In-Box Review
Rail Road Tower

by: Vinnie Branigan [ TEACHER ]


A full resin kit that could represent a rail signal box from more or less anywhere in Europe during the 20th Century.

the kit

The signal box as represented by this kit, isn't a ruin. It's presented as an undamged example, and therefore could be used in any diorama involving rail stock and other vehicles. Given that it is a rail signal box, I would have thought a section of railtrack could have been included in the kit?

As it is, it's not a small kit. It's big, and it's complicated. It comes packed in a very sturdy box, the parts sandwiched between layers of bubblewrap, with all small parts such as window frames and doors packed separately in ziploc bags.

The signal box itself, as can be seen from the pictures is a two-storey example, the ground floor of which is supposed to be concrete, with a wooden floor and building atop of it. It has a pitched roof, which looks like it might be of copper, but I have no idea whether this would have been common?

There are some very large resin parts in this kit, and there is some slight warping, but nothing that can't be sorted out with a little hot water and a bit of care. The floor to the wooden building is fully detailed with wood grain, although the insides of the walls are just shiny resin. All handrails etc., and other parts that should have wood grain according to the pictures are nicely engraved. There is a one sided instruction sheet, which is actually of little help since the parts themselves are not identified with engraved numbers. The biggest help in actually assembling the structure are the front and back pictures on the box.

The parts themselves are quite crisply cast, however, I would advise that if you don't have a motor tool, it will prove very difficult indeed to clean up most parts. The parts such as window frames and handrails, have light flash that will require a lot of clean-up. The large parts have huge chunks of resin all around them that will require complete removal if the parts are to fit together, and they are large and thick. A motor tool of some description and a respirator mask are essentials!

Everything supplied in the kit is made of very hard cream-coloured resin, except the concrete groundfloor structure, which is plaster. This part was actually damaged in transit. The broken parts were present in the box, but were unuseable, since they had crumbled. Since these were only plaster parts however, they shouldn't prove too difficult to repair.

As I've said, this is a big, complicate structure, and it has a lot of windows. Something other than the bare floor supplied, has to go inside it. So if you're considering obtaining one of these, be aware of this fact. You'll have to represent some sort of point switching levers to go inside.... either that or have very dirty windows!

In conclusion

A nice addition to the range from Custom Dioramics that will no doubt find it's way into many a diorama. However, it's not one for the inexperienced with resin. It's complicated and will require a lot of heavy duty clean-up.

My thanks to Custom Dioramics for the review sample
A full resin kit, needing an inside that could represent any European signal box during the 20th Century.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CD8026
  Suggested Retail: $49.98
  PUBLISHED: Feb 17, 2006

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About Vinnie Branigan (Teacher)

Copyright 2021 text by Vinnie Branigan [ TEACHER ]. All rights reserved.


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