Scratch built blast furnaces

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Ralph, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hi all,

    I made this pair of blast furnaces for my HO scale layout based on pictures posted on Spitfire's website:
    ( ) and from some pics of steel mills in model train magazines. The towers are Suave brand shampoo bottles and the furnaces were made from parts I found in the gutter and downspout department of my local hardware store. I spray painted everything a dark grey and then weathered the assembly with artist's chalks. I didn't like the way it first came out so I tried to wipe it off with a dry cloth. This seemed to "burnish" the chalk and created a metalic look I'm very happy with. The safety railings are HO scale ladders turned sideways. This makes them look smaller and farther away than the commercial safety rails I was going to use; increasing the illusion of a larger blast furnace. I might place N scale workers up there.
    I've placed the blast furnace in the back of the layout near the backdrop to suggest that most of the steel industry is behind the furnaces and not visible. This way I don't have to model the entire "works" which would overwhelm that section of the layout. I will add a structure or two closer to the front that can receive rail traffic; a rolling mill perhaps....

    Attached Files:

  2. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Nice piece of work Ralph. Looks believable.
  3. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Dynamite Ralph! :cool:
  4. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    It looks simply AWSOME!! excellent job Ralph. :cool:

  5. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    Nice job. Really looks great.
  6. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Ralph,
    I like it!! Ingenious use of materials, and quite realistic!
  7. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    A very nice model Ralph. A real asset to your railroad. A great finish on it so will have to try the way you did it on my next project.
  8. jmarksbery

    jmarksbery Active Member

    Great Work

    That is one fine job Ralph, I like it all, as I model in 'N' scale I was wondering if Suave makes smaller bottles of shampoo, like the travel kind, so I can model one too!! :D :rolleyes: :rolleyes: hehe
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Very nice indeed! Immagine what it might cost to make it from a kit and probably take as long to get it lookin good.

    J, if you really need some smaller cylinders, look at the PVC pipe, you can get about any size and it's cheap and easy to work with. And you won't have to do like Ralph, "Hon, your hair still smells funny, better go wash it again. Ooops, didn't mean to blast you in the head with the orange spray paint, better go wash that out neeeow! Um, it's still got an orange tint dear..." :D :D :D
  10. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Thanks everyone. When it comes to modeling I like to do it on the cheap. I'm a great admirer of those Walthers steel mill kits but the price is prohibitive and I have to confess to being an impatient and unskilled kit builder. I feel more confident messing around with a $3.00 shampoo bottle than an important part of a $250 kit. Besides, its a kick for me to tell people what some of my structures are made from. I've been saving those shampoo bottles for awhile because they had a good industrial look to them. Fortunately I didn't have to resort to the scenario Jon suggested! My wife's a trooper though and probably would have washed her hair a few times a day for the cause. Then she'd look at me and ask, "Why didn't we just pour the shampoo into another container! " Pretty par for the course of us! :D

    By the way, any one have any inspirations for a name for a Northeast region steel mill? I'm having trouble coming up with a good one.
  11. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    hey ralph how about the US steel fairless hills plant the penn central used to service it here:D :D :D rich
  12. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Hi Ralph, how 'bout 'BuRRRRR' city steel.:D :rolleyes:

    What about simply Northeast Steel corp.

  13. gerbs4me

    gerbs4me Member

    you did a great job
  14. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Great job, Ralph!
    The forced perspective sounds like a neat idea!
    Would love to see some more pics!
  15. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Thanks Charlie. Here's another shot of it. I should have taken more pics but I spent the roll on other things on the layout that I'll post later. I have GOT to get a digital camera! I'll shoot some more pics after I build the other mill structures I want to add.

    Rich: You got me curious so I looked up Fairless Hills on the internet and discovered it was closed last year! Too bad. I may use the US Steel logo and designate my mill as part of that company with a ficticious location name. I do like the sound of Northeast Steel though.


    Attached Files:

  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah


    Ralph: Up here we have Dominion Steel, so a Pennsy firm might be Commonwealth Steel. You could even abbreviate it to Costco. :D
  17. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Sure look dramatic with that back lighting Ralph
  18. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Ralph - that it so well done! Thought I'd already posted, but better late than never. BTW you're first up on the Urban Scene December gallery page. Excellent modelling!

    :D Val
  19. Railery

    Railery Member

    Nice modeling Ralph. The color looks great :) U don't have to have a prefab kit to have a great looking model. Those plastic shampoo bottles come in handy for making a variety of models, just to name a couple more; grain elevator towers and oil refinery tanks. i also like to use cereal and chip boxes for mock ups :)
  20. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Nice work Ralph. Excellent use of plastic bottles. I don't have to worry about having better half emptying them, I just walk out the employees entrance with a few.

Share This Page