Working ground dolls aren’t a necessity and probably not on most modelers to do lists. However on Dunster everything had to work so I set about making fully functioning ground signals from the ones supplied on the detail sprues in the GWR signal kits.
Having used the Ratio signals to great effect, I utilized their signal-remote-control kit available for N scale.
The first job is to light the lamp. Model-Power-grain-of-sand 14V bulbs are suitable. The Ratio lamp had its lens removed and was drilled from beneath to accept the bulb with a 1.5mm drill bit mounted in the pin vice. Another hole is drilled just below where the lens was with a 1mm bit. Not as fiddly as it sounds if the part is left attached to the sprue. The bulb is test fitted while lit to ensure it shines through the lens hole. I use somewhere between 6V-9V to power up my lamps. The 12-14V recommended is too bright for my liking, will probably melt the plastic and the lower voltage will prolong the life of the tiny bulbs!
Now for the disc, two discs of 10 thou, (0.01”) plastic card were punched with a file hole puncher. A little over size I know but much better than any other method I could come up with. One disc is then scored with a sharp blade where the red chevron is to be painted. This helps keep the paint where it should be. A tiny 0.45mm hole is drilled in the center of the discs through which a Peco track pin is inserted to hold the two discs together while two 1.5mm holes are drilled in the discs to line up with the lamp lens and a small 0.45mm hole opposite in the center of the red chevron as close to the edge of the disc as possible.
Red and blue (not green as I have since found out) sweet wrapper is sandwiched between the discs and glued up using cyano (super glue).Glue a length of .45mm wire in the center hole and when set trim off flush with the front. Leave >10mm on the back.
Drill out the pivot hole for the disc with a 0.5mm drill bit.
A 2mm hole is drilled in the signal base directly below the lamp before the ground doll frame is glued to the signal base supplied in the remote control set. The actuator mount is then glued to the underside. Paint all the parts and allow them to dry before proceeding with assembly. All other parts are then assembled dry leaving the ½” sleeve (which should be a tight fit) free for removal as the operating wire is made using the trial and error method. I introduced a bend in the wire to enable fine adjustment. Unless you're lucky 2 or 3 attempts are normal. The blind on the back should just be a push fit over the pivot wire if the clearance hole is .4mm. Trim off the excess wire with cutters.
Poke the lamp up through the 2mm hole in the base and feed it into the lamp.
Any method of actuation is possible if you don’t like the Ratio lever.
Half inch holes for the lever and assembled signal were bored into the base board and control panel with a 1/2"-forstner-bit . A round file comes in handy if the fit is too tight.
View from the rear.
This one is at the up end of Dunster's platform.
Avon Park my shelf layout terminus which has been abandoned was to be fitted out with LMS style shunt signals. Some of those supplied in the LMS signals kit have been made to work the same way as the ones out lined above.
Not happy with these I have set about scratch building them from Plastic card and styrene strip.
The last build has been detailed quite considerably.
The extra detailed element added to train workings was well worth the effort above all else they are a lot of fun. If only the onlookers at shows noticed.