Joppa Iron Works
A Fracture in History

Weathering Creatology Foam Roads

March 3rd, 2012

Up to now I have been a big proponent of this method for making roads, but have had few chances to actually weather the stuff beyond a few selected places on my railroad. Rather than just blow off hot air, this time I am going to show the process.

So with no further ado, I chose a section that needed weathering (beyond dust) and documented what I did with my handy camera- usually I shoot later and regret it, but decided to document it here. This is the beginning shot of the area – it is on the side of the railroad that you see when you enter the train room. As I am still detailing, there are no crossing signals yet and more detail is needed, but you’ll get the drift.


I have had these weathering chalks forever – and if you recognize who made them let me know so I can get more. Recently in MRH I saw someone with the same chalks and made me think to ask here. The colors here are white, grey, and two shades of brown.

Using a knife blade I scratched off chalk over the section I am weathering letting the dust fall where it will. For the dirty edges of the road I am using brown, and for the middle of the road white and grey. Here it is before working it in with a brush:


After the above step I use a trash 2″ brush from any big box store to work the chalk into the roadbed:


On the dirt sections I press the brush down and in circles. It creates a chalk smudge near the edge of the road that matches my dirt that was glued down much earlier. Here is what the smudges look like prior to streaking the road:


Now it is beginning to look like something! It looks like old muddy leftover crud from a rain that washed onto the road – or old dusty dirt that has spilled onto the street. I am not sure that you can overdo something like this. Now for the next step I smudge the chalk into the direction of traffic travel – back and forth until all of the little specks of chalk have been worked into the foam road bed:


In the picture above I tweaked the contrast a bit to exaggerate what you see on the road. Here are more pictures:





I hope that someone else tries this out and has a good experience with it. When I looked at the amount of street I wanted on my railroad and the cost of commercial products, I was either going to do something else less expensive or re-think the whole city approach. Glad I found this inexpensive way to create streets!


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