Saturday, 9 November 2013

Signal Box Progress

I really don't have either the eye sight or the steady hands needed for painting individual bricks. This has been confirmed by progress with painting the signal box.

Any requests for photos from any closer than this are going to be politely but firmly refused. I'm actually quite happy with the roof and the red brickwork has been rescued from a near disaster. I'm also impressed how painting the one handrail of the staircase dark grey has helped disguise its chunkiness.

It is the engineer's bricks that have caused me grief. First of all for some stupid reason I prevaricated about buying a new brush to paint them, and secondly having had to fill the corner joints I'd managed to obscure many of the laser engraved mortar lines. I've already alluded to my poor eye sight and unsteady hands, a mix to which was added to by the distractions of the need to get two important PowerPoint presentations out the door before Sunday and a poodle throwing herself loudly and repeatedly against the kitchen door.

All in all then it isn't surprising I've made a pig's ear of it. Hopefully tomorrow I can tidy it up a little. On the plus side I think I've got the colour right, for which I can thank Kevin Robertson's "Western Region Signalling in Colour"

I'm sat here now wondering if I should follow Iain's example and cut the quoins out of brick paper and overlay them. I took one of the photos of the kit parts using a scanner, so in theory I could use that to produce an exact 1:1 fit


  1. Don't be too harsh on yourself James, though you won't let us see a close up, the colouring is indeed spot on. Is it not possible to reinstate the mortar lines with a fine scalpel blade and run some colour into them ? You could could try the method mentioned by Martin Welch in his book on weathering, make up a thin mortar colour paint then tilt the model to an angle of around 45 degrees. Touch a loaded paint brush to one of the mortar lines and see if it flashes along the lines, perhaps a trial run on one of those spare walls might be an idea ?

    1. Geoff. I think what I have to face up to is the consequence of a number of cumulative errors that make finding an effective resolution dificult. But then I knew I was building this as a learning experience. Actually now the paint has dried to its final dull matt finish and has sunk into the material it looks nowhere near as bad as I first thought.except for a couple of places.

      I'm finding the laminated card the kit is made from very unpredictable in both how it cuts and how paint is absorbed or not. This has pros and cons, if nothing else it adds some randomness to the finish, Trying to flow mortar washes has worked in some places and not others If building one again I would be tempted to seal the material with dilute PVA before doing any work on it.

    2. The box looks pretty fine to me, James, and that scenery looks superb - I love the wooden fence!

    3. Thanks.It is slowly coming together. If you mean the wooden fence in the foreground then that is bog standard Peco. It seems to work in some situations but not others