Tuesday, May 15, 2012

B-FURNACE - Part 14

Another blast (furnace) from the past - haven't updated this project in a year or two.  The bottle car, while I'm eager to finish it, is delayed, waiting for Kadee 28" wheelsets to arrive.  There was a recent vigorous online discussion on wheel sizes of bottle cars on the yahoo steel group.  Mostly between 36" and 33", however, the plans I'm working off of call for 28" sets.  I'm already slightly out of scale on my platforms and this has unfortunately lifted the bottle higher off the rails than shown in the plan.  So, even 5 scale inches will help me tweak things to get the bottle closer to the prototype appearance.   I realized that this might even have something to do with the larger diameter of the Walther's car when compared to my prototype scaled Treadwell bottle.  Anyway, I'm hoping I see these wheels soon.
Partially, expanded platform and stair tower
If this photo was a repeat, I apologize.  I felt like I hadn't gotten the lower platform right  - too small - so I expanded it.  I fretted briefly as I worried that a square platform wasn't prototypical, but then found a few prototype furnaces with just that arrangement.  The stair tower is from the Walther's Ethanol Tank detail kit.  This is getting a bit hard to find, but extremely useful for steel mill modelers.  Each package comes with two stair towers (the one shown is one and a half I think) and a variety of piping, platform, railings,...etc.. for under $20.   The towers can be combined with a little forethought and cutting to reach unlimited heights.  Right now it stands out against the white styrene, but once painted will look right at home.   You will notice I also ditched the large Plastruct rings I'd previously glued on top of the uptakes to represent the bleeders.   I've also added some 5/32 H-Column bracing to the upper furnace stack.
Styrene core of B-Furnace casthouse.  Just sitting on the edge of the layout - not in the proper location
My failing is that I get too worried about the small details, almost to the extent that my modeling gets paralyzed.  Hesitant to take the next step until I first do this or that just right.  This is why I haven't updated this construction thread for over a year.   All this said, I'm trying to increase my modeling velocity and make some serious progress - and worry about the details later.  The upcoming Steel Mill Modelers Meet in August  and the 100 or so modelers that will be visiting my layout  at that event are helping with the motivation too.   (Don't forget to register and make the hotel reservations - go to the Peach Creek Shops link on this page for the registration forms and hotel information)

The A-Furnace casthouse has been under construction for some time now - a single truss, built out of probably 100 pieces of styrene took me a night or two to build, plus lots of styrene.  The B-Furnace casthouse seemed even further away with nothing built.  Finally realizing this, I thought - stop worrying - built a casthouse using a styrene core and forget the interior - the small slag pour area can be modeled, although its view lines are mostly blocked by the blowing engine house anyway.   So in two short evenings I had the core of the casthouse built using .060 plastic sheet and miscellaneous bracing - plenty of bracing.  I'll laminate the sides with .040 corrugated metal siding sheets from Evergreen and then the roof is a lapped sheet panel design.   I left the hole for the blast furnace large so for now it's removable.  Before I finish the roof, I'll spray the casthouse, detail the exposed area, and install some UV LEDs  - and paint the foundation and sides of the structure.  Then I'll glue the stack in place and install the roof panels right up to it.   But first some louvers on the one end.  
I cut two large holes and using some strips from the scrap box made up these two louvers.  The plastic is slightly heavy, I believe .040, but I was worried lighter material would sag over time.  After shooting the close up photo I was a little worried about the inconsistent nature of the louvers, however, most of those you see in steel mill photos are more than a little bent, missing, or generally in disrepair.   I'll bring the styrene siding right up to the edge of the louver frames.

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