Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday Motivation and Modeling: MRH Ratings & Rt. 15 Overpass Progress

First off, I want to say a quick but HUGE THANK YOU for all of you that took the time to rate my latest article in Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine!
With your help, it was the top-rated article in last month's issue - and the You-Tube video has over 4,900 views (and those aren't all from me clicking). Talk about about a HUGE shot of motivation - so thank you so much! This is all still very new to me, but I'm glad if I've been able to convince even a few folks to try something new in the hobby and make some more progress. Certainly makes it much more fun!

Speaking of progress, when we last left the Rt. 15 Overpass Project, I'd just extended the right abutment a bit to fit better against the wall. After that dried, I finished up the details and started painting! Here are some photos of the progress . . .

Next step was to figure out the exact shape/size of the roadway, using cheap cardstock.

Also needed to add supports for said roadway. I used hot glue to attach the 1/4" square styrene to the Strathmore.

After lots of cutting/fitting, I had my template for cutting the styrene roadway.

Roadway in place, awaiting final details (parapet & sidewalk).

The State of Affairs at this point - just starting to sand the concrete pier bases.

Cutting up said bases from .060" styrene scrap to squares that "look right" under the pier shoes.

A few quick passes on the sanding block angles off the top edge to make it look like a support pad.
All the bases done and attached to tape for painting.

To raise the abutments to match the height of the bridge on its supporting bases, I cut out some more .060" styrene as a base.
Bases done.

I attached the bases with hot glue, but wouldn't recommend it. Considering the long runs of glue, some of the glue had started to cool & harden before I could attach the base (even though I used my extra hot gun). Consequently, I wasn't able to get the base as tight to the bottom of the abutment as I wanted. I'd try Walther's Goo or WeldBond next time.

Everything mocked up all ready for painting.

Based on a post from Kathy Millatt, I tried some Rustoleum "Desert Bisque" texture paint. She recommends it for concrete roads, so I thought it'd work for the abutments. It actually seems to have some fine grade sand in it so, while it might be great for roads (and I'll certainly try it for that), I thought it was a bit too textured for the abutments.

Another view - note the texture on the left.
I also considered a non-descript light gray for the base color, but it looked too blue to my eye. I finally settled on - wait for it! - "Concrete" color from Floquil. Fortunately, my friend Pete had a small spray can of it left that he let me use.

So with the concrete color choice out of the way, it was time to mask off the girders to paint the concrete bridge and abutments.

I used a combination of tape and paper to cover all the girders & supports, and here's everything painted and drying.

Unfortunately, as I was removing the paper, I ended up breaking off three of the delicate vertical supports - despite my being careful and having added some bracing, I guess they're still pretty delicate.

Fortunately, they all broke at the brittle ACC glue joints, so fixing them was just a matter of sanding off the old glue and regluing.

So that's where things stand - literally - for now while I get some other non-modeling stuff done and choose a color for the girders. I was just going to use a rattle can of flat black, but I think that might just make them disappear. I do plan to highlight them with some weathering so all wouldn't be lost. But I'm now - based on a suggestion from Bill - considering Model Masters "Aircraft Interior Black." Apparently, it's a little lighter - though not as light as "Grimy Black." I'll see if the local shop has any. If not, I have some Grimy Black on-hand and may just end up using that.

As always, I hope that you'll chime in if you have any suggestions or recommendations on anything I'm doing here. With the layout done up through benchwork, trackwork, and wiring (and a bunch of successful ops sessions under my belt), I'm blazing new-for-me ground with structures & scenery. So stay tuned for my mishaps and - hopefully - some successes.


  1. I've been using the Rustoleum textured paint for concrete (it's what I used on the coal silos), but I sanded it down a bit to reduce the texture. It works well, but melts foam.

    1. I really like how those silos came out, so I'll definitely try this paint again, and sand it as well next time.