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darrenscots
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I am ready to start on the drawings. I have bought a whole batch of new styrene for building this signal box (this will be my first styrene building). I have also bought "The Chopper" to help me on my way.

  
Very photo heavy  photos recovered but skipped for now     Barchester










Robert
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This should be really interesting watching you switch from one medium to the other Darren. Best of luck.
What's the 'chopper' you have bought?

Robert
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OK Darren, I can see the 'chopper'. I was in too much of a hurry to post and didn't wait for the photograph to appear. Slow dialup again. :twisted:

Perry
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I would be most grateful if you could please write a short post about 'The Chopper' in the 'Materials and Tools' section too.

This looks like a handy piece of kit for scratchbuilders.

Thanks.

Perry

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Perry wrote:I would be most grateful if you could please write a short post about 'The Chopper' in the 'Materials and Tools' section too.

This looks like a handy piece of kit for scratchbuilders.

Thanks.

Perry


Folks, please see note here :

http://yourmodelrailway.net/forum19/1512.html

Last edited on Tue Aug 19th, 2008 07:01 am by

darrenscots
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I have complete my mock-up in light card. As always doing the mock-up identified the anomalies you dont spot when sketching.







darrenscots
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First panel off the production line..



As the weekend is coming to a close this will need to wait till i can get back to it.

Wayne Williams
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Darren, I like the trim around the window. How do you do your miter's?

Wayne

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Wayne Williams wrote:Darren, I like the trim around the window. How do you do your miter's?

Wayne


Wayne, I used the new Chopper for the mitres, perfect 45 degrees every time.

Wayne Williams
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Darren, I was afraid you were going to say that! I will have to go shopping around here to try and find something like that. I have, so far anyway, never seem anything like that in any of the modeling shops around me. May have to resort to the internet!

Wayne

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I think that window frame alone says all you need to know about the 'Chopper'. If you are serious about modelling in plastikard then that has to be a good investment.

Perry
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darrenscots wrote:I have complete my mock-up in light card. As always doing the mock-up identified the anomalies you dont spot when sketching.

I like that word; 'anomalies'. :D I find a lot of them, but I usually call them something else: c**k-ups! :lol:

You are quite right about card mock-ups being very useful. I wouldn't tackle any scratchbuild in plastikard without making a card mock-up first. It can save wasting a lot of time and material.

Perry

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My card 'mockups' are my models Perry I'll have you know. :lol: :roll:

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Forgive me, I have the feeling it's been defined before, but just so that I can follow this, is Styrene and Plasticard one and the same thing? :?

Les

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Not exactly speaking from the voice of experience here, since I have only built two models in my life, but I did not make a card model first. However I did make a drawing that was two to four times the models actual size. I did not draw the model in HO Scale. By drawing it larger than HO Scale it is much easier to spot dimensional mistakes.

So far it has worked for me. The big test will be building my grandkids house! :roll: :roll: :roll:

Wayne

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Les wrote:Forgive me, I have the feeling it's been defined before, but just so that I can follow this, is Styrene and Plasticard one and the same thing? :?

Les


Yes, Les, exactly the same.

Perry

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Robert wrote:My card 'mockups' are my models Perry I'll have you know. :lol: :roll:

Ah yes, and very fine they are too. The only thing they lack are 'anomalies'! :wink: :lol: :lol:

Perry

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Thanks Perry, I'll now watch with interest. (watch being the operative word) :lol: :lol:

Les

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Life has not been my own this week (too much work and little left for other things) so got back to the signal box today. I have attached a quick pick of a dry mock-up of the walls to make sure there is nothing non accessible when i do assemble it. Lots more trimming and filing as well to do. I have scribbed the inner wall for the door porch but will do nothing with the internals of the box until i get the springside models internal detailing kit. (their website is under reconstruction at the moment)

darrenscots
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Signal box has progressed better than i imagined. I have made the floor removable for now. I have to finish up for the weekend so will post more when I get back to it.





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It's looking really good Darren, you must be well pleased so far.

darrenscots
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Finally got some time away from work today and got on with the windows. I went out and bought some fine strip to complete this activity. The chopper came into its own today as was able to cut items all the same size accurately.

Pix shows the first batch of windows and one showing them trial fitted (once glued in place they will look less crooked!!).



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this is looking great, maybe one day when i get time and a working layout :D

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Could you do me a favour Darren and try a piece of fairly thick card in your chopper and then tell me if it cuts cleanly or does it compress the card into a V shape, as the weight comes down on the blade, before cutting. If it does then as you look at the card cut edge the top will be chamfered down. Card is a much softer medium than plastic and the machine may not be as good with it. I'd like to know about card cutting before I go sending for the chopper.

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I'm impressed with how this is looking. I will need to see if I can make my scratchbuilds look as neat and tight fitting as what you have there. I have just received my Chopper ll, so I'm confident that it will help me.

Wayne

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This is impressive Darren but I need a question answered if you will please. :lol:

In re-reading the thread to follow what you are doing I remembered what I wanted to ask before and forgot. How did you work out what Evergreen materials you needed, what did you buy in the end and did you get it in the UK? When I look in catalogues/web sites they list endless types and sizes and its hard to know where to start.

Hope you don't mind. :lol:

Les

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Robert wrote:Could you do me a favour Darren and try a piece of fairly thick card in your chopper and then tell me if it cuts cleanly or does it compress the card into a V shape, as the weight comes down on the blade, before cutting. If it does then as you look at the card cut edge the top will be chamfered down. Card is a much softer medium than plastic and the machine may not be as good with it. I'd like to know about card cutting before I go sending for the chopper.

Bob, it cuts cleanly and i think technique comes into play here also. The chopper manual does talk to this as well. I have attached some pix. There is a very slight chamfer but this would not be evident when you glue together.Stating the obvious also but the cut is limited to the length of the blade..I also have a heavy duty paper cutter with replaceable blades that I use for card and paper cutting.

The next item i intend getting is the true sander and this is an item that you put your component against (the side contains sandpaper) and slide against the sandpaper to give a square edge - this is needed even for kits as the edges from the moulds have a slight chamfer to allow removal.





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Thanks for the extra info Darren.

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Les wrote:This is impressive Darren but I need a question answered if you will please. :lol:

In re-reading the thread to follow what you are doing I remembered what I wanted to ask before and forgot. How did you work out what Evergreen materials you needed, what did you buy in the end and did you get it in the UK? When I look in catalogues/web sites they list endless types and sizes and its hard to know where to start.

Hope you don't mind. :lol:

Les


No problem Les, I made out a list of scale items that I needed. Easiest way to do this is to list by considering the primary components eg walls, roofs, internal strengthening, and then go onto the secondary items such as stairs, frames round doors & windows and then the doors and windows last etc.


I then went down to my local model railway supplier and went through the display - the biggest challenge is that the precut size items (Evergreen) are in standard HO sizes here in the US and not OO so i had to take the closest rather than find an exact match. That being said, it is not cheap and therefore substitutes from card and paper will be looked at as the whole unit does not necessarily need to be made from styrene.

