N Scale Bascule Bridge: Finally It’s Done!

Part 1: http://www.trainsanddioramas.com/ultimate-scrap-building-bascule-bridge-introduction/

Part 2: http://www.trainsanddioramas.com/scratch-building-a-lift-bridge-in-n-scale-design/

Part 3: http://www.trainsanddioramas.com/bascule-lift-bridge-the-concept-of-scrap-building/

Part 4: http://www.trainsanddioramas.com/scratch-building-a-bascule-lift-bridge-the-rocking-truss/

Part 5: http://www.trainsanddioramas.com/scratchbuilding-a-bascule-lift-bridge-the-tower/

Part 6: http://www.trainsanddioramas.com/n-scale-bascule-lift-bridge-assembly/

Part 7: http://www.trainsanddioramas.com/n-scale-bascule-bridge-installing-tracks/

Final Assembly and Concrete Counterweight

The next step is to create the pivot joints for all the links. The first on the list is the rocking truss. In Photo 60 you see a close-up of how the paper pins and electrical wire insulators are used to make the pivot. Once both sides are fixed, check how freely the truss moves before you finalize the assembly.

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Photo 60: Close-up of the paper-pin/electric wire insulator pivot joint between the rocking truss and the tower.
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Photo 61: All linking parts and their respective pivot joints are in place. The paper pins that you can see in the picture will be cut using a wire nipper to a length of 3 mm (0.12”) from the surface through which it is protruding outward.
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Photo 62: The Bridge after all links are pivoted.

In Photo 61, you see all the links in place, the pivots are joined, and you can see the paper pins which will be cut exactly at 3 mm (0.12”) from their respective end surfaces, through which they are protruding, and then sealed with the electric wire insulators. Finally Photo 62 shows the finished installation of all linking parts of the bridge – the green insulators are yet to be painted silver. Next is the concrete counterweight, the last major detail. I used the SketchUp drawing and found the dimensions of each side of the concrete block. Then I cut each side from high quality, architecture model grade, cardboard. I joined them using glue, reinforced the joints using porous bandage tape, and then painted it with concrete color (unbleached titanium white, grey and brown in heavy matt medium) Photos 63 and 64.

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Photo 63: The assembled concrete counterweight made out of cardboard.
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Photo 64: Counterweight painted a concrete color.

Finishing and Weathering

Before gluing the counterweight in place, the assembled bridge had to receive a final coat of paint and then, most importantly weathering. I used colored chalk for weathering, namely Olive Brown, Reddish Brown and Grey.

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Photo 65: Weathering on the rocking truss.

Once the weathering and final coat of paint dried, I glued the painted concrete counterweight in place and voila! You have a fully operating N scale bascule bridge that you can lift. Photos 66a and 66b show you how it looks after the finishing touches. If Photo 66b looks exactly the way the bridge looks in Sketch 2; that indicates that the construction is in accordance with the initial design.  This bridge is now ready for installation. If you’re interested, you might consider adding some additional details, like a strut, or a walkway with railings on the leaf.

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Photo 66a: The completed Bascule Bridge in the ‘Open’ position.
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Photo 66b: The completed structure in the ‘Closed’ position.
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Photo 66c: The completed structure in the ‘Closed’ position.

Installation of the bascule bridge is pretty streight forward, pull the wires under the roadbed and connect to the bus wires, and then add a little servo motor to the link for it to move up and down. But you know what, time to time I tend to appreciate the simplicity of things, so it is actually OK if you want to operate the bridge manually to – whatever rocks your boat. Now, enough of chatter, let me conclude this video showing the bridge in action on my little ort layout.

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