Finished Shingles



  The shingles included in our kits are made from a textured paper result in an appropriate scale thickness (HO: 5/8"; S: 1/2"; O: 1/2") and are coated with an industrial adhesive on the back to make installation simple and easy (peel-and-stick).   The vinyl adhesive is much tackier than what you may be used to and will not allow the shingles to lift over time.  The manufacturer tells us the adhesive actually becomes stronger with age and our experience confirms this.  You can even handle the glue as you install the shingles and it will remain tacky and perform as expected. 

Each package of shingle material includes starter strip for the first course and pre-scribed roof peak cap for the finishing touch.  The above photo shows our O-scale Placerville Depot with the shake shingles applied.    The photo, below, illustrates our O-scale diamond pattern shingles.





The shake shingles are randomly spaced horizontally but are aligned evenly along the bottom (our prototype builders weren't into the "caricature" look!).  The 3-tab (also known as "composition") shingles are typical of "asphalt" shingles.  The shingle notches are spaced 12-inches apart and, again, are even on the bottom.  The diamond style is also a composition or asphalt shingle that has been used on structures since the early 1930s.  The prototype diamond shingles tabbed into each other along the bottom edge, making them more durable in windy locations.

Shingles BIG

The above photo illustrates our S-scale shake shingles, using an airbrush to apply the finish.  You don't need an expensive airbrush and no experience is needed.  Choose a "base" color you want your shingles to appear.  For the RGS depots, I use the Depot Brown mixture of Floquil paints recommended in our instructions, but Roof Brown works well for an "unstained" roof (like that, above, on our engine house).  (The color on shake shingles was the result of adding color pigment to the mixture of linseed oil and turpentine that was applied every few years as a preservative.)  The finish is applied to the sheets of shingles BEFORE they're added to the structure.  DO NOT prime the sheets.  The trick is to apply the paint vary sparingly and unevenly.  Begin by applying a VERY uneven coat of the base color, leaving 40- to 60% of the sheet untouched.  Next add VERY UNEVEN and LIGHT coats of Old Silver, Earth, and Engine Black, until the sheets are completely covered.  Keep the colors very splotchy and uneven, and STOP painting long before you think you should.

Apply the shingles to your structure, taking them from different sheets and different areas of the sheets to further produce the randomness of the colors.  Once the roof is shingled, apply a fine overspray of your "base" color to blend the shades together, and finish with another light and uneven coating of Engine Black to simulate soot in different areas of the roof.

To finish our Diamond and 3-tab shingles (asphalt-types), I suggest starting with Floquil's Primer or some other gray color, followed by a heavier coating of your "base" color.  (Asphalt shingles start with stronger, richer colors, but they tend to wear and fade, allowing the tar-paper base to eventually show through.  The weathered tar paper will often appear more of a gray or very weathered black color.)  Don't use the Old Silver as with the shake shingles, but add a bit of Earth (for dust/dirt), as well as the Engine Black for soot.


If you'd rather use a brush to finish your shingles, Ken Lunders provided the above photo.   Here's his suggested method:

First, spray all the sheets with Tamiya gray primer. After it is completely dry, using a 1/4" wide wash brush (Wash brushes usually have “wash” printed on the handle) randomly paint/streak Floquil Roof Brown on each sheet until about 70% to 80% of the primer is covered. Be careful not to flood paint onto the paper shingles. Vary the pressure some, as well as the speed, to create variations in coverage. Brush this, and all following colors, aligned with the shingles, not in line with the rows on the sheet. Once this has dried completely, use Floquil Rail Brown and paint all the areas not previously colored by the Roof Brown. Closely examine the shingle sheets and paint in every tiny area where you even THINK the Tamiya primer can be seen. This blends a good portion of the two browns together and lightens the overall tone. Let this dry overnight. Next, use Floquil Earth, and turning the brush sideways to apply it, add light streaks over areas randomly, covering about 8% to 12% of each sheet. Vary the application so some areas are almost dry brushed, while others were simply painted. Occasionally scrub the color into some areas. After a few hours drying time apply Floquil Mud with the same technique. When this has dried, come back and lightly brush any lightly painted areas you think are too light using Floquil Roof Brown. Also randomly add some dark accents, but never blot any paint onto the shingles. Always keep the brush going in the direction the shingles are cut. Apply the shingles selecting random strips from random sheets to further enhance the variation in tone & color. If the variations are too pronounced for your taste after they are applied, apply washes over the shingles.

There are many other colors that can be used or combined to produce any type of appearance you want. Don’t feel as though the ones shown above are best: They are only examples. For a lighter appearance, try using colors such as Grime, SP Lettering Gray, Mud, Foundation, Aged Concrete, Sand, Earth, etc.

Still not impressed?  Ken's continued to experiment and has a second "brush" method you may want to try:

Ken's 2nd method

This method appears to give the shingles a more weathered appearance -- less of the "wood-tones" in the coloration.  I like how one or two of the shingles stand out as being distinctly more weathered ("black" in appearance).  In his own words, here's what Ken had to say about his method: (Note, you apply the finish BEFORE removing the shingles from their sheets!)

Including 20 minutes drying time for the primer and 25 for the brushed on paint, it still took less than an hour to do. The lightly applied white dry brushing might have added a minute more to the total.

First, spray the sheet with gray primer. I used Krylon brand primer I found at a craft store. After it is dry, using a 1/4" wide wash brush held "sideways" (Wash brushes usually have "wash" printed on the handle) randomly paint/streak Floquil SP Lark Dark Gray onto the sheet until about 15% to 20% of the primer is covered. Be careful not to flood paint onto the paper shingles. Vary the pressure some, as well as the speed, to create some variation in coverage. Brush this, and all following colors, aligned with the shingles, not in line with the rows on the sheet. Next, use Floquil Reefer Gray and paint over another 25% to 30% or so of the primer. You don´t need to pay too much attention to NOT covering the previous color, but try mainly to paint over the primer. Where the brushed colors overlap they will blend together somewhat, and that is okay. Now brush on Floquil SP Lettering Gray, covering another 25% to 30%. Lastly, brush on some Floquil Grime to cover another 15 to 20% of the area. At this point about 80% to 90% of the primer, maybe more, will be covered and the shingles will resemble a sheet of laminated wood paneling from the 1960s, but grayish instead of brown. On a warm day, If you allow about 20 minutes for the primer to dry and 25 for the brushed paint, you will have completed the shingle sheet in about an hour. When you apply the shingles, select random strips from the sheet to enhance the variation in tone & color. Dry brush with some white to bring out detail after you're done.




Shake Shingles, HO




3-Tab Shingles, HO



Diamond Shingles