Curb Appeal, Part Three


Finishing up US Highway 6, a major arterial thoroughfare in Iowa City, and the first road constructed for The Hills Line. Last time I built out the curbs, medians, and other elements. On this entry we’ll paint and detail the road to match the prototype.


My weapons of choice are, as always, whatever cheap and available spray and craft paints I can easily locate, along with an India Ink/Rubbing Alcohol weathering wash. The Testors Flat Light Aircraft Gray is the same color used as the base coat when painting track. The Rustoleum Gray Primer will also be used to coat the trees on the layout, once I get to that point.


After the road segments are painted with the gray primer, the curbs and medians are masked off and sprayed with the aircraft gray. Unweathered the colors are a bit stark, but once weathered they’ll blend together while still representing the separate construction materials of concrete and asphalt.


The Walthers Grade Crossing segments are also painted aircraft gray. In the past I had painted the individual panel edges to match the prototype look, but was never happy with the outcome. This time I’m going to try with just weathering to bring out the details.


Road striping and lane markers are painted by hand using micro brushes and craft paints. The craft paint leaves a opaque, almost mottled look for the striping, which to my eye is much closer to what we see roadside.


For weathering, I follow the steps that Lance Mindheim outlined on his site for roads. I load up my airbrush with the India Ink wash and lightly fog over everything, paying close attention to the direction of traffic on the road.


The road is installed on the foam roadbed, checked one last time for alignment and clearance at the grade crossing, and glued down with adhesive caulk. As a finishing move, I further weather the road using PanPastels as well as blend the backdrop photo and foreground together to complete the scene.


With that… US Highway 6 is ready to roll on The Hills Line. No foolin’!





3 thoughts on “Curb Appeal, Part Three

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.