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Thread: Walthers Champion Packing Plant

  1. #1

    Default Walthers Champion Packing Plant

    I couldn't decide whether to put this here or in my layout build thread, http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/f...ion-(HO-scale). In the end I decided to put it here, as this may become something of a semi-major project. I will add a note in my build thread directing interested people here.
    The packing plant and icing facility will occupy the left hand side of the industrial area on my layout. In order to get it to fit the space available, the plant will have to be built 'backwards'. This means that the stock pens and loading ramp will have to on the right side of the plant, rather than the left side. Looking at the directions, this seems quite doable. The loading ramp will enter the building on the second floor at the left side of the building.
    The kit is made so that the left front and right rear wall have an insert glued into place, with either a door or window occupying the top of of the insert. I should be able to put the door on the left side of the rear wall and a window in the insert. The loading ramp looks like it should be able to be constructed so that the bottom is to the right rather than to the left. The boiler house and smokestack can remain on the left side of the building.
    This should be a fun build, but it will probably take awhile to complete it. Oh, well. It's a hobby after all, isn't it?
    The first thing I did was to trim down a piece of 1/8" hardboard to cover most of the top of my workbench. I really do not need small pieces falling through the crack, and this way the build surface is flatter as well.


    I read a post on here about Walthers kits shifting production over to China from Denmark, and how the Chinese kits use a different formulation of plastic that's harder and Testors tube glue doesn't work very well on it. Like the plastic is more ABS than styrene. Liquid glue is recommended for the Chinese kits, as well as thorough washing since the Chinese don't do that and the mold release agent is still on the kits. They are shinier and have a filmy feel to them.
    I checked the box of my kit, and happy day it's a Denmark kit!


    I had a partial bottle of Testors liquid cement, but it's getting old and I don't know how potent it still is. I also discovered I still have a second, unopened bottle! I recently purchased a bottle of Plastruct Plastic Weld cement as well. This kit will be the first time I've used it. I have a tube of Testors airplane cement as well. While it gives very solid joints, it tends to spider web as well. I use it mainly for gluing small parts into their holes, using a toothpick as an applicator.


    Opening the box reveals parts in red, black, grey, and tan plastic. There a number of small parts loose in the box, so be careful when opening it! There is an instruction sheet and a sheet of decals with 5 different company names for the plant. Given Nebraska's pioneer heritage (the first homestead in the nation under the Homestead Act of 1862 is about 45 minutes from here https://www.nationalparks.org/explor...nument-america ) I am leaning towards the Pioneer Packing Company name, although there would be a bit of irony for a plant built on flat ground to be the Hilcrest Packing Company!


    The first thing I did was to thoroughly wash all the parts for the exterior of the building with warm water and some orange dish soap to remove oil and any release agent that may still be on the plastic. I used a toothbrush (which will never again be used to brush teeth) to scrub them well. They were then thoroughly rinsed and laid on paper towels. I patted them dry, and they will be allowed to dry until after church tomorrow afternoon. I plan to give them all a wash of acrylic paint (white with a touch of grey) to bring out the detail of the mortar lines. The directions for the smokestack show it being assembled from 4 parts with a ring in the inside middle and a top ring on the outside. Walthers must have changed that as the smokestack came wrapped in paper, in a factory sealed box, just as you see it here.


    I look forward to building this. I've never done the brick mortar line wash thing before, so I hope it comes out OK. That's the nice thing about acrylics: If you don't like the way it came out, just wash it off and try again. It's not permanent until it's sealed with a dulling spray.
    So go easy on me, guys. It's my first time.
    I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy! Red Green
    http://theworldasiseeit-flyboy2610.b...-i-see-it.html

  2. Default

    Hi,

    I considered that kit when I was looking for a packing plant. I ended up buying a smaller one, the Swift kit. The Walters one would have taken up more space than I could afford.

