Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Continuing my development of Rosboro Lumber in Springfield, I turned to two structure complexes geographically west of the main loading sheds.  Along the tracks, the first of these features multiple roof peaks.  Looking at the satellite view, I see the distinct shape of a mill building surrounded by the multi-peak shed along the tracks and other sheds around it.  Further west is a pair of bow-roof structures. 

Rosboro Lumber looking geographic west from the large loading sheds.  A multi-peaked roof warehouse or loading shed is in the center while a pair of bow-roofed structures loom in the background, further along the track.

Both of these structure complexes on the western side of the Rosboro Lumber facility lend themselves to simple modeling with foam-core construction overlaid by printed cardstock texture.  My previous post on the large bow-roof loading shed describes my construction technique.  That post also contains a link to the first post of this series. https://espeecascades.blogspot.com/2020/04/industrial-development-4-rosboro-lumber_30.html  

The multi-peaked roof structure needed to fit within the start of the curve that forms the turn-back loop at the end of my Springfield peninsula.  Although the curvature was not great where I needed to place this structure, it still presented a challenge.  I needed to break the front wall along the track mid-way to take up a slightly different face angle.  That posed the challenge of what to do with the roof peaks and valleys.  After experimenting with a couple of layouts, I selected keeping the roof peaks and valleys parallel and adjusting for the two different face angles by trimming the roof ends appropriately.

Laying out the multi-peak roof structure and mill building.  At this point, I have the trackside multi-peak structure laid out and the main mill building behind it.  A side shed is plotted on the geographic east end facing the main loading sheds.  The satellite view was a big help in laying out this complex.

Mocking up and test fitting the main structure walls for the multi-peak roof structure and main mill building.

Laminating the siding to the multi-peak roof building.  End vents were cut into the siding near two of the roof peaks, per my prototype photos. 

As I built up this warehouse and mill complex, I recognized I needed to add more structures around the mill.  Lacking photo coverage on that side of the structure, I had to "guestimate" what they might look like, inspired by the satellite view.

Additional structures surround the central mill building.  The pair of bow-roof structures loom in the background.

The pair of bow-roofed sheds were built the same as my first such shed, although their interiors could be much simpler.  I had very little photo coverage of these sheds, so I took a simple approach to build them fully enclosed.  I did leave the main mill-side doors open on the ends, though.  Although my prototype photos indicate an additional bowing of the roof toward one end, as well as side to side, I chose to keep my models simple with the single main arch of the roof.

Rosboro Lumber looking geographic east.  The bow-roof sheds are in the foreground, followed by the multi-peaked structure and mill building and then the large loading sheds around the curve on my layout.

Multi-peaked roof structure along the main loading spur for Rosboro Lumber Co.

I have lots of detail to add to these structures, but for now the space is filling in nicely.  This end of the Springfield area is no longer bare plywood!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


With formal operating sessions cancelled this Spring I determined I could get some model railroad operating done on my layout by documenting regular operating jobs on my railroad.  First up is a favorite job--the Oakridge Turn.  This job originates at Eugene and runs to Oakridge where it performs much of its work.  After organizing the train for efficient switching, the Turn performs local switching in Oakridge and services the Pope and Talbot lumber mill on the geographic east end of town.  Historically the crew lays off for eight hours rest.  On my railroad this often is simulated by waiting until the next operating session to resume work.  Returning to duty at Oakridge, the Turn job completes switching in Oakridge by serving Standard Oil, which must be switched using mainline authority on the railroad east end of town.  With that authority still in effect, the train begins its return to Eugene via Westfir where it switches Western Lumber with its now-trailing point spurs.  Follow me in pictures as I work the Oakridge Turn.

I have just gone on duty at Eugene.  My train is on the Eugene City Yard Track-2, a common location for made-up local trains.  I am checking the car cards and waybills, acquainting myself with the make-up of the train and already thinking about how I will reorganize it in Oakridge.

With mainline authority to Oakridge, I made a fast run, just squeezing into town against a priority RR-eastbound with auto racks over on the mainline.

