Every so often….

I’ve taken bits of Princes St that were work in progress to a few exhibitions previously.  They seem to generate interest, and often result in obtaining information that hasn’t previously been identified from research up to that point. Examples of this include the “beer train”, the repeater signal on the carriage headshunt, and the existence of windows in the rear of the signal box. Such is life, some of the information is gleaned after the Model has been started.

This year at Model Rail Scotland my demonstration included part of the trainshed. I was describing the process to a visitor that had been used to prepare the drawing for the Silhouette cutter to prepare the laminations, and commented that there was a balustrade along the edge of the trainshed, but not having any clear photos of what it looked like, would probably leave it off. I  felt this was a better option rather than invent something then would look wrong or silly.

Trainshed being tested for size

The response to this was completely unexpected. “I think I’ve got a length of it in my garden”.

The gentleman expanded that it had been sold as part of an internal balustrade, but on inspection exhibited signs of external weathering. It matches what little can be identied from photos in three different areas, so I’m pretty confident in its origin. A couple of days later, the following photo arrived

Section of balustrade from end of trainshed

Attempts to trace it’s outline in Inkscape were not particularly successful. The pebble dash was one of the culprits, so an interpretation was drawn up, and after minor tweaking managed to cut to a degree. The short lengths of some of the cuts were insufficient for the blade to penetrate the whole length of the cut. It took longer to remove some of the small bits of plastic than to cut. I was quite please with it.

A very cruel close-up showing further work needed on the ‘C’

Took it it down to check for size and a slight problem – it was twice the  size it should be. I’m now investigating if it could be laser cut to the correct dimensions.  However, this isn’t a failure. I now have a much better idea of the limits you can go down to with a Silhouette cutter.

Author: Ian Norman

Modelling railways for nearly 50 years. Currently modelling part of a forgotten Edinburgh railway terminus in the late 1950s, early 60s.

2 thoughts on “Every so often….”

  1. Ian, I wonder whether your best option would be to etch this? Once you master the CAD necessary to create the artwork (which is not that difficult seeing as you have already mastered Inkscape, the etching process is relatively painless as you just send it off.

    Being in metal, it will be much more durable and if it is on a roof edge you may find you want this?



    1. Thanks Mark

      A few friends have also suggested etching, one even offering a cost free option..
      While I haven’t discounted etching as a solution, I haven’t seen much/any evidence recently that etching can provide the degree of delicacy and lightness that I’d really like, especially for this. Saying that, I suspect the Silhouette would be hard pressed to achieve that too. The trade off is that a sheet of plastic is much cheaper than a test etch to discover it didn’t work as desired. Once I’m in a position of knowing what I’d like, and what I’ll accept, it should be easier to reach a decision. It would be easier if thistles weren’t involved!!

      At the moment, the balustrade has taken a back seat while I continue the wiring. Then its the decision of how to join the roof section to the walls, which includes how much of the roof that fits the baseboards will be modelled. Again, what I’d like, what’s do-able, and what’s transportable are three different things. Ive had a verbal invitation to demo at EMGS Autumn Expo in September, so would like to have reached a decision by then.Who said railway modelling boring?



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