M&K Sugar Mill -- An Industry for the Triple O

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M&K Sugar Mill -- An Industry for the Triple O
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 1:53 AM

Paul,

As promised, I have been "milling" a sugar mill for the fictional M&K Sugar Co.  As fate would have it, by shear dumb luck I discovered "Fowler Locomotives in the Kingdom of Hawaii," Jesse C. Conde, 1993 that had many pictures of these locomotives, Fowler Co. provided track plans for their Hawaiian customers, and even a photo of a railroad I never knew existed to the West of me!  

 

   These structrues were massive.  The advantage  from a modeling perspective is that they were simple, with the photos on hand basically showing huge, corrugated metal covered buildings and a towering stack.  "Next Stop Honolulu" has short chapters dedicate to  our local mills, and I have to re-read those as well as make a site visit to the surviving structures in Waipahu.  Clearly, a mill would not only be a logical way to anchor the Triple O in time and place, but it would serve as a reason to have any of a number of other facilities - fuel for the mill, service facilities for the locomotives, loading docks for outbound bags of sugar, etc.  In short, the mill would become a focus for that part of the railroad and be the reason other buildings come into being.  Write me in 20 years to see how I am doing!  Big Smile

 

    Ambitions aside, real space compression will be an issue.  Below are an overhead and "primary viewing angle" of the only possible site for this structure:

There is no room to move the tracks, though the POLA shed could go away.

 

     In theory, the outermost tracks are the mainline and passing sidings of the Triple O (our analog to the OR&L).  Here, in the town of Pu'u'oma'o, plantation supplies and empty boxcars would go where Diesel Dan is currently sitting with the plantation's snap track.  The mill would sit where those two buildings are (gifts from my very talented father-in-law) and extend over the innermost track where Komaka Iki sits with his string of still-to-be-finished cane cars.  This is where can would be offloaded into the mill.  An indoor transfer facility would obviate the need for internal details, which is OK with me, to include the lift to take the cane up into the mill.

 

    Clearly, there needs to be some selective compression, and I am going to have to focus on out-buildings that scream "plantation."  I am thinking mill and power plant at a minimum.  I have to canvas the stores once the quarantine lifts, too, to see what sort of material I can readily procure locally that will withstand rot, termintes, blazing sun, etc. I have followed Bill's strategic lead to focus on plastic, well painted, for things I want to last!  I am actually considering a PVC pipe frame, but I am not sure how I would emulate the metal sides beyond drink, cut, crimp, glue, repeat...

 

    For the moment, this remains a thought project as I wait for the quarantines to lift, but I think it is a necessary, but doable feature.

 

Aloha,

Eric

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Posted by chocho willy on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 9:36 AM

Eric, looks like you have something there that will keep you busy for a while and I agree hidden details are a lot easier to take care of, Bill

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 10:13 AM

Eric, looks like a fun project!! Don't get hung up on scale, you only need to SUGGEST a sugar mill. These structures were massive, visible for miles as you approach. I remember the towering stacks. Every modeler faces how to represent something like this. A steel mill or oil refinery, if built to exact scale, would be huge, even in HO. A few key elements to suggest, and build it undersized!!

Years ago, I wanted to go exact scale 1:20.3. I took HO drawings, and multiplied by 4, which worked out to 1:21.75. Even a branch line station becomes Ginormous!!

Yes, build it undersized, but capture the key elements. I have this issue representing the Swiss Alps, as well !!

Paul

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, May 3, 2020 1:05 AM
Paul & Bill, I did some more "thought modeling" today. A good piece of HardieBacker will serve as the foundation, and, yes, I am going to use pink foam covered in something that looks like corrugated metal. I think the raw material is a wash between beverage cans cut and crimped and pre-fabricated stuff bagged and shipped. The latter will be easier, of course, and dietarily less deleterious! I am going to try and make a carboard mock-up in the coming week or two. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Eric
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, May 14, 2020 9:27 PM

All,

 

     After knocking out a bunch of other small projects, I finally turned to on this one.  My thought is that to say "Hawaiian mill" it needs to be big, roughly barn shaped, and have an enourmous stack.  These things dominated the landscape, but, as Paul mentioned, I, fortunately, only need to suggest that!

    

     Having learned to start with cardboard mock-ups, Youngest Daugher and I started cutting carboard to size yesterday and got as far as a frame for the mill adn the unloading shed:

  

 

Today, I cut and taped my way to a reasonable mock-up.  As ever, my 1:24 construction crew was on hand to provide a sense of scale:

I might add a little ventilation "shed" on top like some of the photos.  If hothing else, it'll break up the profile a bit and add visual interest.  At this time, I am not worrying about out-buildings.  As I see, the mill will be a focal point for years' worth of projects designed to show the industrial side of an agricultural business.

  

     This gave me a general size of the structure.  My first thought was, "That's a lot of surface area to cover with crimped aluminum from salvaged beverage cans!" I am going to have to weigh going commercial on the siding.  I am thinking that a plastic siding will facilitate the addition of plastic pipes, vents, rails, etc. as the mill and complex evolve.  My second thought was more aesthetic.  Is this too big?  Does it "over dominate?"  Need to think on that!

 

    Updates to follow as I continue to tweak!

 

Eric

 

 

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Thursday, May 14, 2020 11:03 PM

Eric, 

the cardboard mock ups are a great idea to help visualize, and adjust proportions,and with that ,anyone familiar with the sugar mills will recognize what this represents. It DOES dominate to a certain degree, which is the correct feeling. I think you're on the right track !

Paul

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Posted by chocho willy on Friday, May 15, 2020 10:56 AM

Think you have captured the look, not to big and not too small

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, May 16, 2020 12:35 AM

Thanks, guys!  I receieved a few other suggestions to help give it that sense of size I need, to included breaking up the roofline a bit and exploring what I could put on the mountain behind the mill.  Of course, the mock-up fell apart overnight, so it is back to square one to a degree!

 

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:10 PM

Update. HardieBacker had not yet returned to our store shelves, but the last bits for my cane cars are on hand. I am making a push to finish the cane cars, and then I will turn-to on this project. FYI, I plan to use HardieBacker as the base. I MAY screw 2x4s into it to serve as internal frame for the pink foam core / walls.

 

Eric

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 7:05 PM

Eric, can't wait to see it ! I am not familiar with Hardie Backer, though. 

Keep us posted! 
Paul

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 11:08 PM

Paul,

 

That is a brand name for cement backer board.  GR ran an article a couple years ago about making buildings from the stuff.  I found it too hard to work with for that purpose, at least with the tools I had on hand, but it makes marvelous bases for structures, since you can score and snap it to size!  I may use it as the sub-roof, too, to add heft to the end structure.

 

In the meantime, here are the can cars awaiting their hold-down chains behind the LGB m207 / Stainz hybrid we rebuilt as our plantation loco:

I'll consolidate their construction process later.  I thought about making one of those "one page projects," but I've had somuch help getting them this far, their build long belongs in the public domain.

 

Aloha,


Eric

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