Sunday, March 3, 2013

Why is the Sky Blue?

Hi All,

Not much progress to report on the layout or modelling in this post. One thing I did start was to clear coat the modules and paint the curved back drops. It is a messy job spraying estapol and the blue paint. By the time I am finished I think I will look like a power ranger, the blue one anyway (is there a blue one?). My skin and clothes will end up with a nice hard wearing clear/blue exterior coating!

I owe it to Rob  (Picton Blog) for offering advice on blue (sky) back ground colours. I have completed one module so far but don't know if I should darken the top and lighten the lower half? The Sky has so many shades of blue, grey, white and brown. When you look through others blogs and their layout pictures its hard to tell if the backgrounds have been photoshopped or not. My curved back scenes are large at 2000 mm x 1100 mm. I have plenty of room to create a varying sky colour but have no idea how to do it? If any one has a clue I would to hear how and what colours you used.

On the modelling front the Bergs 48 class is almost finished - just need to add a crew. The 57s tender has been primed and is ready for colour and weathering.

I received my 422s in the mail last Friday. Very nice indeed. Have not run them yet but I am sure they will operate as nicely as they look. One thing I have found with Auscision is that their customer service is probably the best I have come across in regards to model railways. I had a small problem with my 422 order however the guys at Auscision were very helpful and resolved it straight away, thanks.

I am actually writing this post from Fort Worth Texas. I am in the U.S. for three weeks with work but managed to take a not so good photo of a Union Pacific train this afternoon. Sorry I have no idea what the locomotives are (I live in a NSWR bubble), all I know is that they are huge! I thought the 81 class was big.....wrong! I don't really photograph trains so I apologise for the average photo.


Well that's it for now. Time to go and find some food that isn't sandwiched between two buns.

Take care,



  1. Linton
    Ray P from the Bylong blog is a back scene master ! And is always happy to pass on his skills.

  2. Thanks Gary. I will have to get hold of Ray and extract all his knowledge.

    Thanks again,


  3. God I'm thick Linton. When you said you were going to Texas I assumed Texas Queensland!!!! Derrrrrr. Are you going to get some #8 points from the P87 store? BTW you might want to go here

    if you get some free time. It looks a bit touristique but it is Steam

    Have fun in the US


  4. Ha ha, I forgot about Texas in QLD. I will send Andy? (Proto 87 Store an email) and see if he will mail some stuff to my motel?

    I will check out the link. I will need something to fill my time next weekend.

    I think Blair Kooistra (North of Narrabri) lives in Fort Worth? He may know of some good railway shops around the area.

    Let me know if you need anything.


  5. Linton

    Backscene skies are easy provided you don't want cumulous clouds or anything dramatic.

    When I paint sky I use only two blue colours blended together, light at the bottom and the darker one at the top. The clouds are the lighter blue. You might like to try three blues given the height (1100mm) of your backscenes.

    Paint the colours at the same time with a brush for each colour and paint only about 600 to 900mm at a time working along the baseboard keeping the paint wet while blending the colours with horizontal strokes.

    I did the wispy clouds by smearing the almost dry brush sideways with the lighter blue and then with a little of the same paint I did the tops by coming down from the top, hard to explain. A streaky sky looks best as it works from any angle (as per your photo above).

    Keep painting until the whole backscene is done - a continuous painting job. We have done this on Werris Creek by having two people one with each colour, one starts ahead of the other and then the second person follows, blending the two colours together.

    The colours I used (no longer available from Bunnings - surprise!)were:
    Light - Nippon Paints Advance - Skyrocket 2
    Darker - Nippon Paints Advance - Skyrocket 2

    You need to go to the colour card display and choose 2 or 3 pale blues from the same tone range. The lightest blue needs to be almost white and the darker paint should not be too dark, but that is perhaps a personal preference. The paint needs to be matt/flat of course, not satin/semi-gloss. it might be a bit of a challenge to find flat/matt paint.

    You should contact Blair as I am sure he would be happy to catch up. He is a dispatcher for BNSF but I think he does shift work though. You could probably get his email address from the Yahoo Aus_Model_Rail newsgroup forum or contact me.

    Ray P

  6. Linton, please give me a call while you're here. I'm slow on the uptake. . .I would've dropped you a note sooner.