Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Olin-Chlor expansion, part 6

At the rate I'm working on the expansion of Olin-Chlor, this may wind up having quit a few posts in and of itself.

Anyway, I managed to get the the catwalks sprayed tonight using TTX.  It may be hard to see the difference in colors, but the TTX yellow is slightly darker than the molded NEON yellow Walthers used.

With the painting done, now I can move forward with the assembly of this frustrating kit.  I think after I get it built and placed, I'm hoping it's going to give me a clearer idea of how things will line up at Olin-Chlor.  The two key structures will be the building and the refinery kit.  I may still cut the building down in depth a bit.

I think all the piping and the storage tanks should be a breeze by comparison.

Edit: Click here to jump to "A bit of a set back at Olin-Chlor"

Monday, September 15, 2014

Olin-Chlor expansion, part 5

I may be a little late to this party, but I have a new modeling tool!

The Touch N Flow glue applicator!

I've know about these for awhile, but the other day a friend gave me his to use and so far, I gotta say I wish I had this years ago!

Yesterday I started gluing the handrails to the catwalks on the refinery kit.  Last night after getting the Touch N Flow loaded up, I got a few more done, tonight I got the rest of them glued on.  It made it very easy to apply the glue without knocking the little handrails off the catwalks!

If you don't have one, look into getting one.  Their not very expensive, around $8 for the applicator or the entire kit can be had for around $16.

Another thing I learned:  I picked up some MEK [Methyl Ethyl Keytone] from Menards.
I like the Ambroid and Plastistruct liquid glue as well Tenax 7R glue, but hate the price and rumor has it that this stuff might be going away.

MEK is very strong and needs to be used in a well ventilated area and you don't want skin or eye contact either.  So be VERY careful and read the instruction first.  Also do a little research on Google about the stuff before using it.

Glues like Ambroid, Plastistruct and Tenax 7R are kind of expensive; $4 to $6 for a 2 oz bottle.  I picked up a couple of quarts of MEK at Menards for $10 each. That equates to about $0.63 for a 2 oz bottle. I have enough now to last a lifetime. 

Edit: Click here to jump to "Olin-Chlor expansion part 6"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Olin-Chlor expansion, part 4

Well I got home from my shop around 3pm Saturday afternoon and went directly downstairs.  The first thing I did was to get another one of the small nagging projects finished and off my bench the first thing.

Then I turned back to the North Island Refinery.  After deciding to continue with it, for no other reason than I've gotten this far with it.  I decided on a color for the main stacks and got them painted a white with a little gray mixed in to change the color so they weren't stark white. Then I painted the burn building [or whatever the hell they call it since the verbiage is non-existent in the instructions] and the piping cage with an Oxide Red then sprayed over that with a Old Silver lightly so it takes on a slightly rusty appearance.  I'll go back later and add more rust to specific areas using oils or acrylics.

Next I started to tackle the catwalks.  I glued some railings on the walks first while they are still attached to the sprues.  This way I have something to hold onto while gluing the railing to them.  

Once that's done, I'll spray them with a duller yellow than what their molded in.  Then when dry I'll snip them off the sprues and glue them to the towers.

The thing I'm not sure about is since everything is painted, I'll have to glue them to the painted surface, but I think the MEK will eat right through the paint and then I can go back and touch them up, if nothing else it'll be a good excuse to add rust to those areas.  I'm hoping that I don't have to scrape the paint off of every area.

If this refinery works and if I cut the building down in depth, I think things should fit a little better.  I might pave the area off with styrene as some have suggested and then build some sort of overhead support to run more piping over the pad to where the tanks are that I have envisioned next to the loading tracks.

Also gonna have to find something to make some good looking tanks.  One thought was to use some crappy old tank cars that I have on hand and turn them upside down so the dome are pointing down.  Then make some racks and set them side by side with piping running across all of them.

This piping is something I have never attempted before, so I'll be flying by the seat of my pants!

