Sunday 15 February 2015

Line Poles

Tonights Project was to put together Line Poles for the right of way along the Algonquin mainline.  I purchased a kit from Osborne Models that includes 12 poles and cross arms with insulators.

The cross arms are laser cut and the poles look like bamboo skewers.  After cutting the cross arms from the fret, I spent an hour sanding and scrapping the edges to remove the burning from the laser.  I also sanded the faces of the cross arms as well as the poles.  I planned to stain the parts and I find sanding the edges makes the stain go on evenly.  The picture below shows the difference between one fresh from the fret and one that has been cleaned up.

The insulators are part of the cross arms and look very two dimensional, as they come in the kit.  I spent some time and sanded each one to a more round profile.  This sounds like a lot of work, but probably took about a half hour to complete 12.  The next step was staining with Hunterline stain.  I like using this product, as it is alcohol based and doesn't warp thin wood parts.  I used Cordovan Brown for both the arms and poles.

While waiting for the stain to dry I decided to consult an article about Line side Poles, in a Model Railroader special Edition called "How to Model the Trackside Scene".  The article pointed out that the top of poles should be cut on an angle to help prevent rot from snow and water damage.  The prototype poles also have a grove cut into the side where the cross arm goes so the weight of the arm is sitting on a solid base and not only held on by fasteners.  I made these modifications to the poles and touched up the staining.

I wanted to have green glass insulators on the cross arms.  I painted them with Tamiya Clear Green paint.  They looked black, not green at all.  I decide to paint hem a light grey and when dry follow up with the Tamiya Clear Green.  The light background colour trick worked and the insulators looked good to me.  This was a great one evening project, more so that they are ready for mounting along the Algonquin mainline. Here is picture of the completed poles.


  1. The other thing to try for painting the insulators, is to base paint hem with silver then the clear green, a nice glassy look results

    1. Pierre,

      Thanks for the comment. The plan was to under paint them with silver but in my rush to pack up, I grabbed light grey paint when I thought I was grabbing silver. Worked out pretty much the same.


  2. Inspirational layout. I couldn't find a track plan. Do you have one?