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Queen Post Truss

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This review appeared in the March-April 1995 issue of "Garden Railways" and was written by Richard Schafer

Mark Smith of Lone Star Bridge has introduced still another beautiful and unique timber bridge. His Queen-Post Truss Bridge is a high-quality product that fulfills all my expectations of Lone Star. The bridge is constructed of mahogany and is hand-rubbed with marine grade, teak-oil finish. It is assembled with a combination of functional, blackened brass hardware as well as nails (the nails are countersunk, with their holes filled and finished). The 1:20 scale timbers are precisely sawn and cleanly finished, with no fuzz or splintering to be seen. Nut-bolt-washer castings are used for some non-functional details. A tasteful, polish- ed brass star, the Lone Star logo is centered on the outside of each of the top chords.

This bridge is not a scale model of any specific prototype. Mark Smith calls it a "generic hybrid". The idea for it came from a combination of sources: his Hermosa Creek pony truss, a photo of a highway bridge, and interesting features from other bridges.

Probably the most unusual feature of this structure is the use of strutted timbers with working strap fittings and hardware to make up the center-panel counters. The intricate, functional strap fittings add an interesting detail and alter the visual qualities of the bridge.

Deck timbers are spaced for drop-in installation of a piece of LGB sectional track; a length of #10600 fits this bridge perfectly. The bridge is 19.65" long, 9.15" wide, and 7.75" tall.

This review appeared in the June/July 1995 issue of
"Outdoor Railroader" and was written by Russ Reinberg

Lone Star Bridge's owner, Mark Smith, has chosen a free- lance design for the queenpost truss bridge. His idea was to produce a relatively inexpensive, typical small narrow gauge bridge, following a standard guage prototype, using scale size componets; after all, many layouts only have room for small models. As usual, Mark has succeeded ad- mirably.

The queenpost truss lives up to Lone Star's ongoing level of obnoxious perfection: The model's primary material is very high grade mahogany with a rich, satin, impregnated, weather resistant finish. The white metal and brass hard- ware has a satin black paint finish; excluding the, Lone Star trademark, polished brass star. The excellent nut-bolt-washer castings are crisp. The only other metal; truss rods and cross-brace reinforcements, are of equal quality. Every aspect of the workmanship  is nauseatingly topnotch: Perfect countersinking where appropiate, virtually seamless wood-to- wood joints, every corner square and clean, each piece mating precisely with every other, the end  of every timber exhibiting no splintering, rough  grain, or fuzz. Everything is perfectly smooth and   the finish of the wood surfaces would be as ap-propriate to top quality furniture as to a museum quality model. Disgusting.

Lone Star even putties every nail or pin hole flush with the wood surface so it is impossible to detect a filling by touch and difficult to find it with the eye. The glue joints are invisible and the bridge is strong and very weather resistant. Re- volting. As we have pointed out numerous times, even the custom foam packaging to protect the model during shipping ia a work of art. Detestable. Also, as we have mentioned previously, the perfection of Lone Star's work is repulsive; it leaves no room for criticism. Any review of a Lone Star bridge sounds as though Mark paid us off or as though we have lost our touch for being picky. But neither is the case. It's just that Lone Star does an amazingly excellent job. We hate Mark. The bridge is exactly 19.65 inches long, 9.15 inches across at the widest point, and 7.50 inches tall (7.75 inches if you include the pro- truding ends of the truss rods). An LGB track section will drop right into place on the deck be- cause of its widely spaced ties but, if you prefer, Mark can build up the deck with accurate 1:20 scale spacing.

Time and again we have pointed out Lone Star's prices seem fair considering the time it would take to build such a bridge to reasonable quality standards, let alone to Mark's disgustingly high standards. Few of us could match Mark's precision no matter how long we worked. In this case, the bridge seems almost a steal. So, on the bottom line, if you like the bridge and have the cash, buy it. The little gem is utterly splendid. It has our highest rating. It is superb.



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