a whole lot easier to have some color balance with a broader palette of colors!
This gives a more accurate impression of the pastel green color of the siding and the variations in coloring.
Should also mention that it's probably best to work with small batches (say 12 of the 5.5" sticks) given the working/drying times of the crackle paints and the softening with the inks (useful for chipping) ... but you can work several separate batches to keep things moving. I took the first batch all the way thru to see where it may need refinement ... have another 45-50 to go, so your input in welcome before I make a complete mess of all of them!
Cheers & thanks for looking!