Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Signals from Scale Models Division

Just recieved my first order of signals from Scale Models Division of Canada.  I ordered and recieved four signals; two single searchlight and two double searchlight.  The signals will protect the crossover in Rochelle just east of the UP/BNSF diamonds.  I have been reusing the Sunrise searchlight signals from the old Rochelle Subdivision layout.   But, having used all those up signalling Nelson through the west Rochelle crossover and with Sunrise no longer in the business of making N scale signals, I was in need of a new source of signals for the remainder of the layout.   Awhile back John LaRocca told me about Scale Models Division and their N scale signal line whcih is quite extensive.  After checking out their website (http://scalemodelsdivision.web.officelive.com/default.aspx) I contacted them about doing some signals for the Geneva Subdivision.  Scale Models Division owner and operator, Serge Lebel, was very knowledgible and easy to work with. After emailing back and forth a few times I placed an order for the four signals which arrived yesterday.

The first picture below shows the packaging the signals arrived in.  The boxes are cardboard with a foam insert that protect the signals during shipment. 

I removed one of the double signals and was immediately impressed with the scale fidelity and quality of craftmenship.  The signals come with resistors installed and have three wires of different colors (silver, red & green) which will be a great help in installation.  In order to compare the quality of the Scale Models Division to the Sunrise signals, I tape the signals to the fascia next to an already installed Sunrise signal.  The picture below show the signals side by side.


As you can see, the new signals from Scale Models Division are excellent and compare nicely with the singals from Sunrise.  The targets appear to be equal in size however the Sunrise have a lip around the edge.  After doing some research on the web I believe the lip is prototypical for that style of signal.  The Sunrise seem to be of an older style of signal than the Scale Models Division.  The ladders on the SMD signals are slightly more to scale than the Sunrise and the platforms look great.  The mast however on the SMD signal look to be a bit wider than Sunrise.  I am not sure if this is a compromise by SMD or just a difference in prototype.  Both mast look great however.  SMD at this time does not offer sinals with battery boxes.  However, most of the signals along the Geneva Sub are the more modern style without the battery boxes so this is not a concern to me.  I will need to find a source of signal control boxes to place near the signals a la the prototype.
   Overall, I am very impressed wtih the SMD signals.  They are reasonably priced, but like anything in model railroading and building a layout, if you need a lot of them like I do, it can get expensive. 
   I will be installing them on the layout in the next few weeks and will post more pictures at that time


  1. Serge is a great modeler and has great products. Your blog is impressive


  2. Daryl
    I know you'll be happy with Serge's products Note that he personally lazer cut the card boxes!! not to many people can provide this type of personal service and advice.
    Thank you
    JOHN LaRocca

  3. They look excellent...however, I am waiting in anticipation for the BLMA signals - I've chatted to Craig Martin a few times at various shows, and am impressed with his HO scale signals - he also explained the delay with the N scale signals due to their fine scale detailing, causing manufacturing challenges...still no date, but he assures me they will be coming soon!!

  4. I thought about the BLMA signals as well. I have a feeling, however, that they are going to be expensive. Also, I have noticed that most of the signals on the prototype Geneva Subdivision do not have battery boxes mounted on the mast, so the SMD match up better as well. SMD also builds each signal to order so you have more flexibility. I'll still probably get a couple of the BLMA when they come out, if I have not already completed signalling the layout by then.