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SKEW BRIDGE - Attic Layout


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Well I know it might have seemed like a lot of unnecessary tedious work, and it's probably not something I would advise anyone to do, but I've finally glued the last 'cereal packet' brick onto my girder bridge. It's not perfect by any means because I realise that with a bit more care I could have made a better job but even so, I'm really pleased with how it's turned out. And although not evident in the following photos I've even managed to do the reverse side, albeit so far without the wing walls.

You'll also notice, if you compare to yesterday's photos, that I've chosen to extend the walls which creates a space for the girder section to fit between - something I've seen on prototype photos. This did mean that I had to glue the road bed in position so apart from the two wing walls it is now one solid structure.

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It's just about ready for painting but I still have the coping stones to make for the top of the walls and pillars.

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Oh, I've just noticed that it needs some bricks on the short outward facing section of wing wall! I knew I'd miss something.

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I've ordered some small bags of scatter material and static grasses in order to try them out before deciding how I'm going to tackle the embankments. In the meantime I've been painting up some more to

A short 60 second video of 60048 and MGR wagons through the new landscape  

Things are now taking shape on the small scenic end section despite me saying that there was no rush to finish this part of the layout. I began this morning by painting the bridge that has been i

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've installed track along that extra bit of board in the storage yard Tony. There are now 12 storage roads, all of which will take a full length train although the three I've just installed have buffer stops on the ends so trains have to be reversed in.

Hi Mick,, how long are your trains to fin on each track ,  my blocks be 30 feet in length especially the passing loops,  my layout is based on single track running  by passing loops, hope to extend  the single track .

Wow you are coming along well with the bridge love your brick work to scale, a question how  high are steps in HO scale , my ship has a set of steps up to the stern rope room 4 steps high , have started work on the ship again , cut out and glues the two bulkhead, last two for the stern section, tomorrow night will glue the bulkheads in place .

Tony

 

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On 21/02/2020 at 12:07, aussietmrail said:

Hi Mick,, how long are your trains to fin on each track....

Give or take a couple of inches, a set of 36 MGR coal hoppers and loco is approx 15 feet in length. In my early days 36 was the standard number of wagons in a train although there were one or two places that could only accept 30-34 wagons. Later on it wasn't unusual to see workings with 54 as it was found beneficial to move 2 x empty sets of 54 wagons as opposed to 3x36 wagon sets. I'll be sticking to a maximum of 36 on Skew Bridge. I guess that pales into insignificance when compared to some of the trains I've seen running over there in Australia where it's almost impossible to see the end of the train.

On Skew Bridge things are progressing with the girder bridge and it has now been transformed from white brick to red in readiness for final painting.

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Here's a close up of the bricks and my slightly misaligned join in the wall.

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The attic smells wonderful now so while that's drying I'm going to make a start on cutting out the coping stones for the tops of the walls and the pillars.

You might notice that I've also made replacement wing walls for the front, taking a little bit more care to get the bricks in line, so the two former wing walls can now be attached to the rear meaning I've just about done the whole lot front and back after all.

 

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I've used some Railmatch acrylic paint to create the mortar gaps between the bricks, applied liberally with a brush...

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...and then the excess is wiped away with a tissue

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A wet finger wiped across the surface removes excess paint from the bricks but as I discovered, over enthusiastic rubbing with the tissue removes bits of bricks too!

When it's all completed it can be put back together for a couple of photos. Excuse the front girder which hasn't been placed correctly.

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And although I questioned the need to do much with the reverse as it will rarely be seen, I'm now glad that I decided to do that too because it is visible more than I expected it would be. Not a great angle for photos I don't think but I can rest easy knowing that it's all been done now.

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So there's a few bricks that need touching in where I've rubbed pieces off but apart from that I don't think there's much more that needs doing with them. I was going to mix up red and brown paints and go over them but it looks okay as it is. I'm quite happy with the bricks as they are now so just some matt varnish and I'll move on to the next step.

 

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Coping stones have been fitted to the top walls and piers while the girder sections have received a coat of primer.

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Although from a distance the coping stones look fine, in close up it shows they still need some smoothing down so I'll get the file and sandpaper back out shortly.

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That's me finished for the evening and here's where things stand right now.

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All the coping stones are glued in place and there's just some slight adjustments to make before the wing walls fit correctly against the pillars. That's something for tomorrow. There's still some bricks to touch in with paint where I've knocked pieces off while wiping away the excess paint and there's still the rivet strip to fit along the edge of MDF forming the road surface beneath the plate girders. The copings require painting as do the plate girder sides but I think that's about all so there's a good chance I can have it more or less finished tomorrow!

