News ICE HOUSE - IDEAS? - SEE PICS

Zscaleplanet Mar 11, 2021

  1. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

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    I see Mike Basher has been at it again. Looks like another new offering just popped up on Ebay. Search for "Z Scale Laser Cut "Ice House" Building Kit. And once again, Mike prices his kits at a very respectable price. All the more reason I like to support his efforts whenever I can.

    I am not sure what to make of this building though. Mike explains: "The reason for the name is because I located the blueprints of a refrigeration plant and the main structure looks very similar to this building, hence, the ice house!"

    I do however like the fact that it's has completely different lines than what we normally see offered.
    But I would like to see a loading ramp door and possibly some larger windows offered, even if seperately in order to convert this to maybe a General Mercantile store, or possibly a machine shop???

    This kit has some interesting potential. Maybe I will bust out my low end Ortur Laser cutter that I am experimenting with, and cut a bay door and integrate it into a wall somewhere -- hmmmm....

    Any other ideas?

    Thumbnails below should open for a better view.

    IMG_2168.jpg IMG_2169.jpg IMG_2170.jpg
     
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  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    The Mike Basher kit makes a nice looking farm house, but it's definitely not an ice house.

    An early ice house will not have windows, is usually a 2 story cube, and will have 2 story dormer doors extending all the way to the roof height. The walls were usually a couple feet thick filled with sawdust for insulation.

    The first used Ice Blocks were cut in the winter from a local pond, into huge cubes, then stacked up inside the Ice House for use in the summer. Those Ice houses were huge. Later they had big refrigerator houses where they made ice that they shipped or conveyed to the ice houses. The end of the ice reefer era ice houses were huge brick or cinderblock structures, behind long platforms for icing something like 48 cars at a time.

    Photos are hard to find, however I have Northern Pacific Railroad blueprints for the Ice Houses they built, and they look a lot like this Walthers ice house behind their icing platform:
    ice house.jpg
     
  3. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well noted Robert. Mike does frequent the board on rare occasion, so hopefully he’ll chime in and provide details for the name selection.

    On another note I did order one of these buildings and plan on blowing in one or two bay doors and possibly making a machine shop out of it. Will have to see once I get the kit and what my impressions are.
     
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  4. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    The small prototype ice house I know of, in Sonora CA off for the Sierra Railway was a small building like this connected to the Hales and Symons building. It was technically an ice factory, where ice was produced.

    here is a photo of the ice factory on the right in 1910.
    BF2864E8-6B5E-454B-A886-BD471A93C032.jpeg
    Here is the insurance map showing the ice factory and cold storage area. Also the track layout.
    478010A6-A023-4EBE-92AB-9B12047EEBB8.jpeg

    Here is an image showing a reefer along the back of the ice factory. At this point they have electricity!
    1C8A1BF0-EDE5-4EBD-B818-0018834CB907.jpeg

    Another photo in the 40s that shows the ice factory with a gas pump. Hales and Symons sold everything!
    DAE820B0-249D-4242-A69F-5EC289F1B127.jpeg
    And in the 50s
    D41FD00F-D829-4881-94DB-125068BA67F5.jpeg

    So the laser kit building could serve the purpose as an attachment to a larger freight depot on a branch line where lower volumes of ice are needed.

    The Hales and Symons building still stands today, but only the foundation of the ice factory remains.
    https://goo.gl/maps/UaCn2g3XbzaSNVSu8

    -Matt
     
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  5. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Many small rural eastern US creamerys had small ice houses adjacent to them. These small ice houses did not have the elevated car roof height loading docks. Since the milk cars were ice bunkerless the did not have roof hatches.

    Milk cans were simply placed on the car floor and ice was spread around the cans.

    These ice houses did not have windows.
     
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  6. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice references Matt and excellent historical data. Yeah the building could actually serve some purpose as a connecting building to a lumberyard or something to that affect.

    Viewing the pictures you provided forced me to put a new bullet point on my layout list - “need a lumber yard or lumberyard building”.

    Hmmmm, Basher also sells a small sawmill kit too...
     
