Snake River Bridge Diorama

Bookmark and Share

Working the brass. This diorama featured a new bridge from Micron Art, their Pratt Truss design. It was also my first time working with brass. Like many other people I was a bit apprehensive of brass at first, I thought it might be too difficult to work with but after a short time... I found out just how easy it actually is to work with! I'm now officially a big fan of brass :)

Many people use epoxy when building in brass but I had purchased a resistance soldering unit some time ago and decided to solder this bridge. It was a good exercise in resistance soldering. For this bridge I designed a set of Art Deco inspired bridge abutments. There were some great designs in concrete during the Art Deco period and I wanted to capture some of that flavor.

In these photos I worked on getting some of the basics established, how the water would flow, good angles for shooting photos once the piece was completed, how the bridge would look resting on the new abutments, etc.

These photos show some of the steps I went through to establish a natural water line. Once the basic shape of the river was set I poured rice in where the water would later be. This gave me a quick look at how the shoreline would fall. Also here you can see the pours of water and surface texture.

Here you can see some of the steps involved in building up the water texture. I used multiple products here and finished with a bit of clear silicone to simulate fast moving water. I modified sections of Micro-Trains flex track in order to better simulate the track on the bridge. The ties on bridge track are often closer together than on a regular section of track. The track was epoxied to the bridge and held in place by simple hair clips. As I generally do the MTL flex track was coated and recoated several times with paint and weathering powders, followed by a sealing coat, to give it an appropriate appearance.

In some of the images you may notice the top of the bridge has a slight "kink" to it. It seems when Swiss customs opened the box upon its arrival, someone reached in through the packing peanuts and gave the bridge a bit of unintended "character". The way I see it... a 1:220 Cessna aircraft hit the bridge years before and while causing no real structural damage, has given the Snake River bridge a bit of a new twist!

© 2009 - 2010, Jürg Rüedi. All rights reserved