NO SUBSTITUTE FOR WOOD
How can I improve the timber decking of my flat lorries?
Geoff Waite, by e-mail
George says: Planked decking on lorry trailers, in common with many railway wagons, features bare timber planks for the payload deck. Often rendered in a uniform, vaguely brown colour by RTR manufacturers, we usually have a modicum of moulded plank detail to work with, at least. With paints, it’s possible to recreate the appearance of wood, employing the dry-brushing method to suggest grain patterns in keeping with that of the real thing. By building up a broad range of shades, we can replicate the complex appearance of weathered timber, although this can prove to be a long-winded process. Alternatively, we can harness wafer-thin wood veneers to avoid all of that hassle. Veneers are available from woodcraft stockists and those intended for marquetry are especially useful, not least as the veneers often come in smaller sheets. Choose close-grained timber with minimal decorative figure and of a suitable colour. Lay the veneer onto strips of double-sided tape and cut carefully into separate planks. Peel away the tape’s backing and lay the planks onto the truck. A light rub with sandpaper roughens the surface texture a little, and wood dyes or enamel weathering washes can add a grubby effect, as well as adding definition to the plank edges. Just be careful to store the finished models in a stable environment, lest the veneer shrinks or lifts from exposure to dampness or excessive temperature fluctuations.
Choose a tight-grained wood and cut the veneer into thin strips to mimic the planks on the real thing.
Trucks can be greatly enhanced with real timber decking.