Monday, July 09, 2018

Robert's Brick Mortar Formula

One of my Canadian souvenirs, is this little bottle of "Roberts Brick Mortar Formula". It's a magic substance that claims to be able to fill the mortar lines in brickwork, something I've never had any success with. The stuff isn't cheap, but I thought I'd give it a go as I've not seen this product for sale in the UK.

My first test was some 4mm scale Slaters Brick Plastikard. I painted it brick colour using Humbrol 70 and left to dry overnight.

In the morning, I painted a little of the formula on the bricks and wiped it around a little. This is left to dry and then wiped again to reveal the faces. The effect is very impressive. A little polishing with a paper towel and the mortar is clearly defined.

I've no idea what is in this stuff but it feels like a very fine gritty powder suspended, if you shake it well enough, in a liquid. There's definitely some texture in there.

The colour is a bit bright so I experimented with a wash of thinned cream enamel (left) and Agrax inks on the right. They look OK, but a little work is still required.

 The second text was on some laser cut MDF, again in 4mm scale. This stuff can be tough to paint as the bricks are so sharp my normal pencil crayon technique doesn't work. Again, I painted the bricks with enamel and once dry, used the formula. It worked a treat, possibly too well as you can see the brick joints aren't vertical.

1oz of the stuff covers 5 square feet, so a good chunk of anyone's layout. I'd certainly use this again in the future, even at the price.

Robert's brick mortar website


Bill L said...

It does look very effective. The problem with a lot of these types of item is not so much its cost but the postage. Even though it is not cheap, if it does the job better or easier than other methods I would consider it worth it. However the postage from the USA these days is ridiculous. Even for small items it is often more than $10, and, is it just me, I am averse to paying more for postage than an item costs? Whatever hapened to jiffy bags and a stamp?

Mark said...

And of course the postage cost is taken into account when calculating the total cost of the item for purposes of VAT, so it's easy even with small cheap items to go over the £18 threshold and end up having to pay VAT at 20% and a handling charge as well when buying from outside the EU. Often this can double the cost of small items. I've stopped playing the lottery on this with some things (KATO 11-104 chassis specifically) and taken to paying a little more to buy one from a UK based retailer, than risk buying a cheap one from Japan but then getting badly stung for VAT etc. when it arrives.