Got my bridge in, but need some input!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by trainsteve2435, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Hello everyone, i finally got a start on adding a bridge scene to my layout. I have it boxed in and everything supported once again. I decided on makeing the depth 6" from the bottom of the bridge, what do you all think, is it too deep? Also, i added a couple of pieces of 1" x 4" scraps to support the bridge temporarly until my Chooch bridge abutments arrive hopefully in a couple of days. Can someone recomend some ways of makeing this box look like a river bank? I have never done a bridge before, so all the help is really appreciated. Thanks!

    Attached Files:


    COMBAT Member

    Well, start with some foam or what ever your comfortable using for mountains and instead of building up, build down. Is the river bed going to be dry or wet? Think of the shape you want to see. " V " Shaped, " U " shaped? Its up to you and what you'd like to see. I mean, you have to look at it. LOL :)
  3. Its going to be wet. What do you mean by build down? Thanks!

    COMBAT Member

    Like this....

    W F FW
    A O O A
    L A A L
    L M water M L

    Build down was a figure of speach, sorry to confuse you. :)

    Does that make sense?

    It appears the forums messed up my diagram......
    Try this....
  5. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    I vaguely remember you mentioning that you would like to model the Montana Rail Link..

    If that's the case, maybe some prototype photos of bridges on the MRL would help you decide what scenary you might want to go with for that bridge you have put in. The two photos below are bridges on the MRL's line through Mullan Pass... The first one is the Austin Creek trestle, and the second one is the Greenhorn Creek trestle. They are from the MRL railfan/modeling page.

    Hope this helps some!

    Attached Files:

  6. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    And just what are those large objects laying on their sides at the end of the trestle in the first picture? I believe they are supposed to be on the track. Guess I'll have to give my son-in-law a bad time about that. He works for Raillink's maintenance department.
  7. rfmicro

    rfmicro Member

    I don't think depth is so much of a problem as it accentuates the reason for the bridge in the first place. What you need to do now is plan out how you will meld the bridge, bridge supports and scenery to make this area look prototypical i.e. slopping river bank, dry stream, wet stream, slow moving river, rapids, dry gorge, etc.

    You could have the bridge supports made from concrete, wood or stone resting on a bedrock formation. Using foam slope the river (or whatever) banks from the bedrock/bridge supports to the bottom of the 6" structure depth and add scenery as appropriate. The possibilities are endless. Let your imagination run wild.

    Trent Mulkern
    Mechanicsville, MD
  8. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Heh, I was gonna ask the same thing. I see a BNSF reefer in there.

    As for filling it in, just angle the sides, lol!
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    *** edit****

    oops, lol,.

    yeah, it was past midnight when i was responding, lol. i must have missed that.
  10. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I believe he said" those wooden things are temporary".
  11. fseva

    fseva Member


    :cry:It doesn't look like you have much depth to work with, which would minimize your choices as to what you can do to make the river seem to "disappear" in the distance. If you had more depth, you could have curved the riverbank to either side so that the scenery hides where it's going.

    :thumb: Since this doesn't seem possible in the space available, if you feel comfortable trying some background painting, you could paint this type of effect on the back wall. (Before you start, either remove the masonite in the back or hide it with some drywall mud and paint it your background color).
  12. Hey Frank, thanks for the ideas. Yes, i wish i had more depth to hide the river, but i have hidden stageing behind where you see the bridge. Im gonna try my habd at painting an illusion of a dissappearing river somehow, any ideas? Thanks!:wave:
  13. fseva

    fseva Member

    Painting a Backdrop

    I can only give you some general tips to get you started, Steve. For the rest, I'll defer to the real artists in the forum.

    Use lighter colors to denote distance - as if lots of polluted air is between you and the farthest part away! :D

    You know the old problem of the chicken or the egg - which came first? It'd be great to create your model river first, but a real dog to try to paint a backdrop to match foreground scenery that's already in place, especially if you have to work around that nice bridge. Your main focus will be below track level, and that's really the most awkward place to have to paint with any detail.

    Consider using a matboard in the back that you can paint at your workbench and then install on the layout. Leave some space around the scene you create that will allow you to join and feather it into the main backdrop.

    If you can remove an entire section of backdrop and paint it away from the layout, definitely do that instead. Good luck! :thumb:
  14. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    if only you could have the river twist away behind trees, and then twist again so that no one can see the "end of the line". It looks like your benchwork is already done there though.
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you are modeling the Santa Fe in the Southwest (Arizona or New Mexico) put a rock in low relief on the back of the riverbed a & continue it up onto the backdrop. Make the stream disappear behind it.
  16. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    You don't have very much depth to the scene, but you still might be able to cram in a riverbed with a bend in it, if you can slice off one of the vertical sides of the "canyon" near the backdrop. Make the riverbed quite a bit narrower than the width of the area, then severely force the perspective as it turns just before the back of the scene. The pictures below illustrate the idea, even though I had more depth with which to work. You might also have more success disguising the illusion if the superstructure of the bridge was below the tracks. In any case, use lots of trees and bushes to hide both the backdrop and the unseen part of the river.




    The total scene is about 36" deep, but 2' of that is between the edge of the layout and the bridge, while the river on the far side of the bridge, including the turn, is only 8".
    For your scene, a very narrow creek, with rocks or boulders along the bank, and plenty of trees and bushes will make the scene more intriguing to view and it will be easier to make the creek "disappear" quickly as it rounds the bend.

  17. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Maybe you can build a dam.
  18. nicknero

    nicknero Member

    instead of a backdrop put in a mirror and than itll look cooler and have depth
  19. OK, heres what i have gotten done so far. Im not sure how to desguise the tops of the supports, so please give me your suggestions. Also, all comments are welcome as im new to this type of details, so please feel free to comment. Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  20. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    HI: I believe your bridge is sitting on the wrong part of the abutments. I checked the photo on a box that my Walthers bridge came in and it shows the bridge on the lower, ledge of the abutment with the portion that you have your bridge sitting on between the roadbed and the bridge. You might check some prototype photo's.

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