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Thanks Darren, very helpful. :D I guess its always useful if, as you say, you can see them in a shop as well - no such luck here I'm afraid. :(

Les

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Completed the bottom front window. This was very fiddly as I had already installed the window frame (this was before I had finalised how I was going to complete the windows - I wont repeat that in the future) In order to install the glazing bars I inserted a piece of card taped in from behind to ensure that they would be flush. The pix show as completed and the card removed (card removal was problemmatic as the glazing bars had stuck to the card as a result of the bonding solvent!!! I got there in the end!!)




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I finished up all the windows this weekend - i have put the fixed units temporarily on the box, the sliding units are piled up in front.

Next are the doors..

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Those windows are as good as anything I have seen. I suppose the 'chopper' really came into it's own with all those short strips?

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That's a cracking job, Darren.

Those windows look far superior to ones made with PVC tape strips.

Are the glazing bars all flush to the 'glass' or do they actually overlap?

With my poor eyesight I can't really tell just by looking at your photos. :shock:

Perry

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They look to me as if they overlap Perry.

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Robert wrote:They look to me as if they overlap Perry.

Ah, it's those young eyes of yours, Bob! :roll: :lol:

Thanks. :wink:

Perry

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Excellent photos Darren - the Chopper certainly seems to work.

Like Les (and probably Bob), styrene is new in this part of France. I trawled around the 3 model shops we have around here that don't need an overnight stay to visit, and asked for "carteplastique", "styrene", "plasticard" (thinking it might be a generic product) all to no avail. I even took a small sample in and they'd never seen the stuff !!!!!

Such is life in rural France - they do, however, have exceedingly good wine at sensible prices !!!!

Petermac

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You're lucky to have a model shop at all Petermac. I haven't found one round the Costa Blanca at all so far. There used to be one in Alicante but I think that has closed down. Yet we have dozens of Toy's R Us shops.

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Perry wrote:That's a cracking job, Darren.

Those windows look far superior to ones made with PVC tape strips.

Are the glazing bars all flush to the 'glass' or do they actually overlap?

With my poor eyesight I can't really tell just by looking at your photos. :shock:

Perry


Folks, thanks for the positive encouragement. The glazing bars are like the real thing - there is no overlap (that would be easier and probably not that noticeable but I would know!!) It is very fiddly and an item i must buy is a pair of reverese tweezers that would make it a lot easier!!!!

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Robert wrote:Those windows are as good as anything I have seen. I suppose the 'chopper' really came into it's own with all those short strips?

Bob whilst the chopper isnt the magic bullet it does make windows easier as there are a lot of small repetitive components that you set the size for and away you go without worring whether the components are an exact match size wise when you go to put them together.

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Finished the doors today.

Thats me for another week unfortunately!



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It gets better and better Darren. It really is a first class job.

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That's for sure!
I guess the chopper will be very helpful with the steps too.
Great stuff, Darren

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looking good :)

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I have been working 13hr days and weekends at work for the past few weeks so unfortunately no time for modelling!!!! (But was still able to read posts on the forum!!)

Today was my first day off so i got back to the Signal box with renewed vigour. Completed the fascia/barge boards and cut the corrugated iron panels. The lower window has taken a bit of a beating with all the handling but this will be rectified later.

Pic below shows roof panels temporarily in place. Unfortunately only clear panels available so roof panels shown have been given first coats so far.

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Nice to see you back at it Darren. I know how life can interrupt what we really want to do!

I will be interested in how you 'fix' the window!

Wayne

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That's coming along really well, Darren. :D

Are you going to scratchbuild some interior detail?

Perry

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Today was spent installing the windows. Some fettling still to do on them but will do that when I get to the glazing.

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Perry wrote:That's coming along really well, Darren. :D

Are you going to scratchbuild some interior detail?

Perry


Perry, yes, but that may be something I do in the long term (floor and roof will remain removeable for now) Have already been doing some research on what is inside a signal box. Not many pix of the signal mans stove available!!

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Very nice darren, well done. It is coming along a treat.
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Today saw the completion of the stairs and installation onto the box. Thats it for this week.

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Such a smart looking, beautifully put together job, Darren. It looks as if you have the banisters er... how do I say it? - pointy corner up :lol: :lol: I like it.


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MikeC wrote:Such a smart looking, beautifully put together job, Darren. It looks as if you have the banisters er... how do I say it? - pointy corner up :lol: :lol: I like it.


Mike

Thanks, Mike. The banister handrails on the the stairs are on the flat with the sharp edges slightly rounded (picture was taken in poor light) - once painted all will become clear (still lots of fettling to be done though!!)

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Did you use a jig for the stairs Darren? I know how difficult it can be getting those treads just right.

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Please tell me Darren, that you took photos on how you did those Stairs, because I'd like to see how you did it!

They look factory made! Great job!

Wayne

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I think we'd all like to see how you did the stairs Darren - very difficuly to do even with accurately cut steps - mine never, ever are !!! :oops: .

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Folks thanks for the positive comments.

Re the stairs, whilst not perfect, I think the biggest helper was the chopper as it at least meant the treads were all the same width!

I glued the first tread in the correct position in between the stringers and a temporary tread at the other end just to keep the stringers the correct distance apart.

I then took a piece of styrene* the desired height between the treads and used this to scribe against where the next set of steps to sit below (using the first permanent tread as the guide). I marked using a 0.3 pencil on both stringers and then followed up with the next step glued following the pencil lines, marked again using the styrene as a gauge between the steps and so on..Once I got to the end I removed the temporary tread and installed the final tread in the correct spaced position.

I have tried to illustrate using some scrap strip - example shown only shows one stringer for clarity.

(*I actually made a "box" gauge first but the strip was easier to use..see 2nd pic below)



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Thanks for the info Darren, but I have more questions. Did you do a drawing of the steps first, to determine the correct spacing of the treads and angles of the stringers? Or just do the math?

I think if I tried that the steps would be slanting down or up instead of being flat, or something that disastrous. Even getting the rail posts vertical can be a challenge.

Wayne

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Wayne Williams wrote:Thanks for the info Darren, but I have more questions. Did you do a drawing of the steps first, to determine the correct spacing of the treads and angles of the stringers? Or just do the math?

I think if I tried that the steps would be slanting down or up instead of being flat, or something that disastrous. Even getting the rail posts vertical can be a challenge.

Wayne


Dwayne, no drawing - I sketched out the angle of the stairs and did a dry fit of the stringers to the box to see whether it looked right. I then worked out the required height between the treads based on the photos that I had (that is why the temporary tread is removed at the end as it invariably will need to be relocated to the correct relative position to the second to last tread once you have worked all the way down)

The angle of the first tread is relative to the level of the platform it connects to so once I had installed it I double checked that it was parallel to the platform on the box so as to set the angle for all the rest of the treads.

I think once you get going, you will be fine. Once of the key aspects is to stop frequently and look at it by the eye and trial fit to the box - if it looks right, it is!! (my wife even asked me when i was building it "why do you keep double checking the stairs?")

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I grabbed an opportunity to fabricate the internals of the roof and the internal ceiling panel(s). Pix show construction and it installed temporarily. It will need some final tweaks to sit properly. This unit will allow the roof to be removeable.





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Loverly job Darren, appreciate both the construction and the detailed descriptions. Well done.

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Ain't building steps FUN!!! :shock: :?

