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Kitbashing Micron Art's Truss Bridge for Dual Main

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6 years 1 month ago - 6 years 1 month ago #18023 by ZRailFan
I'm going to build a small layout, with a focal point being a bridge across a river or canyon (haven't decided). I found TrainCat's amazing etched brass kits on the web, but they don't actually seem to be available anywhere. Micron Art's truss bridge is also amazing but single-track only. So I'm planning on kitbashing a pair of kits to make a single dual-main bridge.

Anyone built the Micron Art bridge? I don't have it in yet, but I'm thinking for support/stability I'll have to run a center beam lengthwise (above and between the tracks) so the existing webbing fits. Or, I can create new webbing with brass stock, but I hazard a guess I won't want to lose the rivet detail in the existing single-track width.

So it'll be a bit of a hack, but that's kitbashing.

I also am a solder man, so it should be interesting. I use a 35W iron, but the brass may require resistance. If anyone knows for sure, I'd love to hear what you have to say.
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6 years 1 month ago #18030 by ZRailFan
Never having soldered for something so small, at least not with any precision, I first took a crack at Micron Art's 1085 box girder bridge. Came out nicely, no resistance soldering needed. I screwed up a bit on the first side. I soldered the side girder to the X braces, following the instructions, then tried to place the detail piece. Bad move. I should have soldered the girder and detail piece as a unit to the X braces. The second side went much more smoothly. You'll never be able to tell once painted and installed, but still... Picture shown.

I left off the tie detail since I hand-lay track. I'll fabricate the bridge ties from turnout ties and secure to the deck. That's why the pieces in the foreground are not installed. If I were using flex track, I'd install those pieces, which form "extensions" for the ties. The kit also includes two brass square rods to mask the joint between the kit and the flex track. I'll install those over the actual ties as well as the railing...still deciding on the railing (not all bridges have a catwalk).

I also received one 1083 kit, which I'll probably assemble as instructed to get a feel for how it goes together. Then I'll pick up a pair and do the actual kitbash. The kit's creator is dubious but encouraging, so the challenge is on. :)
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6 years 2 weeks ago #18088 by ZRailFan
In the interim I received one of the kits and assembled it as written. I then ordered a couple more, and finally they arrived. So I'll get started on this sometime here soon. Being spring, there is yard work (lawn and garden, not siding) and "honey-do" things, but I'll work it in. :) I have a plan and will detail things, good or bad, in a blog post. Hopefully good. I need the bridge. :)

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5 years 11 months ago #18102 by ZRailFan
Done! Well, except for priming, paint, and some track. But the build is complete (see attached photo). I'll write up a blog sometime and post the URL here. In there I'll post many photos as well as describe how I approached it.

Yes. I paid $200 for something I could have purchased for $15. Not a winning investment in that sense. But I had a few hours of great fun, even more so since my son would watch me every so often, so maybe someday he'll get the bug. So in that sense it's priceless.
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5 years 11 months ago #18104 by ZRailFan
And as promised, a bit of blow by blow description of the build:

www.zcentralstation.com/index.php/my-z/test-my-blog/entry/kitbashing-a-micron-arts-1083-pratt-truss-dual-mainline-bridge

I had a lot of fun with it and am excited it turned out so well.
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