THE REPUBLIC OF 
TRAINWORLD 

An HO scale model railroad layout based on a 1950's to 1980's era steel town

Blog

February 15, 2018: STEEL PLANT PROJECTS: PART 2

Posted by [email protected] on February 15, 2018 at 6:20 PM
FROM THE EXACTO KNIFE

FEBRUARY 15th, 2018: STEEL MILL PROJECTS PART 2

TRAINWORLD CITY STEEL WORKS UNFINISHED OPEN HEARTH MODEL AT CENTER IN THIS 2016 PHOTO


THE OPEN HEARTH MODEL

While the blast furnaces took up a great deal of my time during the final days leading up to the 2016 model exhibit, I did also spend a lot of time trying to get the open hearth model up to specs for the presentation as well.  The open hearth model is the largest model on my layout thus far, and as such, it's also the most difficult to display and display properly.  This huge model takes up a lot of space on both my layout, and on my model shelf in the Escape Pod.  When I first built the open hearth in 2012, we lived in a different house and the entire mill and accompanying city were going to be on a proper huge basement layout.  But that didn't happen.  We moved, and the rest is history.  So now, it has to sit on a much smaller model shelf and be displayed outside - which it was initially was never intended for.

2015 SHOT OF THE STEEL MILL LAYOUT WITH THE OPEN HEARTH AT LEFT. THE ROOF HAS HAD SEVERAL PROBLEMS OVER THE YEARS

The model has been beefed up a lot since the early days, just to account for all of the movement and flexing it has to endure each time you have to move it.  Remember, this model is actually made up of several different buildings all put together in one complex, making it a royal pain any time I have to move it.  

Much like the BF's, this model was initiated in a "crash course" to finish the model so it would look presentable for the exhibit, which it seemed to at least pull off.  But it also needs more TLC and detailing and modifications that I'd like to do in 2018. 

2014: THE BEGINNING OF THE MODEL OPEN HEARTH STARTED AS TWO O SCALE HELJAN ENGINE SHEDS

THE OPEN HEARTH MODEL IN 2016

1914 PHOTO OF THE PROTOTYPE, THE DULUTH WORKS OPEN HEARTH BUILDING

While the model of the open hearth "looks" mostly done, there's a lot of work that needs to be done still.  The model furnaces are done in 2D, instead of 3D because of size constraints.  This is a blessing and a curse.  While it saves space, it also means that I can't properly detail the furnaces correctly.  So I have to cheat.  In this way, the interior isn't going to represent the prototype correctly.  Oh well.  What it does do is save space for other things.  Even still,  the interior of the open hearth is very compressed.  

INTERIOR OF THE OPEN HEARTH SHOWS THE 2D FURNACES AT RIGHT.  THE MODEL IS VERY COMPRESSED

I'd like to "clean up" the cranes, which are all simple scratch builds, and the charging machine - which is a cut off Tyco crate mover crane.  While those aren't so hard to do, one project is ongoing and has been for years that is a constant pain.....aligning the roof.

2015 PHOTO OF OPEN HEARTH MODEL ON LAYOUT SHOWING THE SAGGING AND MISALIGNED ROOF.  THE CHARGING DECK APPEARS WARPED IN THIS PHOTO, BUT ONLY BECAUSE THE MODEL ISN'T SITTING FLAT.

The roof of the open hearth has been a royal pain since the get go. Because the model was built using two second hand models and then built around, the measurements aren't all precise.  This makes the roof appear to sag in places and not line up in others.  It's embarrasing and it's plagued the model complex ever since I started building it.

There are a few ways I might be able to solve this.  I can take the roof apart (once again) and try to align it with precision care.  Theres a catch:  I've already torn the roof apart a few times trying to get it alligned.  To do so again, and I risk tearing the roof apart.  

THE OPEN HEARTH MODEL IN 2014 ON THE ESCAPE POD MODEL BENCH SHOWING THE ROOF LINE

DIFFERENT ANGLE SHOWING HOW THE ROOFLINES DON'T MATCH UP

THE OH "BUTTONED UP" SHOWING THE SAGGING ROOFLINE AND FALSE WALL (TOWARDS CAMERA) 2014 PHOTO

The roof is the primary concern for the open hearth for 2018.  While it isn't the only thing I plan to work on, it's something I'd like to tackle.  Along with the roof are the smokestacks.  While they line up close, a few of the ten smokestacks don't form a perfect line.  Something I plan to take on as well. Also, the smokestack support structures, or housings, aren't glued to the charging deck.  The reason is because of height and storage. 


