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  • Topic: M&K Sugar Mill

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    • November 16, 2020 12:31 PM EST
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      Nice job!

      This post was edited by Pete Thornton at November 16, 2020 12:33 PM EST
      ____________________________________

       

        Pete

    • November 16, 2020 7:09 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Thanks to all for your kind words, and, yes, Tim my father-in-law's buildings found a spot in Haluku'ili'o  / Dog Wallow / Bad-den-Huenden (depends on what we are running).  I let the boys putter with them for a bit before they discovered that Dad had actually been right in suggesting that particular spot! 

       

      On the Triple O's eternal march towards a more Hawaiian feel, the area above will be the dockside town, loosely drawing from the smaller harbors of Kaua'i rather than the massive harbor of Honolulu.  A grab-bag of 30" plantation roads and a fleeting 30" common carrier served these harbors for over half a century.  These harbors better fit available physical space and the more  Hawaii-as-it-ought-to-be feel we prefer.  That doesn't mean some decade from now the 41st Coast Artillery Regt. will not see a train deploy to the Triple O!

       

        As for this project, the first black wash did wonders.  Bill Barnwell suggested drybrushing on the rust, so I am going to try that in a few moments.  CINCHOUSE rightly thinks the side by the stack should be sootier, so I will lay down additional dark washes after rusting up some of the panels.

       

      Eric

    • November 16, 2020 9:19 PM EST
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      Eric, the building certainly captures the thought of a large industrial complex, particularly like the the look of the different materials and the weathering is great, congratulations to the whole crew for a job well done, Bill 

    • November 16, 2020 9:25 PM EST
      • Kenai, Alaska
         
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      ah...the islander military railroad...

      Islander: what's with the new rail line?  Sugarcane for the troops?

      General: Nope. It's for munitions.

      Islander: Uhh...how much munitions?

      General points to 10,000 foot mountain: Enough to turn that heap of rock into a smoking crater.

      Islander backs slowly away...

       

    • November 21, 2020 2:51 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      @Tim:  There are a couple books on the U.S. military railroads out here.  Pretty fascinating how tightly integrated the OR&L and plantation lines were integrated into the defense.  Some of the larger shore batteries had train cars that effectively served as rolling ready magazines for the guns, latching right onto the pivot!  The larger fortification systems could easily be the subject of a smaller model railroad, to say nothing of Schofield Barracks "private" 2' railway.  Sadly, almost nothing is left of this system beyond a few paved over rails here and there and a building or two on Schofield...

       

      Back to the topic at hand, I started to weather the mill with a heavy wash last week.   On again / off-again rain halted much further progress, but here are the results:

      Today, I had a chance to play around with trying to add rust.  On the picture below, you can see where I tried to dry-brush on some rust-colored paint towards the bottom.  After that, I had an inspiration, and used a left over piece of siding.  This one I painted rust and then wiped away the excess on the top.  I did not try a rust wash, as, after discussing the idea with Bill Barnwell, I assumed that would just puddle up at the base of the panels:

      From a normal viewing height, it all looks like this:

      You can see the test panel and the dry-brushed panel to the lower right.  I am not sure either conveys a sense of some rust in the channels of the panels.  I did some Google-sleuthing, and colored prints of the ear when sugar was king do not show a lot of rust, but these were effectively hand-painted advertisements for period postcards, and no company would've authorized something that would've made them look bad!  On the other hand, contemporary colored photos show an industry in its death throes, when maintenance might've given way to surviving until the next harvest.  Both colored and black-and-white prints and photos show that while the roofs were generally a different color or at least a different shade during King Sugar's reign, this was not universal, and I found little evidence of one really nasty panel amidst obviously well kept facilities.

       

      In the "Grand Do-Over," I think I would've started with a red-brown primer on the roof, applied the same towards the tops of the walls, then done the washes and dry-brushed.  As it stands, I think that would do more harm than good, and I am probably going to go with CINCHOUSE's suggestion of dirtying up the area and side near the stack (by dumb luck, both on the actual leeward side!).  I am, as ever, open to suggestions on how to rust this thing up a bit!

       

      Thanks!

       

      Eric

       

    • November 21, 2020 9:37 AM EST
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Looks great Eric & clan Mueller. You have done a fantastic job and the whole crew should be proud of this major build!

