• 7:30

    Homemade Pro-Level Ballast

    MRA Contributing Editor Martin Tärnrot makes homemade professional-level ballast. If you have a large layout, you need a substantial amount of ballast. By using this method, you reduce the ballast cost by at least 70%. (For a video about laying the road bed, tracks and ballast, see Martin’s “How To Ballast Fast and Easy.”) BUYING…

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  • 7:48

    Creating Lumber Stacks Pre-1960 Style

    MRA Contributing Editor Martin Tärnrot makes lumber stacks for flatbed cars – the type of lumber stacks that were made when everything was done manually, before 1960. The lumber was stacked on the car manually and then a cage was built around the lumber to keep it in place during transportation. OLD AND NEW METHODS…

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  • 5:38

    Realistic Wooden Flatbed Decks

    If you offload cargo at its destination and run empty cars back to where they came from, the wooden decks on the flatbeds are now exposed. Have you weathered the decks for a more realistic look? MRA Contributing Editor Martin Tärnrot shares one of his techniques for weathering flatbeds. ADDING EFFECTS TO A WOODEN DECK…

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  • 7:49

    Concrete Tunnel Portals

    Tunnel portals are present on almost every model railroad, so we need to know how to make them. MRA Contributing Editor Martin Tärnrot has previously covered how to scratch build stone tunnel portals, with bricks engraved into styrofoam. Now Martin shows how to make a concrete tunnel portal, which is very easy to cut, unlike…

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  • 9:01

    Realistic Lumber Stacks

    MRA Contributing Editor Martin Tärnrot makes realistic, scale-correct lumber stacks (post 1960 style) that you can put on your layout, on center beams or bulkhead flat cars. THE OLD WAYS There are a few ways to build lumber stacks, including scratch building them from thin pieces of lumber, gluing them together and wrapping them. This…

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  • 13:14

    Transforming a Kit Warehouse

    Take a plastic kit model railroad warehouse and assemble it out of the box, spend 15 extra minutes and almost no money, and transform it into something that really pops on your layout. How can we do it? MRA Contributing Editor Martin Tärnrot demonstrates. PRELIMINARY WORK Starting with a plastic kit model railroad warehouse that’s…

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  • 8:49

    HVAC: Adding Realism to Background Buildings

    MRA Contributor Martin Tärnrot makes a flat background building look more realistic by adding weathering effects and a rooftop-mounted HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system that he 3D prints. The building is a warehouse. FIRST STEPS Before tackling the HVAC system, Martin adds grout between the tiles on the lower half of the warehouse building…

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  • 5:42

    Super Detailing the Office Shed

    MRA Contributing Editor Martin Tärnrot adds details to a standardized office shed. This is standard kit that you can buy. Martin hopes to inspire you to take similar buildings on your layout and add realistic details to them, which can be done without adding much cost or significant time. Let’s look at a few potential…

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  • 7:08

    Weathering Plastic Buildings Easily

    Martin Tärnrot demonstrates how to enhance the appearance of ready-made plastic buildings. At swap meets, markets, and on eBay, you can buy pre-built plastic kits at a low cost compared to buying the kits and building them yourself. But many of these have two problems: too much glue, and they are not painted. With a…

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