Roads may not sound like the most exciting thing but these new CITY Road Plates 60304 offer up different possibilities to add some visual interest to your LEGO scenes.
To attach things to the road plates, there are a couple of 1×4 row of studs that is offset by 1 plate from the ground. I modified the Surfer Beach House 31118 pretty easily so that it would attach to the road plates.
I also picked up a great idea from New Elementary to create a flower median strip rather than use the printed tiles to divide the lanes. Here’s how that looks all put together:
Don’t like flowers and want something more utilitarian for a more urban environment? Here’s the LEGO Store 40305 and part of 123 Sesame Street 21324 with Tiago Catarino’s lane dividers and sidewalks:
Photo examples and challenges
Being able to dress up the roads with dividers is pretty cool. After having made them nice and pretty though, I wanted to take them through the paces of a photoshoot and see where else they might shine.
And shine they did. The most glaring fault of these new road plates is that they are polished and smooth — unlike the old plates that are textured — so they reflect everything. It’s almost as if the roads were wet.
A much smaller issue is that because the road is shorter and more modular by design, if I wanted to do motion blur shots, I would need to keep the distance travelled pretty short. Otherwise, I’d hit one of the slots for the 2×4 tiles and it would cause jitter in the trail.
Those are a couple of downsides. The upside, of course, is that you can build on the roads so they don’t have to be used for just vehicles. You can turn a road into a pedestrian street or restaurant terrace by changing up the dark bluish gray 2×4 tiles for plates and adding little tables:
If you can build, you can destroy too! Potholes and construction workers standing around them are an everyday sight in the city!
I can imagine some pretty cool Apocalego scenes or superhero fight scenes created using broken roads.
The new road plates allow for a lot more in terms of decorating your set than the old plates do, but they come at the cost of glare and disjointedness.
Through the lens, I think these road shots work better from a slightly higher angle than minifig eye-level because there are fewer distracting reflections.
I think my main use for them will be as pedestrian-only streets with outdoor seating or inside a car garage rather than as lanes for vehicular traffic.
CITY Road Plates 60304 are available everywhere for $19.99/19,99€. You can also find new road plate sections in select CITY sets like Skate Park 60290, Family House 60291, Shopping Street 60306, and Town Center 60292.