Yancy Street is an older neighborhood that hasn’t had their sidewalks redone in a while, so I needed to rough them up a bit.
The initial gray base color was achieved with black and white spray paint applied in a random fashion. Some areas are darker than others.
Once the paint was dry, I carved out the seams in the cement with a box cutter knife and a straight edge. My base is MDF which is very hard and dense, so this takes a bit of effort, but not much. If you are using styrofoam for your base, this is a much easier task. You can cut the lines in a V shape to simulate a real seam. Once I finished the seams, I carved out broken bits and cracks. Concrete sidewalks tend to crumble along the edges, so most of my efforts were focused there, but I did cut a couple of squares almost in half.
Don’t be symmetrical with this process and don’t overdo it. A little bit of cracking and crumbling can go a long way.
My favorite way to paint concrete and stonework is with an artist’s sponge. I used random shades of craft paints, ranging from browns to grays. I also use white to try and highlight a few squares, as if they were more recently repaired.
After the sponge painting is dried, here comes the scary part. I mix a small amount of black paint in some water with a drop of hand soap. This mixture is then applied over the whole thing. Scary, right?
Don’t worry, most of the black is removed with a crumpled paper towel, but the black mixture stays in those new cracks and crevices, and some stays on the flat surfaces as well.
I decided to adda small drain to give a little more visual interest. I 3D-printed this drain but you could make one out of cardboard or styrene. I carved out a little indentation with my Dremel so the drain was inset into the concrete and not sitting on top of it.
I added some more of the black wash around the drain and it’s looking pretty dirty — just what I wanted!
With just a few basic supplies and paint colors, you can easily achieve a realistic look to the sidewalks of your board game terrain or action figure diorama. Give it a try!