Monday, July 24, 2023

The Best of Intentions and a Change

 Well, my last post was my Christmas one in which I said that I would try to post more often, but that didn't work.

I am now seven months further down the track and thought I had better explain myself.

By Christmas last year I had finished putting together 22 HO NSWGR signal kits for the North Shore Model Railway Association for their Blue Mountains club and exhibition layout. These signals were about equally divided between those for Katoomba and those for Valley Heights. A number of the signals were very specific and required modification to the posts with extra signal mountings, lamps, etc.

By the time I finished them, I was near to burnout having built about 70 signals and made up 54 kits. I decided to take January off as at the time I had an order for another 12 signals to build.

By early February as I was about to start the 12 signals when over a 2-week period I ended up with 45 signals to build. After my birthday in early May when I had turned 74 I decided that I wouldn't build any more signals but just supply signal kits. I realised that I hadn't been able to do much for myself in the hobby over the previous three and a half years and this is evident with the drop off of Bylong blog posts as well. I had started several modelling projects but they were stillborn when I had to get back to the signals.

Currently, I have 23 signals left to build which I hope to get done by the end of the year. I allow about 8-10 weeks for a build run of perhaps 8-10 signals with a couple of weeks break in between.

While I was building the recent signals I spent some time perfecting some 3D-printed jigs for drilling the various holes in the brass posts with 0.45 mm drills as well as various wire bending jigs for operating rods and improving the signal instructions with tips and ways to build them.

The signal kits have the brass castings cleaned up of sprues, holes all drilled, and small operating wires bent up except for the long 0.015" steel ones from the counterweight lever to the bellcrank or linear servo but this is covered in the instructions. White and black decals are supplied for the stripes on the signal arms as well. The bases are 3D printed for either the bellcrank type or the type for the small linear servos. I even have narrow versions for placing between tracks that are too close together. The signal range has posts with up to 3 signal arm positions although I did do a one-off signal with four arms down the post with linear servos. I can supply posts drilled to accept castings for the signal arm mounting bracket, the lamp, and the counterweight bracket for 1, 2, or 3 counterweight levers. To match the number of counterweight levers there are extra pulleys for the bottom of the post. I can supply the posts drilled for these extra fittings as required. Some of the 3D-printed drilling jigs were designed for this purpose.

Here are examples of some of the signal types I have built and can supply as kits.

Yes, the small arm works - Moss Vale signal

35 ft co-acting signal from Moss Vale

Another Moss Vale signal with a working small low arm

Also from Moss Vale

And another Moss Vale signal

Moss Vale again

Here are two signals on Tim Preddy's Cooma layout. The blurry bracket in the foreground is here below.

Available in this steel tubular type are a 23 foot signal, a 27 foot signal, left and right brackets

Here is an example of one production run, I think this one took longer. :-)

Another recent production run.

Here is a current work in progress to be added to the range, guess what and where.

And here are a few things to think about for the future.

These are just a selection of signal kits I can supply, please contact me with any questions at:

If you contact me initially by Messenger I will request that you continue by email as that is where I keep all correspondence so best to just use email.

That will do for now, I will hopefully get back to modelling subjects other than signals soon.