>> 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.

- www.zahkunst.net -