A River Runs Through It…

As I had said the next part of the scenery had a river that runs through it. I had penciled in where I had wanted the river but never cut it out. Part of the reason was that I was unsure of what type of bridge. The track here in on an incline (slight) and a curve. And I didn’t want just a culvert.

I finally decided to use the sides of an Atlas (atlasrr.com) plate girder bridge. That way I could cut the sides of the plywood subroadbed flat on the side and add bridge abutments and presto, a bridge.

First up was to cut out the river. Not an easy task considering that everything else was in place and I had to be careful not to wreck what was there. Mainly I had to be careful of the wiring that ran underneath the area. This is where one of my favorite tools came into play. It’ my Dremel Max (dremel.com) oscillating cutter. With the wood  cutting head in It, you can come in real tight and have excellent control. So I got the river cut out.

The wall in place and the river cut out.

And then the next problem. Seems the feeder wires for these two tracks are right in the middle of the bridge.

Of course the feeder wires are in the way.

So these had to be moved. No big deal, but it seems it is always something.

With the wires moved it was on to the riverbed. I used 1/4″ plywood but wanted to add stiffeners so I could staple the screen to it. Problem here is there is little access. Because the cabinets are set back 6″ from the edge of the benchwork and wiring running underneath, you can’t come in from the bottom. the piece is too wide to come in from the top. And there is only a 3/4″ wide slot at the front. So I prepped the panel with all screw holes in place, slid the panel in and then added bracing.

The river base ready to install.

Next up was the abutment. My first version was the bridge support with the wings attached. Once done I slid them in place and decided that the wings where way to low.

Bridge abutment version 1.

The bridge abutments were built out of .040 styrene sheet and .100 styrene strip with some trim work to look like poured concrete. I cut the wings off so I had just a support. Then I built new wings that came up to the full height of the river bank.

Abutment wings for version 2.
Version 2.

Then I needed my plate girder sides. As I recall you used to be able to buy them separately as a flat car load. No joy there. I ended up buying a full bridge and cutting the sides off from it. Next thing was Atlas built there bridge around a 9″ piece of straight track, which scales out around 65 feet. My span was only 28 1/2 feet.

Bridge abutments in place. The plate girder sections will need to be resized.

A little too long. So working from the center I cut it apart. I used the short double reinforced sections from the ends and grafted them on to a cut down center section. The end results are near perfect.

The finished bridge set in place.

Then brought the screen down to the river and added the plaster cloth.

The scenery finished down to the river.
alternate view.

It just needs a top coat of plaster and it will be ready for some earth paint and then scenic materials.

That’s what I’ve got for now, until next time. Happy Modelling…



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.