I’ve been putting the finishing touches to the Full Brake by adding a few more details to it, an acetylene generator at one end and some steps at the other.  Then it was primed and painted with Citadel Colour ‘scab red’ and the glazing fitted.

How it looked by this point.

The next job was to do the roof, this was made from thin plasticard sheet and covered in tissue paper.  I find that the tissue paper gives the roof a nice texture which looks better than just smooth plasticard.  In the past I’ve managed to achieve reasonable results with this without getting too much wrinkling in the tissue covering when the paint was applied.

The first attempt at the roof for the full brake was a disaster, when all the details were added (more on that in a future ‘tips’ posting) and the paint applied it really started to wrinkle, despite me trying my best to get the tissue paper to be a good fit.

At this point I was half tempted to give in and resort to having bare plasticard for my roofing material, but fortunately I came across a posting by Dave Taylor on NGRM which gave away a VERY useful tip!

Dave is a fantastic modeller and a really nice bloke, he kindly offered me the chance to help operate his layout ‘Bridport Town’ at an exhibition in Exeter earlier in the year.  A truly inspirational layout, so obviously I snapped up the chance!  Here are a couple of shots of the layout:

Overview of the yard and station throat at Bridport Town

Two of Dave's lovely scratchbuilt locos, the nearest of which is the Hunslet proposal for the tender to build the locos for the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

I’ll come back to talk about Dave’s layout in a future blog post as it’s a layout that I’ve long admired for one specific reason.

The tip that was passed on was to pre-wet the tissue so as to allow it to expand before applying it to the sheet used for the roof.  Therefore as it dries it tightens, and the chance of wrinkles becomes less and less.  Dave had been doing the same thing with some Clogher Valley balcony coach kits that he had been building for Bridport at the same time I was working on the full brake.  Great, problem solved!

So, I delaminated the tissue, as normal, into two thinner sheets and gently soaked it with water to allow it to expand, then I placed it on a thin sheet of glass and stretched it out until there were no wrinkles in it.  I then applied some liquid poly to the plasticard and pressed it firmly into the tissue.  This was then left to dry for a little while and the excess trimmed off and folded around the edges, a nice, smooth roof!

All painted up, just some Fox Transfers gold lettering to apply now. I'll post a better quality image when it's finished.

Definitely a tip that I’ll be using again and again when I’m building stock for the HLR!

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