Lime Plant

The primary construction of Plastruct kit 1032 is merely a box representing four walls and a roof.  If you do not know how to work with styrene, please look here.

Instruction 1.   The walls are made by scribing and snapping two sheets of .060” styrene, part number SSS-10624.  The instructions show a cut list:

The sequence of the scribed cuts:

Instruction 2. The side and end walls all have a scale four foot tall foundation line scribed at the bottom, then a series of 4’ x 8’ (scale) series of panels.  These scribed lines are also later used as a point of reference when cutting openings.

I used an H0-Scale steel ruler for measurements, and a steel straightedge and scriber to make these lines. The scriber:

During the scribing process, you may accidentally scribe a line too far or with an unplanned curvature. If this happens, simply use modeling putty to fill the erroneous line.  Later, you will be lightly sanding the surfaces which will correct these errors.

Instruction 3. Once the four walls are scribed, the vent and door openings are cut from the side wall.  I chose to only cut one side, leaving the other “blank” since it will be located against a layout room wall.

After initially marking out the locations of the various doors and vents, I used a motor tool to cut away large portions of the material to be removed. Because the motor tools often melt as much as they cut, I removed much of the material, but cut slightly inside the final opening and then scribed and broke away the remaining material.  Here, after the initial cutting (note the melted plastic):

The scribing process causes the sides and ends to curve slightly, so .125” x .250” (MS-1225) strips are attached to the inside of the walls to make them straight and rigid.

Excess plastic is used to create corner braces to strengthen the box. I cut out squares of .060” plastic, cut each square diagonally, then cut the corner off to clear the MS-1225 strips.  Here, the corner braces being applied with small strips to strengthen the joints.

The MS-1225 strips are then added to the ends, with the edge sanded smooth to create a strong corner joint.

The side walls are also strengthened with horizontal strips, leaving a clearance for the end walls to be attached.  The joints were buttered with tube type cement, then clamped briefly to allow the glue to set up. Note the square at the base of the wall.

Note how the corner braces were located to avoid interfering with the vent openings.

The four walls of the box are complete:

The vent openings need to be finished in the next two steps.

Instruction 4. This step places backing for the dividers for each of the vent openings.  I cheated and used pre-made Plastruct .060” x .125” strips (MS-625) rather than making the strips as per the instructions.

Instruction 5. This step now makes the dividers flush with the rest of the wall.

Instruction 6. Rather than following the directions, I used .030” styrene backed with a larger piece of .030” and fitted it into the foundation man doorway, creating a slightly recessed door.  Here, the top doorway landing:

Vent Louvers

One of the peculiarities about the Plastruct steel mill background structure kits is that they often are different from the finished structure pictured on the box. This is true of the Lime Building. The structure pictured above is from the Plastruct web site, but as we get into this section of the structure kit, you will note that it is not the same.  Not that this should be a big matter, but it is worthy of note because different builders following the same set of instructions will often produce different outcomes.  The Lime Building has several different details which make this a distinctive structure. The vents and stairways in this section are two examples.

Instruction 7. :

Instruction 8, 9, 10, 11. This step makes an important statement; when cutting out the pieces of .030” styrene for the louver backing, do so from the long edge of the sheet. You will be using the same sheet for parts of the roof in later steps.

Instruction 10 is a bit disingenuous; although this process might be faster, this is not like you’re making hundreds of the louver assemblies.  Once the louvers are completed, they are placed on the model and held in place with the Z shaped pieces.  Once the louver assemblies were placed in the “U” shaped lower slot, the “Z” shaped top piece is placed.  I started by applying liquid glue at a location away from the sliding louvers.  Once this had dried a bit, I slid the louvers to that location and then applied adhesive to the opened area. This minimizes the likely migration from the glue being used to hold the “Z” piece into the sliding louvers. The finished assembly:

Instruction 12, 13, 14, 15. This is a series of straightforward directions.

