A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

April 28, 2009

Roof Shingles Construction

I haven't had much time to work on the layout lately, as I have been crunching on finishing a book project.

I did find a photo showing a close up of how civil war era builders finished the wood roof shingles at the ridge cap.  The last course of shingles sticks up (stands proud) of the ridge cap. Also note the random width shingles, though no two seams overlap and that only some nails are visible. I do not see any evidence of flashing around the chimney.

On the motive power front, another 4-4-0 Mason arrived on the property. This one is the Whiton, another SMR offering.  It doesn't run as smoothly as my other engines, so some tuning will be necessary. But its green paint scheme is very attractive.


  1. Bernie,
    GIven your photo, it would seem that laser cut wood shingles might be the order of the day for some of your buildings. Have you had a chance to look at the commercial offerings in O-scale yet to see if anyone has a usable product?

  2. I cut the shingles for my model on my laser. However, I need to adjust the ridge cap to better reflect this new evidence. I'll post some photos when I get a chance.

  3. Bernie: Very nice work, and thanks for sharing. During the era you model, there were virtually no architects and no building codes: if you were lucky, you had a master builder who apprenticed for many years, most likely a mason. The shingle work was done by a carpenter, and the shingles were probably cut on site, accounting for the random appearance. If it was a rich client, they might have been manufactured. I would not be surprised if each building is a bit different. You will probably get the most realistic effect by varying the roof on each building some.

    Keith Hayes