Saturday, 24 June 2006

Signal box

I've started construction of an S&D signal box - based reasonably closely on the prototype example at Wellow on the S&D Bath-Bournemouth main line. The signal box still survives in private ownership.

Here's a photo of the box in 1966 and here's a photo of the box taken in the last few years.

I bought the Ratio GWR signal box kit a few months ago, but since then decided I needed something 'more S&D' to help visually set the location. It's also a chance to experiment with scratch-building in styrene sheet (otherwise known as 'plasticard'). I'm using 30thou sheet in this case.

I started by drawing each side of the box to scale (the actual measurements were estimated from the photographs) on graph paper, then transferred the outlines to the sheet using a craft knife, metal rule and engineers sqaure to keep the angles true.

Once each side was cut out, I filed the joining edges to a 45 degree angle, allowing each side to be joined seamlessly. I'll do some filling and filing if necessary later.

The floor is double-thickness, with the floorboards scribed using a Tamiya plastic-scriber (it was mentioned in a recent edition of Model Railway Journal and it really is very useful). The floor is also supported underneath round the edges with styrene strip.

The exterior (bricks and wood planking) will have to be glued onto the shell later - I haven't really got as far as thinking about that yet. If I'd planned things more carefully from the start mayble I would have scribed them directly onto the shell itself. Too late for that now though!

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