It's a pity I can't find a commercial supplier of stuff like this; it would save hours of work.

You've done a really nice job with the steps and the roof, Darren. :D

Perry

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Darren,
Thanks for the description on the steps. I don't have steps, as yet anyway, to do, but have been wondering how I would approach doing them. Your description helps a lot.
Isn't it amazing how each one of us approach something differently? I like your roof design, completely different than the ones I have been doing, and is unique in it's own right. Gives me ideas for future builds.

I have another question Darren, when you are cutting angles on the roof rafter on the Chopper ll, cutting the first angle is simple, but am I missing something in cutting the other end of the piece? How do you cut several the same length? To cut just one piece, OK I can do that, but to cut several pieces exactly the same length with opposing angles (like a picture frame) or even like you did (parallel angles), how do you do that on the Chopper ll?

Wayne

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Really enjoying this build, it is very good and i like the way the steps have been done as well as the roof. Well done.
Phill

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Darren,
This is really coming together beautifully.How long have you been scratchbuilding? The standard makes me thing you've been doing this kind of thing for some time.Top thread!!!
cheers,John.B.

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georgejacksongenius wrote:Darren,
This is really coming together beautifully.How long have you been scratchbuilding? The standard makes me thing you've been doing this kind of thing for some time.Top thread!!!
cheers,John.B.


Thanks for the encouragement everyone.

John.B - I built many Airfix kit models as a youngster (some good attempts and MANY bad!!). This is my first attempt at scratchbuilding a whole building with styrene. I have learnt a lot in this small building. It is interesting to see also how Wayne has developed - he has gone from a novice to building with gusto - this has given me added encouragement to keep at it.

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Today I took the opportunity to generate the decorative fascia boards. I created the design in Microsoft Excel and with some trial and error got it to the required size. I printed out to card, cut it out with knife (and pin for the small holes) and stuck it the barge boards. The pattern will be less apparent unfortunately once painted. I also cut the hole for the stove stack (unpainted and temporarily shown in position) Thankfully I will start glazing soon as another one of the windows (see pic) has lost a glazing bar!



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Perry wrote:Ain't building steps FUN!!! :shock: :?
It's a pity I can't find a commercial supplier of stuff like this; it would save hours of work.
Perry


The only supplier of stairs, stair handrails etc. that I've ever found is a product called "Fineline".
They can be ordered through Squires Tools and Materials and can be seen on page 383 of their catalogue.

If you haven't got their 484 page catalogue, you should get it, as they stock a vast array of modelling tools, materials and other useful bits and pieces.
No web site (yet), but phone 01243 842424 to order your free copy.
They have a minimum order of 10, but provide free postage to UK addresses. (Cost price overseas)

If you want to write for a copy, the address is :-
SQUIRES MODEL & CRAFT TOOLS
100 London Road
Bognor Regis
West Sussex
PO21 1DD

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Wayne Williams wrote:

I have another question Darren, when you are cutting angles on the roof rafter on the Chopper ll, cutting the first angle is simple, but am I missing something in cutting the other end of the piece? How do you cut several the same length? To cut just one piece, OK I can do that, but to cut several pieces exactly the same length with opposing angles (like a picture frame) or even like you did (parallel angles), how do you do that on the Chopper ll?

Wayne


Wayne, for multiple angled sections, the key thing is to first make a set of standard length size blanks. Cut one angle on all the blanks and then I think what you need to do is that you would need to create a dummy guide/spacer to get the size you need if the provided spacers dont give you sufficient length etc for the other side? I will try some examples next weekend as have had to pack it away for the rest of the week!!

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I see what you are saying, the big difference in what you said is cutting the blanks to the same length first. I hadn't thought of doing that. I did make up a dummy guide that worked ok, but I still had trouble duplicating the exact length.

I will make up another guide that matches the 45 degree one, and mount it on the other side of the blade as a stop. All I would have to do then is cut one piece to measure the amount of cutoff, then add double that amount to the finished part to get the blank size. That should work fine. Thank you for the advice.

Wayne

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I've just got some Hornby signal box steps from modelspares - thought they may be handy for future projects. 4 for �1.25.

http://www.modelspares.com/           Defunct Link

It's worth looking at their list of spares for these bits & bobs. They have all kinds of odd bits like metal ladders, station chimneys etc. But, you'd need to hurry as they are closing the business at the end of this month due to retirement.

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Darren - the gable detailing looks fantastic. You must have loads of patience and very steady hands !!

Excellent build so far & looking forward to seeing it progress.

Petermac

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Had visitors in town and then snagged the opportunity to snag some time off so havent had a chance to update . I am on holiday in Durango - will post update on the box when I return to Houston (the signal box also took a tumble of the table and lost the stairs and handrail..) I will also post pix of the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge railway in prototype section. Later..

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I restarted again today after a long hiatus. I fabricated a stove, coal bin, writing desk and chair. Believe it or not each one has many components which should become more apparent when I paint.

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Darren

And there was me thinking you were going to settle for one of those super detail kits and here you are building everything :shock: . I must say you have done a good job. I particularly like the way you have achieved the curve on the chair back - not easy in this scale. The levers and other instruments will be fun, but I am really looking forward to seeing how you do it. I hope you will be able to see all this detail once the roof is on! Great stuff - more please!

Bob(K)

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I am impressed with your fortitude and deep desire to do it yourself! I had not even thought about doing those "Little" things via scratchbuilding. Now I've got lots to think about. :D :D :D

Just a thought, they make rubber material that can be used as moulds, could you like, make one super looking chair and then make a mould of it to make many more?

Wayne

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Wayne Williams wrote:I am impressed with your fortitude and deep desire to do it yourself! I had not even thought about doing those "Little" things via scratchbuilding. Now I've got lots to think about. :D :D :D

Just a thought, they make rubber material that can be used as moulds, could you like, make one super looking chair and then make a mould of it to make many more?

Wayne


Thanks Wayne. I have had my eye on the kit below for a while but for the signal box there is insufficient repetition to warrant it (maybe the levers but i will make them individually...)

http://www.artmolds.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=217&page=0&cat_name=Resin%20Casting%20Kit&u_cat=87

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Novice wrote:Darren

And there was me thinking you were going to settle for one of those super detail kits and here you are building everything :shock: . I must say you have done a good job. I particularly like the way you have achieved the curve on the chair back - not easy in this scale. The levers and other instruments will be fun, but I am really looking forward to seeing how you do it. I hope you will be able to see all this detail once the roof is on! Great stuff - more please!

Bob(K)


Bob, thanks. I was going to buy the kit but given the price and having to wait for the order to arrive from the UK, i decided to bash on. I have built these from bits in my scrap styrene box with the exception of the flue for the stove. I decided on doing all the things from the back of the box going forward (leaving the levers till last!!)

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I am really impressed by this project!

All I can say is, If this is just the signal box, what's the rest of the layout going to look like?
WOW!
I can hardly wait!

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Very nicely done, they look fantastic.
Glad you got the chance to get some more modelling done, keep it coming.

Perry
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Wayne Williams wrote:..........Just a thought, they make rubber material that can be used as moulds, could you like, make one super looking chair and then make a mould of it to make many more?