      2 questions or possible issues.

      1. Is the dock area supposed to be for boxcar loading/unloading? if so forklifts may have issues with all the braces. If its all hand trucked then probably no problem.

      @. and this may be bigger issue , can you spot a boxcar at the dock and clear the switch and the main? line past the mill? I know its way late but that switch and the closeness caught my eye. 

      ____________________________________

       

      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

    • November 22, 2020 5:33 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      @Pete L.:  Good questions!  In answer:

       

      1. Yes, the dock is for loading bags of sugar onto the box cars (that was how it was done out here).  The Triple O is set in the era of cheap labor and strong backs, so no forklifts!
      2. Yes, we can spot the and LGB wood-side, US style box car and clear the point.  We played with a mock-up for some time to get everything right. We had to fiddle for about 20 minutes to get the real thing to work just right, and I a sure there will be adjustments as we go.  It is really tight, but it'll do.   On a practical sense, since I've no idea what other brands might work, this has narrowed my e-Bay / Craigslist search to LGB.  I noted on e-Bay that B'mann tend to run a bit cheaper, but there is no money saved if the car won't fit!

       

      As a humorous aside, Kid-zilla has learned that only small field railway cars will pass through the mill.  No  damage done, but I did fear for Diesel Dan's gears!

       

       

      For the moment, I think I am going to just see what time and the elements do to the mill before applying further weathering.  I've noticed some MOW issues I have to address (to include a bridge repair), as trains that won't run will be no fun no matter how good the mill's weathering.  I will reevaluate an reattack if necessary after the Mik.

       

      Have a great week!

       

      Eric

       

       

    • November 22, 2020 6:58 PM EST
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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      Pete Lassen said:

      Looks great Eric & clan Mueller. You have done a fantastic job and the whole crew should be proud of this major build!

      2 questions or possible issues.

      1. Is the dock area supposed to be for boxcar loading/unloading? if so forklifts may have issues with all the braces. If its all hand trucked then probably no problem.

      @. and this may be bigger issue , can you spot a boxcar at the dock and clear the switch and the main? line past the mill? I know its way late but that switch and the closeness caught my eye. 

       

      Good eye Pete

      This post was edited by David Marconi,FOGCH at November 23, 2020 12:11 AM EST
    • November 23, 2020 12:44 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      OK, now you have me paranoid...  The boys and I fixed the bridge leading to the mill today, then the rains came.  We'll wire up the rails and run our stock LGB m2075 Big Thomas and double check things.  I am sure puttering with the bridge and its approaches (the latter a subject of a future project), jostled things about in a bad way.

       

      Eric

    • November 25, 2020 4:33 PM EST
      • Bundaberg, Queensland Australia
         
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      Eric,

      Love the sugar mill it is a real credit to you and the family.

      Looking forward to the next big project.

    • November 25, 2020 11:30 PM EST
      • Kenai, Alaska
         
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      what with all the lockdowns and the progress he's making on this one, Eric might have to start work on a second model railroad to keep himself occupied.  Either that or find a second hobby...

       

    • November 26, 2020 4:03 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Thanks, gents!  As for more hobbies, Tim, I've got SCUBA diving, which got COVID'ed out this year when they closed the parks and beach accesses.  I have also been trying to hunt a fault in the taillight of my COUGAR on and off for three years.  It is part of the eternal struggle with corrosion, a lifelong "hobby."  In reality, I have a stack of projects lined up of 2021.  Oddly, I am finding satisfaction in overcoming the logistical hurdles of being on the end of the hobby's supply chain.  It is perhaps the most "prototypical" aspect of our efforts to restore to life "high iron" in the mid-Pacific.

       

      In the meantime, this is the weekend we do the final "OPTEST" on clearance.

       

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Eric

    • November 27, 2020 1:43 AM EST
      • Kenai, Alaska
         
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      corrosion in Hawaii...

      I had a (now deceased) uncle who had a condo on the Big Island, which he'd visit maybe once a year.  About ten years ago, he received a report about said condo that made him call my Dad.

       

      My Dad (also deceased) was a master welder, electrician, carpenter, and auto mechanic (at least with the older vehicles that didn't have a lot of electronics).  Build several houses from the foundation up, doing the vast majority of work himself.  

