Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Colour Lights under (Super)Test

Dummy signals can always be handy for far flung corners of a layout where the aspects can’t be seen; or if you’re on a tight budget. This is part of a set from Knightwing that can be built in many different ways. They’re cheap and they look great. Look out for an in-depth study of the full range of CLSs in MR153...


Before finishing for the Festive break, I’ve managed to put the finishing touches to the latest Model Rail Supertest, destined to appear in issue MR153 (out in late January). The subject is Colour Light Signals in kit and ready-to-plant form and will be followed in MR154 by a look at semaphores.

I’ve been working on and off on this Supertest for the past six months as many of the kits have been quite time-consuming to assemble, not least the 2mm scale signals. Having only ever modelled small layouts with few signals, this is an area where I’m not that clued-up so I’ve also spent some time reading up on various aspects of train control. Despite often hankering after a job as a signaller, I’ve been finding all the rules and regs pretty hard going, but then I’ve never been one for strict adherence to things like that. Maybe it’s because I’m an artist, darling....!

Anyhow, the final signal off the production line has been an Irish-outline, twin aspect unit, built from a kit by Studio Scale Models (www.studio-scale-models.com), who I’ve not come across before. SSM offer various kits and accessories for modellers of the Irish scene, both in the modern and steam eras. Included in the range is a variety of semaphore and colour light signals, all finely etched in brass and complete with all necessary LEDs, resistors and cables. Not the easiest thing to assemble, the finished signal does look pretty good, though.

The Supertest will also look into fitting and wiring up Colour Light Signals (CLSs), although with this being such a whopping subject, I’ve opted to keep it simple for now. Maybe a more thorough look into this complicated subject will be tackled in the near future..?


I like N gauge. But there are times when I realise why I’ve stuck with OO! Especially when soldering a kit like this. Needless to say that my asbestos fingertips came in useful...



From Studio Scale Models comes a range of Irish-outline CL Signals in kit form. Everything is provided, even down to the decals for the ID plate.


It may not be a full signal kit, but Comet Models (www.cometmodels.co.uk) offer a sheet of etched brass components to produce a number of 4mm scale signals of varying types. The signal head isn’t included so here I’ve added ‘dummy’ plastic head (from Knightwing) plus a Position Light Signal and Stencil Indicator from the Comet bits.


The Comet kit just needs brass or copper tubing for the signal posts and working heads to complete and can be built in all manner of ways. All for just a fiver! Solder construction certainly makes for a rugged signal.


Connecting working signals can be made simpler with an array of coloured wires to match the colour of the aspects. This can get expensive, however, but Maplins offer small bags of coloured wire for a few quid each – perfect for jobs like this.


This Berko four-aspect signal is simple to fit and connect and looks pretty good straight from the packet. A coat of matt grey paint to the post and a little weathering would help, though.
Don't forget that MR152 is out on 30th Dec!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed it although I was hoping to also CR Signals reviewed, espeically as theey advertise in the mag. No ceonnection to them, just a nosey customer. keep up the good work

    ReplyDelete

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