The Station Platforms - Part 1

I've been working on the passenger terminal area for the past month or so, starting with the decision to make the curve a tunnel underneath the station and other urban scenery.  However, before I can proceed too much further on working on the tunnel and the new ground, I needed to finally do something about my very rudimentary and plain station platforms.

The platforms, cut from a sheet of grey sintra material, had a base coat of paint but nothing else.  I've wanted to elevate them so they are the type of platform that would be level with the doors of passenger coaches.  I'd also considered using commercially made platforms, but the cost of all those kits for my rather large terminal felt quite prohibitive (easily $100 +).  I also think they many of them are over-priced for what you get.  The platforms in the top photo were a used set I picked up cheaply on eBay as a reference model.
What motivated me was the scratch-built platform job by Alvin at Hauptbahnhof.  I've been inspired by his work many times, unfortunately most of what he does is out of my skill-set.  I still thought I might try something similar and do a passable job although not to the same level of detail.  So I pulled my sintra sheet off the layout, and attached foam core to the under-sides of the platforms.  I then glued strips of .25 inch styrene to the edges of the styrene for the platform sides.  I did no detail to the sides of the platforms (other than some scribing with the knife).
Waiting for a break in the rain, I then primed the entire assembly in white paint....
In terms of appearance, I know I wanted some sort of pattern or design for the platform so that it looked like a railway platform and not long grey strips of plastic.  I added very thin strips of architectural tape just near the platform edges.  These would mask the white paint from the light grey coating and would appear like the sort of 'safety striping' that you often see on the edges of railway platforms.  The outer edges were given a coat of light grey paint.  The interior areas of the platforms will get a slightly darker color.

One of the decisions that also held up work on this specific area of the layout was not only whether to scratch-build the platforms or spend the big money (although there are more economical options such as the platform sides from Auhagen or Peco) but what to do about lighting.  Fortunately some very nice, yet somewhat out of place, LED streetlights I ordered in bulk from China off of eBay would work quite well for the task with some modification.
These platform lights would need some sort of base and I would need to double them up.  Some square, hollow styrene was chopped into short sections and would be made into the light bases.   I found that these lights could also be fairly easily glued 'back to back' with CA glue.  The bottom line is that at $1.50 each, and therefore $3.00 a pair, this is actually much cheaper than buying commercially produced lights - particularly LED versions (and given I needed over twenty, saving me a nice amount of cash)
I gave the styrene bases a coating of light grey paint, and mostly on a whim, dipped the ends in some yellow paint to give a little more character to the lights.

Prior to assembly, and the necessary but tedious task of soldering the resistors to the leads, this is what it all started to look like:
I will follow up with the final look and some other thoughts on how this turned out in my next post.

Happy trains!

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