The Quest for “Perfect” Pavement


Not always, but on occasion the quest for “perfection” is worth the end result.  The quest for the perfect burger, bowl of chili, or cup of coffee being notable examples.  In model railroading the quest for “perfect” pavement pays dividends from the standpoint that roadways are such a common feature.  Unfortunately they aren’t that easy to model effectively and we are so used to seeing them in our day to day lives that if we get it wrong it’s apparent.  The streets along the LAJ are a particularly distinctive patchwork of old concrete and multi-color shades of faded asphalt patches.  On top of all that are distinctive road markings and lettering fonts.

I’m going to fall back on the tried and true photo laminate technique to see if I can get this to work as well as it did for the structures.  The biggest challenge is getting the images themselves.  With a little practice I’ve found I can go to Google Streetview, “point the camera down” and capture the image.  Perspective is then corrected in photo shop.  You can’t get too aggressive as only ten or twenty scale feet will be in focus.  Initial tests are promising.  The other challenge will be hiding the joints between sheets of photo paper.


Here’s the result of today’s work capturing the pavement and around South Maywood and Everett Avenues.


Here’s the image in place.  It looks promising.  I’ll probably want to wait until after the ballast and scenery is done before permanently putting the roads down so as to keep water off of the paper.