Joined: April 28th, 2018, 8:53 am

June 8th, 2018, 10:09 pm #21

Less boring doors

The resin doors which came with the Verlinden Italian street are fine as far as they go - but a little 'old school' in their wood texture. Plus, they look too crude and, to be honest, a bit boring. The doors I photographed in Tuscany were often time-worn, but always interesting...

Italian door 1.jpg Italian door 2.jpg Like everything else in this build, I am revisiting skills I last practised as a teenager. In those days I made doors like these out of thin balsa wood. These days you can also use thin basswood. However, although this has a great texture (it is wood after all), it is difficult to cut precisely - and it has a tendency to split along the vertical.

So, I turned to my trusty friend plastic card. Using a single piece for both sets of doors, I built up the reinforcing wood pieces from thinner card cut to size. Texture was added using a compass point and the edges rounded a little with a knife.

Here are the first pair:

Doors 1.jpg Doors 2.jpg The spy hole is from an old Verlinden PE set (I later recessed it into the door). I also added some nail holes and a rough keyhole.

Doors 3.jpg I had already sanded away the plaster cast detail above the doors and replaced it with a grill from photo etch. There was also a cherub face moulded into the facade, but the detail was poor so I replaced it with a lion's face carved off an old Italeri fountain. This was textured with Mr Surfacer.

Door 5.jpg
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Joined: April 28th, 2018, 8:53 am

June 8th, 2018, 10:16 pm #22

The second set of doors were made in a similar manner, but this time I decided to add some circular 'peepholes'. These were made using a large hole punch and then detailed with some etch taken from the middle of an old Verlinden railing set.

Doors 7.jpg 20170512_192124.jpg 20170512_192934.jpg These doors will be shown opening inwards and so they were eventually separated. Here they are after a little paint (although weathering is not complete)...

20180522_183951.jpg
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Joined: May 8th, 2018, 1:48 pm

June 12th, 2018, 3:06 pm #23

Very cool, I'd love to see more in progress posts.
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Joined: April 28th, 2018, 8:53 am

June 12th, 2018, 11:21 pm #24

The roof tiles

Soon after I started this project I came to realise that one of the biggest challenges that lay ahead was going to be the roof tiles. Many Mediterranean houses of the WWII era - and certainly, from what I could see from photographs, almost all Italian ones - had a distinctive style of terracotta roof tile with a curved profile slightly tapering to their bottom end. 

Although the tiles are regular in size and shape, together they produce an effect of varied courses and colours which is impossible to replicate by moulding en masse. So they have to laid individually.

Classic Italian roof tiles 1.jpg
At first I could find no source for these tiles in 1/35, but then I came across these moulds sold by Diorama Debris:

1:35 Scale Spanish Barrel Roof Tiles Mould (1350047) from http://www.dioramadebris.co.uk/135-scal ... 7-50-p.asp

To my knowledge, this is the only way to make these tiles in the authentic manner out of real terracotta plaster. I tried one of these moulds and, after a bit of practice, it worked very well. But it was very time-consuming. By a stroke of luck I happened to mention my dilemma to someone at a model show and - hey presto! - he came up with a supply of ready-cast tiles (I believe made from the same moulds) at a very reasonable price. I'm not sure he is still making them, so I won't name him for now. Let's just say that I was a very lucky guy because - as you will already have seen - I needed hundreds of the things..!

Making the actual roof structures themselves was hardly easy either. Because I had plans to add interior lighting and other details, I needed to ensure that each roof was removable - and strong enough not to warp once in place. The answer was to make a false internal structure out of foam board that slotted into each of the buildings. To this I then added the roof from thick card before starting to lay the tiles.

Here is the main church roof...

Church roof 4.jpg
For this roof and that of the houses I used a style which I had seen in Tuscany where the half-round tiles are interspersed with flat tiles of roughly equal width. This way I would be using half as many tiles for the same area of roof.

To give the impression of the flat tiles laid between the others I used strips of brown card laid from the bottom up with a slight overlap. The half-round tiles were then laid in rows on top of them over a ribbon of Bostick glue. This sets pretty quickly - but not so fast that you don't have time to adjust the rows if needed.

