More work on Kankool platform

The last few weeks has seen more progress on the platform for the Kankool signal box.

I started building the handrails from 4″ x 3″ Northeastern timber strip, using a jig I knocked up from styrene.

To get the correct spacing for the posts, I laid the platform on its side with the posts in place and glued small styrene blocks in the appropriate locations.

The posts had already been cut to length, so they were placed in the jig and glued to the top rail, which was left slightly overlength to be trimmed later.

The mid rail was made from 2″ x 3″ and glued in place to the posts.

The process was repeated for the road side railing and the angled rail side one.

Looking at photos of the prototype, I noticed there were steel straps that held the top rail to the posts as well as bolts for the mid rail.

I thought about how to reproduce these and came up with flattening some 8 thou phosphor bronze wire, cutting to length and bending to suit, then supergluing to the top rail. Brass wire was also used to simulate the bolt heads on the mid rail.

It was at this time I found some of the glued joints were coming apart, and when drilling the timber for the brass wire, it was splitting.

I then decided to make new handrails from styrene strip.

The styrene was “roughed” up slightly and sharp edges rounded off.

The posts and top rail are 4″ x 3″, but as I didn’t have this size in styrene, I just laminated two 2″ x 3″ strips together.

I used the same jig as before, but to prevent the new handrails being glued to the styrene jig, I cut small pieces of tape and applied them under where any joints would be.

The whole process above was repeated for the other handrails.

I decided to make the bolt heads and straps from 10 thou styrene rod this time to make it easier to attach to the handrails instead of using superglue.

Again, the straps were made by flattening the styrene rod and bending to shape.

To enable the fitting and cutting to length of the angled handrail, both it and the other rail side one were temporarily fitted to the platform and held in place with some Blu-tak.

This allow me to cut the angled top rail to length and glue to the main rail, as well as fitting the angled mid rail.

As you can see in the picture above, it may look like I’ve stuffed up and not made the angled mid rail parallel to the top rail, but this is how the prototype was!

Cropped section from original image by Warren Herbert and used with permission

The completed rail and road side handrails ready for an undercoat.

Both handrails are temporarily in place here.

I have also been making windows for the Kankool signal box.

There was an article in the Australian Journal of Railway Modelling Issue #5 on scratchbuilding windows in styrene.

The process allows accurate windows (and doors) to be made to any size using strip styrene. You generally end up with a better representation than the commercially available products.

When the article first came out many years ago, I built a double hung sash window, but never used it anywhere. Well, I found it laying around the workbench, and to my surprise, it happened to fit straight into the opening in the Shapeways printed signal box. So another one was made, along with the large sliding one for the front.

The photos below shows the windows prior to and after being undercoated. The “glass” in the window is just clear styrene, and has been masked off with Micro Mask solution. This will be peeled off after they are painted in white.

Posted on Aug 1, 2021, in Kankool and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Graham Wotton

    Hi Ian,

    Not sure if you’ve seen this one but rather topically I thought?

    May be an image of train and railroad

    Posted on Face book by “Charles Locksley NSW Railways : Heritage / Pictorial : 1952 – 1988.


    Graham Wotton

  2. I love that detail of the misaligned top rail. Things like this make a model come alive!

    • Thanks Rene. It’s been great to have some prototype photos to work from, otherwise it would be a lot of guesswork and just working from generic drawings.

  3. Ray Pilgrim


    Use fine paper strips for the strapping on the handrail.

    It seems that you didn’t get the detail parts for the signal box as you made the windows. Short of measuring with a vernier calliper, the 3D printed windows appear to be just as fine as the ones you made from polystyrene strips.

    Just curious?

    Ray P

  4. Nice work Ian. Your attention to detail will hopefully result in a first class signalbox model

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