For this article, we’ll take a look at texture sheets. Texture sheets as some of you already know, are available as pre-printed in packs of five sheets from the main website www.scalemodelscenery.co.uk. And also as a download both from here in the club shop & sister download site, www.modelrailwayscenery.com. The texture sheets can be used for scratch building, improving & upgrading other brand kits such as Metcafle, Superquick etc. They are ideal for improving Hornby’s plastic platfroms too!
If buying the download versions, print the texture sheets off on to 100gsm or similar. An example I’ve been using is the Epson Photo Quality Inkjet Paper Matte 102gsm. Part number S041061 & comes as A4 in a pack of 100 sheets. Shop around online for best prices.
When printing off the download texture sheets, set your printer to scale size 100% or actual size. For the printer quality settings, set your printer to highest quality / best photo setting & also importantly make sure the correct paper size & paper type are selected.
What tools do I need?
- Cutting mat
- Roket Card Glue, Glue stick (such as Pritt Stick) or the likes of Deluxe Materials View Glue
- Steel ruler or steel straight edge for cutting against
- Craft knife with a fresh sharp blade
- Pen or Pencil
For cutting texture sheets use a cutting mat to cut on. To cut the textures out from the sheet there are various ways this can be done from using scissors, paper guillotine, craft knife, rotary cutters, the choice is down to your personal prefferance as to what works best for you. Our preferred method is the craft knife with a steel ruler acting as a straight edge cutting guide as can be seen on the right.
For making sharp fold lines, score on the non printed (rear side) of the texture sheet. Use the blunt edge of a craft knife as shown on the right. Justin also recommends using a ball point pen that has run out as well for making a score fold line too! Don’t press to hard with the craft knife as you could accidently cut through the sheet.
Use a steel ruler or straight edge along the fold lines when folding sides & glue flaps over. Another handy tool for making folds & aligning sides so that they are sqaure is the SX002 Card Kit Assembly Jig. The SX002 comes as a twin pack with one larger jig & one smaller jig tool, you can find them here:
For gluing texture sheets to card the likes of Roket card glue, Pritt Stick work very well indeed. Justin also recommends the likes of UHU glue as well. Another glue we’ve been trying out on a station platform build project is Delux Materials View Glue (as shown on the right). Primarily designed for fixing backscene sheets we’ve found it works exceptionally well with the texture sheets for the platforms we’ve been building.
View Glue can be used various materials such as on wood, painted surfaces, plasterboard and even plastic surfaces. Each 225ml bottle pack will cover an area of around 7 sqm. View Glue adhesive has a good working time which allows papers & texture sheets to be slithered into position and finely adjusted before drying without creases or wrinkles. Unlike some glues which grab straight away View glue is much more user freindly with it’s working time before setting. This great for those really fiddly bits were time is needed to get the postioning just right.
The view glue can be found here:
In this example we’ve cut a strip of TX105-OO English Bond Blue Engineering Brick to fit a platform side wall. Here we’ve applied using a brush, a thin even coat of the View glue to the rear side of the texture sheet. We’ve placed the strip on to an old cutting mat that has seen better days, we use this old mat just for doing the gluing of texture sheets.
After applying the glue, the texture brick sheet has been placed on to the plywood platform sides. Suitable time is then given for the glue to dry before moving on to the next stage.
To protect the texture sheets from fading & from sunlight, give it spray coat of mat varnish. This will help protect the texture sheet. The likes of Testors Mat Spray Varnish is one such example as shown here on the right.
As mentioned earlier, the likes of Hornby’s plastic platforms can be much improved using the texture sheets. A thin sheet of laser board has been glued onto the platform top & sides to give a smooth surface for the texture sheets. The platform top surface texure sheet has been glued into place first followed by brick platform wall sides. As i’m sure you’ll agree it gives the plastic platform a new lease of life & much improved appearance.