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Stone Viaduct construction method - Scratchbuilding. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 09:34 pm
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Neil Wood
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The layout is designed to have separate sections which will highlight scenes of different geographical locations. The first section I am working on is the Scottish fishing village scene. Its centrepiece is a large curved viaduct. This was crucial as it would make or break this section. I initially touted for ideas for this last year in a thread about Glen Finnan viaduct. Several very good ideas were mentioned and some examples seen were excellent. I decided to use plaster for the exterior as it offers a realistic stone, or concrete finish. This blog entry follows the construction of the viaduct and the challenges it presented hence the title was this to be "a bridge too far"?

I was particulary impressed with Graham Plowman's bridge in his award winning layout. It was one of the best I have seen so I thought this would be the kind of thing I wanted on my layout. I decided I would use his construction method as a basis for my viaduct.



The first stage was cut the exterior from plywood to use as a frame. I first attached the sheet of plywood to the side of the fibreboard holding the tracks and marked out where my arches were to go.





This was done on both sides then cut to size.



The net result then looking like this.



At this point the backboard was cut to size as it would be easier to do this at this point.



The selected back drop pictures were then stuck on and checked to see how it looked. Holes were cut for train access. It was then removed to allow access to model the viaduct.



Semi-circular wooden dowels were added along the side to represent the bits on the side of the viaduct. The next stage was to cover the viaduct framework with plaster.



The plaster was then inscribed by use of a modelling knife to outline the stone blocks. I used a thin blade as in scale the line should only be 1/10th of a mm.



At this point I should show the picture I am using as a template. I took this and others when I was home last year. This is the village of Lower Largo in Fife. It is a picturesque fishing village close to where I grew up. The village I am modelling is roughly based on it although the harbour is different. It was originaly modelled on the harbour in Crail which is another fishing village in Fife. It was going to be too difficult to alter the baseboard to incorporate a stream draining into the harbour so I decided to leave the harbour as it was. The photograph is an accurate guide to stone colours which are used locally. There are different colours of sandstone used in the facing of the viaduct.

As you can see the viaduct here is straight rather than curved but you can never have everything identical and anyway, I like the curved viaduct.



The first step was to have an undercoat which would be the basis of all the colours which would go on top. I used a light beige wash to do this.



Other colours with reddish and greyish tints were added on various blocks to create the effect seen on the bridge in the picture.



In order to get access to the front of the layout I have had to open the garage door here. It was great working with the door open. Nice sunny day and Lorikeets (local parrots) fighting on the Grevilleas and Jacaranda for background entertainment. The garage door will have to be sealed up soon before the rain comes as I can't afford to allow moisture and dust to pentrate into the garage. I really have to get a move on with this section, as once the door is sealed, I will not have access to the front part.





A water based grey stone wash was then applied to weather and point the stone work.



The finished effect was quite good. The plaster has given a very nice stone like look.





I don't know about that back drop now. I have had to cut access holes this size to allow for the pantographs on my electrics. I am toying with some option like cutting it back to the inner most part of the viaduct. I do need some kind of partition as the area behind this will be inner city Germany which will clash a bit. I will have to mull this over before I come to a final conclusion.



I am now shuffling around buildings and polystyrene blocks to achieve the perfect looking village. I have a lot of spare buildings I couldn't use as they just didn't look right. I may have to order some from Townstreet. Speaking of which I had a bit of an accident while engaged in the forementioned shuffling. I dropped one of my Townstreet houses. I managed to catch it in mid air however the kitchen extension at the back came off and hit the deck. It broke but fortunately into only four or five major pieces. I have glued it back together and can hide the cracks and white parts with fake ivy and weeds and so on.



So this is the finished viaduct. I used barbeque skewers for drainpipes and they look the part. The pointing on the stone work has highlighted where my inscribing was less than accurate but this will be disguised by ivy and weeds and the such. The curves have to be done by hand and it can be difficult getting them 100% accurate.

