Finding good casts of HO scale (or O scale) brick walls is like finding hen’s teeth. Once upon a time a company called “Trains of Texas” were putting out really nice castings. Nowadays, they are next to impossible to find and, if you do, expect to sell a kidney to buy ‘em.
Downtown Deco have a really nice selection, and Randy sent me some to review — expect that soon.
In the meantime, I had an idea to design a brick wall and print in on my Anycubic. I had no idea how this would turn out, so it was all an experiment. So, as with everything, I hopped into Tinkercad:
40 minutes later, my printer gave me this (lightly primed grey):
These bricks are more O-scale sizing, but George Sellios uses this scale on his HO layout for good reason — you can get excellent detail from this scale of brick and it’s not a scale change that bumps.
I like that the bricks are well separated, allowing nice distinction between each of them — something that is often lost in many castings I see at retail. This is one of the reasons I’ve abandoned the joint compound method for mortar, by the way. I’ve tried it a few times and each time it’s both lost distinction in the detail (often flattening the wall) and it’s whitewashed my paint job. Yes, you can wipe off the majority, but it still leaves everything looking unsaturated. Not good. I may try and secure everything with a varnish first next time (should there be another attempt with joint compound)
Anyway, I painted up my wall:
There’s no mortar here and I’m okay with that. I don’t think it really needs it. Maybe you think different? If so, email me below with your thoughts.
For anyone interested, here are the products I used to get the result above:
From left to right, I started with the cheap craft paint for the base colors. Heritage Brick, Terracotta, Dark Chocolate, Antique Gold, all in that order. These were all sponged on, starting with a medium-heavy coverage of Heritage Brick and then a super light application by the time I got to Antique Gold.
The next layer used products from the Japanese company, Mr Hobby. These are oil based washes that hold some scientific magic. What’s great about them is you apply them relatively heavy, and then use My Hobby’s “Solvent 110” to ease it all back. It’s basically painting with an undo button.
Last up, the AK Oilbrushers. These are just oils paints in mascara tubes. They are very easy to apply and control, allowing you to spot some color here and there and then use regular thinners/mineral spirits to blend. I used three colors (a green, brown and a dark gray).
That’s it. No pastel chalks in that photo. All acrylics and oils. Now if only I could print larger walls…