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The Fortune Playhouse

Started by Stuart, October 25, 2022, 09:01:35 AM

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Very neat and defiantly  different -
Never Let someone who has done nothing tell you how to do anything
Stuart McPherson


Peter--Thankyou for the information about Marcus Rappo.  Wonderful workmanship!

Like you suggest, taking on another project of this magnitude at this point in my life would not be a wise move.  This model of the Fortune Playhouse was a great leaning experience as I was able to cut my teeth on new methods and approaches.  The things I learned on this project will certainly be helpful as I continue with future smaller, less involved, modeling efforts.


A few words about how I approached the fabrication of the roofing tiles.

Early on, I had planned to manufacture thousands of roofing tiles and place them one-by-one over the entirety of the expansive sections of roofing.

To create the tiles I used Fimo clay, a polymer clay which remains pliable until backed in an oven.  Step 1 shows the method I used to roll out the clay in an even thickness.  Once flattened the next chore, as shown in Step 2, was to cut through the clay at the prescribed dimensions of the tiles with a sharp hobby knife.  After making the cuts, any clay that would not produce a fully finished tile was removed and saved for future use.  The glass piece was then placed in the oven and baked to harden the clay.

Step 1.jpg

Step 2.jpg

This photo shows the finished product.

Fimo tiles.jpg

When I got to this point in the building process I suddenly began to question my sanity in placing each tile individually over the entirety of the roofing area and wondered what other method would satisfy my desire for realism yet keep me from going completely over the edge. I had already expended considerable time and effort producing a large number of the small tile pieces and did not want to simply toss them aside.  After doing a little research on the subject, I determined I would attempt to create panels of roofing tiles through the plastic casting process.  My experience in making castings of this nature was minimal but I pressed on non-the-less.  This would be a new adventure and learning experience.
Using the tiles already manufactured I went through the tedious process laying out a single panel big enough to accommodate the largest expanse of roof area as shown here. 

Tile master.jpg


Once that was accomplished I poured a silicon mold over the completed master.  In any casting effort, removing trapped air in both the casting medium and within the mold itself as the pour is made can cause considerable headaches. There are procedures, if followed, and equipment, if available, which will help minimize and even remove the problems of trapped air but for a one time effort such as mine, the expense did not warrant the purchase of such equipment.  I moved ahead as best I could.

The silicone mold was poured and then removed from the master.

Silicone mold.jpg

I had worked to keep air bubbles at a minimum but was not completely successful as you will see in the finished cast pieces.  As can be seen in the photograph of the finished casting, there are numerous small bubbles poking out within the tiles.  Fortunately, I was able to remove these with a chisel point knife blade fairly easily.

I used a urethane resin with some dye for the finished tile panels.  Although crude in its approach, in order to force the resin into all the nooks and crannies of the silicone mold and reduce the potential of air bubbles and voids in the casting, I put on a latex glove and with my fingers worked the resin into place covering the entire expanse of the mold.  This seemed to work fairly well but it took me several initial pours to finally decide this was the best approach.

Roof tiles.jpg 

Finished  tile casting.jpg

Above is a sample of the finished casting after removing the air bubbles.



Once the urethane was cured and removed from the silicone mold I flipped the entire piece over on its face and sanded the backside until I arrived at the desired thickness.  I then had a panel ready to trim to size and place on the model.

The rounded ridge tiles were created using SketchUp and then 3D printed as shown below.   

Fortune ridge tile.jpg

With all pieces cut to size and ready for installation I mixed a suitable terra cotta paint color and airbrushed all pieces.  I then mixed a variety of darker and lighter colors and randomly brush painted the tiles to give variation and further realism.  The panels and ridge pieces were them cemented in place using epoxy.  The last phase was to then age the entire roof with washes of diluted India ink and then given a protective coat of Testors Dullcote.

Roof tiles.jpg     


Stuart, you are absolutely insane.

In a rather good way.


Bill Gill

Stuart, That looks terrific. You must've felt a lot of satisfaction and relief when the roofs were all done.


Russ -- Others have told me the same thing.  What would truly prove my insanity would be to take on another project of this magnitude.

Bill --  Yes, to have been able to finally clap my hands together and exclaim, IT'S DONE was an exhilarating moment. 


Hi Stuart, the completion of a model is always a special moment and when it has succeeded, so excellently I can only congratulate.
Regards Helmut
the journey is the goal

Ray Dunakin

The tile casting turned out great!
Visit my website to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!

Ray Dunakin's World