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Ratio Viaduct Kit construction - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Jul 17th, 2010 07:53 am
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Gwiwer
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My layout thread contains some of this material already but I felt it was a project in its own right worthy of being described here.

First take one Wills Viaduct kit which contains parts to construct a 2-pier, 3-arch viaduct to single or double track width.



Next add two "extension" kits which each contain one arch and one pier, therefore having enough parts to build a 4-pier, 5-arch viaduct.



These two images derived and used under previously posted consent from Chris Trerise / KMRC

Paint the kit in colours of your choice as it comes in a slimy green colour plastic, with the exception of the brick inserts for the arches which are a russet shade but far too bright out of the box.



Glue together the pier sections and arches as separate units for now. Test-fit the painted parts and at this point discover one small piece of stonework is missing :cry: . I'm not sure if it was missing from the box or has gone AWOL somewhere here but if it turns up it will still be used.



Construct a small baseboard for the viaduct to sit on as this is going to be a lift-out section. It will replace the present lift-out viaduct but is taller so requires an all-new board and fixings.

Test-fit the parts on the board. At this point realise the plastic deck alone may not give sufficient strength or rigidity (and remember this will also be used outdoors) so experiment with inserts to see what works.



The brickwork inserts must slide into the arches before further assembly can occur. At this point it becomes apparent that flat sheets of plastic will not assume a near half-cylinder curve neither will they stick securely in the tiny lugs provided.

Seek alternative solutions. The supplied inserts were warmed and tied around a glass jar in a futile attempt to get them to curve. Instead two of them simply shattered into useless pieces. Plasticard - which bends very nicely in most applications - was tried but still didn't stick in the required shape and within the locating lugs.

A sheet of brick-print card on hand for another project was pressed into service and more hastily obtained to complete the job as this did take on the required shape and did adhere where required to the arches.



The edges should straighten out when glued to the piers .....

..... only they don't. Daylight is still visible! :twisted:



Cut strips of balsa which will both reinforce and straighten the card edges and as well provide additional contact surfaces when everything is stuck together.



Cut two balsa supports to rest the end arches on and check the straight and supported edges of the arch bear correctly onto the piers.



Cut, shape and insert balsa into the piers for additional support as these are otherwise hollow and only consist of four sheets of plastic glued at their edges.



Dry-fit the whole thing on the baseboard (and supported on the "scenics trolley") to ensure it is still going to plan



Cut, shape and fit MDF "wings" which will form the outer corners of the scenery and which will define the valley sides. It is starting to look like a proper scene at last. The strip of wood supporting the deck is balsa which replaced the too-thick chipboard shown above.



Leave all the glue to dry and come back later to create the land!

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 Posted: Sat Jul 17th, 2010 09:00 am
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ddolfelin
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Nicely explained, Rick.



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 Posted: Sat Jul 17th, 2010 01:20 pm
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Janner
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ddolfelin wrote: Nicely explained, Rick.
Seconded, nice one Rick.

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 Posted: Sat Jul 17th, 2010 02:11 pm
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henryparrot
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And here is ricks prototype isnt he doing really well



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 Posted: Sat Jul 17th, 2010 07:39 pm
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Robert
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This is a good one for the future so I have put it in the Forum Index.



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 Posted: Sun Jul 18th, 2010 01:08 am
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Gwiwer
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Thanks for the pic and comments Brian. Close study of that and most other viaducts in the area will show that they have masonry inverts in their arches.

Once it became obvious that the brick sheets supplied would not work I looked at stone as the next best option.

I have a good selection of Vollmer and Faller sheets on hand and there is more available through Scalescenes but none seemed to closely match the square dressed blocks used in Cornish viaducts. Printing and sticking to Plasticard was not an option for me - the printer ink runs as soon as we have damp weather and Plasticard didn't hold the curved shape required either.

I have gone with brick as the card available was the next best option, has a slight texture to it and looks quite realistic now it is fitted. In any case the height of the viaduct means that the underside of the arches will not be seen without the viewer crouching down. But that doesn't stop me giving it my best shot.

