Building A Model Railway – Adding Lighting To The Wills SSM321 Crossing Accessories Kit
Adding Lighting To The Wills SSM321 Crossing Accessories Kit
For this article we’ll look at upgrading the SSM321 Wills/Ratio Level Crossing Accessories Kit with one of our own lighting kits. This makes for a evenings modelling project. Around the country on the UK rail network are many level crossings. Many of these have CCTV camera’s & flood lighting installed. Willis/Ratio released a modern level crossing kit & also a level crossing accessories kit. Of my own personla model railway layout I have a level crossing on the winter scenic section, & this accessories kit is something I wanted to add to my level crossing scene.
On a recent trip out and about I came a cross the SSM321 in a model shop, so duly purchased it. Once back home, looking at the kit I thought on a simple way to get the dummy flood lights that coming in this kit working. For the lighting i’m using is the MLS001 Pre-Wired Surface Mount LED’s (3.5mm x 2.8mm) Warm White kit from our own range. This pack contains nano S.M.D. L.E.D’s & comes in a pack of 5. Ideal for use on interior & exterior lighting on your layouts & diorama’s. The MLS001 Warm White Lights can be found here in our web shop:
A bright white version (The MLS004) is also available here too:
Let us now take a look at the kit & how to assemble & install the S.M.D/L.E.D lights.
In the photo above can be seen the SSM321 Wills/Ratio Level Crossing Accessories Kit & our MLS001 Warm White S.M.D/L.E.D. lighting pack. The SSM321 level crossing accessories kit, includes four girder masts with a number of dummy floodlights & CCTV camera’s. The kit allows you to install all floodlights or all CCTV Camera’s or a mix of both on the four girder masts.
The image below shows how the kit goes together with minimal parts. As you can see it shows both options with the CCTV camera’s & Floodlights.
Lets get started…
The tools you’ll need are as follows:
- Cutting mat
- Craft Knife with new blade
- Small file V type or sqaure type.
- Plastic cement glue such as Delux Materials Plastic Magic Glue
- Soldering Iron, Solder & flux
- Heat shrink
- Wire cutters/strippers
- Choc bloc connector
- Screwdriver (for the chocblock connector)
On the parts fret there is two masts, four sets of CCTV camera’s & four floodlights. Here we’ve already assembled one mast with two CCTV camera’s & have painted & installed that one on the layout.
Cut & remove one mast from the fret. File flush any pips & mould flash from the mast. Don’t file the two pegs on top of the mast, these are for the floodlights/camera’s to sit on.
Cut & remove two of the flood lights (highlighted in orange) from the parts sheet. The flat part with the hole in is for the top mast location peg to fit into. File away any mould flash from the part edges.
We now have the three parts as shown on the right, the mast & two floodlamp units. Don’t glue the floodlamps on to the mast just yet.
On one of the floodlamp units, file or trim away a groove in the lip on the same side as the flat plate with mounting hole in. This grove is to take the two wires as shown. On the second floodlight unit file a grove on the opposite side of flat plate with the mounting hole, this gives you a left & right handed floodlight units. The wires will will run into the center of the mast as you’ll see shortly.
Glue the S.M.D/L.E.D (with it’s two wires in the cut/filed grove) on to the center flat part of the floodlight unit as shown in the image right. Once the glue has set, paint the area around the S.M.D/L.E.D in white mat or acrylic paint.
Next cut or file a Vee grove in the section between the two mounting points on top of the mast as shown in the photo right. This is to take the four wires from the the two floodlights.
At the bottom of the mast base, cut & remove a section in the base to take the wires as shown in the photo right. Keep the bit you remove to file part of the cut gap in the base after fitting the wires.
Next glue the floodlight heads onto the mast top using plastic glue such as Deluxe Materials Plastic Magic. Then fit the wires down into the chanel grove in the mast & glue the wires into place as shown in the image right. Refit the bit of the mast base that was removed earlier, cutting it down to fit the cut gap in the mast base.
Paint the mast in your chosen colours. We’ve shown a painting colour guide suggestion in the image seen right. Before painting the mast, we masked off the L.E.D’s to prevent them from being covered in paint. The masts where then give a coat of a grey primer paint using a cheap grey aersol can primer paint. This was then given a paint again using aersol can acrylic grey or silver mat paint.
For the concrete section on the base, we painted it in a concrete colour from the Woodland Scenics range of acrylic paints. After painting, the masking tape was then removed from L.E.D’s.
To extend the wires from the lights, strip back a little of the plastic insulation off the wire ends. Solder the two red wires on to one red wire (this is the + positive wire) & solder the two black wires on to one black wire (this is the – negative wire). Cut two pieces of heat shrink & slide them ove the two soldered joints. Apply heat to the heat shrink tube which of course will shrink it into place over the soldered joint. This will prevent any accidental shorts happening etc.
The S.M.D/L.E.D’s come pre-fitted with resistors, so in this case you don’t have to fit any resistors.
Now drill a suitable size hole for the wires to fit through (here we show a hole being drilled on the demo layout as an example in this case). Then apply glue to the bottom of the mast base & feed the wires through the hole & stick the mast into place.
As the mast is going towards the back of the layout, the wires have been fitted into the mast on the non viewing side so that they won’t be seen from the normal viewing side.
Now connect the two wires on to your layout lighting wire bus (which in turn is connected to a 12v power bus), or if you haven’t got a lighting wire bus, directly back to a 12v transformer. This could be the uncontrolled 12v out put on your railway layout controller or a plug in 12v smoothed transformer.
In the photo right, we’ve connected the wires from the flood light on to our 12v lighting bus wires using a simple chocbloc connector.
Here you can see the floodlight mast after installation by the level crossing on my layout winter scene. I’ve given the floodlight mast some subtle light weathering using Tamiya weathering pastels.
Turn the layout room light off & switch on the layout lighting and enjoy miniature lighting.