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Active Member
Does anyone have suggestions on how and with what to make vehicle roadways on an HO layout. I am looking to make two lane county roads and perhaps a small town street or two. I have read where a two lane HO scale roadway should measure 3.5 inches across. A small town street would be larger if there would be on street parking. I was thinking of piecing together Woodland Scenics foam road bed for vehicle roadways. Any suggestions and advice is greatly appreciated.


Whiskey Merchant
Woodlend Scenics does have a road kit, but here's an alternative. I wanted a larger town on my layout. I used cheap styrene "For Sale" signs. For the main street, I painted the back a concrete color and used a gray primer for asphalt side streets. I had never seen anything like this but figured it would be worth a try.

Once the "streets" were down, I used a fine pencil to draw ing the seams in the concrete street and chalk for the oily streak commonly seen in the center of the driving lane. For city blocks and sidewalks I found a slight thicker "For Sale" sign and used it for the base of city blocks and cit strips for sidewalks in the residential area on the edge of town.

The material was cheap and even though it was an experiment, I am more than happy with the results.


Well-Known Member
I used a couple different things for my roads, in the village I went with trowelling on sheet rock compound and sponging with a water/black acrylic mixture, also used the sheet rock compound for the sidewalk; This picture gives you a rough idea, though the colors don't really show true in the shot:

layout5 015.jpg

For gravel I sift some road aggregate into a couple different sizes, the coarser one for the road and a little finer along the sidewalk:

gas station 007.jpg

Steve S

For asphalt, black craft foam (EVA foam) with gray paint sponged on works well. If you want track running through the street, you'll need to use 1mm foam on code 100 rail. If there's no track running through it you can use 2mm craft foam that you can find at Michael's. It comes in 12"x18" pieces, but you might be able to find longer lengths on the web so you won't have so many seams. An eBay seller named Wandy-Foam sells this stuff. Send him an email and see if he can cut you some longer pieces.

Here's a tutorial on how I did it...


Steve S
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Active Member
That premade roadway is roofing felt with lines painted on. Seriously, that's what it is. I have both, and they are absolutely identical. And a roll of roofing felt from the home improvement store is a LOT cheaper. The caveat is that you still maybe have to put your own lines on it, and of course cut it to size, but if you're willing to put in a little work it'll save you a TON of money. Of course, if you have a small layout and only need a few feet of road it may not pay off quite so well, but my entire layout is half covered with roads, parking lots, container yards, what have you, and buying that roll of roofing felt definitely saved me a whole lot of dollar bills.


New Member
Steve S: your results are fantastic, but your tutorial doesn't appear? No link either...

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


Active Member
"For gravel I sift some road aggregate into a couple different sizes, the coarser one for the road and a little finer along the sidewalk:"

The "gravel" looks more like small boulders vs dirt. Suggest you put a scale figure on it to see if a person could actually walk on it. I.e. would you walk on it? >)

View attachment 49395


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I'm a "tight ass" so I use POP or Spackle or whatever the heck it is called then paint it with black and greys etc until I get the coloring right. I use a knife to scratch in cracks etc then give it all a light black wash.


Today I went into an arts and crafts store to try and locate some EVA foam that Steve S demonstrated on page 1 of this thread. I found and bought 10 sheets 12"x18". I must say I like it.
Roadway #1.jpgRoadway #2.jpg

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