       

      Anyhow, the main water line in said condo had sprung a leak on the upper floor - the one directly above my uncles place.  My uncle basically bought Dad a ticket, told him to look into it, and enjoy himself - a sort of working vacation.  Turned out there were no individual water cutoffs for the condo's - just one for the whole dang building.  Dad set to work taking care of that, which meant contacting people and awaiting parts...which took a while.  In the meantime, he played tourist.  Got back from one such jaunt and decided something looked a bit 'off' with the one window - one of the old school metal framed ones.  He goes over, gives the glass a 'poke' with his finger.  The whole frame broke loose from the wall.  Uncle ended up with new windows as well.

    • November 28, 2020 2:49 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      @Tim:  You have no idea how typical that story is...

       

      I did finally OPCHECK the mill.  It looks much better with trains staged on around it, for one:

      More importantly, as Big Thomas will show below, you can, in fact, spot a box car:

       

      Video:   Big Thomas Spots a Box Car at the M&K Sugar Mill

       

      Since our sundry "Thomas-es," (Big Thomas - stock; Little Thomas / Komaka Iki - the m2075/STAINZ hybrid; Christmas Thomas - another failing battery powered m2075 destined for rehabilitation) are to be the main motive power of the M&K Sugar Co., the mill and loading dock are designed around them.  So far, all our little LGB 0-4-0s have done just fine passing around the mill, and Diesel Dan, a PIKO GE 25 Tonner, can serve the loader shed just fine.  I am sure I will have to jiggle this building now and again to make sure things pass just right, but this'll do.

       

      A couple of closing observations.  First, of course, the tight space, little locos, and abundance of plastic frogs means a pretty quick pace through the mill's yards.  Some decade from now, battery power is certainly in order. Second, my Dad pointed out that the building can be a mill, mine, brewery, etc. to suit whatever theme we are pursuing that moment.  The long term goal, of course, is to steer closer to the islands, but, with a large heritage fleet of Alpine equipment and the occasional Wild West day, his observation will guide how we detail this mill and its environs out.  

       

      Lots of good learning along this road!  On to the MIK!

       

      Eric

       

    • November 28, 2020 5:02 AM EST
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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       Mueller Clan moving the box car past the building is not the issue we see. Spot a box car at the loading dock and then move equipment through the switch on the adjacent track shown in your picture above. With the current set up in the above picture the boxcar at the loading dock will hinder use of the adjacent track, referred to as the fouling point i.e. the space needed to safely move equipment on both tracks of the switch without interference.

      Note that we also understand space limitations/considerations may not allow you to fix this issue

    • November 28, 2020 1:32 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Dave,

      Thanks for the clarification!  You are correct.  There is nothing we can do to change the "fouling point" (new term for me) because of space.  Luckily, for the moment, this is a nascent "engine service track" that we use more for staging scenes than anything else.  Other changes over the years have caused this little siding to move all over this area of the layout as it has never quite fit.  Maybe it's time for it to go?   

       

      This is all part and parcel of evolving the railroad.  It finally runs reliably enough to do more than run in circles (much as I enjoy that!), and the kids are old enough that incorporating some operations might be more fun than frustration.  Some thinking to do here...

       

      Eric

    • November 29, 2020 12:36 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Dave,

       

      The boys and I did some fiddling this morning.  We could move the turnout a little bit, but then we would have to move the blue building just visible in the photo.  Normally, this would not be a problem,  but the building also houses two light switches that control power to neighboring passing sidings.  There is not enough slack in the current wires.  I have a broader plan to allow the crew to turn more tracks on and off in this area.  I can address this turn-out when I get to that project.  Fixing everything would disrupt operations on both the "mainline" (the outer loop) and the "plantation line" (the inner loop) and require small structures to house the 3 new on/off switches or a modification to the blue building housing the existing switches to do the same.  I am going to put this in the "thought problem" category for now, as we are about ready to unleash the Advent / Christmas season upon the House of Mueller.

       

      Thanks for explaining the issue, though.  In all, it will improve appearances, hopefully allow for some form of simple operations, and fold readily into existing plans for this part of the Triple O!

       

      Eric

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