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Pavements or Sidewalks
(to our American Friends)

Scratch Building Article by Ian Sadler IPMS UK Armour TAS Leader

Research firstly, there are many different types and styles of pavement used in countries. You have to study closely the type and style for not only the country concerned but also for the correct period in history.

To give a few examples of types used, the first type is earth packed down with an edging from stone or wooden logs, sometimes split and sometimes whole.

Next is the wooden paved type with slit logs laid crossways or in some cases long ways held in place by a log driven into the ground vertical along the edges at intervals, used in East European country still to this day.

Raised wooden slatted pavement similar to those found in Westerns.

Then come the early narrow ones paved with single flagstones and edged with rough kerbstones, use in Greek and Roman times. Still in use today in parts of the Middle East.

Next is the early European style and this has an edging stone next to the building and then stone sets laid in a pattern which can be herringbone or in rows then a kerbstone. These are usually only 2ft-6in to 3ft wide, very Victorian in period.

We then move onto the wider pavement with flagstones and edging made from local stone usually in the mid 1800's, these can be from 3ft up to 30ft wide.

We then have the Tarmac and concrete edged pavements of the modern pavements.

This is a brief outline and does not cover all types and styles, but give you a basis for your research.

The type I am going to describe is the typical Western European style used from the 1700's to present day. However parts of Europe have their own style of narrow pavements, which are normally found in the small villages. These are based on the Roman style but updated in the materials.

Mark out an area on the baseboard of your diorama and measure it up, you need the length and width. Then find among your scrap pieces of sprue a piece that fits roughly to the dimensions. Try to find a piece that has at least one end rounded to from a corner.

If you are making a section that follows on round the corner you will need a second straight piece of the same width.


Front face

Place it on the modelling board and trim to shape but do not glue it down. Fill in any large gaps with straight pieces of scrap sprue and glue in place. Then take a sheet of plastic card 30th thick and cut a strip about 22mm wide along the longest side. Then cut into separate pavement sections about 17mm wide, to start with only about 10.

Glue the first pavement flag onto the corner section overlapping the rounded part of the sprue. Then turn the next flag 90 degrees and glue along side the first. You should now have a stagger along the front edge, repeat this till all the originals is used up. Depending on how wide you make your pavement you may need 3 or 4 strips to fill it in.

Now cut each separate flag to fill in the gaps at the rear of the last set of flags. Do not worry if they overlap the back edge.

Leave to dry at least two or three days, Now trim the rounded edge on the first flag and all along the front edge. Next measure the total height of the paved area and cut two strips from 40th plastic card. Starting at the corner end glue and bend the first strip along the front edge of the sprue. You will most likely need clamps to hold it in place, again leave to set hard, Then starting at the same corner glue the second strip on the front face of the first. This is to form the kerbstones, leave to harden off at least a week.

Now round off the top edge of kerbstones to give a stone edge profile. When satisfied mark off vertical lines every 3ft in scale up and over the top of the kerbstone and scribe in.


Reverse side

Trim off any overlapping sections at the rear of the pavement and for a little time and effort you have your own pavement. The same procedure can be adopted for any of the styles or types in the first part of the article. Note nothing works better for wood than real wood.

Go on give it a go, see the scans of real examples accompanying this brief article.

Last updated 08 December 2007

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July 2009, Milton Keynes Scale Model Club