Wayne


Unfortunately, what you suggest is unlikely to be practical, Wayne - which is a great pity because there must be tens of thousands of small items that we could use such a process for.

The reason it would be impratical as that a nice little little chair like Darren built has too many undercuts in it's design to allow it to be removed from a mould in one piece. It would be incredible fragile too, and just flexing the mould to try to extract it would cause many breakages. The only solution would be to make it in several different pieces, then glue them all together. One is then getting into the realms of manufacturing kits though!

One could do it for things shaped like milk churns, for example, but complex shapes are not easy to mould. It would be cheaper and quicker to buy them ready made, or scratchbuild the few items you need as Darren has done so beautifully.

In a previous life I worked for a firm that produced injection moulded objects, and the work that went into designing and making the moulds has to be seen to be believed. :shock:

Sorry for hijacking your thread, Darren. I am following your work closely and am very impressed with your results. Keep up the good work.

Perry

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Perry,
Could you not add some glass fibers to what ever material you are moulding with to strengthen the component? I used to do that all the time (larger scale though) and you can barely even break the resin, it just flexes thanks to the fiber reinforcements. Just a thought, since it does take so much time to model those "Little Things", right Darren?

Granted you do have lots of undercuts (die locks), but with a rubber mould wouldn't that be forgiving enough to release the part?

I have never used flexible moulds before, alway split the mould to get around the die locks, but splitting the mould on such a little item is out of the question I believe.

Wayne

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Fabricated the clock (as per the method for the railway station) and made a start on the signal lever frame (after much sanding) today.



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I have completed putting in the twenty raised slots - the chopper came in handy here - casting that unit may be a viable given Perry & Wayne's comments above!? (However i will fabricate one again for the south box....)

I have shown a trial fit in the box below. I am going back now to fabricate the twenty levers.


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Darren, while you are making those, I wil take 4 please:- 2 x 20 frames. 1 x ten & 1 x fifteen :lol:

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Meticulous work Darren, excellent.

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Darren,
The skill you exhibit in this thread is beyond question,but what really blows me away is your patience,and the pains you take on the smallest details.
when this signalbox is finished,I have no doubts that it will look absolutely amazing.Top job,sir!!! :) :wink:

cheers,John.B.

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Excellent work there Darren - it's going to be a stunning signal box when it's finished. :wink:

Petermac

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Thanks everyone for the positive encouragement. Today I cut a hole in the floor and set the frame inside it, added the timber kickplate at the front and completed the instrument shelf (see trial fit in pic below). I fabricated the levers last night and did the first paint of the top half of the levers for the the handles and release (in grey rather than silver) this morning - see the pic of my lever "farm" to hold them during assembly and paint.



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My word, they certainly look the part. Brilliant.

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that is going to need a good signal man to operate it.
you have more patience than i sir.
:roll: :o :lol: :lol: 8)

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Brilliant, love the farm, do I order seed from you :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Stunning mate stunning. You have the patience of a Saint, unlike me.
Phill

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We've seen some great scratchbuilding on this forum and this is well up there with the very best. A pleasure to behold. :D

Les

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Darren, now that's what I call "Detail". I know how difficult it is to make parallel grooves like that. Sure is looking the part.
I always found that it is harder to do the second one than the first one. Maybe because my patience ran out! :shock: :roll: :lol:

Keep it up,
Wayne

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I have completed the painting of the levers, installed them into the frame and commenced painting the floor and lever frame.

I have also completed the indicator boxes (each is made up of 5 pieces - a bit tiring and fiddly to make up each of them but i think the effort will be worth it once i paint) and the bells (HO scale loco "gong" bells whitemetal castings plus a square of styrene below - if i could have found some suitable buttons or something similar lying round the house I would have used those instead!!) - they are all shown temporarily on the shelf as a trial fit (some final fettling/sanding to go before paint).

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I admire the attention to detail Darren and the patience that goes with it. Great.

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I generated the Tain North signal box diagram on ms excel (see 1st pic) and printed it out to card and created a styrene frame for it (see 2nd pic). When it prints out at 15% scale it reduces some of the items such that they dont print (even at super resolution print) - eg text noting "signal box", "goods yard" etc



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Darren, the problem with your signal box diagram is that you are looking at it with big eyes - if they were 4mm people, they will see it OK :!:

When it is installed in the box with all of the remaining details it will look very good.

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Sol wrote:Darren, the problem with your signal box diagram is that you are looking at it with big eyes - if they were 4mm people, they will see it OK :!:

When it is installed in the box with all of the remaining details it will look very good.


Ron, your right of course - i just love the miniaturisation aspect. At least i have satisfaction that I have pushed it as far as possible.

This evening i bashed on with the interior walls - when i started out some months ago i had not intended to detail the box inside but as i have gone on I decided i would but couldnt just paint the unfinished reverse of the wills timber board sheet - i used HO scale rail car siding to complete (three pieces have been cut out and are shown loose at the bottom of the pic)

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Coming on really well - I can hear the bells and smell the polish that the signalman applies every day!

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Last Sunday i painted the window frames (aged white) so that they would be fully dry before installing the glazing - after much trial and error last night and today I have managed to complete the glazing to my satisfaction - see pic (the pile of cut-outs at the front are the error part!!) - now back to the internals of the box. I have also completed the door glazing (sitting on the right - upainted)

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Seems like you got there in the end Darren, and well worth the effort, as this model gets better and better. I note the special glue you are using for the glazing - how did you get on with it? I use super glue, which is fine if you don't get it on the areas that show!

Bob(K)

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Novice wrote:Seems like you got there in the end Darren, and well worth the effort, as this model gets better and better. I note the special glue you are using for the glazing - how did you get on with it? I use super glue, which is fine if you don't get it on the areas that show!

Bob(K)


Thanks Bob. This glue came recommended from the guys at the local shop (their previous recommendations on solvents were good) and i had seen it in a book i had reading - the glue is good because it doesnt stick right away (more of a watery consistency) and if your careful you can wipe away while wet without leaving a residue. It can also be used to make windows as well if you pool in an enclosed shape.

The best tip re the styrene for glazing I read was to use the back of the blade to lightly score and then cut with scissors - gives a nice clean edge (wish i had known about this when i was cutting the glazing for the Tain Railway Station awning!!)

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Today I had to cut the desk, I had been putting it off but couldnt get it to fit against the back wall along with the coal bunker and stove. I chopped it and put it back together. Picture shows it before cutting.

I have also assembled the interior (including the now shortened desk) - some more touch up to do though.

Lots of painting today included all the instruments on the bench and the bench itself.

Also gave the outside of the box a first coat (Highland Railway Burn Sienna) and then a sand down.





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It just improves every time you touch it Darren, a first class job i may say. Well done on a job well done so far.
Phill

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You made a chair too :?: :shock: Superb.
Did you flush glaze with each individual panel inside the frame, or, like me, attach the pane to the rear of the framework :?:
This will be a cracker of a signal box when you complete it.

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Thanks for the encouragement folks.

Marty wrote:You made a chair too :?: :shock: Superb.
Did you flush glaze with each individual panel inside the frame, or, like me, attach the pane to the rear of the framework :?:
This will be a cracker of a signal box when you complete it.


