Thursday, February 28, 2013

Making Slates

I have used embossed styrene sheet tiles for all the roofs to date.

I have been very happy with the effect .... until now because  (a) all the roofs are beginning to look the same (b) the thickness of each tile looks overscale (which has never bothered me before but is starting to - a worrying sign - next I'll be worrying about loco running numbers and head codes) and (c) the pattern is repetitive (which is my fault because I should have built in the odd broken or dislodged slate).

However, on Lee's lnr model making blog he shows a very effective technique for home made tiles using slightly textured wallpaper.

Since my blog is in part to record the things I learn and in part to share with fellow new modellers those things (on the off chance any read this), I am unembarrassed to say that this is a revelation to me, although I am now reminded that I saw Geoff Taylor do something similar on his DVD.

Anyway, I think it's brilliant and I am going to try it for the chapel.


  1. I must admit Chas, I try to make use of bits and pieces we have lying around. I'm lucky enough to work in a place where we have off-cuts of various materials that would otherwise be destined for the bin.
    I tried using the reverse side of photographic paper first time round, but it was a bit too uniform for my liking. The textured paper seems to work quite well, but maybe a little thick for slates/tiles lending itself better to Stone tiles.
    I think I found the idea (nothing is original) from Chris Nevard who cut up individual tiles from pieces of Junk mail and stuck them on in individual rows (I've tried this and although very effective - it takes hours)

  2. update..
    Now I think of it, I modified the idea from Iain's blog post (scroll down to the "how to build a hut drawing) where he uses styrene, with individual slates cut into the strips. I just modified the idea to textured paper

  3. Chas, this method of making slates was first used to my knowledge by John Ahern and George Stokes around the post War period. I know I was already using on a row of cottages for Totnes, the EM layout of the Ilford and West Essex Club, when I was about 14! I'm now 61, so they tell me. Still modelmaking (for a living, but scenery so far is just for me). If you've only been doing it for 3 years, we had all better watch out. The almshouses are lovely.

  4. Thanks very much for the encouragement, Martin. Much of the excitement for me over the past 3 years has been discovering techniques new to me but used and developed by clever folk over the years so any more tips gratefully received! Best wishes, Chas


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