Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bridges!! (or finally something other than turnouts)

Here's some quick photos of bridges I built for the Rock River crossing just west of Franklin Grove.  It really is fun to do something other than turnouts for a change.  The through truss bridge is a kit from Walthers while the two girder bridges are from Atlas.  Both are excellent kits.  The through truss bridge from Walthers took a lot more time, but everthing fit together quite well and it was enjoyable to build.  You can't see it in the picture, but the rivet detail is very good.  Its a real nice model.  The two Atlas bridges went together in a snap, literally.  No glue was needed as the kit snaps together.  Took about ten minutes each.  The Atlas bridges come with track, but I will not be using them since I will be using one single piece of Micro Engineering bridge track for each of the mainlines.  This will keep the guard rails continous as well instead of part brown plactic guard rails for the atlas bridges and nickel silver guard rails for the truss bridge. 

The two piers are from Chooch Enterprises.

As you can see I just have the bridges sitting on top of the track for now, just to get an idea of how the scene will look.    I have not decided for certain on the colors to paint the bridges.  I'm leaning toward weathered black with a touch of rust for all three, but might consider silver as well.  Any opinion out there on color?


  1. I think you should go with silver, and give it a wash with a dark grey to break the shine. Then you should some dry brushing with rust colours (burnt umber, burnt sienna) and then apply less diluted wash with the same rust color over the dry brushed areas. Give it a try. If you don't like, you can always pait it over.


  2. I really like the idea of silver. But, when looking at pictures of railroad bridges in the Midwest, weathered black with lots of rust seems to dominate.

  3. Daryl, You have to think of color saturated to be noticed in a model. If you go black, people wont notice that the briged is weathered... But if you go silver and then tone it down with a wash of grey (like a SP dark grey or something) then you will get people to watch your bridge and say that the bridge is weathered.

    In the past, a friend of mine weathered a box car axle with bright orange. Then he toned it down with some burnt umber powder pastels. The thing he said was:

    "If you put a brownish color on the wheel, almost nobody will notice that the wheel is weathered... now with the wheel in orange, everybody sees that the wheel has rust!!!".

    I don't know much about US bridges. I live in Portugal, but I ever had this dilema, I would start with a bright color, and then tone it down with some washes and some drybrushing.

    But that just me! :) Please feel free to ask for pictures of the box car I am talking about for you to see what I am try to explain...

  4. Grimy Black with rust highlights... like you said Daryl, it is the predominant bridge color in the midwest. Recently some bridges have been getting painted oxide red or a dark forest green, but they are more of an exception than the rule...