3D Printed Signals, Trains, Hitherton Station, More

simple simon

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Out of curiosity I've gone and bought some 3D printed model railway things from Shapeways, this includes an LNER 1937 Tyneside Electrics coach (one half of an articulated pair), some London Underground signals with the 'pigs ear' - one with feather and one without - plus a few other items.

Also, I've bought some searchlight style signals and signal heads from people called 'we-honest' at eBay and some Eckon colour light signals from British model railway shops.

Eventually I'd like to have a layout for my purchases. At present though that is not possible - however building things like signals 'now' will expedite the process when it is time to start building a layout. I already have some model buildings from many years ago.

My thoughts are 'present-era' with a twist. We have many historic railway centres where transports from many different generations / epochs can be seen together. Some of these have demonstration lines which often require fully working signals. I might add electric rails too, this being something that is not actually done in 'real life' but I suppose could be done - but only if they are not actually energised!

----------------------------------------------

At present (24th January 2021) I still await my goods from China but my Eckon and Shapeways 3D printed signals have now arrived.

This is the page from where I bought the Shapeways 3D signals: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/the forth rail?section=Line+Side&s=0

This page shows the full range of North Eastern Railway and LNER third rail electric rolling stock, clicking the item size links will take you to the relevant page at Shapeways.

btw, Shapeways price items in US Dollars and they charge VAT at point of sale - so my goods arrived without me being asked to pay import duties / additional taxes or fees! Oh and the box was so lightweight that at first I wondered if it was empty! Everything is well wrapped in plastic buble wrap.


I only bought two LU signals from Shapeways as I wanted to see what they were about before even thinking of buying a multiple pack of five. Below is a photograph of the signals laid out on a cutting matt. (Its only when editing this image that I realised the signal backs are upside down!) My initial thought is that white plastic signal heads will let too much light through the sides and back; maybe I will need several coats of black paint and to have the lights 'not too bright'. Perhaps use a resister for 12v but only give them 9v. As ever experimentation is the key. I need to wait for warmer weather for painting - I plan to do this in a garden shed where any mess from spray paint wont matter.


The person who sells these signals at Shapeways suggested that people buy K&S brass tubing 2.4mm diameter. I first tried to use the brass tubing that is supplied with Eckon signals but I think this is 3mm as it is ever-so-slightly too big. I have now obtained some 2.4mm tubing and whilst it fits the space inside the tube looks too small for all the wires for the LEDs - especially for signals with feathers! I am yet to try this out.

It is suggested that people use 3mm LEDs for the colour lights and SMD miniature LED's for the feathers, but these must be bought from elsewhere.

I am also looking at creating some LMS Watford New Lines signals. As I am not aware that the correct shaped signal heads are available I've bought some kits with round top cornered signal heads from Eckon and filed off the bottom corners of one signal head - this can be seen in the image below, next to one in original condition. After photographing my work I have realised that the one I've modified is not quite perfectly done - yet. I think I need a hands-free magnifying glass device.

Eckon signal packs also come with a sprue containing many other useful parts.


Before I do anything else I must await my delivery from China. eBay tracking data says that it has arrived here in the UK and been received by the RoyalMail but the expected delivery timeframe is 1st - 11th February.

-----------------------

edit to add, I cannot get the images to show - the control buttons to insert them are grayed out
 
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Cowley

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Out of curiosity I've gone and bought some 3D printed model railway things from Shapeways, this includes an LNER 1937 Tyneside Electrics coach (one half of an articulated pair), some London Underground signals with the 'pigs ear' - one with feather and one without - plus a few other items.

Also, I've bought some searchlight style signals and signal heads from people called 'we-honest' at eBay and some Eckon colour light signals from British model railway shops.

Eventually I'd like to have a layout for my purchases. At present though that is not possible - however building things like signals 'now' will expedite the process when it is time to start building a layout. I already have some model buildings from many years ago.

My thoughts are 'present-era' with a twist. We have many historic railway centres where transports from many different generations / epochs can be seen together. Some of these have demonstration lines which often require fully working signals. I might add electric rails too, this being something that is not actually done in 'real life' but I suppose could be done - but only if they are not actually energised!

----------------------------------------------

At present (24th January 2021) I still await my goods from China but my Eckon and Shapeways 3D printed signals have now arrived.

This is the page from where I bought the Shapeways 3D signals: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/the forth rail?section=Line+Side&s=0

This page shows the full range of North Eastern Railway and LNER third rail electric rolling stock, clicking the item size links will take you to the relevant page at Shapeways.

btw, Shapeways price items in US Dollars and they charge VAT at point of sale - so my goods arrived without me being asked to pay import duties / additional taxes or fees! Oh and the box was so lightweight that at first I wondered if it was empty! Everything is well wrapped in plastic buble wrap.


