N scale roads and streets

Dean’s been back in touch with a step by step on his N scale roads and streets:

“Al, cheers from Dean in New Mexico!

I recently made some more progress on my N-scale Conejos Valley Railroad and have completed the road system for the entire layout.

This includes all major roads and streets (concrete and asphalt) and a few small lessor roads (gravel). I’ll show your readers here how I did it.

I used Woodland Scenic road tape to define the major roads and their Smooth-it for the pavement. I used their gravel (finer than fine ballast) for the lessor roads.

First, I moved around some buildings that I wanted to use until I liked the arrangement; this was done before I started pouring roadbed.

Readers of my Scenic Ridge railroad will probably identify these buildings since I stole them from that layout temporarily. I’m going to rebuild them at leisure.

Here’s the arrangement I ended up with showing the building placement. Some of the buildings (six in the main village area are Woodland Scenic kits, and some are ones I built using my 3D printers).

N scale model railroad

Here’s how I put down the road tape to define the foundation for the engine house. I put down a lot of masking tape to protect the surrounding areas.

N scale roads and streets

And here I’m pouring the Smooth-it material, mixed according to the instructions (one part water to two parts powder).

 N scale roads and streets

After all the roadways and streets had cured, I cleaned them up with scrapers and sandpaper blocks. I then painted them with acrylic paints:

concrete: Apple Barrel (Amazon) Granite Gray

Asphalt: ditto plus 20% black

Finally, I aged the surfaces with graphite or chalk, and striped the pavements with very fine black or white pens.

 N scale roads and streets

Here’s what the gravel roads looked like.

 N scale roads and streets

N scale roads and streets:

I made the bridge across the river again using my 3D printer.

N scale roads and streets

model train layout

N scale roads and streets

 model train layout points

Here are some more photos showing the results for this N scale:

N scale freight

I’ve also been finishing up the track ballasting and adding scenic turf to the open areas.
model train points

N scale roads and streets

Thanks for everything you do, Al, and thanks to my viewers!


A huge big thanks to Dean for sharing his N scale roads and streets ‘how to’.

(You can see Dean’s last post here: N scale passenger station.)

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More N scale layouts here if that’s your thing.

model train answers

8 Responses to N scale roads and streets

  1. robert dale tiemann says:

    i like the tips. i may try some of them. thanks.

  2. Fred (skull ) Anderson Melbourne Australia says:

    Love Deans work in small scale.Looks very realistic for the area

  3. David Howarth says:

    Nice tips from Dean

  4. Brian Olson says:

    Great tips here!

  5. Rob McCrain says:

    The ‘Smooth-it’ road system is a good one. Excellent how-to and some good tips, Dean. Your layout is looking good, too. It is a perfect size for n scale. Rob

  6. Jim Robinson says:

    Nice concept and well-developed, proving once again that it doesn’t take a huge space to create an effective layout!

  7. Steve Ruple says:

    Awesome tips on how to make cement, asphalt and gravel roads. Thank you for sharing the “how too” and video.

  8. Bob Thompson says:

    That’s excellent work. I have the “Rio Grande” boxcar as well as the “Tropicana car”

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