I use concrete too, but my best looking and easiest roads are simply stone-impregnated roofing paper that is sprayed semi-flat black (though I do leave the downtown area in grey). You can cut realistic curves and even use it between the rails as "drive-over" strips. When painted black, the texture is perfect for asphalt. It lasts for many, many years, and if properly supported, you can walk on it without damage.
Posted By VillageRail on 06/04/2008 10:26 AM
The roofing material looks good on the ground. What kind of base are you using to tie it down?
I'm using paver stones for the walkway/roads. I'm considering painting them with road lines.
No base is necessary and this can sit right on the soil. In my downtown area, I set it on paver blocks, but these are actually rotting out from under the roofing paper.
For my gas stations, I have it sitting of ceramic tile. It can blow away in heavy winds when on the ground, but has much more tendency to blow away if it is simply sitting on pavers or tiles. You can secure it with to tiles/pavers with "goop" (crafters, plumbers, or ...)
I used 1/2" cement backer board with the textured side coated with Henry's emulsion in a R/R diorama. I have thought about doing the same
on the wood platform that I built over the end of my patio for the village main street. There is some flex when I walk on the platform, so roll
roofing might be the ticket. I have some left over from reroofing my patio.
I used concrete about 4" thick with standard rebar. That way I can walk on it and don't have to worry about frost heave.There's a page on the website if you're interested in details. I have also done a couple of country roads using about an inch of concrete with 1/4 inch mesh underlayment. When it was still wet I pressed in some of the dust from red dog to make it look "rustic."
There's been a thread on the Yahoo Largescaletrolley board that deals with making brick patterns that you might want to look at as well.
The rolled roofing is great. It also makes changing the position of your roads a piece of cake. Just lift them up and move them. Of course you have to use the same curves and such unless you buy a full roll, then you can throw away the old pieces and cut new ones. With rolled paper if you want to move the road, you don't have to be digging near your trackage with a pickaxe like with concrete!