As I am making an satisfying and active return to model railways, I am attempting new modelling media as well as the older established materials like card, plastic, white metal and brass. I recently puchased the low relief laser cut shop in the photos from a well known on line trading site(!) . It has a lovely smokey smell and there is some texture on the sides. What paint process would you recommend and how would you go about it, please?
Secondly, I have been given a Coopercraft rail weighbridge and office. I recall you used a coloured pencil/pastel pencil to colour the brickwork. Having gone into a local and less than friendly art shop who were less than helpful, what precise kind of pencil(s) would you recommend, please?
Glad to hear you are getting back into modelling Duncan. As you have found out, over the years, a whole host of new materials have arrived for us to work with. This is great news, although it doesn't mean that the old methods aren't still useful.
Starting with the second question, the pencils I use aren't anything special. I collect brown pencil crayons so I have plenty of colour variety. Harder rather than "watercolour" or other special crayons are my preference and you can see some of the ones I use in the photo above (click for a bigger image). The Staedtler Stabilo came from Staples stationery store, the others from various art shops.
To use them, I paint the bricks beige (Humbrol 121) and once this is fully dry, rub them on the surfaces. 2-3 coats with different colours seem to give the desired effect, but practice makes perfect as you'll need to see what you are happy with.
Laser-cut brickwork can be a bit of a problem. The edges of the bricks are very sharp and so the pencil crayon method doesn't work. All that happens is the bricks tear the pencil apart. For this, I need to dry-brush paint on. For this, I like a Coloro brush from Humbrol - as I explain in this blog post.
I hope this helps - happy painting!