Railway Modellers

Buildings from Plastikard - 1st May 2019.

Talk by Geoff Kent.


Geoff Kent gave a very informative yet relaxed talk and demonstration of the art of modelling buildings in Slater’s PlastiKard. He had over 40 years experience of working in this medium mainly in EM Gauge so his tricks of the trade were more than appreciated by Members in attendance.

He stressed the versatility and ease of working in Slater’s PlastiKard and similar products made by other manufacturers where even mistakes in model building could be readily rectified. He produced numerous photographs and worked up examples of how best to work with plastic card which he passed round the meeting for Members to examine at close hand. This gave them the opportunity to appreciate the skill Geoff brought to his work. A very good example of his work could be seen from the partly completed model of the Station Hotel in Dewsbury, a building of unusual design and dimensions which still exists. Examples of his work which have appeared in Model Railway Journal as well as articles he had written for the same magazine  including the Dunwich Pub were referred to which gave a broad depiction of how he went about creating model buildings.

Geoff continued to highlight many dos and donts in using plastic card to the best effect

  • Plastic card from 5 to 40 thou was used for model building construction
  • Slater’s Mek Pak was his main solvent of choice although he used other slower acting solvents to deal with the thinnest of card and glazing
  • To avoid problems of distortion of the plastic card when applying solvent he recommended adding strengtheners and bracing wherever possible
  • Reinforcing at joints in the plastic was also recommended as a means to ensure a sound joint
  • He outlined his method of creating circular and tubular shapes with a former and flooding with solvent
  • His special tool to create a bonding effect in brickwork was also demonstrated
  • Reinforcing of roofs was essential through laminating sheets of plastic card together and adequate reinforcing strips
  • Slates were made in strips of 5thou plastic card
  • For glazing he used Slater’s Plasti Glaze and a slower acting solvent to avoid ‘fogging’ of the glazing
  • The way to build up reveals in windows and doorways to create a sense of depth to show for instance a sash window
  • How to make chimney pots, door handles and columns was demonstrated
  • His preferred method of lettering was by hand
  • Creating special designs through the use of Pergamano Paper and the circular polystyrene packing which forms part of a takeaway pizza
  • For painting brickwork enamel paints were applied – Railmatch Bauxite Red Wagon was used and after being allowed to dry thoroughly, flooding with a thinned grey was applied to create a mortar effect

The above is merely a selection of many of the skills Geoff shared with us for what was a very informative and enjoyable evening. Peter Cox, our Chairman, thanked him on behalf of Members for sharing with us his skills and expertise so ably presented.

Thanks also again to Sam Ryan for taking the time and trouble to produce the photos attached to this report which show in more detail many aspects of Geoff Kent’s work.

David Evans

May 2019

More pictures of the evening