I flush glazed behind the window frame for each but as the glazing bars were deliberately not as deep as the frame this meant the sheet had to be cut exactly to fit the opening to avoid any unsightly gaps. I have provided a quick sketch to show what I mean (blue is styrene clear sheet).

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Darren that is one hell of a build,you Perry and Wayne must have the patience of saints, no way would i do all that.
:roll: :oops: :lol: :lol: 8)

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owen69 wrote:Darren that is one hell of a build,you Perry and Wayne must have the patience of saints, no way would i do all that.
:roll: :oops: :lol: :lol: 8)


Owen , we can do it - it just takes longer that's all , we are only common mortals - not saints not like those 3 :roll:

Yes, very well done Darren - the lever frame is superb :!:

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Darren,
I don't know about you,but I can't wait to see this finished and on your layout in situ.
Are you going to have a signalman in there???..........Be a shame not to with all the detail you,ve already added!
As they say in Cornwall...."Proper Job"
Cheers,John.B.

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Well impressed Darren will you have the interior lit up when finished ?

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Thanks for the glazing diagram Darren, I now know why you had a few trial goes before the final fitting :!:
cheers

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First class all the way Darren. Can I ask if you have the same patience with everything you do?

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Very nice work, Darren.

It shows what can be achieved by taking time, care and patience over a scratchbuild. Had you rushed it, I'm sure the results would not have been anywhere near so good.

Well done indeed. :D

Perry

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Thanks everyone for the positive encouragement - this keeps me hard at it and ensures good quality is maintained!!

Sol wrote:owen69 wrote:Darren that is one hell of a build,you Perry and Wayne must have the patience of saints, no way would i do all that.
:roll: :oops: :lol: :lol: 8)


Owen , we can do it - it just takes longer that's all , we are only common mortals - not saints not like those 3 :roll:

Yes, very well done Darren - the lever frame is superb :!:


Remember Owen that this is my first serious attempt and there have been MANY things i have learned (some to be repeated others absolutely not!!) Sol has hit the nail on the head - it will come naturally to some and others will have to work that bit longer at it (I am in the latter category!!)

georgejacksongenius wrote:Darren,
I don't know about you,but I can't wait to see this finished and on your layout in situ.
Are you going to have a signalman in there???..........Be a shame not to with all the detail you,ve already added!
As they say in Cornwall...."Proper Job"
Cheers,John.B.


Yes i will John but will have to order him as can only get HO figures here. (I wouldnt attempt to build him as he would probably end up looking like the Michelin Man!!)

Later today you will see the signalmans minature timetable (A Highland Railway one) and his logbook (An LMS one) on the desk plus an LMS railmap on the backwall. My wife has requested a teapot and a mug (I think i will draw the line at his pen (pardon the pun) for the logbook)

Diesel wrote:Well impressed Darren will you have the interior lit up when finished ?

Brian, I will but probably leave that to post completion - i was looking at the things i had not thought about before like a lamp (not on my list previously) and looked at some of the items on the website and others re grain of wheat bulbs which certainly look achievable)

Robert wrote:First class all the way Darren. Can I ask if you have the same patience with everything you do? Bob actually the answer is no - i work in a job that everything is required now,now and now! I find the modelling very therapeutic (clears the mind totally) - when i am tempted to rush or am frustrated with something on the model i can lay it down and start another workfront or have a cup of tea - ie its under my absolute control!!

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Gentlemen,my post said "no way WOULD i do that " not could
i would attempt the signal box which is briil,just not all the interior
fittings.
:roll: :roll: :oops: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: 8)

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owen69 wrote:Gentlemen,my post said "no way WOULD i do that " not could
i would attempt the signal box which is briil,just not all the interior
fittings.
:roll: :roll: :oops: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: 8)


Owen, my apologies - I blame it on old age and not having finished my first cup of tea of the day! :oops:

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Today, saw me completing the instruments as well as the signal box record book (made of two pieces of card - one printed from a genuine LMS log book plus a cover soaked in grey marker pen to colour it) and timetable (i am please how they came out) - see pic below with back wall mocked up (includes an LMS rail map) - still more touch up remains!!!! One of the side walls (not shown) has the clock mounted on it.

I also finished painting the instruments and printed out the faces and stuck to the front of each unit - I was pondering how to seal the printed face (as they are so small) when i realised i could seal with the glazing glue (as you can form windows with it) It had been a real fiddle to size and install the printed faces and I was concerned that they would run but they didnt so thats another job done.

I also created a telephone from three pieces of scrap styrene for the housing and handset plus two pin heads for the bells. I will attach some thin thread once the paint is all dried (pic shows first coat only - need to paint bells and handset black) This will be installed on the back wall.

I also knocked knocked up a small sideboard for the tea and signal mans lamp (pic again shows first coat only) - this was made up of scrap styrene.



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To be honest i am lost for words, its brilliant.
Notice you never went GWR with the maps, good thing really, your trains would always end up late due to going the wrong way :D :D
Phill

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Darren

Your work looks absolutely stunning and it is remarkable just how much detail you have achieved in this scale. I have one small suggestion, which may help even more. I reckon that if you added the lightest dry brush of a lighter shade of paint you have used on the darker items it would really bring out the details, especially once the roof is fitted, as it will be quite dark inside the box - although quite frankly it is a masterpiece already.

I can't wait to see the finished item as this project is one of the great scratch building works that will sit alongside the work of Perry, Wayne and others as examples of the high quality modelling displayed on this forum.

Bob(K)

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This takes modelling to new heights, I don't know how you do it. :shock: :shock: :shock:

(Stands back in amazement and calls wife to look at picture, explaining how big these items really are. Wife utters words which press right buttons but then tells Les not to be too long on forum and remember to go for newspapers, Les sits down again at computer muttering words about her not appreciating the finer things in life. :evil:)

Must go now for papers but let me say again Darren - truly amazing. :D

Les

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Most of us are possibly "Jack of all Trades - Master of None" but this definitely makes Darren the Master of Signal Boxes.

I think I better not read this forum again as I will get so depressed as I think how the heck am I going to get to that standard!

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Darren superb work you have certainly made it a labour of love with your attention to detail
All you need now is a signal box cat and perhaps a mouse and mousehole for the cat to chase.
Now theres a challenge make an oo gauge mouse where did you put your microscope.
First class work an inspiration to other members.


cheers Brian.W

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I bet those hinges squeek and the chair creeks when the signalman sits on it. I can feel the heat coming from the stove as well!

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Just amazing :!: now with all that detail it just beg,s to be lit up :)

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First class, Darren. Enjoyable to watch it develop. I'd love to see a night view of it with lighting.

Mike

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I reckon you were a signalman in a previous life and are channelling the layout of the box you worked in, it just seems to have that vibe.
Lovely job.

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Folks thanks for the continued encouragement and the ideas - even my wife has started taking an interest in it now that its no longer a piece of white plastic!!!

Today, I finalised assembly of the box internals ( for Brian, Mike (G) & Bob (K), : your good ideas for lighting & dry-brushing will be done at a later..) - attached the phone/cupboard to the walls as well as completed assembly of the instrument shelf.

I also gave the external of the box a further coat plus accessed those difficult unpainted corners. More sanding and touch-up to go once this is all nice and dry. I have shown with paint still drying and roof panels/stairs temporarily attached.