Church roof 5.jpg Church roof 6.jpg
Last of all I added the ridge tiles and bedded these in with Magic Sculp to represent the cement render which would be used in real life.

Church roof 3.jpg Church roof 2.jpg
The steeple roof, which was actually the first that I tackled, was made slightly differently.

I began by building an inner frame from triangular pieces of foam board, mounted this on a square balsa wood base and then covered the structure with thin basswood. This was glued and tacked in place to give it a slightly concave profile - a little 'sag' - and then some suitable holes for damage added. This belfry would have been an obvious observation post for the defending Germans and thus a prime target for the Allied guns before the town was liberated.

Steeple roof 1.jpg
The tiles were laid more closely together than on the other roofs (see the reference picture above) because this crowded look seemed to suit the smaller structure better then the more widely spaced variety. For this style there are no flat tiles - only more barrel tiles laid beneath the others, but upside down (so the curve faces up).

Steeple roof 6.jpg
However, rather than do this the authentic way (and thus use twice as many of my precious tiles), I cheated by adding the upside-down tiles only at the very bottom of the roof.

Steeple roof 10.jpg
It's a bit messy, I admit, but - hey - this church had already stood for quite a long time before the Allies started taking pot-shots at it.
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Joined: April 28th, 2018, 8:53 am

June 12th, 2018, 11:32 pm #25

Finally, I added cement render from Magicsculp and - as a piece de resistance - a little finiale from a photo etch set called 'WEATHER VANES & PUB SIGNS' (SLOF07) made for model railways by Scale Link.

Scale Link SLOF07 WEATHER VANES & PUB SIGNS.jpg These are actually sold as 'Scale 1:43' - railway 'O' gauge - but they are very adaptable for 1:35. This is one good example of why one should not just search for the scale you are building when looking for accessories. Think outside the box!

I would have liked to have used one of the larger weather vanes, but I already have a glass showcase built for this diorama - and it just doesn't have room for anything taller. So I settled for this...

Finial in place on the church roof awaiting a touch of paint.jpg
All in all, these roofs were a lot of work. But to my mind they are at least as important as the buildings that they sit above. There's just something so Italian about them! At least I hope so...

Bells installed 3.jpg
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Joined: May 28th, 2015, 7:57 pm

June 13th, 2018, 9:02 am #26

Incredible work !
http://scale72world.blogspot.fr/
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Joined: April 28th, 2018, 8:53 am

June 13th, 2018, 11:49 am #27

I'm glad someone apart from me is finding this interesting!

The chimney

I decided long ago that my building needed a chimney but I hadn't really thought how to finish it. It turns out that Italian chimneys are as varied as the rest of their buildings, but eventually I came across this picture:

Italian chimneys.jpg Well, that was all the inspiration I needed. So I set about creating my own 'mini Acropolis'.

The bricks were laid as far as possible like real bricks and fixed together using a mixture of PVA and Deluxe Materials Perfect Plastic Putty. The result is a little slap happy - and I'm not going to make any jokes at the expense of Italian builders here - but I think with a little weathering it will look fine.

The chimney 'roof' roof was built, as all my others were, using a base of plastic card, covered with brown card and then the tiles were glued in place with Bostick or UHU. And that was my last bit of tiling!

Chimney 2.jpg Roof and chimney complete.jpg
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Joined: April 22nd, 2005, 9:18 pm

June 13th, 2018, 8:02 pm #28

Hi
Looks really good so far, just needs some more weathering on the tiles. 

Great blog and inspiring progress so far.

Chees
Andrew
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Joined: April 28th, 2018, 8:53 am

June 13th, 2018, 9:27 pm #29

AndrewTomlinson2 wrote: Hi
Looks really good so far, just needs some more weathering on the tiles. 

Great blog and inspiring progress so far.

Chees
Andrew
Thanks Andrew.

Yes, a lot of weathering lies ahead!

I'm trying to get as much as possible 'almost finished' so I can see the colour balance between buildings, groundwork and vehicles - then I will be getting busy with pigments, etc...
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Joined: October 3rd, 2005, 9:25 am

June 18th, 2018, 5:19 am #30

Looking great Tim, fascinating and inspiring build you have here! Thanks for all the great in-progress and real reference pics. 
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