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The plastic footbridge project.


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I recently decided to use a footbridge as a baseboard joint 'concealment' device.

It needs to be approximately (final measurements to be made shortly 'on site' when SWMABO is out and I can erect the board)) 480mm long and 20mm wide in 4mm scale.

I want it to be mainly plate girder (see below*). It will represent a public right of way that traverses a railway yard, reminding me of my days at Devonport Kings Road in the late 50s.

It also needs to be a simple project as I am but a simple bod and it needs to be ready for mid September :scratchhead: .

So we have the parts: 2 X Wills SS57 Vari-Girder and one Dapol Footbridge Kit.

Spookily the Dapol lattice parts almost match the Wills plates for depth!

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I'll be using plasticard and other odds and ends too so that it does look a little more than a bashed set of plastic parts.

There are some great pics of railway footbridges on various sites including one showing the steps up to a superb example at *Lincoln Central (not the newer platform example but that further south east).

This has part Wills style plates and part Dapol style lattice framework. I'll be doing a site visit shortly (any excuse for a train ride).

There are also examples of really basic footpath style, countryside based FBs in the collections.

I'll also do site visits to any other relevant examples (any ideas folks?) that come to light 'locally' (36E/A area)

Using ideas from several of the bridge pictures mentioned above, I shall construct supports/pillars and any 'extras' that appear relevant such as light fittings and top reinforcing struts. I particularly like the pillars at March but there is a good bridge at Worksop which I can go and touch!!!

There is a beautiful example (Photo by Philip Sutton) of a lattice style FB in MRJ144 (2003 P 200) on Mostyn that inspired this project. However this was not quite the style I required, but its' beauty gave me the motivation. Thanks MRJ and Mostyn.

I'll try and post some pics as I progress but I'm not starting this just yet so don't hold your breath.

Later..............................

Couldn't resist seeing what the length would look like........this dry run is almost exactly 480mm which is a good omen :dontknow:

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However, if it is to look reasonable I'll be needing another SS57 to ensure the inside of the walkway is not just plain plasticard! That's ordered already! (Arrived today23/08).

The Dapol lattice bits are from the support sections. I'll be adapting the Dapol step sections as they have narrower lattice sections. Probably do a brick abutment or similar*.

For those Engineers who might be palpitating seeing this I will be using supports depending on track-work positions. I might use Evergreen style plasti-strut section, plasti-tube or maybe just plain old metal section. I'll have to mull that over and study those pics or the real thing.

Any tips, ideas* or links to actual examples will be very gratefully received.

P @36E

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Don't know if the processes used to construct the lattice bridge for Snitzl will be of any use to you. There's a step by step guide to building this bridge in styrene sheet in my blog.

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Ah Beast - thanks but no! I'll see if the Library can get me one before I lash out. Thanks mate.

Snitzl - thanks very much indeed..

WOW! What a superb Blog. I just love that bridge and the stone abutments. Also your random stone wall - that is absolutely beautiful. In fact there are loads of really helpful things on there.

I think my bit of bridge bashing will be a bit crude having seen your work. However, that work has now inspired me further to do something better to my scenic items after the Retford show in November when I have all the time I need. Brinsley eh. That reminds me that there were just a few nice, but long gone, examples of plate girder bridges around Nottingham in the 'good old days'. Any still about; I don't know the City very well?

Phil

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Good grief Wally. How that's changed. Where's the T9s and Spams and 30183?

Cheers mate. Should have decided on a lattice bridge for nostalgic reasons.

Having seen this though I think I'll just have to find an excuse to put in a short lattice FB somewhere else on the board then add the little lads and a yellow pencil of course. By the way, does the Waterloo still exist?

Phil

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In hope!

If anyone lives near the old Patney Station site or anyone just happens to have some pics of the footbridge I'd be really grateful if I could see them. I have seen those on the Geographic (photo's of railway footbridges) site. It's the walkway and underside of same I can't see. The upper surface does not matter so much, but the underside detail will not have changed over the years.

Thanks.

P

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In hope!

If anyone lives near the old Patney Station site or anyone just happens to have some pics of the footbridge I'd be really grateful if I could see them. I have seen those on the Geographic (photo's of railway footbridges) site. It's the walkway and underside of same I can't see. The upper surface does not matter so much, but the underside detail will not have changed over the years.

Thanks.

