Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Tarpaulins (Part 2)

After advice left on my original post I have been continuing with tarpaulin trials for my clay wagons. I must admit that I'd given kitchen foil a quick consideration for tarpaulins but had discounted it as it seemed very flimsy and easily torn. David Smith's comment that kitchen foil might allow planking detail to show though made me have a rethink. Gluing tissue paper to kitchen foil would give it extra stiffness, so I thought it might be worth a try. First attempt, which is on the left of the picture below, was good. I'd not sprayed the foil first so the result is very white, which might not be a bad result considering it's covering a clay wagon...

1st kitchen foil tarpaulins
The one on the right was treated the same as the take-away trays, being  sprayed grey before gluing the tissue paper to the foil. The combination of the thin kitchen foil and tissue paper does allow the tarpaulin to be moulded over and around the wagon stanchions quite well. I these are an improvement on the take-away trays. Many thanks David.

1st attempt at a weathered kitchen foil tarpaulin
The tarpaulin in the above picture was a second plain white (foil not spray painted before tissue paper applied) which I've attempted to weather a little. I've tried to give it a slight green tinge which I don't think has come out that well on the photo. This was to see if I could get away without spraying the foil first. I am reasonably pleased with it and it's a method that would bring more variations in colour for the tarpaulins on my fleet of clay wagons....

The other method that was mentioned was to glue layers of toilet paper together. I did trial this but found it to be too springy. It folded around the wagon reasonably well but the folds were not as sharp as the foil based tarpaulins. I could glued the tissue/toilet paper around a wagon, or even layer the paper on the wagon by wrapping some cling film around the wagon first. This would stop the glue from damaging the wagon, and also allowed the tarpaulin to be removed for painting. BUT I think I'd already been sold on the kitchen foil method as my thoughts were wandering further ahead...

There are many printed paper tarpaulins available, all are supplied with text/numbers printed white on black. In attempts to crumple these and apply to wagons I've never been overly satisfied with the result. Unlike some modellers my skills have not been adequate to hide the fact that they are crumpled paper. So while working on the tarpaulins for my clay wagons my thoughts had been drifting to how I might apply text to these foil based tarpaulins for use on general merchandise wagons.

1st attempted at a printed tarpaulin
A foil sheet, with tissue paper applied, was carefully tacked with sellotape to a sheet of A4 paper. A couple of the pre-printed tarpaulin sheets where scanned in to the computer then printed onto the foil tarpaulin sheet.  Unfortunately I'd decided not to pre-spray the foil before applying the tissue paper which showed as the finish has a slight shiny sheen. Next attempt was to spray the foil before gluing on the tissue paper.

2nd attempt at a printed tarpaulin
Well, it came out sort of OK... the white lettering is looking dirty with the fine lettering very faded. I am a little unsure of the result as it was not quite what I was expecting. It might look better in the morning. I may go back to the previous printed tarpaulin and try lightly weathering it. A mix of grey-green-black paint dry brushed over the tarpaulin might help to hide the slight shiny sheen. Then I can compare the two.

Overall I'm feeling these tarpaulins are a reasonable success. No doubt a few more trials and rejects to come but the basics are there...I must now get back to building more clay wagons along with getting one of my 08s converted to bring a little authenticity to the layout.

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