Alan, Thank you for your generous offer. I Think I will  try to make compressed versions of the basic mill buildings. I have the pictures I took of the steel mill complex at the Hi Rail Modular Train Club in Griffith Indiana.  I posted some above and have more. I plan to visit the club again in couple of months and will take more pictures and measurements. Also all the ideas presented here on this great thread.

I will be getting new, larger,  area for my layout, not sure at this point how much more space I will have for the mill complex.  

Thank you very much Alan

- Tom

OGR Subscriber-Premium Member/ Forum Member/ LCCA

PRR1950 posted:


I, for one, am surprised that no one else has replied to your generous offer.  I would love to see pictures and drawings of your mill structures as well as learn any construction tips you might provide.


Very kind words Chuck. I am kinda surprised myself it's not often modellers will offer a couple of years of research and building for free or the cost of a postage stamp.

Maybe {and I'm guessing here) some of the members don't like an Australian telling them how to model an American Structure and I don't have any problems with that either, I understand it sometimes takes years before you become accepted as one of the team on forums. I might be an Aussie but modelling to me is a universal thing throughout the world and I would never get involved in 2 or 3 rail discussions I treat the Forum as an "O" Forum I have never seen a 3 rail layout.

Aussies have had close links with the USA in numerous circumstances not only with trains, wars being one of them, I for one was in one where we worked closely with Americans in combat. We had a contact once where we had American Gunships giving covering support while Aussie choppers pulled us out quite a mixture.  I have been to America, I have had Americans visit me, I researched New York Harbour Railroads for ten years and I am into my fourth year of researching the railroads role in the American Steel Industry. I have a whole library of American Railroad books I have a passion for American Railroads.

Of course there may not be the interest in O scale steel mills as there is in HO because of the space I have many, many photos of beautiful HO Steel Mill layouts but not to many O scale.

I'll keep posting drawings and photos I have lots of ideas that have been put into practice. I'm happy, not upset as they say in Australia "No worries mate"!

I love American trains and the guys that sell them to me. Thanks Chuck.  Roo.

Now some photos of the Pouring floor building made out of 3mm styrene sheet and a photo of how I cut the sheet on my work table. I chose to enclose the pouring floor but left an option open if I ever want to detail it. The roofs all lift off and there is a plain sheet of styrene floor sitting inside that is removable to detail the pouring floor on the bench which I doubt I will ever do but the option is there maybe I will live to 120 and have the time who knows.... I will next follow with some photos of the furnace building then the furnace details then the blower house.

Lots more photos just finding the most suitable is the worst part be patient with me if your following this thread this is why i did not want to do a magazine article to time consuming. Thanks Roo.




Photos (3)

Blast furnaces and heavy industry needed many stairways here is how I built one type using plastruct parts and my jig that termites got into and I had to throw it away along with all my other wooden jigs broke my heart but i killed all the termites had professionals come in and spray everything to late for the jigs and my lumber lesson learnt the hard way. Thanks Roo.




Photos (3)

The blower or compressor house is a simple "box" with some windows and doors and a stairway on one side it's built out of 3mm styrene with brick cladding. I make stands for my glue so I don't knock them over. After this I will show you some of the furnace and oven details and other parts lots of pipes sorry there is no order in the photos but I am busy getting the layout staged for tomorrows session and do this in between jobs on the layout. I'm not perfect by any means I have 100's of photos but not in any proper order I'm afraid. Thanks Roo.




Photos (5)

Good Morning!

Thanks Chuck and Tom remember feel free to download the drawings and photos if you have not already done that they belong to me only.

Today some photos of how I went about the pipework for the ovens and dust filtration system. Keep in mind these are not scale models just enough detail to make it look something like the real thing I never build scale models everything is just scenery to me, operation is what me and my operators specialise in we like running trains! If you have access to endless Plastruct parts the pipework would have looked better and easier to do, no Plastruct so I had a large Hardware shop where everything from door handles, electrical conduit, reticulation and plumbing became my "Plastruct shop"!  Lots of drilling jigs as you can see some made to drill one hole!    I hope some of the other members join in and maybe build something if anyone needs more photos of a particular item or part of the furnace I have them, just ask and I will find them for you. I will try and write something of how I took on some of the work you see here when I have the time. I am planning and preparing for a long Bushwalk or Hike in April so you have a few weeks yet before I go away. The blokes will be here soon better go now and check the layout for today's session. More photos soon. Thanks again. Roo.




Photos (13)

Roo, Many thanks for the offer of the pictures and pdf's. So very generous of you. This is just amazing to see, step by step how you are doing this project. I really appreciate all the detailed photos. I had no idea how to go about doing all these steel mill buildings. Thanks to you I now have the plans, pictures and step by step "how to".

So very much appreciated!!


OGR Subscriber-Premium Member/ Forum Member/ LCCA

Roo, fantastic work! I just wanted to thank you for offering your research and PDF’s. I don’t model a steel mill or else I’d be referring to your great work for sure. I’ve seen enough of your posts to know that you’re a seriously talented guy! I don’t care where anyone is from, I just know that I appreciate you sharing your information and talent. 


