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Building the gantry sign...

Paul Robertson



It must be the inner geek in me but I've always found gantry signs interesting structures and have wanted to model one. This wasn't going to be a motorway gantry sign as the prototypes I've seen at Dover are a thinner a frame type structure than the massive monolithic structures put up by Highways England. 



(prototype signage at Dover with a frame structural supports) 


I started off making the sign face out of a piece of balsa sheet. I wanted this lit as per prototype so needed to build this in at an early stage



(main sign face structure completed with two white LEDs built into the top of the sign. I allowed a small slit for the light to wash down the face of the sign.)


Not sure why (probably impatience), but next stuck the signs on. Not the best idea as it all needed to be painted and lots of glue stuck about the place but hey ho! 



(signage cut out and stuck on) 


Having done that it was time to construct the legs. I built these out of styrene I beam 



(legs being constructed) 


Alot of these signs have a large lump of concrete painted yellow at the base of them so I cut out some thick balsa to represent this. 


Next was painting. The light box along the box was painted black to reduce light glow through the structure. The frame was painted the same yellow white colour as the high masts to give a bit of a link between the structures and the concrete base yellow as per prototype. 



(all painted up) 


I now needed to wire it to the layout so out with the hand drill and I made a few more holes around the layout. 



(wire connection ready) 


Connecting it all up was a bit fiddly but still managed OK. Then cross fingers and switched it on



(gantry sign in place and lit up) 



(and here is the rear pointing the way to the exit) 


It now provides a nice feature to this end of the layout which was looking a bit under utilised compared to all the business at the other end! 


Not sure what to tackle next. Might be some das clay around the yard railway line or perhaps lighting the ferry. 


At least the passengers can now work out where they should go! IMG_20201202_202255.jpg.d827e3cd5d8c39c836313f757035f282.jpg

(daytime close up shot) 



Thanks for reading

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