I am quiet pleased with the effect and it didn't take that long. I was surprised how easy it was to make. I really had expected it to be a real mission but it wasn't really that bad at all. If you are in need of a viaduct on your layout, before buying bridge kit with a 360mm radius curve consider something like this. It really is worth the effort. So was it a bridge too far? No, it certainly wasn't. I may do another one, or two, now I know how easy it is. I have plenty of plaster and there's a holiday coming up! ;)



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 10:12 pm
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Wayne Williams
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Neil, Excellent work, I really like what you did with the stone look.

One tiny thought Neil, with your backdrop between villages, can you somehow make it look like the train is going into a tunnel?

Wayne



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 10:23 pm
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Robert
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That stonework is great Neil and I particularly like the colouring. A very nice job.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 10:36 pm
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MikeC
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I like the stone colour too, and also the colours in the low cliffs behind the beach. Impressive viaduct, Neil.

Mike

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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 10:53 pm
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Neil Wood
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Wayne Williams wrote:

One tiny thought Neil, with your backdrop between villages, can you somehow make it look like the train is going into a tunnel?

Wayne


I can get away with this for the lwower one but the upper one I am thinking of using a signal gantry to hide. My problem with the upper one is that I do not have enough room to create the entrance to a tunnel.

Thanks for the kind comments guys.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 11:14 pm
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Marty
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Great "how to thread", something I'll refer to when I get to making my bridges. Many thanks.

How about a small forest to help blend the scenery into the backboard?
cheers



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 11:35 pm
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Neil Wood
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Marty wrote:Great "how to thread", something I'll refer to when I get to making my bridges. Many thanks.

How about a small forest to help blend the scenery into the backboard?
cheers


I've stuck a few trees in there to try to blend it in a bit. I now have a different backdrop with more sky as seen below..



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 11:45 pm
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Gwent Rail
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Neil, thanks for this very good response to the request for a "how to" post about the viaduct.
I'm impressed with the result :!:

We now have straight and curved viaducts in our scratchbuilding section :!: Yet more reference material in our comprehensive coverage of the hobby. Well done gentlemen :!: :!:

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 Posted: Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 12:10 am
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Sol
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Neil, two things , no, three things:
1. very well done
2. Article for the TCH?
3. I can supply a bed & breakfast here for when I want mine built :P


Sol

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 Posted: Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 12:21 am
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Neil Wood
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Sol wrote:Neil, two things , no, three things:
1. very well done
2. Article for the TCH?
3. I can supply a bed & breakfast here for when I want mine built :P


Sol


Thanks Ron and Jeff
I would do an article for the TCH however I was following Graham Plowmans method and it may put his nose out of joint if I do it rather than him.

I might take you up on number 3 if it wasn't for the article I just sent of to the TCH re the DCC assasin. He'll be looking for me and if I'm in Adelaide I'm a dead man.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 03:45 am
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phill
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What a great how to thread, i am in the middle of making a road bridge and this gives me a few idea's.
Aso what a great looking model, you must of worked hours on this so far and you can see the love and devotion to detail you have. Are you a pro at this it, cause it looks it.
Phill

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 Posted: Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 04:19 am
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Neil Wood
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phill wrote:What a great how to thread, i am in the middle of making a road bridge and this gives me a few idea's.
Aso what a great looking model, you must of worked hours on this so far and you can see the love and devotion to detail you have. Are you a pro at this it, cause it looks it.
Phill


Thanks Phill, not I am not a pro but would love to be if someone wanted to employ me. I would far rather do that than sit in this office all day. :wink:



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 Posted: Sun Nov 8th, 2015 02:29 am
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projektmaker2008
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That is stunning work. I was looking for a curved viaduct and found this. It would look great on my layout, but might go for a girder bridge style.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 8th, 2015 04:23 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Nice viaduct, Neil.  :thumbs



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 Posted: Sun Nov 8th, 2015 12:21 pm
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gdaysydney
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MaxSouthOz wrote: Nice viaduct, Neil.  :thumbs

Better late than never :mutley:mutley



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