Monday, June 5, 2017

Trestle - ing onwards

Slow work over the last week has finally seen a few piers for the trestle assembled. I need to assemble the trestle so that I can build the scenery around the base of the piers.
It is certainly different building in a larger scale than HO previously, it seems solid. I have used 12mm dowel for the poles. It seems strange that when I was picking them out I was looking for the ones that were a bit rough. Bridge pylons are not smooth like the original dowel.
Lower portion of the trestle edging is put into place.
I had sourced some Mt Albert timber from "The Railcar" for this project, so far it looks like I will have enough for the project. The ply I used gives a solid base for the bridge and only needs the piers placed under it. The trestle will need seven intermediate piers of varying height. The trestle is based loosely on the Monbulk trestle on the Puffing Billy railway. By doing this I was able to use available prototype plans of the piers used on the narrow gauge railways in Victoria. But comparing the official Victorian plans there seems to be a slight difference to the way the Monbulk trestle has been constructed. It  will look the part in the end.
The trestle is based on official VR diagrams       

Waterproofing membrane added to bridge/track layer
I was able to add a waterproofing membrane between the side timbers. I don't think this was on the original bridge but must have been a later addition to the bridge to protect against timber rot.
The first pier starts to take shape
In studying photos of the trestle I think that superelevation has been built into the actual deck and the track laid straight onto it. I tried to replicate this on the model but trying to guarantee every pier would be exactly the same was always going to be hard. I have decided to lay the bridge flat and add some super to the track when it is laid. At the top of each pier a notch on each side has to be cut to take the cross timbers. I tried using a razor saw but it was too slow. I didn't have any other weaponry that I could use so while at the local hardware store I purchased a coping saw that had a fine blade and a few others blades for different uses. To say I wasn't coping with the coping saw would be an understatement. The results weren't pretty and hopefully will be mainly hidden under the top roadbed. I was re-assured by a friend who to his credit had made over two thousand dollhouses that because of the coping saws fine blade that they are not easy to control. I have taken that onboard for my excuse for poor workmanship.
The first trestle pier made
The first pier has been completed, glued up and ready for its first coat of paint. The horizontal timbers have been notched into the upright timbers but I became lazy and just glued the crossbraces onto the piers. I was after some O scale nut and bolt castings from "The Railcar" but they only had HO type but was told they would be OK. I still think I would rather some O scale ones that look more solid. Each pier was attacked with the cutting knife to roughen it up from the smooth original. Sometimes a bit too much came off but that bit can go to the back. The end product looks good.
The first layer of paint applied
The above photo shows the first layer of paint applied to the pier. I have read that the preferred staining material is to use Indian ink mixed with the isopryl alcohol. One local art shop had a big jar for around $14.00 so I thought I could try something else. I found a jar of a paint colour called "light hull grey" I applied it with some of the alcohol to dilute and it went on quite well. You can see how the piers have that rough look. Funny how in this hobby we try to make things look for the worse.
A bit of weathering added 
The above photo shows how some weathering brings the piers to life. I virtually used some Tamiya Khaki drab colour dry brushed on. Also can be seen the HO nut and bolt washers used that I think are a bit on the small side. I will try and source some O scale nut and bolt washers for the rest of the trestle.
Close up of weathering
The above photo shows the first pier nearly completed with just a bit more weathering to be done. I am happy how this has turned out, my first O scale one.
The first pier is tried out to see how it fits in.

The first two piers temporarily in position
So the first two piers have been made and now I must get on and finish off the next five. I must admit that with roller door on the shed up today taking in that warm winter sun and some music on the radio it was a good afternoon.
Keep modelling!


  1. Love the weathering on the trestle piers Bob. I can almost smell a bit of dampness and rot forming on the timber. It does look so South Coast indeed.

  2. Thanks Phil, two down, five to go