I only bought two LU signals from Shapeways as I wanted to see what they were about before even thinking of buying a multiple pack of five. Below is a photograph of the signals laid out on a cutting matt. (Its only when editing this image that I realised the signal backs are upside down!) My initial thought is that white plastic signal heads will let too much light through the sides and back; maybe I will need several coats of black paint and to have the lights 'not too bright'. Perhaps use a resister for 12v but only give them 9v. As ever experimentation is the key. I need to wait for warmer weather for painting - I plan to do this in a garden shed where any mess from spray paint wont matter.


The person who sells these signals at Shapeways suggested that people buy K&S brass tubing 2.4mm diameter. I first tried to use the brass tubing that is supplied with Eckon signals but I think this is 3mm as it is ever-so-slightly too big. I have now obtained some 2.4mm tubing and whilst it fits the space inside the tube looks too small for all the wires for the LEDs - especially for signals with feathers! I am yet to try this out.

It is suggested that people use 3mm LEDs for the colour lights and SMD miniature LED's for the feathers, but these must be bought from elsewhere.

I am also looking at creating some LMS Watford New Lines signals. As I am not aware that the correct shaped signal heads are available I've bought some kits with round top cornered signal heads from Eckon and filed off the bottom corners of one signal head - this can be seen in the image below, next to one in original condition. After photographing my work I have realised that the one I've modified is not quite perfectly done - yet. I think I need a hands-free magnifying glass device.

Eckon signal packs also come with a sprue containing many other useful parts.


Before I do anything else I must await my delivery from China. eBay tracking data says that it has arrived here in the UK and been received by the RoyalMail but the expected delivery timeframe is 1st - 11th February.

-----------------------

edit to add, I cannot get the images to show - the control buttons to insert them are grayed out

Interesting. The LU stuff looks amazing, especially things like cable runs and the cable gantry.
I’d love to try and replace one of my warehouses on my railway with a 3D printed version but I haven’t had a chance to look into it yet. I did just buy a 3D printed road over rail bridge from eBay the other day (in N gauge), I’ve still got to paint it but I have to say that I’m quite impressed by it.

(ps if you want to message me at some point I’ll see if I can help you out with the photo issue.)
 

simple simon

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Yes, its great that all these items are available, although painting the individual cables on the cable runs will be a slow task. So far I only bought the version without cable - so that I could use them as intended and fit my own cables! But I am slightly miffed at just 8" / 20 cm length (supplied as two 4" / 10 cm strips).

For rolling stock I think that Radley Models will offer a better first choice - because their kits include almost everything one needs.

re: the images, I've realised that if people wish to see them they can click the link and it will open in a new window, so probably that will be good enough.
 
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Peter C

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Out of curiosity I've gone and bought some 3D printed model railway things from Shapeways, this includes an LNER 1937 Tyneside Electrics coach (one half of an articulated pair), some London Underground signals with the 'pigs ear' - one with feather and one without - plus a few other items.

Also, I've bought some searchlight style signals and signal heads from people called 'we-honest' at eBay and some Eckon colour light signals from British model railway shops.

Eventually I'd like to have a layout for my purchases. At present though that is not possible - however building things like signals 'now' will expedite the process when it is time to start building a layout. I already have some model buildings from many years ago.

My thoughts are 'present-era' with a twist. We have many historic railway centres where transports from many different generations / epochs can be seen together. Some of these have demonstration lines which often require fully working signals. I might add electric rails too, this being something that is not actually done in 'real life' but I suppose could be done - but only if they are not actually energised!

----------------------------------------------

At present (24th January 2021) I still await my goods from China but my Eckon and Shapeways 3D printed signals have now arrived.

This is the page from where I bought the Shapeways 3D signals: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/the forth rail?section=Line+Side&s=0

This page shows the full range of North Eastern Railway and LNER third rail electric rolling stock, clicking the item size links will take you to the relevant page at Shapeways.

btw, Shapeways price items in US Dollars and they charge VAT at point of sale - so my goods arrived without me being asked to pay import duties / additional taxes or fees! Oh and the box was so lightweight that at first I wondered if it was empty! Everything is well wrapped in plastic buble wrap.


I only bought two LU signals from Shapeways as I wanted to see what they were about before even thinking of buying a multiple pack of five. Below is a photograph of the signals laid out on a cutting matt. (Its only when editing this image that I realised the signal backs are upside down!) My initial thought is that white plastic signal heads will let too much light through the sides and back; maybe I will need several coats of black paint and to have the lights 'not too bright'. Perhaps use a resister for 12v but only give them 9v. As ever experimentation is the key. I need to wait for warmer weather for painting - I plan to do this in a garden shed where any mess from spray paint wont matter.