Edit: Click here to jump to "Olin-Chlor expansion part 5"

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Olin-Chlor expansion, part 3

I sit here tonight pondering what have I gotten myself into?

Thinking I about had Malvern whipped after getting the Olin-Chlor building all but done.  I found myself  looking at a space that may be too small for what I wanted to do.  While things should fit OK in that space, it's more of a matter of where to fit it.

I had some good suggestions from others;  Less buildings, more parking lot with space for trucks, move the building around, add another track for another tank car unloading spot and go hog wild with piping!

All of which sounds good.  One thing I thought was to do away with the new building altogether and build one of North Island Refinery kits and put that in there in place of the new building and then just have a ton of piping and more storage tanks, both vertical and horizontal. Most of these would lined up against the track that leads to the two tracks by the loading platform.

So I decided I would dig out one of the kits and get started........let me tell you, either I'm getting old, been away from kit building for too long or the Walthers kits have gone down hill, in regards to the instructions!

If you have never seen this set of instructions,  it is absolutely void of any verbiage what so ever.
They show the parts, show where they go, but nowhere does it tell you which part needs to go together first or in what order!  One thing that really gets under my skin is to have to do something over, especially if it isn't a particularly fun job.

Now I've built quit a few model kits in my days, including several Walthers and DPM kits and those were a breeze compared to the this refinery kit.

I got burner box done first, but not before having to dismantle it so I could get the stack inserted.  The entire piping jungle wasn't as bad, but again there was nothing stating which piece you should start with, but I got it done.  Tonight I got started on the larger towers,  but before long I gave up on it and decided to get some locomotives finished up and back together for a friend and forgo the kit for a second night.

LOL, I had planned early on to build both kits and use them for Olin-Chlor thinking all that piping would look stellar!  Well as I'm writing this post, I'm beginning to think there has to be another option if I want some kind of towers like what's in the Walthers kits?

I don't know maybe I'm getting burned out and just want to get some actual scenery started so I don't have to look at the brown ceiling tile any longer.  I've got a static grass machine that I'm dying to use as well as a bridge scene between Calion and El Dorado that I've been dreaming of, but hate to get it started and lay another iron in the fire?

Then again, maybe I'll just open a bottle of the MEK and leave it open while I work away and before long the towers will be done, not sure how well done, but done.

Edit: Click here to jump to "Olin-Chlor expansion part 4"

Friday, September 5, 2014

Olin-Chlor expansion, part 2

The last time I was in Malvern to check up on things and seen that the Olin-Chlor expansion project had got started was last January!  It sure doesn't seem that long ago?
Spring came and went and before I knew it, summer was upon us.  In June I managed a trip up to Little Rock and got lucky enough to see the SP and Rio Grande power sitting on the house tracks, unfortunately I never did seen any of that power roll through on any south bounds.  Maybe they got put on a different train and headed back to the high country, which would be my luck.  But there is always hope, so I will definitely keep the camera and scanner close at hand.

This past summer has been exceptionally busy for me for some reason or another and my rail-fanning trips have been few and far between.  Now that summer is winding down and the weather is starting to cool off, I decided it was time to head north again and see what's been happening along the rails and see what's up in Malvern.  Maybe they got some more ALCo's or maybe they got around to painting some of them?

Unfortunately I didn't see Homer at the W&OV shops this time so I wasn't able to take him up on that offer for that up close and personal inspection of some of their newer ALCo's that he offered me back in May.  So I just snooped around the shops a bit but all of the W&OV power was gone.  I figured the Razorback must on the road somewhere and the local switcher being gone, made me suspect they needed some extra power or it was elsewhere getting some work done.

Getting skunked at Malvern with nothing to shoot I decided to head past the Olin-Chlor plant to see how they were coming along with the expansion project.


A link back to "Olin-Chlor expansion part 1"

The last update was back in January!  Where has the summer gone!
I had planned to spend most of the hot summer days in the basement working on this building and Malvern, but as I often do I got sidetracked.