More pics to come as this project takes shape; I am hoping to get the land at either end under way today.

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 Posted: Sun Jul 18th, 2010 01:17 am
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Sol
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Gwiwer wrote: ............- the printer ink runs as soon as we have damp weather .


Rick, if you spray the printed sheet both sides with matt varnish before cutting & after glueing, the damp weather should hold no fears.

 

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 Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 12:59 pm
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Ianbo
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Rick

I made the same kit on Basford Junction and was having the same problems with the curved arches under the viaduct, but found that by immersing the flat sheets in near boiling water they took the required shape quite readily , being thin thy cooled very quickly and kept their shape.

I tried your alternative solutions and had about as much success as you.

By the way a pair of rubber gloves is advisable to stop unwanted scolds! 



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 Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 01:16 pm
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Gwiwer
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Yup - tried the boiling water but in my case it was steam. I had already got the sheets pre-painted into "weathered" brick with several coats of mortar, blacks and browns all wiped back to my satisfaction ............

So basically immersion wasn't an option I chose as I would have had to re-do all that work. Which in the end will be useable somewhere else as the sheets will be cut up for brick structures.

I tried a full assembly of the viaduct last week and of course it isn't as simple as the instructions suggest!

More on that soon.

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 Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 01:22 pm
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Ianbo
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Gwiwer wrote: Yup - tried the boiling water but in my case it was steam. I had already got the sheets pre-painted into "weathered" brick with several coats of mortar, blacks and browns all wiped back to my satisfaction ............

So basically immersion wasn't an option I chose as I would have had to re-do all that work. Which in the end will be useable somewhere else as the sheets will be cut up for brick structures.

I tried a full assembly of the viaduct last week and of course it isn't as simple as the instructions suggest!

More on that soon.

Is it ever:hmm



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 Posted: Fri Jul 30th, 2010 08:45 am
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Gwiwer
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First an apology and a correction. Anyone who has been looking at the Ratio viaduct kit and noted that it is an N-gauge product and knows that I run 00 may be scratching their chins. :hmm

The error is mine. The 00 kit I am using is from Wills. Ratio do indeed make one virtually identical in N-gauge and the images in the first post will suffice as they are so similar.

Apologies to anyone who has been befuzzled by that.

Next I can report that the kit has finally been persuaded to stand up. The arch sections are marked with the centre line along the deck, then the strip of balsa which is to be inserted as strengthening is marked with its own centre line.

The positions of each end of the deck are marked on the upright end woodwork to ensure that when offered up to the fixed boards the deck will be in the right place to accept the track!

Then one at a time over the course of a week each arch unit was firmly glued to the balsa strip using craft glue, then in turn stuck to its respective piers with plastic cement. Each was allowed to harden before attempting to add the next hence the one-a-day work rate. The centre line on each piece of deck must match the centre line marked on the balsa strip.

Starting with the centre arch and two piers over successive days the adjacent arches were fixed one at a time and also glued firmly to each other along all the edges. The outer arches are borne on balsa uprights which will be hidden when the land goes in.

After a patient week of persuading the kit to fit (not always an easy matter - and there are quite a a few minor adjustments still required) the whole structure is then placed into the baseboard.

The balsa deck is centred using the previously-marked line and the marked positions on the end panels. With that done the position of each pier is marked on the baseboard.

All wood : wood contact including the balsa blocks we inserted into the legs earlier on - don't forget them as they are there for strength! - is stuck using a woodworking glue while a rectangle of plastic cement is applied to the marked area where each pier will sit so that the plastic may bond to the wood.

The entire structure is then positioned, checked from all sides and the deck weighted with a couple of rubber mallets to ensure good bonding.

When done you can place a piece of track on the decking and add your newly-arrived mail train to show what this will look like when finished ;-) It's taken so long that it's now dark so this is a flash-lit shot :???:

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 Posted: Fri Jul 30th, 2010 07:10 pm
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Christrerise
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I would not have had the patience to preservere Rick.  The results are certainly worthwhile though.