The Oakridge Turn rolls into yard track 4.  Oakridge Tracks 3 and 4 are habitually used by the Turn, leaving yard tracks 1 and 2 for use by railroad-west-bounds getting their helpers cut-in.  We see that priority RR-East on the main with its auto racks up front.  A RR-West is on Track 2 and its helper set is on Track 1, waiting to cut ito the middle of that RR-West train..

Our first order of business is to reorganize our train for efficient switching.  I began by building the return portion of the train on Track 3, beginning with a tank car billed to Standard Oil.  Next will be cars in correct order for the two spur tracks at Western Lumber in Westfir.  

I use the Pope and Talbot spurs as a switch lead.  I moved most of the loads on P&T-1 over to P&T-2 to get the most space for my long switch moves between Oakridge Tracks 3 and 4.  

Continuing with my train reorganization, I have created a block of cars for the engine facility (oil and sand) and rock for the maintenance of way troops.  At this point, most of the Pope and Talbot cars are on Track 4.  I am grouping the cars destined for the house track, also.

Gathering the cars for the House Track in correct order, I got Dispatcher authority for use of the mainline block RR-West of town.  I use it to access the House Track.

I pulled the outbound cars from the House Track, setting them over onto Track 3.  Note the 65 feet long mill gondola I pulled from Lane Electric on the end of Track 3.  A fresh 65-ft. gondola and a box car have been spotted on the House Track for Lane Electric as well as a boxcar delivered to the depot.

Returning to the Oakridge Yard, I release my mainline authority back to the Dispatcher.  I then complete setting out the new cars at Pope and Talbot with the wood chip gondolas in back on P&T-2 and flats and boxcars for lumber on P&T-1.  Note the flat cars are on the RR-East end of the spur, closest to Oakridge Yard, per standard instructions conveyed by the freight agent from Pope and Talbot.

Using the cross-overs between Tracks 3 and 4, just beyond my locomotives and cars, I have organized the cars for company service in Oakridge.  The two covered hoppers with sand are on the RR-East end of my locomotives, while the rock hoppers and company oil tank are trailing my power.

Working the switching puzzle at the RR-East end of town, I have successfully delivered the company oil tank and rock hoppers.  As an alternative, I might have used the wye to work around to this end of town.  The engine house foreman was friendly today, so I used the engine terminal run-through to get to this end of town.

Completing the switching puzzle at the RR-East end of town, I have delivered the pair of sand covered hoppers, pulled the empty covered hopper and an empty company oil car.  I am collecting the empty company service cars prior to placing them in my train.

Completing the work in Oakridge, I am placing my locomotives on the RR-East end for the run back to Eugene.  With the train made up for its RR-East return, the crew goes off-duty for their eight-hour rest.  Upon return to duty (usually in the next operating session) the Oakridge Turn starts RR-East with mainline authority.  The first item of business is switching the Standard Oil spur which is the left-most track seen here.  Mainline authority is needed for this set of moves, so this activity is usually lumped with the mainline authority to Westfir.

Having switched Standard Oil (note the two tank cars) I am now serving Western Lumber at Westfir.  I am pulling the loaded plywood cars and wood chip gondolas from Westfir Track 1 so I can place them ahead of the tank cars for proper train make-up involving tank cars.  The empty tank cars led out of Oakridge for the very short distance to Westfir.  This is deemed safer than the more complicated set of moves needed to place them deeper into the train immediately.  Tunnel 22 is directly at the RR-East end of Oakridge and makes switching at that end of town difficult.

Fresh empty cars are switched back into Westfir Track 1 for wood chip and plywood loading.  Next to be switched will be lumber on Track 2.  Once again, the flat cars will be left on the RR-East end of the lumber loading spur.

With the work completed at Westfir, the Oakridge Turn rolls RR-East, here crossing the Willamette River on its way back into Eugene.

Both the out-bound and returning Oakridge Turn jobs have been highly sought assignments during my crew selection process at the start of an operating session.  Almost all operating sessions have at least one half of the Turn.  Some sessions see both pieces.  The job has challenges.  The out-bound Turn must organize the train for efficient switching. It needs mainline authority to switch the House Track and must otherwise stay out of the way of mainline operations. The returning RR-East-bound Oakridge Turn must switch very efficiently, as it blocks the mainline all the time it is working.  The key to both sets of tasks is the initial train reorganization that needs to be done upon arrival in Oakridge from Eugene.

