No Trolls under this bridge, unless you count grumpy old me. Nothing to be grumpy about though. In fact, I quite enjoyed bringing ‘Road Bridge 1’ to life with a bit of colour. Much more colour and weathering to add yet, of course.
I’m feeling my way into the painting of this stone work, because it will probably set the method and tones for all the other stone work to follow. I just don’t want any billy goats messing thing up.
I have started gluing the laser etched stone detail to the first viaduct abutment. Other low relief details are then added, etched onto a thicker card. I will add the texture to the stonework at the next stage.
Hmmm… it’s been a while. I’ve been up to my neck in work. Which is a good thing, but it hasn’t left me much time for railway modelling.
Not that nothing has happened at all. I have been able to get the odd bit done here and there. Some planning; some organising of the shed and equipment; even a small amount of modelling.
To that end, I have been working on a second through plate girder bridge. This spans the road, which loops around one end of the layout. For this bridge I have started completely from scratch, cutting all the parts from plasticard.
It was quite a simple job to do and I didn’t even use the laser cutter. After I had created the I-beams the hardest part was fitting the web stiffeners along each side of the girders. Cross girders were cut from plastruct and glued into place to join both sides into the basic bridge. Just need to add the deck now.
Adding the coping stones to the top of the walls on the bridge now. The bridge is in the last throws of construction at last. Only taken me 6 months! Could probably have built a real bridge in the same time.
The coping stones were liberated from a Wills three arch viaduct kit, which I’m not planning on using now. I think they look the part. Just going to be some filling and fettling to do now before I can start the fun bit. Painting and weathering.
Added another bit of stone detail to ‘Road Bridge 1’ today. This time I’ve turned to the laser cutter again to create the detail.
The trouble with laser cutting HIPS plastic is that as it melts its way through the plastic it can create a lip on the surface of the cut. The thicker the material the more pronounced this can become. So, on this 1mm thick plastic I am just using the laser to score the cut lines. They don’t go all the way through, but give a score line that I can finish off with a scalpel.
The Chinese K40 laser cutters vary so much in performance that it is very much down to the operator to figure out the best settings, of power and speed, for any given material. So, the settings I am recording below are a reminder to me, and are possibly of no use to anyone else.
LASER NOTE TO SELF
I set the stone mortar lines to a 2pt thickness in CorelDraw and then rasterised them for engraving. The 1mm thick HIPS plastic was then engraved at 320mm/s @ 50% power. The cut line (which was set to hairline) was cut at 70mm/s @ 20% power.