Coal towers might be my favorite railroad structure. They're a center of activity for the "iron horse" and a lineside industry all in one. I'm planning a new engine terminal and I want a coal tower to be the center of attention. I would love to have a large, modern, concrete tower similar to the Walthers HO model, but I'm not aware of any such kit in O. I considered a scratch build project, but decided against it due the time and effort that would involve. The Lionel cylindrical concrete tower looks nice, but it is smaller than what I want. I really want a structure that spans two tracks with the option to service a third plus a dump pit track.
After much consideration I decided that a Plasticville Coal Tower kitbash would fit the need. I already have a Plasticville tower that I kitbashed (pix below). This initial attempt was a common side-by-side splice to make a more substantial tower than a single kit. I made no attempt to detail the tower although it cries out for coal chute details and a hoist-house structure in back. The model is painted cammo brown from a rattle can.
For my next project I decided a back-to-back splice with two kits to make a structure that spanned two tracks as desired. I initially planned to scratch build an elaborate roof structure with a hoist house, but then remembered seeing a Coal Tower Topper kit from Mount Blue Models. It occurred to me two of those kits could also be spliced together to make the ideal roof / hoist house for my tower.
Pictured below is my project underway. The towers have been spiced together, the hoist tower has been attached to one end, the stairs have been attached, and the basic structure from Mount Blue toppers have been spliced and added as well. I have to admit it took longer than I thought to get to this far. It took lots of cutting, filing and sanding to get everything square, mated, and sized appropriately.
I intend to take my time with the rest of the build and add details like better looking coal chutes and associated pulley mechanisms. I also plan to scratch build a coal dump house to place next to the hoist tower. I'll add pictures as I go. Progress will be slow as my time to work on this is limited, but I'm already enjoying the journey!