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Hi
I am no artist but my wife has a bunch of that craft acrylic paint and I would like to mix some to make an earthtone color to use on my layout. Anybody have the right ratio of colors to do this?
Thanks
Bill
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Railroad Tycoon
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Is that the type of paint your talking about?
 

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Hi
I am no artist but my wife has a bunch of that craft acrylic paint and I would like to mix some to make an earthtone color to use on my layout. Anybody have the right ratio of colors to do this?
Thanks
Bill
If you look at the article Ed linked to, you'll see that there is no real answer. Or rather thousands of them. But all earth isn't created equal, either. You have dark brown loamy soils, light tan sandy soils, and reddish clay soils, with dozens of shades in between.

Just start experimenting, and keep track of what you do. Make a color that looks right to you. Don't worry about matching subsequent batches exactly, either. Nature doesn't make consistent shades either.

Also, you might want to invest in some matte medium, to thin the paint (it works much better than water) and get some 2 oz dressing cups with lids. You can store unused paint in these for several days before they dry out, and they make great mixing cups as well.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Last a little longer doing what CT said and place them in a good sealed freezer bag, get the air out and seal.

I brush paint inside my house I don't like using a roller.
When I take a break, even over night, I put the whole brush in a big freezer bag.

Good to go the next day, beats cleaning the brush all the time.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Craft paint mixing is guess work. Start with a base and add one or two colors to get another. I normally try to match an engine color after a repair. You start with a drop in each corner and stir with a q tip.
 

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Don't worry about matching subsequent batches exactly, either. Nature doesn't make consistent shades either.
I would even suggest it is better NOT to perfectly match each batch, just brush the colors together for a blended area and it will look more natural once you get your grasses and weeds in place on top of it. Nothing in nature has a specific shade, even the color of the same kind of grass or trees will be different depending on which side of a hill they grow on.

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head about various shades though...
  • Farm land has richer, darker soil, however good topsoil is very fine and tends to blow away in areas where there isn't a lot of plant growth (revealing more clay-like soil underneath).
  • Land where plants do not grow well is going to be more tan colored, like sand.
  • Land near the Rockies has streaks of clay between sand colored and very rich reds. This may be true of other mountain regions as well.
  • Land beside a large lake or river will show obvious patterns of different water height over the years. And of course anything near a body of water (or even dried-up beds) will be much darker and richer than the surrounding countryside.
  • Bare soil in a city is more likely to reflect what the lot is used for. For example, something next to an auto shop will have dark blotches from oil spills while an old empty parking lot may show a more neutral brown color. And an abandoned playground could have rich soil underneath where the grass has died off.
So yeah, even on a small layout there should be variations in the ground color depending on what is there.
 

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I brush paint inside my house I don't like using a roller.
When I take a break, even over night, I put the whole brush in a big freezer bag.
I use a roller and I do the same thing. I just put the roller in a bag, tape around the handle and the whole thing stays ready to continue. I'm too impatient to use a brush. :D
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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I use a roller and I do the same thing. I just put the roller in a bag, tape around the handle and the whole thing stays ready to continue. I'm too impatient to use a brush. :D
Years ago I bought the rollers that you fill up the inside with the paint and just roll away. No need to keep wetting them in a pan, just refill them when you run out. No messy splatter or drips either. You can just pop off the roller off the handle and seal it up in a large freezer bag.
You ever use them?

But I still like a good brush, always did.

In my living room I have a ceiling that has some imperfections in the sheet rock.
I first rolled on a dark color, I then I sponged the whole thing with a lighter color, I then sponged it with another lighter color and a different sponge. I then added a little off white and a third different sponge.

I bought 3 different types of sponges as you get a different pattern from each one. They are not the ordinary sponges one uses to wash stuff. They were not that cheap either but they wash out nice.
First time I ever sponged anything, but after some googling and YouTube I went at it. I figured the worst that can happen if I didn't like it I could just paint over it.

A lot of work but it came out nice. :)

I don't know if a picture will capture it right. I have not used my camera in a long time I am charging it up now. I forgot even how to use it. :dunno: I will try to take a picture of the results.

I also have molding up top and down the bottom. I brushed that all with a color that accents the rest of the room.

Some hate painting, I enjoy it. It relaxes me.:)
 

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I never tried those, I'm an old school guy. Standard rollers I can deal with, those fancy ones might confuse me. :D

In our first house we used the sponge painting for a couple of rooms, made an interesting pattern. I didn't realize the stuff was still around, maybe it's coming back. :D
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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I never tried those, I'm an old school guy. Standard rollers I can deal with, those fancy ones might confuse me. :D

In our first house we used the sponge painting for a couple of rooms, made an interesting pattern. I didn't realize the stuff was still around, maybe it's coming back. :D
A good way to do the walls around the layout to get the clouds nice. Sponge them on.

If you ever used one of these rollers I think you would be hooked.
Check it out, I have a older different model but this is how it works.
Just clean them up with soap and water when your done.
I suggest getting a few spare rollers with whatever one you get.
As with a normal roller they will eventually wear out if you roll them a lot.
Just fill them up and go, no mess, no drips, and no splatters.

 
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