Model Rail (UK)
HOW TO IMPROVE RESIN PAVEMENTS
I recently bought some Bachmann Scenecraft ‘OO’ gauge pavement sections but, when I opened the packet, I realised that they were overly thick, at around 4mm. That makes them a scale 1ft tall above the road surface, so pedestrians will need to be rather agile to cross the road! Do you have any ideas about how I can make them look more realistic?
P. Hodges, by email
Peter says: The guys at Bachmann Europe inform me that the depth of the pavement sections are the minimum that can be achieved with the resin casting process, without the risk of warping or breakage. However, after a bit of experimentation, I’ve come up with a few options to minimise the height, or the perception of excess height.
Firstly, the road surface can be raised by cutting and laying strips of card or mounting board, with the resin pavement sections fixed direct to the baseboard. Most mounting board is 1.5mm or 2mm thick, so that would reduce the scale height of the pavement to a more respectable 6in.
Off-cuts of the same card could also be fixed on the other side of the pavement, to give buildings and structures a bit of a ‘leg-up’. You may need to add a couple of layers of card to get the buildings flush with the top of the pavement.
A simpler and quicker option is to paint the road surface directly onto the baseboard, while also painting half-way up the edge of the pavement’s kerbstones. I tried this approach and, from most angles, the eye is fooled into thinking that the kerb is not as tall as it actually is.
Another useful tip to improve the fit of the pavement sections is to rub the ends with an abrasive pad to ensure the mating faces are flat and square. Always wear a mask when sanding, filing or cutting resin, as the dust can be harmful. When glueing the pavement to the surface, put a dab of PVA glue on the ends, which will partially fill any remaining gaps. Wipe away any excess from the surface with a damp swab.