NO SUB­STI­TUTE FOR WOOD

Model Rail (UK) - - Know your stuff - Web: www.the­wood­ve­neer­hub.co.uk

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.

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