I’m always on the lookout for cheap and fast ways to get more gaming in. And as I do more at home I find I need table supplies - mats, terrain, etc. Here is a quick and cheap way to mass produce roads. While not as nice as much of the rubber/resin pieces out there, I think they are significantly better than masking tape or strips of brown felt. And when you can mass produce them easily, all the better!
Essentially these roads are just self-adhesive safety tape painted with ordinary house paint! The tape comes in long rolls at any local DIY store. Around here it only comes in black, but that’s actually good. The black color will act as our shadow color. It has a rough texture like sandpaper to provide a non-skid surface on steps, concrete, etc.
The first step is to unroll the tape and cut it into sections. Peel off the adhesive backing and affix the strips to an old board. Now peel them off adn reaffix them several times. This will get a lot of the glue off of the back. The glue is fairly strong and you don’t want it to be peeling apart your Geo-hex or pulling all teh flocking off your table. But a little stickiness will help it hold to hills and such.
Now that the strips are laid out give them all a heavy dry brush with dark brown paint. I use ordinary house paint.
The surface of the tape is rough, like sandpaper, so it responds well to a dry-brush technique. But I would really call this a “wet-brush” technique. Rather than mere highlights, we want to cover about 90-95% of the surface area of the tape. The black should really just be an accent color. Here is what the tape looks like after the base coat has been painted:
Once the dark brown has been completed, go back and do a moderate dry brush of light brown. I used a craft paint called Light Chocolate but use whatever looks good to you, and matches the rest of your terrain.
Now all you need to do is let it dry and cut to length.
If you want to make junctions - T and Y intersections, just buy a piece of black sandpaper and paint to match. Both the tape and the sandpaper cut perfectly easily with sharp scissors!