    However, I do like the looks of it!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Colorado, Kansas, and servicing all points between
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flyboy2610 View Post
    I look forward to building this. I've never done the brick mortar line wash thing before, so I hope it comes out OK. That's the nice thing about acrylics: If you don't like the way it came out, just wash it off and try again. It's not permanent until it's sealed with a dulling spray.
    I built that kit for the Platte Valley Club in 2006 or so. As I recall I had problems with the chimney because it came in 4 pieces instead of just two. Since it is tapered one can't just put a dowel of appropriate diameter inside. I don't think I ever got the join lines 100% invisible on the final model. For washes, I generally use multiple on and off applications. It gives it a less uniform appearance. After the washes I sometimes dry brush light grey from the top or dark grey from the bottom depending if the emphasize is to be the "sunlight hitting the building" or the "accumulated air pollution grim" respectively.

    Here it is in the background looking across the Platte City west yard. Seems this is the only photo I have of it. Even though it is far away one can see the darker accumulation of grunge toward the bottom of the chimney, and to a lesser extent the variation of the colors in the mortar on the wall over the loading dock..
    Click image for larger version. 

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    A packing plant is a great industry because it uses so many different types of freight cars and there are so many internal moves. It consumed stock and reefer cars obviously, but also a different set of reefers for ice in, boxes for supplies, flats for heavy equipment, tanks for various chemicals, open hoppers for fuel and you know what waste out. The Platte Valley had 5 tracks for it. There was an internal yard train just for working the one industry. It could take about 2 hours of an operating session to work it properly.

    I remember watching the movie of the history of the Tucker Automobile while I built it, so now I always associate the two. I wanted to find a model of the Tucker 48 to park outside the plant but was never able to do so.
    Last edited by Iron Horseman; 01-22-2017 at 09:00 AM.

  4. #4

    Default

    Ironhorseman:

    BTW......Walthers does offer a two pack of fully assembled smoke stacks.

    Greg
    THE MILWAUKEE NORTHERN

    Transporters of Wood, Coal, Ore and Anything Else

    Est. 1983

    HO Scale

    __________________________________________________ ___________

    Where the SOO, Milwaukee Road, C&NW and Wisconsin Central Meet


    Charter Member of the Fallen Flags Model Railroad Club

  5. #5

    Default

    Horseman, you bring up a good point, the variety of rail business generated by a packing plant. I have a Champion Packing kit from the very first run, which I plan on using as my "Medford's Meats". I recall stock cars coming in, but no rail outbounds from the plant. Product, hides, and waste were all trucked out. The livestock was unloaded directly into the slaughterhouse.
    Ironically, competitor's refrigerators, from the Mid west, were unloaded on an adjacent team track.

    Flyboy: I'm very happy you chose to do this string. I plan to follow your progress closely. It will be most helpful.

    BTW, I did obtain some of Walthers fully assembled smokestacks, the ones that Greg mentioned. They look good, and are perfect as a direct substitute for the enclosed smoke stacks.

  6. #6

    Default

    Iron Horseman,
    Your packing plant came out great! I also plan to use several washes and build up the color gradually.
    Walthers must have had numerous complaints about that 4 piece smokestack because mine was a one piece unit, wrapped in paper in a factory sealed box. I wish I had 5 tracks I could devote to this, but 3 counting the ice house track is going to be the limit.

    WJL126,
    I shall endeavor to do a good job. This will be my most extensive build to date.

    Upon studying the directions (yes, I realize I could lose my man-card for that) I found that the front and back walls, which are made of identical pieces right down to the part number, have inserts that have to be glued in place. These inserts are different for each wall. The ramp side has a door in the top, while the loading dock side has a window up top and a door down below, which can be replaced by a brick insert if desired. There are more door shaped opening than doors, so I'll need to decide where to put a door and where to put bricks.


    Recall that I will be moving the stock pens to the other side of the building. This means that the ramp will have to enter the building on the left rather than the right. The place where the ramp door will have to be is occupied by a window, and the window and door are not the same size, meaning they cannot be swapped straight across.
    Time for surgery.