I, for one, am very interested in the ideas and information on this thread. Thank you, ROO, Rick, and Dave and everyone else who is contributing ideas and techniques for steel mill modeling. Sorry I don't have alot to contribute, but I am reading and admiring all this with great interest! Keep it going, guys! 

Fantastic post!

Years ago, I almost got the chance to go to Australia. The band decided against it near the end of the tour. Who knows, we just might have met each other? 

Seeing the pics is as good as being right there.

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

David, thanks for your posts. Your work is excellent. So many great ideas here.

Many thanks to all who have posted here. Rick your thread question has really given all of us awesome responses. 


OGR Subscriber-Premium Member/ Forum Member/ LCCA

0315151111031515111103151511120315151115031515111712261414581226141459IMG-1009Wow!  Talk about great modeling, Roo and Dave!  I wish I had these photos when I started my J & L Steel mill complex 6 years ago.  I also wish I had your modeling skills.  But with what skills I do have, I attempted to do two things in creating my layout.  First, build a steel mill complex on an 8 x 8 foot platform and secondly, try to create the illusion of heated metal in its various stages of production.  I am pretty pleased with how both turned out and I've attached a few photos, though none are recent.  I am having  photos taken by someone who knows how to use a digital camera and will post those when I have them.

For those on this thread who are interested in modeling steel mills,  hopefully the fact that I was able to create one in a very limited space will encourage you to move forward.  






Photos (8)

Thanks everyone for joining in,great photos, this is going to be a Great Steel Mill Thread lets keep it going, and thanks to the originator of the thread Rick Bivins for letting us use the thread as a base for steel mill modelling. Thanks Rick!  And now getting the formalities out of the way,  Here are some more construction photos. The furnace is really a series of small models that eventually come together as one large model. Dave would agree with that as you can see with his wonderful work and photos. More soon.  Roo.




Photos (8)

Greetings, all!

Somehow this thread escaped me until recently. I've been reading Action at the Steel Mill right along.

Thank you Roo, and others for sharing your plans and your progress. There's some great stuff here!

Modeling a steel mill has been a long running dream of mine. Seeing the newly constructed model of Sharon Steel on the Carnegie Science Center's Miniature Railroad & Village back in what, 1992? was probably the spark. However, the spark has only smoldered in that time, so my armchair modeling has amounted to some drawings and calculations and wishful thinking. Oh, and an MTH Schnabel car and a Norscot front end loader and some gondolas.

Looking forward to reading lots more about everybody's mills!


Three-railer since birth, but could be tempted by five.

I have such a clear childhood memory of driving past the J&L Eliza Works on the [then new] Parkway into Pittsburgh. I was fascinated and learned to watch for a skipjack to be ascending or descending while we were driving past. I even remember the smoke and red glow from one dumping into the top of the blast furnace. Glad to see people modeling this stuff.







Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.


Photos (2)

I often thought about modeling a steel mill since I was raised and lived in western Pa. but was more than I wanted to take on.  Now all yu need are old concrete pad and foundations with weeds growing and the old cold mill to one side still running. I was involved in several mill rebirths. Somewhere in my photo archives are pictures I took of the J&L Aliquipa works being torn down.

David Minarik posted:

Roo,   Your furnace is amazing!

Dave, I think your's is better!

You built your furnace before I started on mine and I downloaded all your photos and studied them and because of that you motivated me to make a start so a genuine thank you to you Dave.

The good thing about scratchbuilding is no two models are ever the same I took a completely different approach to my furnace and tried to keep it as simple as possible a difficult task and like you I had limited space the other problem I had to contend with was that every single part of the furnace is open to viewing it sits in the middle of the room so I knew right from the start I was in for a big job the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) did not have those problems it only can be seen from three sides the back side while not against the wall it still can't be seen I will post some photos of the BOF soon. Thanks. Roo, 




jim pastorius posted:

I often thought about modeling a steel mill since I was raised and lived in western Pa. but was more than I wanted to take on.  Now all yu need are old concrete pad and foundations with weeds growing and the old cold mill to one side still running. I was involved in several mill rebirths. Somewhere in my photo archives are pictures I took of the J&L Aliquipa works being torn down.

Armco Steel in Butler is still going strong. Their "electrical steel" (mostly used for laminated motor rotors and stators) production is as high as ever. Due to automation employment has fallen from a peak of abt 7,000 during the War to less than 1000 now.

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

Alan Graziano posted:

Here is a very helpful book I purchased about twenty years ago when I constructed my first steel mill. Dean Freytag was an accountant that was fascinated with steel mills. His whole ho layout was a steel mill.20190224_074521

Ouch. That book is fetching $25-$45 on eBay. I'm going to watch for a copy. Tnx for the reminder as I had forgotten about this book.


Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

Add Reply

Likes (8)
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653