Friday, November 29, 2013


The lack of posts is due to my work load as of late.  Even with adding another full time carpenter, we have been swamped with jobs.    Thanksgiving has been the first day I have had off since mid September - 75 or so straight 12-16 hour days have cut into my blogging, and modeling.   But you know the old adage, "make hay while the sun shines".....    We still are overbooked through February, but will probably be able to work at a saner pace to get this work done, and we no longer are working on any projects where the homeowners have temporarily moved out (ie no temptation to work until midnight or weekends) .   I did manage to pick up the new Walther's Glacier Industrial Sands kit last month.    It's described as a "modern" industrial structure, specifically a sand loading facility.   Some of the elements of the kit looked like they would work in my 1950's era layout, and others, well, maybe a future Free-mo module or sometimes it's just fun to build a model, even without a home for it.    Comparing this to the sand loading facilities I've seen down in Cumberland County, NJ, this structure is too small for a sand, rail-loading plant.  Also, the silos are always of greater diameter.    That being said, there are a number of other uses for this sort of structure, including several steel mill uses.   I might incorporate it into the loading facility for my ferro-manganese plant.   This would be a great addition to a BOF model, for the additives.  
Parts in box.   The usual Walther's injection molding - lame.  Anyone that's ever built a Tamiya or Dragon or Trumpeter military kit knows that it could be done much, much better.  Details could be crisper and the the fit of the parts could be engineered better.   One thing you will notice - extra parts.   The instructions, also not done as good as they could be, make note of these extra parts and suggest using them for kitbashing or details elsewhere.   Although they look like random industrial parts, they aren't - they assemble into three additional structures that I will explain in a bit.  
These are the built structures shown on the box photo and in the instructions.    The sand loading silos and elevator - a horizontal oil tank - a boring one story modern office - a purposeless three hopper something with a conveyor underneath (I guess you load the sand into the hoppers and then the conveyor dumps it back on the ground so you can scoop it up again)  - and two small conveyors.  The small conveyors come out pretty nice and could be used many places on a layout, including in a steel mill.    The triple hopper thing could probably be arranged with one of the small conveyors to feed the smallish hopper on the sand loader.  
Another view of smaller structures in kit.  
These are the structures the "extra parts" build.    The guard shack is actually described in the instructions but not shown on box photo or in diagram.  You don't really need instructions to build it.  Again a non-descript modern structure but the curb foundation is a nice shape.   This and the office are shown without the window frames and glass.    The flat thing in the foreground is a retaining wall, shown in the instructions to be used with the triple hopper thing - I guess that structure would have an embankment on the open side for loading.    The beam framework on left is a shorter version of the base for the sand towers.  There is a square box and hopper at the bottom of the elevator.  If you don't use these parts the whole structure could be built on this frame instead.   This would convert the structure from rail loading to truck loading.   It's not mentioned at all in the instructions.   Finally, the real bonus gem - I'm calling it the bag house/pug mill.   I'm not sure what it is really intended to represent and I can't figure out the material flow.  In fact, it seams to be missing some sort of input or output.   Whatever it is, the elements could be used for a number of things.  The one structure could be used as a bag house with a few minor details added.   Another nice part is the pipe between the two pieces - this is an 1/2" exact pipe (ie you can use with Evergreen tubing)  and the elbows are nicely segmented.   In a future blog I will be casting more of this part and show you how to do the same.
Mystery machine - that a wide belt conveyor on the right end of the closest structure element.     There is no reference to this structure in the instructions so you need to cut out the parts and backwards engineer it.  I enjoyed this and only had to flip one or two parts around.   If there is an interest from people building this kit,  I could post some close ups to help.  .

Sunday, November 3, 2013


For over a year now the finished final/benzol cooling towers have remained "unconnected" from the rest of the by-products plant.  You can see the vertical intake gas main on the left of the towers.  The lack of planing in arranging my layout left making this connection a more complicated problem than it looks, that is to make it look believable.   The gas main itself is 1/2" styrene tubing.  Evergreen sells long lengths of this tubing making the task a bit easier.   I am using upside down Walther's Conveyor kits as the basis for the framework around the pipe.  I've previously used the trusses from these kits for the triangular framework for the arms in my Dorr Thickener and for some pipe supports on A-Furnace/precipitator complex.    These kits are inexpensive and good for a variety of industrial applications.   Remember they make two conveyor kits - one is the larger type with the arched roofs - this is the smaller version that it squarish.   I am working on the left turn right now.  Eventually the pipe and frame will extend to the stone wall along the rear tracks and then turn right, running behind the Ammonium Sulphate storage building and either into the main buildings or wrap around those buildings to connect with the tar scrubbers.