Looking for Small N scale Refinery Ideas

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by SleeperN06, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    I'm looking for ideas and photos of anything on small refineries to scratch build for my small N layout. I'm thinking of something similar to the Cornerstone Series(R) North Island Refinery or the Petro/Chemical Refinery in the Walthers Catalog.

    I'm a hardware packrat and I have drawers full of unusual items that I've collected over the years simply because of their size, shape or usage and I should have enough stuff to make a Refinery. It doesn't have to be a "Refinery" per se, just something with storage/pressure tanks and of course lots of piping.

    I also really like the Cornerstone Blast Furnace and I would defiantly buy it if it was half the price.
     
  2. Ed M

    Ed M Passed away May 2012 In Memoriam

    TrainBoard member Carl Sowell has a really well done small refinery on his layout. He has a few pictures of the model in his "N Scale Scenes" album in Rail Images. Here's a link to the album:
    http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showgallery.php/cat/859

    Here's one picture, and there are a couple more on the second page of his album:

    [​IMG]


    Regards

    Ed

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  3. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    Thanks Ed,
    Wow, that is fantastic. I'll bet this took some time to build. It's even got steam come out of the stacks. I'm guessing that its about 13" to 14" wide from the tank cars in front. It a little larger than I have room for, but it has lots of stuff to think about.
     
  4. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    What era? Modern? Transition? If you go back into the steam era small refineries were a lot more common (particularly up here in Pennsylvania).

    The 'piping and stack' part of refineries is usually only about 15-20% of the total size. Storage tanks are the big real estate eaters. Can you put tanks on the backdrop?

    The refinery here in my hometown is considered a 'small refinery' by current standards, and the whole complex from end to end is still stretched out nearly a mile.
     
  5. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    I'm modeling modern desert country. I don't know a lot about this kind of industry but as I drive along the interstates I see all sort of sites. I don't know what they are only they have a lot of piping and cylinder tanks. Some are very Large with thousands of lights all over them that can be seen for miles away. I'm thinking small maybe 2 or 3 15 to 20ft diameter tanks and racks of piping with chain link fencing.
     
  6. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    I just wanted to add that I'm interested in this for two reasons. 1) I have a lot of odd shaped spaces on my layout where I can't fit a building and 2) I have installed an awful lot of conduit as an electrician for 15 years before my current occupation and I look at piping as an art form.
     
  7. Ed M

    Ed M Passed away May 2012 In Memoriam

    You could try thinking chemical plant instead of refinery. Same general look of tanks, equipment, and piping, but usually on a much smaller scale. You still get to use tank cars.

    Refineries tend to be large (although as Randgust has pointed out there are smaller ones) because they usually have several different units, plus crude storage and product tankage. While there are large chemical or petrochemical complexes, there are a lot of small, single unit plants.

    Generally speaking, no one is going to know enough about the business to criticize your work as long as you get the general feel.

    Regards

    Ed

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  8. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Here is a pic of my scratchbuilt "THE Ferttilizer and Herbicide Company". The red tanks are just a couple of alluminum spray bottles bought at the dollar store. The piping and such is made from stuff I had just laying around. Was a fun little project.]

    :tb-biggrin:


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  9. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    Yes I think you may be right Ed, I only used the word "Refinery" because that was what the Walthers Cornerstone kits were called. And I did want it to look real.

    And "THE Ferttilizer and Herbicide Company" is very interesting. I think I might be able to do something like that. That’s very nice, good job.:thumbs_up:
     
  10. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    George, I've been looking at your "THE Fertilizer and Herbicide Company" and I was wondering if you had anymore photos from other angles.
    Thanks
     
  11. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

  12. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    Thanks, that helps me a lot and it looks pretty good. I was woundering what did you use for the large silver color pipe in photo#9?. I just remembered that I have some old brake line in my steel recycle pile that kind of looks like that.
     
  13. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Believe it or not...its the top loop of a large silver plastic coat hanger....lol


    :tb-cool:


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  14. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    I love it :thumbs_up:
     
  15. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Thnxs.

    The same coat hanger was used for the piping from the manifold to the tanks in pic #2... I used the ends where they curve to make the bottom of the hanger for those.

    *When you are kitbashing its kinda exciting to just look at different things laying around the house and say "Hmmmm....I can use that!"...LOL.


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  16. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    I've been doing a little research for my layout and I discovered that the facilities that I've been seeing a over the place are for Natural Gas. Some are storage tanks and others are Compressor Stations to help move the gas through the pipe lines all over the country. I listed some links to photos of what I'm talking about below.

    Gas storage area at natural gas plant
    http://www.fotosearch.com/bigcomp.asp?path=CRT/CRT496/15566-06wm.jpg
    Liquefied Natural Gas Photo Gallery
    http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/photos/kenai_terminal_388x600.jpg
    http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/photos/elba_island_lng_500x400.jpg
    http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/photos/cove_point_lng_1_500x400.jpg
    http://www.kentuckybluegas.com/Photo.htm
    This is Oil Refinery Tanks that I'm also thinking about
     
  17. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Johnny...

    The first pic with the BIG pipes is what I was thinking when using the plastic coat hanger.

    The last pic shows the effect I was going for by using the small aluminum spray bottles. The tops of the bottles give the similar domed effect with the filler itself looking the same.

    The hardest thing is finding bottles small enough not to overpower sizewise for n scale. I find looking around the Dollar Store you can find all sorts of things that will work. Ya just let your imagination run wild.

    I will be buying some catwalk and industrial ladder from TrainCat to finish it all off. BTW... I have some old CO2 cartridges from my pellet gun...I think they will make some great smaller storage tanks. Who is to say any tank storage facility WOULDNT have what you have or be piped like what you do...LOL.

    Scratchbuilding it all was a blast. Have fun...I did !



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  18. Jerry M. LaBoda

    Jerry M. LaBoda TrainBoard Supporter

  19. Mobius1

    Mobius1 TrainBoard Member

    George, your kitbash looks great! And I think that's a great idea to use spent CO2 cartridges, as I've got a huge amount of spent ones lying around (what can I say, airguns are fun). I think the chemical plant idea is a good one for small layouts, it's something I've been looking towards for the next piece of my layout- probably will be built around the North Island kit with some smaller buildings, hopefully I can keep it somewhat realistic looking and not too big of a building forced into too tiny a space.
     
  20. NCDaveD

    NCDaveD TrainBoard Supporter

    I finally got off my duff and took a couple pictures of my small and not-to-imaginative refinery still in the works.

    NCDaveD
     

    Attached Files:

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