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!
Sidewalks look great! I have basically a huge diorama going for my HO scale train set that pretty much takes up my entire foyer on a extra large sheet of plywood so I’m not at a place I can use spray paint. How can I get that same look? I’m using polystyrene and have cut to size so really people know what it is regardless of paint but I’ve tried dry brushing gray, then white, then brown/tan and then black and it doesn’t come close to looking as good as yours. Well you didn’t use any browns 🤦🏼♀️ That’s probably why? Thank you so much for sharing yours and how you did it. I shall turn my polystyrene over and try again your way LOL
I started with an HO layout years ago, and I used the same technique above. You don’t need to use spray paint, just start with a brushed on gray color. I would mask the surrounding areas on your layout with tape so they don’t get painted over because the technique I use is pretty messy. Just add layers and layers of grays, tans, and white, with a sponge. Let some of the layers dry in between the next layer and you’ll be able to get some great effects. Give it a try!