 

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The bridge is still not finished but it's getting closer. The wing walls have now been glued in place and the coping stones given a coat of black paint. I wanted the coping stones to have a mottled finish so I might have to work on that again later. I've laid some black/white/grey paint over the road surface and the paths at either side just to gauge how it's going to look. The plate girder sides are now black and the rivet strips have been fastened on the edges of the MDF below them.

One thing I didn't do when I started out building this was measure the width of the road - I simply guesstimated it from the width of the single track bridge on the other end of the layout. A few days back I had a feeling I'd made it too wide and had visions of a dual carriageway emerging but as it happens I may have made it slightly too narrow, though it still looks okay when my one and only 1/76th scale vehicle is placed on it. I quite fancy some lorries so I hope there's room for them to pass.

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Placed back on the layout this is how the bridge looks this evening. Still some touching up to do I can see.

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And I still haven't glued bricks on the end of the wing walls!

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1 hour ago, ba14eagle said:

Needs a bus Mick! :lol::smile:

Or a broken down car with an RAC/AA vehicle in attendance. Better to have something which wouldn’t be moving. I suppose a bus would be fine if you added a Bus Stop!

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Whatever scene you create in any spot on your layout is always going to look 'static' after a time. I was watching a 'cab-ride' video of a narrow gauge garden railway yesterday set in a large garden and there was one particular place where a figure was standing holding out an outstretched arm in a signalling or beckoning manner. A short time later, and without realising we'd been on a short loop, the scene was passed again only this time with the figures back to the camera but still the outstretched arm. Once or twice isn't too bad but after a time such things become repetitive in my view. Better to having nothing at all than to have the same thing over and over.

A bridge creates its own problems in that it becomes a focal point on the layout and yet very often has the same static scene on top. I don't have any scale vehicles other than the BR van shown earlier so that's certainly going to become repetitive. I don't want all my photos looking the same and so I'm going to have to start collecting some vehicles in order to ring the changes on a regular basis. And yes Iain, bit of a cliche but a bus could and probably will be included in that. Videos are a different matter entirely and there's not so much I can do about that. 

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Although I was relatively happy with the colour of the bricks on the bridge I decided to go over a few with different shades of red/brown to highlight certain ones and break up the somewhat uniform appearance.

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I then moved on to adding a fence along the side of the road using a laser cut kit. I thought that a better option than stretching my patience to the absolute limit.

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It all just needs finishing off now. I'm not sure about the road surface or the paths but I don't want to spend too much time on them. It's all taken a bit longer than I had planned anyway but at least I'm pleased with how it's turned out.

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I sense I'll be revisiting this at a later date because I just can't seem to be able to get the road and the paths looking the way I want them to. I've probably reached the limit of my ability so for now it will just have to stay like this. At least it gives a representation of a road over the bridge. I'll just have to park that blooming big bus on the near side! I need to move on and get some landscaping done.

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For me, it's all too new Mick. No staining on the brickwork, bridge is too black, copings are too black, andthe road and pathways are too clean. You are a brilliant wagon weatherer Mick. That is what is missing from the bridge. Dirt, moss, and rust.

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1 hour ago, roddy said:

For me, it's all too new Mick. No staining on the brickwork, bridge is too black, copings are too black, andthe road and pathways are too clean. You are a brilliant wagon weatherer Mick. That is what is missing from the bridge. Dirt, moss, and rust.

Agreed Roddy.  The roadway is looking good - everything else will look a bit different with a few weathering washes, foliage and rust.  

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@roddy @ba14eagle I agree with both of you but I'm going to leave things as they are for now, at least until I've completed the landscaping either side of the bridge. The road and the path I need to think about because I'm not happy with either as they are at the moment but the main things is the bridge can be planted and the scenics can then be completed.

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Not a lot to report as yesterday was the first time in a long time that I haven't set foot up in the attic and I've managed just an hour or so today - making a start on the landscaping around the bridge.

The following photo is the only one taken as my phone battery was at 3 percent and immediately died on me!

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What I can't show is that in front of this short embankment I have plans to install an access road for the sidings which will exit off-stage to the left.  I've not completed the embankment right into the bridge wing walls because for now I want to be able to remove the bridge. I'll work on the other sides tomorrow. 

 

 

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Very similar to the previous photo this one, but this shows I've done more of the landscaping around the bridge piers.

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I have since completed the ballasting beneath the bridge and painted a few more background trees to try close the gaps on the backscene that little bit.

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