Station Gates

Posted on November 15, 2014. Filed under: Project progress |

The station gates are front centre of the layout, just where people’s view is likely to rest between trains. This means the model would come under some close scrutiny and I decided to try and make it as near dead scale as I could. Fortunately, I’d previously experimented with increasing the size to add to the perceived recession, and settled on 50% over scale. Working at 6mm to the foot, between S-scale and 0-gauge, gave me the opportunity.

Scenery 8 141115       Frames and gate posts on a balsa jig

The materials I used were 0.45mm brass wire rails top and bottom, 10 thou and 0.45mm nickel end uprights, and 8thou nickel for all the remaining ironwork. The tricky part was filing 0.69mm wide strips (1 3/8” at 6mm/ft) of the 8thou nickel in laminated pairs, over two feet in total for both gates, and then getting all the horizontals to the same length to fit exactly in the prepared frame. The first time round I soldered the horizontals to one end of the frame before snipping to size, but this led to the other end not fitting too well.

For the second gate I first tacked the five horizontals together and cut and filed carefully to the required length, and sandwiched them between the uprights: that was much better.

Scenery 9 141115       Horizontals soldered into the frame

I then added the middle upright and the diagonals, soldering only to the frame, snipping as I went along.

Scenery 10 141115       Ready for painting

There are another six wooden gates to make, but this time out of plasticard.



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2 Responses to “Station Gates”

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I was greatly interested by the idea of building the gates over scale in order to add a sense of perspective. Am I right in thinking that you are aiming for something like 50% larger than 4 mm to the foot, I.e. 6 mm to the foot?

I made the gates at 6mm to the foot. This not only added to the perspective, but meant I could just about make it to exact scale. The fencing on the station yard side of the down platform is slightly larger than 4mm, but much less than 6mm scale, and the fencing behind the up platform is to a smaller scale still. I am still experimenting with this technique of enhancing perspective, and will “hide” the side view with hedgerow and trees to prevent distortion.

My guess is that perspective works with scenic elements which can be readily compared, for example, fencing. For this to work with buildings it would require the viewer to be familiar with the actual sizes, or for there to be a very noticeable difference in scale. In my case, I plan to leave Station Cottage at 4mm scale, but physically separate it from the gates.

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    The epic struggle to build a model railway exhibition layout at 4mm to the foot


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