The person who sells these signals at Shapeways suggested that people buy K&S brass tubing 2.4mm diameter. I first tried to use the brass tubing that is supplied with Eckon signals but I think this is 3mm as it is ever-so-slightly too big. I have now obtained some 2.4mm tubing and whilst it fits the space inside the tube looks too small for all the wires for the LEDs - especially for signals with feathers! I am yet to try this out.

It is suggested that people use 3mm LEDs for the colour lights and SMD miniature LED's for the feathers, but these must be bought from elsewhere.

I am also looking at creating some LMS Watford New Lines signals. As I am not aware that the correct shaped signal heads are available I've bought some kits with round top cornered signal heads from Eckon and filed off the bottom corners of one signal head - this can be seen in the image below, next to one in original condition. After photographing my work I have realised that the one I've modified is not quite perfectly done - yet. I think I need a hands-free magnifying glass device.

Eckon signal packs also come with a sprue containing many other useful parts.


Before I do anything else I must await my delivery from China. eBay tracking data says that it has arrived here in the UK and been received by the RoyalMail but the expected delivery timeframe is 1st - 11th February.

-----------------------

edit to add, I cannot get the images to show - the control buttons to insert them are grayed out
All sounds really interesting. I've thought about maybe buying things from Shapeways in the past (mainly unit bodyshells, i.e. Class 377, Class 180), but the extra work to make them look presentable is, from what I've seen elsewhere online, quite the task and not something I think I could do at the moment. I'd need to properly look into it all before starting anything proper.

Those signals look really good as well; the "pig's ear" bits add a lot to them without adding much, if that makes sense. I love the idea of a railway centre layout to put them on - even if it's not realistic, it would be something different and maybe even a prediction of the future when modern in-cab signalling means heritage railways become the only places to see old signals... ;) If you do wire them up at some point, I'd be interested to see how you do them as I'm currently thinking about what signals I'd like to have around my layout.

-Peter
 

simple simon

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All sounds really interesting. I've thought about maybe buying things from Shapeways in the past (mainly unit bodyshells, i.e. Class 377, Class 180), but the extra work to make them look presentable is, from what I've seen elsewhere online, quite the task and not something I think I could do at the moment. I'd need to properly look into it all before starting anything proper.

Those signals look really good as well; the "pig's ear" bits add a lot to them without adding much, if that makes sense. I love the idea of a railway centre layout to put them on - even if it's not realistic, it would be something different and maybe even a prediction of the future when modern in-cab signalling means heritage railways become the only places to see old signals... ;) If you do wire them up at some point, I'd be interested to see how you do them as I'm currently thinking about what signals I'd like to have around my layout.

-Peter
Yes, the "pig's ear" is the most important and distinctive aspect of those signals

I do intend that all signals will work (ie: display lights) and eventually I will want some semaphores that work too. Several decades ago I tried to use fibre optics for the light, but I think SMD LEDs offer a better option, although maybe to properly represent the light from oil lamps they need to be a little less bright.

For a heritage centre it would be appropriate to have some signals which have been set up as exhibits - rather than just being used to control real trains.
 

Peter C

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Yes, the "pig's ear" is the most important and distinctive aspect of those signals
Definitely. I only learnt about them last year and they're really quite interesting things.

I do intend that all signals will work (ie: display lights) and eventually I will want some semaphores that work too. Several decades ago I tried to use fibre optics for the light, but I think SMD LEDs offer a better option, although maybe to properly represent the light from oil lamps they need to be a little less bright.
I've thought about using fibre optics for some of the signals on my layout - currently they're all Hornby semaphores and I think that would be one of the easier ways of making them light up. But yes - for older oil lamps in semaphores you'd want something a bit less bright. Having said that, a heritage railway or centre would almost certainly keep the signals in good condition so they might not be as dark as they once were.

For a heritage centre it would be appropriate to have some signals which have been set up as exhibits - rather than just being used to control real trains.
It would, yes - a small signalling centre, such as that at Didcot Railway Centre, could be a way of doing that.

-Peter
 

simple simon

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Just to say, because things need warmth when painting them (to dry the paint!) and I will be doing my painting in an unheated outside shed, there has been little progress since I bought the signals.

I had hoped that the weather would be warmer now that it is April, but at present its still often frosty at night.
 

