I decided to build a model of the bridge I passed under on almost a daily basis when I was still in Colorado. It is one of the few bridges left that bear the Rio Grande name and i wanted to have it on my layout.
I started with a basic atlas el-cheapo plate girder bridge. I had to modify it, however to meet my needs.
Off to the bandsaw... the middle part showing got tossed. The girders were also too long it they got shortened...also using the bandsaw.
I added cross bracing in between the two girders that i had "made."
I added extra vertical braces to the girders to match the prototype. I then painted it all silver and added the Decals. I had to custom print the decals because now one produced the correct decals. I used commercially available decal paper and printed on a laser printer.
I added the bridge ties after cutting them to length from stock material and staining them. I then added the walkways. the walkways are scratch built from brass stock and brass mesh I bought at the local hobby shop. They were painted silver as well.
This the bridge prior to being weathered. It looks way too new. Its now time to add the grime and dirt the real thing has. I use a mixture of powdered weathering chalks and an airbrush. I only used three colors of chalk, light rust, dark rust and black. I used two colors of paint (besides the silver) black and rust.
At the completion of weathering.
Next came be bridge piers. I originally tried to cast them using plaster but failed miserably. I instead decided to make them out of wood and styrene.
I cut the wood pieces to shape with my radial arm saw and glued them together to get the basic shape that I wanted. The styrene was added to give it a a nice finish and smooth painting surface. I did rough up the stryene with some 400 grit sandpaper to give it some texture.
The styrene was applied with superglue the wood underframe.
The first coat of paint has been applied to both piers. I didn't put styrene on the back of the piers because scenery will hide it.
Now the concrete gray is applied.
I added the white stripes to the bottom. I added the caution stripes (again custom decals). I still need to weather the bridge piers before installations.