Thursday, 14 November 2013

Brickin' it...

Whilst looking for paper briquettes to burn (unsuccessfully, we've burned them all), I came across an old envelope containing some of Dave Ellis's (Sth. Eastern Finecast) brick sheet.  I hadn't touched it in ages as I was convinced it was 1/32nd scale, but I pulled it out to discover it is in fact his excellent 7mm scale English bond.  Dave's sheets are vacuum formed.  He does a huge range and they're not expensive.
Now many assume that, because they are vac-formed, that they must be all rounded off and no good.  Well, yes, they are rounded, BUT...if you just file/sand/scrape them just a bit, they come up really well.  The beauty of this is that you get to control the degree of mortar course that you want to see.  So, if you're looking for a worn out, uber-weathered wall with little pointing left, you can almost leave the sheet as you find it, OR, file it till you have a nice, well laid thin mortared bit of bricklaying.
Thinking I should prove my point to all you inevitable doubters, I did this little bit of wall, as if for a wee hut, for instance.
I've tried to accentuate the effect by fiddling with the contrast and brightness here.  But note that the spare bits cut out of the doorway and window are indeed rather rounded off. Very "cobbly", but the wall itself has been filed down in just a couple of minutes to reveal a nice tight mortar twixt flat sharp edged bricks.  I have left it a little less filed towards the bottom of the wall which is where the pointing might be expected to be a bit worn with rain, etc.
Please click on the picture to see it more clearly.

Just behind it, is the other experiment I mentioned in an earlier post.  This time using foamboard as the main structural material, instead of my usual, but increasingly difficult to get material, 1/8th" card.
Well, as you can see it was a complete success. It cut cleanly with 2-3 light strokes with my fold up Stanley knife (another great Lidl's or Aldis purchase).  It stays perfectly flat too.  You can see where I've angled the side cuts at 45 degrees in order to mitre the corners, leaving no awkward joints.  I am very impressed with this stuff and will be putting in an order with my No.1 son for some more. He gets it from a mate at work and can have all he wants.

So, here, in a few posts, we have Slater's moulded brick sheet, sanded to sharpen the bricks and Sth. Eastern Finecast vac-formed sheet, filed to sharpen.
I prefer the latter for its increased controllability, but am happy with either.
All that remains is to try scribing foamboard as bricks, for those special jobs or stone and the experiment, Igor, will be complete.

More soon.


  1. Yes, I have some of that SE Finecast brick sheet, and it is excellent. The 4mm corrugated iron is also excellent. While the brick courses aren't that straight in the Slater's product, they are in the Finecast. I also picked up some brick sheet from an Evergreen display in my local model shop...slightly under scale for 4mm/ft, but very sharp and regular. I like Slater's 4mm stonework as well, it can be textured with some sandpaper, or by flooding with solvent out of doors, then sticking another sheet of styrene on the top...leave it to dry for 20 seconds then pull apart...hey presto, a nice texture!

  2. I've never needed stone yet, Iain, so I'll file that idea away. Thanks. And a call to Dave Ellis for a sheet of his C.I. tomorrow.