John Webb

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....For a heritage centre it would be appropriate to have some signals which have been set up as exhibits - rather than just being used to control real trains.
Precisely what we've done at St Albans South, where we've 'planted' signals around the garden. See the various videos linked from our Home Page which include a tour round the garden. We've retained oil lamps in a couple of our semaphore signals, but the majority are fitted with LED bulbs to (a) be more visible in daylight (b) eliminate the need to climb ladders with lit oil lamps.
 

simple simon

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Months later and I still have not built the signals, as instead I started building a tube station. Its one of the Kingsway printed stations and buildings. I chose the platform walls design based on a 1930s station platform. I very much did not want a Northern line south London style station platform as that has no emotional attachment for me.

2mm square section Evergreen / Plastruct plastic strips painted black can represent the tube style of power rails. I have the Peco power rail chairs.

I need to fit lights in the station and have found some 30 mm LED lights which could be used to mimic fluorescent lights. I'd like to have them hang down a little from the platform ceiling but it might be easier to not do this. Having looked at photos of real underground stations I've seen enough varieties to know that whatever I do will be prototypically correct for somewhere. I did experiment with fibre optics of a type designed to leak light along the fibre but the amount of light coming out was too little - its a shame as this would have been an easier - and cheaper - option.



The first image shows part of a platform. I am hoping that one of the model railway suppliers will make for me the correct LU style of platform edge coping with tactile 'dots' (I have asked but await a reply). Then I can add the rest of the platform and get rid of the white cardboard edge seen here. I also need to add adverts, platform end signs, seats, passengers etc. If available I'll also add platform end barriers. I am unsure what to do about litter bins.

The name Hitherton comes from something I bought in the late 1990s when the London Underground Railway Society (LURS) were given permission for members to have model railway station names printed using the correct LT logo. I had to choose a name... and that was all I could think of. That said, Kingsway agreed to use my choice of station name as seen here - but I intend to use some of the LURS signage on 'open air' platforms at this station.

As Kingsway do not offer passageways with matching tiles I am looking at using a similarish colour card (full colour / not printed) and printing on it a fine grid to depict tiles. This station will be modern-era, with some heritage elements (eg: way out signs) similar to stations such as Highgate, Gants Hill, etc. For station building I chose Mile End (printed with my choice of name) as its sort of from the right era and does not look too big physically / will easily fit in a row of shops. I need modern ticket machines and if I cannot find them commercially will look to reduce something that I photographed down to a small enough size and then print it myself.



I'm building my two platform kits slightly differently to how they are meant to be built - I plan to make part of one platform a fully circular tube and even add the inside tube from a kitchen roll beyond the station so that it is possible to look through the station and see the approaching train illuminating the inside of the kitchen roll cardboard tube. For the other platform, wait and see! (cheat comment - Its only just arrived and I cannot build it whilst using a computer).

Just to test the concept I pushed an unbuilt kit by Radley of a Standard Stock tube car plus some track in to a kitchen roll cardboard tube. It looks like the cardboard tube will need cutting and widening at the base, but otherwise it will work. As an aside, the tube car kit is a delight, everything just fits together, even the bogie components. So it should be easy to make. When it comes to painting I will have a choice of three colour schemes - plain red, red with cream window frames or red, cream window frames and blue stripe. This third livery was used on trains that went to all the way to Watford Junction instead of just Elephant & Castle - Queens Park.
 
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Peter C

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Sorry it's taken so long to respond to this. That tube station sounds like a really cool idea - building one platform in a full tube is something I'm not sure has been done a lot before but should work really well. I assume you'll detail that platform in the same way you'll detail the 'exposed' platform?

-Peter
 

Gloster

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I did see one LT model where it was set up to produce a flash representing arcing at one spot by the station throat. Very effective as it was in a cut away tunnel, so normally half-dark.
 

Peter C

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I did see one LT model where it was set up to produce a flash representing arcing at one spot by the station throat. Very effective as it was in a cut away tunnel, so normally half-dark.
I've also seen this sort of thing used on 3rd-rail area layouts; I believe a company (probably multiple) sells them in the form of a sensor, which sits between the rails at sleeper-height, connected to an LED near the track. One layout I've seen has several of the things, at the end of 3rd-rail sections.

-Peter :)
 

simple simon

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Sorry it's taken so long to respond to this. That tube station sounds like a really cool idea - building one platform in a full tube is something I'm not sure has been done a lot before but should work really well. I assume you'll detail that platform in the same way you'll detail the 'exposed' platform?

-Peter

Hello, certainly it will be detailed... at the moment I'm sorting out adverts and proper LU style platform edge coping. re: the advertising I am somewhat peeved because earlier this year I noticed that one of the companies that sells this had four sets of LU adverts in their range, but when (a few days ago) I went to buy them I discovered that the bookmarks I had made in my web browser are now dead links - the LU adverts have been withdrawn from their product range. Its not a disaster as much advertising for things like food, clothing, films, (and more) are still available.

