Away We Go! Steel Mill Layout

Penner Mar 9, 2021

  1. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    Hemi, a bloom is an intermediate-stage processed rectangular block of metal that is formed from the ingots. That is then processed further into other steel products.
     
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  2. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    And they're bloomin' hot too!
     
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  3. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    Well ... now that's one comment that certainly rose to the occasion. :whistle:
     
  4. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    And the blaze orange color suits them well.
     
  5. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    Looking from the blast furnace high line, it looks like Bee Steel finally erected the roof trusses and truss supports for the rolling mill this week. I see the crane company has already been there too and installed the crane rails ... ;)

    2021-05-21 rolling mill .jpg

    I plan to finish this puppy over the weekend. Here's a closer look ...

    2021-05-21 rolling mill 2 .jpg

    Following their blast furnace and electric furnace modeling script for N Scale, Walthers provided the crane rails ... but no crane. :mad: And while I was able to take advantage of the fact that Walthers' N Scale overhead crane is designed to be used with their electric furnace model, that same crane is too large for their blast furnace and rolling mill models. So like the blast furnace, I had to scratch-build a crane for the rolling mill. Here is the rolling mill crane:

    2021-05-21 rolling mill crane .jpg

    The crane will feature two pulley systems with: 1) pincers to move billets and transfer ingots between the ingot cars, the soaking pits and the rolling table; and 2) a hook for loading and unloading coils and slabs.

    For this crane, I simply used a combination of styrene sheets, and strips, and some left over parts from the extra KenRay rolling table kits I purchased.

    This weekend I'll be painting the crane, attaching the pulleys, placing the crane on top of the rails, and putting up the walls and roof in between commercials during the PGA championship. :)
     
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  6. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    After two long weeks from start to finish, the rolling mill is finally completed. :)

    Before I move on to the last building (the Blower House) before the initial mill property rail segment is laid down, I thought I would share some final shots of the project, starting with two views of rolling mill's approximate location relative to the blast furnace:

    2021-05-23 rolling mill from afar.jpg
    2021-05-23 rolling mill from afar 2.jpg

    Here are a couple more shots, starting with a slightly inward view of the last shot. The addition of the mill workers were essential for conveying the sheer size of the mill -- especially the coils, slabs and rolling table! If you look closely, in the first shot you can see one guy on top of the stand, overseeing the movement of an ingot from the soaking pit to the rolling table.

    2021-05-23 rolling mill inside 2.jpg

    2021-05-23 rolling mill inside.jpg

    Finally, here are a couple of more shots that give a better view of the exterior ...

    2021-05-23 rolling mill exterior.jpg
    2021-05-23 rolling mill exterior 2.jpg


    I really like how the Bee Steel sign came out. I grabbed some 1/48 scale waterslide decals in USAF font from E-bay. I like the look so much, I am going to add the same sign to the Electric Mill -- although that little project is going to be difficult because the walls are already up. If only I had thought of the sign before I finished it. :( I added the rolling mill Bee Steel sign before the side panels were attached, and it still was a painstaking job (at least it was for me!) that took about 3 hours to complete. So I'm worried it may be far beyond my modeling skills to apply the decals directly to the already completed Electric Furnace wall. I don't want to turn the building on its side because it has no floor for support. Anyway ... I'll give it a go, and if I can't pull it off then I'll probably nix the idea!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  7. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    WOW!

    I usually can't finish spitting on my hands in two weeks.

    That is completely amazing; job well done!

    I might add a little grime on the floor, to match the walls, but wow, just wow!
     
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  8. Shortround

    Shortround Permanently dispatched

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    The workers should be a bit grimy as well.
     
