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The Medieval Village Diorama
Part 6: The Roofs of the Buildings

In this tutorial I shows you a bunch of different ways you can make the roofs of the medieval buildings. This is a lot of fun. You can use small pieces of wood or you can cast the roofs with plaster.



This picture is a great example of two of the techniques you can use to make the roof.


First Lets take a look at the upper roof of the building shown above. I cast that out of plaster of paris and first I made a mold. I will show you that whole process from start to finish. It's actually pretty easy and it only takes a few different materials.

Laid out some clay to form a rough roof shape and size. I did this on a piece of glass. And then I carved a piece of wood to have this shape in it. And I used that as a tool to mold in the random shingle shapes.







Then I used some pieces of wood and hot glued them around the clay form to create a box. I used a hot glue gun to glue it all together and to seal all the seams along the bottom of the wood. all the way around. This way the mold material doesn't leak out.





Insta Mold

To make the mold you have a few different options. I used a product called Instamold. It is cheap and very easy to use. Just mix it with water and pour it in the mold we made.



INSTAMOLD - This is the exact stuff that I use. It is available on Amazon.com





The mold is poured

And there we go. The Instamold has been poured and in half an hour we can remove it.

Quick note about mold removal. Sometimes these molds can get a little sticky and it can be tricky to remove the rubber mold from the clay. You can use a product called mold release to aid this. It is a spray on. You spray it on the clay before you pour the rubber. It helps.


sealing the clay

And if you really wanted to be precise about it you might want to first seal the clay roof with some kind of a sealant. Then you spray on the mold release.


The rubber mold

Carefully separate the mold from the clay and we have a beautiful mold that we can use many times to cast plaster roofs.


Pouring the plaster

Now mix up a small batch of plaster of paris or hydrocal and slowly pour it into the mold.

One of the things you have to watch out for is bubbles forming in the plaster so once it is poured you should rap on the table a whole bunch of times. This loosens any bubbles and causes them to come to the surface.

removing bubbles


The cast plaster

And there you go. The plaster is poured into the mold. If you are still having trouble with air bubbles you can press on this with a flat object like a piece of wood or foamboard. That often helps. Just don't press so hard that the plaster squirts out of the mold.


The clay shingles with bubbles

This picture shows how the bubbles formed in one of my roof molds. So, if you have trouble with this just keep at it. Sometimes making the plaster a little thinner also helps.


Thatched roof

NextOkay, lets make the wooden shingle thatched roof




Diorama, Landscape and Modeling Books


Will's Book on Diorama Making

How to Make Fantasy and Medieval Dioramas

This books shows you how to make fantasy and medieval dioramas using many commonly available tools and materials. There are over 100 pictures and illustrations showing you how to make great dioramas in fantasy and medieval styles. Chapters include basics, water effects, terrain tips and special effects like electricity and small motors. Tutorials include how to use foam, plaster of paris and paper mache to make great looking dioramas.



Looking for a book to help you make better dioramas? Here is a selection of books available on Amazon.com Roll over picture or link for more information.

Scenery Tips & Techniques book The New Scenery Tips & Techniques (Model Railroader) Looking for a good book on how to make Diorama scenery? This book is not just for railroaders. It is perfect for the diorama maker.




How to Build Dioramas - Learn everything you need to know about making your dioramas look real! This fantastic revised edition will show you how with new projects, new photos, and expert tips. Includes painting, weathering, and detailing tips for figures, aircraft, vehicles, and more! 290+ photos with color throughout; 41 illus.; softcover



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