Walthers Power Pole Ideas

Walthers markets a kit specifically for Power Poles, which are much different than telegraph poles.  These kits are highly customizable, and here you can see I modeled a two pole mounted transformer system.

Selling for $14.98, these poles are very versatile, molded plastic kits.  The can be assembled as a transmission line, single on pole residential transformer, or multi transformer commercial.  Completely customizable, and easy to assemble, they should fir most every era. If you cannot find a well stocked hobby shop, they can be ordered here: Walthers SceneMaster Electric Utility Pole Set


For this application, I cleaned up two poles.  I mated the two cross members for the transformers, and let them sufficiently dry.  Once the plastic cement cured hard (I waited 6 hours or so), I used a round file to clean up the notches where the poles would rest, working slowly until the pole fit snugly, but didn't bend the cross members outwards.  Work slowly, as the bottom hold needs to be slightly larger than the top (the poles taper).

Once the holes were good, I carefully mated the transformer cross members with the poles using plastic cement.

I then added the the main transmission cross arm at the top, trimmed to represent 3 transmission lines.  I ensured the brace arms for the transmission arm were facing outwards, as that is what I had see in photos.  I added a smaller cross member, and two additional lower arms for the power distribution lines to coming out from the transformer.

I then proceeded to paint the poles with Rust-Oleum 285217 Roof Accessory Spray Paint, 12 oz, Weathered Wood/Brown, once that was dry, I tinted the poles slightly with Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Color, Olive Green. I used an adaption of Michael Rinaldi's Oil Paint Rendering technique to do this, so a very thin layout was applied, and dries in minutes.

I painted the 3 transformers separately, and installed them after weathering was completed.

I drilled holes in my module, per instructions included.  I glued the poles in with Aleene's Tacky Glue, as you can see in the shot above, I had to use a spring clamp to hold the pole level while it dried.

Once installed on my Walthers National Model Railroad Build Off module, I proceeded to string the power poles with black thread.  I chose thread for it's thickness, because the included line in the Walther's kit didn't show up in photographs.

I followed diagrams included in the instructions to detail the transformer poles.  Drop lines come from the main transmission lines, down to the single cross arm, then down to the transformer.  The opposite insulator on the top of the transformer then has a line going back up to the distribution cross arm (the lower one with smaller insulators).  This distribution line then travels across the street to the customer.  I'm quite sure this isn't 100% accurate to the actual application, but it looked real to me and showed exquisite detail for my entry.

Assembling these kit power transmission poles is not that difficult, an evening casually assembling them produces a believable power distribution system for your layout or module.

©2020, Josh Baakko, https://www.modelrailroadtips.com