I like Henryparrot's idea of the signal box cat (i may even order one) but I will assume that he is earning his keep and there are no mice!!



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Nice progress, it's going to be a unique addition to your layout.

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Today, i completed giving all exterior areas the first coat of paint. More sanding, fettling and cutting in of colours to go!

I also completed the installation of the curved angle iron supports below the platform.

In addition i also removed and repositioned the rear facia as it had was not sitting true when viewed end on.

Furthermore I completed the fabrication and trial fit of the downpipes and gutters (downpipes definitely overscale but can live with them for now!!)

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Darren, is your signalman off duty ? I've been ringing him all evening (got the number from the phone on the wall using my high power binoculars) !!!

This is one hell of a signal box - what fantastic detail. You really will have to light it up ! You must have very, very steady hands and excellent eyesight - to say nothing of the level of skill required to turn out a model like that.

Just brilliant !! :wink: :wink:

Petermac

Marty
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Did you find the chopper useful, I'm tempted to get one?

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Marty wrote:Did you find the chopper useful, I'm tempted to get one?

Marty, yes i did - its good for making repetitive parts* or quickly cutting a piece - i also use it for making nice 45 degree angles etc for making up squares.

(*making the windows from scratch would have been difficult without it as each glazing bead needs to be the same size to make nice square looking panes)

Its deceptively simple in construction but like all simple ideas it works well!!

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Petermac wrote:Darren, is your signalman off duty ? I've been ringing him all evening (got the number from the phone on the wall using my high power binoculars) !!!

This is one hell of a signal box - what fantastic detail. You really will have to light it up ! You must have very, very steady hands and excellent eyesight - to say nothing of the level of skill required to turn out a model like that.

Just brilliant !! :wink: :wink:

Petermac


Thanks Petermac - i may need glasses after this!! (the optivisor is on my xmas wishlist) I have had a word with the signalman - he claims he was out oiling his signal lamps when you called. :lol:

I will be doing some research into the lighting as I will need to do some minor mods on the internal structure to accommodate (i am toying with an internal feed that goes up behind the door and into the "loft" space and into the ceiling above) but i want to get the external substantially completed first.

Marty
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Don't know if you have looked at Perry's signal box scratchbuild, there was lighting installed in that I think?
Might give you some ideas

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Marty wrote:Don't know if you have looked at Perry's signal box scratchbuild, there was lighting installed in that I think?
Might give you some ideas


Marty, i had another read of Perry's notes but couldnt find any reference to internal lighting?

I did have a look in the index and did find many  on LEDs - some food for thought...

 

Last edited on Tue Aug 19th, 2008 07:04 am by

Marty
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ah, must have been lost in the great crash, from memory he ran the wires up inside the back corner and painted them the same colour as the internal walls.

The Great Eastern Goods shed thread, page 13 also has lighting but it is probably more than you need, interesting reading though.
cheers

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Marty wrote:ah, must have been lost in the great crash, from memory he ran the wires up inside the back corner and painted them the same colour as the internal walls.

The Great Eastern Goods shed thread, page 13 also has lighting but it is probably more than you need, interesting reading though.
cheers


Marty, thats exactly what i need (i appreciate the time you took to dig up the reference) - i feel a visit to Fry's Electronics in Houston this weekend coming on (they are the mecca for all small (and large) electronic items - I just have to convince my dearly beloved why we need to visit as its a little bit out of the way!!)

Marty
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Glad to help, there isn't a dress shop or shoe shop nearby is there?

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Marty wrote:Glad to help, there isn't a dress shop or shoe shop nearby is there?

Marty - unfortunately no but there is a perfume store nearby!

Have read the articles all now and the LED is the way to go - the shirt button reflector idea by Perry is spot on.

The other good thing about going to Fry's is the possible purchase of a nibbler tool (used for cutting sheet metal and circuit boards) - i have read somewhere that this is a good tool for using on styrene for cutting windows and such like.

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My signal box isn't lit - yet. The lighting you refer to may have been that installed in my goods shed.

Perry

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Darren

Sparky (Reg) is an expert in the lighting area. I saw some buffers and street lighting he had done and what was impressive was the extremely thin wire he used, it was almost like a human hair it was so fine, powering a number of different LEDs. This produced almost scale wiring. If Sparky sees this he may comment or you could PM him - I am sure he would not mind me mentioning his name.

Bob(K)

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Thanks Perry,
Must have been someone elses signal box my imperfect memory is trying to prompt me about.
All the best.

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Darren, just a thought but i have seen items lit with l e ds using
conductive paint instead of wire works very well too.
:idea: :roll: :lol: :lol:

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Managed to get to Fry's on Friday night after doing a a further crash course on LEDs on Thursday evening (I found this site useful : http://ledcalc.com/)

I hadnt realised that there was huge price difference beween the colours blue/white and the rest (to do with the costs of the metals used apparentlt) - i bought yellow min LEDs and white LEDs and whole batch of different resistors. As all my transformers etc are sitting in storage, I also bought a cheap adapter to hack for the power supply plus cable (1 reel black & 1 reel red) and some 2 core connectors.

First up i cut off one of the standard power connectors of the power adpater unit and put on one of the 2 core connectors (these are a press fit only* and not soldered) and did the same with 2 lengths of the cable. (* actually soldered the first two (these were female connectors) but when I pulled out the next two metal connectors i realised that as these were male connectors i shouldnt have soldered the first two as they would not fit together inside one another if they were full of solder!!)

After that I soldered on the resistors onto the LEDs (and earned my first burn from a soldering iron (the last time i did soldering was when I was in school!)

I then cut a new hole in the (inner) roof and tried the yellow and white LED - the white is definitely the way to go as the yellow is nice but not sufficiently bright -if it was brighter then it would really have a yellow glow that would spoil the effect. (the third pic shows the yellow) It was difficult to photo the box with the darkened conditions - I tried many different approaches but I think I will need to practice more!











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Well i reckon that looks the business mate, very well done.
I was wondering if i could do some lighting using just a mobile phone charger, wire a couple of leds to it, not sure if i can anyone know?
Phill

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phill wrote:Well i reckon that looks the business mate, very well done.
I was wondering if i could do some lighting using just a mobile phone charger, wire a couple of leds to it, not sure if i can anyone know?
Phill


Phill there is no reason that you cant do this provided that you put the correct sized resistor.(In fact you could do a USB connection...but i am getting away from the bounds of practicality)

A lot of cellphone chargers output at around 5V (but you do need to check your planned unit) and therefore install a resistor otherwise you will destroy the LED!

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Darren, you can increase the resistance so the white light tends to dull a bit & not be so bright - I will show both the yellow & white light photos to my mate who was a signalman at Edgeley Junctiuon for his comments.

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Sol wrote:Darren, you can increase the resistance so the white light tends to dull a bit & not be so bright - I will show both the yellow & white light photos to my mate who was a signalman at Edgeley Junctiuon for his comments.

Sol, thanks - with the photography the white one actually looks brighter than it is (ie you can look inside without trouble and see all the items whereas the photo makes it look like all you can see is something from Close Encounters!). I will be experimenting with the resistors (i bought a range of different resistors to try) to get it just right.

