Martin Tärnrot

Modeling Gravel Roads with Martin Tärnrot

Martin Tärnrot
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Duration:   5  mins

In this video, Martin Tärnrot demonstrates his method of making HO-scale roads—and gravel roads in particular. There are many methods to achieve a nice-looking result, but this is the method he has used throughout his entire layout. For this video instruction, Martin made a small diagram, made from two-inch-thick Styrofoam. He prefers to make the road itself from thin Styrofoam strips typically used under modern wooden floors, which can be found at the floor section of a DIY shop.

However, sometimes modelers may have problems obtaining this Styrofoam, so tape can be used instead. He uses a razor blade or hobby knife to cut strips from paper tape. These two strips of tape will mark the position of the road, but will also help make a straight line when plastering over it later.

The plaster he uses is a medium-coarse, sand-based, water-based plaster for indoor use. Woodland Scenic, Noch, and other manufacturers have landscape plaster that also can be used, so long as it’s water based and easy to sand. If modelers want the road to go up or down, then they can cut the road surface from the baseboard and reduce the thickness of the road. With this thickness, it will be much easier to shape and then glue in place in the desired position.

Before gluing it in place, however, it must be sanded very smooth. For this, Martin uses a sanding block and sanding paper. Once the surface is very smooth, it’s time to glue it in place on your baseboard or layout. Once this is left to dry properly, it is time to shape the ground on both sides of the road.

Watch the full video to see how Martin completes his HO-scale roads, or explore Model Railroad Academy to learn how to create concrete roads or make asphalt and gravel roads.

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