by George Riley/photos as noted
One of the greatest challenges is scenery building is the incorporation of realistic roads and sidewalks into a model railroad scene. Over the years I have tried a wide number of materials and techniques in an effort to construct satisfactory roads. These have ranged from injection molded plastic inserts to various types of cardstock, wood and plasters with mixed results. None of these materials or techniques were found to be entirely satisfactory.
The recent introduction by Monster Model and Laser Works of laser etched laser board sheets representing concrete paving in a variety of configurations now allows the model builder to quickly lay out realistic concrete paved streets and sidewalks easily with excellent results. Since concrete roadways came into widespread usage in the United States during the 1920s and are still a fairly common paving material this form of paving should be useful in a wide number of model applications.
A modeler can construct paved areas in various stages of aging since the available sheets range from those with a slightly worn surface to severely cracked paving using these laser board sheets. This medium tan material is made of resin impregnated paper and closely resembles the backing layer found in Formica laminate products.
One can begin building a road by laying out the paving sheets and trimming them to fit the area where the street will run. With the roadway fitted, begin gluing down the sheets. I prefer to use silicon sealer for this however; almost any adhesive with the exception of white glue will yield good results. Clamp or weigh down each of the panels until the glue has set.
Once the glue is dry, apply a wash of thinned black or dark gray paint over the entire surface. Water based paints thinned with water will work equally well as oil paints thinned with turpentine since the material does not appear to be prone to warping.
When the dark wash has dried thoroughly, usually over night, dry brush a light gray or tan over the entire street surface. This will highlight the details and add dimension to the road’s surface. “Limestone” craft paint was used for this project.
The finished street will have the subtle shadings commonly seen with weathered concrete. In addition to paving and sidewalks, the Monster Model Concrete sheets can be used for structure walls and building foundations.
Monster Model & Laser Works
Scale – N, HO, S, O
MSRP – $14.99 per pack