Ancient Asphalt – Redux

  1. You can make a quick-n-dirty mold using Aluminium Foil. This is so you can remove your plaster casting afterwards .. and it is cheap.
  2. Poured a thin layer of plaster .. no coloring – I think now that pre-coloring would be better. A tan or gray .. “dirt color” would work.
  3. When it had setup, I laid a single layer of gauze on the surface – this worked but now I think that dipping the gauze in some soupy plaster would make more sense. The idea is that the gauze will act as a ‘hinge’ allowing the plaster to be flexed while keeping it in one piece.
  4. Poured another thin layer of plaster – This doesn’t require much .. just enough to lock over the gauze
  5. Let that set up and fully dry
  6. I put the ‘road’ on a sponge and pressed all over to crack it – The sponge gives enough to allow the plaster to flex. I deliberatly made a lot of cracks but this isn’t necessary at all. It simply depends on what you want.
  7. I then used Air Eraser to texture and erode the cracks – I mostly did this just because I had the air eraser. I used baking powder. It worked but something as simple as a stiff brush would have worked just as well I imagine.
  8. Sprayed AI on both sides .. let dry – The idea here was to get some ‘dark’ in the cracks. If the plaster is pre-colored this might not strictly be necessary
  9. Still had white in the cracks so used AppleBarrel Black Acrylic as a wash all over and down into the cracks. Let dry. – Ok. This is a good reason for pre-coloring
Brown Pastel
On the left-third of the road I brushed on Brown pastel powder (scraped from a stick) and then ‘mopped’ over with tap water. I actually like this quite a bit .. the gray and browns.
Black Pastel
Again .. scraped a Black pastel stick and brushed on the road then ‘mopped’ with tap water.
FolkArt Steel Gray Acrylic
With the darker AI wash and/or Black Acrylic wash the lighter Gray .. ‘pops’
Flexible, right?
Yep. I mean .. check it out. Now .. think about it. You want a road. Most that I have seen use some product applied to the layout .. mat-board .. plaster .. and then you do whatever is needed including additional coloring if needed, weathering … road surface markings. Think how much easier it would be if you transferred where you needed a road to some paper while on the layout .. and then take that to your workbench and create the road there. Not only will the flexible nature allow the road to fit the layout easily .. but think how much easier it would be to do all of that weathering, surface markings etc.

Remember. It doesn’t have to be cracked like the example here. If you didn’t use the air eraser or brush to widen the cracks you could easily represent a road in fairly good condition. The cracks would mostly close up.


Ancient Asphalt – Redux — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Ed,
    Pretty good timing as far as I’m concerned. I’m just in the “finishing” stages of a Club module which requires old roads on either side of a bridge……and yes, I was going to pour plaster onto straight hardboard as you said….LOL!!! Will give your method a try but you’ve set me on a different and hopefully, more successful path.
    Many thanks,

    • Pete. Thanks. You comment made me look back .. and add one thing. In order to make the ‘road’ easily removable from your ‘mold’ make sure the surface will release the plaster. I was sitting here this morning drinking my coffee and ‘remembered’ (woke up) .. that I had used aluminum foil for my mold. I simply made a shallow ‘box’ in the shape I needed. You could use anything I guess .. hardboard and clay but .. you need to use a release agent in that case. The only problem there would be a residue that might interfere with the painting etc. Heck .. the foil is cheap.

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