Making the Ratio SR Concrete lamp posts operational.

Having a problem making your model railway layout look real. Post questions and share the results of your model railway scenery here.
bulleidboy
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:12 pm

Making the Ratio SR Concrete lamp posts operational.

Postby bulleidboy » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:31 am

Ratio SR Concrete Lamp Posts - Operational.

On the Model Railway Forum I explained how I converted the Ratio SR Concrete Lamp Posts to operational lamp posts. I thought it might be a useful addition to the New Railway Modellers forum? I have seen many layouts, both at exhibitions and in the modelling press with these lamps – they would look so much better if they were operational – now they can be.

The Southern Railway produced their concrete at Exmouth Junction Concrete Works from the 1920’s to the 1950s. They made concrete bridges, concrete platform fences, concrete sleepers, and concrete lamp posts.

You will require:

A pack of Ratio 454 SR Concrete Platform Lamps – this makes four double lamps. (Price £5 from Hattons – but check ebay – I bought for the same price as Hattons, but with free postage).
A 4.5mm drill bit – preferably one with a flat cutting edge, but with a sharp point in the middle.
A 0.05mm drill bit.
A pack (20?) Multi-colour T0402 pre-soldered micro SMD LED’s – Bulb size 1mm x 0.5mm – Choose warm white. These are usually priced at about £5-£7 a pack.

ImageIMG_0734 by Barry Clayton, on Flickr


This is not a difficult job but does requires a degree of patience.

Start by drilling out the lamp shade, I used a Bosch drill/driver with variable speed. I had a piece of 12mm plywood in which I drilled a small (2-3mm) hole, in which I placed the lampshade – bottom up – and held it in place with a pair of pliers while I drilled. The shades do have a central “dimple” which does help in placing the “point” of the 4mm drill bit – with the drill turning slowly, you will see white shards of plastic curl up. The hole does not need to be deep – 2mm max. With this job done, you should have a shade which now looks like a proper lamp shade rather than a blob of white plastic. As the drill had a fine sharp point, it left a small “dimple” in the bottom of the hole you have just drilled. Using that as a guide, use the .05mm drill bit, drill up through the top of the lamp. I found this was a little “hit and miss” – sometimes the hole was perfectly central, another time the drill bit came out through the side – this does not matter too much as the wires from the LED are so fine a dab of paint will hide the hole. Another way of improving the centralisation of this small hole is to place a tube (metal tube – brass?) that is just long enough to cover the top of the shade, it needs to be a tight fit - and drill down from the top – if nothing else, it helps keep the plastic together when drilling.

Thread the wires (two) up through the lamp shade and secure with a dab of glue – I have used all types (Superglue, PVA, Liquid Poly)– it just needs to hold the bulb in place at the bottom of the 4.5mm hole you drilled.

The shades in real-life (see Corfe Castle Station) are opaque glass – so no need to paint, but you should paint the bulb-holder(?) – I painted mine SR Chrome Green (Precision Paints).

Now attach the lamp shade to the lamp post. I used a minute spot of Superglue (Wilco – eight tubes for a £2 – may even have been £1?). Try to position the shade so that the wires can be glued along the arm of the post. Carefully glue the wires along the arm as far as the central post. When this is dry, run a bead of glue down the post – if you look very carefully you will see the very slightest indentation running down the length of the post – use that side for the wires – try to keep the wires taught while the glue sets. If building a “twin” lamp post repeat the above procedure – trying not to have the wires crossing each other.

Hopefully, you will now have a finished lamp – a couple of coats of Railmatch Concrete paint will hide the wires running along the arms and down the post.

The bulbs operate from a 12v supply with resistor to each bulb. I run the power supply through an on/off voltage regulator (dimmer switch??) – about £2 from ebay.
The cost worked out at about £1.50 per lamp.

Fitting totems adds to the reality.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

ImageIMG_0606 by Barry Clayton, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0605 by Barry Clayton, on Flickr
Last edited by bulleidboy on Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Footplate
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:25 pm

Re: Making the Ratio SR Concrete lamp posts operational.

Postby Footplate » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:10 pm

Barry nice work on the lamps, they look great.

bulleidboy
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:12 pm

Re: Making the Ratio SR Concrete lamp posts operational.

Postby bulleidboy » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:37 pm

Thanks John - having posted on the other forum, I thought it might be helpful to some of the members on this forum? It's not a difficult job - if you take your time! Barry

User avatar
BrightonMan
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:18 pm
Location: Eastbourne

Re: Making the Ratio SR Concrete lamp posts operational.

Postby BrightonMan » Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:00 pm

They look great. Amazing how you can't see the wires, I assumed when I first looked at the pics that you had somehow managed to drill down the length of the post :D

boxbrownie
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:23 am
Location: Looe, Cornwall

Re: Making the Ratio SR Concrete lamp posts operational.

Postby boxbrownie » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:47 am

Nice work, I love adapting normal bits and getting more out of them.

Just a thought though, were the lampshades really translucent on the real thing? I would have thought they might have been opaque so as not to spill light (or have too much white light) in view of approaching trains?
Best regards David

Please let me know if anything in my post offends you......I may wish to offend again.

bulleidboy
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:12 pm

Re: Making the Ratio SR Concrete lamp posts operational.

Postby bulleidboy » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:07 am

I think the shades are opaque - I have left mine as they came out of the packet - and have not painted them white. Mine are all operated through a dimmer switch, so not a bright white light. They are still in use on Corfe Station. If you use Google Earth, there is a photo point on Corfe Station and a lamp can be seen very clearly and using the "+" you can get in very close. BB
Last edited by bulleidboy on Fri Nov 06, 2020 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

boxbrownie
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:23 am
Location: Looe, Cornwall

Re: Making the Ratio SR Concrete lamp posts operational.

Postby boxbrownie » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:48 am

That’s useful info ration, thanks......still wondering whether to put illuminated posts on my station......I did it on my Japanese N gauge layout but TBH I never ran it in the dark :D ......although having said that I recently built the ratio...or was it wills? Small signal box and drilled up into the stove a hole and one on the front where the door is and inserted a red micro led and at the same time two warm LEDs for lighting the interior, after all I spent so much bloomin’ time making the interior detailed (even down to a small diagram of the actual layout it’s on!) that it needed lighting.....I wired it directly to the track feed (DCC) so it’s on all the time, as I do not want loads of separate switches and transformers (been there done that) on this layout, absolute bare minimum of under board wiring, in fact only at the joints between the three boards there is one connector each.

If I did the station lamps my brain would make me want to light the station interior as well, and the station building is finished and in place now.....no....not going to.

They do look good though.
Best regards David

Please let me know if anything in my post offends you......I may wish to offend again.

bulleidboy
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:12 pm

Re: Making the Ratio SR Concrete lamp posts operational.

Postby bulleidboy » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:52 pm

Having looked at Corfe Castle Station again today, the lamps do actually hang on a short cable from the lamp post arm, but trying to get the drill bit to be dead-centre when drilling up through the shade, I think this cable could have been coming out in the wrong place. So I'm happy as they are. It was one of the jobs I just thought "can I do it" - and I did - it was all relatively straightforward. The most important reason for doing it was that nobody sold a working scale SR concrete lamp post - there are some that are similar, but not exactly the same - and they were seen on a lot of old SR stations. BB

I also used the shades under the main platform canopy and also the branch line canopy. I did some research and found them in use on some old platforms - but not on lamp posts.

Image100_0520 by Barry Clayton, on Flickr


Return to “Scenery”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests