3.32 Open Grid Deck Pony Truss Road Bridge √

Inspiration for this somewhat unusual bridge came by way of an open grid deck bridge I'd scratchbuilt for the White River & Northern IV (below). Since it was much too small to use on the WR&N VIII, I set about scratch-bashing a new one.

My starting point was a Vollmer railroad truss bridge kit (below). Several years ago, I'd purchased a whole bunch of incomplete kits in a lot with no packaging or instructions, just the parts. It was a good investment, as I've used bits and pieces of them over time, and now I was making the best use of them yet.

I began by removing the vertical members from the truss parts, then assembling them per normal.

With the trusses done, I fabricated a simple deck frame from Evergreen styrene I-beams and plain strip stock. I eyeballed the width.

It's not a "proper" deck by any means—I totally made it up. It didn't need to be accurate anyway, because the grid decking would hide a multitude of sins, and it's not a key foreground structure to begin with.

For the color I used two rattle-can spray paints: Valspar flat Tropical Rainforest and flat Gilded Pesto. The former is in the New York Central Jade Green family; the latter is a pale yellow-green that gave the jade a "fade" and knocked the brilliance back. Since the model represents a well-maintained bridge, I resisted the urge to hit it with a heavy rust wash.

I fabricated the guard rails separately from the bridge using scraps of lattice and strip styrene, then painted them. I also painted the decking material (Scale Scenics aluminum micro-mesh, #652-3500) the green mix, then masked it with tubing so the edges wouldn't be sharp, and lightly sprayed it with ruddy metal primer. Everything had to be done lightly and gently because the mesh is very delicate and easily plugged with excess paint. Finally, I attached the grid decking (a tiny dab of CA at each corner) and guard rails to the bridge assembly to finish the model on 18 August 2020.

On 10 November 2020 I began building up the landforms around the ends of the this bridge and the abandoned stone arch bridge using layers of half-inch Foamcore (above).

Reference Images

Pony truss bridges are becoming rarer every day, and many are now considered historic. New Hampshire has only a few; two examples below are both in New Jersey. Photos by Nathan Holth for BridgeHunter, an invaluable resource.

Previous < Return > Next

Copyright © 2017-2020 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved | Site Map