Being a treatise on VSF and Mars, and on 19th Century colonial warfare in general

(with a nod towards Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan, lest I take myself too seriously)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Roads

Yeah, I know, not the stuff to set the heather on fire, but I thought I would share a clever little thing I found in our local Auchan supermarket just before Christmas.

Upper and underside
It's made by MyVillage (see myvillage.nl, but they don't appear to do mail order) who specialise in making bits for twee model christmassy villages as seasonal decorations.

Basically it's bits of gravel stuck to a rubberised underlay.  No doubt railway modellers have known about this stuff for years, but it was a revelation to me.







4cm strips
It's sold in strips of approximately 14cm x 30 cm - although the edges are pretty rough and need trimming if you want a straight edge, as I did, so be prepared to lose some of the width.



Cutting from the rubberised side (I decided on some 4cm-wide strips) is fairly straightforward, although it is not kind to your blades as you are constantly scraping against the gravel.  In all of the cutting process I didn't lose any of the gravel that I didn't deliberately remove, so there shouldn't be too much of a worry over longevity.







Closeup

It looks good from a distance, and close up has it a pleasing rocky/cobbled surface.




What you have then is a fairly weighty material, that is unlikely to move when placed on a rough surface, and it doesn't really require any further finishing.  I have plans to cut X- and Y-junctions and curves to allow the pieces to join up easily.

If my memory serves me well, they were €3.99 per strip, so not a bad investment for just under 1metre of road.





Over hill and down dale



But the kicker is how it shapes itself over terrain, as shown in the next photo - this is two sections butted together on the top of the hill.  As you can see, it draped rather nicely thanks to its own weight, and required no mucking about on my part.












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