Scratch-built Turntable - Bridge Detailing
05/27/2006
The sides of the bridge were made out of steel sections bolted or welded together. To model that I used Evergreen angle strip styrene. The smallest I had was item no. 291, which has 0.060" angles. I used both Testors Plastic Cement and Super Glue to glue these strips to the painted MDF sides of the bridge. I cut the strips of angle styrene to fit the shape of the bridge's sides and glued them down. It was a simple scratch-building project that took a couple of relaxing hours for each side.
Scratch-built Turntable
I painted the MDF and the angle strips with Polly Scale's "Flat Aluminum". Later I will apply some weathering to the "panels". Shown here also is the spotlight.
Scratch-built Turntable
Then came the bridge's walkway. I glued some scale 3" by 10" boards cut to 20-foot lengths on the extended ties. After that I applied alcohol and India Ink solution to stain and weather the boards. I followed that with some dry-brushing of black and gray paints.
Scratch-built Turntable
This small structure sits on the turntable itself. I contains the controls for controlling the movement of the turntable. The parts came from the Diamond Scale Products core turntable kit. It consists of 5 white-metal pieces. I trimmed what little flash there was on the parts and got them ready for assembly. The interior of the structure will be visible, so I painted it a cream color. I then glued 0.010"-thick clear styrene to the back of the walls to represent the glass (shown in this photo).
Scratch-built Turntable
After installing a piece of 0.020"-thick white styrene for the door, I coated the windows with Krylon Crystal Clear Glaze. If you use it sparingly, the results are great. It is important to use the clear styrene as a backdrop.
Scratch-built Turntable
Next, I used 5-minute epoxy to glue the four walls together. From a small piece of styrene, painted with an aluminum color, I created the console of the control cab. I used a toothpick to make some red lights on the panel, just in case they are visible through the windows.
Scratch-built Turntable
I painted the exterior of the building with a light cream color and a "Dirt" color for the accent. The door was painted with "PRR Tuscan Red". This is an extremely close-up photo, so it does show flaws in the painting, which are invisible from normal viewing distances.
Scratch-built Turntable
To make the scene as real as possible, we need to install an employee who is controlling the turntable. I painted the whole figure a "flesh" color.
Scratch-built Turntable
I then painted his pants.
Scratch-built Turntable
An finally, I painted his shirt and hat.
Scratch-built Turntable
I made a simple platform from strip wood. After doing some trial fits, I determined where the figure was to be installed so that the control cabin could fit around him.
Scratch-built Turntable
Then I could glue the control cab over him. His right arm stretches over the control panel in the cab, so I had to wiggle the cab a bit to get it to fit. By the way, both parts were glued to the wooden base with super glue.
Scratch-built Turntable
I had originally glued the door to the control cab closed when I built the structure. However, I decided to snap it out and glue it in the open position. That way it looks like the employee just walked into the control cab to do some moves on the turntable. The next step is to install the guard rails on the bridge. They will be made from 0.019" brass wire by Detail Associates. I used a #75 drill bit to drill the holes in the bridge. I drilled holes in each of the wooden support beams that stick out from under the walkway.
Scratch-built Turntable
I cut a scale 4-foot section of the brass wire for the vertical posts. I filed the top of the "posts" so that they are nice and smooth. After inserting the piece in the drilled hole, I placed a drop of superglue to permanently mount the posts. In the next photo one side of the vertical posts is in. They aren't perfectly straight. First, that is hard to do, and second, I like mine to lean a little to indicate decades of use.
Scratch-built Turntable
The horizontal handrail is now being glued in place. A metal weight was used to press the piece to the vertical posts. I just glued them one at a time. It went pretty smoothly.
Scratch-built Turntable
I completed the other side, and then painted them a yellow. This completes all the details I had planned to add to the turntable at this time.
Scratch-built Turntable