Visitors to my testing dimension, The Proving Ground, know by now that I spend a lot of time working on roofing. In fact, nearly all of my mock-ups in this Anywhere–that I’m too lazy to remove from being open to the public–are roofing of some sort. Either rib pieces, or entire roofs with nothing beneath them, often the first thing I make for any type of structure is the roof.
When I actually do a build, if I have a pre-saved roof, it’s the first thing I make, followed by the floor, so I can set the outer boundaries of my structure. If I don’t have a pre-saved roof, then the roof is the second thing, with the floor being first. Once the floor and roof are done to set the basic parameters, I can put up walls and start making cutouts for windows. With the floor, the ceiling if I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary with the roof, so that both top and bottom match all the way around. Later, once the walls have been put in, I’ll worry about false walls and dropping bits of floor, or making ceiling adjustments–if I think I can spare the item limit.
In and of itself, the roof is not a hard thing to make, especially since we have modular roofing pieces available from the shop (and in our minion bags) that take a lot of the item count and worry away from making your own roof. Sometimes, however, those modular pieces aren’t what we’re looking for, or they don’t fit right, or we want a vaulted ceiling and the modular pieces look like crap when you try to make a vault from them. Sometimes, Bearskin Rugs make a better coating than the blue tile of the premade roofing.
If you’re making most square or rectangular shapes, the premade roofing is hard to beat just for the items it saves. Most tourists don’t spend a lot of time looking at your roof, they want to see what’s inside the place you’ve made, and many times, the roof can’t be seen from the interior because you’ve added a ceiling as well. For some things, though, the exterior of the roof is easily as important as what’s on the inside, and that’s where building blocks and atypical materials come from. While out and about, you’ll see roofing made from haystacks, staircases, boats, the bearskin rug standby, and much more.
The modular roofing, if you’re using rooftops and roof corners (which I don’t personally care for because the corner doesn’t line up with anything), comes in a default 45-ish degrees (it’s closer to 46, but who’s really counting?). Roof Panels, of course, can be manipulated to suit any angle and line up with each other very well. Most of the time, however, if I’m using an off-angle roof, I’m going to use what I’m most comfortable with, which are standard building blocks or floor tiles. I like the large floor tiles for roofing, because they get much larger than standard blocks, so I can save some items that way.
But what about vaulted ceilings, you ask? I spent quite a bit of time with a builder the other day, discussing ways to make a vaulted ceiling using the modular roofing. The issue, of course, is the sloping angle coming off the sides. My best solution? Switch out the modular pieces for building blocks and use triangles to butt up against the slope of the main roof, since the main facade was pretty much nothing but invisible plate glass and some wood corner posts to frame it all. That big front window, while beautiful, allowed no space for hiding any extra bits. For my own dimensions, I prefer to use a modular roof and disguise those extra bits with plenty of room leftover, to do an interior cutout of the ceiling. I can make the windows dramatic in another way.
As always, Tips ‘n Tricks are meant more as a way to get some wheels turning, but experimentation is always the best way to figure out what works best for you, your builds and your budget.