Textured Rolling Pins – Useful for UK Model Railways?

TEXTURED ROLLING PINGreen Stuff World’s textured rolling pins are a huge time saver for modelling stone and brick work in military modelling but can they be used for UK model railways?

I usually make my walls from clay and using the ferrules of old paint brushes to make the indentations. It’s satisfying if painstaking work.

Just recently, however, I stumbled across the textured rolling pins from Green Stuff World which promise to take the delay out of texture modelling in clay.

And, they’re exactly what they say, rolling pins textured so a continuous repeating pattern can be pressed into clay for quickly creating model walls and ground work.

A variety of rollers with different textures are available and with texture names like Egyptian, temple brick and Celtic you get a hint of the principal market for the rollers — military modelling and Fantasy War gaming.

The scales they’re made to reflect this as well: 1/22nd, 1/32nd, 1/35th, 1/43rd and 1/48th, military modelling scales.

This, however, is unfortunate for many UK railway modellers. They will work for the larger scales — G and O gauge model railways — but by their very nature, they’re too large for the HO, OO and N scales that most UK model railways are built to.

But having recently purchased one — the cobblestone texture rolling pin — and given it a go they do have uses.

Usage is very simple.

Roll out some clay — polymer clays (those that need baking to harden) are the recommended sort although I also used them on air drying clays — and push the rolling pin over it. A repeating impression, visible in the photo above, is made and after the clay dries it’s just a matter of painting it (a wash and then dry brushing works well) for a very realistic, effective look.

cobblestonesLooking at the picture right, the results are obvious.

For their intended larger scales, very realistic cobblestones and patterns can be produced easily and quickly. But on OO gauge (as seen) they are, as they should be, slightly oversize for the scale being modelled.

But they do still perhaps have a use.

Take a look at any large railway or industrial building from the 19th and early 20th Century (the periods most of us build our model railways around) and you’ll notice the ground level stone work employs huge blocks.

Look at the picture below of a mine building I took while on a recent holiday to Cornwall.


It’s the East Pool mine near Redruth if you’re interested and well worth a visit if, like me, you’re into mines but I digress.

Why I’m showing you this is so you can see the stone work. Examine those foundation stones at ground level and half way up the door. They’re huge!

Okay, this is a bit extreme example but the point is that on older buildings the foundation stone work was often much bigger than present day. and so while the out of scale cobblestones on this roller couldn’t be used for normal OO or N scale walls or ground work for the parts of some buildings they would work.

And this is where the roller has a use. The out of scale cobblestones on this roller are great for OO and N scale buildings such as mines (or viaducts etc).

So the answer to the opening question is no but yes.

If you’re looking for an easy way to make normal building walls and ground work for N, OO and HO gauge railways these probably aren’t for you. Obviously, if you just want a quick way of producing stone work and aren’t too worried about perfect scaling you can still use them but for UK OO and N gauge modellers, it’s a no.

But if you’re making large industrial buildings at these scales or working in G and O scale you definitely should check these out. My cobblestone roller is staying on my workbench and I may even buy some of the others!

The Green Stuff World textured rolling pins are available from eBay here.

Full disclosure: I spend days, weeks perhaps months testing modelling and model train products for the reviews on Model Railway Engineer and have used hundreds of tools, accessories and materials over many, many, years. No money or gifts were exchanged for this review. I bought the product at the normal advertised price and without the supplier knowing it would be reviewed here. The links on this page may take you to carefully selected business, such as B&Q, Amazon or eBay allowing you to purchase the product under affiliate programmes by which I get a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change.

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