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"Why no tape roads?" Topic

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1,226 hits since 8 Mar 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Juhan Voolaid08 Mar 2018 3:30 a.m. PST

Working on my scenery and one thing I'm struggling to find is roads. I haven't found any good solutions.

I came across this children's toy play tape road.

I am wondering, why this great innovation has not embraced by miniature hobby scene?

By that I mean:
a) It's dirt cheap. After using it, you throw it away.
b) It should be for different sizes for different scales.
c) Different artwork so It would work on different historical periods.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2018 3:48 a.m. PST

Hmm. Well, in my case, because
a) I'm not sure I can reuse it next game.
b) Somehow the road just doesn't look right for Napoleonics or AWI. And
c)They'd be 200+ meters wide with microscale WWII.

Not a bad idea. But limited application.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2018 5:08 a.m. PST

It will lift any flocking or paint off any type of felt or cloth.
The mark is permanent.

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member08 Mar 2018 5:23 a.m. PST

The Model RR hobby has tons of that stuff. You could just leave the peal off backing attached and put a dab of blue tack (or similar) to hold it in place. Another product to try might be RR Track Bed from the same sources. Both will come in strips, sheets and rolls in various scales.

Hobbylinc – example of paved roads:

Woodland Scenics – example of Track Bed:

Dynaman878908 Mar 2018 5:32 a.m. PST

It is dirt cheap since they made it in a HUGE batch run. Would it be just as cheap in the smaller run that a wargame company would have to do? (Not a statement, I have no idea if this is one of those things that scale badly based on production batch size)

Chinggis Inactive Member08 Mar 2018 5:37 a.m. PST

Or you could use wet and dry paper cut to size with bits of blue tac at atrategic places. Works just as well, is cheap and re-usable. Glasspaper work for unmetalled roads as well.

RudyNelson08 Mar 2018 7:33 a.m. PST

Old news. We used tape for toads back in the 1970s. You could even get blue tape for streams or rivers.
There were tapes of different widths which determined if they could be used for 1/285, 15mm or 25mm.
Colors from black brown to blue, green and red.
The unusual colors could be used for minefields, boundaries for rough or woods, and supply points.
These were the days of imagination and making due with what was available.

Rich Bliss08 Mar 2018 7:40 a.m. PST

I still use masking tape for roads. Dirt cheap and easy to lay out.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Mar 2018 7:44 a.m. PST

First, $14 for less than 6' of road is not what I would call "dirt cheap." The product you link to gets you 33 INCHES per roll, 66 inches total. Not even enough for one road running across a 6' table.

Second, I'd say because there already exist far, far superior solutions to the problem.

For dirt roads use….dirt. Go to a baseball infield with a coffee can and collect a cup or two. Strain. You now have enough fine clay soil for a couple hundred games. Free. Biodegradable. Shakes off easily from carpets and mats.

For gravel roads use railroad ballast. Like dirt but will cost you $10 USD other wise, see dirt above (we pic ours up with a small vaccum and re-use).

For paved roads use print and play paper. With this you get curves, car parks, etc. in any scale you choose simply by printing at various sizes.

This play tape, by comparison, has no curves. Is one time use.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Mar 2018 7:45 a.m. PST

Ans +1 Dynaman – no wargaming company could hit the print runs needed to make that tape affordable. And again, what about curves?

comstarhpg08 Mar 2018 8:03 a.m. PST

Well it's not that bad for modern games but agreed it not suitable for anything vaguely historical.
As to size it's 33' not 33" is a typo.
There are curves but only tight ones and I found several others with varied widths.
Only other issue for me is its not shipped to the UK!
Cheers Matt

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian08 Mar 2018 9:48 a.m. PST

you mean like this?


I use the 2 inch for more modern games

Mark 108 Mar 2018 11:53 a.m. PST

I used tape for roads for decades. Masking tape first, mostly for dirt roads. It is available in many widths, so I could go from wide multi-lane roads to small single-person walking paths. Lay it down, peel it up when done and toss it out.

After relying on masking tape for some time, I graduated to colored plastic or cloth tapes. Black for paved roads, brown for dirt roads (or sometimes for depressions/creek beds etc) or tan for dirt roads, blue for clear water creeks, rivers, ponds, and green for swampy areas. During this time most of my terrain elevations were placed on top of felt cloths.

Then I started using pastels. They don't work very well on felt, so I had to move to cotton cloths (canvas-level of thickness and texture, but I am told bedsheet level works as well or better). This was simultaneous with putting the terrain features under the cloth, with additional pastel coloring of terrain features, which I find works well with the cotton cloths.

Here are pics comparing the two approaches, with similar content chosen for a better comparisons:

First, North Africa comparison:

Tape and terrain elevations on top of felt.

Pastels on canvas, with terrain elevations beneath.

Second more temperate European areas:

Tape and terrain elevations on top of felt.

Pastels on canvas, with terrain elevations beneath.

I am now a full convert to pastels on cotton cloths, with elevations beneath. More varied forms of cloth (Teddy Bear fur, heavy corduroys) are used for crop fields. This is a technique I have learned from Mark Luther, who frequents this and several other forums.

(aka: Mk 1)

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2018 12:07 p.m. PST

I think it has some application for modern and post apoc games, but that is about it.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2018 12:34 p.m. PST

I don't use it because, well, it looks like tape on a battlefield.

I'm picky about my terrain though.

Perfectly happy to play on someone else's table that uses it.

MajorB08 Mar 2018 2:21 p.m. PST

I use the sanded sheets designed for bird cages. Dirt cheap, you can cut whatever size and shape you like. Leave as is or paint to taste.

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