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Asphalt Roads

by Dan Crowley

Many techniques have been used to create asphalt roads.  Many articles have been written outlining the use of Plaster, drywall compound, styrene and fine grade Wet/dry sandpaper.  I won't go into any of those, but I will show you a technique that I developed that gives outstanding results.

Michaels craft store sell something called "creative hands flexifoam". This stuff is available for less then $2.00 for an 8 X 11 inch sheet.  It is easy to cut and the technique I am about to show you gives results that are second to none.  I have prepared a photo essay that outlines the steps required to build a city street.

The Foam

The following pictures show how the road and curbing are built.

foamcut.jpg (68137 bytes)+ glue.jpg (78292 bytes) = road and curbing raw.jpg (90307 bytes)

After the road has been cut to size you layout and the curbing added, comes the messy part.  Take some plaster and mix it to the consistency of Latex paint.  I usually add some black acrylic craft paint to take the brightness and the whiteness out of raw plaster.  Once this is mixed up, brush it over the roads and curbing you have installed on your layout.  Allow it to dry

Now paint the sidewalks and gutter a concrete color and allow to dry.  Darken the road surface by painting it with black acrylic craft paint.   Once dry you can lighten it with a dusting of white plaster to give it a better look.    Using a straight edge and pencil draw in the concrete details, such as expansion lines and concrete cracks.  In the example I drew in a gutter drain.

You can easily distress this asphalt with an exacto knife.  The following images show how I made a pothole with my knife and then just filled it with a trace of sand

Now comes the part that will make your pavement outstanding.  The plaster coating you painted on the road surface is dry, hard and brittle.  The underlying foam is soft.  Push into the road with your finger tips and observe what happens!!!.. Cracks appear.  Beautiful naturally forming cracks.  The more you push the more distressed your pavement becomes.