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chris

Platforms

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Posted (edited)

There is a thread for discussing platforms is elsewhere. If you have any thoughts on platforms please add them there. I'll update this How to Guide, when new ideas or suggestions are posted. 

This is you guide to building OO gauge platforms outside. I’ll outline two techniques both very simple and effective. In the following image the shop bought platforms are on the left with the build your own on the right.

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Shop bought

r4600.thumb.jpg.ea1db9c4c64e5a5203cad993c71949e7.jpgUse Hornby plastic platforms. The R460 straight platform is 168mm long and rather expensive for what it is. However, they have been making them to the same design forever. Keep an eye open for them on secondhand stalls at shows. Rather than £4 you will be able to pick them up for £1. don’t worry about they condition, you are are going to be painting them.

They are better than they look. Grab and aerosol of grey primer and give them a once over. Spray a light dusting of black aerosol from a distance of over 30cm and you will have a tarmac look. What then becomes apparent is that the moulding has larger edging stones than those white squares painted in the factory. These embossed stones look much better. Paint them the colour of stone or concrete slab you desire and then add a white strip.

The R464 Platform Ramps can be treated in the same way. Don’t put a white stripe on these, they don’t have them in the wild.Hornby-R464-Platform-Ramp-Section681.jpg.c3f75d05ca2ff115aaa7d6c6fd26c254.jpg

The  R513 Platform Fencing is also surprisingly good and very easy to find secondhand at shows.  Respray it back and this looks the part.

Hornby do resin platforms to the same dimensions. They will do a fine job, but are twice the price new, and don’t turn up secondhand as often.

Build your own

Electrical trunking comes in a variety of widths with a standard hight of 16mm, this makes it ideal as the base for your platforms. A width of 38mm is a scale of 10 foot which is wide enough for a platform. A 2 metre length will cost around £3, it’s a cheap and quick way to build. A platform surface of a suitable plastic will top off the base, I use cheap bathroom floor tiles.

I use primer Aerosols for this job. The visible surface of the trucking is sprayed in grey (concrete) or Iron oxide (brick). I drill holes in the base of the trunking. These are slightly oversized for the screws I’m using just incase there is any expansion in the plastic. Don’t be tempted to place your platforms close to the tracks, outside things have a tendency to move a little. Allow an extra millimetre or two of clearance between the train and the platform edge. Screw your trunking to your base and clip the top on. Over time the top will creep along the base as it expands and contracts. I drill a 1mm hole in through the trunking which passed through both the top and the base and push a track pin in. This will prevent any lateral movement.

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I aerosol spray the floor tile with grey primer and a mist of black to get the tarmac look. I cut the floor tiles to the required width with a Stanley knife. I used to score the edging stones on, but I’ve found this weakens it and with time they snap off. I now mask the tile and paint a strip of brown for the stones and the next day mask again and paint the thin edge line of white. A spray with a clear matt varnish or lacquer may help.

The self adhesive tiles go straight on top of the trunking and look great. Simple thin platforms on 38mm trunking will give yo no bother. Wider platforms requiring two or more sections of trunking cause issues with the adhesive. I’m not sure what the mechanism is here, but once the tiles are cut wider than 40mm they curl up tasing the edges of the tile. Using a different material as the platform top would be sensible for wider platforms. I remove the self adhesive form the floor tiles and use contact adhesive instead, this has worked well so far.

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End ramps

The platform ramps can't be made with the trucking. Use a suitable plastic that can be cut to size and screwed in place. I use an old kitchen chopping board lining up two of three pieces depending on the width. 

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These techniques aren't really suitable for curved platforms. If you want a platform on a curve, ask your self the question "why?" You have a garden to play with, find a straight bit and build your station there. Railways are boringly straight, stations more so, with few notable exceptions. Seriously, build your platforms straight.

As I said at the start, if you have any ideas or thoughts on platform construction techniques, please add them to the Platforms topic in the Structures and Scenery section.

Edited by chris
typos
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