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Roadbuilding in Scale

July 30, 2008






Roads have perplexed modelers for decades on which type of material is best for roads. Like many modelers, I have used a variety of materials to model different kinds of roads. Basically, when I want to build a road, street, Avenue, driveway, parking lot, or dirt or gravel road I chose a material that best represents the actual material.

For Parking lots, I use Water putty, I also use water putty for streets that have rails embedded in them.

Parking Lot with Embedded rails HO scale

For Residental Streets, I use Non-Skid tread, usually used for boats for it’s subtle texture and perfect width.

Residental Street in HO scale
Driveways can be made from cut “shirt” non-corrugated cardboard.

Small Driveway in HO scale

Dirt and Gravel Roads can be made from smoothed out sculptamold, with gravel embedded in the scuptamold. It’s best to dye the sculptamold a brown color before smushing the gravel in place.

Diner with Gravel Parking lot

Sculptamold & Sifted real dirt road.

For Concrete Avenues, like the one we’re going to see laid down, we’re going to use 0.60″ styrene atop a base of sheet cork, with stripwood crossings. In the past I have used “elmer board” but it warps and doesn’t look realistic.

Example of Elmer Board Street:
Elmer Board Street

Here’s an In-Progress photograph of the Cork-Styrene Road, made to look like weathered a Concrete Avenue:

Styrene & Cork Road in HO scale

Tune in for our next post describing how to lay down, paint, mark and weather a four lane styrene Avenue.

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