>> FAQ for the .blastproject steel mill replica. << If this is your first visit to this webpage please read the FAQ below
What is this? A model of a steel mill in N scale (1:160) based on a US prototypical Great Lakes Operation in the 1950’s. The main influences are Bethlehem's Lackawanna plant and USS Gary Works plant. Why did you do it in N scale? At the onstart I wanted to build a model that had little to no compression whatsoever and this is mush easier to achieve with N scale. That fact coupled with my familiarity with N scale pretty much sealed the deal. Were Steel mills actually as large as your layout drawing depicts or did you go overboard? Some mills were actually larger than what I depict. For instance, The ore yard at Gary Indiana is about 5000 feet long and that in N scale would be 32' in length. My Open Hearth is close to scale to those that were at Gary Indiana however I only have one. That plant had 4. Does this operate or is it connected to a larger overall model railroad layout? It’s a stand alone model based on modules that do connect together however running it live is not a primary concern. I am an Architect by trade so think of this as more of an Architect’s model. The option to make certain parts live may be possible in the future but again this is not a priority. Had you worked in N scale before? Yes in 1986 I started working in N scale at age 11 and had an operating model railroad layout up until 1995 when it was dismantled for a move and sold off. I did not start up the hobby again until 2005 and for this project. Do you ever sell anything you build? Yes, but not really Steel Mill related. Initially to raise some capital in 2007 for the project I sold off the last remaining structures from my old layout which dated from 1986-1991. The results seemed positive and thus I began selling once again in 2008 but this time built structures created from spare parts. A project of this scale allows me to continually combine left over parts from kitbashing exercises to build structures for sale. Every so often I pause from working on my personal layout to build and sell these structures on ebaY. How can you afford all this, it seems very EXPENSIVE? The answer is “sort of.” When I start brainstorming a building I also think about what I can build to sell from the left over parts. Also, if a building is built I no longer like I either rip it apart and reconfigure it or fix it up slightly to sell it. I establish a budget for spending every year and never go over it. This process of recycling off parts in 2008 netted me back approx 60% of the total budget cost. So essentially I got a 60% discount on all the kits and products I bought in 2008.
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