Monthly Archives: March 2024

Bridging the Gap

One of the big problems with modeling the CR&NW is the sheer amount (and variety) of bridges the line had. My layout gets some of the most iconic of the large ones – Miles Glacier, Chitina, Kuskulana, Gilahina, and McCarthy. Some are significantly shortened, such as Miles Glacier at only 40% because I don’t have room for a bridge 10 feet long, some are done at maybe 60-70% full size (McCarthy, Chitina, Gilahina and its “modern” replacement), and Kuskulana is done at nearly 100% full scale.

They’re all scratchbuilding or serious kitbashing projects, because for obvious reasons none of them exist as kits (or even anything close). That sounds like a lot of fun, but it also means the results will be one-off hand built models that will take weeks, if not months, to complete if done to the accuracy I want. In the meantime, I’m going to be working around them doing scenery, painting, etc. that’s likely to accidentally damage a real model.

The upper deck main line has been inoperable for nearly a year now since I removed the temporary plywood bridges at Kuskulana and Gilahina, as they were in the way of starting latticework to support the scenery hard shell. Those gaps in the mainline actually have been a huge mental block. The “not being able to run a train” factor combined with the overwhelming nature of all these bridges to model. About two weeks ago, I decided it was time to build something between plywood and the final models – some temporary bridges. Close enough to the real thing to be plausible, but cheaply and quickly constructed using 3D printing.

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