Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Ways to model 15mm thatched roofs?

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  • #163413
    Fred B
    Participant

    I am looking for advice on making thatched roofs in smaller scales (15mm, especially). What are you using to model your thatch?

    I did some reading and it seems the go-to approach online is to use either fake fur or towel to do that. After looking at the towels I have and fake fur in the store it seems that those would make it really out of scale. The fur is super long, and (at least mine) towels have a quite a thick pattern. Both feel like they would be way to thick to model this late European thatched roof (stuff that would not look out of place in early XX century). Maybe I am just unlucky with the materials around me?

    Looking around the materials I have I was thinking of using flocking (and painting it afterwards), steel wool or even layer of air dry clay that can be “combed” with a pattern?

    What are some other ways to model thatch? Any and all advice welcome.

    Also would love to see photos of DIY thatch in 15mm to know what I can shoot for 🙂

    #163415
    Andrew Beasley
    Participant

    I ‘cheated’ and use towel as a type of grass roof but never again as it looks fine on 28mm but shrunk slightly on the 15s!

    I would go with wire wool (without soap in it) and use superglue but I’m not sure on the longevity as I would worry it may rust…

    The clay sounds interesting – maybe push the wire wool in to create the texture?

    #163416
    Fred B
    Participant

    Yeah, I haven’t considered steel/wire wool rusting – that’s a good point.  I think even if I soaked it in PVA to seal it all in it might rust. I wonder if anyone did any tests with longevity of it in wargaming.

    So far I am leaning towards clay. Your idea of using the wool for texture is great, I just wonder if the airdry clay I have will keep the texture enough before it dries. I could use some of the greenstuff I have, but that would make those roofs quite expensive.

     

    #163424
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I made some quick grass/straw roof models:

    https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/abs-15mm-fantasy-thing/page/4/

    They were a bit of a rush job, but if you take more time than me they should be fine?

    #163440
    Geof Downton
    Participant

    I have used model railway reeds, eg on the onager stable here, available in different colours. You may find them to be a little too ‘rustic’ for your requirements, and maybe no cheaper than green stuff.

    One who puts on his armour should not boast like one who takes it off.
    Ahab, King of Israel; 1 Kings 20:11

    #163446
    Andrew Beasley
    Participant

    One other thought would be to use paint brush bristles – not the W&N 0000 ones but the cheap wall painting ones. A six inch brush should last forever!

    #163462

    Years ago I purchased a bag of paper-mache mix from the brick and mortar hobby shop. I cut cardboard circles to fit over my huts, mixed the pap-mach mix to a dry pulpy consistency (note, no paper, just the mix) and formed it into cones on top of the cardboard circles. Let it dry a little bit and then slashed at them with an X-acto knife to give it a thatch pattern. Worked pretty well, actually. You could probably do the same with some air-dry clay, I would think.

    –jeff

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #163472
    Fred B
    Participant

    I have used model railway reeds, eg on the onager stable here, available in different colours. You may find them to be a little too ‘rustic’ for your requirements, and maybe no cheaper than green stuff.

    One other thought would be to use paint brush bristles – not the W&N 0000 ones but the cheap wall painting ones. A six inch brush should last forever!

    Those are both good ideas. I probably have some old brushes I can sacrifice, but if not, I am able to get the woodland scenics reeds in US.

     

     

    I made some quick grass/straw roof models: https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/abs-15mm-fantasy-thing/page/4/ They were a bit of a rush job, but if you take more time than me they should be fine?

    Years ago I purchased a bag of paper-mache mix from the brick and mortar hobby shop. I cut cardboard circles to fit over my huts, mixed the pap-mach mix to a dry pulpy consistency (note, no paper, just the mix) and formed it into cones on top of the cardboard circles. Let it dry a little bit and then slashed at them with an X-acto knife to give it a thatch pattern. Worked pretty well, actually. You could probably do the same with some air-dry clay, I would think.

    I haven’t seen your roofs in the topic Mike, but the huts in there looked quite good. This gives me me hope trying it with clay with the method Jeff described. I have also found a video from Mel, the terrain tutor showing similar clay + knife method, and I think if I use an exacto (which will be thinner than the utility knife Mel uses) I can make it work in 15mm.

    Well, now I have 2 methods I want to try! Thank you all!

    #163551
    Wouter Wolput
    Participant

    I also used an old towel on my buildings and combed it through after I drenched it in PVA. 

    #163554
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I haven’t seen your roofs in the topic Mike, but the huts in there looked quite good

    One of the huts had a straw/grass roof. Guess not that good or you would have spotted it 😀

    #163570
    Fred B
    Participant

    I also used an old towel on my buildings and combed it through after I drenched it in PVA.

    Those look really good – did you use the run of the mill towels? The ones I have have this pretty thick texture (like this), but maybe it will shrink after PVA soak? Also, really like your table!

     

    One of the huts had a straw/grass roof. Guess not that good or you would have spotted it

    Nah Mike, the huts looked great – I was just scrolling quickly looking for your avatar on that page, but I think your hut was posted by Angel Barracks and I didn’t connect the dots 😉

    #163575
    Sane Max
    Participant

    I also am very happy with towel. The issue is modern towels are crap, with long fluffy fibres – often containing acrylic. I am lucky enough to still own several proper Terry Towelling towels, which do just fine.

    I wonder if you can still buy them?

     

    #163576
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I wonder if you can still buy them?

    Probably, if not then you can nappies.

    #163577
    Sane Max
    Participant

    Those look really good – did you use the run of the mill towels? The ones I have have this pretty thick texture (like this), but maybe it will shrink after PVA soak? Also, really like your table!

     

    Them’s modern towels, probably high in acrylic – no good sadly. You need old-style ones, rough scratchy ones. (the modern ones also are rubbish as actual towels, about as absorbent as a plastic bag I find)

     

     

    #163585
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Teddy bear fur, dilute PVA glue.

    Give the former a good soak in the latter, leave to dry on a flat surface. It might need a trim around the edges.

     

    DAS or similar modelling clay, brush with a damp 1″ decorator’s brush. Cover with damp cloth until dry.

     

    Model railways again 🙂

    "I'm not signing that"

    #163586
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Those look really good – did you use the run of the mill towels? The ones I have have this pretty thick texture (like this), but maybe it will shrink after PVA soak? Also, really like your table!

    Them’s modern towels, probably high in acrylic – no good sadly. You need old-style ones, rough scratchy ones. (the modern ones also are rubbish as actual towels, about as absorbent as a plastic bag I find)

    You know ‘modern’ towels come in cotton?

    Plus that link he shared was of terry toweling towels, said so in the link, so most probably not acrylic.

    #163587
    Fred B
    Participant

    Didn’t even consider the fabric composition when thinking about towels – only texture. The texture on the ones I have (outside of some beach towels) is pretty “coarse” (well not coarse to the touch, it’s soft, but large) – which works good for drying, but I feel would be way out of scale for 15mm roofs. The store near me has the same texture on the limited towels they sell. It seems this approach would require some proper “towel shopping” to work, but maybe I am overthinking this?

    Anyway, I do have some air dry clay, so I think I will go with that for my first attempt this weekend when I finally have time to sit down and work on the hobby a bit.

    #163629
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I used jutte to make the thatched roofs on some of my buildings.  It’s not super quick, as you have to basically take the jutte apart into long strings, then cut it all up into lengths (various ways to do this) before gluing down.  Easy to layer, but it sound like it may make thatch that with material thicker than what you are looking for.  I mostly use it for hootches for Vietnam but also for Viking era dwellings.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

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