Thursday 8 December 2022

Porcelain Isolators

When I was in need of a wooden post to hang election posters in, I quickly made three posts from a length of suitable wooden profile. I have planned to fit light on strategic spots on the layout to enable late evening and early morning shunting. The posts would be perfect for mounting lamps on, but would need isolators and wires. On my 1/35 scale modules I used isolators made from turned brass but they are not produced in 1/35 nor available in the correct profile.

A 20 piece 3D printed double row of Danish pattern porcelain isolators in 1/19 scale.

A glance through some of the websites offering 3D-printed parts didn't reveal any particularly Danish looking porcelain isolators. As I'm a lifelong member of The Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society I just couldn't plonk some British isolators on a Danish pole. Consequently I turned to a well-known supplier of special objects for model railways in Denmark, Per Møller Nielsen of Epokemodeller.

Being a telegraph pole appreciator 21. September holds a special place in my calender. A day of solemn appreciation.

A new pole with lamp and isolators placed among 3 other poles on the new platform at Hedehusgård Station, the Hedeland vintage railway (HVB).

Having recently seen four poles with lamps and isolators being erected at the Hedeland vintage railway I had measurements and plenty of images of the porcelain isolators and provided these to Per Møller to aid in his design of some 1/19 3D printed isolators. Within a week I received 3D drawings for review, the files were then printed and 30 isolators were delivered safely packaged in my mailbox.

A full size isolator. It is now fitted to one of the recently erected poles at HVB. As always it is an advantage to have access to a full size prototype of a modelling object.
Visual representation of the print file for 2 x 10 Danish porcelain isolators. Photo: Epokemodeller.

The isolators are printed in a semi-translucent resin material. There is no trace of the printed layers that marred many 3D printed products a few years ago. To avoid printing the isolator mounting bracket integral with the isolator, Per designed the isolators with a 1 mm hole in the bottom (of course inspired by the real ones) for mounting on a 1 mm bent metal wire. A metal wire will be much more resistant and solid than a printed bracket.  

I have only separated a single scale isolator from its printing base. I sanded the small attachment point away and mounted the isolator on a copper wire quickly bent up to resemble the usual bracket. For ease and consistency I think making a small jig for bending mounting brackets will be needed.

My test mounted 3D printed porcelain isolator. I like the correct shape of the isolator matching the prototype I was aiming for.

With 3 wooden poles ready I will now experiment a little with making a jig for bending brackets and figuring out what I can use for electrical wires to hang on the isolators. EZ-Line is probably not quite up to the task as I think I will need to show the wires sagging in the large scale of 1/19. Perhaps thin copper wire will work?

1 comment:

  1. The Telegraph Pole Appreciation book is a gem. I believe there is quite a collectors market for the insulators