Thursday, April 30, 2020


As I work on the initial structures for what will be my large Rosboro Lumber Co. mill complex in Springfield, I am becoming ever more aware of just how large this facility is in full size and even in model space.  As noted in my first installment on Rosboro Lumber (https://espeecascades.blogspot.com/2020/04/industrial-development-4-rosboro-lumber.html) the prototype facility occupies considerable space along the tracks at Springfield.  That also is true of my model, albeit selectively compressed.  

My first structures are what I identify as the primary lumber loading sheds, composed of a large bow-roof structure, a narrow shed over the loading track beside it, and another long clerestory roof shed that also spans the loading spur track.  My models are significantly shorter than the prototype and must fit within a curve formed by the turn-back loop at the end of the Springfield peninsula.  As such, considerable compromise was necessary in the design and construction of these pieces.

East end of Rosboro Lumber with large bow-roof shed and the narrow loading shed alongside it that spans the Rosboro spur.

I began with the bow-roof structure, shortening it considerably.  I used foam-core board for the primary structure to which I laminated aged wood siding from Clever Models Texture Collection Volume One (http://clevermodels.squarespace.com/catalog-pg-25x/).  To get close to twelve-inch wide planks, I used the S-scale eight-inch plank weathered wood siding texture.  This Clever Models texture collection repeats the textures in four scales (N, HO, S and O).  This was quite handy for this project.  I laminated this texture inside and out, with the inside going up around thirty scale feet and leaving the upper wall areas clear to mount wall bracing and roof formers.  

For the bow-roof forming, I needed a circle template of considerable size.  After experimenting with various shapes around the house, I settled on a pizza pan of roughly 18-inch diameter as a curve former.  I had tried a 24-inch diameter curve, but found it too flat, as seen in the photo below.

Forming the bow roof building end.  The upper curve matches the pizza pan underneath and is the curve selected.  The lower curve was a broader radius and was judged too flat.

Bow-roof building ready for the roof.  Multiple roof contour formers were cut from foam-core board using the same pizza pan as a template.

Staring at photos, I saw several openings in the side of the bow-roof building beginning with a long opening alongside the track.  I could see and roughly scale the door opening in the east end and could see openings through the structure on the far (north) wall.  I lined the foam-core for these openings with painted strips of .020 x 0.188-inch styrene.  

The side shed for the bow-roof building was built using styrene strip.  Roof trusses and posts were cut and formed from 0.125-inch square styrene strip.  I noted two different heights for the roof trusses along the length of this shed.  Closer photo examination revealed the east end of the shed had the trusses resting on top of side beams while the west end of the shed had those trusses built at the same level as their adjoining side beams.  Although I created a drawing for the end profile using photos, I found I needed to move the center post at the end portal to one side to make a wider portal which accounted for my curved spur.  I had to make a similar adjustment to the west end of the clerestory building.  I added vertical board sheeting in places indicated in my photos.  I glue-laminated back-to-back sheets of the same board photo texture used for the bow-roof building.  

The clerestory shed is at the west end of the loading shed complex.  Staring at the Google satellite view of the facility showed another structure connected to this building extending perpendicular to its main axis (away from the track).  I eventually realized this is much like the green chain seen at Western Lumber at Westfir and as modeled in the Walthers sawmill building kit I used there.  This was a late insight in the current building project, but I prepared well for it by creating an opening in the side wall for that added structure.  I will return to this part of the complex later. 

Clerestory building on the west end of the loading shed complex.  The shed over the tracks in the foreground appears to be a relatively recent addition, as photos from the 1970s do not show it.  Instead, a chip loading rack was located a bit further down the second Rosboro spur track spanned by this newer addition.

The clerestory building is very open, although the track side features more of the vertical plank side sheathing partially protecting that side.  An important element is "Rosboro Lumber Co." painted on these planks.  I was able to replicate this by first printing a photo texture sheet and then running this back through my printer to print a separate file that had the stencil-font Rosboro Lumber Co. lettering.

Rosboro Lumber Co. sign painted on the vertical plank partial sheathing alongside the tracks.

