Category Archives: scenery

More roads…and the attic gets some storage!

Despite having a nightmare day with the kids I managed to get the batch of vinyl roads finished and put together a howto, try out the magnetic foam roads, get the Helmer units put together and find time to sit down and write this lot up! I’ve still got to log in to work to run some database updates but that can wait 🙂

First up, the vinyl roads.

1. Cut the tile into 40mm side strips and then cut any curves, junctions required. Peel off the paper backing to reveal the adhesive and lay them all out. Then scatter the lot with a mix of fine and medium model railway ballast.


 And as you can see, I had a helping hand from my daughter. She insisted and it was easier to say yes!

2. To make sure the ballast is well fixed, use a spare spray can as a roller and make sure it’s all well stuck. Don’t press too hard though as the ballast seems to ‘powder’ under heavy pressure!


3. Once it’s had a little time to dry in, adjourn to a suitably open space…

 …and spray the lot with Army Painter Leather Brown

4. I’d intended taking a pre and post grass picture but didn’t have the camera to hand during the first session but basically, a good dry brush with my mid-brown and then a top brush with a cream/off-white. And then PVA and my standard static grass to give it some contrast.


I’d decided to add some bits of bush but I’m not sure it’s necessary and may make storage a but harder as they’ll not stack as well

5. Finally I sprayed the lot with matt varnish. I’ll likely try the PVA mix other people have suggested on the next batch of scenery.

Overall, quite pleased with them. Not sure how they’ll hold up to regular use, but that’s unlikely to be an issue with the number of games I play!

Following the suggestions of a few people on other forums/blogs I picked up some magnetic backed grey foam sheets. This was to use as modern tarmac roads. The easy option is to just cut it into strips and use as is. But that’s too easy for me! So, I’ve tried to add a verge (no grass on yet) and some white lines. These latter were problematic. I used a white gel pen and it doesn’t take too well to the foam, but not too bad though. It would also have helped if I’d got the lines in the right place!


This gives a view of the thickness of the foam. Although the magnetic basing adds to the thickness, it also makes it more robust and the added weight helps hold it on place.

I was almost tempted by the idea of coating my boards with sheet metal as then the roads would ‘stick’ in place! Again, I’m not sure on how tough the foam will be but it should be OK. And for 49p a sheet it’s a bargain! These roads are 35mm wide. I may still do the main batch in 30mm wide. And I also need to look into what the correct road markings should be!

And finally, to conclude this lengthy Sunday night post, I made up the Ikea HELMER drawer units. Given the amount of thin steel and sharp edges involved I only managed to draw blood once! They are a great little find (£20 each). I’m going to line each drawer with a non-lip sheet, and maybe make up some compartments to separate stuff. It would also be useful to have some holed ‘panels’ to store Vallejo pots upside down. I think this may help the issue I have of the ‘dropper’ drying out and blocking up.

As you can see, the desk is a little cluttered

 The plan is to move the two units under the left side of the desk

 So there we have it. Some progress of sorts. I now need to decide how many credits I can claim for the various roads pieces?

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On a road to nowhere…

Well, eventually I suppose it will go somewhere. And for these poor Carthaginians this one definitely doesn’t lead to Rome! Anyway, my visit last weekend to Poundland/Poundworld was a bit of a disaster when looking for magnetic paper etc. but I did end up picking up a pack of four vinyl floor tiles for, obviously, a pound!

Now my first test with these is to use them for roads. They are fairly thin, flexible and the ones I bought were wood effect with six 50mm strips so you don’t even have to measure to cut, just cut along the line, with scissors if you want a rougher edge.  So I cut one strip. The tiles are self-adhesive so just peel off the paper and then scatter ballast material/sand (I used the former in fine and medium mixes) over the adhesive. I then used a spray can to roll over the top to press the sand in place. Let it dry.

I had intended spraying adhesive over this as well but the stuff I have seems to come out in strands so was no good! Instead I just sprayed the whole thing with Army Painter leather brown spray. Let it dry properly, then dry brushed to match the bases I use for my figures. Then PVA along both edges and flock to give a grass verge. Once dry, spray the lot with matt varnish to seal it.

And we have:


It’s thin, flexible and I should get 6ft out of one tile! The others will provide some curves, junctions etc. Then I plan to do some thinner strips, use a very fine sand/ballast, spray black and dry brush grey for modern roads for my micro-armour. And then a few more for fields/rough ground.

Not too bad really for a pound…

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