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card models outdoors

Posted 29-08-2018 at 12:45 PM by Tony Hibbett
Updated 29-08-2018 at 02:00 PM by Tony Hibbett (Addition)
I have an outdoor layout which included some card models. Despite 2 coats of outdoor varnish inside and out, all that remained were the plastic windows!
It then occurred to me that using a laminater before construction might be a solution. I started with a Superquick 4 terraced houses kit. I used an A3 laminater, using 250 micron glossy A3 pouches, which are rated as outdoor quality. I removed the window aperture pieces first. Once the parts were cut out, I assembled them with UHU glue. When complete, the model had an unrealistic glossy appearance, particularly the roofs, as they pointed towards the sky. I bought plasticard sheets of small red tiles, cut them to shape and glued them on. The colour was more pink than red so I painted them (and the ridge tiles) with red brick colour masonry paint.
The building survived a 4 hour deluge of rain, the only casualties being the chimney pots, which were impractical to laminate. Hardwood dowel replacements were required.
After more rain, the paving started to curl and delaminate. once dry, I glued the layers together and fixed the whole model to a laminate base, taking care to seal the exposed edges with the glue, which solved the problem.
All cut and scored edges must be sealed. Removing the window aperture pieces effectively provides double glazing once laminated!
I went on to create an entire street with Metcalfe terraced houses (backs and fronts) and shops on one side and Superquick versions opposite.
The laminater proved useful in improving the dull Skaledale canal with a basin/marina. I took a photo of a section, loaded it into a paint program, sampled the colour and filled a blank A4 canvas with it. I then printed 2 copies on a colour laser printer and laminated them, the gloss being a distinct advantage this time!
The sheets were trimmed, glued to plywood and edged with strips of the same. The whole thing was inserted between canal sections, with cuts to accommodate the lugs. I populated the basin with some narrow boats and barges (easily made from balsa) and am well pleased with the result. As a finishing touch, I cut strips from my rubber-backed coconut welcome mat and glued them to the opposite bank for reeds.
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