I am thinking of printing things like the Tube Map and London Connections Map on my own printer (er um, a slightly modified versions that include some of London's closed and freight-only railway lines, as if they were still open for passenger services, etc). I will probably also have to make my own platform signage (eg: way out signs which hang from the ceiling). I have a very old colour printer which I've not used for ages and might have to replace - in which case I'll have to choose between colour laser or ink jet). I do not know if I will be breaching copyright for doing this - certainly this will only be for my own use / not as a commercial venture.

I actually started building the open air platform first and then realised that until the tunnelled platforms (and escalators between these platforms!) have been built I will not know how wide the open air section of platform will need to be. Nothing will go waste - if what I've done is not suitable for this station I'll use it somewhere else.

On the open air section I would also like to have some iconic 1930s style concrete station name signs with integral arched lighting. As this is not available commercially I supposed that I will have to make my own! For the concrete name signs can use cardboard (maybe rough it up a little to create 'texture') whilst for the lights I have some 3.2mm square plastic tubing. As expected this does not want to 'stay' when I try to bend it. I do not want to use metal instead as the tools I have are designed for cutting plastic but I am hoping that gluing a metal rod inside the plastic in the section that will be arched will solve this issue.

In the meantime, as today is moderately warm and dry I shall spray paint primer on the Underground train kits I bought from Radley Models. These are very nice kits, easy to make. I shall do this in the garden as its the safest way to cope with the awful smell of the primer paint.

I'l learning as I go along... whilst I'm a DIY'er I'm not a skilled craftsman and sometimes (whilst everything is safe) when I do things (eg: put up shelves) they are not always flat / level / straight!
 
Last edited:

Peter C

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Hello, certainly it will be detailed... at the moment I'm sorting out adverts and proper LU style platform edge coping. re: the advertising I am somewhat peeved because earlier this year I noticed that one of the companies that sells this had four sets of LU adverts in their range, but when (a few days ago) I went to buy them I discovered that the bookmarks I had made in my web browser are now dead links - the LU adverts have been withdrawn from their product range. Its not a disaster as much advertising for things like food, clothing, films, (and more) are still available.

I am thinking of printing things like the Tube Map and London Connections Map on my own printer (er um, a slightly modified versions that include some of London's closed and freight-only railway lines, as if they were still open for passenger services, etc). I will probably also have to make my own platform signage (eg: way out signs which hang from the ceiling). I have a very old colour printer which I've not used for ages and might have to replace - in which case I'll have to choose between colour laser or ink jet). I do not know if I will be breaching copyright for doing this - certainly this will only be for my own use / not as a commercial venture.

I actually started building the open air platform first and then realised that until the tunnelled platforms (and escalators between these platforms!) have been built I will not know how wide the open air section of platform will need to be. Nothing will go waste - if what I've done is not suitable for this station I'll use it somewhere else.

On the open air section I would also like to have some iconic 1930s style concrete station name signs with integral arched lighting. As this is not available commercially I supposed that I will have to make my own! For the concrete name signs can use cardboard (maybe rough it up a little to create 'texture') whilst for the lights I have some 3.2mm square plastic tubing. As expected this does not want to 'stay' when I try to bend it. I do not want to use metal instead as the tools I have are designed for cutting plastic but I am hoping that gluing a metal rod inside the plastic in the section that will be arched will solve this issue.

In the meantime, as today is moderately warm and dry I shall spray paint primer on the Underground train kits I bought from Radley Models. These are very nice kits, easy to make. I shall do this in the garden as its the safest way to cope with the awful smell of the primer paint.

I'l learning as I go along... whilst I'm a DIY'er I'm not a skilled craftsman and sometimes (whilst everything is safe) when I do things (eg: put up shelves) they are not always flat / level / straight!
I like the touch of the maps and the signage. Scratchbuilding is so often the only way with modelling, especially for things like the Underground, where building kits or ready-to-run stock is much harder to come by than for the mainline.
For the plastic tubing, could you not use the neck of a soldering iron to apply some heat and then bend shape it? Not sure if it will work for a tube that thick but it might be worth trying?

-Peter
 

simple simon

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I like the touch of the maps and the signage. Scratchbuilding is so often the only way with modelling, especially for things like the Underground, where building kits or ready-to-run stock is much harder to come by than for the mainline.
For the plastic tubing, could you not use the neck of a soldering iron to apply some heat and then bend shape it? Not sure if it will work for a tube that thick but it might be worth trying?

-Peter

I am wary of using a soldering iron in that way, in case something goes wrong. I could try with scolding hot water - soak the plastic in the hot water to very slightly soften it.
 

simple simon

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Had a disaster when painting a Q38 DM ... it was not securely enough fixed to where it was and the spray paint pushed it over - so it fell on the floor! Since I was in the garden (because of the smell of the spray paint) it landed on some soil. Brushing it off did not work.

