Here you go, the roof is just about finished; there’s a little weathering to do, and perhaps a little patina on the smoke jack.
I thought for a long time about the covering. I think this was likely canvas, although I don’t have any proof. Once I’d decided it was canvas, I spent weeks looking for real evidence as to what a well-maintained canvas roof should look like. I’ve seen loads of models with tissue paper on the roof to represent canvas texture, as well as seams between sheets. I found a number of references and pictures on the web to restoration efforts involving canvas roofs, and found that these were universally made in one big piece of canvas. Once the canvas was stretched over the roof, it was then painted. So, are the seams on other models bogus? If you paint canvas, I wouldn’t expect much texture to remain, especially in HO scale.
The boards leading from the ladder to the running board are another supposition. If the roof was indeed canvas, they would have wanted to protect it from brakemen’s feet. However, in the good side view we have, I can’t see any evidence of a normal platform here.
The running boards are plastic, of course. You don’t paint running boards because it makes them slick. So, they are finished in my recipe for well-maintained wood: Humbrol matt 63 (sand colour) base coat followed by some dry-brushed matt 170 (dark brown) then some dry-brushed light grey, and finally a wash of dark grey. Like the underframe, I may start doing these in wood.
When the inevitable aerial photograph shows up shortly after the model is completed, I’ll probably wind up redoing much of the roof. But here it is for now.
Next step: I need to cut the bottom out of the cupola now that it’s glued down, and create an interior for the cupola at least. I hadn’t planned to make an interior for this model, but there are so many windows in the cupola, I don’t think I can get away with that.