Morgan Hill Models
Creative On30 model kits
D. I. Y. Tarpaper
Tarpaper was widely used for roofing and siding coverings in the 20th century. It was inexpensive and
widely available. Tarpaper had a relatively short lifespan of 12 -15 years so it was common to see it in a
heavly worn out condition.

Shown below is a step by step photo tutorial of how I make my own tarpaper easily and inexpensively.

The method shown is not my own and credit must be given to Mic Greenberg for the method.
You will need the following materials
Two ply tissue paper (separated into single
ply)
Spray primer dark grey
Lacquer thinner
small cup for the thinner
brush
sheet of newsprint
Step One
Place the sheet of newsprint down
sheet of tissue
(be sure to use plain with no
embossed pattern) down on the
sheet of newsprint
Step Two
Spray the tissue with the can of
primer in a rondom pattern. You do
not want to cover the sheet
completely and be sure to use a light
coat.
Step Three
Begin brushing the painted tissue
with a brush dipped in the laquer
smoothing out the wrinkles and
air bubbles as you go. Add
thinner liberaly to aid the process
Step Four
Continue brushing until you have
a smooth even surface. The
coloring will be random with some
lighter and darker areas. Be sure
"grain" of the tissue and not all
random. A few wrinkles are ok
and will add to the weathered look.
Finishing Up
Allow the sheet to dry. The tissue
will be lightly "glued" down to the
newsprint by way of the paint.
Tarpaper was typically about 3
feet wide and sold in rolls. I used
a paper cutter or X-acto and
straight edge to cut strips. The
tarpaper is easily glued down to
the surface with thinned white
glue.
Removing the backing at the
edges will allow for a torn and
worn appearance.
Here are a couple of examples for the use of the Tarpaper.
The boxcar roofing and Coal box lid were further weathered with
weathering powders sealed with alcohol and India ink.
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