Monday, October 12, 2009

A Suggestion Comes Home to Roost

At the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention in July I was having lunch in the sun outside the canteen at Loftus TAFE when John Dersch sat down at the table. Now John is the man behind the Uneek range of details. During a pleasant discussion about the convention and his latest model of a soldier atop a WW1 momument, I ventured that a good item to make would be the platform fencing in use on NSW stations as it has one or two 2" x 3" cross beams in each post and is capped with a 4" x 4" top rail. This rail is however placed in a diamond configuration. The problem for the modeller was firstly to notch the post for the middle rail(s) and then put a "V" in the top of the post to take the 4" x 4" top rail and then to repeat this process accurately for all posts. Not a prospect I would look forward to.

Well, John listened politely and with a bit of interest.

At the recent AMRA October Exhibition at Liverpool John saw me as I passed Anton's stand and came out and shook my hand saying he had something for me and thanking me for the good idea. Of course it was a small bag of fence posts cast in white metal. John had just run the first castings on Friday night so they were not for sale yet.

Here are the castings:

I used Evergreen Item No. 142 0.40" x 0.40" (1.0mm x 1.0mm) for the top rail and Item No. 8203 HO Scale 2" x 3" strip styrene for the middle rail. I found it easiest to make up a small jig to space the posts at 8'9" as per a DATA SHEETS plan I had for platforms and to hold the middle rail in place.

It will be noted that this is a single mid-rail fence and the DATA SHEETS fence has two mid-rails. A quick check of photographs will show that both existed. Perhaps John may consider the two rail version as well.

Here is the result, not glued as yet and a little up and down.


Cassino said...


I concede that your fencing look svery good. I might have to make some these up myself. However, if we return to the fencing on the the photos taken on your layout that are on the Eureka website, what did you make those fences out of? Wood of what size and height and potentially staples of what size?

Fences are just brilliant detail items for any layout scene.



Ray P said...


The fences in the pic of C3805 exiting the tunnel near Bylong are made from white metal posts I cast many years ago with black soft iron florists wire as the stretchers.

The fences in the side views of C3805 and C3801 are timber posts (HOn3 timber sleepers) obtained from The Model Railroad Craftsman at Blacktown NSW. The stretchers are staples from a photocopy machine that are not bent until they go through the machine, i.e. the are straight and come in flat 'panels' in special cartridges. A soak in acetone will remove the glue that bonds them together.

I don't bother with trying to put wire in the fences as 3-4mm wire in HO would be almost invisible and since we unconciously believe the stretchers are suspended in the wire it looks right.