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  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    An early ice factory would likely have a siding for big ammonia tanks, and heating oil tanks, as they had to heat the ammonia to it's vapor phase. So there would need to be cooling towers and big fans to blow the heat away. The building would have a decent amount of plumbing too, making for a very interesting lineside industry. For some reason photos of these types of industries are in short supply. I have spent countless hours searching photos such structures.
     
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  8. miata-mike-1

    miata-mike-1 New Member

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    Good morning Lance and all other interested TrainBoard members. First, I would like to thank all of the folks that keep model railroading alive and also those modelers that support us by purchasing our products. The "Ice House" name came about, quite simply, as a way for my son and I to be able to refer to what model kit we were referencing during conversations about kit development. As stated in the eBay description, I had found a very interesting set of blueprints on the internet. The prints had the name Refrigeration Plant. It showed nothing, other than the actual building, no piping, no coolant towers, no evaporation apparatus. Just the "house". The lines/design of the building were intriguing and we thought it would be a nice structure to "kit".
    It has a very generic look about it and, as noted, could fill the rolls of many different small businesses or even a 2 story house. Back to the topic of the name.... We, my son and I, may have 3 or 4 building kits in process at any one time. When we discuss progress on a kit or snags in the development of a kit we normally need to reference a name so we know which kit is being referenced. The "Refrigeration Plant" name was just morphed into "Ice House". I will try to attach a copy of the PDF that we used for inspiration on this design. Once again, thanks to all you folks in both the Z Scale and N Scale communities that purchase and use our kits. We try to make them affordable, as well as easy to assemble. (as easy as Z Scale can be). Sorry for rambling on and on but please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns and I will do my best to get back to you. (PLEASE keep in mind that we are a 2 man operation and that we do this as a self supporting hobby).
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    I have completed the sawmill kit. The ice house would be a perfect addition to it. In the Northeast most of the ice house/cold storage buildings were made of brick and were windowless. The insulation was made of thick layers of cork. There are still several standing in the Boston area. They have been repurposed into storage or rehearsal spaces. Jim
     
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  10. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Miata-mike-1
    Could you upload a larger image so we can read all the info on containedinthe drawing?
    I'm very curious as to the layout of equipment inside.

    Very interesting kit. Looks quite versatile.

    Thanks!
     
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  11. ZOPTIONS

    ZOPTIONS TrainBoard Member

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    ICE HOUSE Miata - Mike -1
    Greetings to all,
    I did not NOR do I want a massive ICE HOUSE service facility with 50 box cars lined up on a siding. No room. Mike does a very good job on researching and prototype identification. If you want a massive facility go to others for that need - they are out there. I purchased this kit for a base, representative of a very small rural ICE selling/service setting. I will 'kit bash' everything else I need to satisfy my mind's eye on the ICE HOUSE facility. see Mikes jpg. Mike's kits do the "heavy lifting" that I need to jump start a building project or setting. We all have the license to change the kits to OUR satisfaction. I, for one, am very supportive of Mike's modeling efforts. Look at 'the graveyard' of 'nowhere to be found' structures and makers, especially Z scale, and you will see the value in Mike's kits. Take his 'Saw Tooth Warehouse' for instance. I asked for it and they built!!!! I now have an excellent base to work with. You will not find another like it that doesn't look European. Ebay is a take it or leave situation. I AM a 'Miata-Mike-1' fan! Keep up the good work Mike! Mac
     
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  12. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    It's true most Ice Houses, Ice plants, and Icing platforms are really large and take up a lot of space on a layout. I myself, prefer the smaller, funky chutes and ladders style structures for their high interest design, but they are far and few between in Z. I tend to put funk and interest in my freelance structures, but lately I have been just trying to make structures that look like photos of real places.
     
