Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Road surfaces


Iain asks: Could you advise me on the best method of modelling roads on a model railway. I have looked at the peel and stick types and I don`t really want to go down that road (pardon the pun)' I would much rather build my own, if you could advise me on the surfacing & painting I would be very grateful.

Difficult one this. Like you, I've tried various methods for making roads and some work better than others.

The best looking 4mm scale tarmac I ever laid was on a model for BRM of a beer festival. Here I needed a car park at the front of a village hall and I created it with some black Daler board card. The surface was painted with Precision Paints Tarmac and (this is the important bit) when this was just dry, talcum powder was brushed over the surface.

This isn't for texture - the card is pretty perfect in this respect - but to vary the colours. More talc equals lighter grey. Use big brushes in the 1-4 inches range.

Most important - experiment first. I would think that if you can hide the joins, this method ought to work well. Adding a small camber by sticking a sliver of card under the centre of the road would be easy. Patched up areas can be painted on separately once the base colour is down.

I hope this helps. If you try it out, I'm sure all the readers here would really appreciate some photos.

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