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The Bridge

Postby dkightley » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:36 pm

A simple name......but its the most appropriate name for my next layout. That is if you can call it a "layout"!

My next project is to create an exhibition display of the Uk's (if not the world's) best known railway bridge...the Forth crossing. The layout will be somewhere around 25 foot long and only 2 feet deep. The track plan is simply a long...very long dog-bone loop..with a switchable dead section at either end and separate controllers for the Northbound and Southbound legs.

The bridge is going to be totally 3D printed in as close to scale realism as I can get within the feasibility of construction. So far, I've made some progress in 3D modelling some of the many components need to create the structure. Here's an assembled centre tower with the discrete components all in different colours:
Bridge3DC.jpg
Bridge3DC.jpg (45.14 KiB) Viewed 10240 times

The north and south towers are not as long, but are similar to each other, and each of the six cantilever sections are the same. So, once I;ve cracked one whole section, its simply a matter of reprinting. Did I say "simply"??

And here's a partial assembly of some of the parts I've printed so far. The red parts are final or close to final; the white parts are the initial sample print. First one side:
IMG_0955_red.JPG
IMG_0955_red.JPG (50.12 KiB) Viewed 10240 times

One of the feet atop its caisson:
IMG_0956_red.JPG
IMG_0956_red.JPG (30.68 KiB) Viewed 10240 times

And finally, the lower cross lattice girder:
IMG_0957_red.JPG
IMG_0957_red.JPG (32.15 KiB) Viewed 10240 times
Doug Kightley
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Re: The Bridge

Postby peterg » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:39 am

Wish i was clever! Great project Doug......guess you live in a long narrow house to manage a 25 foot layout :lol:
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Re: The Bridge

Postby dkightley » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:55 am

Errrr........no!

In fact I don't have anywhere inside that I'll be able to set the layout up!

I'll have to rely on the weather forecast!
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Re: The Bridge

Postby martink » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:33 am

That's impressive... And I was impressed by the 1.5m trestle bridge on Orbost!
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Re: The Bridge

Postby mattd10 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:40 am

Couldn't you have gone for something smaller to at least give others a chance of outdoing you ;)
I may have to do a scale replica of the channel tunnel (all out of sight of course) just the portals :D

But seriously, this looks bloomin amazing and cannot wait to see it take shape!

Sent from mobile device
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Re: The Bridge

Postby dkightley » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:45 am

There are two reasons for choosing the Forth bridge as my number two layout....

Firstly, I wanted something that would challenge my skills in using the latest technology in modelmaking. I don't like doing easy things!! So far I've had about a 50% failure rate when printing most of what I've done so far. And I'm talking about single prints taking up to 8 hours!!

And secondly, I wanted to do something with a "Wow" factor that would get the scale noticed. Most who have seen T gauge have seen it as a novelty. I want to change that..and make the sceptics think twice before dismissing it. Most think of the novelty factor...the track around the rim of a hat, inside a toilet seat or a briefcase. I want them to talk about modelling railways in T...and the capabilities of such a small scale. The Forth bridge is impracticable in all other scales....but not in T!

I'm anticipating the build to take many months. I have the overall layout sketched out in memory...and on scraps of paper. The bridge itself is something like 18 feet long overall...and I'm planning loops behind angled scenic backdrops at either end...and a painted backdrop to try and give some feel of depth. I already have a set of folding tables that line up to give an 8 metre long and 600mm wide platform to assemble the sections on...which will probably be 1 metre lengths to match the table sizes.

As yet, I've not decided which way to orientate the bridge. Do I place it facing West with the road bridge in the background....or facing east with the estuary as the backdrop?? The latter may win the day so the bridge is not obviously dated....so I can run almost anything across it. The only non-realistic thing will be that the bridge will have no scaffolding screening any part of it. It'll be between coats of paint!!

I'll post updates and photos as often as there's something new to show.....
Doug Kightley
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Re: The Bridge

Postby peterg » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:24 am

Sounds like it will certainly WOW the sceptics when it's done Doug!
Your determination to quiet these people is great....still being new to the game i have no axe to grind as such but i do hate the dyed in the wool tendency where change and product evolution is concerned. Remember when computers were the size of the front room. Mobile phones have far more computing power than took men to the moon. Carry on the good work.

How will you join the various sections on a regular basis for exhibitions and the like ??

Pete
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Re: The Bridge

Postby dkightley » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:45 pm

I haven't thought that deep into the design yet.....but I'll probably use dowels for location and either "turnbuckle" fasteners or bolts/wingnuts to secure sections of the board.

The bridge will be pre-assembled in sections and the caissons will locate loosely on supports fixed to the layout board...and current thoughts are for the track to be connected with flexi-joiners and the bridge sections held together with discreetly located nuts/bolts.

And I'm open to thoughts on how to get acres and acres of water surface with the right amount of waves!! :shock:
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Re: The Bridge

Postby peterg » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:48 pm

Hope this doesn't sound too way out but ;

Supposing you had a relatively high speed fan playing on the water fluid from the moment it was poured until the point that it sets....would that make waves or shall i just go back to sleep ;)

PS: Or just tell people that it's a calm day.
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Re: The Bridge

Postby dkightley » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:29 pm

Here's a first version of one of the fifteen viaduct girder sections. Printed in two pieces; the road bed and the girderwork:
Img_0968_red.jpg
Img_0968_red.jpg (38.13 KiB) Viewed 10027 times
Img_0967_red.jpg
Img_0967_red.jpg (41.02 KiB) Viewed 10027 times

Flexi-track slides neatly into the two slots on the top of the road bed section with the rail head flush with the top surface. With each section slightly over 4 1/2 inches long, the viaduct one end is just under 23 inches long...and the other between 45 and 46 inches long. Yikes...I'll need to build in space for a track joint part way down the Queensferry viaduct! :shock:

Its incredible to think that when they built the bridge, these 168 ft long sections were assembled on partly built columns...and then jacked up bit by bit to allow the column to be built up underneath. Victorian engineering at its best!!
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