On The Workbench #7…

On the workbench is one of the “special projects” I had mentioned last time. The backstory on this is that the upper level represents northern Minnesota. And in the Land of 10,000 Lakes we seem to have an equal number of rivers running someplace. This is especially true up north where everything is draining towards Lake Superior. A spot just ahead of the junction looked like it was just crying for a nice double track truss bridge over a river. So I hauled out the Walther’s catalog (www.walthers.com) and started looking for one. When I got to the Campbell Models section (campbellscalemodels.com) I realized that I had one tucked away somewhere. Started digging and finally found it. And thus the project started.

Where I want the bridge to go.
The “new” kit.

As you can see by the price I’ve had this awhile. The sticker on the box says $24.75, the current suggested retail is $70.00. Opened it up and everything was there, well, almost everything. Much like the missing decals for the Whale Belly tanker, the instructions for the bridge went missing.

The kit, sans instructions.

So I headed on over to Campbell’s website to see if I could get a set of instructions. It turns out that you can, once you prove you own the kit. I’ll be honest, I was a bit taken back by this. I got over it once I realized that the instructions were mainly full sized templates that you built the bridge over. Having those in hand you don’t need Campbell’s kit, as you could supply your own material to build the bridge with.

Not wanting to wait for the instructions I headed to Google images. I found plenty of images of the finished bridge, all the same shot. But I did find an image that was a shot of part of the instruction sheet. It was nice as it showed about half the bridge with cross sections of the various pieces. So I printed it out and figured I would wing the rest.

The first thing was to figure out the spacing on the cross beam/supports. I took the total length and dived for the seven cross beams. I also marked the centerlines of the cross beams.

The alignment marks in place.

Then using my square I started gluing up the base.

Everything aligned and squared off.

Having squared up and glued the base sections I made myself wait till everything was set and dried. Not an easy thing when you could charge ahead, even though not everything was set. Once the glue was dry I moved on. Next up was the base longitudinal stringer and the vertical uprights.

Setting the uprights in place.

Lastly, the end diagonals and the top stringers along with the embossed paper gusset plates.

First side done, with gussets in place.
Backside gussets in place.

I realized that if I had the instructions I would have built the side panels over the templates and then glued them to the base. I figured this out mainly from the gusset plates as I had to cut them to fit around the finished pieces. The next photo is of the finished bridge primed.

The bridge done and primed.

I have to apologize, I didn’t take pictures of the other side being done, just seemed redundant. And then I was suddenly finished with it. The main thing I missed by not keeping the photo record going were the upper web trusses. Campbell had you making these up with small pieces glued into a balsa channel. For this I would have needed the templates. What I did instead was take a styrene web truss, cut off the flange and glue it into the balsa channels. Then I glued them into place.

After that, I obviously primed it. After 24 hours I gave it a final coat of flat black.

In it’s final color waiting for weathering.

Considering that I was working without instructions, I think it turned really nice. Of coarse now I have to cut and fit it into place. And just like the last bridge I added in after the track work was in place, I will have to move the feeder wires first.

Well for now that is the end of this adventure. Till next time-

Happy Railroading…


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