Re: Let's talk about ladders.

Monk Alan <Alan.Monk@...>


One of the specialist UK manufacturers (Model Signal Engineering makes such etched ladders (long ones, for fitting to signal posts) with etched stiles, wire rungs and the all-important assembly jig. I've built a couple of his 30' ladders for signals on my UK layout and they really do look the part. Not that fiddly either, once you get into the swing of making them.

I hadn't thought to check the rung spacing to see if they were also applicable to HO freight cars (the width, of course, is set by the rung length). I'll have another look at them over the weekend at Derby show, where MSE have their usual stand.

To do a ladder as a single etch, I think it would have to be a double-sided etch to avoid the flat rung look, which adds to cost and difficulty. I know a chap over here who produces such double-sided etched parts for loco detailing (his roof fan grilles have to be seen to be believed, he's captured the 'woven' wire look brilliantly!) and ask him some basic questions (likely cost/difficulty/etc)

I have tried the DA moulded ones - personally, I found them too fragile, with a high proportion of split ladders just taking them off the sprue (using either my fine sprue-nippers or carefully with a brand new scalpel blade)

Alan Monk
London, UK

Posted by: "Pierre" pierre.oliver@... <mailto:pierre.oliver@...?Subject=%20Re%3A%20Let%27s%20talk%20about%20ladders%2E> pierreoliver2003 <>
Wed May 9, 2012 6:59 am (PDT)

Lately I've been thinking about available car ladders.
Generally, I'm not pleased with the overall quality of most of the commercial offerings. Badly rendered rungs, oversized stiles, etc.
So I'd like to generate an informal poll here, to try and establish if there's a desire for better ladders and what form that might take.

I'm particularly fond of the approach Ted Cullotta took with the Miner ladders in the Wabash AAR kitbash in a box. He supplied a set of photo-etched stiles that had the holes for grabs etched in and the modeler had to bend the stile into the angle shape and insert individual rungs from wire. Tedious but very effective. Looks great as well!

Another approach is to etch the entire ladder, while still requiring the stiles to be folded to create the correct angle look. The downside is the rungs are flat in profile.

The first etched approach would also create an option for a variety of rung spacings.

What's your thoughts?

The contents of the e-mail and any transmitted files are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. Transport for London hereby exclude any warranty and any liability as to the quality or accuracy of the contents of this email and any attached transmitted files. If you are not the intended recipient be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this email is strictly prohibited., If you have received this email in error please notify postmaster@...., This email has been sent from Transport for London, or from one of the companies within its control within the meaning of Part V of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Further details about TfL and its subsidiary companies can be found at, This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept for the presence of computer viruses.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.