Concrete Bridge Piers and Abutments

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by nolatron, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I've been searching for them, but haven't come across any yet. All I get are stone piers, not [modern] concrete ones.

    Anyone ever come across some before? Here's some in HO on the new Art of Model Railroading calendar that has the look I'm after.

    Attached Files:

  2. I know where you are comming from i to have wanted concrete and no luck so i made my own out of styrafoam and painted them a grey color (craft paint)
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I think if you find pre-made ones they'll be pretty disappointing and probably the wrong size.
    This is your chance to work on a new skill. Either extruded foam carving or possibly making your own plaster moulds.
  4. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Have you considered cardstock? If you have a color printer (or access to one), take a look at ScaleScenes. They offer some concrete/stone/brick piers, abutments and retaining walls. The pier below goes for $5 - download once, print as many as you need.

    From the site:

    - No painting required, just print and build
    - Easy to follow illustrated instructions
    - Can be built as single or double track
    - Variable height and width
    - Suitable for any type of bridge

    Attached Files:

  5. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    ah-ha! I forget he had piers. I remember seeing those a while back now. I purchased one of his street packs before (helpful for planning).

    I'll have to give those a try to see how they look once printed.
  6. eve_9d9

    eve_9d9 Member

    I agree with carving them out of foam, it takes very little work or skill (lucky for me) to make it look like half decent concrete
  7. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    I agree with the foam. Thats what im going to try if it dont work out the first time , got lots of scrap pieces around.
  8. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    But if you use foam, won't you end up with a porous looking foam surface, instead of a solid, smooth one?

    railroader9731, any pics of yours?
  9. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I would use blocks of wood, coat them with a thin coat of joint compound, sand them, and then paint them (with an airbrush). Remember, the piers also need to support the track, not just look good.

  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Nolatron: You may have trouble finding it in Texas, but we use extruded polystyrene house insulation. This is a bit less porous than some other types (like HiFi packing). It cuts to a smooth finish, and works nicely with a hot wire cutter. I make cutter guides out of stripwood (often 1/8 x 3/4) and run the hot wire down. A layer of WS scenery paste mixed with cement colour will cover the surface and conceal accidental holes.
  11. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

  12. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Good point. From a card modeler's biased perspective ... I think cardstock should easily be strong enough. Structures made of heavy card are like little cartons. At that size, they can support a lot of weight, particularly if designed to do so - think of how much weight can be proportionately supported by cardboard shipping boxes or a vertical toilet paper tube.

    Another advantage of card: unless you're a "micro-angelo", I think it would be challenging to top the realism of good printed graphics. It looks like whoever does ScaleScene's graphics has an artist's hand.

    Then again, here in this forum I often see photographic evidence that many model RRers are great scale painters, so I guess it really depends on personal skills and preferences, how much time/money you want to spend vs. results obtained, how much you enjoy scenery/environment modeling as part of scale RRing, etc.

    Nolatron, please post your results, whatever medium you use! :)
  13. eve_9d9

    eve_9d9 Member

    good point, it didnt occur to me it would be hard to find insulation board in texas.....But yeah, it ends up looking pretty good not too porus, its all in the way you cut it, try and hack it up with a knife and you may not get good results (at least I dont) I draw on the design, and then cut with a bandsaw, then do the fine detail work with a VERY sharp hobby knife to keep from popping out little chunks on the edges, I find I dont even have to airbrush, I brush painted my supports for my little bridge and I thought they were passable.....but you may have higher standards then me lol..
  14. nolatron

    nolatron Member

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