Monday, 8 July 2019

Signal Box Construction - Part 2

Signal Box Construction - pt 2

One of the continuing side benefits of writing these blog posts, is the contacts, and great photos that come to light.  Pete Neve recently sent me his photo of a staff exchange at the Wagga Wagga signal box, a picture from 1972.  I had previously sighted this picture in an old Australian Model Railway Magazine, but the image that Pete sent to me has much detail, and worth studying in depth

Photo by Pete Neve, shows 42210, 4463, & 4502 on 452 express goods in 1972.  And 3 Railmotors.  Might have been a tour?  Studying the photo, the details abound.  The exchange of staffs, the person sitting next to the window in the signal box, the lamps on the platform, the light above the stairway landing.  And comparing this image with the ones I took in 1983 (Previous blog post), the trees were prominent earlier, and the signalbox stovepipe is in a different place and style.  More annoyingly, the windows of the signalbox are white, and not the green gray that I have modeled based on my 1983 pictures.   

Progress on the Wagga and Bomen signal boxes has been steady.

To support the signal box, I made up a plinth  out of 40 thou styrene.  The height of the platform was determined by refering to the Greg Edward's S3 data sheet.  I used a nibbling tool to cut out the openings for the point rodding , and signal wires.  Unfortunately, the openings were too wide, so I added a piece of styrene in the gaps.

The right way up.  The openings approximate those seen in the pictures, although unlikely to be 100% accurate.  The imperfections will be mostly hidden by weeds when the box is planted on the layout.  The other thing I added was the stairway platform - and this piece of styrene is lap joined to the signalbox floor for strength (see previous picture too)

Roof added to the sides of the box.  I have also attached some small "feet" to the signalbox corners, as this sub assembly will need to sit on the signalbox floor until the interior is completed

The two main sub assemblies together

The set of steps was an exercise in frustration.  The prototype railing uprights should be sections of railway line, but mine are 40 thou square styrene to ease glueing.  The steps are a selection of 20 thou strip, cut to size, and glued.  Adjustments of the tread to make them horizontal was a challenge (I should have made a jig).  The handrail is a sandwich of square 40 thou strip, and a 0.020 x 0.040 strip - the latter attached to the outside of the post.  This is a bit of a fudge, but mechanically works, and doesn't look too bad.  Some levers have also been added to the lever frame.  I drilled a 0.6mm hole and slid in the brass pin.  The technique does work, although my accuracy in my home built lever frame base, and variation in the brass pin fitment to the bottom of the whitemetal lever combines to throw out consistency.  

Adding some paint to the roof, and the windows previously constructed gives a hint on how the box will look when completed.  Note the guttering and roof edging is not there (yet)

The view from the western side.  The plinth styrene joins will need to be smoothed out before painting.  Most of the real signal box pictures that I have seen were taken from the station overbridge walkway, as the view from the western side is dull. 

Adding some colour to the Bomen Signal box really brings out the details.  The levers inside are visible.  The downpipe is next to be added to this end.  

Another view of Bomen showing the levers.  I have not yet built the door, and of course, the interior is still to be completed

Scratch building is getting easier.  Every project is improving my skills.  And my big challenge (Wagga Wagga station building) is getting closer.

May all your modelling projects be enjoyable.

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