The clerestory roof building was built up similarly to the narrow side-shed--lots of roof trusses (twelve large trusses) and posts.  Once again, I sheathed this structure in appropriate spots using laminated photo-texture planking.  Although many of the Rosboro structures, including the clerestory roof loading shed, were painted tan, I chose to model this sheathing with the twelve-inch planking (this time in HO scale) from the Clever Models collection.

Clerestory roof structure assembly.  Angled truss sections were used to help the building fit around the loading spur curve.

Roofing for the sheds was painted white.  This shows both in current pictures and photos from the 1970s.  I cut the straight roof sections from 0.040-inch thick styrene sheet.  One two-feet long sheet was needed for one of the clerestory roof sections.  The bow roof received a mock-up roof from thick cardstock, pending availability of poster board of appropriate thickness.  This was one part of this complex I did not have the right material for and could not obtain in the Spring 2020 shut-down environment.

One other element needed to be addressed.  Although I carefully laid out the structure pieces to fit around my existing spur curve, actual construction showed I needed a bit more room.  After fussing with this for a day or two, I finally simply pulled up the track and re-laid it with more clearance to the adjacent wood chip loading spur.  Sometimes it simply is best to redo.

Curve fit check with the re-laid loading spur.  

Finally, it was time to complete the assembly of the separate pieces of the loading sheds and place them together on location!

East end of the Rosboro Lumber loading complex.

West end of the Rosboro Lumber loading complex.

Rosboro Lumber Co. sign.

It is great to have this major set of structures mostly complete and installed at the end of my Springfield peninsula!

Monday, April 20, 2020


As I fill in the industrial base of Springfield, I have come at last to Rosboro Lumber.  Rosboro has been in business in Springfield since 1940 and is still going strong.  Rosboro occupies a large stretch of land on the north side of the tracks at Springfield and figures in many photos of the area.  

I took a number of photos seven years ago of Rosboro from the south side where a public road parallels the tracks.  This perspective matches operator and viewer perspectives of this area on my railroad.  Fortunately, I could augment these trackside views with an aerial view published in the Springfield Chamber of Commerce book I have used for other industries and a satellite view via Google Earth.  These will help as I develop some of the structures deeper into the facility, including the main saw mill and boiler house.

Main bow-roof loading shed at the east end of the Rosboro facility.

Rosboro loading sheds from the west.  The three stacks of the boiler house poke up from the middle of the facility.

Additional warehouse and loading sheds with another mill structure within its midst. The tall dust/chip blower is on the roof of this additional mill.

On my model railroad, Rosboro occupies a site within the turn-back loop at the end of the Springfield peninsula.  This is a very prominent location, immediately seen upon entry to my layout space.  Unfortunately, this means I must deal with curved tracks where the prototype features long straight tracks.  Fitting within the track curves and typically limited space on a model railroad results in an industry model that is more "inspired by" rather than a direct "model of."

Site for my Rosboro Lumber model.  This prominent location is at the end of the Springfield peninsula on my railroad.

I began my modeling effort with a representation of the long lumber loading sheds which parallel the mainline and span over one of the Rosboro spur tracks.  I was immediately faced with selectively compressing these sheds to something much shorter.  I chose to model three major components:  the large bow-roofed main shed at the geographic east end of the facility, the low covered loading shed over the rail spur alongside that larger building, and the clerestory roof structure at the other (geographic west) end.

I will be using more photo texture from Clever Models computer files.  I purchased their Texture Collection Vol. 1 for this project, using various wood siding textures.  http://clevermodels.squarespace.com/catalog-pg-25x/
I initially contemplated doing a simple foam core mock up, but quickly decided I could fairly easily face such mock-up walls with printed photo texture.  That led to my going directly to the "final" construction.  

Test fit of loading shed elements.  The bow-roof building is nearly complete.  The side loading shed roof trusses are laid out beside it and the larger roof trusses for the clerestory roof building have been assembled into a roof framework. This location test shows that chip gondolas can roll past the extended corner at the bend in the clerestory roof shed.

