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Republic Steel

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2 years 5 months ago #18122 by kevsmith
Republic Steel was created by kevsmith
After I had displayed Shasta in its long form at Macclesfield show next priority was to get 'Fargo' done for the Cleckheaton show in Yorkshire. I had promised Chris the show organiser, that the layout would be Northern Pacific, set in the late 50-60s and based roughly on Stampede Pass. But I got rather side tracked! Sat in the loft was the Marklin Blast Furnace kit I had assembled a couple of years ago intended to go onto a new module for Cuyahoga, my Nickel Plate Road layout. The result was I started a new small module just 4 ft 8 inch by 2 ft, self contained but with the option to connect it to other modules later on. Now the Blast Furnace is big, really big like the real thing, so i had to do a bit of juggling around on the bare board to work out where the best place to put it was.



The main criteria was to get the 'Highline' the elevated tracks at the rear of the furnace, to line up with the similar track on Cuyahoga and also my intention was to use as much Marklin sectional track as possible. I'm always getting asked at shows whether it is worth using rather than flexible so I wanted to illustrate what you can do. I also had a lot sitting in a drawer!

Baseboard was conventional timber frame with 6mm MDF top. Pre-sprayed with a mix of red oxide and black as a base colour. the casting house tracks were positioned and the big open hearth furnace building at the rear which was to hide the fiddle yard also positioned to work out how to cram everything into a small space



Now the Marklin kit, while nicely moulded is a bit basic and does not include any of the ancilliary structures you would normally find. with the open hearth furnace coming on I had done the basic shell for the blower house.



With the open hearth furnace removed the hoist house and super deatiled an extended Highline were worked on



More soon
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2 years 5 months ago #18123 by kevsmith
Replied by kevsmith on topic Republic Steel
This is the trackplan finally decided on.



Rapid progress followed and by working on it every spare hour I had I was able to get it to a reasonable state to appear at the show, The ore yard and crane, finished products yard and crane and other buildings were at leat there if not fully finished







The layout ran well with only a few glitches (high bits of ballast mainly) and I ran it both DCC and DC over the course of the show

Tomorrow I'll continue this thread with the extensive detailing done since the show and also look at some of the rolling stock.
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2 years 5 months ago #18124 by kevsmith
Replied by kevsmith on topic Republic Steel
As I said the basic Marklin kit simplifies the furnace down so I started with the hot blast stoves, stack and gas washer area. This is a separate assembly with added platforms, steps and lighting. It is designed to bolt down to the basebord with 8BA bolts so it can be removed if required



The top of the tower benefits from a lot of added detail.
more platforms and steps. a trolley crane on the outriggers and aircraft warning light. I also installed a high intensity red LED in the top of the stack pointing upwards.



At the base of the tower I drilled out the tapping holes and filled the holes with Krystal Kleer liquid glazing to create lenses Once set I installed a bank of flickering LEDS (red and yellow) inside to create the glow of the slag and molten iron. An inspection platform above the tuyere ring with access steps and then started to add the skimmer gates to the teeming channels. The casting house floor has an assortment of large steel plates lying around to cover these channels up and these were made from plasticard.



The kit has the crane runner rails included but no crane so one was scratchbuilt and the rest of the casting house floor detailed. The tapping drill, seen in red, was also added. More LED lighting was installed and again this section bolts down to the baseboard.



More in a min
Kev
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2 years 5 months ago #18125 by kevsmith
Replied by kevsmith on topic Republic Steel
With both sections installed and some extra roof panels fitted it now looks the part.



Around the back the ore yard served by the Highline was constructed with silos for the Limestone Coke and iron ore. An ore yard crane was scratchbuilt and the Hoist house and conveyor installed.



again, all these are attached with 8BA bolts so they are removable.

The scrap pile need to be a lot bigger. Most of the contents of the gondolas and scrap pile are from a box in my loft where every spare bit of every plastic kit I have ever constructed was kept! Usually indeterminate shapes from cars, tanks, boats etc when painted rusty and thrown on the pile they blend right in. Being a Yorkshireman I was brought up to not throw anything away! The power house need the high voltage lines adding at some stage. In the background you can see the additional piping and exterior lighting now added to the open hearth furnace.



