How to Make a Miniature Road

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Miniature roads are an important part of wargames scenery and dioramas.
Miniature roads are an important part of wargames scenery and dioramas. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Whether you're building terrain for miniature wargames, designing a model railroad layout, or building a diorama for a school project, making roads for your scenic layout is an important part of creating a convincing scene. If you're building a permanent display, you can affix your miniature road directly to the ground, but you can also make modular roads which can be combined to create different layouts. Either way, the techniques and materials are fundamentally similar.

Things You'll Need

  • Drawing materials
  • Foamboard, fiberboard or card
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • PVA glue
  • Masking tape
  • Sandpaper or emery paper
  • Basing material (modeling gravel or sand, static grass)
  • Acrylic paints and brushes

Sketch a plan of your road layout. At this stage, you will also decide what size you want your road sections to be. The size of the model vehicles you use and the amount of space you have available will determine the size of the model roads.

Draw the outline of your road sections on a sheet of foamboard, card or fiberboard, then cut them out using a craft knife and ruler. This layer will serve as the base of the road

Outline and cut the second layer of your road. The shape of this layer depends on the type of road you're building. If you're designing a modern paved road, the second layer will be narrower than the bottom layer. If you're designing a dirt road or track, the second layer will be high along the outsides of the first, with the road sunk between its banks.

Glue the second layer to the first with PVA glue. You may want to hold the pieces in place with masking tape while the glue dries.

Add a textured material to the road surface and shoulder. For modern asphalt roads, glue a sheet of emery paper or sandpaper to the road surface. For other types of road, use a textured material such as sand or gravel.

Add texture to the shoulder of the road. Add basing material to the edge of the second layer so that it slopes smoothly. For a modern road, add gravel to the shoulder. For a primitive road, texture the edge of the road with sand or grass.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful when using a craft knife. Cut on a safe surface and make all cuts away from your body.

References

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