    The window is the same width as the opening in the wall without the insert in place. I will not have to widen or narrow that for the window.

    I cut the top of the door frame off, and had to sand the top of the insert down a bit, but I got a nice opening for the window. The windows sit .060" proud of the back wall on some molded in strips. This is to set the window back in the wall. I will have to get some .060" styrene strips and glue them around the top and both sides of the opening. The brick door header will now be a brick window sill. It won't match the others, but this is going to be on the back of the building, so it won't be very noticeable.


    I cut the sides of the ex-door frame off as well. These will be used to decrease the width of the window opening that is going to become a door frame. The straight edge says I got the bottom pretty close.


    I used my new bottle Plastruct Plastic Weld and glued the inserts into place. I also glued in the filler piece above the insert. All the windows will have their bottoms at the same level now. I will start fitting the door frame tomorrow when the glue has dried.


    I'm thinking I will have two doors on the loading dock side. That should reduce congestion.
    That small can of paint is flat black. Question: Since Enviro-Tex dries to a gloss finish, would this be alright to use to paint the bottom of the river bed? The gloss should cover the fact that it's flat paint, shouldn't it? I'd like to use it because it's something I already have.
    I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy! Red Green
    http://theworldasiseeit-flyboy2610.b...-i-see-it.html

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flyboy2610 View Post
    Question: Since Enviro-Tex dries to a gloss finish, would this be alright to use to paint the bottom of the river bed? The gloss should cover the fact that it's flat paint, shouldn't it? I'd like to use it because it's something I already have.
    Yup. Its only the top layer of "whatever" that needs to be gloss. Dave Frary has a video of painting a river bed: http://www.mrscenery.com/vid2_13B.html I saw the module on display at a convention and the water looks really good.
    Kevin

    General Manager
    Red Oak and Western Railway Company

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Colorado, Kansas, and servicing all points between
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WJLI26 View Post
    Horseman, you bring up a good point, the variety of rail business generated by a packing plant. I have a Champion Packing kit from the very first run, which I plan on using as my "Medford's Meats". I recall stock cars coming in, but no rail outbounds from the plant. Product, hides, and waste were all trucked out. The livestock was unloaded directly into the slaughterhouse.
    Interesting. I'm guessing there were all types and sizes of packing/slaughter houses with huge different methods of receiving and dispersing goods/product. Even for the Platte Valley build I thought 2 of the structure kits would have been a better size. We did go with three of the stock yard pen kits to go with it though.

    My father worked at a plant in Pueblo Colorado. One night he came home from work, loaded us up into the car and drove the 35 miles back so we could see the refrigerator cars that didn't need ice. He was so excited that they had a diesel engine that ran a refrigeration unit on the car! This had to be 1962 or 1963.
    Last edited by Iron Horseman; 01-22-2017 at 07:41 PM.

  9. #9

    Default

    A lot would also depend on the era that the plant was operating in. Before well maintained highways and the Interstate system came along, much would have bee done by rail. After that, more and more was done by trucks. So you're both right.

    Red Oak & Western, thanks for replying to my paint question. I had a feeling it would work, but wanted to be sure. After all, these kits are shiny plastic, but a light coat of matte finish tones them down.
    I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy! Red Green
    http://theworldasiseeit-flyboy2610.b...-i-see-it.html

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Oak & Western View Post
    Yup. Its only the top layer of "whatever" that needs to be gloss. Dave Frary has a video of painting a river bed: http://www.mrscenery.com/vid2_13B.html I saw the module on display at a convention and the water looks really good.
    I went back and watched the video. I like the way he painted the bed of the water scene. I had been wondering how to get a smooth transition from lighter near the banks to dark in the middle. Now I know! Thanks for posting that!
    I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy! Red Green
    http://theworldasiseeit-flyboy2610.b...-i-see-it.html

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