Since I wanted to use the layout to showcase Lyforms Small-Scale model kits, I chose not to get too fancy with the scenery. I wanted to all for easy "resets" so that I could change the scenery when I wanted to without much difficulty. And, because I would be stowing the layout out of the way on end, I had to be able to take the scenery down to minimize damaging it while moving and stowing it. There would be no simulated hills or valleys. Everything would be flat.
I went for an urban landscape with a 4 lane road running the width of the layout (4ft) and a 2 lane road down the height of the layout (2ft). Both would run right down down the center forming a "+" shape and simulate a suburban style intersection surrounded by commercial businesses. This meant that a lot of pavement would be required, so I marked out the dimensions for the roads and then spread out drywall spackling directly on the surface of the plywood. I used the type that goes on pink and turns white when dried. Not only would this provide the pavement texture for the streets, but it would also provide the pavement for the commercial buildings surrounding the streets.
The Kato Unitrack had a built in track bed that raises the tracks a centimeter or two, so I cut some pieces of foam board and combined them with layers of spackle to raise the roads to the same level of the tracks to create a crossing. I also cut slender pieces of foam board to go in between the tracks to complete the crossings.
After the spackle dried (no more pink!), it was painted using a mixture of Woodland Scenics Top Coat Pavement and Asphalt colors. This took several coats to get the color that I wanted. I intentionally used several different shades of the color to simulate all of the different surfaces and patching that is seen in the real world. I also used chalk and dry brushing to further weather the surfaces.
The cool thing about using spackle is that it simulates pavement services quite well. That means that imperfections can be enhanced to simulate real cracks and pot holes. Flat black paint and a fine tipped paint brush was used to make some of them stand out. A black ball point pen was used to create new cracks.
Pavement markings for the streets were created by using the Lyforms Small-Scale Pavement Stencils and fine tipped paint pens. The Lyforms Small-Scale Pavement Stencils are small 2mm thick sheets of plastic that contain a variety of street markings that are commonly found in the United States. I was able to use them to create the yellow double lines, white dashed lines, turn lane arrows, and railroad crossing markings seen in the photos. They were also used to create the yellow lines for parking spaces, both regular and handicapped, in the parking lots for the commercial businesses. I was quite pleased with the way that they came out. And after a little weathering was applied to them, they looked even better!
Please come back to read my next post where I'll share more about my approach to scenery!