HO Roads

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Play-Doh, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Can anyone give me a crash course in what people use to create HO asphault roads? I have been going at it just laying down cork roadbed but im not sure if this is the usual way people go about creating them.

    Whats the most commonly used method?


  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I have been using cork sheets for roads with decent results.
    The cork was painted with black acrylic paint.
    I plan to add some weathering later.

    Attached Files:

  3. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    I'd say the cork works very well Ray!
  4. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    There are plenty of different methods... Try a few and see which one works best for you.

    Cork is good for simulating some of the coarser macadam..

    Drywall Spackling (i.e. joint compound) is awesome for finer-grain asphalt, and it's smoothable with a wet sponge. After it's completely dry, it's very paintable and you can use an airbrush to make realistic wear patterns (if you look at highways and roads, the middle of the road looks darker while the areas where the tires tread looks a lighter grey).

    Sandpaper can do a pretty good job too.

    Then there is sheet styrene or cardboard for concrete roads.

    So experiment, have fun, and see which one you like the best.
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I use the back of asphalt shingles, marked with paint pens and a straight edge, then weathered with pastels fixed in place with clear flat.

    Attached Files:

  6. johnny b

    johnny b Member

    Shirt box cardboard can work very well . It gives a nice faded and even stained road look. With a little weathering and razor work for cracks and even potholes it can llok very realistic. Its very easy to cut out and apply too.
  7. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Not to mention very very inexpensive! And I was just about to run out and buy more cork roadbed!!! Great ideas everyone!!! Thanks!
  8. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I'm an Nscale modeler and have heard about roads made out of joint compounds.
    I just have a question: how do you " cast " it? I mean what are you using for "Paving Tape" to outline the street and then cast the joint compound ?
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't think you cast the joint compound. You build your road with it the same way a drywaller uses it to hide drywall tape joints. You put it on with a trowel, shape it the way you want it while it is wet. Let it dry and paint it.
  10. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Oh, I see. Thanks for explaining how to use joint compound.
    Now, what should I use as a base for the joint compound ? Is .030 styrene a good base ?
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I wouldn't recommend using the joint compound over styrene, as you'll not likely get it to bond very well. I built some of my roads using joint compound applied over either patching plaster (my hardshell material: it's Durabond 90 applied over window screen) or over plywood. In both cases, I used a sprayer to lightly mist a little water over the area to be covered, letting it sit for a couple of minutes before applying the joint compound. This prevents the wood or hardshell from extracting too much moisture out of the joint compound too rapidly. I sanded the finished road surface as required, then stained it with dilute washes of PolyScale paint.


    I've also used .060" sheet styrene as a street surface. It was glued to the plywood sub-surface with contact cement, then brush painted with PollyScale paint, and has yet to be weathered.


  12. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

  13. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks, B:thumb:

    That is some layout you've got there, Doc.:thumb:

    One of the ways you can finish your joint compound once it's dry, is to take a damp sponge and "sand" it smooth by lightly scrubbing over the compound, changing sides and rinsing frequently. The sponge should be just damp and ridges can be removed by concentrating your effort on the ridge to match it to the surrounding road. This way there is no dust to muss the room or surrounding scenery.
  14. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I used Hydrocal, and as long as you are careful to cover all part of the layout yaround where you are working, your roads will come out fine.

    you first have to use something like WS's paving tape, then quickly pour down the hydrocal, and make it as flat anf even as you can. focuse on sperading out as much as you can in the most even you can manage before the hydrocal starts setting.

    If the road surface is alittle too bumpy, you can use a big trough ( is that the name for it? its like a big spackeling thing), hold it at an angle, and drag it to you. It will start scraping up all the bumps, and will leave an extremely smooth surface.

    at this point, you can use sand paper to rough it up, or use WS's Top coat, which does a great job of recreating asphault. the paint has course pigments, and it makes the road feel rough. I found that if you want to make the road look grayer and weathered, you could take some crumbled Hydrocal that may have dried in your container and turn it into powder, then rub it into the roads with your fingers. It will will stick to the road without any kind of sealing finish.

    Its time consuming, and kinda frsutrating, but it works.
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I bought the WS learning kit for roads. It's the tape, hydrocal, some black colouring and a few tools, plus directions.
    I found that the tape doesn't like un-prepared Homasote, but is OK on extruded poly foam. (It's the dimples on the Hydrocal). I've used stripwood tacked down with pins as formers as well -- pin heads should go below the surface of the wood. I have a tub of Scalecrete for concrete surfaces, but don't know if it's still available.
  16. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    To 60103:
    How many feet or inches of road can you pave with the WS learning kit ?
    I have a very small 2' x 3' layout so maybe that kid would be good enough for me.
  17. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I'm not sure. I.ve done 3 or 4 feet of road with it and there's some left. I'll check the pack if I can find it.
  18. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    The learning kit does a road that is 3" wide and 4' long.

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