Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Building Focus: Combwich Signal Box

270502_comb_03 by nevardmedia
 270502_comb_03, a photo by nevardmedia on Flickr.
Combwich signal box as it was in back in 2002, the photo above being shot on B&W film*.

Churstantion signal box from the LSWR days

It is based on a standard LSWR design, used to have a different roof in its early days, the days when Combwich was an LSWR branchline called 'Churchstantion' and based in Devon. Around 1982, I discovered the SDJR and decided to SDJR-ise the layout and changed the roof to look like the signal box at Moorewood Sidings on the SDJR, the layout becoming Stogursey

With the modification of the box, it moved across the tracks from the end of the platform, and then later when I re-erected the layout in 2000 moved it again to its current location. The reason being the change of viewing side, I thought it better to see the front of the box rather than the rear. Also the forthcoming engine side would get in the way of the signalman's view of the incoming line to Combwich.

With the move to SDJR and relocation of the box
the layout was next called Stogursey
The box is scratch-built from plastic card and the windows acetate with the frames indicated with a bow-pen. sadly over time the acetate has distorted and broken away from the building. As a quick fix some 1mm clear plastic card was placed immediately behind the old glazing in an attempt to minimise the distorted acetate. 10 years on I have still yet to further address this, there always being another more pressing or intesting job to do!

In 2002, I widened the layout and added the popular wharf scene, the 'could have been' location moving the layout down from the hills to Combwich on the edge of the Parrett river. Ths box obviously getting its third change of name. The various nameboards have always been scratchbuilt from plastic card, Churchstanton and Stogersey taking advantage of Slaters cast plastic lettering, Combwich used the home computer and glossy photo paper to represent a 1950's enamelled sign.
*this is what photography used before digital, you've most likely heard it pronounced as 'fill-um' by people wearing baseball caps and TV journalists.

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