Weekend Reading: Making Rural Buildings for Model Railways by David Wright


Curiosity inspired by the cursory mention  of modelling stonework using Das clay and PVA over cardstock drove me to seek further information. Not coincidentally at all, David Wright has authored more books in addition to Modelling Branchlines. I was please to discover that his works are available via e-book from the usual North American sources. I chose Making Rural Buildings for Model Railways and dived right in.

I have not finished reading but I have read more than enough to be pleased with my purchase. The book includes a substantial chapter on the various materials and details found in rural buildings in the UK: wattle and daub, stone, brick, wood, slate, tile, thatch, and so on. While not directly applicable to any of my (current) modelling projects, I found it entertaining nonetheless and I imagine anyone else interested enough to buy this book will too.

After the prototype information, Wright dives into listing various techniques for modelling structures built of the various materials. Instructions are generally detailed enough to make me believe I can do it. I will probably never need to model a thatched roof but I think I could.

There are at two or three ideas that I want to try soon and will probably test them out on my shed:

  1. PVA and Das on foamcore to produce a stone foundation for the shed.
  2. Double-sided tape with peel-off backing applied to cardstock and then cut out for details such as window sashes and in my case, door hardware. One can produce custom peel and stick items. And soon discover why people pay the laser cutting guys to do it for them. 🙂
  3. A technique to create a sagging ridge line on a roof by cutting a bit out of the fold in the sub-rood and rejoining with tape. My shed is heavily weathered and should reasonably have an imperfect roof.

There are several other things on my list to try once I come up with a reason. I am certain more will join the list as I finish this great book.

Making Rural Buildings for Model Railways is available both in paper and electronic forms and to the publisher’s credit, the e-book price is substantially less than the paper version. There is a companion volume, Making Urban Buildings for Model Railways as well as Modelling Ports & Inland Waterways. I will almost certainly acquire all three.

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