Somerset & Dorset Signal Finials in OO

As a little bonus this week Shapeways, my chosen 3D printing company, are offering free shipping worldwide for any order over $25.  The sale ends on the 25th September 2017 at 11:59 PM PDT.  You can find all my models through the Shop drop down menu above or through my Shapeways shop.

As promised last week I have another new project to share with you; finials for Signals on the Somerset & Dorset Railway.

A finial, sometimes known as a hip-knob, is a decorative element used to mark the top of something.  You will see them on everything from bed posts to buildings.  Traditionally railways used them on top of the signal posts.  The example below is a Midland Railway lower quadrant signal (photographed by NottsExMiner).

As well as looking architecturally pleasing the finial also protects the timber post by helping to keep the rain from pooling and soaking into the top.

The S&D railways had some very decorative finials on their railway.  The ones I’ve modeled were for the OO scale layout ‘Bournemouth West’.  Although this station was the terminus of the S&D, the actual line from Broadstone and Bournemouth was owned by the London and South Western Railway.  Therefore the signals on this part of the line are actually L&SW. The finials used here were in a rounded cruciform shape with a hollow section in the middle.

As with all my projects, everything starts with a computer 3D model.  The base of each finial has a round peg. The idea is a 1mm hole can be drilled into the flat top of the signal and the finial can be pushed in, making a secure fixing.

The signals in this area didn’t use timber posts, instead they used lightweight lattice girders and these are often modeled from brass kits.  Again, giving the signal post a flat top and drilling a 1mm hole for the finial is the best way to fit them, making the signal look something like the rendered image below.

The peg in the bottom also helps with the 3D printing of the finial as it allows several to easily be put onto a sprew.  Printed in Shapeways FUD material or FXD gives the best definition for these tiny parts.

Typically these needed to be cleaned before they could be used and to do this I let them soak in a sealed jar of Goo Gone for 24 hours, then rinsed them in warm water.  Bestine is another good product for cleaning 3D printed items in FUD or FXD however that is a little hard to get outside of the US.

Once cleaned the finials were ready to be painted and mounted onto their signals.  And they look like this.

All these signals were built by Roger Sunderland for ‘Bournemouth West’.  They are all fully functioning using under board motors powered by DCC.

The finials are available in packs of 10 and can be found here.

Next week I’ll have a 3D printed body shell to show you which has been printed using some of Shapeways’ new tools.