There’s more to etching…

On top of the 3D artwork done for my own line and other clients, I have a modest amount of components etched for my kits and other sources. I don’t do the physical etching myself, however the artwork design is a big task. A project that I’ve been wanting to get down for a while has been a footbridge for my layout in-planning/construction, based on a structure that existed at Elmore, Vic, on the Bendigo to Echuca line. Incidentally, my layout will take heavy influence from this location. The prototype was demolished in the mid 80’s (around the time I was born!), so the artwork is based on various estimates and proportions. An image of a similar structure with people crossing at Echuca gave a relative height, a nominal width of 1500 across the crossing, and the structure was made to span 150mm in 1:160 scale (N).

Un-filled etching artwork for Elmore Pedestrian Bridge

Un-filled etching artwork for Elmore Pedestrian Bridge

The main span of the bridge is formed from two pieces of brass as can be seen – an outer wrap (with fold-over reinforcement angle at the top), and an inner U-shape with the timber decking detail. Knowing my luck, someone will produce a photo showing boring steel plating over the walking deck… but mine will still look flash!

Detail view of assembled bridge

Detail view of assembled bridge

Still to be drawn is the stairwells/vertical supports at each end, with individual steps to slot/tab together!

Overall view of the bridge

Overall view of the bridge

I wouldn’t ordinarily do a full generated 3D view of an etched part due to the vast amount of work involved, however I was keen to see the overall perspective of it. It’s difficult to estimate whether the necessary thickness of etched brass elements will look too ‘chunky’ in 1:160 or not, however I think I might’ve captured it this time. Just out of interest, the widest ‘track’ of brass on the artwork above, the ‘beams’ under the floorboard, is 1.5mm wide! In 0.15mm thick brass! Yikes.

The above artwork took approximately 6 hours to draft, with about 4 hours’ work still to do.

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