2014 PHOTO SHOWING THE MIS-ALIGNED STACKS


THE MODEL STOAGE SHELVES OF THE ESCAPE POD, WITH THE OPEN HEARTH MODEL ON TOP

Squeezing all of my models in the Escape Pod shelves is a challenge. Everything has to fit just right just to store all of the buildings and trains when not in use.  If I glue the smokestacks on to the open hearth charging deck, it makes it incredibly difficult to store other things and also to move the open hearth model for display without flexing the model. 

2014 PHOTO SHOWING THE MISALINGED ROOF AND THE STACKS. THE STACK SUPPORTS HAVE BOLTS ON THE TOP OF THEM TO KEEP THEM FROM BLOWING DOWN ON THIS WINDY DAY.  THEY WILL EVENTUALLY BE PLACED INSIDE.

The smokestack support housings also have some work that needs to be done.  They currently have bolts that sit on top of them for weight, because when the model is displayed outside -  the slightest wind knocks them over.  Eventually, the weights will be placed inside the housings in spacially made compartments.  This way, they are hidden and it keeps the smokestack housings mobile and able to be stored without glueing them to the charging deck.

While the roof has been a giant problem, I also have to finish the tapping side of the open hearth.  That side of the OH is pretty much unfinished.  A lot of that side was rushed to make it presentable for the model exhibit.  So, the taps of the furnace, the platforms, the flues, are all really unfinished.

THE TAPPING SIDE OF THE OPEN HEARTH, SEMI FINISHED.

The tapping side has two cranes that are really just auxilliary cranes, not hot metal overhead cranes. THe overhead crane hasn't been built yet, but will have to be built around the false wall, almost as a skeleton.  I haven't figured out quite how to do this yet, but it's going to be a modeling nightmare.  It will involve building an overhead crane gantry within the tapping side of the building, and making it all work when the building flexes when it moves.  Believe me - it boggles my brain when I even THINK about how I'm going to do this.


WHEN LOOKING AT THIS PHOTO OF THE TAPPING SIDE FROM THE 2016 PRESENTATION, YOU CAN SEE THE AMOUNT OF SPACE AVAILABLE TO MODEL.  A CRANE GANTRY WILL HAVE TO BE BUILT USING BEAMS ON THE LEFT SIDE (WHICH IS WHERE THE FALSE WALL IS) AND THEN ATTACHED TO A CUSTOM BUILT SUPPORT STRUCTURE THAT WILL HAVE TO BE BUILT ALONG THE FURNACE WALL 

Because of the small size of the tapping floor, there isn't a lot of room to fully detail an open hearth.  The tracks run straight down the floor and will double for slag trains, ingot trains and anything else that must traverse the teeming floor.  The flues are modeled in 2D, like the furnaces and while it isn't what I wanted, it's what I had to do because of the size constraints of the building structure.

Theres little chance I'll be able to model a teeming platform, although I might be able to fabricate something down the line. 

The tapping side of the furnaces themselves also need a LOT of detailing, they are very very basic right now.  Detailing will eventually come way down the road.  Right now, I just need to get this building's structural integrity down.

THIS PHOTO FROM THE 2016 PRESENTATION, SHOWS THE UNFINISHED LEVEL DETAIL THAT THE TAPPING SIDE OF THE FURNACES HAVE.  VERY BARE SO FAR.  ALSO, THERE WILL BE STAIRS, OR LADDERS IN THE BUILDING WHICH HAVEN'T BEEN INSTALLED YET. THE CENTER SECTION IS UNMODELED.

THE CENTER SECTION IS STILL PRETTY BARE, MADE UP OF MODEL PART TREE SPRUES AND PAINTED DIFFERENT COLORS, WITH OTHER BIT OF EXCESS JUNK THAT I THREW TOGETHER HERE.  HEY, WHAT'S THAT PENGUIN DOING THERE?  LOL



Categories: From the Exacto Knife: Modelers Journal

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In

0 Comments

Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.