It doesn’t matter where you are and where you look these days, whether standing in a city or rural town you will almost always see something made from corrugated iron. Although it’s no longer made from iron we still call it corrugated iron and its uses are still widespread to this day.
As a modeler it’s very difficult to model corrugated iron accurately and many have tried, some quite successful and other not so successful and let me tell you I’m definitely somewhere in that list and if you’ve been following along with my YouTube videos you will know what I’m talking about!
Brunel Hobbies have come up with an ingenious design that enables the average modeler to make as many corrugated sheets as they will ever need and at a fraction of the cost of purchasing premade sheets.
The design is simple, a small strong piece of acrylic base with a corrugated iron pattern etched into the surface and a second smaller piece used for pressing and moulding the foil into the etched acrylic. The simplicity of the tool is almost lost in the description! It’s easier done than said??
The tool arrives in a clear plastic pouch with some simple instructions, an optional extra that can be purchased along with the tool is some aluminum foil. Don’t be fooled! The foil you get from the supermarket is borderline unusable with this tool, not because it can’t be done but the thinner foil is so fragile that you will most likely lose your sanity from the constantly bending and creasing of the foil sheets.
Definitely consider the thicker foil and if you can get thicker foil yourself then definitely use the thicker stuff on offer from Brunel.
The possibilities with this tool are endless, as long as you have the patience to make the sheets, you can make any size building you wish.
When I first used this product I built an old looking shed that was completely covered in corrugated iron, all up 151 handmade sheets of iron. The model came up looking so good it was featured in “Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine” in the “Yes It’s a Model” column. Which itself is a testament to how good this tool works! And when I show my friends the photo’s they mistake them for an actual place.
If there was a bad word to be said… and finding one is tough, you’ll definitely need a good amount of patience when working with this tool, however the good news is, unlike the pre made corrugated sheets where you get a limited number for quite a high price, if you damage, bend or crease a sheet you made yourself you can simply run it back through the corrugated iron maker again to remove the imperfection or crease. And if you completely destroyed your corrugated sheet, there is no big monetary loss by throwing it away and making a new corrugated iron sheet.
To get the best results using the tool you’ll want to place the foil onto the base and use the other piece by running it over the top while applying a light pressure, basically sandwiching the foil in the middle. Making a few light passes works much better than one heavy pass. The downside to pressing heavily on the foil results in cutting through the foil instead of creating a groove.
If you have any need for corrugated iron on your layout then I can’t recommend this tool more highly, the end result achievable with this tool makes the price exceptional. Only $17 for the Large HO scale version and $2.65 for the foil mind you these are Australian Dollars, so as of February 2016 that makes it only $12 USD!
They also sell 1:32, 1:72, N, O and G scale versions, the foil they sell works well for HO scale however I’ve not tried using it for any of the other scales.
For more information and to buy this magnificent tool look no further than Brunel Hobbies right here.
For a very highly detailed tutorial about using the corrugated iron maker and techniques for weathering, painting and assembling the sheets of iron be sure to check out "Realistic Scenery Volume 4 - Modelling and Old Farm Shed". I step through the process of building the exact diorama that featured in the Model Railroad Hobbyist eMag.