Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

Long brown coats

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One of my bugbears with model railways is unrealistic buildings. You see some absolutely stunning model rolling stock, way better than anything I will ever be able to do, photographed in a model magazine, next to a building with a black shadow all the way round the bottom and a regular “flat” looking roof. That is the benefit of model railway clubs of course. Bringing people together with different skills and the end result can be incredible. 

Roofs really get me. There is no such thing as a straight or ordinary roof. Most have sags, twists, moss, dirt, stains, bird poop, gutters, down pipes, barge boards, and other interesting characteristics. 

They also have flashing. Quite why this gets omitted so much on model railway buildings I’m never too sure. I do a fair amount with Metcalfe kits. When I get the chance I’ll post a picture of what I mean but a key thing for me is to add flashing. Get a piece of paper (not card- the paper in your printer is fine), and use an ordinary graphite pencil to shade it, til it’s all grey. Cut to shape and glue on. Being paper it will flex slightly and sag and look a lot more realistic than card does which is too stiff. 

And the picture, that’s the view out of the window of the Gentleman’s facility at a local replenisher in York. A great example of interesting rooftops. Note the broken slates in the one in front, the clean new flashing despite the old roof, the, moss on the one on the right,  and the corrugated sheet filling the gap between the two. Also note the very uneven roof in the right background all covered in lichen and moss. Nowt regular about any of that. 


Author: Chris H

Having now officially reached middle age, I am a rolling stock engineer and have worked in many different locations including a 7 year spell in Sydney, Australia, where I arrived with a suitcase and left with a wife and a son. I am now based back in my home county of Yorkshire where I juggle full time work, being a Dad to two rascally mini-mes, and trying to fit in railway modelling, assisting the GWR 1014 County of Glamorgan project, and visits to the top left hand corner of Wales. In addition to my heavily railway themed life, I am interested in rugby, cricket, reading crime novels, falconry, and medieval re-enactments.

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