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Road Question

mikeyobmikeyob Member Posts: 26
edited August 2011 in Building and Techniques
Looking to buy some road pieces in the future....since I have some 8 stud road pieces, will they only line up with 8 stud road pieces or will the others(6,7 or 9) work as well?


  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 804
    Well... As far as I know, the 8-stud road plates were really the gray roads with green sidewalks (1997-2001 or so). The other road plates just won't match color-wise. So... there's that.

    I believe there are pretty much 5 types of road "systems" that LEGO has made for town (timelines are approximate):

    A) 1978-1985:
    9-stud sidewalks, gray roads, gray sidewalks, with green stripes

    B) 1986-1996:
    8-stud sidewalks, gray roads, gray sidewalks, with green and white stripes

    C) 1997-2001:
    8-stud sidewalks, gray roads, green sidewalks, with green stripes

    D) 2002-2004:
    6-stud sidewalks, dark-gray roads, green sidewalks, and yellow stripes

    E) 2005+:
    6-stud sidewalks, dark-blay roads, dark-blay sidewalks, and white stripes

    (A) and (B) were pretty similar, and didn't look too bad next to each other, although you'd suddenly end up with the road edges looking a bit off at the transition. Everything else ... doesn't really match very well, mostly thanks to the stark color change between road plates.

    You can sort of build logical-looking changes in your setup, so that the transitions don't stand out so badly, but most of the time, it sort of stands out.

  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,218
    edited August 2011
    Apologies for the tangent, but another option is to use brick-built roads rather than road plates....

    I'm in the process of building a LEGO City layout and was originally intending to stick with road plates for the sake of simplicity, but brick-built roads look so much better (and are more flexible) that I'm probably now going down that route instead.

    PS. Great post, DaveE - you're a real mine of useful information !
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    @drdavewatford I'd love to see some pictures of the brick built roads. I've never thought about going down that path.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 804

    B) 1986-1996:
    8-stud sidewalks, gray roads, gray sidewalks, with green and white stripes
    Oops, that should read "7-stud sidewalks"!

    I agree with the use of brick-build roads-- they're FAR better, since you can make things like 4-lane roads, stop lines, parking spaces, manholes, and more. Downsides being:

    - It's tricky to make curves
    - They're not usually as modular (and won't work easily with other AFOLs' creations)
    - They're pricey in terms of bricks!

    But if you can do it, they look MUCH nicer than using baseplates.

  • GalactusGalactus NLMember Posts: 255
    edited August 2011
    @kylejohnson11 I found this site with some nice brick-built roads (snot):
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,218
    edited August 2011
    ^^^ @kylejohnson11, you can see my first little brick-built road experiment at :

    I strongly suspect I'll go down this route, but DaveE's right as usual - the curves will be tricky, and it's going to cost a packet in bricks....
  • mikeyobmikeyob Member Posts: 26
    I agree they look so much better...just need more bricks
  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    I would definitely have to lean toward brick-built roads. Sure it is a lot of bricks, but what isn't these days? :) Like any of us need another reason to buy more bricks. They have been having a lot of Dark Bley at the PAB section of the LEGO brand stores lately. It is probably the cheapest way to obtain them.
  • romdamromdam Member Posts: 136
    Disagree. Brick built, don't like. What is the issue with the classic road plates? Did'nt everyone's parents by them nonstop for them when they were a kid? I could probably tile my whole fixed basement with what I have just from them.
  • NeilJamNeilJam USAMember Posts: 265
    My parents bought me lots of LEGO sets when I was a kid, but I never got any extra road plates because they thought they cost too much for just two plates in each pack. I only have about 1/2 dozen road plates and only 2 are regular road pieces (1 straight, 1 curved), the others are more specialized ones from the Public Works Center and Victory Lap Speedway.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 804
    edited August 2011
    So, I wanted to make show a comparison of the 5 different types of plates, but it turns out that the LDraw DATs are actually incorrect for some of the older road plates (wrong line thicknesses), and the colors weren't quite correct (printing gray on green is different than gray ABS, etc). So I constructed images that were a little more accurate dimension-wise, and filled them with colors from scanned in versions of the baseplates, and waffled them together to demonstrate what most of the transitions would look like:


  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    edited August 2011
    ^ Neato
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    ^^ well done, and the effort is appreciated since it was more to inform and to illustrate to others, as I'm sure it was much easier to just reach into your collection for each type to see the differences for yourself
  • mikeyobmikeyob Member Posts: 26
    thanks DaveE great image
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,082
    Mr. Dave... that is almost a work of art! ;-)

  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    edited August 2011
    I suspect my lego city will look something like that! I can't afford to buy all matching plates. At least none of the roads have pot-holes, which is more than can be said for the roads around Sheffield. In fact, that does rather look like a real british city, a mish mash of everything!

    @drdavewatford - I just noticed your brick built roads have yellow lines in them :)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,218
    ^ I did consider double yellows or even reds, but decided that I was only willing to take realism so far....

  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    lol. I'd edited my post as I realised you'd already put yellow lines in! Doubles would look cool, but I think would take up too much space on the road.

    I've finally got my space for my layout. I think it will be a modular layout, so that buildings and themes can come in and out, with only the railway fairly static. Though the difficulty is working out how to fit the track in and have room at each side for platforms.
    It's about 0.90m x 2.5m
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,218
    Yep - track + related structures such as platforms and stations take up an enormous amount of space, particularly if you've not got a lot of room to play with in the first place; it's one reason why I ended up going for a 2 level layout, so I could build a platform below ground, and also generally squeeze more goodness in to a modest space.

    Making it modular is IMHO a great idea, both from the perspective of being able to swap structures in and out as the fancy takes you, but also because it means you can potentially transport the layout for display outside the home if it turns out well. I have half an eye on displaying mine next year at one of the Brickish events, although delays in getting hold of the bricks I need may scupper that. Which reminds me - you ought to join Brickish. The AGM has even been in Sheffield the last couple of years, so right on your doorstep.....
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    lol! I may join Brickish - but I doubt my layout will be display worthy. It'll just be an amalgamation of sets, I'm not much of a moc-er, I'm too cheap to buy the tiles needed for a good street scene. My streets might even be 'cobbled' ;-)

    mine will have an bit of a 2 level bit hopefully (the castle on the hill) as trains need to go into tunnels! At the other end will be a wide book case to create a 3 layer diorama *she says optimistically*
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