In April I planned for an ops session so I got that ready and and out of the way, then shortly afterwards KATO announced their new F2's in the Red and Black scheme.  Not being able to pass them up I ordered a pair.  With them on their way I decided it would be cool to have them run with my Intermountain FT's so I got them chipped and readied.  That lead into a frenzy of chipping a bunch of my other Red and Black units along with some of the older Maroon units so I could run another session with older power for something different, which we did in August.  Time flies when your having fun.

Along with all that I had several smaller projects that were cluttering up my bench that I wanted to clear up before getting back to Malvern.  One thing I hate is having too many Irons in the fire, because then I go downstairs and and just stare at the workbench trying to decide which project I should do next?  Maybe it's just OCD?

So after getting all the smaller projects cleaned up and my supply of chips exhausted, and the skirting hung, I could feel the yearning of building coming on again.  Last night I cleared off the bench and gathered stuff up to work on the Olin-Chlor building once again.

The last time I worked on it I had gotten the "For Sale" sign cut up and attached to the main building.  The next step was to get the Ribs cut and glued in place.  I also decided to add a rim around the top edge to make a clean line, it's not the way that the prototype was made, but it would give me a nice break line and someway to cleanly finish off the tarred roof.

I pulled out my modelers license and spaced my ribs a bit farther apart than the prototype, I did this so that the overhead doors would fit between the ribs.  I also thought with more ribs, it might look like there were too many?   With this done, I positioned the loading dock and lightly tacked the doors in place so I could to prep everything for the painting.

I then removed the doors and loading dock and pulled out the airbrush and loaded it with Floquil Concrete.  I painted the doors and window with Floquil SP Dark Lark gray and the two truck bumpers with Accuflex Weathered Black.  After things was dry I glued them all into place.  Again, for the roof I used 320 grit Wet/Dry sand paper glued it down using the same spray adhesive I used to glue the sides to the wood building.

Next I need to seal the building with a flat finish and then dig through my stash of LEGOs to make a few rooftop details (gotta love LEGO's), add a sign and then weather it, but this will come a little bit later.  Right now I'm just trying to get the main building done so I have an idea of where I can position it before planting the grass and laying out the parking lot.  I still need to get the two cooling towers assembled as well.

Baby steps...

Edit: Click here to jump to "Olin-Chlor expansion part 3"

Monday, September 1, 2014

How to hide clutter.

Thanks to a long holiday weekend and the talented help of my mother [who knows how to sew], I finally finished a nagging project that I've put off for over a year now.  I got all excited about it after I got the shelving installed under the layout, then got sidetracked.

The Skirting!

I had tons of skirting left over from our old Bend Track modules that were sitting in a box just begging to be hung again.

Once I figured out how I wanted to attach them to backside of the fascia, I started out trying to fit all the random sized skirts.  I started using ones that would fit the outside corners, then I used both long an short pieces and tried to fit them between the corners without having to cut any and then have mother re-sew them.  I got quit a few of them to work out quite nicely but of course, there were about 3 that I had to measure, cut in half and then have mother sew a new hem on one end.

Now, they don't hang very even in most places, but at least they cover all the junk I have stored on the shelves, which was the main goal here. 

Another thing I've learned is that trying to photograph black skirting with a bright light above them and a bright blue backdrop with gray ceiling tile in front,  just doesn't work very well.  Believe it or not the skirting is all black, but even after photo shopping them and getting them to look halfway close, after uploading them to Picasa, the colors changed a bit.  Some almost look blue!

Looking towards Winnfield on the left and the 
main yard on the right.

Dubach on the left and Ruston on the right.

South end of Dubach.

El Dorado.

Looking towards Calion.  
(Yep, that is actually black!)

Looking towards Haskell, with a bit of 
Malvern on the left and Fordyce on the left.

Well at least it's done and now I can move onto other things.  Maybe I should start working on the buildings at Malvern again?  
I've heard the sounds of construction recently?  I think I'll make a trip down there and see what's up.