Dump Chute Road

I have seen a lot ways that a road can be made – thought I would try something different. My entry in the Kitforums Build Challenge needs a road that passes under a dump chute so the trucks can stop and fill up with coal/boney etc. Since everything else is in less then spectacular condition I wanted something that was cracked and worn. I’ve done things like this in plaster – in fact the road on top of the dio was made just that way. Just how well *this* method will work – I don’t know yet.

Update: This thread was published as an article on Shortline Modelers titled Modeling a Rough Service Road

The ‘Roadbed’ – yuk yuk
plywood-800I had a piece of 3mm plywood. I think I got it in a shipment of stripwood where it was used to keep the stripwood from breaking. I cut a piece out that measures 2-1/2″ wide. In O Scale that is 10ft – and the width of the diorama.

This allows me to build the road outside of the diorama on my workbench – that I can glue down when finished.

cork_liner-800This is actually used as a shelf liner. There is a peal-off side which reveals a sticky surface. I didn’t rely on that – but had seen this at Lowes and couldn’t pass up the product. With a .040″ thickness the cork is only a scale two inches thick.
Cutting and Tearing
pliars-800What I am trying for is one of those roads you see that has deteriorated over the years – it wasn’t that well constructed to start with (don’t think of a state road but something that Joe’s Sweat Shop put down). I’m sure that I will fill in some of the texture from the cork – but I’m hoping it will provide a base for what I am working toward.

I used scissors to cut the cork up and then pliers to tear at the edges. The backing paper which I left on during this step really requires pliers .. unless you have strong fingers and nails. So sure me. I’m lazy.

glued-800I’m gluing the cork to the board here. I used Aleen’s Tacky Glue on top of the sticky side of the cork. It appears to hold nicely. Again, the idea is to represent a degraded surface that has been patched all to heck.
pumice-800Fine Pumice Gel from Golden is just an acrylic gel with pumice. It has a slight but noticeable texture. I used some to test – wait for it to dry so I could see if this would work.
pumice2-800Decided that the ‘patching’ with the Fine Pumice Gel worked – ‘good nuff’. My theory on modeling things like roads is that it is hard to go wrong as long as you are not trying to model a specific instance.

I roughly laid down some patching using a folded business card to scrape it into the depressions. I left a few areas without etc. I can always add more later.

I painted a little bit at the bottom right in the photo concrete – looks like it will work.

graypaint-800I gave everything a coat of ‘concrete’ gray. Ok. I look at this and .. that’s my response … “ok”. Not impressed but I assumed that it would work as a base color (I’m good at telling myself things like that!)
wb_and_bwash-800I thinned Floquil Weathered Black – and painted the gray bits that will represent asphalt. I then came back with a MIG Brown Wash and filled in the depressions (where I had put the Golden Fine Pumice Gel last night. Note that although I leveled the paste .. it shrunk when it dried. Also .. the pumice texture is not really noticeable.
wb_and_bwash_cu-800A close-up of the surface. The texture on the pumice still is not really noticeable. This would probably work really good for HO .. but there needs to be more texture in O scale I think. Note that Golden makes a medium and coarse Pumice Gel.

This is good for now. Next is to fill the centers of those brownish areas with a ‘dirt’ color – I plan to simulate dirt, rocks and weeds there.

gravel-800I used a screened mix of decomposed granite and floor sweep to add some gravel and litter.

The grass looks ‘funky’. What happened was I had glue down and was sifting the static grass in place and discovered my batteries were dead in my static wand thingie. *sigh* ..

road1a-800I went back and added more gravel here and there. It looked ok .. but I felt something was missing .. or there was too much of everything.
weeds1b-800I decided to add weeds – this is an old road after all. I used some ground foam with some Scenic Express ‘leaves’ sprinkled on. A little ‘sand’ (grout) sprinkled on. Looks pretty good by something was still bothering me about it.
Vehicle Tracks
road2a-800Martin G. Jones on the Westlake forum pointed out that there was nothing indicating that vehicles used the road. Ooops. I took an emery board and scrubbed it back and forth a bit. I was pretty happy with how it came out. Where the emery board sanded down the gravel it flattened them out .. very much like tires press rocks into the soil. Where I sanded down the ground foam it even looks like vegetation pressed down.
road2b-800A close-up. I’m pretty happy with how this is working out. The only thing I will add will be a line of gravel down the center.

Note: Marc Reusser pointed out that this looked like a bag of sand had been spilled. I decided that he was right (in my defense I hadn’t considered that scene ‘finished’ yet)

road3a-800I went back over the ‘tire tracks’ with the emery board again .. and then scrubbed in weathering powder. I at first used a MIG ‘Gulf War Sand’ .. but wasn’t happy with the too yellow look. That wasn’t what I was looking for. I then used some Doc O’Brien’s white and that worked. One thing that I ran into (duh!) is that the weathering powder needs to be sealed – otherwise every time you hit it with water or alcohol (scenery) it blends into the surrounding area. Matt spray will work – but I am using MIG Pigment Fixer for the first time – which is made for this.


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