So I now have a choice, either I use dettol to strip the paint off and start again or I 'distress' the Q38 DM, painting the surface blemishes as rust.
 

Cowley

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Had a disaster when painting a Q38 DM ... it was not securely enough fixed to where it was and the spray paint pushed it over - so it fell on the floor! Since I was in the garden (because of the smell of the spray paint) it landed on some soil. Brushing it off did not work.

So I now have a choice, either I use dettol to strip the paint off and start again or I 'distress' the Q38 DM, painting the surface blemishes as rust.

Oh no. That’s happened to me before when the spray knocked what I painting over and it got dust down the side of it. Not an easy decision to make, I cleaned mine up once it had dried properly.
 

simple simon

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I have also been doing other things too, but finally, the signal is almost completed.

making it has not been that difficult, rather its been a saga of trials and tribulations, such as when the green pre-wired smd LED light (just as I thought I could glue it) lost its negative power supply wire and I had to replace it - a task that required me to thread two power supply wires through a signal post that was also a very tight fit. Oh and the hole at the top of the signal post was very small so that I could barely see what I was doing!

As some people will know, many London Underground signals have an extra downwards facing light that is easier for train drivers to see when they have drawn right up to the signal. I got this to work too!


 

fourtytwo

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Great signals good effort :) I made some with brass sheet when I modelled in N gauge, for wire I used 30awg Kynar, 3 strands fitted in a 2mm (overscale) post just fine. Soldering tiny leds is a real pita, again I used 3mm standard leds part painted black so they were both the hood and the light, somewhat different to what you have here, I am guessing an 0603 led would fit in those heads ? Where did you get them pre-wired ?
I've thought about using fibre optics for some of the signals on my layout - currently they're all Hornby semaphores and I think that would be one of the easier ways of making them light up. But yes - for older oil lamps in semaphores you'd want something a bit less bright. Having said that, a heritage railway or centre would almost certainly keep the signals in good condition so they might not be as dark as they once were.
Peter you can adjust the brightness by changing the value of the series resistor, many leds will give visible light at just 1mA current so try 10K @ 12V.
 

VEP3417

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the future of railway modelling is definitely in 3d printing, means people can make a professional looking layout without having to build all the items from scratch

on a side note i did look at that american site ages ago for things like the epb theyve got but i think it was £87 or dollars for 1 car, so by the time you factor in all the bits you would need to buy to complete a 2 car one, for half the price or even less you could buy a nice buchmann one, shame as the american company do an sr epb which looks good,

there really seems to be a large growth/expansion of people doing 3d parts mostly on ebay which is grate as near enough most items are available from all parts of the railway scene
 

simple simon

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Great signals good effort :) I made some with brass sheet when I modelled in N gauge, for wire I used 30awg Kynar, 3 strands fitted in a 2mm (overscale) post just fine. Soldering tiny leds is a real pita, again I used 3mm standard leds part painted black so they were both the hood and the light, somewhat different to what you have here, I am guessing an 0603 led would fit in those heads ? Where did you get them pre-wired ?

Peter you can adjust the brightness by changing the value of the series resistor, many leds will give visible light at just 1mA current so try 10K @ 12V.
Thanks everyone

I bought pre-wired SMB LED's on eBay (Make sure you are searching in the model railway section). Traders such as We_honest and Everest offer extensive ranges of useful items, many of which cannot be bought in retail shops here in the UK. I tend to buy LED's with 0603 or 0803 in the name - I think there are many types of LED, and sizes.

Sometimes they have come directly from China and sometimes the company has stocks here in the UK (or Europe). Buying UK stock is usually best as the goods tend to arrive faster plus you can be sure that you wont be stung for import duties, VAT, etc. Another way around this is to buy small financial values (maybe £15), this especially works well for LEDs which fit in a small padded envelope. That said, I do not know the actual value threshold above which import duties etc will be levied. Postage is usually included in the advertised price and often there are discounts for buying multiple packs as one postage charge is sufficient for multiple items (eg: 20 each red, yellow, green LEDs).

