Just over a year ago, I posed a question on this blog about a sign across from the Port Rowan depot:
Recently, reader Dan Kirlin came to the rescue. Dan dug through his extensive library of prototype data and found CNR engineering drawings for various signs. He photocopied three likely candidates and sent them to me. As it happens, I can use all three on my layout – so yesterday I built some signs:
Rather than attempt to recreate the lettering, I simply scanned the photocopies then cleaned up the scans in PhotoShop. I then reduced the scans to approximate S scale dimensions, loaded them into a document in MS Word, and printed them out. (I actually loaded a few different sizes of each sign into the document so I could choose the print that worked best.)
I was worried that glue would discolour the paper or make the ink run so to create the sign boards, I grabbed a strip of scale 1″ x 10″ lumber and put a short strip of thin double-sided tape on one side. I then trimmed the paper signs to size, stuck them to the tape on the 1″ x 10″ and trimmed the board to match the printed sign.
To further protect the printing, I finished the sign face by sticking a piece of clear tape over the sign and trimmed it to size.
To make the posts, I grabbed some round toothpicks. They’re approximately six-inches in diameter in S – perfect! What’s more, they’re sharpened to a nice point to stick into scenery. I cut the point off one end and filed two angles onto the tip, as on the drawings. I then located the sign and marked the front face of the post so that I could file a flat space onto it to mount the sign – a detail I picked up from Dan’s drawings.
I glued the signs in place on their posts, then drilled and installed two Grandt Line 101 NBW castings on each sign, as indicated on the drawings. I had black plastic castings, so I didn’t even need to paint them.
A quick bit of brushwork with some Reefer White finished the posts and the back of the sign boards. I put a mark on each post at the appropriate ground level, drilled holes in the subroadbed at the appropriate locations, and pressed the signs into place on the layout. They were a nice press fit – no glue necessary.
I made one of each style of sign.
The “Cars must not stand outside this point” sign stands next to the team track at the end of the elevated coal track. It reminds crews not to leave cars on the team track next to the elevated section:
I love adding little details like this to the layout. While they’re too small to read in normal operation, they do show up well in photos. Thanks for the data, Dan – much appreciated!