Keeping the rain out

For a long time now the poor residents of Isle Ornsay have had to put up with what an estate agent would likely call ‘open air living’… i.e. no roofs!

Well, prior to being abducted to go and see Les Miserables at the cinema (why was everyone singing? very odd…), I had a chance to provide some cover for the majority of the buildings along Harbour Street.

The building shells are all foamboard held together with glue from a hot glue gun.  They are mounted on a cardboard base to make them more easily removable until the time is right to fix them to the baseboard.

The roofs are all made from a sheet of mounting board purchased at Hobbycraft.  Obviously I still have to cut and fix all the dormer roofs, but it’s certainly turned a row of structures into a row of something closer to buildings.

The masking tape is there to cover the gap created by scoring the card to form the apex of the roof.  Eventually they will all be covered in paper slates.

Once I’d added roofs to all the buildings in this stretch of Harbour Street I plonked them on the layout to see how they looked.

I think it gives a much more complete feel, and if you squint and imagine a bit of colour it looks a lot more complete… Yes, ok, still lots to do.

As you may be able to see from the images above, I’ve ensured that the buildings running parallel to the backscene have the apex of their roof at least 10mm away from the backscene.  This is to avoid that potentially perpetual slope where buildings often just finish with the apex of the roof against the backscene.  These actually have a slight drop on the ‘other’ side of the apex, hopefully helping increase the feeling of depth to the scene.

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6 Responses to Keeping the rain out

  1. Daniel says:

    It looks great. Now you are forced to make of each house something special because many fellows will love to film a very slow train passing before that background!
    Excellent work Tom!


    • Tom says:

      Thanks Daniel, making all of them separate and individual is all part of the fun. They are all based on real buildings from across Scotland.

  2. hakeofdoom says:

    Very nice. A very good plan having the apex in front of the backscene, I think the extra depth will be well worth the centimetre of two it takes up. For me the roofs have made a big difference to being able to visualise the scene.

  3. Nice work – iI like your “half relief” harbour street houses (and no more “open air living” for the people there….). The quaye wall – is that made from plaster? Great scenery.

    • Tom says:


      Thanks for the kind comments.

      Yes, the retaining wall is made from plaster. The castings for those and all the rocks are from moulds produced by Bragdon Enterprise in America. Google their name and you’ll come across their website, Joel Bragdon has been very helpful.

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