My late nineteenth century layout would have dirt roads traversed by horse and wagon. Automobile roads are easier. Automobile roads can be made by flattening where the wheels travel and letting grass grow down the middle. Horses tear up roads.
These prototype pictures are from the Nebraska Highway Department website. They are early horse roads. Horse roads are different. They are tore up by the horses and flattened by the wagon wheels.
This is my early road making. Furrows were put in the texture coat and painted with flat latex earth color. It makes a road similar to the above photo on the left. It is a road that is flat and requires light pull by the horses.
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This is the final road developed. A dirt road crossing and a heavy pull hill were my next attempt at road work. The road up the hill would be tore up by the horses hooves and tamped by wagon wheels.
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The stippled Talc/Paint will dry dead flat. It will look like parched dirt. This makes a road that is not receiving heavy horse traffic.
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Building the dirt crossing
I develop my terrain by making hardshell of plaster and paper towels over cardboard strips. I trowel Structolite over the hardshell. I make roads by dragging a large brush over the Structolite. The perlite particles in the Structolite cause ridges. It makes a good generic road.
Erosion channels are made into the Structolite at the bottom of the hill.
The finished Structolite road. The erosion field next to the road.
Stipple on a 50/50 mixture of Talcum powder and earth colored latex paint. Stippling is waiting until the paint is almost dry. The brush bristles are pushed into the paint. Pull the brush up and down. A texture will form caused by the bristles.
Mix a mixture of Sculptamold and earth colored latex paint. Mix it thoroughly. Get all the little balls mixed.
Trowel the mixture up against the track. Make this first part at the level of the spikes.
Trowel mixture between the rails at spike level.
I use a set of artist trowels bought a Wal-mart. They are better than the old metal ones.
Make a flangeway on the inside by dragging a trowel along the rails. I make sure there is clearance down to the spikes and as wide as the spikeheads.
I continued the road out to the layout edge with the Scultamold.
Shoulders were added with a texture paint of sand and latex paint. I sorta worked but would be changed later.
This is how the Sculptamold and paint looks when dry.
Add a second layer to build up to almost the height of the rails.
Clear space for flangeways.
Run a tool down the top of the rails to make sure the Sculptamold is below the railheads.
I stippled talc/paint onto the crossing area.
The road looked almost good. The road had grooves and roughness and the crossing was smooth. Both looked good by themselves but combined they didn't match.
I stippled on a new layer of Sculptamold/paint mixture over the whole road to make it a homogeneous mass.
The new layer of Sculptamold on top of the road.
I took a model wagon and made tracks in the damp mixture. The wagon is an old Revell chuck wagon.