I will describe construction of the loading sheds further in a subsequent post.  Further posts will cover other elements of the Rosboro Lumber complex as I model them.  Although this post seems "incomplete" to me--I usually post on completed projects or structures--I recognized a need to show what I have been doing during the current challenging at-home time.  Roof trusses take a lot longer to build than I remember...

Saturday, April 4, 2020


Continuing along the track and backdrop at Eugene, I turned to Eugene Planing.  This industry appears in several photos of Eugene near the depot.  It is distinctive with both a bow (curved) roof and shed roof.  One of the photos I used is on Joel Ashcroft's SP Cascades website:
http://spcascades.railfan.net/photos/DILL/264.jpg  The industry appears in a couple of other photos published in the Austin and Dill "SP in Oregon" books.  The side facing the tracks used clapboard siding, painted white.  

Given my model location alongside both the main post in my basement and against the backdrop, I chose to start with a good mock-up.  The mock-up may stay for a while, so I added details including marker pen outlines for the windows facing the tracks.  

Foam-core mock-up of the primary structure placed on paper for further planning of the bow roof for the left half of this structure and its walls.  The right portion of the structure uses a shed roof, as seen in the photo on Joel Ashcroft's site.  

As I built the main structure (the combined bow roof and shed roof), I felt I needed something more against the backdrop.  I consulted Google Earth and easily found today's version of the structure in a satellite view near the depot.  The buildings have been re-purposed, but the distinctive shape is very identifiable.  It appears Eugene Planing had buildings on both sides of Eugene's Third Street.  My space only represents the property on the track side of Third Street.  I employed "Modeler's License" to add more shed-roofed structure directly against the backdrop, conveying the feeling of a larger industry.

Eugene Planing building mock-ups.  The main loading sheds are near the tracks and have their roofs.  The add-on sheds against the backdrop are being tested for fit and artistic feel.

While the main structures were done in foam-core and other card stock for roofs, I chose to model the loading dock and timber gantry crane in styrene, nearly completing them.  The loading dock extends from the bow-roofed structure along the back-drop side of the rail spur and underneath the timber gantry.  I used my "conventional" freight dock construction with an Evergreen V-groove siding deck and styrene strip joists underneath.  There were something like 200 legs individually applied underneath.

Loading dock under construction.

I designed the timber gantry by roughly scaling from the photo.  I drew it up and then adjusted my dimensions.  My first cut was too large when I compared it to photos.  Careful photo study showed the purpose of wood piece that extended up from one corner post.  It was one half of the support for the three electric power wires for the gantry.  I easily modeled this with a bit of styrene strip, a few small holes and some phosphor-bronze wire.  The wire is even the right color!

Timber gantry.  This gantry likely was replaced by fork-lift vehicles sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s.  Right now, I chose to let the era anachronism slide.  I like the gantry.

Eugene Planing looking RR-East, toward the depot on my railroad.

Eugene Planing, ready for service.

Although I have most of the materials to convert the foam-core mock-ups into completed models, I will leave this complex as is for a bit.  I am off to other industry adventures!

Sunday, March 29, 2020


My industry hole-filling continued by turning to Eugene.  Zellerbach Paper Company had a warehouse near downtown Eugene.  Its spur showed up on the 1977 SPINS diagram I have for the area.  With a major corporation name, this facility became a prime candidate for inclusion on my railroad.  Early forms of the facility show up in a couple of steam-era photos with a concrete block structure.  A 1960s-era photo was published in Ed Austin and Tom Dill's The Southern Pacific in Oregon Pictorial, Pacific Fast Mail, 1993.  This shows a large corrugated iron warehouse in addition to the concrete block building.  I based my model on that pair of structures.  

My model location called for thick "flats" up against the backdrop.  The required structures were only two or three inches deep.  The corrugated iron structure was a simple foam-core "block" with texture facing.  I used more Clever Models printed sheet with a corrugated iron image, similar to my National Metallurgical structures in Springfield.  

I cut in roll up doors.  The overall construction was simple.  I added a sign, based on the sign seen in the Jim Paschelke photo in the Austin and Dill book.  A bit of work with PowerPoint produced the desired sign which was printed on 65-lbs cardstock.  Simple styrene strip framing completed the sign which was then mounted on the warehouse.

