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The Scratch Build Match factory

The first building for this diorama is a match factory. The start of this structure is already made some years ago, but was stopped because their was no idea where to use. It was more to get some experience with working with PVC Foam Board material. For this diorama it is an ideal construction due to the depth. It can be placed at the back. The structure is fully made using PVC Foam Board which is ideal for adding profile in the relative soft top layer. Important working with this material is to use the right type of glue. The manufacturer recommend plastic glue for ASA, Styrene, PVC and PVC Foam Board, such as Bison Model Plastic or UHU plast special UH45880. De window and door frames are made using Styrene profiles. This material can be glued with normal plastic glue for scale model buildings or Scenic Cement what is extremely thin fluid. The entire structure is measured carefully and we draw the lines with a sharp pencil on this board material. To cut a new and sharp hobby knife blade is required and important for all window and door cut-outs is to cut from both corners to the middle. Cutting this way prevent to cut to far in the corner and damage or destroy your structure board. Once cut wrong or to far it will always be visible in the result. The cut-out parts must not be throw away because we can use them for so many small parts. As you will discover you can use almost everything for scratch build projects.

Once parts are glued together and the glue is dried properly we add a primer at the full structure. You can use an (acrylic) aerosol primer or an airbrush, what in this example is done. It is clearly visible that a fence is added at the top floor made from 1.0mm square styrene profile. With a mini hand drill small holes are made in the roof and the fence is glued into it. Important with measuring the poles of the fence that they must be a few mm longer than the height that you can see, 2-3mm will glued into the board layer. So measuring and double check is important before cutting.

We added some bricks in the wall by scratching this in the PVC Foam Board and paint them in different stone colors. Hereby stone colors are used but also mixtures of two colors to get more color tones. It is advisable to archive the building process especially to know the material used and colors used and mixed, what prevent to big color differences when extra paint mixtures has to be made. No the effect of loose plaster is good visible and give the appearance of the building a much better look. When the paint is dry a wash is add over the entire structure. With this all cracks in the walls and joints get more visible. There is no expensive wash used but only a drop of black acrylic paint with a lot of water. It even can be dirty water from the brush cleaning cup. The wash is applied in multiple layers and is dried completely between the layers. You can speed up drying by using a hair dryer.

The concrete beams above doors and windows are painted a concrete grey color. The small doors are painted red-brown, this is a mixture of two colors. The styrene eaves are painted almost black. It is a mixture a dark brown acrylic paint with some black added. The pictures show clearly that the wash layers gives a great weathered appearance. All roof tops get an anthracite black acrylic paint layer to give it a bitumen look.

Now it is time for details. We start with cardboard. With this material we produce square air ducts. Those will painted and strongly weathered. Rust spots are added with the sponge technique. Here we tear off a small part from a from a sponge and make an uneven surface. We dab this sponge in the paint and dab it almost dry on some kitchen paper. Now we start dabbing on the surface of the duct. Do it carefully and don’t press to hard and don’t swipe with the sponge. Twist a little with the sponge to avoid making a pattern. With using drinking straws we make some pipes. The flexible parts of the straws are ideal for the elbows of the pipes. The pipe supports are made from styrene sheet. All is primed. After drying the final color and weathering can be applied. At the top of the roof a small square building with a curved roof is made. This is fully made from cardboard. Via this building there is an entrance made for the roof for maintenance work. All is also painted and weathered.

A Billboard with logo and name of the company will be mounted on the roof. The billboard from is made from cardboard strips cut from a sheet. How simple can it be. Also a sign is added to the front of the building. To make those signs, two different matchboxes are used. These boxes are available via every supermarket and as you can see are very useful for scratch building. Again a small part of a sponge is used as already described. On a paint pallet several rust colors are mixed and for each individual rust color we use a separate clear part of a sponge. Carefully we apply by the rust spots by light dabbing on the surface. Extra helpful can it be to hold the sponge piece with a tweezer, this makes it more easy to apply the paint very precise.

Corrugated iron is mounted above the windows. These are left overs from demolished plastic buildings. All is cut on the right dimensions and styrene sheet is used for making side supports and glued together. First a layer of grey acrylic paint layer is applied. Next weathering takes place by adding different rust colors in the same way as described for the signs. With weathering powders weathering is finished. No expensive jars with weathering powders this time but simple chalk sticks from a toy shop. Such a box cost around € 2,= and can be used for many years. Some colors are too bright and will never be used, but who does care for such a small amount of money. How do we apply this powders? We take a small soft brush and reduce the hair length with 50%. We go with the brush over the chalk sticks to pick-up the powder and apply it on the workpiece. It is to recommend to have several sizes of brushes ready when starting this final weathering stage. O yes almost forgot to explain that the parts are sticked to the cut mat. This to prevent moving when applying the paint and powders. This is achieved by adding masking tape upside down with the the sticky side up, and the parts easy adhere and can be easy removed.

Two chimneys are made for the top of the roof. Simple electrical pipe is used for this purpose. Rings around the pipes are applied, using masking tape in several layers. The width of the tape has to be cut that it fits to the building scale. Last end of the tape adhesion can be extra reinforced by adding some fast glue. The top of each chimney is abused with a hobby knife to create an old distressed look. Now painting will be added, first a primer and second the final color and weathering with rust colors. With a sponge part some AK Extreme Metal Gun Color is applied. This is a paint with a thinner base. Use for this type of paint not the same brush as for the acrylic paints. Clean this brushes thoroughly with odorless thinner from AK or other brand.

For the power lines some electrical cables need to be mounted on the building. This power cables are made by using kite rope. It is glued to the brackets by using gel super glue. After the glue is dry the AK Gun Metal is applied and the color is perfect to look as a sort of galvanized steel cable.

Now the weathering powders are used to weather all walls of the building. Pay attention that this is done as in real life. Weathering on a wall is always vertically as rainwater drops down. It starts on top wide and is smaller going downwards. Some spots also get some dry-brush that shows extra accent to the uneven parts

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