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 Posted: Sat Jul 31st, 2010 07:57 am
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Gwiwer
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Started on the land today.

Both ends were packed with scrap poly blocks, wood and newspaper formers and one end has been plaster-clothed.

Before the "land"



And with the land created at one end - this is the viewing side



And the all-important if seldom seen rear view

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 Posted: Sat Jul 31st, 2010 08:32 am
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ddolfelin
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Is there going to be a river under it, Rick?

Lots of magic water or something will be required if so.
Perhaps shelving the shore (as if in a part drought) will help with that.

Now you are going to tell me that it will have track under it to make me feel stupid.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 1st, 2010 07:06 am
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Gwiwer
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There will be a river under the viaduct.

As the project develops the plan is to build slightly raised banks either side of the central arch which will become mud flats and have a quite narrow channel of water winding its way beneath the middle arch.

The water will probably be one of the Woodland Scenics products as I already have a couple of options on hand. The mud flats might take some thinking about as they need to look like glistening wet mud but not actually be a part of the river itself.

There might even be the mortal remains of a part-sunken little boat in the mud as well.

The effect I am going for can be seen in this picture. This is St. Germans Viaduct in east cornwall. Not only does it spring from the hillside but it also has brick, not masonry, inverts in the arches! Just like mine. :cool:

http://www.hondawanderer.com/6024_St_Germans_1998.htm

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 Posted: Sun Aug 1st, 2010 07:24 am
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Janner
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Two super viaducts - your's and St Germans :thumbs

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 Posted: Sun Aug 8th, 2010 07:56 am
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Gwiwer
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Today I got plastered.

Not as you might suppose in the alcoholic sense but in the casting and blathering sense.

Both ends now have the land moulded. The far end in this image shows a slight departure in technique for me as I was out of plastercloth and was unable to obtain more.

That end is therefore built using the Sol method of J-cloths (Chux to the Aussie members) soaked in and washed over with casting plaster of which I had plenty to hand. The result isn't much different but it does take a lot longer to go off.



I have taken the land mass up inside the arches where in due course there will be bushes and small trees added; here is the effect so far at one end with the land painted in my usual green undercoat.



Then the majority of the valley floor - which will become mud - was added.

I placed some scrap wood and polystyrene packing on the baseboard and tucked some pieces of J-cloth around them then poured casting plaster (a/k/a Hydrocal) over them. The first pour was the trial which seemed to go quite well but was not coloured.

For the next mix and pour I added a generous amount of Woodland Scenics "Earth Undercoat" paint and a few drops of their "Raw Umber". When you do this remember that you are effectively diluting the paint with a white liquid so it will lighten the colour as you mix.

The channel for the future water was also moulded and is occupied by one of the fishing boats borrowed from Penhayle Bay just for effect.



At this stage the intention is to use one of the "Instant Water" type products once I am happy with the mud either side. For now this all needs to dry off thoroughly and I need to be happy that this amount of plasterwork isn't going to crack or shrink.

The plaster which has strayed onto the viaduct piers is easily removed with a stiff-bristle brush once it has dried out.

I'll keep you posted!

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 Posted: Sun Aug 8th, 2010 08:01 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Coming along nicely, young fella !  :thumbs  Even if the plaster doesn't come off, I'm sure the weathering will sort it.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 8th, 2010 08:37 am
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henryparrot
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Good messy progress there RIck unfortunately terrra forming with any plaster based product will always be a bit messy but the results give you great effect.

The drying time with your J cloths is probably down to the plaster used of course if that were a problem i.e slowing you down it may well be possible to add an accelerator to the mix .

Are you making 2 of them as in your last photo its looks like another one in the background.

Brian

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 Posted: Sun Aug 8th, 2010 08:49 am
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Gwiwer
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I'm not making two Brian!

The one in the background is the existing card viaduct which is to be replaced.

So long as the curing time isn't unduly long such that the paper in the land form starts to mould then time is less important than achieving a good result. It's outside so should go off fully in a couple of days.

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