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Darren have you had a look on the hornby site at the skaledale lighting ?

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I have been tinkering with the resistors and think the white light with a 3.9K Ohm Resistor is closest to what i need. (ignore the inner roof sticking up a bit- its just sitting loosely in place)

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Diesel wrote:Darren have you had a look on the hornby site at the skaledale lighting ?

Brian, no i havent and thanks for the tip (i will have a look). I have tried to be self sufficient as getting anything British Outline is difficult and/or expensive here in the US plus a lot of items are geared round 110V whereas when I return to either Singapore or UK it will need to be 220/240V.

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That looks perfectly natural Darren. I think that's just about spot on, to my eyes anyway.

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That now looks a lot better.

(I am still chuckling over Close Encounters - now that you mentioned it - yes it was)

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I have decided to cut back the internal walls at the rear corners (they are not glued yet) - marked in red in the attached pic - they will not run all the way to the back - the space then created will allow the wires too pass up into the roof space without them being visible.I will also take a small piece out of the floor at the same intersection.

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Darren, I spoke to my signalman mate this AM about lights in Signal Boxes & he said that normally at night, the only light on was over the desk for any reading/writing required & the spill over was sufficient for signal to see where they were going around the box.

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Sol wrote:Darren, I spoke to my signalman mate this AM about lights in Signal Boxes & he said that normally at night, the only light on was over the desk for any reading/writing required & the spill over was sufficient for signal to see where they were going around the box.

Sol, thanks for the info and taking the effort to follow up, makes a lot of sense as i guess too much light limits how much you can see outside at night.


Have completed adjusting the walls (shown loosely in place) to allow the cables to run up inside - have knocked off a lever and the clock with all the trial fits! A lot of chopping and hacking on the inner roof to go.

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Darren

another way of getting power up to lighting etc without using traditional round wire is using strips of copper that way it lays flat against a wall and you paint over it to blend it in aftewards.


Darren are you in the US for work reasons and singapore is your actually home or is scotland home. Just wondering where your layout will finally be?

cheers Brian.W

Last edited on Tue Aug 19th, 2008 07:05 am by

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I totally forgot about the different voltage in the US :oops: sorry about that Darren but that lighting looks about right now :)

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henryparrot wrote:Darren

another way of getting power up to lighting etc without using traditional round wire is using strips of copper that way it lays flat against a wall and you paint over it to blend it in aftewards.


Darren are you in the US for work reasons and singapore is your actually home or is scotland home. Just wondering where your layout will finally be?

cheers Brian.W


Brian, I like the copper strips but I will likely use that for the next build as I am too far advanced in my chopping and hacking. The refueling lighting thread alone also gives me some ideas for the future.

Yes I work in the US and my home base is Singapore (my wife is Singaporean) Layout will likely finally be in Singapore but when I have no idea :D

Diesel wrote:I totally forgot about the different voltage in the US :oops: sorry about that Darren but that lighting looks about right now :)

Brian, no worries , you were on the right track (pardon the pun) as Singapore is 220V/240V so Hornby would be fine. I like the modular format and think the pricing isnt too bad as you may be able to get the component parts cheaper, the need to solder etc it may be for many folks not worth the hassle (including avoiding burning your hands with the soldering iron!). I am quite happy now to tinker away with different resistors and bulbs as just like the real thing different buildings had different lighting levels.

Last edited on Tue Aug 19th, 2008 07:06 am by

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Today I completed the installation of the LED (i have put a thin piece of styrene round it just to finish the hole) on the inside of the signal box plus installation of a cover box above the LED in the roof space (this will be painted black to avoid light reflecting back up) I have also finished hacking the roof members (see to the right side on the second pic) to allow fitment of the cable in the finished roof.

Last night also completed some light dry brushing of the internals of the box.

I also generated the signs (brown lettering on a cream background) - I have printed them to card and will cut out the letters from two and glue onto the top of other two signs to give raised letters) - see bottom pic

I have also got myself to the final(ish) list...

1. Install Door
2. Paint inner roof lower & upper
3. Solder cables & heatshrink
4. Finials
5. Signs
6. Stove Pipe (upper)
7. Roof panels & Ridge
8. Paint Gutters/Downpipes
9. Install Gutters/Downpipes
10. Glue box internal panels in place & instrument bench & chair
11. Paint Outer Panels/Touch-Up Window
12. Repair window glazing bar damaged
13. Lower window cover
14. Install stairs & handrail





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Installed the external light today but I unfortunately fried the bulb later on with 12V!!

Sol
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Tsk, tsk, LEDs only need 2v & if using GOW of 12v, run them on around 9v - cut down brightnes, heat & prolongs the globe.
If using a 12v DC source & a LED, insert a 1000 ohm resistor in either leg of the LED.

darrenscots
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Sol wrote:Tsk, tsk, LEDs only need 2v & if using GOW of 12v, run them on around 9v - cut down brightnes, heat & prolongs the globe.
If using a 12v DC source & a LED, insert a 1000 ohm resistor in either leg of the LED.


Sol, understood re voltages and resistors - in this case operator error - the application of 12V was not a planned event :( (i have a switchable transformer and had forgotten that i had returned it to 12V after using it at 1.5V!)- my intention is to wire the internal and external lights together and use one resistor only.

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This evening I completed the installation and gluing in place of the internals. In addition I have fabricated new smaller downpipes for the gutters. For the bottom window i extracted a dusty window image and printed that to acetate. This was cut out and applied to the rear - this darkens it sufficiently so as not to be able to see into the base of the signal box (a little like a frosted window).



darrenscots
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Been beavering away today (more successfully than yesterday!!)

Repaired the external light i blew.
Completed the fabrication of the downpipes - added joint pieces and paint.

I completed the internals touch-up, finished adjusting the inner roof and glued it in place (it was only then i noticed i had popped a glazing panel (it was lying on the inside) so had to remove roof, reinstall glazing and reinstall roof.)

Pic shows testing (i double checked transformer was at 1.5V this time!!) without the resistor - (Lights are therefore bit brighter) before soldering in resistors and joining cables up.

I also tried fabricating the signs by cutting out the letters and installing on top of the flat print - it looks worse than the flat print so I have decided to use as printed for now.



Remaining items shown in red below :

1. Install Door
2. Paint inner roof
3. Solder cables & heatshrink
4. Finials
5. Signs
6. Stove Pipe
7. Roof panels & Ridge
8. Paint Gutters/Downpipes
9. Install Gutters/Downpipes
10. Glue box internal panels in place & instrument bench & chair
11. Paint Outer Panels/Touch-Up Window
12. Repair window glazing bar damaged
13. Lower window cover
14. Install stairs & handrail

owen69
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a good job very near the end now,strange how there is always more
"to do,) than done. :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: 8)

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owen69 wrote:a good job very near the end now,strange how there is always more
"to do,) than done. :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: 8)


Owen I seem to add more items than I complete!!

Anyway i bashed on ahead - I soldered up the lights and resistor and switched on at 1.5V, 4V, 6V, 12V - nothing!!! (I then realised i had only used the resistor with one LED previously and not with the LED and the GOW Bulb together - away to do some quick calcs and installed a much lower resistance resistor - now have working lights but too bright - some more fettling to go!)

