Introduction: Building a 1:160 (N) Scale Model of a Plate Girder Railroad Bridge

Picture of Building a 1:160 (N) Scale Model of a Plate Girder Railroad Bridge

This is an instructable for building a Plate Girder Railroad Bridge in N-Scale or (1:160). The 3D model files can be found on Thingiverse.

Step 1: Print the Parts

Picture of Print the Parts

The parts for this model can be printed with any 3D Printer but there is detail (rivets) that will not show up unless you have a printer with a 250 micron nozzle. There is also an option to print a solid road bed with a walkway and hand rail. The walkway and Handrail do require a 250 micron nozzle.

Note that I model in full scale dimensions so you will need to downsize the STL files to N-Scale (1:160 or 0.62).

The parts shown above are for a standard bridge across which bridge track would be laid. You need two end pieces, two sides, and a top and a bottom. The bottom and top are different in that the bottom has rivets showing.

Also seen in the picture are assembly jigs. Pins and cork board could suffice.

Step 2: ​Insert the Bottom and the Two Sides Into the Larger Jig

Picture of ​Insert the Bottom and the Two Sides Into the Larger Jig

This will be a tight fit! I put the bottom piece in with the rivet detail facing up but if the bottom of your bridge is to be visible they should probably face down.

Step 3: Insert the Smaller Jig

Picture of Insert the Smaller Jig

Note that if you look at the underside of the parts you will see a nice flush surface! Super glue the sides into place when all is neat.

Step 4: Insert and Glue the Ends.

Picture of Insert and Glue the Ends.

The inner jig can be used to help position the end pieces. Make sure it does not get glued!

Step 5: The Partly Assembled Bridge...

Picture of The Partly Assembled Bridge...

...should probably get a coat of paint now while you can get the inside!

Step 6:

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Here it is after an initial base cote. The top can now be glued into place. Weathering is next but I have not figured that out yet!

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Bio: I design, and occaisionally even implement, solutions that exploit single board micro-processors crossing the physical interface between the computer and the real world. Chosen platforms ... More »
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