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Built Review
135
Plaster Slate Roof Tiles
Diorama Debris Silicone Mould Slate Roof Tiles
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

Diorama Debris is a British company that is taking on the Chinese in the silicone mould business for building components and ground surfaces. Diorama Debris judging from the large number of moulds they offer has been going for some time and while they are not the cheapest supplier of this product type the quality seems to me to be very good. Diorama Debris offers silicone moulds in four scales which are 1/16th, 1/24th, 1/35th and 1/48th scale, this does of course still leave them room to move into 1/72nd scale. The last item in their repertoire is a selection of pigments and the plaster they recommend for use with their moulds. In this review I will be looking at the slate roof tiles mould in 1/35th scale.

Contents

This product consists of a single silicone mould which is packaged in a heavy duty polythene bag with a label identifying the product.

Tools

I followed one of the guides on the Diorama Debris website, where there are several PDF file format guides and are well worth reading to help with Diorama Debrisí moulds and casting in general. Diorama Debris does not recommend plaster of Paris for use with their moulds as with some being very fine it does not have enough strength when cured, instead they recommend using hard casting plaster. The tools I used should be available to us all and were;
  • Disposable plastic cups
  • Metal ruler to use as a scraper
  • Syringe to measure exact amounts of water
  • Pigment for colouring the plaster
  • A bowl of soapy water
  • Paper towel
  • The silicone mould
  • Paint brush
  • Cup of water to use as a weight
  • A piece of Plasticard


Review

The mould for these slate roof tiles is very shallow and so a good quality plaster is required to prevent a lot of breakages and to get the best out of the mould. The silicone mould is of a very high standard as there are no deformations and each tiles detail surface is different, also all of the tiles are evenly spaced and all of the faces of the mould are perfectly level helping in its use.

I began by wetting the mould with soapy water as that makes the removal of any air bubbles easier and was done just prior to mixing the plaster after which you dab it gently with some kitchen towel, this step is also advised in the Diorama Debris PDF guide . I then measured out a surprisingly small amount of water using the syringe which in this case was 10ml of water and then placed that in a disposable cup, to that I added the pigment of my choice (in this case I used dark green as I did not have any grey pigment and I believed that dark green would allow me to show the slate detail). I then slowly added the plaster to the water until the desired thickness of plaster was acquired, if you add the plaster to the water and do not stir it there are less bubbles trapped in the mix to contend with.

I then poured the plaster slurry into the mould and despite the small amount I made I still had plenty for the mould. I then spread the slurry out using the ruler making sure all mould cavities were filled, I also lightly tapped the mould with a ruler to help remove any bubbles still trapped and help ensure that the slurry fully fills the mould. Lastly after all of this I let the mould sit for a couple of minutes and then placed the plasticard on the mould and placed a cup filled with water as a weight on it (this method is called the glass method and is covered in more detail in the PDF files available on the Diorama Debris website. I then left the mould alone for an hour to cure to a reasonable hardness, depending on temperature you may need to wait a longer or shorter time. One benefit of using plasticard for the glass method is that you can peel the plasticard from the mould rather than trying to peel the mould from a sheet of glass.

After freeing the mould from the plasticard I left the mould for another hour in a warm room and then manipulated the mould in a rocking motion to release all of the slate roof tiles. Following this method I managed to get all of the slates without any breakages free of the mould. Some of the slats did need a little clean up due to a small amount of flashing being attached to some of them, this was easily freed from the slats with a gentle swipe of my thumbnail. I laid out the tiles how they would look on the roof of a building with a two thirds overlap, and looking at the finished result I was very pleased with the dark green pigment I used giving a pleasing finish. After I had packed away the slate tiles I cleaned the mould; a quick rinse of the mould in water and then patted dry left the mould in perfect condition ready for the next batch of tiles. One thing I am looking forward to is how the tiles will look if they are slightly different colours due to more or less pigment in the water prior to adding the plaster.
SUMMARY
Highs: All of the moulds faces are perfectly level which does make it easier to use than it could have been and everything about this mould shows attention to detail that is not always the case
Lows: There are no low points to this product sure I could wish it was cheaper or larger but it does do what it says on the tin.
Verdict: A very high quality product that with care results in excellent looking fake scale slate roof tiles and I highly recommended this product to you.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 1350031
  Suggested Retail: £9.92
  PUBLISHED: Mar 24, 2013
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 0.00%

Our Thanks to Diorama Debris!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Sorry Luk that was the only mould I was sent, however I believe the rest of their products should be of a similar quality. I would like to try one of the larger moulds such as a wall section just to see if it works as well as this one did.
MAR 24, 2013 - 04:34 PM
Indeed, my thoughts exactly. That wall section looks interesting, if the fitting for the corners is nice and tight. You could then replicate an entire house with these moulds. It would be a nice change from all those shot up buildings from Mini-art for example. Also the curbstones mould is interesting, I am a little doubtfull about those round ones. Could be difficult in getting them out in one piece. They should send you some more review samples, it is good publicity for them !
MAR 24, 2013 - 11:24 PM
While I don't have direct experience of Diorama Debris moulds I do have experience with similar silicone moulds from Hirst arts and as long as you use good quality plaster and let it coure long enough then there should be no problem getting even the more complex shapes free of the mould without damage.
MAR 25, 2013 - 02:01 AM
Hi Darren Thanks for the review. When time and money allows I'm going to get a few of these moulds. Apologies for posting a link to another site but Lou Herd has done some work for Diorama Debris and its some of his stuff you see as photos on the DD web site. He posted a couple of threads over on MilMod showing his development and build work for those interested. See here Weathering a roof http://www.militarymodelling.com/forums/postings.asp?th=79627 and this one, showing how to create a building etc. http://www.militarymodelling.com/forums/postings.asp?th=71117 Hope they are of help. Alan P.S. Are you going to the Poole Model Show next month Darren?
MAR 25, 2013 - 04:15 AM
Alan I have no issues with this as it shows what some of the items can be used for that can be made with moulds from this company
MAR 25, 2013 - 04:48 AM
Luk; Diorama Debris has offered to send me another mould for review and which is the brick wall mould. As soon as I get this item I will see what I can manage with it and give you and others a better idea of what can be accomplished with these moulds. So far I am very impressed with the mould quality and I suspect that this other mould will be equally as good. I did look at the pan tile multi-part moulds and while I suspect it will challenge you to begin with I think it can be mastered in short order.
MAR 27, 2013 - 08:03 AM
Now that is good news! And kundos to them for reacting so quickly. I will be waiting with great anticipation and,with your first impressions, keeping my credit card ready Thanks Darren ! Greetz Luk
MAR 27, 2013 - 10:39 PM
I do always prefer to buy in the uk if at all possible, but I had a shock at their prices, when compared to the Chinese company J's Work. I dont mind paying a few pence more for uk stock but will I think stick to buying Chinese from Lucky Model as for the price charged here, I can buy almost three from J's Work, with free airmail post.
MAR 28, 2013 - 08:37 AM
John I can fully understand what you are saying and it was also my initial thought as well, however the quality of the moulds is very high and I truthfully believe these moulds will give you a lot longer service. I have a couple of moulds from the company you mention and I had to take a scalpel to the moulds to use the method I have here as the surface was not level, its no big issue but I do believe this is getting what you pay for and there is room for both in this market.
MAR 28, 2013 - 09:14 AM
   

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