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1865 Great Eastern station - Laser cutting a slate roof

Fen End Pit


I was keen to try and find a way to make a slate roof that would give some texture better than just printed paper. The Scalescenes paper I used before looked very good, but I couldn't face the idea of trying to cut all the lines between the slates.


What I've tried here is to laser cut strips of slates onto large A4 size postage labels. The slates are about 3.5mm across and the strips are 10mm deep.






Laying these strips is a little fiddly and I found with the hipped roof that you must get the bottom row correct all the way around the hip before starting to move up the roof. (yes I did work that out the hard way!) The bottom row is over lapped by a row immediately on top of it before moving up the roof. So far I have only put a single code of slate grey over the top and a wash of matt black which brings out the gaps in the slates. This picture is roughly 3 times actual size.




I originally thought that the ridges were covered by lead, but actually it appears to be a tile fired to be the same colour as the slates. I've had a go at representing these using a strip of sticky paper with some very thin strips added to represent the joints between the tiles. I had to line these up by eye and made a bit of a mess of them. I think in future I might cut a 'ladder' shape of paper, stick it over the ridge so the 'rungs' form the joints and stay at a constant distance apart, and then trim off the sides of the ladder (if that makes any sense at all as a description!)




The resulting roof doesn't look too bad, I need to work on the colouring, there are some unpleasant glossy bits where I was impatient with the paint mixing and there are some little bumps where I applied a dob of superglue to fasten some of the tiny strips of paper on the ridges down (I think I've worked out how to do lichen). The timber around the roof line looks a bit odd at the moment but bear in mind this will have a gutter attached in due course.




Please let me know what you think.



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If I'm being hyper critical, the only thing I would say is that the ridge tiles' apex are not sharply defined enough, but that is the cruel nature of close up photography. I've been following your posts since the previous layout and have to say that your work is of a very high standard indeed.



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Mmm - nice!  I think sometimes one tends to be too self-critical.  The slates are a fine rendering (!) with a few nice chips and bumps per the prototype.  Wish I had the patience to come close...  :-) 

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That looks brilliant I think. Wish I was clever enough to do that !

Looks similar to the exactoscale slates that I've used, but of course they have to be cut out.

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Would you consider cutting some sheets of tiles exactly like yours for other people? (For a fee of course)

They look like an excellent time saver!



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What an excellent idea - and well executed.


You are being a bit hard on yourself - the ridge tiles are difficult to do convincingly.  In real life they are seldon super flat on old buildings anyway - they've often been taken off and repointed - resulting in them not lying quite true.

Any imperfections on the main slates make it look better.  Slate is a natural material and is not uniform. 


A really helpful article too. 

Thank you



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