PE Railing - How to best install?

This is a question for all the PE artists here:

My HMS Stuart has PE railings without any footplates or bottom rails.

The attachment points every 4 stanchions look too small and too few.

How would you install this kind of railings? Ay idea or suggestion is welcome.



First, I prefer buying dedicated PE sets with measured lengths that have etched fold marks. I prime and paint them while still on the fret, the day before using. Any chipping due to handling or folding can be touched up by brush later. I then pre-fold, or curve the lengths to the required shape and check (dry fitting). Then spot-tack the rail lengths starting at the beginning, and then at each corner where the rail takes a turn, and at various points on a long straight length. By “spot-tacking” I apply a tiny spot of CA from the end of a section of stretched sprue, or a single bristle from a big paint brush, etc., I use medium density CA for this. Once the length of railing is tacked firmly, and correctly, in place, I apply more CA by the same method, but by dragging the applicator along the base of the railing, so as to fill any hair-line gaps between the base of the railing and the deck. When dry, carefully touch-up glue spots using a fine brush with appropriate color. Stand back and admire a well-done job!
As for the railings you picture, they are totally miserable - they have no convenient base rail for glueing. I suggest you toss these and buy better ones. But if you really want to use them, carefully measure and prefold and shape them. Apply a tiny spot of glue (by the same method above) at the foot of each stanchion.
:smiley: :canada:

After some thought :exploding_head: you could drill shallow holes to glue the longer stanchions into, but you have to measure VERY carefully, and accurately for a proper fit. Also, the base of the longer stanchions might be etched to fold a “foot” for glueing. Either way, this type of railing is a total PITA for applying.
:smiley: :canada:

Spot gluing as mentioned by Biggles50 would be my method but in all honestly, when I get railings like that, I buy better aftermarket railings with the bottom rail that can be glued. Life’s too short to fight with PE railings :stuck_out_tongue:

@Biggles50: Thank you for your advice. I prefer normally the railings with the bottom rail., too I have several aftermarket set, also for the RN type.
The worst type I had before was a very soft one with little “feet” at every stanchion. Drove me really crazy. This rail here is included in the kit with correct length. There are also some small rails around the gun platforms which are not so easy to replicate with generic PE.
@McRunty: I fully agree with the waste of time. Maybe someone will come up with 3-D printed rails. They can print anchor chains so why not railings.

I have one more idea: I could glue very thin wire behind all or some of the stanchions and then drill holes into the deck to fix them. That would be a bit stronger but need a lot of small holes in a very exact position. Not easy. I will try this with a small rail first.

More soon.



1 Like