One problem I've had is with their extremely fine wires - they are a challenge to strip the insulation off for soldering (at the end opposite to the LED light)

I've been buying model people in this way too but one needs to be careful as sometimes they are S gauge which is slightly larger than OO - and noticeably larger than HO (its OK though if you want people 8ft / over 2 metres tall! or want to create a perspective effect with smaller people in the background and larger people in the foreground)

the future of railway modelling is definitely in 3d printing, means people can make a professional looking layout without having to build all the items from scratch

on a side note i did look at that american site ages ago for things like the epb theyve got but i think it was £87 or dollars for 1 car, so by the time you factor in all the bits you would need to buy to complete a 2 car one, for half the price or even less you could buy a nice buchmann one, shame as the american company do an sr epb which looks good,

there really seems to be a large growth/expansion of people doing 3d parts mostly on ebay which is grate as near enough most items are available from all parts of the railway scene

Yes, 3D printing is really useful, although you do then have to paint the models yourself! I still prefer injection moulding, but suppose that the cost of making the moulds requires a mass market whereas 3D is ideally suited for lower productions runs.

Shapeways (who make things for many independent companies) are the most well known but (for instance) Metromodels with their London Underground trains use a competitor for most of their products. I have not yet bought any of their trains (am looking at C and 1992 tube stocks), but I have bought some Radleys Underground kits and am in the process of painting etc them. Isinglass is another company selling 3D printed trains and accessories (mostly LNER passenger coaches).

I got caught out with VAT, import duties and UPS handling fees being added to one of my Shapeways orders - I blame UPS for what happened as they did not tell me in advance that the driver was going to ask for money when he tried to deliver my parcel. In short, my first thought was possible fraud so I refused to pay the unexpected fees 'there and then' (driver wanted cash), so the driver refused to leave the goods. Afterwards I contacted UPS and once it was explained to me why there were additional charges I paid the amount requested. But UPS then lost the parcel and in the end Shapeways had to replace it. The issue is related to Brexit and again to get around this I have had to make smaller purchases where Shapeways still charge VAT and the carriers do not need to collect import duties (I think the threshold is something like US$150). Even though Shapeways add delivery charges to each order it can still work out cheaper to make several smaller purchases than one larger purchase. Especially when the UPS fee for collecting the money is included in the equation.

Whilst one person offers a very wide selection of trains on Shapeways he does not include bogies, chassis or underframe. This for me is a real pain and has made me think twice about some of my desired purchases. Its not a money issue - its simply about the degree of work researching and installing everything that is needed to complete the model.
 
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John Webb

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.....One problem I've had is with their extremely fine wires - they are a challenge to strip the insulation off for soldering (at the end opposite to the LED light)....
May be worth checking the wire spec - when I started working in the electronics industry in 1967 the fine wire we usually used for coil-wound components (down to 48SWG) was enamelled with a self-fluxing coating and burnt off when the solder was applied without the need for cleaning it off! Other wire that wasn't enamelled with this coating was cleaned off using fine-grade flour paper. Modern version might be 600 or finer grit wet & dry paper?

Hope this may help.
 

simple simon

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May be worth checking the wire spec - when I started working in the electronics industry in 1967 the fine wire we usually used for coil-wound components (down to 48SWG) was enamelled with a self-fluxing coating and burnt off when the solder was applied without the need for cleaning it off! Other wire that wasn't enamelled with this coating was cleaned off using fine-grade flour paper. Modern version might be 600 or finer grit wet & dry paper?

Hope this may help.

Thanks but this is plastic coated wire which comes on pre-wired LEDs bought from China.

I tend to use a sharp blade to strip sideways and once I have a decent length of bare metal wires I solder / do not trim further. Even if it means I have several inches more wire there than I actually need I take the view that its better this way than to trim to exact required length and find that the wire-stripping went wrong, leaving me with not enough wire.
 

John Webb

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Thanks but this is plastic coated wire which comes on pre-wired LEDs bought from China.

I tend to use a sharp blade to strip sideways and once I have a decent length of bare metal wires I solder / do not trim further. Even if it means I have several inches more wire there than I actually need I take the view that its better this way than to trim to exact required length and find that the wire-stripping went wrong, leaving me with not enough wire.
I see; the only small SM LEDs I've seen on sale had the enamelled wire. I know what you mean about the wire-stripping......!
 

VEP3417

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Yes, 3D printing is really useful, although you do then have to paint the models yourself! I still prefer injection moulding, but suppose that the cost of making the moulds requires a mass market whereas 3D is ideally suited for lower productions runs.

Shapeways (who make things for many independent companies) are the most well known but (for instance) Metromodels with their London Underground trains use a competitor for most of their products. I have not yet bought any of their trains (am looking at C and 1992 tube stocks), but I have bought some Radleys Underground kits and am in the process of painting etc them. Isinglass is another company selling 3D printed trains and accessories (mostly LNER passenger coaches).

