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How to make a "bridge" scenic?


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At one end of my railway, the two main baseboards are joined by a "bridge".  It's just over a meter long, it's made from two lengths of 35 x 35mm ally angle, it carries a single track on an 85mm wide trackbed, and originally it was intended to be purely functional.  However, I've just been persuaded by my Lady Wife to continue a backscene along the wall behind it, so that it now looks like this when photographed from my operating position 8ft away ...

 

bridge.jpg

 

I'd now like to "landscape" the bridge structure to some extent, even if all I do is disguise the two vertical faces of the ally so as to suggest a bridge or viaduct when viewed from the operating position.  So, two questions ...

 

1.  What would you do with this bridge, given that (a) there's a 45mm gap between the back of it and the backscene, and (b) the structure itself is not up for alteration beyond perhaps continuing the facing side of it such that it no longer stops short of the l/h baseboard?

 

2.  Given its relative insignificance in the scheme of things and its distance from an operator with less than perfect eyesight, if you'd be happy with just a cheap and cheerful suggestion of a bridge or viaduct, how would you actually achieve that effect?

 

(picture enlarges if you click on it)

Edited by spikey
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What is the scenery like either side of the bridge? If you have a forest, then trees, or half trees stick to the visible side of the bridge may work. Or how about a girder bridge or just on the visible side, such as the Dapol old airfix one.  Or depending on period modelled, contemporary posters or adverts such as some bridges had. 

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Needs to be just the structure, be it bridge, viaduct or whatever, rather than "landscape".  Making it into something that passes for a bridge is the obvious way forward, but all I can think of is Plasticard stripwork stuck to the ally to turn it into a representation of a girder bridge.

 

For some reason though, I keep coming back to the idea of brickpaper - possibly sitting above 10mm of "beam" or girder.  However, I've never used modern brickpaper so I have no idea which one might be suitable to use as 25mm deep strips butted end -to-end.  And if I can find a suitable brick paper, would Rokit Card Glue stick it to the ally?

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If you used the side of the aluminium as a "girder", bear in mind that plate girder bridges had a (rule-of-thumb) span to depth ratio of about 1:12 to 1:15, which is to say that you'd probably need some intermediate piers (maybe two) to get it looking right.  Mostly, small multi span bridges were just that with separate girders in each span: modern viaducts could be continuous over the piers and would probably be welded "I" section.  It looks as if the present arrangement is a "through girder" type where the structure is part above and part below the track level. The aluminium looks to be stiff enough to "hang" some ground under the piers - defying the physics of the real word - and it would be nice to include some abutments at each end. It would all compliment  the remarable backscene - I can just see a train passing across the viaduct in front of that marvellous wide view beyond. 

 

Kit PW

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/blog/2502-swan-hill/

 

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2 hours ago, Tim V said:

Why not turn the aluminium strips upside down, then you could extend out slightly and put embankment sides on it?

 

Because in order to do that I'd have to take up the track (which includes a point and which would probably end up being scrapped), scrap the extrusions (because the trackbed's epoxied to them), buy two new lengths of angle, cut a new trackbed, make the new bridge, re-lay both track and point, re-do the wiring and construct a new bracket to fix the r/h end to the wall.

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Is this section removable and regularly removed, or normally fixed?

 

Just attempting to disguise it as a bridge might look a bit silly, as other than the back scene on the wall, there’s no visual context. It would be floating over nothing.

It needs something attached below the bridged section, possibly attached to the section itself, even if it’s a removable piece.

For example viaduct piers and the valley floor below, plus backscene, or an embankment, as suggested above.


A bridge or viaduct won’t tie in with the existing backscene though.

 

.

 

 

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
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Although the bridge can be removed, that's a major PITA so to all intents and purposes it's a fixture. 

 

Thanks for all the suggestions, gents.  Seeing as how so much of the rest of my railway is actually improbable and this bit's on the far side of the room, I've decided that the application of some paint and a suitable brick or stone paper will do the job for now.

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If you can get away with wallpapering a backscene onto the wall above it, can you get away with the same below it?  Low relief supporting piers standing on the radiator perhaps?

 

Just out curiosity if it isn't necessary as an entrance to the room, why is it there at all?

 

Have you anything in front of the wooden baseboards - if not, why does this bit of baseboard need be any different?

 

I think on balance I would go for a short wooden baseboard this side of it running parallel, scenicked with something like a road or canal or even just a few bushes, and perhaps a railway fence on top?

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I'd probably paint it matt black and forget about it.

 

However, if you're trying to make a scenic feature out of it then rather than a bridge or viaduct, I'd make it into a shallow cutting. Alternatively, fix some brick paper or sleepers to it to make a boundary wall or fence.

 

The problem with making a bridge or viaduct will be grounding the structure, rather than leaving the piers floating in mid air.

 

Steven B.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All,

What about 2 girder bridges end to end?

I have recently bought a laser cut mdf kit (for £12) from a well known auction website that I put together with PVA glue & then painted, weathered & sceniced.

Came out really well.

All remains is for me to install it on the layout (which will be next weekends job).

 

IMG_3432.PNG

IMG_3436.PNG

Edited by CB Rail
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3 hours ago, CB Rail said:

Hi All,

What about 2 girder bridges end to end?

Umm. the original post mentioned 1 metre length. I think that would need more than two of those girder bridges you showed, and then there would be the question of how to join several of them together so that they can hold that length without sagging or showing an obvious unprototypical support when viewed from the side.

 

(And that is ignoring the details of a view from above, since it doesn't seem relevant to the original question - making a prototypical bridge is *hard*, look on google or youtube for pictures of views along  girder bridges if you care about that.)

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Given a similar gap, in our case a lifting bridge over another lifting flap we made some card sides to represent plate girders,    Its too long for a prototype plate girder bridge with no intermediate support but it doesn't jar unduly.   If the structure is below track level I would add handrails, maybe two at 18" and 36" ( 6mm and 12mm ) above the girder top. Otherwise I would leave alone or the structure will get more and more unwieldy.  The pic is all I can find at present.   See also mock up pic.

 

SAM_1206.JPG

 

Screenshot (90)a.png

Edited by DavidCBroad
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Take another piece of Ally angle, join back to back to the original, fill the resulting hollow of the angle facing you, with embankment..

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20 hours ago, zarniwhoop said:

Umm. the original post mentioned 1 metre length. I think that would need more than two of those girder bridges you showed, and then there would be the question of how to join several of them together so that they can hold that length without sagging or showing an obvious unprototypical support when viewed from the side.

 

(And that is ignoring the details of a view from above, since it doesn't seem relevant to the original question - making a prototypical bridge is *hard*, look on google or youtube for pictures of views along  girder bridges if you care about that.)

Hi zarniwhoop,

Apologies if I missed the key dimension @ 1m as I joined the conversation part way through.

The girder bridge I made measures only 400mm so clearly more than one would be required if anyone decided to go forward with this & I agree, making a rigid bridge deck would be a challenge, especially to make it look realistic.

On reflection,  this type of girder bridge would not be the most protypical or practical solution.

i did some research myself & found some prototypical images that helped me create my bridge so I am familiar with this.

Note to self - must read from the beginning! 

Edited by CB Rail
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