Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

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essox101
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Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby essox101 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:58 am

I'm scratchbuilding a thatched cottage for my Stoketon N gauge layout and I'm well pleased with the results so far. The building is made from a sheet of Metcalf's 400 micron card (plain side out) and balsa.
I would like to texture the thatched roof. It looks "OK" (ish) painted with acrylic, but I'm really not happy with it. It needs texture. So I'm thinking of using PVA to glue straw coloured paintbrush bristles (fine ones) onto the roof to represent the texture of thatch, then overpaint with acrylic. The ridge of thatch at the top will be a right fiddle, 'cos the lengths of the cut bristles will be so small.
I've spent many, many hours on making the cottage so far and I REALLY don't want to mess it up at this stage !!!!
Is what I am thinking a good way forward - or does anyone have any better ideas please.
Thanks
Dave
:?
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SouthernBoy
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby SouthernBoy » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:15 pm

There's an article on how to build thatched roofs in 'British Railway Modelling', June 2011 edition.
It's for 00 gauge, but I'm sure the same principles apply to N, and it suggests using plumber's hemp.

I think it may be easier use hemp, which you can shape and form, and then cut to size, rather than try to work with paint brush hairs which are short and fiddly in the first place.

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Jellicoe
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby Jellicoe » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:01 am

As a suggestion (never tried it myself); how about laying on some neat PVA, good and thick, then when it starts to get tacky, draw the edge of a toothbrush through it?

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0121modeller
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby 0121modeller » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:16 am

Practice applying your chosen materials on a small piece of spare card proped up at the height & angle to mimic the bare roof of your model, Apply your chosen method to a small area of the spare card to see how you get on & to give you an idea of how it'll look on the model, use low tack masking tape to attach model to workbench as to help unwanted movement of model on bench whilst applying fibres.

I'd imagine this modelling task is very time consuming, but potentially very fullfilling in the end with achieving a satisfactory result,
"Practice makes perfect" as the saying goes, good luck :) .

Dave.
Scratchbuilding 4mm scale JXA scrapwagons ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=37620
Scratchbuilt & kit built grappler claw cranes ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=36342

Gronk
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby Gronk » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:22 am

I'd love to see some pictures when you have a chance.

As for the thatch, rather than cutting up a paint brush you could try this.

heda
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby heda » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:22 am

Not something I have tried but my thoughts (if they make sense).
Rather than fixing the thatch to the roof direct, glue it to two pieces of card laid flat, then glue the card to the roof.
For the top ridge, use the same method, use a strip of card, glue the thatch to it, trim thatch to required length, fold to suit the ridge angle and glue in place.

If the thatching does go horribly wrong at least yo won't mes up the building.

Dave

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essox101
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby essox101 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:05 am

Thanks everyone. You have given me some really helpful hints here. Much appreciated.
Following the advice, I've done a practice piece with the paintbrush bristles on a piece of card and it doesn't look to bad really ... (using the "if it looks OK it probably is" principle)
So I've drawn in a deep breath and started applying bristles to roof.... and as one of you said, it's .. er ... time consuming (to say the least). So I'm doing it small bits at a time in 20 minute time chunks, which is about all my eyesight and fumbly fingers can stand.
(And also, the weather's so good that getting outside and going fishing is a must in the next day or so ...)
I really liked the thought about how to make the ridge: when I get that far I'll make the ridge as a separate entity and glue it in place when I'm happy.
And:
Assuming the result is OK I'll post a photo here in a while.
Or:
If it doesn't turn out OK I won't post a photo. I'll start it all again and try thatching it with Hornby field grass instead.

:D
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essox101
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby essox101 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:45 pm

Well. It was too hot for fishing.....
So ... this afternoon the thatched roof on the cottage reached stage one of completion. It took b.ages, but -
The first layer of paintbrush bristles are now all in situ on the cottage roof.
Next I'll add more layers to give it the right sort of thickness, then do the fancy ridges, then paint .....
Oh - the "Fence and shed" brush from whence I have obtained the bristles cost me £1.99 in Poundstretcher....
I think this works OK - the photo is of the - as yet - very incomplete cottage placed roughly where its final resting place will be on the layout.
The guy who owns the Ford Cortina will be getting my master thatchers bill later..
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Ben A
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby Ben A » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:11 pm

Hi there,

Nice work so far, but I wonder whether it looks a little too neat and even.

Looking at a thatched roof like the ones on this page: http://www.larryhunt.net/Default.aspx?t ... EntryID=16 suggests to me that the thatching parts do not reach down the entire length of the roof, so the appearance is a little more "haphazard."

Half way down this page are some notes and photos of the thatched buildings on Pendon for which the previously mentioned plumbers' hemp was used. They look very realistic to my eye:

http://www.fusiliers.net/wargaming44.htm

HTH.

cheers

Ben A.

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0121modeller
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby 0121modeller » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:26 am

.
Last edited by 0121modeller on Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Scratchbuilding 4mm scale JXA scrapwagons ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=37620
Scratchbuilt & kit built grappler claw cranes ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=36342

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essox101
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby essox101 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:10 am

A thought following Ben A's post.
The photos of the model buildings on the links that Ben included in his post are amazing. I take my hat off to such fine work and accuracy and I freely acknowledge that seeing craftsmanship like that sometimes makes me want to just give it all up and go out and drown a maggot or two.
My workmanship produces nothing that can compare to the output of those craftspeople.
However, in my defence I'd like to say this. Yes, I readily agree that my emerging result is all rather too neat. But then the rest of my layout is all rather too neat as well because most of the other buildings are kit built. So the scratchbuilt cottage I am producing does fit into the overall scheme of things, and I hope it won't look out of place.
There is an important message here about maintaining a consistent style throughout a model railway layout.
Reminds me of what I read somewhere once - "Style is easy to spot, difficult to define". Take John Constable vs JMW Turner - both landscape artists yet the work of each is instantly distinguishable from the other.
So.
Thanks for the post Ben. As a result I will henceforth regard my layout as being a triumph of personal individual modelling style over 100% accuracy ..... and I still love it !!!
Dave
:D
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Jkelly
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby Jkelly » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:03 pm

I know that this comment is 5 years old, so probably of no use to you now (Essex101). But for anyone who reads this later on, I read in the Model Railway Constructor annual 1980 that if you put strings of wool on the roof, put PVA glue on it and sprinkle it with flock powder on it it gives a very good thatched roof effect.

Kellywyk177
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Re: Scratchbuilt N gauge cottage, thatched roof

Postby Kellywyk177 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:21 pm

When you look at a thatched roof you normally only see the ends of the straw or reed, not the length of it. It's only at the ridge decoration that you see the side of the straw. Based on that I found that simply painting the card and gluing on an appropriate colour flock gives a good effect. You can add decorative detailing appropriate to your area. Different regions of the UK have different styles of thatch so it might be worth doing a bit of research if you are looking for authenticity


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