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Fordhampton Plastic Kits

To Paint, or not to Paint?

Terry Smith




In the second of our articles to accompany our new Fordhampton range of plastic kits, TERRY SMITH explains basic ways to paint the kits to start to personalise them.

Painting Fordhampton Kits

That is the question, and of course there are two answers! These kits were designed to be put together straight out of the box, and come in pre-coloured plastic. As Fordhampton is a mythical BR Southern Region location, they have been moulded where possible in Green and Cream, and in the case of the Footbridge and Signal Box one can get away with no painting at all.
When it comes to what paint to use, this will come down to personal choice between enamel or acrylic but in either case I always plump for a Matt finish even though in most cases the real structures would have had their painted surfaces covered in Gloss paint. In my opinion the glossiness just doesnít scale down to 1/76th scale that well.
If one is going down the painting route remember to get some decent brushes, thinners and a new item from Deluxe called Brush Magic. In some cases spray paints or airbrushing of your selected colours will be a great help too. Now letís look at each kit and what options there are in terms of extra painting.

GM401 Fordhampton Station

Fordhampton Plastic Kits

Due to the way the parts of the Station Building are moulded it was difficult to carry this colour scheme through onto the model, so in this case some painting the doors green will be required if you want to retain the Southern look. Of course one can paint this in other regional colours should you wish, which then gives total flexibility on what locality you wish to model.
By painting some parts of this kit you will improve the model no end. If you do nothing more than paint all the doors in the colour of the region that you are modelling you will have successfully personalised this model. The awning valances will benefit from a coat of a yellowish cream and apart from some optional detailing of the chimneys to represent soot, you are done.

GM402 Fordhampton Signal Box

Fordhampton Plastic Kits

Again, due to injection moulding limitations we could not get the window frames moulded in white. Just by painting the frames white you will have a great looking Signal Box with a Southern feel about it. Should you wish to change the region then just have to paint the frame work on the sides before assembly in the desired colour, and you can have a wooden signal box from virtually any area of the UK.

GM403 Fordhampton Footbridge

Fordhampton Plastic Kits

Out of the box, this kit is moulded in green and cream with a grey roof. If, like the signal box, you paint the green parts of the moulding a different colour then it can be used to represent bridges in any other railway regions.

GM404 Fordhampton Level Crossing

Fordhampton Plastic Kits

White gates and a grey road surface - what more could you possibly paint I hear you ask? Well take a look at any picture of a real set of swinging gates and you will spot it straight away! In nearly every case the metal strengthening brackets were for some reason painted black. The gates supplied in this kit has these brackets moulded as raised detailing and by picking these out with black paint it is amazing how more realistic the crossing becomes. You will also need to paint the grilles that fit behind the gates white, but this is an easy job and can be done before or after they are stuck on.

In future articles I will show how to get the best from each kit individually, and where best to apply paint and weathering to improve the look and realism of these versatile models.

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