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"What roofs are these?" Topic

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742 hits since 25 Jul 2017
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Marc at work26 Jul 2017 5:20 a.m. PST

Russia – I see various photos of models (less so of real buildings) with what look like lead or tar paper roofs, with vertical battening running from the top to the gutter line. They are normally painted dark grey.

My question is – what are these? What were the actual roofs made of? and what is the battening – was it wood on top of the roof material, or below it somehow? I have struggled with Google as I don't know what I am searching for.

I have purchased some pewter sheet to modify the roof on an mdf building I have for Russia (my BGK game continues to progress) and want to get the facts straight before I go ahead and model it.

All and any information gratefully received.

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2017 5:42 a.m. PST

i think they are a sort of bitumen paper/cloth with battens to stop it lifting, like your shed roof

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jul 2017 6:11 a.m. PST

Depends on what date.

Tar paper possibly for WW2 but earlier I think they are overlapping wooden planks.

The grey isn't paint but natural weathering.

Lead is an expensive roofing material, very unlikely to be seen in a poor country such as Russia.

Wooden shingles are an alternative and still reasonably common even today.

UsmanK26 Jul 2017 7:25 a.m. PST

If you are talking about village buildings or buildings from suburbs, then at that time the roof could be covered
1. Straw (for the villages)
2. Galvanized iron (found both in the city and in the village), almost all "Stalin's houses" are covered with galvanized iron. The most expensive option. Here is a photograph showing a typical roof of this type


3. Lumber. The same boards, shingles, etc. The most characteristic for the north (Novgorod, Karelia, etc.), but it was applied in principle everywhere

4. Ruberoid.

5. Slate. Mainly in the city

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2017 8:00 a.m. PST

5 is corugated asbestos sheets

Marc at work26 Jul 2017 8:02 a.m. PST

Galvinised and rubberoid both look similar to what I see modelled. The battening on the galvinised – looks like that is the metal joints rather than battening.

The mdf buildings I have (from two manufacturers of 20mm Russian buildings) are depicted as strip wood – so planks not shingles. So I have done them in grey streaked paint to try and represent weathered wood. Two I thatched, but I have one left, and because it has slopes on all four sides I thought sheet would work – so I bought some pewter to cover it. But I didn't want to put (balsa) wood battening on the outside if it was internal.

Thanks for your ideas guys – much appreciated. There is a lot of western front building love, but I see less for Russia.


UsmanK26 Jul 2017 8:13 a.m. PST

Hello, shaun from s and s models!
Yes, they are made from asbestos (more precisely, asbestos cement or Eternit), but in Russia they are called slate. Pretty awkward thing, but it does not burn.

Hello, Marc at work!
Yes, these are metal joints (rolling).
A house with a metal roof can be made richer, or to place there an adimistrative building (village council, library, club, etc.)

bhall389 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2017 8:32 a.m. PST

That corrugated asbestos sheet is all over the Balkans as well.


shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 8:09 a.m. PST

very confusing for us gamers then!
in the uk, slate tiles are made of slate, just to confuse us more.

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