“I am a lineman for the county, and I drive the main roads”
I’ve found that I can knock out a set of power poles in a few minutes, which make them a fast and simple item to add to The Hills Line. Since power poles are common to just about any modeled era, they’re something that we can all use on our layouts.
I start with bamboo skewers for the pole itself. One package will provide a lifetime’s supply of poles for pennies. Plus, using a natural product is a guaranteed way to simulate the grain and detail found on the full-sized version. The poles are stained with a wash of Burnt Umber artist’s paint.
The crossarms and insulators are from Rix Products. After trimming them to a more prototypically-appropriate size and removing unneeded insulators, I paint them with a coat of Rust-Oleum Aluminum spray paint, then paint the arm with the same wash as the poles using a microbrush. This leaves the insulators and support brackets in the silver appearance.
The finished crossarms are attached to the poles with some CA glue. The transformers are taken from an Atlas telephone pole kit. I use prototype photos from my modeled location to determine the number and placement of crossarms and other details, such as this arrangement at South Clinton Street.
There are obviously much more accurate and impressive versions of power poles in the modeling community. Mine serve exactly the purpose intended, and give me that sense of accomplishment to move forward to bigger and better things.