How to build roads. Poorly.

Well, I tried. I took the best looking ideas for making a road and crapped all over them. I took the techniques from this page, because I absolutely loved the way they looked:

Let’s follow what I did…

Step one was to add foam board. I got mine at the dollar store, 3 sheets for a dollar. I drew the curves freehand, though it wouldn’t have been much harder to use a radius stick thingy like I use for my curves.

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Once cut (Don’t use a dull knife, you will rip the crap out of it!) I cemented it down with wood glue. I love wood glue.

This road is about 25′ wide, which is a good real life width sans shoulders, similar to the actual road that goes to Celgar.

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Placing structures in their final positions, I could cut around their locations.

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So far, so good….now it’s time for the plaster coat! The track is masked, and the outer grade crossing pieces are in place and masked on top and the side. This is where things begin going awry, however.

The link says to paint the tinted hydrocal on. I decided I wanted a smoother road, so I used a putty knife. This made it far too thick! WHOOPS. It was also hard to get rid of some of the ridges, so I decided I could sand it later. Sanding plaster? Avoid it if you can. Some of my track is still white despite my best efforts.

It looked fairly good…


…And then it dried.

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Wait, what?

Yeah, it kind of turned nearly white. And I have no idea why. It appears that only happened where I smoothed it with my finger, but that’s PRETTY WEIRD.

It was at this point that I realized that pulling the masking tape off the sides of the outer boards left a fairly sizable gap. That’s no good! So I masked just the tops this time…

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Getting closer! Add in a little bit of drywall mud, paint carefully, aaaand…

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YEAH! It’s not perfect, but I’m happy for the time being!

So, you might be wondering about the crossings…the mainline crossings are straight Osborn kits, and the throat of the mill is made of Blair line one lane crossings. They fit in quite well with my road width, although I’m not sure I like the look of two pads together. Oh well!

I weathered them from new wood to dirty by first staining them with some leftover dark wood stain I had left over from photo boxes I made (walnut or something, I don’t know…) followed by a couple washes of India ink once they were in place. Don’t be deterred by the stain’s water-repellant nature, it will soak in eventually!

Sooo…yeah! Take what you can from this!




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