Modelling A Simple Roadworks Scene in OO / 1:76

Modelling A Simple Roadworks Scene in OO / 1:76

Roadworks are everywhere! As I write this, our local council are currently in the process of resurfacing the road outside our house and they'll be at it for a good few days. So roadworks make a great subject to bring a small diorama or model railway layout to life. They can be added to any existing street scene to add a little extra interest, or you can go to town and build a whole diorama around them.

So in this update, we're going to look at a simple way in which you can create a small roadworks scene in under an hour & we're going to build the diorama on one of our micro-bases then it'll go on display in our showroom downstairs here at SMS HQ.  We've chosen half a dozen, affordable items from our range to help you get maximum impact for minimal cost.

Let's get to work…

Step 1: Cover the micro-base with Asphalt Paper

The first step is to cover the MDF base with a suitable texture paper. We've chosen to TX158-OO Weathered Asphalt Paper for this job, coating the top of the base in UHU before pressing it firmly onto the unprinted side of one of the Asphalt Paper Sheets. Once the glue had dried, we carefully trimmed the excess paper away with a sharp craft knife.

Step 2: Paint The Pavement

For our pavement, we've used a small arced section of our LX217-OO Laser Cut Paving. It's nice and easy to work with and can be easily painted and weathered with acrylic paints. You could use slabbed pavement paper instead if you prefer. For this exercise, we first painted the MDF pavement with a light coat of grey paint (Wilko's Flintstone Emulsion Tester), then gave it a very light, almost dry-brushed coat of white acrylic paint to give it a light-ish concrete colour.

Step 3:  Weather The Roadway

The asphalt texture on its own is a little bland for our scene. It's great for large areas of road and car parks, but for our scene, we need to make it a bit more moody. So we used a soft artist's pencil (A budget 6B pencil from Hobbycraft).  We marked lightly roughly where the edge of the pavement would be… then just scribbled with the pencil to create a much darker area of grey close to the pavement edge.

Step 4: Get Smudging!

Blending the pencil into the asphalt is quite tricky just by scribbling… but smudging with your fingertip works an absolute treat.

Step 5:  And A Bit More Smudging

After smudging the pencil all over the asphalt, we then wiped the excess onto the pavement section too. This highlighted the joints in the slabs nicely… a bit like weathering powder, but really subtle.

Step 6: Glue The Pavement Into Position

The completed pavement section was then glued onto the micro-base using Deluxe Laser Cut Kit Glue, lining up the pavement edge with our smudged pencil weathering.

Step 7: Paint & Weather Manholes & Drains

Next up, a laser-cut drain grid & manhole covers from our MP350-OO Manholes & Drains were given a coat of black acrylic paint, followed by a dark red/brown to give them what I can only describe as a “mature rust” finish.

Step 8: Glue The Manhole Cover & Drain Grid Into Place

The completed manhole cover & drain grid were then glued into place with a little Deluxe Materials Laser Cut Kit Glue. Note, the area underneath the drain grid was painted black to give the appearance of there actually being a drain there. Otherwise, the asphalt texture would just show through and it would look a bit weird.

Step 9: Paint Up The Roadworks Barriers

The next step was to paint up a set of our MP023-OO Roadworks Safety Barriers. The main barriers were painted with red artists' acrylics. The feet were coloured with a simple black marker while still on the sheet.

Step 10: Assemble The Barriers

The barriers are nice and simple to assemble, but you will most likely need tweezers. The feet simply push onto the base of the barriers, locating into the slots. Secure with a tiny drop of Laser Cut Kit Glue and then touch up any exposed areas of laserboard on the feet with a little black acrylic paint.

Step 11: Complete The Barriers With The Reflective Strips

To complete the barriers, the paper reflective strips were added to both sides of the barriers using a little laser-cut kit glue.

Step 12: Add A Little Aggregate…

To create a central focal point for our micro-diorama, we used one of our spare AX175-OO Blue & Yellow Bulk Bags which we'd built for a previous diorama. The bag was filled with our Mid Grey Ballast and the ballast was secured in place with a few drops of Deluxe Materials Ballast Bond (watered-down PVA will work too). The completed back was then glued into place on the pavement.

Step 13: Safety First…

To complete this simple diorama, the completed MP023-OO Roadworks Safety Barriers were arranged around the bulk bag and then secured in place with a drop or two of Laser Cut Kit Glue.

It's all in the detail…

As with most scenes on your model railway layouts and dioramas, it's the little details that make all the difference. Adding manholes & drains adds an extra dynamic to a simple scene like this, compared to a plain section of road. The bulk bag could easily be replaced with a pile of ballast or earth, a couple of cable drums & maybe a wheelbarrow. The choice is yours. But it can transform a simple road scene into something with a little more atmosphere and dynamics with just a handful of accessories and an hour or so one evening.

Shopping List

Here's a list of everything we've used to create this micro-diorama in OO gauge / 1:76.

We've also made the circular plinths available in our shop now too. They make great bases for practising your modelling skills as well as displaying diecast cars, model figures, wargaming figures and more.

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