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Model Corrugated Iron

 For my HO scale model railway, almost all buildings have some corrugated iron.


One way to copy this is to do a laser fill, low power, no margin,  0.9mm or 1mm line separation, 90 degrees angle (or zero if I have rotated the piece to fit.

So far, fair results:  thin black lines in cardstock that I punch up with washes of black or dark rust colours. (BTW, all cut card is given a coat of shellac to seal and strengthen it)


I have seen, but don’t know how to achieve, laser-scribed  corrugations where, from 2 mm cardstock,  c. 0.5 mm of depth has been cut out to form the valleys, which are c. 0.5mm wide, leaving material to form the ridges.


Any ideas how I might do this?

Hi Michael, I recently made a shed for my son’s layout with a corrugated iron look. I made an image in Inkscape using the gradient feature so that the peaks of the corrugations are light and the troughs are dark. I initially did one corrugation, then copied it 11 times to make one sheet of iron. Then I could use this to fill the side of a building. 

I exported the image as a PNG file which I could then import into Laserweb so I could do a raster etch. This is the PNG file for 11 sheets wide x 2 sheets high.

I used 3mm ply and the corrugations etched quite well. After etching, I did a cut to cut out the shapes for the walls and roof. My son painted it up and it turned out quite well.

This is a bad photo of the shed, the corrugations are much more obvious in good light. It was only a trial so the shed design could be improved immensely.


Thanks Stephen,

That’s an impressive result!

I use an E2, Inkscape doesn’t seem to be a part of that. I start in Corel Draw then save-as to SVG for LaserWeb to read into the cutter.

I have no experience with gradients, only plain vectors. Will the E2 cut with them or is that a raster task?

Gives me a line to explore with Corel Draw.


Inkscape is a free alternative to Corel Draw. I’m not familiar with Corel Draw but it should be able to do the gradient fills. I’m sure I just drew a long thin rectangle, turned the stroke off on the edges and then filled it with a gradient from dark to light. Then I added another rectangle but this time the gradient was from light to dark. This formed one corrugation. After that, it was just multiples of these two rectangles to get the size I wanted.

I’m trying to remember what I did but I’m sure I imported two files into Laserweb. The first was the bitmap file (PNG in this case) to raster for the corrugation look then an SVG file to cut the outline. 

I’m sure others out there would have better ways to do it but this worked for me.