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Water Tank - 1:48 Scale Build
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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2019 02:56 pm
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Tom Ward
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Ever since I was a kid I've enjoyed making models.  About two years ago I decided to give scratch building a try.  I bought a number of different sized scale lumber from Northeastern Scale Lumber and made up some "weathered wood" stain from a recipe I got on the net.  My source for stain and technique is Rusty Stumps (R. S. Part #1) and (R. S. Part #2).  This is an excellent tutorial and the results are very realistic.  Once I had my lumber cleaned up and stained I selected a fairly simple project, a water tank, to start with.  I researched the net for info and drawings and then drew up my own design based on my narrow gauge needs and the use of a 4" PVC coupling.  My main source of information was a clinic provided by the Lone Star Region modelers group (click here).  The clinic is available in PDF and has 3 parts; (Part #1), (Part #2) and (Part #3).  I found several good architectural drawings on the net for tanks built back in the 1800's and that inspired me to make my own drawing.  I did a single full size drawing in 1:48 scale and sized the support frame for narrow gauge, which makes it about 4.5' shorter than standard gauge.

- Tom


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Last edited on Wed Feb 13th, 2019 01:42 pm by Tom Ward

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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2019 04:58 pm
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Tom Ward
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I started out with a 4" PVC coupling to build the tank around.
 
The dimensions were just right for what I wanted, and it added strength,
and enough space inside for animation pulleys that would be included later on. 

For the wood sheathing on the tank I laid out 3" X 8" planks side by side,
and ran scotch tape across it to hold them all together. 

With glue slathered all over the pipe coupling I wrapped the wood sheathing around,
and held it in place with rubber-bands until the glue dried. 

With the tank sheathed I made a roof using heavy card stock.

- Tom


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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2019 05:06 pm
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Tom Ward
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I built the support frame building each bent directly over the drawing. 

For the tension rods between the bents I used #18 single strand wire.

- Tom


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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2019 05:08 pm
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Tom Ward
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I had also used this size wire for the banding on the tank,
but after getting it all in place I decided it was too heavy, and replaced it with #22 single strand wire. 

I had to replace that once more when I discovered I had used the wrong style of band fasteners. 
Practice, practice, practice.

- Tom


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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2019 05:13 pm
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Tom Ward
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With the correct adjusters on the tank bands I moved on to the spout.
 
I wanted to animate the spout with a DC motor mounted beneath the benchwork. 
I boxed in the counterweights to disguise the fact that they weren't attached to anything.
The spout, banding clamps and NBW's (nut, bolt, washers) are all Grandt Line items.

- Tom


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Last edited on Wed Feb 13th, 2019 01:47 pm by Tom Ward

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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2019 05:19 pm
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Tom Ward
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Other details include a ladder and inspection hatch on the roof, and foundation blocks (cast plaster) beneath each leg. 

The roof sports an ornamental lightning rod made of jewelry beads and wire.

I used the water level gauge to cover up the twisted ends of the tank bands.

- Tom


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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2019 05:27 pm
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Tom Ward
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This photo shows the pulley arrangement inside the tank to connect the spout to the motor.
The control line runs down through the frost box so it remains hidden from view. 
The motor is controlled by an Arduino with a Motor Control board. 

I also built a sound track that gets initiated by a push button on the layout facia. 

The sound track begins with the tender water hatch opening, the spout being lowered,
water flowing into the tender for 30 seconds, spout being returned,
and then the tenders hatch being closed. 

The Arduino coordinates the sound track and the motion of the spout. 
Fun stuff.

- Tom


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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2019 05:28 pm
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W C Greene
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Excellent work! You should be proud of this and now I imagine that more scratch building is on your schedule.

Woodie





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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2019 05:30 pm
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Tom Ward
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Finally got around to painting the water tank canary yellow and adding a bit of weathering.

I'm now planning to modify my Arduino sketch to work with stepper motors instead of the DC motor,
and I'd like to add some water stains on the tank. 

Also need to build a pump house. 
Good enough for now though.

- Tom


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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2019 05:40 pm
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Tom Ward
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W C Greene wrote: Excellent work! You should be proud of this and now I imagine that more scratch building is on your schedule.

Thanks Woodie. 

I had a lot of fun making this and it definitely got me hooked on building from scratch.
After this project and a few I've done since it would be tough to go back to building regular kits. 
There's a lot of satisfaction in building from scratch, fer sure!

- Tom


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