Additional piping comes from the furnace to the Cooling towers at the back passing under the highline


more soon
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2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #18126 by kevsmith
Replied by kevsmith on topic Republic Steel
Now. One of the lovely things about Blast Furnaces is they look pretty much the same the world over 'Form follows Function' as they say. So Republic Steel can have three guises.
Firstly USA in the 1990s, area indeterminate but running U.P, BNSF, CP and anything else I fancy. Secondly USA in the late fifties ,early sixties and set on the Nickel Plate Road in Cleveland Ohio in which set up it will be connected to Cuyahoga and thirdly as a British layout in the 1990s with a view long term to have it as a module on my new British layout 'Tapton junction' when I get started on it. So..take off the American cars and put European ones on. The trains run on the left hand side of the road and in this shot you can see the finished product yard and crane with a Class 66 and a Class 47 passing. The pipe bridge makes it look less obvious that all the lines go into the open hearth building



In 'Nickel Plate' configuration an AZL Mikado couples up to a freight as a Marklin Pacific passes with Train 6



Still on the Nickel Plate a pair of Western Maryland F units pass a 'Torpedo boat' GP9 switching the ladle cars



Now the most exciting thing for me was the opportunity to animate the layout with lights, smoke and sound. Steel mills are dirty, smoky smelly and noisy so I've been experimenting with smoke generators. The early first tests are seen in the video I put on youtube recently and are starting to show some promise



I'll go into detail on some of the stock tomorrow

Kev
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2 years 4 months ago #18135 by kevsmith
Replied by kevsmith on topic Republic Steel
Steel Mill rolling stock tends to be fairly specialised.

Key items are the freight cars used to remove the molten metal and slag from the blast furnace on a regular basis. Marklin do some ready to run cars but they are European in outline so I have gone to 3D printing. Stonysmith on Shapeways already had an iron ladle car available which I asked him to release as a six pack. I also asked if he could design a shorter dumpier Torpedo car as the Marklin one is far too long for what I needed.

Both products are seen here. You will notice I'm using Marklin style couplers on these as they will get used on the latyout in both British and American format. When switching in American form one of the heavy duty flat wagoons I'm scratchbuilding will act as a translator wagon



One of the new AZL SD70aces is perhaps not the most appropriate loco to be switching the furnace!

The other thing needed was freight cars to feed the furnace. In this early shot of the high line Penzee 3 bay hoppers and Roy Stevens 3d Printed 70 ton iron ore jennies are loaded with iron ore ready to dump onto the conveyor



Coil cars are quite easy now that AZL have brought some out and both southernNscale and Stonysmith do 3D printed ones on shapeways

This is the Stonysmith one




I'll look at British stock next

cheers
Kev
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2 years 4 months ago #18136 by kevsmith
Replied by kevsmith on topic Republic Steel
Europe has a different way of dealing with steel coils to protect them from the weather. Sliding telescopic roofs or retractable tarpaulin covers feature a lot. In this shot we see both types as modelled by Marklin. The KJB Coil hoods need repainting into VTG Blue/grey and the Tarp coils are rebranded as .Railfreight metals.



The U.K steel industry became a haven for lots of ancient main line wagons that went into internal use and while a new fleet of modern air brake wagons went into use these survivors hung on for years.
A class 35 Hymek draws forward with a rake of double bolster wagons separated by runner wagons. The grey colour of the wagons indicates that they are 'unfitted' and require a brake van on the rear of the train. all of these are conversions of Marklin 4 wheel vans.



Not many years ago I wandered around Workington steel works looking at the remaining rolling stock at the south end. Still existing were some single bolster wagons.



Modelling these is easy with the Marklin Lumber car donating the two 4 wheel chassis. Also seen is a scratchbuilt 'Bogie Bolster E'



cheers
Kev
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