PapaG Jun 28, 2021

  1. PapaG

    PapaG TrainBoard Member

    Hello all!

    I'm getting to the point where I have to start contemplating the construction of roads on the layout. As I'm looking into the various methods and materials, I find the use of "Smooth It" and "Top Coat Black" to be a bit daunting and am looking for a simpler approach.

    I recently saw a video (somewhere) where the modeler suggested the use of sandpaper to model asphalt roads. He was using 120 grit sandpaper for this, which I happen to have some of. But this grit is much too large for N Scale.

    So, my questions are these;

    1) Have you ever tried sandpaper to model asphalt, and what did you like/dislike about using it?

    2)What grit do you recommend using for N Scale? Its not that I'm incapable of trying several different grits to discover for this myself, I'm simply looking for ideas based on other people's successes.

    3) If you've used, or are using, sandpaper... how are you addressing joints in the sandpaper where two pieces have to butt together?

    Thanks for all of your input!
  2. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

    I have used black spray painted sandpaper as asphalt roads, and liked the results. Good for rural or residential roads.

    Experiment with finer grits, iirc I used 150 for an N scale layout. I also used a really fine mist of dark gray sprayed on from a distance to simulate aging. Actually, if you can find a really dark gray (not quite black) spray paint, all the better. Only recently laid asphalt is really black.

    Make your seams on diagonals or jagged edges and use a fine line of black paint to simulate a tar repair strip. Overlay the two road pieces by an inch and cut them together, that way they will match when you butt them together.

    Hope this helps
    mtntrainman and gmorider like this.
  3. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    I've heard of people using sandpaper for roads although I never tried it. I also heard of people using sandpaper to represent rolled roofing material.
    gmorider likes this.
  4. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

    I would go with a fine grit wet dry sandpaper for asphalt roads. Something like 600 or higher even. Take a stroll down to your local Ace or True value hardware store they should sell it by the sheet. It is already a newer asphalt color IMHO. It might need to be sprayed with a flat finish to hide the sheen though. I guess you could use fine grit regular sandpaper for dirt roads. I've only used the wet dry stuff for some roofing for DPM buildings. I make my roads out of thin plastic and airbrush the color and dry the markings with artist's colored pencils.
    mtntrainman, Shortround and MK like this.
  5. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

    I keep various grits of wet or dry paper for modeling, and I have found that the best source is one of the auto supply stores, Autozone or McWhoever they are. You can get for less than ten bucks a pack of various grits. But for my Cajon layout, I used plaster and sheetrock mud. Then painted it with grays, and toped things off with dullcoat.
    acptulsa and Shortround like this.
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I have used wet/dry autobody sandpaper. Both for roads and roofing. A finer grit. But it did need toning down, as when unused it is rather shiny.
  7. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

  8. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    I like the roll paper. The new black top here is shiney.
    If it's dull in spots - it's loss - avoid it if on two wheels. :confused:
  9. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

    I've used black wet/dry for asphalt parking lots as well as regular fine grit sandpaper for gravel parking lots. I like it because it takes weathering really well. For me the main negative is I'm not 100% happy with the way it takes paint for lines.........it has just enough texture that the paint seems to bleed a little.
    mtntrainman likes this.
  10. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

    I've used 400 grit sandpaper for my N scale roads and rooftops for years. Like Bookbear said overlap the seams and cut so it will hide the seams. I like using light grey and then give it a wash of paint to weather. Painting stripes can be a little tricky, make sure to use masking tape and use something hard on the edges to press the tape down to prevent bleeding.

    Good luck, I think you will like it.

    umtrr-author and BNSF FAN like this.

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