I got caught out with VAT, import duties and UPS handling fees being added to one of my Shapeways orders - I blame UPS for what happened as they did not tell me in advance that the driver was going to ask for money when he tried to deliver my parcel. In short, my first thought was possible fraud so I refused to pay the unexpected fees 'there and then' (driver wanted cash), so the driver refused to leave the goods. Afterwards I contacted UPS and once it was explained to me why there were additional charges I paid the amount requested. But UPS then lost the parcel and in the end Shapeways had to replace it. The issue is related to Brexit and again to get around this I have had to make smaller purchases where Shapeways still charge VAT and the carriers do not need to collect import duties (I think the threshold is something like US$150). Even though Shapeways add delivery charges to each order it can still work out cheaper to make several smaller purchases than one larger purchase. Especially when the UPS fee for collecting the money is included in the equation.

Whilst one person offers a very wide selection of trains on Shapeways he does not include bogies, chassis or underframe. This for me is a real pain and has made me think twice about some of my desired purchases. Its not a money issue - its simply about the degree of work researching and installing everything that is needed to complete the model.

to be honest if a company came to my door asking for extra money in cash id probably say no as well, not very professional and open to the money going missing into someone's pocket id imagine

i think theres a company called ayjay models? i think that does complete sr emu kits, probably fair money but its all there and i think theyre either resin or injection moulding, they look really good
 

simple simon

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to be honest if a company came to my door asking for extra money in cash id probably say no as well, not very professional and open to the money going missing into someone's pocket id imagine

i think theres a company called ayjay models? i think that does complete sr emu kits, probably fair money but its all there and i think theyre either resin or injection moulding, they look really good

Thanks, I never knew they existed.
 

VEP3417

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yes i dont think theyre that widely known compared to other companies but do nice models, i mainly model br/sr emus in the nse period so am always doing research or trying to find companies that sell parts if others dont do them
 

simple simon

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I see; the only small SM LEDs I've seen on sale had the enamelled wire. I know what you mean about the wire-stripping......!

btw, if you (or anyone else) is buying these tiny small pre-wired LED it might be better to resist the temptation to get the ones with the resistor (for 12 volts) attached to the wire and encapsulated in heat-shrink cable.

I say this because if you are making colour light signals and need to feed the wires through the metal pole you will likely find that the resister is too fat and therefore must be cut off.

Therefore its better to have the resistors as separate items. Anyway, since the red and green should never be illuminated at the same time it should be possible to use one resister for them both. Also, it is best if the resister is placed where it does not touch anything - to allow space for the heat to dissipate ... belt and braces, reduce the possibility of a fire risk.
 

John Webb

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btw, if you (or anyone else) is buying these tiny small pre-wired LED it might be better to resist the temptation to get the ones with the resistor (for 12 volts) attached to the wire and encapsulated in heat-shrink cable.

I say this because if you are making colour light signals and need to feed the wires through the metal pole you will likely find that the resister is too fat and therefore must be cut off.

Therefore its better to have the resistors as separate items. Anyway, since the red and green should never be illuminated at the same time it should be possible to use one resister for them both. Also, it is best if the resister is placed where it does not touch anything - to allow space for the heat to dissipate ... belt and braces, reduce the possibility of a fire risk.
I much prefer to use my choice of resistor anyway - most supplied resistors allow the LED to be too bright, I've found. But it's a good point you make!
 

simple simon

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I much prefer to use my choice of resistor anyway - most supplied resistors allow the LED to be too bright, I've found. But it's a good point you make!

So far my signals are only using a 3v power supply - I bought a special type of battery holder designed for 2032 batteries. But the station platform lighting will designed to be powered by a 12v supply so will need resistors for the 3v LEDs. My aim is to avoid future accidental blowing of the LEDS by accidentally giving them 12v instead if 3v. The resistors will be located above the roof, so out of sight - and where there will be enough ventilation to prevent them from overheating. What I am not sure if is whether the resistors will cope with two LED lights each.

My aim is to mimic one of the designs of fluorescent lighting used at London Underground stations. For these lights I bought some LED cob strip lights on eBay. They are scarily bright! What I plan to do is alternate the electrical polarity of the lights each time, as then I will only need one feeder wire for each end unit (the things which look black in my photo below). These feeder wires will power the lights on each sides of the end units.


(Photo - station platform lighting fluorescent lighting under construction)

What I am making is not quite to scale but I am hoping that once completed it will look the part.

What you see in my photo is square section hollow plastic tube with 15mm (approx) long brass tube sections (painted with black self etching undercoat) superglued on one side. Plus a temporary use of unpainted circular brass tube which is here to hold what I am gluing in place AND (most important) ensure that it is straight!

I used brass (rather than plastic) circular tube because plastic will let light shine through. I had to use plastic rather than brass square tube because the circular tube sections might be electrically live and I do not want to risk short circuits.

Before fitting the lights I will need to paint everything white.

I am planning to install these lights next month and will share some photos showing how it works out.
 
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