Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by deltadagger, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. deltadagger

    deltadagger New Member

    I have lived 2 years in Kobe,Japan, and is now making a Japanese layout in N-scale. I use Kato tracks and Kato, Tomix and Greenmax buildings etc. I am a novice in model railing, although I have some experience in model building (planes and ships).

    My question is : What kind of materials are recommenden for building streets and pavements (asphalt / concrete) in a modern city?
  2. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Wow, for almost every modeler, there's a different answer to that.

    Depending on what you'd like the end result to look like, and what type of road you're trying to emulate, there's a technique for getting that "look". I have used contact paper roads from Noch with some success that make a pretty convincing asphalt roadway. I've used fine grit black and grey sandpaper too - which I think gives a different surface to other techniques and weathers really nicely with chalks. For me, my best results were with walk joint compound, sanded smooth and blackened with india ink. It's not too hard to use, cheap, and you can always break it off and vacuum it up if you don't like the results. Plus, when it cracks (and it will), the cracks look pretty realistic - just like older and well used asphalt roads around any city. You can also use several road making systems from Woodland Scenics that have everything you need to build a road in one package (but I've never used it so I don't have first hand knowledge on the product's performance). You may want to seek out a local hobby store and try to find some of the "How-To" books from Model Railroad Magazine. They have several that explain and give step by step instructions on how to build roads and sidelwalks. That will give you some good reference pictures, tricks, and you'll feel pretty confident that you'll get a good end result.

    Good luck!
  3. engineshop

    engineshop Member

    Kato has city street pieces that are perfect for Japanese layouts since the markings are on the other side.
  4. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

    I'm modeling in N gauge with Japanese trains also. I'm using foamboard. Right now it's black, but I am looking into grey foamboard as an alternative. As I use Tomix track covers for my streetcar tracks the foamboard brings my buildings up to street level.

    Several Japanese companies including Kato offer lane markings for Japanese streets. Another point is that Japanese streets are often different than North American streets: no sidewalks on side streets and asphalt across the street from building to building.
  5. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

  6. deltadagger

    deltadagger New Member

    Thanks a lot for many interesting tips. I have layed the tracks and I have soon finished making most of the buildings, so its time building the streets. Using wall joint compound seems like a good idea - I have also considered using thin balsa sheets - but they might bend to much if not the whole surface is glued to the table. If I later wants to remove them, it could be a hard work...
    Hopefully you understand what Im writing - as my english is far from perfect!

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