Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Shingles for Crazy People

The week between Christmas and New Years is hectic, but I managed to make some headway on my village as well as nearly complete my Infinity Army. Texture is one of the most important aspects to good looking terrain. It gives you the surface needed for eye-catching highlights and lowlights.

I started shingling houses back when I played Flames of War a lot. I used cut up cereal boxes to make my shingles from. After completing the Grail Chapel, I came up with a good way to make realistic shingles in 28mm. These are a bit oversized for the models, but most stones, bricks, and shingles on store-bought terrain isn't sized for the models, it is sized for our eyes.

This technique takes a couple of tools, and some time, but I think the end results are worth it.

1. This is a model-makers plane. It is pretty cheap, (around $10) and available at most hardware stores and home centers. Since I have bought this one, I am finding more and more uses for it when I am modelling.


You will need to sharpen the blade every so often. I have a set of Arkansas Stones that quite literally turn mine into a razor, but you don't have to take it that far. A small combination stone with coarse on one side and fine grit on the other will do just fine.

2. I am making my shingles with 1/16" x 1/2" balsa wood. Just like a real shingle, only half of this will show on the roof. a 1/2" piece of wood gives you 1/4" of coverage.  I am beveling the upper half of the balsa so the shingles will lay on each other nicely.



3. You can see what the finished profile of the wood should look like, a nice tapered stick of wood.



4. Use a pencil, pen, or marker to draw a line on the back of the wood. After you turn the stick of wood into shingles, it can be hard to tell which side you beveled. That is where the pencil line comes in.



5. You can see a pencil mark on that block of oak. That is how long I made each shingle. I used the oak as a cutting board. Now that there is a pile of shingles, we can start applying them.



6. Since i want 1/4" of coverage, I drew lines across the roof at 1/4" intervals. The first line is 3/8" from the edge of the roof. That way the overhang is only 1/8" instead of 1/4" for the first row.



7. Glue all of your shingles on the lines using tacky glue. Every other row, you will have to split a shingle in half and start with it. That way each row of shingles covers the gap of the row below it.



8.  Make sure you glue the shingles to the roof as well as to the previous row.



9. The human error in the making and application of the shingles will add plenty of character and interest to the roof. The potion shop is coming along...



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