Monday, June 27, 2011


No, not Wesley, COAL crusher, for the coke ovens. When the coal first arrives at the plant, it is dumped through grates into bins, then moved by conveyor to the crusher. There it is reduced to the optimal size for turning into coke. The model I have is from the original Walthers' Coke Oven kit  released in the late '90s. It is an imposing size, but lacks character and detail. This is what I have done the last two days to glam it up.

The first thing I did was add a foundation under it. I used four-course strips cut from a piece of Pikestuff  Concrete Block Walls.  Let me take a moment to say something nice about Pikestuff. If you model or scratchbuild in styrene, and have not used any products by Pikestuff (or Rix), you owe it to yourself to check them out. With crisp castings and fine detail, no warping, and almost no flash, it's a joy to use. Now, back to our program. I just used the base portion of the crusher to determine the dimensions of the foundation. The crusher has a roll-up garage door, which now would need a ramp to access, so I included two retaining walls to contain the ramp.

The glue-up of the foundation. Who'd a thought something as simple as metal blocks would be so useful, but I wonder how I lived all these years without them. The 'L' shaped ones are Machinist's Bocks. All surfaces are at 90° to each adjoining face, and all are dead-flat. The ones with the holes are 1-2-3 Blocks, so called because they are 1" x 2" x 3." All of their surfaces are also 90° to each other, allowing you to square-up your project, while the weight of them holds the parts together while glueing. Here, the small block is holding the center retaining wall hard against the front wall, which is anchored by the large block. Notice the shim between the two pieces that make up each retaining wall, to beef them up.

I thought the crusher needed more than the roll-up door to gain entry, so I cut out a section of wall and added this door.

When I measured the foundation strips, I left the right side long enough to include a concrete walkway under the door, which I made from .030 stock. Square stock at the ends of the retaining walls represent concrete pillars. The two triangular pieces are there to support the sides of the ramp.

The ramp is in, as well as .030 x .125 strip to cap the tops of the retaining walls. A little Squadron green putty fills the joint between the walkway and the ramp nicely. Steps made from Central Valley stairs complete the scene...... for now.

Walthers' kits have a good fit overall, but even when assembled properly, the roof-lines have an unsightly gap. I covered it here with a ridge cap made frome  some thin .010 x .125 styrene. From now on, all roof-lines will meet with  mitered edges or have ridge caps.

The crusher re-assembled. I added an exhaust fan to the side (And tell me why you think it needs to be relocated.). I think the building still needs some things, notably stairways, but those will have to wait  until I determine the conveyor layout.

That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed it, and I welcome any comments. Don

1 comment:

  1. Wholly Cr#p Don!!!!
    I really can't get over you modeling skills. Not to sound like a kiss-up, but you really do inspire me. I'm in the process of building a Logistics warehouse for my layout (read: collecting parts). The buildings are going to be ground level, so the truck loading docks are below grade, and now I have an idea on how to build my ramp. Thanks!
    Keep up the amazing work,