Opinions needed please.

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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Here's the dilemma. I wanted to go with all Sunrise enterprises signals. Then, I ran across an Oregon Rail Supply searchlight kit at the LHS. I also found some Miniatronics Bi-polar LED's and ORS parts like signal targets and finials (pointed mast top cap). I bougt those for a small sum.

Here's the ORS kit signal. I enjoyed building it and think it looks pretty good.

Side view.
120403778.jpg


Front view.
120168374.jpg


I then began playing around and came up with a semi-scratched searchlight. It features the ORS targets and fenial, 3/32 brass tubing, a base "relay cabinet" that was kitbashed from part of a Walthers New River Mine kit, a Miniatronis bi-polar LED, and a .012" brass wire ladder/service stand (soldered) with a hairnet mesh floor. My airbrush wasn't being very cooperative so the paint is so so. :eek:

Here's the scratched unit.

Side view.
120403776.gif


Front view.
120403777.jpg


Ya'll give me some honest feedback. Should I buy more from Oregon Rail Supply? Should I scratch build more (cheaper)? Should I scrap them both, go for the original plan, and use Sunrise Enterprises units?
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
CSX_road_slug said:
Go with the scratchbuilt :cool: - the brass pole is more durable (or is the ORS brass also?)

They're both brass. I wasn't really crazy about the solder buildup on the scratched unit's mast but like the service platform / ladder somewhat better than the ORS.
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
How about having the ladder and floor photo-etched as a single piece, and then bend them into shape, rather than soldering and stretching for every signal.

Then make one nice master pattern for the cabinet, pour an RTV mold...



Sorry...I have production on the brain again :eek:
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
If your semi-scratched unit turned out that good, think of how nice they'll be when you've done half a dozen...

I say keep scratchin'
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
RCH said:
If your semi-scratched unit turned out that good, think of how nice they'll be when you've done half a dozen...

I say keep scratchin'

Yeah, I've wondered about that. I can see where they would get better after doing a few. There's alot of possibilities. One would be to use a prefab ladder like they recommend in the link Rex provided. Also, multiple targets would be cool. I think I'll keep on scratchin. They're kinda fun to play with.

What is it about signals (real or model) that I'm so drawn to? I remember waiting on trains to show as a kid. Of course some never did. I guess the signal is like a message that hints at the excitement of a train on it's way... Kinda like a crossing signal just not so immediate.

Thanks everyone for your input. I'm certainly open to any other opinions out there!
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Hey Eric, your not by yourself in the fascination with signals. I have always loved seeing them on a real rail line and wondered what they were saying. Now, I can hardly wait to start wiring signals and auto this and thats.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Those were the days...

grande man said:
What is it about signals (real or model) that I'm so drawn to? I remember waiting on trains to show as a kid. Of course some never did. I guess the signal is like a message that hints at the excitement of a train on it's way... Kinda like a crossing signal just not so immediate.
GM I hear ya! When I did railfanning on the B&O in the 1970's, a "high green" meant that a train would be coming thru within minutes...guaranteed! Nowadays with centralized dispatching, there can be almost a full hour time lag from the green signal to the train's actual appearance.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
CSX_road_slug said:
GM I hear ya! When I did railfanning on the B&O in the 1970's, a "high green" meant that a train would be coming thru within minutes...guaranteed! Nowadays with centralized dispatching, there can be almost a full hour time lag from the green signal to the train's actual appearance.

Some of the areas we hang at have approach lit signals. When they light green, it won't be long, a train just entered the block.

I enjoy just looking at and photographing different signals. I guess it takes all types... :D
 

NZRMac

In Training Down Under.
My Dad used to see a green signal, and pretend to ring up a train on his 'phone' and ask for it to come by. Worked everytime I thought he was amazing.

Eric, I reckon your signals look great. Keep scratching them.

Ken.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Rex, You gonna signal the whole RR or just visable areas? I'd also be interested in the specifics. Digitrax electronics maybe? That would be an interesting thread on it's own. ;)

I'm finding that I know just enough about signalling to be dangerous. It's a challenge to determine what signal arraingements would be appropriate for given trackwork. As someone once told me, welcome to the subhobby of signalling. :cool:

Ken, That's a cool story. I was a pretty sharp kid and figured stuff like that out before I got out of high school, for the most part. :D :D :D
 

B_Kosanda

Member
I think the scratch built looks OK except for the base. You could eliminate that part and just post the signal directly into the scenery base. A small relay cabinet next to the signal adds good realism, except more cost (I know).

Bill
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
B_Kosanda said:
I think the scratch built looks OK except for the base. You could eliminate that part and just post the signal directly into the scenery base. A small relay cabinet next to the signal adds good realism, except more cost (I know).

Bill
Yeah, I gotta agree. Some proto signal masts were mounted to a relay cabinet, but I always prefered the look of a separate cabinet. The mast does need some type of base though, IMHO. The ORS kit has one in it. They may sell it separately or I could come up with something else to use for a base. Thanks for the input.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Eric: I plan to block control/signal the entire layout. I have so much hidden track that I have to have some kind of idea as to where trains are and when. I probably will leave the train control to the engineer, but he will have to read the signal lights.

My thoughts now are to go with Digitrax, complete with block control and transponding. I don't want to setup automatic train schedules or routes, but it would be cool to see where everything was on a computer screen.

I have a lot of research, learning, and planning to do before I get started. You are right when you say it is a hobby within a hobby.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
RexHea said:
Eric: I plan to block control/signal the entire layout.

My thoughts now are to go with Digitrax, complete with block control and transponding.

I need to get you and Ray together. He's been thru all this. His RR is large and the signals are controlled with BDL 168's and the JMRI program. I bet he can give you some good info and save you time and aggravation.

That's gonna be one COOL project! It's really fun to run trains on a fully signalled RR!
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Eric;

The signals look good, real good!

Youse want some opinions?;) Here's mine!:p You're ugly :eek:and yo' Momma dresses ya funny too!:D:D (One eye open!):rolleyes::rolleyes:

Actually I would happen to like the method that may result in a little more work, scratchbuilding, but anything that advances a skill level to me has a distinct advantage over just buying something and placing it down.

Brass tubing/ladder stock isn't that expensive and neither is styrene. Build them yourself. It will give you greater satisfaction. See ya!
 




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