Next, it was time to create some water. I used a foam brush to apply Liquitex Gloss Medium. The next day the brush strokes were clearly visible, I so I decided to apply another layer using swirling motions. This produced N-scale ocean waves, so I redid a portion of it and the rest of the water using the stippling method (where you drop a stiff-bristled round brush on the material as you apply it). At first when you pull the brush back up it leaves sharp peaks of gloss medium material, but as it dries it softens and makes for gentle waves. I also mixed some light blue paint in with the gloss medium. The next day I looked at the river and was shocked to find that the gloss medium had dried much like it appears when you first put it on - a non-transparent white muck. My best guess is that either the paint or the stirring-in of the paint, or both caused a chemical behavioral change that made the gloss medium do this. What to do? I was going to go through the arduous task of sanding the surface down to the Masonite again and start over. I came up with the idea of simply repainting the entire surface again and re-apply the layers of gloss medium. This is what I did. The shapes of the waves left over from the previous layer simply added to the effect of the river. I repainted the surface with black paint, repainted the river edge areas, and put three layers of gloss medium on the surface. This time I did not mix any paint with the gloss medium. It turned out great!
You can get a bit of a view of the water in this shot. With the water done, I could now focus on installing the bridge more permanently.
This photo shows the code 40 bridge guard rail being installed. I used Micro Engineering bridge track. It differs from normal flextrack in that the ties are closer together. They supply you with two pieces of guard rail that you need to attach to the ties. After cutting the track to size I glued the guard rail to the ties using 5-minute epoxy. This worked great, however what I learned after I did the first track was to tightly mount the flextrack to a long straight edge, because as you are working on the guard rail you tend to bend the flextrack. The second track is almost perfectly straight. Once the glue dried the flextrack is no longer flexible!
After installation, this is the view from inside the bridge. The track spacing was determined by the mainline tracks, but the bridge probably should have been a bit wider, since the train just barely clears the structure.
Next I am working on the track on the other side of the bridge. This spans the area between the large river and the smaller one.
I decided to build a new bridge of the smaller river. I kitbashed some abutments from leftover kits materials.
Here they are being fitted to their location.
I really didn't like the clearing under the double-track mainline, so I've decided to fill it in with Sculptamold.
And here's the result of the work after painting and applying some basic scenery material.
The plywood sheet you saw a few photos above is the one in the background. It and the sheet in the foreground used to be one solid sheet, but I wanted to start introducing some vertical height differences in my layout, so I cut them apart, and adjusted their support boards accordingly.