Micromodel LS1 Lineside Features - £7.


Micromodels were published in Britain between 1947 and 1957. Each set usually contained 8 cards, each measuring 3½" by 5", in an open paper wrapper. The cards contained the parts of the model to cut out and build. As the name implies, the resulting model was, certainly by today's standards, small and Micromodels adopted the slogan "Your Workshop in a Cigar Box". Model subjects included architecture, aircraft, ships and, most numerously, railways.
First issued in 1949 with a reprint in 1954, the Micromodel set LS1 comprises eight cards from which it is possible to build a country railway station, an island platform, foot-bridge, signal-box and signals.
There are two platforms to make and each comes in two parts. Each part comprises the platform surface with sides to turn down and glue together. As there were only butt joints to make these, I cut some tabs from scrap cards and used these to make the corner joints stronger. The two parts of each platform are then joined together and I found they had a tendency to rise at either end. This was corrected when the buildings were placed thereon and when I glued the whole to a base. The station buildings themselves are fairly straightforward. There are two canopies which require supports. I found thin styrene rod to be effective in this. The roofs are then surmounted by chimneys and the finished buildings located on the platforms. The footbridge is made of three parts, the stairs either side and the span. While the bridge is all enclosed, I was a little disappointed that the entries to the stairs have no steps showing, but this could be easily remedied by the ingenious modeller.
The third building in the set is the signal box, again pretty straightforward.
One of the trickiest parts of the kit was the making of flights of steps for the booking hall and signal box. In each case, the risers are attached to one side of the flight and must be folded over and glued to the other side. As the risers are quite small, there is not much opportunity to use tabs for gluing, so I made some very careful butt joints. The fun starts when the treads have to be applied individually, but, with a bit of patience, the final effect was quite reasonable.
The kit also includes station signs, benches and a set of signals.
Once I had finished the buildings, I mounted the whole diorama on a piece of board.
Sadly, Micromodels never produced any track cards. However, their predecessor, Modelcraft published several straights, curves and points. I reproduced several straight lengths on an inkjet and laid two tracks between the platform. Modelcraft straight track is now available as an inkjet reprint at £3 for 10 lengths.
I must confess that I had long thought this set rather boring - just a collection of oddments rather than a proper building. Having made it, however, I think I was wrong. The finished diorama is delightful and all that is needed is some engines and rolling stock travelling through the station - and with Micromodels, there are plenty of those to choose from!

Christopher Cooke


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