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Sunday 22 August 2010

Southern Region Head Code Discs in 4mm Scale

Head code discs identfy the route of the train. One disc above the other signifies a Waterloo-Exeter mainline train. Sometimes a 3 digit number that identified a specific train service was stuck on. I create the disc from 0.5mm, glossy white, plastic food packaging. Gloss to represent the enamel paint of the prototype. Hitherto the shape was formed using a single hole paper punch that was a christmas cracker novelty. I was always aware that my model was too big, in fact about 2mm (6 inches) too big (The prototype disc is 15 inches diameter) and the carry handle was never depicted. All that is now put to rights. 

A two hole paper punch that I use in the office produces correct 5mm discs. Two 0.6mm holes about 2mm apart are drilled near the edge. The handle is formed from 0.25mm electrical tinned copper wire. The free ends are fed through the holes, looped over the top of the disc and fed back through the holes to form the hinge. It is held firm without the need for gluing. I use double sided sticky tape to fix the disc so that it can be removed without damage to the engine. You might consider a permanent bond as it is easily knocked off. I have seen photos showing the disc as per my model, with the handle stuck up in the air and a reverse arrangement where the handle lays against the rear of the disc. Some have the handle missing and a grab hole placed between the two handle holes instead.

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