I – Introduction
There is little doubt that building large models of heavy industry is one of the fastest growing facets of our hobby. Heavy industries are a natural fit for model railroad enthusiasts. As in the real world, these enterprises go hand-in-hand with railroads, and in fact, could not function without railroads.
With the number of kits devoted to modeling such industries increasing every year, the industrial modeler has never been so fortunate. From oil and chemicals to coal, coke, and steel, to seaports with ships, barges, and boats, today’s modeler of heavy industry has a lot to choose from. Here at SMARTT we have also seen that increased interest in industrial models, as several of our recent projects have included client requests for large industrial facilities. In this article I will discuss how we met that challenge, along with a few fine examples of some of those finished projects.
Above is one of the blast furnaces we’ve built, including the high line on the back side of that mill. The furnace is an extensively kit-bashed version of the Walthers blast furnace, with lots of extra custom super-detailing.
Here is a period harbor facility depicting a time before today’s modern era, geared to handle both general cargo ships as well as ore boats and barges. Behind the ore boat you can see the bridge crane that is used to unload the ore boats, as well as the yard for coal and iron ore. In the distance are the coke ovens.
On a personal note, the ore boat is named after the late Augie Hiscano, the former manager of the train department at Orange Blossom Hobbies. Augie was a lake boat enthusiast, and a dear friend.
In next month’s issue we will take a more in-depth look at the various custom models we built here at SMARTT focusing around the steel industry.
In upcoming issues, we will discuss other industrial models we created here at SMARTT centered on the coal and coke industry, as well as refineries, general manufacturing and warehouse structures.
from the June, 2011 SMARTT Newsletter