P

 

Judging by this pic (6th one down) on the 'net it is very much standard GWR style for this type of bridge. http://www.wellho.net/share/patneyandchirton.html The deck is usually timbers laid at a right angle to the side girders, what is underneath varies a bit but will consist of an 'L' shape steel joist, again at right angles to the side girders at regular interbvals plus inmost cases a second joist running at angle from corner to opposite corner between the successive joists. I'm fairly sure the underside of the bridge at Tilehurst is to that basic pattern plus a number of other survivors around former GW lines. On some bridges of this style the deck was made using concrete panels instead of timber.

 

Other links http://www.rcts.org.uk/features/mysteryphotos/show.htm?serial=10&img=66-15-21A

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Phil,

 

Here's another view of the bridge, which you should not remember as it is taken from the upper floor of the bombed out school in Paradise Road. The building in the foreground was, for the majority of the seventies, home to the Plymouth M R C ( this was taken after we had moved out and just prior to demolition) so there was a twice weekly pilgrimage over the bridge to the Waterloo, which still exists, but, I believe, no longer supplies the cider which makes people climb over the school gates rather than walk around the bottom!

 

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We now live in a building in Devonport Park almost on top of the tunnell at the other end of K R station (nearest landmark you may recall is "the Purple Fez") and so fairly close if a recce for detail is required.

 

In fact here is an offer, if you can find a space as indicated above on the layout, send me the details of required span and any angles involved and I will knock it up for you and write it up on here if you do the same for your footbridge. It will make a change from coachbuilding.

 

Wally

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Mike, thanks I'd seen the Well House Consultants pics; good are they not?

Hadn't seen the RCTS though so many thanks for that useful link.

 

Wally, that's a very kind offer. If you mean the footbridge span I'll have a little measure up on return from hols and see if it is viable. If you mean the old building that would certainly find a place on my planks; classic.

As for me 'writing up' my build; that could be a laugh but I had intended that despite it being a 'plastic plaything'.

OT a bit, I once had six pints of scrumpy at the Waterloo, walked stumbled back to Peverell Corner and just about got home in one piece. I then experienced for the first time the spinning room followed by blackout, but fortunately not returning the said liquid to the outside world by mouth.

One day before I pop my clogs I'm going to have to come down and do a tour of old Plymouth and Devonport haunts.

P

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Have you got the book - Bridges for the modeller ?

 

http://www.ianallanp...way-bridges.htm

 

Apologies for delay. have now got the book on loan through our Local Library; they did the search and eventually (through British library search facility I'm told) it came up from Bedford's Historic Book collection! £4.00 and 3 weeks browsing!

I have also obtained another two Dapol kits so I can do some serious hacking.

I think work should resume on this bridge within the next couple of days.

Pics to follow.

P

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Here it is. Self explanatory; spot the Dapol bits, Wills Vari Girder bits, plasticard and adhesive splodges.

I haven't finished the walk-way yet - it has a gap.

The whole thing is approximately 500mm span including the steps.

I'll be spraying it with a well known plastic primer in a can so it will take on a whole new finescale looking character (I wish).

I'll also try to remember to take a pic of it more or less completed and in situ.

I'm at present mulling over the way to fabricate the smoke deflector plates and wondering if I might put on some lighting/pretty bits on the step posts.

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OK so it's not 'finescale' by any means, but it is cheap and cheerful and quite robust. It might also be a talking point at any show where I can say to folk that are not confident modellers, 'You could do that, it's only plastic kit bits'.

P @ 36E

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Well it certainly isn't 'finescale' and is quite 'chunky' with hand rails being a scale foot or so wide!!!! However it was a quick and relatively inexpensive way of solving a problem. The configuration has changed a few times over the weeks but here it is on my layout, St. George's Yard's new extension.

 

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This layout is EM, a gauge that usually suggests 'finescale', however a modeller can get it to look good even if they do not have excellent skills or the time to scratch-build everything.

I'd like to think it might inspire someone to go for the more realistic track-work without the perhaps daunting thought of having to spend hours 'Pedonising' everything (with sincere apologies to Pendon which is, of course', the high point of modelling skills IMO).

So thanks to the original owner of the first three boards (Allan Atherley), Dapol, Wills and Sankey Scenics (their width restriction sign being on the shed side of the FB)!

Also viewers can play 'spot the ready-made products' (thanks to Bachman, Hornby et. al.) and see if they can spot modifications /alterations!

I will be posting some other pics of this layout in the appropriate section of the Forum.

There is a heck of a lot of detailing yet to do during the winter months including the fitting of some really lovely Yard Lamps from Patronics and RMLectronics and dead simple cable troughing from Ten Commandments and Wills.

Finally I have decided that the original image I had in my mind for this FB was of the one at Barnetby in the late 70s.

P @ 36E.

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