OO Scale Catenary Guide
A handy guide to our mix & match LX050-OO Catenary Portals range
New electrification projects are currently underway across many of the country's railway routes. In model form, ready-to-run manufacturers are now starting to increase their range of electric locos & EMU units. In response to customer requests a few years ago we introduced our range of catenary masts & head spans, enabling you to install OHLE catenary on your layouts. In this short guide, we'll guide you through our mix & match catenary portal range.
Our catenary is a precision laser-cut versatile modular catenary portal system allowing you to mix & match components within the catenary portal range to suit your requirements. You have a choice of differently designed masts & headspans to suit UK East Coast & West Coast mainline-based layouts. They're also suitable for other electrified routes within the UK as well.
Our catenary system is strong & durable and designed to stand the test of time on your layout. It's easy to work with for the average modeller. The extension packs allow you to build wider portal gantry spans covering 3 or more tracks, and the expansion packs will do up to 20 triple-track or 10 four-track spans. Common questions on the LX050 catenary we often get asked I've listed below here.
How many tracks do the standard headspan & masts packs span?
The packs will build 10 pairs of masts, and 10 double-track spans thus giving you 10 double-track catenary portals.
I want to span three, or four tracks or more. Can these do that?
Yes, the head span expansion packs allow you to build wider spans than the standard double-track span. Be it 3 tracks, 4 tracks wide, or much wider spans, this can be easily done with the head span expansion packs. The head span expansion packs contain enough parts to do up to 20 triple tracks or 10 four tracks. Need a wider span? Just add more head span expansion packs as needed.
What about overhead wires & the registration arms are these included with the kits?
No, the registration arms & wires aren't included. The registration arms you can either make yourself or adapt other items to suit. We'll show in a series of upcoming how-to guides how to do this. The wires can be found online or in model shops, with Peco, Dapol, Sommerfeldt, and Viessmann OHLE supplying overhead wire packs. Or if you are handy with a soldering iron you can make your own OHLE wires from a suitable-sized gauge wire.
Are they easy to assemble?
Yes, the average modeller upwards, will find them easy to assemble. We even included a handy jig in the lattice headspan kits to help make things even easier for you too!
What tools & glue do I need?
For glue, we recommend the likes of Deluxe Materials glues such as Laser Cut Kit Glue, Super Phatic Glue & Roket Card Glue. All give excellent results with the catenary kits. For tools, use a craft knife with a new blade, tweezers, & a sanding stick.
What paint would recommend?
Once assembled, apply a coat of primer paint, the aerosol rattle can primer paint is ideal. For the actual colour top coat, a light coat of grey or matt lacquer paint will be sufficient. Galvanised effect aerosol spray can paint from The Range, Wilkos, Hobby Craft & all good model shops are also ideal.
You mentioned mix & match. Tell Me more about this.
Yes, sure. The range has been designed to give you a choice of two different types of mast: ladder masts & lattice masts. And also two types of headspans, lattice headspans & castellated beam headspans. We'll look at these now in more detail.
First Pick which type of mast you want
On the Scale Model Scenery website LX050 product page, start off by selecting which type of mast you want. Choose either LX050-OO (pack A) Ladder Masts or the LX050-OO (pack B) Lattice Masts.
Secondly, Pick which type of headspan you want
Select which type of headspan you want. LX050-OO (pack C) Lattice Girder Headspan or the LX050-OO (pack D) Castellated Beam Headspan. So with one mast pack & one headspan pack, these will make ten double-track catenary portals.
Need a wider headspan?
However, there may be situations on your layout where you have maybe three, four, or more tracks wide to span. Or perhaps have a station platform in the way. This has been catered for with our two types of headspan expansion packs which will do up to 20 triple-track or 10 four-track spans. If going wider, simply purchase more headspan expansion packs as needed. If this is the case, the third step when purchasing & ordering the catenary is…
Pick which type of headspan expansion pack you want
Select which type of headspan expansion pack you want. Choose either the LX050-OO (pack E) Lattice Girder Expansion Headspan Pack or the LX050-OO (pack F) Castellated Beam Expansion headspan Pack to match the double track headspan you are using.
As explained above, the system allows you to choose & mix the two different styles of catenary mast & headspans & headspan expansion packs.
Okay, how do I fit the catenary wires & install the catenary?
In the SMS build guides section of the Railway Modellers Community, we'll show in a series of step-by-step guides how to assemble the masts, and how to position & install them on your layout. Plus how to fit the hangers & the overhead wires. These guides can be downloaded & printed from the community app or website. We'll keep you posted as each of these guides go live shortly.