I have shown it with the roof loosely in place - some light bleeding out but a lot less than i imagined and this can be addressed with final fitout.

I have to stop now for the weekend.





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now your cooking,great stuff.
:lol: :lol: :lol: 8)

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I thought i was going to finish for the night after my last post but I thought would finish off and complete the soldering and put in the final resistor. Now i am left to do the finishing parts.





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I can't offer advice - way out of my league, but WOW that looks good!

Mike

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That looks really good, i feel like knocking on the door and asking for a cup of tea.
Phill

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Brilliant ! thats all I can say

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yep :D :D :D :D

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Darren

I take my hat off to you it looks really good. The detail shows up very well with the lights, making all that effort worth while. Outstanding job overall, a great effort and it has been an enjoyable read - what's next? :shock: :roll:

Bob(K)

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I've not posted much on this thread, but I've been a avid reader of your progress, Darren.
I really can't think of the right words to say, just that you have produced a masterpiece here, ranking right up there with Perry's goods shed and Wayne's silo :!:
Your attention to detail marks you out as a "master scratchbuilder".
Well done :!: :!:

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Folks thanks for the encouragement and support. A lot of the comments have spurred me to push this further and also it has provided a good training basis for all sorts of elements from the use of styrene, painting, wiring & electrical etc.

Well today i went backwards to go forwards. Whilst i was shrinking the heat shrink I inadvertently melted two of the windows so i had to remove internal roof, release the wiring and instrument bench to replace the glazing - the pic shows the two melted windows i replaced.

After completion of the reinstatement of the internal roof and wiring, I installed the external roof panels (after painting the undersides of the matt black), as well as stove pipe and ridge.



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This weekend will see me completing this hopefully.

Today, i refitted the 3 glazing bars that i had broken in the handling of wiring/lighting. In addition I removed and installed a new decorative bargeboard on the south end as the previous one was too short. Furthermore made a new bracket support for the access platform as I had cracked the previous in handling. The stairs and broken handrail were also reinstalled (this if you recall was as a result of the box being knocked off the table in an earlier part of the build!)

Lastly a little bit more sanding before some further final exterior coating.





Items in red remain on my latest to do list :
1. Finials
2. Signs
3. Install Gutters/Downpipes
4. Final Paint Outer Panels/Touch-Up Window Frames/Glazing bars
5. Repair windows glazing bars damaged
6. Install stairs & handrail
7. Replace support bracket
8. Replace decorative barge board north end

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Go for it, Darren.
I can't wait to see it finished and sited.

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After much pondering I decided to make the finials from some toothpicks.
Some close up work with a very sharp craft knife and sandpaper did the trick.(see pic below)



Also finished the brackets for installing the downpipes.

Pic below show finials installed (the unpainted red gives the box a "devilish" look!) and the gutters/downpipes drying before installation.

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:D Yes - devilishly good! :twisted: Those finials are very neat, not that that's a surprise by now.
Good to see your red list getting shorter.

Mike

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Completed the signboards. Wasnt happy with just sticking printed card plates so affixed these to styrene and painted the edges and front borders with brown paint (lots of attempts to get this right) see pic below with the finished product plus abortive plates above them.



Affixed the signs and completed the installation of the gutters and downpipes. Lots more touch-up remains before i can say complete for now.

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Darren, all that is needed now is the pigeon poop & other weathering..

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Darren,
That really looks the business!!!

Cheers,John.B.

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Darren,
That will be something very unique for your layout.
Great job.
cheers

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Well today I have completed the Signal Box as far as I can go. This included adding the decorative trim above the vestibule entrance (printed onto card and cut out) as the final touch. I wont be weathering the signal box until I get settled in a place where I can install it on a layout (at that time I also hope to have an appropriate Signal Man).

Its hard to believe that I embarked on this build some four months ago but in many respects its truly been a training effort as well and I have enjoyed sharing it (a lot of times that also spurred me to get off the sofa!!).

Some things I have learnt on this one :
1. Do produce detailed dimensioned & scaled drawings before you start
2. Decide whether you need to light the model before you start
3. Do print out the reference photos and do reference them often its amazing how much detail you either miss or forget!
4. Window Frames & Glazing Bars can be produced from scratch but can be very fragile brass frets may well be the way to go (I will be investigating this for the next Signal Box Build) or alternatively the Perry insulating tape method.
5. Carefully check which items should go on last to avoid handling damage (it will save time repairing, rebuilding or reinstating!!)
6. If something is not working out or to plan in the build avoid the frustration and put it down, do another element or leave it till tomorrow.
7. If there is an error 99/100 there is an acceptable work around dont lose heart/stop progress.
8. Remember the three foot rule applies sometimes its just not practical to carbon copy something as its too small or can be represented by the use of a component/casting/fret etc (eg I used some diesel loco horn castings for my signal bells) a good representation is sufficient.
9. Sometimes you will have to be inventive where drawings dont give a view (other prototypical pix can be used as a guide)

Some items that I wouldnt have done (correctly or at all!) if folks from the forum (there a lot of folks but you know who you are) had not provided me the encouragement / advice / push :

1. Lighting
2. Fully detailed interior
3. Dry-Brushing interior
4. Correct prototypical colour scheme

Some activities that I have now learned (not to a high skill level I might add) that I really hadnt tried before or had little experience of :
1. Building with Styrene
2. Using acrylic paints
3. Lighting with GOW bulbs & LEDs
4. Soldering
5. How not to use a heat gun with heat shrink

See the final pix below. You will note that in earlier photos that the handrail I had installed next to the stairs was unpainted (photos are in reverse order so latest are at the top) - I only noticed it when I went to upload the pix so i painted them and took a few more before the camera battery gave out on me.




































































Best Regards

Sol
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Darren, very good.
Yes, I think we all learn , not only from our mistakes; sometimes we may bite off more than we can chew but persistence will pay off.
I am sure we all have learnt at least one tip from this that we can apply to our modeling.

Now when you start on that 150 lever frame box, you will know what not to do :roll:

This forum, being the way it is set up like a close club/family, encourages us to share with others what we have tried to do.

Marty
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Great Build Darren,

Especially if that is your first :!: :!: :!:

Thank you for listing your "lessons" learnt, very valuable and after doing my Pentrecourt Halt, all valid from my point of view too.

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i know i have said this before,a fantastic piece of kit.
i also second all the other comments,all dead right.
:lol: :lol: :lol: 8)

phill
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If i never saw this thread and saw that signal box on a layout at a model show i would off asked where they bought it from, its excellent mate. You going to start a production line for us in the forum i shal be first in line :D
Phill

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Darren

A Superb job you have made of the signal box it has been a pleasure watching you build this over the last few months.
It will be a good referance thread for many members for a long time .

Well done indeed

cheers Brian.W

P.S Whats Next?

georgejacksongenius
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Right Darren,
Now you've finished,can you knock me up a similar one in GWR style in n gauge??? :lol: :lol: :lol:
G'wan, g'wan ,g'wan!!!
-Just a small one!

Seriously though,mate...........sheer bloomin'genius.A credit to you,and an absolute joy,and education to watch take shape.

Cheers,John.B.

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Brilliant just brilliant :!: :)


                 

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