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Diether Etzel

Asphalt
Creating a believable road surface in 1:35
The making of the road for the Noordhoek POW diorama
 

I found the most effective way of recreating an asphalt surface in 1:35 is to follow the basic layers of textures as in real life.

Before I started with the road surface, I glued course (HO scale ballast) gravel on the shoulder using matt white glue.

 

(photo 1) Spread a layer of contact adhesive onto the surface to be "asphalted"
(photo 2) Whilst the contact adhesive is still tacky, spread a layer of course gravel over it and firmly roll it down with a hard rubber roller.
   

Using an artist's palette knife, spread a thickish layer of artist's glazing medium over the surface.

Make sure there is a distinct break between the gravel of the shoulder and the "asphalt".



Real 1:1 reference picture.


Allow the glazing medium to dry for at least 24 hours.



Mix the top coat from of a finer gravel mixed with matt glazing medium and Tamiya NATO black. Spread this on top in a thin layer. Remember that shoulder break!



If you want to simulate pot holes or surface damage, now is the time to create these by leaving some substrate exposed.
 

(photo 1) More of the broken shoulder (before pigmenting soil) on my model.
(photo 2) Real life 1:1 reference picture showing brown soil and the typical sea sand on the verges of roads along Noordhoek.
   

(photo 1) Use various soil coloured pigments to recreate this.
(photo 2) Also add in some washed in debris.
 

photo 1. At this stage I used a Dremel tool to grind out some patches to reflect road maintenance. The patches have a slightly higher content of Tamiya NATO Black so that they look newer than the rest of the surface.
photo 2. Road surface completed.



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