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Callow Lane Signal Box - work has started

Captain Kernow


Just prior to Christmas I started work on the signalbox for Callow Lane.


I had been planning to build the Modelex (ex-Churchward Models) etched brass kit, but was put off by the effect of the brass slates, so had already decided to do my own roof.


I then remembered that Ratio do a standard 4-window M.R. signalbox, and after a bit of agonising re the size the box should be (in order to justify not having to undertake either a major kit-bash or a complete scratchbuild), I opted to go for a standard 4-window pattern box. I'm comfortable working in brass and/or plastic, but somehow just a little more comfortable with plastic for buildings...


The lever frame will have 16 levers, so on the face of it, the box is a little bit big for the frame, but then again, there is also the gate wheel and associated levers, which will take up a bit more space inside, so I finally felt comfortable with the 4-window choice.


Clearly, if modelling an actual location, I'd have had that decision made for me, but such is the joy of making up railway history for yourself! ;)


To improve the appearance of the Ratio kit, I've used some (seperately sold) Modelex etched brass M.R. windows, and have also got an etched brass set of signalbox steps to assemble in due course.


I've had to change the kit in other was as well, in that the way it is configured, the steps would have been on the left hand side of the box, when looking at it from the front, whereas I wanted them at the other end.


This is the end wall at the opposite end from the steps and entrance. The kit features two windows on the ground floor, whereas I wanted a plain wall, so some Slaters embossed plasticard was substituted for the kit planked inlay. The Modelex windows are shown temporarily in situ (waiting painting and glazing):



Note the two holes in the base of the front of the box, for point rodding runs to emerge:



The modified steps end, which required the door aperture to be moved over by one panel's worth and the removed red Ratio plastic replaced with Evergreen strip:



The larger windows were a very good fit for the Ratio window apertures, but the smaller window next to the door needed a bit of fettling on each side to make it fit:


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  • RMweb Gold

Lovely work Captain. The windows make a huge difference. I know what you mean about feeling more comfortable about plastic when it comes to buildings.


In extension of that, I was interested in your comment on the brass slates for the Modelex kits, as I may want to do one of the GWR ones for a future layout. I haven't seen neither the kit nor any built-up examples of it though, but it sounds as if I'll need to think about alternatives for the roof.

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Stirling work, and much to be learned, tyro that I am. I too am curious about the slates. I see you've used Scalescenes terraces, with - I assume - their slates. I'm a Scalescenes fan but am uncertain about the roofing. I wonder if the 3d of plastic might be better? - or even printing onto stouter paper and snipping some of the gaps?... 'Probly try both.



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  • RMweb Gold

Great to see you've started on the most important building of the layout. It looks brilliant so far Captain. I can't wait to learn the box when it's finished! :)

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Guest jim s-w


Hi Tim


Are the frames not wood on the real building? If they are might I suggest that etched frames are actually too thin? Might be worth getting another set and doubling them up.





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  • RMweb Gold

Hi TimAre the frames not wood on the real building? If they are might I suggest that etched frames are actually too thin? Might be worth getting another set and doubling them up.CheersJim

Interesting notion, Jim - I do have some spare frames, as it happens, but I think I need to check the differential between the main window frame and the window bars themselves, before cutting a fresh fret about...

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  • RMweb Gold

Alarm! Alarm!


I'm having major mis-givings about using such a large signal box at such a small location, so I'm going to assemble the lever frame next, and see exactly how much space it takes up - so the razor saw may then come out and reduce the above structure to a 3-window box, or even a 2-window example (small and cute!)...


Watch this space!

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