Martin Tärnrot

Super Detailing the Main Line

Martin Tärnrot
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Duration:   9  mins

The main line of your layout may just be tracks and gravel, but you can do a lot of things to detail it and create scenes that make it special. Modeler Martin Tärnrot hopes this video will inspire you to get creative with your main line.


Martin is working with Line Side Set #LINE-0002 for the U.S. from MODELRAILROAD 3D on It contains 30 different objects for line-side detailing.

If you’re not into 3D printing, you can buy line-side items cast in metal from Details West.


Some line-side detailing needs to be created before the line is put in place. Those three items are culverts, small bridges, and trestles. Martin shows how to add a culvert, both a 3D-printed one and one created from styrofoam. Both types are painted the same way. Make a cutout for the culvert in the sub-roadbed, place it, and add landscape plaster all around it.

Landscape creation has been covered in previous videos—check for them in our Scenery category.


Martin shows how to create a hot box detector and drag detectors from 3D-printed objects, as well as cabinets and a battery ground box. He paints them all with an airbrush and adds a black wash, then places them along the line. For real super detailing, add a man at the cabinet solving some problem, and you can even add audio. Two types of cabinets come in Line Side Set #LINE-0002—modern and old style.

Next up are wheel flange lubricators and concrete phone booths. After painting and adding a wash, Martin adds moss growth and streaks of rust to the phone booths.

Martin has dozens of P.R.R standard watch boxes on his layout. Each watch box is printed in one piece and then only needs to be painted.

You may also get ideas for detailing your main line from the Structures category here on our website.

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