Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lattice post home signal construction

Black Mountain signal post, just beaut! 

SSC has only a small yard, certainly busy, but limited in its size. Evans Gap relies on  the deliveries from Sydney and beyond to survive. Those deliveries were required on a fairly regularly cycle, so effective safe working was the order of the day. At either end of the yard were home signals, and further on a landmark for early warning of the yard ahead.

What seems like years ago I placed an order with Wizard Models in the UK for some signalling bits that I needed urgently. (yep two years ago I'd say!) I really liked the look of their lattice post, and thought I might be able to get away with a smaller OO sized post (it would be great to have a local supply of lattice posts). I also picked up a couple of detail bits at the May Show last year, a lamp holding staffer and some white metal lamps as well. The intention being to light the lamp with an LED and also light the lamp that is being carried.

I've shortened the post and added a new base, and the NSWGR finials by AM Models fit the top spot on! I've re-aquainted myself with Ian Millard's fine article in AJRM on signal post construction. The ladder construction was not difficult, but a little time consuming. The hardest part for me was not adding too much solder to each step so that there was little or no fillet between the steps and the stiles. I did cut two pieces of basswood to fit between the stiles against the steps. one against each side of the steps so that filing of the stiles was a little easier.
 The lattice post being OO means that the holes for mounting the moving parts of the signal are not perfect, however it will have to do. I've soldered a new support for the weight through the centre of the post, and added the signal arm support on the side of the post as in Ian's article.
 I used a block of timber with a centre line marked and a squared line to help aligning the signal arm support tube. Here's a close up of the top of the signal so far. 

Whilst out at my local hobby store the other day I mentioned to Chris at Daft Craft the fact that the figure I was using lacked detail and looked a little 2D. He showed me some figures he produces for wargamming, in a word outstanding! The level of detail left me a little in awe, of course I told him to have a crack at some HO stuff. During the conversation we spoke about modelling putties, so I've got some Milliput to bulk out my figure a little, and maybe add some detail...we'll see. 

Well it's not as easy as I thought it would be. I've managed to form some extra backbone that my 'bloke' really needed, but I'm going to have to wait till it's cured before adding any real shape. The putty I used is the yellow and grey all purpose one and I'm thinking that the finer one might be easier to work into another surface.

Well it's late and the coffee cup is empty, so that's it for a quick post,


  1. Hi Geoff

    I just wanted to say that the signal looks fantstic I look forward to seeing it completed on the layout.

    Cheers Jon

    1. Thanks Jon, it should probably be finished already, I guess that's why procrastination should be my middle name!

  2. Nice work Geoff - as usual ;-)
    Solder paste is great for this kind of work, avoids over soldering a joint where appearance is the priority. Kieran Ryan makes an excellent ladder jig and etched ladder styles as well.

    1. Gary, I used the ladder jig, it does make it a fairly easy job, the clean up and filing of the steps seems to take forever!

  3. Geoff,
    Kieran Ryan will be releasing a lattice post NSWGR signal very soon.

  4. Dale it's not nice to tease your fellow modellers like that! ;-)

    1. Sorry Geoff,

      I like what you are doing with the English Signal - I look forward to seeing the finished result on the blog