Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Benzol Plant

My first official post about the modeling I'm doing.  And it's mostly done. I'm constructing a By-Product Coke Works for the club layout. The space on the layout is about 10' x 30" wide.  And a double track mainline has to pass by on one side or the other. Likely the front side, so that switching and passing trains aren't a problem.  Especially if something derails.  It's not a good idea to have people leaning over super detailed buildings to re-rail a piece of rolling stock.

The works is not based on any one prototype works, but a conglomeration of several.  Namely, Thomas By-Product in Alabama and some freelance using prototype buildings as a basis.  Thomas will be used as the "erecting diagram" to layout all the necessary buildings and piping. Without following the exact footprint.  The space on the layout isn't wide and short, like Thomas.  Rather, long and narrow.  So some creative piping and "packaging" of the buildings is in order.

I chose the Benzol plant to model first.  I could easily start a bunch of the structures at one time, and bounce from one to another as interest leads me. But I find that doesn't make a productive method.  As well as our new house is smaller, and I'm basically modeling at my grandmothers inherited kitchen table.  So I don't have the storage room for several structures to lay dormant while I'll work on one and not the others.  The Benzol plant is one of two of the most complecated of the parts of a By-Product plant.  Compact but litered with piping and walkways.  The other being the Primary Coolers and Tar Precipitators. I won't tackle that one next. But probably before Christmas.

This is one of three structures that comprise the Benzol Plant.  Presumably the tin building is some kind of equipment room / store building. And also serves as the base for two platforms housing the Final Cooler, Vapor to Oil Heat Exchanger, and Light Oil Condensors.  Which are all tied into several tanks and columns. I've got about 50 hours in this so far, and it's just about done. I've actually started painting and weathering the facility.  A good portion of the columns and tanks aren't an exact match for what's at Thomas. The important thing to know about this project is that most of the parts are all kit's, unbuilt, partially built, or just left overs, that have been donated to the club over the years and were just laying around in various boxes.  I decided it would be fun to "scrap bin" engineer as much of both the By-Product plant, and Steel Mill as I could with what was at the club. Only adding Plastruct, Evergreen, Etc. where necessary. I'm an avid kit-basher and scratch builder. So this mindset seemed filled with fun. And it has been.  I'm sure not two of these plants were the same Nationwide.  So deviating from Thomas prototype and still seeming prototypical and to scale is completely possible.

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