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In creating a modernized version of Marx's Twin Train set on my layout, I ended up placing a rail-mounted relay (needed to both control the trains and the signals) in plain sight on top of the layout (it had a frosted clear case with a red activation light, and I figured you can't go wrong with more flashing lights, right? ). My thought was to 'disguise' the relay as part of an electrical substation or some other industrial fixture.

Initially, I built a simple card stock structure (printed in a weathered board pattern) to cover the wire connections and other components, but leave the clear cover and red light visible. To complete the setup, I just finished a 'chain link fence' enclosure, made out of styrene rod stock and some old aluminum screening scraps, with thread around the top as 'barbed wire'. I created a base out of coffee stirrers and mixed ballast, sprayed the fence gray and plugged it in place on the base:

Now, the ask: does anyone already have a template in O scale for a set of signs suitable for an electrical substation or other industrial installation? I'm thinking something on the order of a Word or PDF file suitable to print out on card stock or photo paper, and then cut out and glued on the outside of the fence. By coincidence, I recently bought and installed an animated oil pump, and am now kicking myself for installing *all* the provided signs on its fence -- there were actually more than I really needed and the extra would have been perfect for this installation. I know, I know -- I could always look up prototype photos and crop, scale and print something suitable, but I thought before I did so, someone might have already been down this road and be willing to share. If so, that'll give me more time to work on my next project -- twin trolleys, single track! In any event, thanks for considering my request, and stay tuned . . .

[Oh, and in case you're curious why I left the gate open, I plan to add a few workmen on site at some point in the future!]


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Last edited by Steve Tyler
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