Pltform lighting

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Woodie, May 22, 2001.

  1. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I waddled off to my supplier today to get to get some bits & pieces. Mainly after some platform lighting circa 1960-80. All they had was freeway stuff, you would see on a highway to the moon!! I don't think I'm going to have much luck with the lighting style I want. Has anyone scratch built street/platform lighting? Was it successful? I've laid the platform, wired it up, and nothing to connect up to it! [​IMG] Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    TOOT!

    [This message has been edited by Woodie (edited 05-23-2001).]
  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Woodie,
    I made my platform lighting from Brass tube, after first buying Model Power's street lights. First I cut the top off just under the lamp, then dropped the whole thing into the brass tube. Made around 9 of these then added a plug to the bottom so I could lift off the platforms. Model Powers lamps are quite a good representation for the 1960's.
    [​IMG]
    http://www.badger-creek.co.uk
  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Thanks Shamus,

    Didn't think of that. [​IMG] They had some rotten old street lights that were too big for what I wanted. Could cut them down a bit.... hmmm. They used a grain-of-wheat-bulb hanging from a round tin reflector. The sort of light I wanted, but too tall. I'll check 'em out again and see if it's worth it.

    TOOT!



    [This message has been edited by Woodie (edited 05-22-2001).]
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Shamus,

    Do you have a photo of platform lights amongst your plethora of goodies? Put me on the right track with some ideas.

    Thanks,

    TOOT!
  5. George

    George Member

    Woodie,

    Who is the manufacturer of the lamps you describe as being for a highway to the moon? They sound like the NOCH or BRAWA ones with the orange rectangles on the tops. I don't know about where you are, but those cost a fortune here. I didn't even see them reasonably priced in hobby shops in Dusseldorf, nor Hamburg.

    You'll hit paydirt with Shamus's suggestion of going with Model Power lights. I'm doing pretty much the same time period and have had several platform renovations in a quest for "the right look".

    On the last layout in Hoboken, I took part of the roof off of the platform, just for a change. The Model Power "N" scale modern double boulevard lights were ideal to situate every scale 50 feet. The height is perfect for non highway pedestrian lighting, and the width allows for the right clearance from the edges of the old 1960's FALLER platform base they're mounted on.

    Regardless of manufacturer, the "HO" boulevard lamps are too large, and certainly too high. Then again, with the excessive height, one gains the flexibility of height adjustment. Problem solved. Also, if you drill a hole in the deck to snugly fit the lamp tube, you have taken care of how to mount the fixture without nails or glue. The lamp base will slide up and down the tube with a little coaxing.

    "HO" lamps, especially the TYCO lamps, give off far too much light. At scale, it seems like a blazing flood. I wanted a small contemporary lamp for the top of the stairs to a FALLER tower, and the "HO" lamps available were too bulky and bright. The answer again was to go with the MODEL POWER "N" scale single modern boulevard lamp. They come three per package, as do their modern double boulevard fixtures.

    This was the easiest project I ever had such rewarding results from. All I had to do was drill a small hole next to the corner of the structure off side of the door. The hole fit the lamp post perfectly and all I had to do was bend the post to get it in and down the inside corner of the structure, keeping the wire out of sight from the large windows.

    All I want to know now is what is the life expectancy of these tiny bulbs?

    In the 70's, I used to have a modern KIBRI platform with a clear plastic roof. To light this one, I did as Shamus did in cutting the light fixture off of the pole. I used TYCO modern boulevard lamps in "HO" for this, and I drilled holes in the sides of the platform roof supports. Lamps mounted high by the roof, wire concealed down through the centre of the roof support. At that time in history, TYCO was all that was available.

    With the lights off, the look was nice, however the TYCO bulbs tend to droop at the end of the fixture. Lights on, the lighting was a harsh glare. I tried to reduce the power to them, even wiring the bulbs in series. The result was East Berlin. For those of you who don't remember, that means VERY DIM. The bulb went from a flourescent bluish to a sickening brown.

    One neat idea you might try if you're into photography (which unfortunately I'm not very good at) is making a platform deck out of just a regular piece of wood and painting it concrete colour. Next, lightly coat it with a clear enamel spray and apply lights, flank with trains and kill the room lights. VOILA! you have a rainy night at the station with a rain slicked platform. GET THE CAMERA!

    Shamus's idea of using a tube is probably far easier to maintain, which has to be a consideration. Nothing like getting underneath on your back and working on the spaghetti, right? [​IMG]

    George.
  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi George,
    The tiny lamps in Model Power are a grain of wheat type and are 12v DC, I run all mine from a 9volt transformer, and only had one heart attack over 8 years with them. Even off 9volt, they are bright enough to see the dirt on the footpath.

    Shamus
    [​IMG]
    http://www.badger-creek.co.uk
  7. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    George,

    The only decent realistic ones they had were for freeway stuff. 100' high, the two lights rising at 45 degrees, then lights shaped like those incandecent things. You know, take ten minutes to warm up etc. The packet did say highway lights on it! Teh other older style street lamps they had were power pole mounted, and wired from above (pole to pole). I'll have to make a picnic trip out of it, and visit a few other suppliers I think.

    TOOT!
  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Oh... getting realistic light out of them is not a prob. I've wired street/outdoor lights on a separate circuit to inside building lights. Variable 12V controller kit ($7 from local electronics shop) and that allows me to adjust the lighting, both inside and out.

    TOOT!

    [This message has been edited by Woodie (edited 05-24-2001).]
  9. George

    George Member

    Hi Guys!

    Depending on the type of look you're trying to achieve, you can go retro and remain modern.....

    Model Power also has old gas lights (coach lanterns on poles) which are nice and small. Over this way, many communities are gong with ornate wrought iron lamp posts with mercury vapor bulbs. I use a train station built within the past five years, and the lamp posts on the open part of the platform are of a style straight out of the 1920's.

    They look out of place with the surroundings, but it is being done more often than one would think.

    George.

Share This Page