Smashing time with Threadwell

Well, I did the one thing you hate doing with a hydrocal kit, I dropped a piece! All is not lost as they glue back together quite easily with hardly a joint. Not my first accident!

I started on Friday by spraying the prepared castings with Halfords grey primer.

Primer coat

The trick is knowing when to assemble the pieces. Bob VG assembles, fills the joints and then paints. I hate doing fiddly window bits after assembly so I painted the windows before assembly.


There are a lot. It takes a few seconds to type but an evening and morning to paint and that’s only the first coat. It’s interesting that wooden kits are so much quicker because you can spray every colour separately and then assemble the pieces.

More windows

And more windows

I tacked the plastic window inserts, with masking tape, to a piece of cardboard.

Window inserts

There are etched brass trims for the doors which Bob VG tells you to scratch for grain and mark the wood joints on.

Etched brass door trim

The Ware etched brass came with etched grain. It’s quite heavy so we’ll see which looks best.

Ware etched

I then painted them with Halfords White primer. It’s not the best paint but the slightly off look works for older buildings.

Painted white

Painted white

The walls sit on a 1/4″ wood strip base. Of course I used the base plan, glued them down and when I test fit the walls, remembered that the plan was wrong by 1/2″. Doh.

Wood base

I glued the first three walls as they all have the same base level.

First three walls

When I was fitting the last wall, it somehow slipped. Oooops.


Thankfully it’s not the first time I’ve had a cracked wall. They sometimes break in shipping too. A few minutes later it looked like this but I did have a break to throw some ground foam around in the loft to steady my nerves.

Back together again

When I returned, I flipped the windows and painted the back side.

I also assembled the spare brick building. It will go somewhere and it’s easier to do it whilst I have the instructions and plans out.

Spare brick building

I always use white glue to assemble as it gives you time to wiggle the castings. Both the buildings have odd levels. I used piles of business cards to create a firm base for the big mill whilst gluing as it rests on the canal walls. It seems a couple out in level so I will either sand the walls or, more likely, slip some business cards underneath. This smaller building stumped me until I realused I had forgotten to put the 1/4″ wood strips underneath. Thankfully the glue hadn’t set.

Missing wood strips

I want to put an interior in the mill so I knocked up some floors from card, braced the edges and then sprayed them both sides with white to seal them.


At the same time I sprayed some pillars green. I do need to do the wooden floors so I’ll either use stained balsa wood or print some wood colour up. I have a few bits for the interior to give it substance but need to work on it.

I sprayed the inside white for the interior walls but should have been a bit less heavy handed. The paint is always a bit thin but it ran through in some places. Good thing I still have to paint the walls stone colour.

Painting the walls

At this point I went to see Paddington at the cinema. Well worth a view as it was funny. I got back and did a couple more hours. After not modelling for months, I’m on a roll.

I filled the gaps and having spread the putty all over the place in the past, filling all the lovely brick mortar lines, this time I used a trick I had seen and masked a small strip only. It keeps the putty under control. I use a Deluxe Materials acrylic putty and it thins nicely with water.

Filling the gaps

Afterwards I resprayed the walls with the grey primer and used a simple paper mask to keep it off the windows.  It’s not perfect but I’ll see what it’s like in daylight in the morning.

The result

Gaps filled

Finally I started on Ware. I just glued the bracing on. Vital on any piece of card in a kit.

Bracing ware

I used my secret weapon to keep everything flat. A brick.

Secret weapon

I think that’s enough for one day and I need my sleep but here’s a couple if mill photos to show the colour scheme on the stone that I’m aiming for:






4 thoughts on “Smashing time with Threadwell”

  1. For tarmac roads with chinchilla dust if you wait for the adhesive to almost dry and use a wet wallpaper wooden seam roller you can compress the “tarmac” to inrease realism. Then some matt black + a little white of course. I too use paviours as weights! ie Left over from my drive job. Halford’s plastic primer is absolutely necessary on plastic parts, otherwise the paint peels off after about 25 years.

    Their Khaki paint spray aerosol is rarely on their shelves but they will get some for you. It it’s especially useful in landscaping.

  2. Have signed up for your blogs Kathy. Many thanks for useful tips.
    Am putting together an article for Roudhouse on all the many varied ways different makers allow you to restore factory settings if you get into trouble. With Mick Moignard and Mike Arnold’s help I think it is fairly comprehensive but hope others will contribute if they know any I have missed. Then we can use it for a, maybe, later part of our “pages for beginners” centrefolds. We must be careful not to get staples in the important parts! Ha! Ha!

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