Trestle bridges with plastruct

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Xaniel, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    Hello mates,

    I'm going to start building a trestle bridge with 0.8" plasctruct
    square rods.

    Any idea, thought or advice, please post here. I'm a little anxious to start building... :) :D
  2. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member


    I suspect you meant 0.08" square Plastruct. There's no reason you can't use Plastruct for your trestle but I would strongly suggest other materials because Plastruct is too "machine perfect" in appearance.

    For example, Assume you have put in all that work to make your ideal trestle and now want to weather it! In Plastruct you will need acrylic or similar paint on every surface and crevice/joint. I would think that would be extremely tediuos.

    By using 2mm square balsa wood or hardwood the effort to build is much the same but weathering is a lot easier! I think you will find that wood is a great deal less expensive than plastruct. You would be surprised at the strength of a balsa built trestle so load bearing properties is not an issue for almost any of the popular model scales. Also the wood has texture that plastruct can't even get close to. As very much thinned down acrylic paint or india ink is so easily applied and seeps into all those awkward to get at places the effect can be startlingly realistic.

    I suggest you try making just one bent (vertical support assembly) from wood and weather it. Then try it with Plastruct. The difference will be self evident.

    Don't be surprised if you get many posts to your thread confirming my opinion.

    Good luck and happy modelling.

  3. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Kettlestack's right, You will be much happier with the results using wood. It's not impossible to make plastic look like naturally aged wood but it's really time consuming.

    I use basswood, but alot of folks use balsa with great results.

    Before I start building I'll sand the wood I'm going to use with 220 or 320 grit paper. Then pre-stain it and sand very lighty again to get rid of the "fuzzy" look the staining makes. I've just found for me its easier to do all this first.

  4. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Luis, The Plastruct will be fine for a steel trestle or bridge but I go along with the others if you looking to build a wood trestle.

    Also Plastruct is not styrene plastic. It is ABS plastic and ordinary model glues usually do not work well on it. Your best bet is to use the Plastruct glue or a glue that is specifically designed for ABS plastic.
  5. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    Hey Luis, I have to agree with everyone else, If you are building a wood trestle,use wood! To me the wood is so much easier to work with. I might opt for plastic if modeling steel but I probibly use brass!:eek:
  6. billk

    billk Active Member

    Luis - If you go with the crowd :D and use wood, do your staining on the individual bits and pieces before gluing them. Sometime glue stops the stain from soaking in and you're left with a bare spot. Also, wasn't there a thread recently about using match sticks for a source of wood?
  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    First, I have to agree with Vic about Plastruct. I like styrene for most everything. With all the shapes, and sheet roof,and siding from Evergreen, there aren't many projects that can't be built with it. There are a number of adhesives that work well with styrene, my favorite being MEK.
    In the case of rolling stock, and buildings, that have a coat of paint that usually covers the wood grain(not to mention that these things are built with "finished"lumber), styrene works just as well as wood. Trestles, however are different in that they are usually built with rough cut timbers, and the wood grain is more visible. They are not painted, but treated, so the grain isn't hidden.
    I wouldn't use anything but basswood for trestles. The practice of staining the lumber before assembly is the best, however, the use of an oil base stain could make it a little difficult using some glues. The bond might not be as good. Thinned laquer, or alcohol with some coloring agent would be preferred to oil base stain.
    If you decide to go with the plastruct, you could spray the whole assembly with something like Floquil "foundation", and then drybrush or "wash" weather it.
  8. Gluing over a stained surface

    Speaking as a professional cabinet builder I must agree with Sumpter (Pete). You will lose nearly 60 percent of the bond strength if gluing over an "oil based" stain. Here use an alcohol base with dye added. :)
  9. billk

    billk Active Member

    Try using a very little bit of India ink in alcohol as a stain and see if you like its appearance.
  10. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    I just made the jig for the trestle bridge, according to shamus plans!!!

    let's see what happens...
  11. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    Well, I'm building the trestle... a mixture between plastruc and some wood matches... I'm planning to post some pics as soon as I can.. :D

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