Need a parking space?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by trainsteve2435, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. Hello everyone, i have just installed the new Walthers Bakery on my layout and it looks great. For Christmas my wife bought me a bunch of 1:87 scale trucks and cars. Does anyone see where im going with this?????? I need a parking lot for my bakery and i have no idea how to go about building one. Can anyone out there post some pics of theirs or offer some suggestions? I will post pictures of what im looking at soon. Thanks!
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    A parking lot is the easiest thing to build, man.

    If you are going for a parking lot in a rural location (the kind you find in front of a countryside general store), just a patch of bare dirt will do.

    If you are going for something a bit more suburban, a lot of crushed gravel might work (you can use ballast to do this).

    Or if you want a paved parking lot, spread out some drywall compound (about 1 mm thick), wait for it to dry, then smooth it out using a wet sponge. Paint it up properly in a dark grey surface, parking lines and engine oil stains and such, and you have a very nice paved parking lot that looks like scaled down asphalt.
  3. Thanks Tom, cam i use the drywall compound for the roads also?:wave:
  4. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    My favorite material for making roads as a matter of fact. :thumb:

    I find drywall compound the easiest to work with because you can smooth it out with just a simple wet sponge, even after it has set. I used to use plaster, but I hate having to sand it smooth after setting.
  5. Just curious, is joint compound the same thing as drywall compound? Thanks!
  6. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    I have used stuff out of containers labeled "joint compound" and "drywall compound" and they both seem to work the same way (let dry and smooth out with a wet sponge), so for model railroading purposes I think they are the same.

    Then again, I'm not a contractor/construction worker so the subtleties are lost to me. :D
  7. One more question...... What does everyone use for the sides of your roads? I seen the WS Paveing tape, but is there anything else i could use for the road sides? Thanks!:wave:
  8. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    I got several techniques...

    Curbed roads

    If I am doing roads with sidewalks or curbs, I would build the curbs first out of stick styrene. Typical curbs would be about 6 inches wide and 6 inches taller than the road surface, so I would use something like .100"-square styrene strips to make the curbs (which outlines the areas you have to pave). Then you spread the drywall compound between the curbs in a 1-mm layer, and pave your road. Voila. :thumb:

    If you want to go nuts with the detail, you can even put in storm drain grates (you can take a small piece of rectangular brass or sheet styrene and drill #65 drainange holes in it, paint it up in a rust brown color, and embed it into the drywall compound road surface next to the curb). Ditto for manhole covers-- Use round pieces of brass or sheet styrene about 10mm wide (typical manhole covers are about 2.5 feet in diameter I think) and drill some #80 holes in it. :D

    Rural paved roads with no curbs

    If you are paving a rural road (no curbs), just temporarily tack two strips of .040" styrene (.040" is about 1 millimeter thick) to delineate the areas to be paved, the start spreading the compound between it. After the compound sets, take away the styrene strips. Your road is paved.

    Roads with drainage ditches to the side

    I don't see these much around my area, but I suppose you can use 1/4" U-shaped styrene channel (Evergreen and Plastruct sells these). 1/4" works out to be just under 2 feet wide in HO. Recess these into the foam base with 1mm sticking above the base to delineate the road, then pave.

    The common thing is to make the road pavement about 1mm thick. Any thicker than that, drywall compound takes too long to set for my tastes.

    Good luck!
  9. :wave: Thanks for the information, it really helps. Im thinking of useing masking tape to form my road edges, any idea how many layers would equal 1 mm? Thanks!
  10. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Woah, you probably don't want to use masking tape, because it's going to take A LOT of masking tape. :D

    If you can't get styrene, then use something else.. Balsa strips will do. 1/16" balsa strips are a bit less than 2mm thick, but I think it should be close enough.

    Or you can even grab a discarded CD Jewel Box and cut strips from it using the score-and-break method. The CD Jewel Box plastic is just a bit over 1mm thick.

    Hope this helps!
  11. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Another tip on the joint compound. (I use lightweight spackle) Squirt a few drops of black acrylic craft paint (Delta Ceramcoat or Apple Barrel) into the tub and stir it in. In my experience it will dry the same color it is when wet.

    I had heard the masking tape technique too...recently, in fact, in one of the modeling mags or maybe a book? Seemed like overkill to me too, but then I realized you get a flexibility with the tape that you won't with balsa or other rigid materials.


    Oh, and I think it was 7 layers...but a ruler will tell you...:D
  12. Thanks for the help guys, i appreciate it. If im makeing a ruarl 2 lane road, about how wide would that be in HO scale? I think i read somewhere it is about 12', but im not sure. About how many inches would this be? Thanks!:wave:
  13. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    I read somewhere that a typical road lane would be 10-ft. wide... So a two-lane paved road would have a 20-ft.-wide roadway surface, plus 6-ft.-wide shoulders on each side.

    The conversion scale for HO is 3.5mm = 1 HO-scale foot, so you are looking at 21mm-wide shoulders and 35mm-wide lanes.

    Hope this helps!

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