Thursday, November 15, 2018

Cheap And Easy Dirt Roads Tutorial

When it comes to wargaming I'm all set with paved roads for cities with the roads from World Works Games Streets Of Mayhem set but I have no dirt roads so I'm going to make some and show you how I did it.

Before I begin I have to say that this method of dirt road construction is something I stole borrowed from Lindebeige who has a great blog and a great YouTube channel.

When I decided I needed some dirt roads at first I thought that I would construct them with a solid base made of MDF like I did with my barbed wire fences but instead I decided to go with a less rigid style so I could have the road go up and down hills and the like. That's when I remembered the tutorial Lindebeige made for constructing dirt roads.

It is a very simple method, all you need is some old cloth and caulk. When you buy the caulk make sure it is the acrylic kind because paint won't stick to the silicone based caulk. For the cloth, all you need is an old t-shirt. Of course, you'll also need a pair of scissors for cutting and paint. You don't have to use a caulking gun but they are pretty cheap and make the job a lot easier.

First, you'll need to cut up some of the cloth into road shaped sizes. I kept the width around 3 1/2 inches as that looked about right for me, two cars could go side by side but only one take at a time (these roads will work for other scales but i'm making mine for 28mm miniatures). I didn't worry about the length of the roads, I just used the whole length of the pieces of cloth.

Once the pieces are cut to the sizes you want to take your caulk and spread it on top of the cloth.

Once you shoot the cloth with caulk I took a small piece of cardboard and used that to spread the caulk all over the cloth. I found that this gave the road some texture to it and allowed me to skip Lindebeige's step of making impressions while the caulk was drying. Also, I found that once the caulk dried on the cardboard it made the roads look even better.

Once the caulk was dry I found it easier to cut the roads into pieces than it was when just cutting the cloth. When I was cutting the roads I made sure that the ends were 3 1/2 inches wide so that when they meet another piece they matched but I wasn't too worried about the middle of the roads since dirt roads aren't completely straight like a city road.

Once all the pieces are cut to the desired sized it's time for paint. I took some brown paint and covered all the road pieces. I found that I needed two coats to even the brown out. Once the paint was dried I mixed some white in with the brown and painted on a highlight coat. After that, your roads are all set for battle.

But wait there's more! The back side of the roads didn't have caulk on them so they are pretty flat. I took some black paint and painted the other side so now I have dirt roads on one side and paved roads on the other. These paved sides work great for any non-city paved road from the last 100 years.

These roads are easy to make and look great on any wargaming table. Not counting the caulk and paint drying these roads didn't take very long to make and the materials needed to construct them were cheap. The shirt was free and the caulk cost $1.50 at Wal-Mart and once can will do more than one shirt. If you need some rural roads this is a cheap and easy way so give it a try.

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