Dueling shacks: Tarpaper

edited October 2017 in O Scale Builds
After enjoying the boxes and its content, being struck with awe because of the great quality of it, the first thing one does is reflect on how and with what to begin.
Although I have the sawmill project with me, amongst other O scale SW kits, I thought it would be a good idea to be modest and begin with the beginners kit. The Dueling Shacks. Just to get the feel of the SW way of construction and patination. I did add a personal touch to it. They don't all have to look the same.... I hope Brett doesn't mind.
To begin with , the tarpaper one. For now, I finished the construction of the walls and a put on a first patination.

Question: even after passing the super fine steelwool, little tiny fuzzies reappear when applying alcohol over the chalk. Solution ? Now to be honest, it is only at the enlarged photos that they show. So perhaps I shouldn't worry to much.....









Soon more



  • Robert. I use a sponge backed very fine sanding block to knock off the fuzzies it is made by 3M . you can find them at most paint stores there are about four grades of them I hope that this helps. ......................Carl
  • Thanks Carl, I'll give it a try.
  • What a wonderful coloration and treatment of the wood. How about some details on how you achieved your appearance? It is unique but very realistic. I love the bleached look and the transition from dark to light.

    The wood fuzzies are not distracting at all in your pics and I am sure they are invisible to the naked eye...
  • I don't know about the US, but here in Europe, farmers used to put a tar-based 'paint' Carbolineum, on the wooden outdoor constructions. It is cheap, it requires no rocket science to apply . After several years of sun, rain, sun rain, it starts to get washed away there where it isn't protected by , for example the roof overhang. Hence the transition from dark to light. The unprotected parts get bleached under influence of this.
    For the coloration, I started as per instructed in the manual, but used black aniline dye instead of the Higgins Brand ink. Simply because it's in my workshop and we don't have Higgins here. It is alcohol based.
    Very diluted. It gives this grey base color. Then I just played with the chalk as per instructions. Then steel wool, some more chalk and the brass wire brush and 1200 grit sandpaper to extra brush/ sand the lower part. ( the 'bleached' part). This goes to show that a slightly different application of the instructed 'modus operandi' can give a complete different result. I am sure that every modeler out there has his own little ways of doing things.
  • I'm with Brett on this one that's some beautiful coloring!!

  • Robert, I love the coloring. I love the details. Thank you for sharing.
  • Robert,

    Looking might good. Watching for more posts and progress. Your photos are great. Keep them coming.

    Later, Dave S. Tucson, AZ.
  • Great execution of a great little kit.
  • I'm in!...really a unique wood treatment Robert. Your weathering and door and window work is very nicely done.
  • I like the coloration also. For the fuzzies, hit with steel wool prior to coloring. Sanding as described above helps also.
  • So , I put on the roof which I made out of separate planks (stripwood) because I wanted them to show through the old degenerated and worn tarpaper. With the cardboard, it wouldn't have been possible. It also felt a little to thick. The planks give a small curved shape to the roof. From underneath looking at the overhang, you can see the planks.

    For the tarpaper I used one layer of a paper handkerchief which I painted grey with enamel paint. At the same time I put it on the planks, so it was in fact glued with the paint.
    This gave me a strong base for the intense patination. For this only chalk and alcohol. The last was only for patination purposes :) ( I never drink alcohol)

    More patination, to make the transition from the shack to the ground, when it will be build into the layout.


    Next will be the corrugated one....

  • Robert,

    I really like the overall appearance of your shed.

    However, structurally the only support for the lowest roof boards outboard of the wall face appears to be the barge board (fly rafter) at each end and the thin battens on top of the tar paper. I think the roof would look more convincing if you added a rafter tail under each of the three roof battens on each side (assuming you haven't already planed to do so!).
  • You've got a point there. I just build it as per instructions. But I will add these rafter tails.
  • Beautiful work, the colouring is just great.
  • "Tar Paper" looks great Robert...nice and grungy with the moss growth, and general heavy wear. Matches the structure perfectly.
  • Nice coloration on the tarpaper. The end cap of the roof is a nice touch
  • 'Dueling' means you have to have two, so here is the second one.












    And with these, my first kit is actually done.!!!

    Robert :wink:

  • Amazing build. Really looking forward to more of your stunning work. Very impressive.
  • Phenomenal!!
    The bar has clearly been raised to a whole new level by your work, Robert.
    (Were those little splashes of leaves added for me??)
  • edited January 2018
    Specially for you, the Leaves Lover.... Thanks for the appreciation. But the level bar was allready quiet high if I may say. I couldn't deliver less.

    As you may have noticed, there are no signs. That is because I ruined the sheet by putting a varnish on it.
    Brett will send me another one to replace it.
    Now I can continue with the Woodcutters Shack.

    ( are these signs of an upcoming addiction to SW kits...??
  • I say you sure set the bar higher. I like the tone of your siding, it's not real dark, and your tarpaper roof. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Brilliant execution
  • Robert, that workmanship is incredible. I leave it at that.
  • Something to aspire to....
  • Great job Robert. Did you use 1 piece of tissue for the whole roof or is it paper strips?
  • Steve, they are actually several horizontal strips of tissue. On this roof they aren't so worn, but if you go and look at the woodcutters six pole shack, you can see it better.

    I prefer to use one layer of tissue because it is thinner, ( you can see the contours of the boards underneath ) more flexible and the structure looks more like tarpaper than normal paper. It's only a little bit more fragile specially when wet.

    I paint them first with very diluted ( if not diluted, they become to rigid) Tamya ( this is really mat ) , then when dry, glue them with diluted white glue.

    To finish, chalks and random dots of paint.
  • Robert,

    Thanks for the additional information about how you did the tar paper roof so that the roof boards underneath would show.

    I really like the detail of the vine growing up the side of the shed and along the roofline.

    All these additional details add to the overall realism of the build.

    Later, Dave S. Tucson, AZ
  • Beautiful Robert, such a well executed unique spin on a couple of great SWSM kits. Love the concrete pad among many, many other details...great stuff.
  • The model....looks more real...than a real one....Outstanding Work
  • Robert,
    Some of the best Railroad modelers in the world post on this site. You are up there with any of them. You have an eye for color I can only aspire to.
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