Sunday, 20 November 2016

More than before...

Having decided that even Facebook pages cause offence sooner or later, I have resolved to keep my posts confined to this blog, so there'll be more than before as they will not be thinned out across the pages of that odd format.  And, of course, I am no longer in any forums.


I have been mulling over the idea that if one might engrave or impress detail into the surface of Foamex, my new favourite material, there was no reason why shiplap couldn't be done the same way. I had already used thin card, as has everybody else, to represent planks of wood on a building, but it is tedious to do and without decent glues like the old tube Evo-Stik to rely upon, it was even more difficult to do.  I believe it still has it's place, especially where some dereliction is required, but the essence of a convincing group of shiplapped buildings is that some are almost pristine, amongst those that are falling apart.  A bit like putting German lakeside boathouses in France!  So card strip remains the way to do the derelicts, but my experiment with the smart shed was a complete success.  This little structure is entirely impressed, with only the corners, window cill and lintel added, in thin styrene.

The roof is also styrene, as are the barge boards and finials, but the lion's share of what you see is impressed Foamex.  I found that initially I was getting a rather rounded plank edge, so I cut the Foamex where the dip of the lower plank was to occur and this simple expedient allowed a nice sharp differential twixt upper and lower plank.  The actual impression being achieved with the sharp corner of a short, stiff steel rule.  The corner planks were then added, which disguises the fact that the box of the structure is just ends overlapping the sides.  In future I will probably make the corners mitred.  It's easy enough to control a decent knife at a 45 degree angle and gives a much wider glue area to the joint, making it look better and a lot stronger.

Finally the nails were impressed by one of my favourite tools, a 1/32nd scale model aircraft rivet embosser.
It came as one of a pair with lovely mushroom handles in beechwood, like the very best engraving tools, for a derisory few pounds from The Scale Model Company, an internet model shop.  With the lightest of dabs it puts a perfect tiny ring shape in the planks. Some have both nail heads showing, some (completely at random) have only one as the other will be hidden by the plank above.  A neat wee detail, I think.

With some hinges and other door furniture and glazing and framing for the simple widow, this will be ready for painting.


  1. Interesting. I'm playing around with Foamex and other similar boards at the moment. I wouldn't have thought to use it for shiplap but the effect is good. It goes to show it's always worth playing around with the materials as you never know quite what will work until you do.

  2. I thought the same, Phil, so thought it just had to be tried. And it's better than I had expected.
    There's hardly anything it won't do, although it isn't the best stuff to glue. I know a great fan of it who uses slow superglue. I can't get on with superglues at all, much less slow ones! So far I have used a basic clear which works after a fashion, and UHU Por which is intended for foam.