The older concrete block building was built from sides for a City Classics Carnegie Street Manufacturing Building (195-109).  A quick coat of cream-white paint plus window glazing completed the job.  I will leave to the future whether I add any of the original sign painted on this building.  Only the last part of "Company" would show.

Zellerbach Paper Company ready for business.

Another view of this simple gap-filler.  I will just ignore the thermostat floating in the sky.

Although this was a simple project, it fills quite a length along the backdrop at Eugene.  With appropriate exterior "texture" (the corrugated iron siding from Clever Models) and a sign, this industry is ready for business!

Saturday, March 21, 2020


With terrain base covering almost the entire railroad, it was past time to fill in other scenery holes--industries served on the railroad.  Prompted by a proposed clinic presentation for the now-cancelled NMRA-PNR Convention in Eugene scheduled originally for mid-April, I launched upon developing railroad-served industry in the Eugene and Springfield area.  I began in Springfield with National Metallurgical.

National Metallurgical, later Globe Metallurgical Inc., refined silicon.  Taking advantage of cheap hydro-electric power, the plant began in 1954 with a single furnace.  By 1959, a second furnace was added.  Operating from 1967 as National Metallurgical, a third, more efficient furnace replaced the first two in 1975.  After several corporation changes, the plant was purchased by Globe Metallurgical Inc. in 1993.  The plant is gone today, but it served throughout the years of interest to my modelling.

With the plant gone today, my modelling efforts relied on very sparse information.  I began with the 1977 SPINS diagram for Springfield which identified the spur serving the plant as National Metallurgical.  One of my regular operators, a retired SP railroader, recalled servicing the plant and noted locomotives were not allowed inside the unloading shed.  That tidbit indicated the plant had an unloading shed.  For additional background and possible detail on Springfield industries, I was directed toward a book produced by the Springfield Chamber of Commerce:  Springfield, Between Two Rivers, published in 1999.  This wonderful book on Springfield has many single-page descriptions of Springfield businesses.  The page on Globe Metallurgical Inc. provided the history of the plant and two small photos.  One photo showed operation of one of the furnaces.  The other was 2x3-inch street-side view of the mill complex.  That single photograph combined with my knowledge of industrial processes (admittedly incomplete!) and the report of an unloading shed led to my "imagineering" of the plant for my model.

To model this industry, I chose to go back to an old modelling technique--the use of printed paper surfaces.  I recall building structures as a teen and into my college years using printed brick and cinder block paper glued to cardboard for full structures and scenery "flats" against backdrops.  Today's version of this comes via computer programs and files with photo-realistic "textures."  For this project, I chose the steel buildings collection of .pdf files from Clever Models: http://clevermodels.squarespace.com/catalog-pg-25x/  As .pdf files, this package was very useable on my Apple MacBook.  

Clever Models' Steel Industrial Building collection provides a number of "kits" for various corrugated steel structures as well as "texture" sheets for development of one's own model designs.  When I bought the package, I was looking at one mill building, a moderate-sized structure, but found their large steel mill better suited my needs for the core structure of my silicon refining mill.  Indeed, my final industry design uses pieces from four of the "kits" in the collection.

The core of the plant is a tall mill structure.  I built this by printing the "Big Steel Mill" building pieces on 65-pound cardstock which I cut out and laminated to foam-core poster board.  This was a large structure that had the rough proportions and size I could surmise from that one small photograph in the Springfield book.  The interior of the foam-core structure was braced with balsa strips.  I cut in a large roll-up door (featured in the kit) on the track side of the building--unseen in the book photo.  

The core mill building under construction.  The siding was laminated to foam-core board, braced with balsa wood strips.

The mill building core was flanked by side sheds.  These sheds were larger than the side sheds in the Clever Models kit, so I designed my own using more sheets of the central mill structure sides and ends.  Since these were imagineered, I chose not to build them as heavily as the core building.  I wanted to leave myself freedom to discard one of these structures if I got better information on them or found I needed to modify them as I created the complete industry scene.  This led me to build them without a foam-core interior, but still with significant balsa strip reinforcement.  Following construction advice from Clever Models, I used a lot of gap-filling CA glue for the joints.   I added doors and windows to the side structures with details printed on paper.  This contrasted to the use of cardstock printed and cut-in details on the mill core building.  

