Sunday, 6 October 2013

Tarpaulins


Just like buses, you wait for ages then three arrive together....but at last a little bit of modelling…

I've been experimenting with a few different materials to create tarpaulins for my clay wagons. 

One attempt was using some black cloth which still looked like black cloth when wrapped around the wagon. Even after weathering the cloth weave was too large and it just looked wrong.

I do remember, from way back, that people used to use toothpaste tubes for tarpaulin covers. As toothpaste tubes are now plastic my thoughts turned to using aluminium takeaway trays. A couple were acquired, contents used (very tasty)... the trays were then washed and flattened. I've collected a few photographs of the early WR/BR clay wagons with tarpaulin covers and started to attempt to replicate them. A few trial shapes were cut out of the trays and wrapped around a wagon. Once happy with the shape a template was cut and more produced.  A couple were then folded around a wagon, removed and sprayed black. Unfortunately I was not totally happy with the result. The paint easily rubbed off which was a worry. Even after a little weathering being applied they still looked, to me anyway, as aluminium sprayed black with a little weathering.

At an area group meeting tarpaulins were discussed and toothpaste tubes also mentioned. Then at the next meeting I was kindly presented with a tomato puree tube. In the mean time I'd also spied a part used Mushroom Pate tube in our fridge which was quickly finished. These were both cut open, cleaned and sprayed, one black and one grey. These are made from a thicker material than the takeaway trays and being printed they took paint better. But I was disappointed in the thickness of the material, making it difficult to fashion around a wagon and they really just looked too thick when on the wagon. I was starting to get a little disappointed with my efforts so the project had been put on one side for a couple of weeks. 

While wandering around Scaleforum I came across issue 70 of the  DEMU Update magazine being offered for free.  I picked a copy up and shoved it in my bag, thinking I'd have a look at it later. In the car on the way home the magazine was quickly thumbed through. I was surprised to find an article on creating tarpaulins for the Bachmann clay hoods by Jon Baulch in which he describes using masking tape for the tarpaulin. This prompted a conversation on the journey home and we got around to discussing applying tissue paper to van roofs to allow the roof boarding to show through. Cue 'blinding flash of light'... I thought what about applying tissue paper to my takeaway tray tarpaulins…would this give me the texture I was after...?

Tarpaulins on the GWR Dia 013 clay wagons

The above photo shows one takeaway tray tarpaulin sprayed grey the other black. Both had thin tissue paper glued on to them using a wash of PVA glue. When dry they where refolded around the wagons. As yet no additional paint or weathering has been applied. To my eyes the result is starting to look good…

A little more playing around, possibly with adding some ropes Might also try a little dry brushing with an off white greyish colour. Anyway I'm feeling progress is being made, could be nearly there...

5 comments:

Flymo said...

That looks very convincing to me. I do use the pre-printed pre-Grouping tarpaulins that are available, but these have to be severely crumpled to break down the stiffness of the paper.

You approach is worth experimenting with, as many more wagons were sheeted in real life than are usually seen on models.

David Smith said...

Alu. kitchen foil with tissue paper overlay might be easier to fold around and perhaps allow plank ribbing to show through.

Ullypug said...

You can still get Euthymol toothpaste in metal tubes which is what I used for the clay hood tarps on Wheal Elizabeth. That said your results look very impressive. Great blog by the way!

Dave Keeler said...

There as some wagons that run on Pulborough and Brighton Road where the Tarpaulins are made of cheap twin ply toilet paper,stuck together with spray mount and sprayed matt black, cut to size and then crumpled up. The chap who made them, an ex-HGV driver said that they hung right.

Yan said...

Many thanks guys, for all your kind comments and advice, all gratefully received.

I'll be giving your recommendations a try over the next few evenings. Hope to post an entry with the results over the weekend.