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  13. ZOPTIONS

    ZOPTIONS TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Robert, Well said. The 'large facilities' will forever remain on my wish list, but the small ones, prototypical, can be 'packed in' to create visual interest. I gleaned that from DKS (David Smith - Grump Central) writings top ten? tips. I search for real places, bridges, turntables that are 'out of the ordinary' looking. Prototypical BUT not common. FYI -Have you ever had a gander of the railpictures.ca site. Just bumped into it yesterday. WOW! You can search every pic by type, date, taker, etc - Real pics, mostly from transition on. Canadian, but I want the settings, buildings, bridges, backgrounds etc. Some EXCELENT loco pics.
    http://railpictures.ca/ Mac
     
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  14. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

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    This entire discussion encouraged me to look up late 1950’s - early 1960’s railroad ice houses, as my layout will reflect the early 60’s. There’s an excellent video on YouTube called “SANTA FE RAILWAY FRESH FOR HEALTH”. This video has some excellent footage of icing operations during this era, and indeed they were massive at that. Yeah it would be pretty difficult to re-create the structures and the loading mechanisms. It could be done but it would take time and patience.

    ZOPTIONS, yes I agree, Mike’s kits are great baselines and springboards for whatever your mind can dream up. Case in point, I took his “Burton Station” and converted it to Farm & Supply store.
     
  15. ZOPTIONS

    ZOPTIONS TrainBoard Member

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    Exactly how I see it. Mike's offerings are in the eyes of the beholder. One could have purchased a farm supply for double the $$. Instead you made it the base AND your own. I like those odds. Mac
     
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  16. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wasn't there a larger scale "Ice Loading Building and Platform" kit out many years ago? For some reason I recall seeing one, but maybe I am thinking of MTL's cattle auction building kit, or something else.

    I did dig up this pic of an "oldie, but a goodie" -- MTL's Valley Packing kit. You'll note the cooling towers on top. Robert, I think I saw this or a variant of it on your layout ???

    MTL VALLEY PACKING.jpg

    I do have this kit, but have yet to start it. Would be nice if MTL would re-release some of their old kits like this and the CO-OP warehouses, etc. This would give those just entering into Z-scale something to work with.
     
  17. ZOPTIONS

    ZOPTIONS TrainBoard Member

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    GCLASER has the large kit AND walkway. See zscalemonster. Its a beauty and still in stock. Way to big for me. As for MTL, I have discussed with them til I'm blue in the face, their revival of the building series. Went to #2 guy - they are NOT going to do it. Z scale is not their bread and butter - my thoughts - I live 2 hours away. I buy on the bay when they come up. Also, been trying to get the to use existing tooling for non existent transition gondolas NP. They are just not too interested. I had to show them pics of ones they produced back in the day. Disappointing. Working on AZL next 40s&50s. Mac

    Z SCALE MONSTER gcl-5526.jpg
     
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  18. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yes, I produced the Valley Packing kit. I remember after painting that model, It was my favorite, followed by the sawmill. I made lots of those cooling towers of various sizes for use on other structures because of the interesting appeal. I keep thinking I am going to update the detail of some of my favorite kits sometime as a limited offering, I just don't want to be in business, as I am really enjoying retirement and spending time with my grandkids.
     
  19. miata-mike-1

    miata-mike-1 New Member

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    I would love to upload a larger, more legible version of this pdf, however, this fuzzy PDF is what we were working with. We kind of pride ourselves on taking an interesting building design or planform and massaging it and making it a unique addition to a model diorama or layout. The only concern that we have during the creation of the files that we develop to create the kits is maintaining the correct size relationships between doors and windows/window spacing and the like. On a fuzzy print like this one, or a picture without measurements we use a "fine scale" ruler and print the drawing and change the size of the print until we get a height of about 6.75 scale feet (that is a standard height of a normal "man door") of the man door on the print out. Once we have the door size correct, it is just a matter of using the "fine scale" ruler measure windows, walls, rooflines etc. Since our model kits do not include interior details we really don't need that information and every model builder is free to craft and interpret the particular use, need, name for the building that they create from our kits. There are no rules that say you HAVE TO build it or use it for any particular purpose or function. Your railroad, your rules.
    Thanks for your time and all of the support from the Z Scale (and N Scale) communities.
    Best regards,
    Mike Basher (Miata-mike-1)
     
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  20. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you, Mike. I have built quite a few of your kits and think they are terrific. They provide a starting point for larger ideas. For instance, I did not use the tar paper on the roof of the sawmill. I used simulated corrugated sheets made from aluminum foil. I think the ice house would be a nice addition to the sawmill as an office or warehouse. It does not need to be an ice house. It can just be a nice house. Keep up the good work and keep 'em coming. Best. Jim
     
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