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Author Topic: First Scratch Builder here.  (Read 1766 times)

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« on: December 28, 2009, 11:35:38 AM »

Hey all.

I'm starting to build my own structures, and I'm starting on a water tower. I'm modeling the types of tanks DRGW had and the one I saw on the Boread Pass (Baker tank I do recall) My question is what height should I make the tank? I don't know how high to cut the beam supports. Also, where should I buy the tank? Or... More favorably.. Is there a cheap way to make a believable tank? Maybe a hose like they use that goes into the tender? I don't know. Like I mentioned before, I'm new at this.

Loco Bill

Model Railroading since 1947

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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 12:12:00 PM »


Welcome to the world of scratch buildng!  TYou canake a very nice tank from 4 oe 6 inch plumbing pipe.  get the thinnest you can find.  use a ruler and score the sides with a h0bby knife to represent boards, and use rough sandpaper to make a grain effect.   It will look pretty good.  You can also use soft wire to make the bands around the tank.  You can get very cheap good looking chain at Michaels stores, look in the jewelry making dept. As for height of the tank I am not at home to measure so mabe someone else can jump in here.

You can usually buy short pieces of the pipe at Home Depot stores.  I use the same pipe for the tanks at my model oil dealer.

Don't be afraid to jump in and try some things if they dont look ok try again, You will get better the more you do it

Loco Bill,
Roundhouse Foreman
Missouri Western Railway

Unnofficial Historian of Bachmann Large Scale Products
Wade Colyer


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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 12:42:51 PM »


Here's an ad for plans that give overall dimensions.


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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2009, 02:00:13 PM »

Here are some standard tank drawings -

ET&WNC Cranberry tank -

PRR standard plans -
the water tank -

My water tank is based on the M&E tank at the museum in Whippany, NJ -

My tank is a 6 inch pvc pipe coupling with cedar strips glued on with Phenoseal vinyl adhesive caulk (great stuff found with caulks in the home depot).
My spout is made from copper tubing (the flexible kind).  Ozark Miniatures, Schomberg scale models and others also make spouts.

Email me (add to my name here) for more info.


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