Bridge building in balsa

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Gavin Miller, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member


    The Windex did have some effect but not enough to hold the balsa as tight as I had curved it.

    Anyway, I had already traced my bridge outline onto the styrene sheet. I scored along the curved line with my Exacto knife then bent and snapped the sheet to release my new road surface.

    In this picture I have laid it on top of the bridge to test fit ... perfect!

    Sorry, couldn't resist. Had to place some vehicles on it to get an idea of how it will look when finished.

    I took a bit of a risk starting this thread without knowing how the project would turn out. However so far I am pleased with my progress. Hope I don't screw it up now (with everyone watching!) haha

    At least I have achieved the goal of disguising the hole in the backdrop.

    Attached Files:

  2. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Gavin, Absolutly no chance of you screwing this one up!!! That is just great! Looks just like part of a major highway interchange.
    Please post more pics as progress is made.
  3. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    STUNNING !!! :cool:
  4. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Great engineering and construction. Looking forward to the finished product.
  5. alex_mrrkb

    alex_mrrkb Member

    Gavin, your layout is an inspiration, keep posting all thoses magnific shots of this masterpiece of yours.

    "Merci" and "Félicitations" ... you have something to be very proud of !!! ;)
  6. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member


    Thanks for the photo's and inforamtion on your bridge building technique. You did a great job, it looks fantastic. I may borrow it for my own layout to cover an area wher three tracks disappear behind a few buildings in a city scene.:cool:
  7. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member

    Not much has been happening on my bridge project. This close to Christmas too much to do and so little time.

    I have decided to use solid "concrete" bridge edges rather than plastic railings. Just to get an idea what they will look like I have cut out one piece (from sheet styrene) and cemented it to the road/deck edge. I will paint it grey and line it with pencil to represent poured concrete sections. But for now, back to all the 1 to 1 scale jobs I have to do before Christmas!

    Attached Files:

  8. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member

    Another angle

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  9. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    what a great looking structure. Good job, Gavin.
  10. RI541

    RI541 Member

    That is looking great!!!!!! I've worked with wood all my life and never thought of using balsa for a lay-out base. Way to go
  11. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member

    Okay, it's Boxing Day. Everyone is relaxing. Time to sneak off to the hobby room and advance the bridge project a little.

    Those of you who have followed this thread to learn from my mistakes - here's one. The 1mm styrene sheet I used for the "concrete" barrier looked too thin. I decided to buy a packet of Plastruct 1/4" wide (2mm thick) styrene strips (stock #90769)and cement them to the opposite side of the bridge to compare the two thicknesses. I definitely prefer the 2mm (on the left) to the 1mm (on the right).

    As I coudn't find any styrene shapes to represent the "web" at the base of the barriers I bought a packet of Plastruct 1.5mm styrene quarter-rounds (stock #90893) which, to my eye anyway, create the desired effect from normal viewing distances.

    Attached Files:

  12. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member

    Here's another shot of the barrier "web" created out of lengths of quarter-round.

    You wouldn't believe this bridge is still not officially open to traffic!! haha

    Attached Files:

  13. RI541

    RI541 Member

    If I was driving that 18 wheeler I'd definaly want the 2mm between me and the great drop off:D :D :D

    Looking great:) :)
  14. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member

    I have now completed and painted the barriers on my highway overpass.

    A lesson I learned after I had three quarters completed them is that you can bend the Plastruct styrene strip to get it curved before attempting to cement it to the curved bridge deck. By "over bending" it (without snapping it!) it relaxes into a comfortable bend which makes it much easier to handle. (I began by applying cement to straight pieces and holding them against the curve while they dried - much harder).

    Attached Files:

  15. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member

    Now to apply lane markings and do some weathering.

    Attached Files:

  16. Ben H

    Ben H Member

    Great job of bridge building!!!! The overall scene is very together, great backdrop, nice flow to the pieces and great color relationship.

    Super scene--------
  17. msh

    msh Member

    yeah, gavin.... that's really supurb workmanship. A joy to look at - nicely done.
  18. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    A very good piece of work Gavin.
  19. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member

    Thanks for your comments guys - appreciate your feedback!

    At the risk of boring you with these progress shots, here's a shot of lane marking in progress

    Attached Files:

  20. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member

    Here's how it looks back on the module

    Attached Files:

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