We previously added a little age to our MTL laser kits and we were going to tackle the decals next but decided instead to add some custom roof work to these buildings. The thinking was, it would be better to have these kits basically finished, except for final weathering, before we applied our decals. This will mean less handling after the decals are applied, less chance to damage them. As this will be the first time I’m making my own decals, I figured it was better to play it a little safe. Our next article will feature the decals but right now, it’s on to the roofs!
On the MTL Military Veterinary Clinic kit I went with random width and length shingles from Motrak Models. I was afraid these might appear too rustic for this kit, but I’ve wanted to try these out for some time. These shingles come two sheets to a package and they’re in a natural / light brown color. In an effort to minimize to look of raw (rustic) shingles, I gave them a base color of light gray and then randomly applied different shades of gray weathering powders to them while they were still attached to their carrier sheets.
Next up is one of the small MTL yard buildings with the similar paint scheme as the vet clinic. I haven’t seen green tarpaper used all that often but I’d used this color in a previous Z scale build and liked the results. For the tarpaper, I went with Roll Roofing Sheets from RS Laser. These come in a deep gray / black color and for these I simply mixed a shade of green acrylic craft paint and hit them with the airbrush. This was the simplest roof of the bunch but the green shade adds some nice contrast to our kit collection. Above one of the windows, you can see a black paint “smear”. I painted all the building interiors black to prevent light escaping in case I want to light these buildings and some of the paint leaked through above the window. What the heck, I may repaint it or leave it as it!
Corrugated strip metal is something I really like to work with, just make sure you’ve got a good supply of sharp blades as this material is very thin and can easily bend and distort with an even slightly dulled blade. I chose the Builders In Scale strip metal for the larger building in the MTL yard collection. As I’ve already aged this building pretty heavily, I thought a manky old roof would be a good match here.
I cut the strips on the front part of the roof to a scale 4’ x 8’. A bit large for real corrugated roofing but this size appeals to me. For the back portion of the building, I went with full, uncut sections that cover each roof half with a single piece. I did this to break up the look from the smaller sheets in front and I thought some kind of advertising decal would work well here, so a single, level surface would be best. These roofs were sprayed with Dull Cote to knock the shine down a bit and to give some tooth to this rust weathering.
Finally, I chose to go with a vertically applied tarpaper for the two concrete buildings. I’ve only seen tarpaper applied vertically in older photos but again, I just liked the look and it adds some variety to the collection. I actually tried several times before I got a look I was happy with, I ended up sanding off several initial tarpaper attempts. What I went with here is black tissue cut in strips and glued to the roof, which was also painted black. Once dried, I lightly sanded the tissue down for an old, worn look. I applied a small amount of gray weathering powder to the tissue just prior to sanding for a slight highlight.
On balance, I think these roofs add some nice variety to our kits and as a group; they seem to hold together well. As this layout will likely reside on a tabletop once finished, the most common viewing angle will probably be from overhead. This was a good excuse to tweak the stock kit roofing.
Roll Roofing Sheet
Corrugated Strip Metal
Category: Raildig Build Projects