18 August 2014

The row of cottages - Phoenix from the flames

After my last post I've been working hard to fix the mess that my cat did to the row of cottages I had been building.

This last week. whilst the family has been extreme camping in Staffordshire I 've taken a bit of time to carry on with the row of cottages that my cat so very kindly gave me a kick up the backside to carry on with and having fixed up the end with some pvc pipe weld (very effective at gluing together foamex) I'd got to this stage:

The joints were the foamex had broken apart had married up very nicely indeed and with a bit of touching up were quite difficult to spot, so I was encouraged to continue.
The roof was pretty easy to fix and I thought I'd strengthen it with another piece of 1mm foamex on top of the one that was already there.
What I hadn't figured on was the glue reacting with the thinner materials and after a roof warping nightmare, where the two layers of laminated 1mm foamex turned into the waviest roof you've ever seen, after I'd individually tiled one side! Undaunted I ripped it all off again and replaced it with a piece of 2mm. I was able to rescue the tiled side as I'd glued them to a piece of paper preprinted with a 1mm grid for alignment, which was then fixed on with double sided tape, and this I was able to carefully peel off the piece of warped foamex. Of course, this then made the gable ends slightly higher which meant a bit of filling and patching, and whilst not perfect, I think it looks OK from a viewing distance.

Here's the new gable end

I could have glued barge boards on to hide the join, but I wanted to put on prototypical stone end capping, so I hope it comes across as badly weathered stonework ;)

The roof tiles I'm pretty pleased with, having stuck them on individually and being made from a lightly textured wallpaper we use at work for printing wallpaper graphics.
They were stuck on with pva and then given a coat of Humbrol Earth, before being washed over with a couple of coats of diluted Weathered Black and then dry brushed with Wilkinsons Safari Sand. They still need a bit of weathering up with some more black and perhaps gree, but I'm happy enough with them as they are now to leave it until I can get some materials to finish off the downpipes and door frames...


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Rodger - I'm relieved it came out well in the end

  2. Looking great, Lee! I love your "northern" weathering, it is spot-on and the gables look great to me. Your roof...the slates and ridge pieces are very real-looking. The size of the slates looks perfect...are they Duchesses though, they look a little bit larger? Not a criticism, as there are two very different sizes of slates on my house! It all looks very realistic indeed and well done for not being discouraged by the feline menace!

    1. Hi Iain
      Thanks for that - I'm really pleased with the roof - but now I'm not so sure where I got my size for the slates - in actual size they are 11x7mm (allowing for overlapping and diminishing courses) - but these work out at a scale 33x21 inches, which is bigger than Empress!
      It doesn't look too wrong, so I think I've got away with it, but my next row of cottages (which I've already cut out and started scribing) will have correctly scaled Countess slates :)

    2. Hang on a minute - yes I do know where I got the info from:
      Yorkstone slates are bigger than slate slates - therefore the slates weren't standard sizes. Yorkstone slates are traditionally random, but I took the larger size (1000x800) and just used a diminishing overlap. If I was covering the roof true to life, I'd have to have a selection of randomly sized slates, in diminishing sizes.
      I may yet create a file that has differently sized tiles, but I'd have to cut them out and keep them in separate's a question of modelling fidelity… :)

  3. Sorry, Lee, to bring that up. But in fairness, they look right for stone slabs which are often about that size and are very common in your area...I would still return a verdict of 10/10! The model is great.

    1. Not to worry- at least I know now I wasn't being random - I remember now researching that site to come up with the measurement. The only thing I'd do differently is to randomise the width of the slabs for more accuracy, but I think the total height of the courses is about right for the pitch of the roof.

      I'm going to make a new file for cutting out some new Yorkstone slates :)

  4. I'm so pleased that you decided to try and salvage the cottages Lee and amazed at the neat repair job that you carried out, well done!

    Have you considered making a three story version shades of 'Last of the summer wine' ?

    1. Hi Geoff - thank you. Too much time had already been invested in the row, so I had to try and salvage it.
      I hadn't considered the three story version until now - I'll have to Google Holmfirth a bit - it's only down the road, so not too difficult to transpose into my semi-fictional location.
      At the moment though, I'm working on a longer row of cottages - mark II as it were...