In this video lesson with Martin Tärnrot, learn how to model wooden planks for your model railroad layout. These wood planks can be adapted for any scale from N and upwards and are a good match for layouts set in the early days of lumber and sawmills. Martin uses balsa sheets that are one-sixteenth of an inch thick for his wooden planks. He cuts the sheets into segments of 45 millimeters, making severals scores before cutting all the way through to avoid cracking the wood.
Martin has created a balsa slicer tool to make creating the wooden planks easier, speeding up production. The balsa slicer is made up of a base of a four-millimeter plywood with a balsa spacer and a razor blade held in place with thread. Cutting is not only fast, but also uniform with this tool. The next step is to give the planks an old gray color by dipping them into a color mix of burnt umber, white, and black acrylic paint, along with water to thin it down. The result is a warm gray tone.
To make the horizontal and vertical beams in the plank, Martin uses thin pieces of balsa wood that are two millimeters thick. After slicing them to two-millimeter widths, he paints them with the same gray color. He lets them dry overnight and then begins on the assembly. Assembly starts by arranging the planks flat along a ruler and then gluing the horizontal beams in place with wood glue. Martin goes on to demonstrate how he weathers the planks for the final result. For more videos on how to create railroad streets and fences or how to make a cobblestone path, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.