The side sheds for the mill building shown under construction.  The printed cardstock walls were built up using balsa wood strip interior framing.

The unloading shed used a Clever Models Car Barn from the Steel Industrial Building collection.  This structure kit was the right size for what I thought would be used.  It is an open structure for which Clever Models provides an interior sheet.  I laminated the interior and exterior walls.  I then added styrene strip framing to overlay the framing of the interior images.  I built both the car barn core and its side shed, cutting holes in the side for the conveyor belt assembly leading to the mill core building.  

Siding pieces for the "Car Barn" used as an unloading shed.

Framing the unloading shed interior.  Styrene strip was attached to the building interior, overlaying the printed framing.

Building the unloading shed.  The shed sides have been formed into the complete structure.  The side-shed is built up as siding laminated onto foam-core board.  Holes have been cut into the siding for the conveyor system.

With the core structures completed, I turned to details.  The Springfield book street-side photo shows an external stair set zig-zagging to a high location on the end of the core building.  Alongside that was a high-mounted bin that received sand from the conveyor belt from the unloading shed.  I used Tichy staircase platform and railing sets (#8208) for the zig-zag stair case.

I must make a brief shout-out to Tichy on this.  I needed a half-dozen of these staircase sets--more than commonly available at my local hobby shop.  Further, I wanted them "now."  I placed an order with Tichy over a weekend.  I had them in my mailbox by Wednesday.  Tichy packed and shipped and the USPS delivered in a half week, crossing the country!  I will continue to obtain parts through my hobby shop when I can, but for a case like this, I will not hesitate to order direct.  Kudos to Tichy Train Group!  https://www.tichytraingroup.com/Home.aspx

I built the staircase up as three sub-assemblies.  Each consisted of two platforms and two staircases with their associated railings.  I was able to handle these subassemblies as I glued them to the end wall of the mill building.  I doubt I could have handled an assembly of all six staircases and platforms as one installation step.  The subassemblies were painted before attaching to the mill building end.  

The exterior staircase for the central mill building was built up over a simple drawing.  I looked at a four-staircase installation (left), but quickly went to the prototype's six-staircase design.  This fit the Tichy parts better.  The end railings for the platforms was the limiting part on the sprue.  Tichy supplies only one per sprue set.

The sand bin was a simple box, mounted to the wall with diagonal braces underneath.  This was simple styrene sheet construction.  The book photo appears to show a small platform with railing on the side of the bin, so I built the bin platform a bit larger and added railings left over from the staircase project.  A quick coat of paint and CA glue for mounting completed the job.  The conveyor was a Walthers 933-3149 conveyor set. 

Street-side view of the completed mill complex.  Unfortunately, all that great detail--the stairs, and conveyor system--appears on what appears to be the back side (away from the aisle) on my railroad.

Final details for this round of construction were a rooftop vent on the core mill building and an exhaust stack.  The rooftop vent was scavenged from the Clever Models small streel mill kit.  I joined two of the vent sides for a longer vent, something easily done with paper construction.  I built the vent around a pair of pieces of balsa strip wood.  The exhaust vent was formed from 5/8-inch dowel.  I needed miter cuts to form a 90-degree bend.  I started with my compound miter saw, but found its saw blade was too rough for the job.  Instead, the protractor guide on my band-saw gave me great control with smooth cuts.  I formed a cap from cardstock and attached it with wire legs.

National Metallurgical seen from the track side and aisle on my railroad.

Another view of the National Metallurgical complex from the track side.  I added a sign high on the building core.  Such a sign would be unlikely for the prototype plant but is useful for my operating crew.  This does away with the folded index card sign that has occupied this space for the past eight years.

Arranging the structure pieces on the layout filled a major hole in my Springfield scene.  It was fun to return to an old-school modeling technique using paper texture on a cardboard interior, albeit with the modern twist of desktop publishing and printing with a computer file.  The folded index card industry name can be retired and a full three-dimensional structure complex has taken its place.  Over time, I will add more detail, but the important gap-filling has been done!