Sunday, November 11, 2018

Installing the BLMA bridge

One of the first things I purchased when planning this layout was one of the BLMA brass thru truss bridges.  The time has finally come to install in on the layout.

This bridge comes with nicely detailed bridge shoes so I did not need to add any like I did with the Central Valley bridge I have in another area of the layout.

The vertical girders on the bridge are spaced at 25 foot intervals, the same as the Central Valley bridges so length wise the Central Valley bridge ties fit perfectly.  I did find that with the walkways on the BLMA bridge the ends of the ties would not fit so I trimmed them off as shown in this photo.
After removing the ties on a section of Micro Engineering flex track I applied a coat of Plyobond adhesive to the bottom of the rails and set the rails into the the slots on the Central Valley bridge ties.

 After the adhesive has set overnight, I painted the entire assembly rail tie brown.  Before the paint fully set I removed the paint from the tops of the rails with a razor blade.
The bridge comes with nicely detailed stainless steel walkways.  The decks are left unpainted and the handrails and support structure are painted a semi-gloss oxide red.  I felt these things were too shiny so I removed them and air brushed them a flat oxide red.

Here is one of the walkway assemblies after painting.   These were attached to the bridge with CA so I will re-attach them the same was.

The bridge itself got an overall weathering using acrylic black weathering wash to bring out all the great details in this model.  Then some rust highlights were added with weathering powders. In this photo it is temporarily set in place.
The walkways were glued back into place.  A bit of adhesive was spread along the runners that support the track and the painted section of bridge track was set in place and weighted until the adhesive set.
The bridge shoes were then attached to the bridge abutments with adhesive and the track on the line connected to the smaller section of bridge track.

I am quite happy with the way this came out and seeing the 200 ft camel back version of this bridge still available on ebay I am tempted to get one for another crossing down the line.


  1. That bridge looks great. Now you've got me wondering whether to use the CV bridge that I have.

    1. Thanks Rod. CV bridges are great, much more affordable, and you can customize them. I already have one on the layout and two more built for a future section of the layout. I had actually bought this BLMA bridge before the CV bridges came out.

  2. That scene is really taking shape! Love that bridge.

    1. Thanks Allen, this section has moved along quickly and soon it will be installed in the layout.