Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yorkshire Stone

While I now have a track plan for 77 Box Lane I still haven't done any track laying or building construction, mostly as I keep getting distracted by the Welsh slate industry! I did get as far as doing some cobble experiments and I even used some brick papers to build a small photographic diorama. While the wall looked pretty good on the diorama I came to the decision, when trying to use the same paper for a low wall, that the stones were a bit large and that the lack of relief might be a problem on such a narrow layout, but at the time I didn't have any better ideas, short of using DAS clay and scribing the stones by hand.

About a month or so ago, when browsing in my local model shop, I picked up a piece of Slater's embossed plastikard that looked like it might be a good alternative to the brick paper I'd been using, although at the time I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to paint it to look like Yorkshire stone so it got put to one side.

Fortunately two things then happened which have led me to an approach to painting the embossed sheet to look like Yorkshire stone that I'm fairly happy with. First up Iain went and wrote a blog post about the slate wagons I sent him. This in turn delayed Geoff from writing a blog post about his excellent Llangunllo layout. When he did write the delayed post he happened to mention that he'd used RailMatch concrete to colour the mortar course on the building he was painting. The second thing was that yesterday I painted a weathered example of my narrow gauge flat wagon and I decided that the colour wasn't that far away from dirty, smoke blackened Yorkshire stone.

Combining these two ideas led me to paint the embossed sheet as follows. Firstly I sprayed the sheet with a white primer as I found that the acrylics wouldn't stick to it very well. Once that had dried I painted the entire thing using the RailMatch concrete (#2422) to act as a base coat as well as to colour the mortar. I then dry brushed on khaki (Model Color 70.988) followed by brown sand (Model Color 70.876). This was then all toned down slightly with a thin black wash, before the final details were added by dry brushing with dark sand (Model Color 70.847) and black (Model Color 70.950) to simulate the dirty patches.

It was only when I'd finished painting this small sample that I noticed that, according to the sticker on the back, the sheet is for 7mm scale modelling not 4mm scale, oops. Given that I bought the sheet as the stones looked a similar size to those on the brick paper this would explain why those stones looked too big. The stones on this sheet are actually slightly smaller than on the sheet being about 3mm, so 9 inches, tall. The sheet might work for a large factory, but I'll try and pick up a 4mm sheet of the same stone effect and see if that looks a bit better sized for walls and small workshops, but at least this is progress... of a sort.


  1. I haven't used this stone sheet for some years, being fond of punishing my mind by endlessly scribing Das...but I have always liked it. I went out and measured the stones on our house and most are between seven inches to just over thirteen inches deep, with the cornerstones being a whopping two feet deep. If that's the actual 7mm sheet in the photo then to my eyes it's just right....but perhaps for a smaller building, as you say, the smaller version might be a better fit.
    Your colours look really good and I am glad the chain of events led you to discover Railmatch concrete.

    One thing I have done which produces an very effective texture on this Slaters sheet is to flood solvent on a sheet of .020" styrene (in a very well ventilated space) and then slap the stone embossed sheet face down on to it. Leave for 30 seconds and then pull off. The resulting artex type finish takes the dry brush very well and gives added texture.

    1. Yes that is the 7mm sheet with the driver figure from the 4mm Quarry Hunslet for scale. As you say I think the stones look about the right size, but then looking at some of the photos that were the inspiration for the layout, this one for instance, I think the stones might need to be a bit smaller. I'll pick up the 4mm sheet and do a comparison next time I'm in the model shop.

      Interesting idea to add extra texture to the surface, I'll have to give that a try.

    2. I see what you mean now, Mark. That is an interesting photostream, too! I was fascinated in the lack of texture on the ground in those photos...just very subtle markings, weathering and cracks in the concrete.

      The unexpected bonus with the solvent method is that you get a sheet with witness marks, like a print, which looks like a wall with the rendering weathering off. If you try it though, do be careful with ventilation, I find as I am using solvent all the time, I now have to wear a mask or it has a bad effect on me.

    3. Yes, there is some seriously well pored concrete going on there. I much prefer my idea of cobbles though to give a bit more detail, but those photos do show the stone height issue quite well. I really must find the time to have another visit myself it's years since I've been down there.

      I usually model by an open window, and really horrible stuff gets done outside on a fine day so hopefully I shouldn't have too many problems, but thanks for the warning.

    4. I too fell into the trap of using the 7mm embossed sheet Mark, whilst it's fine for civil engineering works such as retaining walls and bridges I think it looks a tad too large for small buildings. I always lightly sand new sheets which has the effect of removing any rounded edges and flattening the relief detail, sanded brick sheet looks different again from the bog standard product and it also acts as a key for painting.