Thunder Ridge: A Freelanced Focus on Scenery

Mark Watson Apr 12, 2010

  1. Jerry Tarvid

    Jerry Tarvid TrainBoard Member

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    Wow! You have taken scenery to a whole new level (no pun intended)!:thumbs_up::thumbs_up:

    I really like what you are recreating from the photo. I can see where it sure helps to have a visual to work from. This is an inspiring model Mark!

    Thanks for sharing,

    Jerry
     
  2. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    Don't you get it? He sleeps. He has a team of little model railroad elves running around doing all the work.
     
  3. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    You DO realize he's in college, right?? :D :D
     
  4. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Look'ed Good!!!!!!!

    :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin:
     
  5. Packers#1

    Packers#1 TrainBoard Member

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    Mark, the scenery is looking good, and that train is looking stellar. I think you have a real winning scenery plan, I'm looking forward to seeing it come together :)
     
  6. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sure - but he's a graphics arts student. Now my daughter just completed 5-years of Architecture. She's catching up on 5 years of sleep this summer!
     
  7. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Ohhh, burn. :p

    I like to share this breakdown video which demonstrates just a fraction of the effects in the movie Bourne Ultimatum to show exactly what I do. Each individual shot lasts only seconds on screen but takes several thousand hours of labor. Everything is frame by frame by frame by frame..ect.

    I think VFX is the industry of insomniacs.
     
  8. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Well, today has been no fun at all. Using the cardboard mesh is another first for me (in the past it's always been foam). I ended up using sculptamold to cover the mesh. Long story short, things are looking pretty ugly right now. The results look promising, but due to the flimsy nature of the mesh, I couldn't get an even spread. I'm going to let what I managed to get applied today dry overnight and hopefully I'll have a halfway hardened shell to make the second application much much easier.

    Here's a pic of the mess...
    [​IMG]
     
  9. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    So do you work for ILM or do you just want to work for ILM?

    Also, on the Lattice and Sculptamold. I've only been popping in and out of this thread. Did you not use plastered Paper towels or plaster embeded cloth (aka cast material)?
     
  10. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Right now I'm working for various independent producers who have commissioned the Academy for their VFX work. It is really paying off because anymore a major job requirement of working on a movie is that you have to have a previous movie credit. As a student, I pay for the class, the production pays the Academy for the work, but I get the movie credit and the experience. Eventually I'll work at ILM or one of the many various VFX houses in the area as I work my way up the chain of command, but the ultimate goal is to become a VFX Supervisor, the #3 guy on a movie set. I'll get to oversee the entire production crew and dictate alongside the director and producers on how the final product looks. But I dont expect that to happen for a good 8-10 years. Little boy from Nebraska cant just stick his foot in the door. Gotta start at the bottom (or about 1/6th from the bottom with the help of the Academy. :))


    For the mesh, no, I did not use plaster cloth/towels. The idea was to keep it as light as possible. I soaked scratch paper and roughly molded it into place over the lattice, then slopped the sculptamold over top. It was really difficult to work with since the dry paper wouldn't conform to the mesh, and the wet paper was quite delicate. So I slopped the sculptamold as lightly as I could without tearing through the paper. It's starting to dry solid now, so I'm certain the technique will work out, but as I said, its just gonna need some more layers of sculptamold.

    I would definitely just use straight plaster cloth/towels next time, but since I'm already vested in this approach, I'll make it work. :)
     
  11. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ah, See I should have been paying better attention, I could have helped you.

    What I did when I wanted light scenery was do a paper Mache base over the lattice. Newspaper soaked in Carpet glue style paper mache. It takes a while to dry, but its superlight and it will hold enough of a shape to support the Sculptamold or plaster on top.
     
  12. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Well that was the original plan, to use paper mache. But after doing some more reading, I found that paper mache loves to mold and attract bugs. That instantly turned me off to the idea.
     
  13. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    New technique found! While brainstorming, I rememberd a technique Jim Resing used on the Oakville Sub. He simply covered the lattice with masking tape! So simple!

    So, I used that technique on what I had left to cover, and it worked like a charm!

    [​IMG]

    I'm still going to go over the entire thing with another layer (or two) of sculptamold, but at least I'll need less on this mountain now. (And dont worry about the tunnel, it's going definitely going to get the proper treatment later on.) :D
     
  14. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    While waiting for a render to finish I played around with cardboard and made a bridge mock up. :D

    It's going to be tricky since the bridge sits on the straight of an s curve. Each end of the bridges holds the beginning easement of the curves. Nonethelss, it's going to be a fun, challenging scratch build. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Packers#1

    Packers#1 TrainBoard Member

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    Mark, I'd say the covering of the mesh looks pretty dang good. I like the bridge as well, very majestic and should help frame a train perfectly.
     
  16. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Sawyer, unfortunately things seem to have gone for the worst as the sculptamold dries. Last night the overall shell felt firm to the touch, now it's awful soft and in some spots has melted through the mesh.

    I've decided to cut my losses and just use plaster paper towels as I know that will give me the results I'm looking for. The question now is whether I apply the plaster towels over the sculptamold, or tear it off the mesh and start over. I'm leaning toward the latter.
     
  17. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm a bit surprised as the Masking tape method is pretty widely used. Though usually with a thin plaster topcoat, not sculptamold.
     
  18. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Well the masking taped mountain is holding up pretty well, but even then there are spots where its too soft for my liking (Yeah, be patient and let it dry, Mark :rolleyes:). Nonetheless, I'll feel more comfortable just scrapping the whole thing (removing the sculptamold, not the lattice) and starting over with plaster cloth.
     
  19. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    One step forward, two steps back.

    Well I just removed all the sculptamold and it appears the slow drying nature of it was the very issue. All the moisture soaked into the cardboard lattice and rendered all the glue that held it in place useless. Now I'm even more glad I decided to scrap it and start over. Once the cardboard dries out I'll re-construct and reinforce some of the big trouble spots I had, then I'll cover the entire thing with masking tape to protect the glue from the wet plaster. I'm also going to ditch the lattice over the tunnel and I'll simply build that separate like Caleb Austin did on the Central VA Door layout.
     
  20. Packers#1

    Packers#1 TrainBoard Member

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    Mark, sorry to hear it didn't work out well. But look at it as a learning experience; you tried a new technique and it didn't work, so you won't make the same mistake again.
     

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