Flexible roads are one of those things I've wanted to have a go at for years, but have never quite gotten round to trying. My stop gap measure and one that has worked perfectly well for years, has been my felt cloth roads that I've used for Bloody Big Battles and on occasion Honours of War. Whilst the work really well they lack a certain aesthetic alongside my other terrain.
So last night with an hour to kill and not in the mood for painting, I decided to have a go at making some flexible roads, using one of my felt ones as a basis. The following photos will show you how I went about making a trial piece.
|The basic felt road, which is 1" wide and 12" long. Also seen are some pva glue (the one builders use for mixing in wide cement, plaster etc) and some beige water based emulsion paint.|
|I then added some very fine sand in the middle section, the sort you find for children's sand pits, then some of my usual basing mix to the left hand section. This was then left to dry overnight.|
|The result in the morning after the lose sand and grit had been removed. As you can see, the finer sand has stuck to the pva on the backing sheet, but this was easily removed.|
|I then gave everything a simple drybrush, using the beige emulsion as a basecoat. some highlights were added and a few darker bits on the middle section.|
|My standard grit mix, whilst fine, is too coarse for a road surface but would work well for 28mm figures and vehicles.|
|The fine sand mix worked a treat and with more TLC, would look pretty good I think.|
|Some drybrushed felt that looks like, well, drybrushed felt!|
|The proof of the pudding so to speak. The test is pretty flexible, even over a relatively sharp edge as can be seen here.|
|The only down side, if one can call it that, is that it leaves a gap, as can be seen here, which you don't get with purely felt roads. However some addition of pieces of lichen would cover this up and not look out of place.|
So my verdict? The test worked as well as I hoped it would, even for a quick paint job, it looked pretty good. The main question going forward is do I really need to make roads like this when i rarely use them going over a hill, given that I have perfectly usable mdf roads as it is? I need to have a think on this as as always, my time should be spent on painting figures rather than making more terrain!
For another approach that works equally well and with probably less effort, check out Jon Bleasdale's Blog to see how he approached this subject. I think you'll agree that it's pretty damned effective.
Thoughts on a postcard and as always, keep healthy and stay safe!