Best asphalt/concrete freeway materials and methods [N-scale]:

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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I got the Elmer's Chalk Foam Board at Michael's today (you have to show them the sale price on your phone), and it's virtually identical to Foamcore-brand foam board bought at an expendables supply store like Filmtools (which sells Foamcore in 4' x 8' sheets for the film/TV industry).
I got mine from Michaels also, but I didn't buy it off the shelf. I went to the custom framing department and purchased it from them. I think I got a 48" x 36" piece for about that same price. They cut it in half for me.
 
Aha! That's why the SKUs didn't match. The Elmer's board on sale are the 24" X 36" sheets which are "sold individually." I didn't see single sheets on the shelf, so I thought that was the product on sale, but it makes sense that the open-stock would be sold at the framing counter instead. I bought the retail, shrink-wrapped version of the product which includes two 20" x 30" Elmer's Chalk Boards, which the manager approved to sell to me for $4.99 (normally $13.99). The good thing about buying a whole 4' x 8' sheet from an expendables supply store is that I could cut a continuous roadway as long as 8' long.
 

jdetray

Well-Known Member
Speaking of chart tape, I use it for road markings in N-scale.

These both use 1/32" chart tape.

- Jeff



 
Your road, cliff, ground-cover, and guardrail all look excellent! After weathering, it doesn't look like tape at all! I thought that 1/32" would be closest to prototype in N-scale. I like that you also included the white striping as the outer road markers--very proto. Could you talk a bit about how you made the road itself?
 

jdetray

Well-Known Member
The roadway is made from styrene and painted with rattle can gray primer. Weathering is done with weathering powders.

My source of styrene for roads is the inexpensive plastic "For Sale" signs available at discount stores and home centers. The backs of these signs are white. This type of styrene is relatively soft and pliable. It can easily be cut with scissors. So I drew the roads with a pencil, then cut them out with scissors.

The 1/32" chart tape is 5 inches wide in N-scale, which is just about right for the road markings. The chart tape can be easily re-positioned until you get it just right. After painting the roadway and positioning the tape, I applied a coat of clear flat spray, which helps to keep the tape in place.

The guard rails are from Osborn Model Kits.

- Jeff
 
Ah . . . thanks for your detailed reply. Living in California, I took a fall over those very guardrails (the connecting blocks are designed to swivel for energy-absorption, which I didn't know when I jumped on one), and I can attest they look very prototypical. The whole scene is very impressive!
 

jdetray

Well-Known Member
Ah . . . thanks for your detailed reply. Living in California, I took a fall over those very guardrails (the connecting blocks are designed to swivel for energy-absorption, which I didn't know when I jumped on one), and I can attest they look very prototypical. The whole scene is very impressive!
I still have some work to do on the left where the shoulder of the roadway meets the rock face. The brown area needs ground cover and weeds.

- Jeff
 
I still have some work to do on the left where the shoulder of the roadway meets the rock face . . .
Well, it still looks great! In fact, it's one of my favorite bits of modeling on the whole site. It looks so much like a coastline road scene you'd see here in California. The Osborn guardrails really make the scene, too--they're very true to prototype and look exactly like the guardrails seen along California mountain and coastal roadways. I would love to have a similar scene at the front of my layout, with the Pacific Ocean lapping against it. I've seen plenty of lake-front layouts, but I don't think I've ever seen an ocean coastline faithfully modeled.
 



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