I like many other subscribed to a wonderful collection of 15mm European Buildings
that Battlefront Miniatures has been producing for its Flames of War line of miniatures. It is a building each month subscription and I have received 8 of the 12 buildings along with some bonus terrain they provided. I am extremely pleased with the purchase. At $20 per pre-painted building it is a great value.
The only problem I have with it is that I did not have a proper set of roads to to construct a European town for my Flames of War Battles. There are a couple of products in the market for roads including Battlefront's Cobblestone Roads
and JR Miniatures
versions. There are also some great tutorials you can find on this forum on how to build them yourselves. I did not want to spend the time to build them myself so I was looking for a turnkey solution. I recently picked up a set of the BF roads for my wargaming club and spent around $35-40 for them. When laid out on the table with a few buildings they are underwhelming. Good product but, I think you really need to have 2 or 3 sets of them to do a town justice. Three sets would run me up to $100 which is above my willingness to pay. So I have been on the hunt for alternatives for a while.
On a whim one day while poking around Amazon I typed in Cobblestone
Roads and it returned results including the Battlefront roads and this gem link
from Department 56
. I decided to order one and see how it would work. I initially paid $9.50 for some reason. After 2 days it showed up.
I unpackaged it and rolled it out.
It's like a nylon fabric with the cobblestones in a textured rubber. Not at all grey as shown. A little perturbed I decided I'd try painting it. I got out some cheap acrylic poster paints purchased from Michaels. I spent 10 minutes drybrushing it tan followed by grey then a wash of black. I'm pleased with the result, I certainly could have been more careful or thoughtful with the painting.
Some may say the cobblestones are a bit large or out of scale but I think if you compare it to Battlefronts it's quite similar. Besides, it convincingly represents roads. If I am painting camouflage (I'm not Minature of War) I am only trying to give the impression of it, not reproduce it in scale. As such this gives a good impression.
This, of course, is a captured safe area with columns going to and fro.
It's wider than the BF roads but I think that is ok. My hand actually fits between the buildings so I think it works as is. I plan on cutting it into pieces at some point making some smaller and narrow sections for alleys and changeability. I may get some adhesive felt and put in on the back when I cut it up. It has almost no thickness and is flexible fabric. That's good because I want to add some raised sidewalks to the terrain collection. I may or may not put some matte varnish on it. It's about 4 5/8" wide so if I cut it in half a HMG infantry base will fit comfortably in a side alley ready to blast the enemy.
One drawback is that it was reported to be 48" long but was only 46 1/2". For the price I can live with that. I am so happy with it I ordered 4 more sets. I have Amazon Prime and with as much as I have shipped (I have a son in diapers) my cost per shipment is less than $1. This new batch was had at $7 each so for less than $50 and an hour or two of effort I will end up with about 20 feet (or more if I make alleys) of good looking serviceable roads.
Looking through my Scenic Express catalog there appears to be some HO railroad products that would also work for budget roads but I have no experience there.
I really like what I have and for the money I think it will be hard to beat. Though not 100% turnkey I'll give it 8 out of 10 dead Nazi's.