Sunday, 3 March 2013

Where the rubber meets the road

At CanCon I was on the hunt for roads for my games. I’ve been a fan of the Battlefront/ Gale Force 9 offerings over the past couple of years (good quality, pre-painted, reasonable price, highly durable), but their roads were disappointing in that the tank tracks (and craters) limit you to particular eras. Fernvale Specialty Scenics had their 15mm roads available at CanCon, and I picked up a set of straights, bends, junctions, ends, and a roadblock (the ends and roadblock aren't up on their store website).

The roads are made of chocolate-brown polyurethane resin, which I would call rubber. I had questions about prepping this material for painting as I hadn't used it before, but Glynn of FSS was very helpful- there's none required. His demo products at Cancon were just drybrushed once over the raw rubber before flocking. Done!

I did a test run of just drybrushing over the brown rubber resin, but it was a bit too chocolate-y for my existing baseboards (see my previous blog post). I sloshed on some Jo Sonja Raw Umber and repeated the drybrush, and PVA’d on some flock to match my existing boards.
Raw Umber vs unpainted rubber

Top: raw rubber. Bottom: drybrushed with and without a basecoat

My newly completed road network... action on a 4'x4' board
Rubber roads conform to a gentle slope.

I’m happy with the outcome. These roads are 50mm wide with extra verge. The straights are 20cm long, and the corners are 45 degrees in two different radii. They match up nicely to the GF9 bridges (sorry, no pics). I plan to mostly use these for 15mm, but they could do for 25mm narrow roads or paths.

15mm vehicles encounter a roadblock

20mm modern MBT barely fits this country lane!

25mm pikemen march down a path
I’m not sure how the rubber will stand up to storage and heat, but since FSS is based in Queensland I’m going to assume they’ll be OK! I think the road end pieces are a nice touch, and I may get more. I got two metres of straights, we’ll see if that meets my needs. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of roads I got in terms of covering a 4'x4' area. The rubber can potentially be cut if I need a shorter segment, or a different angle on a corner.

Finally, Glynn sells stickers supporting our diggers, which makes him A Good Bloke.


  1. Very nice they look to. Nice that the rubber adheres to the slopes elevation.

    1. There's no way these will slip out of position! The rubber has a lot of grip.

  2. Those are very nice looking roads Sir!

  3. Cool result! I don't normally like the look of segmented miniature roads, but these look terrific.

    1. Thanks! I think they add to the 'narrative' of the tabletop, if you know what I mean.

  4. Great job and a not too bad look.