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Preformed (plastic) sidewalks or pour in place?

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  • Member since
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  • 97 posts
Preformed (plastic) sidewalks or pour in place?
Posted by streetspook on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 5:33 PM

Hi All, 

Hope your summer is chugging along nicely! Thanks for any and all comments in advance. I'm building a large 1930's HO layout and getting to the main street of the town. My thought is to use WS Smooth-It and their tape border system for the street. But what about the sidewalks? I've tried looking for realistic looking ready-made plastic ones, especially for driveways but I'm not finding what I want. Should I just go witht the Smooth-It and carve out driveways? 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 3,936 posts
Posted by cowman on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 7:24 PM

Since you will already have the Smooth-it on hand, and can't find a suitable plastic model, give the Smooth-it a try.  Either on a pratice scene not on the layout or a rather out of the way section of your layout and see how it looks.  Not all sections of town have the same type sidewalks.

I haven't gotten to that point yet, but others have and I'm sure you will get many other suggestions on products and methods to use.

Good luck,

Richard

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: New England
  • 6,124 posts
Posted by Jumijo on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 7:26 PM

I've yet to see a plastic sidewalk system that looks very good for the money expended. Experiment with illustration board for your streets and sidewalks. It's easy to cut and add details like expansion joints, cracks, and curbing to. 

Jim

Modeling the Baltimore waterfront in HO scale

  • Member since
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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 8:38 PM

Rather than cast-in-place why not make some masters out of styrene or get one set of the Walthers street system and use the sidewalk sections to make masters?

Then pour a silicone mold and cast your own duplicates in Hydrocal or a good casting plaster.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004BNF3TK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This way you are not limited if you decide to move around some buildings later and the plaster can be stained to look like concrete or sandstone.

Home Depot has plaster of Paris for about $16. for 25 lbs.

The Walthers sidewalks have some nice corner pieces and two sizes of driveway cut outs. Also catch basins and man-hole covers, which are sometimes found on sidewalks, too. Make enough masters in the mold for various configurations of sidewalk and you can have an endless supply. If they crack when you take them out of the mold, all the better!

This photo shows some of the Walthers sidewalk and curbs, along with RIX bridge railings.

Have Fun,

Ed

 

  • Member since
    March, 2015
  • 935 posts
Posted by SouthPenn on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 10:05 AM

I used City Sidewalks for my town. You can get them with driveway ramps.

When you glue them down, use a glue that will allow them to be easily removed.

South Penn
  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 11:47 AM

I make my own sidewalks with sheet styrene.  I make two layers.  The first is the whole city block.  I glue it down and then fill in the roads.  The next layer is just the sidewalks, cut around the building footprints so that the buildings sit inside.

This allows the buildings to sit down inside the sidewalks, leaving no visible space and not allowing any light cracks for illumitated structures.  I paint the sidewalks gray and then pencil in sidewalk lines.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Shenandoah Valley The Home Of Patsy Cline
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Posted by superbe on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 4:21 PM

Give Bar Mills preformed sidwalks a look. The curved sections are great for entrances.

I tried to upload a picture from Scenic Express, but here is a link instead.

http://www.sceneryexpress.com/HO-SCALE-SIDEWALKS-IN-A-SNAP/productinfo/BM0682/

Bob

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 2,115 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 5:09 PM

MisterBeasley

I make my own sidewalks with sheet styrene.  I make two layers.  The first is the whole city block.  I glue it down and then fill in the roads.  The next layer is just the sidewalks, cut around the building footprints so that the buildings sit inside.

What is the brown/tan color?  What thickness styrene is this.

Looks good.

 
 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 7:58 PM

BigDaddy
What is the brown/tan color? What thickness styrene is this.

I think the styrene is .030, but I bought it a long time ago and I'm not sure.  The paint is brown acrylic craft store paint.  Those spots got ground foam and turf to look like rough grassy spots.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 9,097 posts
Posted by dknelson on Thursday, September 07, 2017 11:25 AM

There is another alternative.  In my Frugal Modeler column in the NMRA Midwest Region Waybill some years ago, I showed how I took squares of styrene the size of sidewalk segments, painted them, and then mounted them on lengths of duct tape, sticky side up.  My goal was to capture the undulating sidewalks (due to tree roots forcing up this or that sidewalk segment) that I remembered having to roller skate over as a youth.

http://www.mwr-nmra.org/region/waybill/waybill20093fall.pdf

Dave Nelson

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    February, 2013
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Posted by streetspook on Sunday, September 10, 2017 5:11 PM
Thank you Richard. I started out this layout thinking I didn't get the creative gene so I looked for ready made stuff but have found I'm not too bad, so far. I may just do what you suggest..
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Posted by streetspook on Sunday, September 10, 2017 5:13 PM
Hmm, hadn't thought of that. Thanks Jim. Probably easier to find the colors I want as well and may not have to paint everything.
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Posted by streetspook on Sunday, September 10, 2017 5:15 PM
Ed, I will take a look at the Walthers product, thanks.
  • Member since
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  • 97 posts
Posted by streetspook on Sunday, September 10, 2017 5:22 PM
SP, thanks. I haven't seen this company before and may use them for a number of things.
  • Member since
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  • 97 posts
Posted by streetspook on Sunday, September 10, 2017 5:28 PM
Thanks, Mr. B. My town is about 4' long by 2' wide so I'm not sure if the 8x11 sheets will work for me but I'm going to take a look at it.
  • Member since
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  • 97 posts
Posted by streetspook on Sunday, September 10, 2017 5:31 PM
Thanks, Bob. I'll check them out.
  • Member since
    February, 2013
  • 97 posts
Posted by streetspook on Sunday, September 10, 2017 5:35 PM
Thanks Dave.

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