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  9. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow, you really outdid yourself on this one. Andy got to it before I did... :D My only criticism is the hoist ropes should be taut with a load on them, but that's such a nitpicky minor issue. :p I love the view from the high line, and the wonky handrails really complete the feel of a heavily-abused steel mill facility.(y)(y)
     
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  10. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions! Hemi, I really tried to get those hoist chains taut, but the wire I used to represent them just had a mind of its own. :confused: It was like whack-a-mole! Straighten the left side and the right side got tweeked ... then retweek the right and the left side moved! :rolleyes: I am going to get in there with the tweezers and try to make the hoist chains tauter if I can! :)

    So after I finished watching Phil Mickelson put those young whippersnappers to shame at the PGA Championship today I went back into the train room and noticed I forgot to add the smoke stacks that I had poached from the Walthers HO Reversing Mill Stand kit. Even though they were HO scale, I used the stacks as they came in the kit; no need to shorten them for N scale. Here is one last pic with the stacks up:

    2021-05-23 rolling mill from afar 3.jpg
     
  11. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have never done it myself, but brass rod might work instead of wire. Drill the anchor points with a corresponding bit, cut to equal length, insert and secure with CA and they always stay straight.
     
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  12. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    Very clever idea, Hemi! I have a couple of cranes left to build for the mill ... I may just have to try that.
     
  13. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Very nicely done! It’s an inspiration.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you, SD. I have to admit, I'm enjoying building up these models a lot more than I expected. :) But I'm starting to get antsy for laying some rail down! One more building to go ...
     
  15. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    Although I have to finish up some additional weathering I thought I'd share some pics of the nearly completed engine blower house, which I had to scratch build since Walthers only produced this building in HO. :( As I mentioned before, I'm still learning the ins and outs of scratch building; this one isn't perfect but I'm still pleased with the results ... as long as I don't spend a lot of time staring at all of the flaws in my, er, craftsmanship. :ROFLMAO:

    For this model I used:
    • 0.1" styrene for the base
    • 0.04" styrene with v-grooves for the walls and roof
    • Grandt Line windows (both HO and N scale)
    • Plastruct railing and stairs
    • Freight doors from Pikestuff
    • Four vents that were left over from my N scale Walthers Rolling Mill
    For the doors, I bought some paper sheets with hundreds of various N scale doors and windows; I cut the ones I wanted out and pasted them to some 0.01" styrene; I think they worked really well. That being said, I did not like the look of the paper windows ... just not convincing enough, which is why I used the three-dimensional variety from Grandt Line.

    Here's a quick tour of the blower house, starting at a look from the blast furnace high line and hoist house, and then working toward the rolling mill:

    2021-06-01 blower house .jpg
    2021-06-01 blower house 1.jpg
    2021-06-01 blower house 2.jpg
    2021-06-01 blower house 3.jpg
    2021-06-01 blower house 4.jpg

    I'm going to load up the empty loading area outside of freight door #2. It's just begging for lots of crates and maybe an oil drum or two!

    So with that finished, the next phase of the project begins: adding the first stretch of track that runs between the electric furnace, blast furnace, rolling mill and blower house. I'm not sure why, but I am slightly anxious about this ... I feel like the track work is finally THE BIG SHOW! I can live with modeling flaws -- but the track ... not so much. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  16. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Well, if you pay the same attention to detail with the track as you do with your models, I'm quite sure the former will work out just fine!
     
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  17. astrotrain

    astrotrain TrainBoard Member

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    Love your buildings so far. But man you and I are so different which is not a complaint. But soon as I get my bench work up I have to lay some track and run a train if only for a few feet. But I love your skill ' your buildings look great. I will be following also. I am getting ready to start my 7th layout soon. I had a whole room for trains then finally took it down for a large slot track for a few years. But I came up with a plan to have both. Thanks
     
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  18. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    I hear ya, Astro. I am eager to get my trains running. The only reason I didn't start laying the track straight away is my track plan is pretty tight in the steel mill property I am modeling and I needed to have these initial structures built to make sure my plan was going to work.
     
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  19. Shortround

    Shortround Permanently dispatched

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    That sounds like a really good idea. The buildings were probably there before the tracks anyway.
    Besides 'construction' can be a lot of fun as well.
     
  20. astrotrain

    astrotrain TrainBoard Member

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    I hear you. I have yet to decide on my industries for my new layout. I have boxes and boxes of structures from my last layout. I know I want a Chemical plant and coal since tank and coal or gravel cars are my favorite. Thanks
     

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