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Building A Street and Sidewalk??

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  • Member since
    January 2018
  • 153 posts
Building A Street and Sidewalk??
Posted by kenben on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 7:34 PM

I have 3 structures that are going to be on a street on my HO layout. The foundation is plywood. I'll be using Woodlands Smooth-it for the street and sidewalks. But what is the best way to pour Smooth-it to achive the thickness or the street and then the height of the sidewalk? The structures will be sitting on top of the sidewalk so I guess I'll pour a foundation where the edges of the structures sit.

Thoughts?

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,264 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 3:31 AM

kenben
But what is the best way to pour Smooth-it to achive the thickness or the street and then the height of the sidewalk?

It seems to me that you'll need forms, just like the prototype uses, to contain the pour for the road, and then again for the sidewalks.

I opted to use sheet styrene for both the streets and sidewalks, and used 4'x8' sheets of .060" styrene.  I also use it for scratchbuilding structures and some parts of rolling stock, and am working on, I think, either my 6th or 7th sheet.

Here are a few photos...

This one's quite recent, and is only partially done...

...where there are railway crossings on the city streets, they're also done with styrene...

Most of my "paved" streets are flat, but it's also possible to crown the pavement  if you wish, as seen below...

...a simple strip of styrene under the "pavement" creates the crown, and, as you can see, the sidewalks sit atop the piece used for the pavement.  The .060" thickness is approximately equal to about 5.5" in HO scale, fairly close to the height of many urban sidewalks.

I have used drywall mud to make some roads in samller towns, but it's too soft, and posing vehicles on it often rubs off the paint...hence the pavement repairs...

...and some gravel roads too...

I use a straight edge and a utility knife to cut the sheet styrene, and for the sidewalks, use either the utility knife or an X-Acto to create the expansion joints in the sidewalks...one pass with the blade, then a couple more passes with the back of the blade to make it more noticeable.

In most cases, the styrene-paved roads are on plywood, with contact cement holding it in place.  The sidewalks are cemented atop the overly-wide edges of the pavement (as in the end-view a few photos up) using solvent-type cement.

The drywall-mud roads in the small towns are added atop the scenic landforms, which are made using Durabond 90 patching plaster over aluminum screen - that sub-strata is very hard and strong, so those roads general follow the contours of the "ground".

I'm not suggesting that you skip the Smooth-It, but simply offering an alternative.

Wayne

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,106 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 7:26 AM

doctorwayne
 
kenben
But what is the best way to pour Smooth-it to achive the thickness or the street and then the height of the sidewalk? 

It seems to me that you'll need forms, just like the prototype uses, to contain the pour for the road, and then again for the sidewalks.

Exactly what I was thinking but, as always, Wayne was quicker on the draw. So, +1.  Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,561 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 7:57 AM

I have had good results using these sidewalks made by Smalltown USA. They have alley and driveway entrances and pretty good detail.

The way streets are built now, the curbs are cast and finished first. The curbs set the elevations and drainage for the road. Then the baserock is mixed, compacted, and finally paved.

I build my model streets a similar way. I put these curbs in place, then use drywall joint compound that has been tinted and mixed with filter sand, to form the roadway surface. I used a semi-riged wet sponge sander to make the final roadway profile.

I have the sidewalks and roadways done before any buildings are permanently mounted.

-Kevin

Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    July 2021
  • 35 posts
Posted by NorthsideChi on Thursday, October 14, 2021 2:50 PM

I also use the small town USA sidewalks. I spraypaint them with a rustoleum flat antique gray and brush paint a few individual squares for repaired slabs and then brush over it all with a brown charcoal chalk (on paper towel) you can get from an art supply store.  Havent put down any roads yet, but I saw one great example on YouTube where they actually painted flat sheets of trackbed cork with dark gray  flat paint and it looked just like asphalt textures

  • Member since
    January 2018
  • 153 posts
Posted by kenben on Saturday, October 16, 2021 1:23 PM

Thanks for all the feedback, tips and ideas.

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