HOW TO WORK WITH HYDROCAL
AND OTHER MODELING TIPS -
Description of finishing techniques
Hydrocal is the perfect 3-D canvas.
Floquil Paints, Flo-Stains, Badger Air-Opaque, Floquil Polly-Scale, oil color,
watercolor, ink washes, acrylics, artist's dry-pigments, colored pencils all
work: try different things, experiment and develop your own favorite techniques.
These castings are offered to you in fresh White Hydrocal much like a brand
new canvas just prepared by the artist with a coat of Gesso that is nothing
more than chalk and glue. Just about any coloring medium will work once you
perfect the technique. If you are used to working with plastic or urethane you
can seal the Hydrocal castings and it will be just about the same. Or you can
experiment with stains, thinned paint or dry-brushing techniques. It's up to you.
Generally, I recommend sealing the castings first with Scalecoat Sanding
Sealer and then staining them with Floquil colors as described below. Use proper
ventilation and care as described with those products. The castings will be both
darker and duller without sealing. When sealed, a little of the white comes
through and it's a shinier. I just like the way it looks.
Note that it is best to do all your cutting, shaping and filing before you
apply a sealer or finish as the castings will become stone-like after such
My method of mortaring the brick is only somewhat effective on stone as it
tends to fill in the texture detail. It works well in some cases. For further
details refer to the Coloring Brick Clinic. Allow Floquil paint to cure. Mix a
little Durham's Water Putty with a gray ink wash or lampblack artist's
dry-pigment and work it into the mortar lines. Wipe off the excess with a damp
clothe and polish the surface with your finger. More often I just use a simple
ink or gray-brown watercolor wash.
Seal, paint with 50/50 mix of medium gray (SP Lettering Gray for instance)
and white (Reefer White) Floquil paint. Paint some stones with
darker gray. Then highlight individual stones with Walnut, Teak, Maple and
Mahogany Flo-Stains (see note below). Weather with gray watercolors or ink wash
worked down into mortar lines.
Interlocking Fractured Stone
Stone Culverts, Abutments, Piers, etc.
Baraboo R. Stonework
Flash needs to be removed and some fitting is necessary to allow interlocking.
Do not force them!
Gently work them together and note where they bind, file or trim with your hobby
knife until you have a nice fit.
No sealer is necessary. Paint with thinned (50%) wash of earth tone (gray,
brown, tan, etc.) Floquil paint mixed with lots (75%) of White as a base. Vary
tones. Use other colors or Flo-Stains to highlight.
Stain the colored stone with a gray ink wash. Or apply a light gray watercolor
wash just along the mortar lines. Dry-brush techniques can be very effective too.
Testor's Corporation not so recently bought the Floquil brand line of
hobby paints. Not that they are the best or only paint around, many of us have
taken to using them. With the buy-out two things immediately happened- the prices
doubled and what's much worse- they dropped the Flo-Stains entirely.
I really liked the Flo-Stains. In fact, I still use them, what's left of my supply.
Maybe if we all wrote to complain... though they didn't even bother to reply
to my sugar sweet letter. And I went to high school with Fred Testor!
If you'd like to send Testors a note please do so:
Be nice about it but tell them you really miss the Flo-Stains like I do.
Well, that didn't work so, what are we going to do? I remembered that Floquil
used to advertise Danish Oils, which were compatible with their paints. Why not?
Why not indeed? I bought a small can of Minwax 209 Natural - Wood
Finish and mixed it with various colors of Floquil paint for my stains.
It seems to work marginally. I don't know about the shelf life. It did look a little
weird. I also tried a 50/50 mix of Testors Dullcoat and Floquil Gloss, mixing that
with a small amount (10-120 percent) of regular Floquil paint. This seems pretty
close and better shelf life so we are on the right track. Maybe you can improve on
Minwax (and other brands) offers a wide variety of stains so maybe you could
skip the Testors/Floquil all together (we'll show them!). It is reported however,
that such stains do not perform well on sealed castings, so you might skip sealing,
or find an alternative base.
CHEAP BUT GOOD ACRYLICS
I'm also very pleased with some of my results (not all!) using CHEAP acrylics
like Delta Ceramcoat and others found at craft store (like Michale's). You get 2 oz.
for a dollar. You'll have a hard time convincing me that Floquil acrylics are any
better at several times the price. Just add water. I use these without sealing.
You'll have to experiment and develop your own techniques with some of these alternatives.
Still, it would be so much easier if Flo-Stains were still around! I just don't
understand those guys.
Check out my Durango Roundhouse model. I've loaded a bunch of pictures showing
these in action.
For more details see:
DURANGO RH CONSTRUCTION
Close up of my Stone Engine House stone work.