RFI: Using Central Valley girder packs in N-scale

That website has some interesting items. I have similar Expaned Screens made from copper and aluminum. The problem here is that the
expansion process makes it a 3-d screen (not flat), so part the web is at an angle. Not realistic for a girder.
If you order some, you'll see what I mean. There might be a way to flatten it, but that will make it try to get back to its compressed state.
Woven stuff presents the same 3-d effect problem. It won't look like a girder - it'll look like a woven piece.
Yes, photoetched items are a bit pricey, but the quality is unquestionable. It all depends on what you want your model to look like on the end. But I do agree that $20 is way steep for what you get.
Peteski
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Stainless steel mesh is available in flattened form with good dimensionality. I saw some today at Canadian Tire - the outer wrapping of a water filter cartridge. Some oil filters use it as well, so now I'm on the lookout for used filters...lol

The material you use depends on what you're modeling. Many of the larger railroad bridges were built in the early part of the 20th century. On these, it was typical to have overlapping, or interlaced cross-bracing fastened with rivets. This gives a woven appearance when viewed from a distance, and in N-scale you are always at a distance from the subject, owing to the scale.
On the other hand, a flat V or X brace section, while suitable for a welded bridge, might need the "overlap" scribed or shaded on to represent a riveted bridge. You could use built-up sections i guess, but thickness becomes an issue, especially in N.
Both approaches are worth investigating, but I'm leaning more towards the second.

Well, I don't expect to win any awards. What I'm aiming for is overall impression. The mind will fill in a great amount of detail by itself, if it receives the right cues. Most of the fine detail - rivets, overlaps, bends, joins, etc.. can be painted or scribed onto flat shapes. At a distance, the mind will "make" them appear 3-D. At least, that is the theory.
One should never lose sight of the fact that the bridge's primary function is to display the trains.
Mac
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In article

Yeah this stuff:
http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/k+s/k+s02781.htm
but look at the price: $21.29 And it says : To be discontinued. Gee, I wonder why.
You're right about their website too. Functionally illiterate.

When you get down to N-scale, hand making bridge lattice is a one-way ticket to the funny farm.
Mac B.
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