Instruction 16. It is inevitable with these kits that eventually the builder will veer off with their own approach to building a section of the structure.  This is where I headed off on my own.  Rather than build a stairway & handrail assembly and then apply it to the building, I chose to build it in place.  In part, building the stairway as an assembly and then applying it to the structure assumes that your measurements have been exact. I’m never that confident, so building in place allows you to make things look “right”.

Starting with the platforms for the lower and upper doorways, I then cut one of the stairways as per the instructions. I used the scribed lines on the side of the building and a 45° gauge to make sure that the stairway was properly located. Note that the stairway castings have small notches at each end which can be used for mounting the stair onto the platform. I then added the intermediate platform and cut the upper stairway to fit. The handrails were also cut to fit, using the previously located stairs and platforms as a point of reference.

Instruction 17. The triangles were cut from squares of .030”; the pieces under the stairways need to have a bit of material nipped away for a proper fit.

The Roof

 For an assembly as simple as this, the roof gave me fits; my work on this portion of the kit is not as clean and crisp as with the balance of the kit. I can always go back and redo it, but I’m inclined to leave well enough alone since most people aren’t going to notice what seems to be glaring to me.  In any case:

Instruction 21. Here you make some triangular shaped roof supports, using one of the end walls for reference. I would cut the .060” sheet to the width of the building, then rest the sheet against the end wall and mark the break lines with the end wall as a template.  I made several roof support triangles in this way.

Instruction 22. The roof material is scribed to represent metal roof panels.

Instructions 23, 24 and 25. If I were to do it over again, I would obtain a larger sheet of .030” styrene so that I am not making the roof out of two individual sheets.  I would also make the centerline of the roof into a scribe & break point, then glue the two individual lengths of roof onto the triangular roof trusses.

Alternatively, you could create four pieces of roof and stagger the two shorter pieces so that the seams are better hidden.

Instruction 26. I did not glue the roof in place, just in case I come back and make a new one.

Although I was not happy with the roof assembly, I have left things alone for the moment.  This seems to be prudent since nobody seems to notice the problems I had with this assembly.

The Elevator

The final assembly is the elevating tower which is located at one end of the lime plant. This is a distinctive feature which makes the structure very industrial looking. And, as noted in the instruction sheet, this sort of elevator is very commonly found in industrial locations and its basic construction is very easy.

That said, there is a bit of information that you should know to make this process easier. The instructions call for you to use the “....the general rule for the width”.  After puzzling over that for a while, it occurred to me that the instructions should say: “Use the General® rule to...: many modelers use a steel measuring rule manufactured by General, and the designers of this kit do so also. What is actually being called for is to use the steel rule as a quick and easy way to measure out the side panels of the elevator.

Instruction 30. The basic structure of the elevator consists of two .125” by .250” strips with .030” sheets for the sides.  The width of the .030” sheets is the width of the General steel ruler; for that matter, in many instances, the height of the tower could be the length of the General rule, etc.  One of the .125” by .250” pieces is longer than the other, the longer piece being the basis of the elevator head support.

At this point, my enthusiasm for finishing this structure exceeded my discipline at taking photographs of the process.

The elevator head is made up of two smaller pieces of .030” styrene, with MS-1225 pieces for support. You should not use the instruction sheet drawing as a scale drawing, measuring the head dimensions with your scale rule instead.  Once everything was dry, I then used a mill file to round the corners of the elevator head.

Once shaped, the large top platform is placed, with a drilled hole for locating the Plastruct M2 motor after everything is painted. I chose to make the platform dimensions equal to even segments of the hand rails.

The horizontal bracing of the tower is made up of 3/32” “T” stock (TFS-32). I marked off a series of lines at ten scale foot intervals, creating a series of pencil reference lines around the tower with a square to keep things even.  Some minor variation will not be noticed once the assembly is complete.

The ladders came next; each package contains one cage and two ladder pieces. In both cases, I glued a length of ladder into the cage, cutting off a portion so that the next ladder piece could also be attached to the cage.  I then located the upper caged ladder on the side of the elevator, leaving seven scale feet of ladder open at the bottom. I then used this point to locate the intermediate platform and repeated the process for the lower ladder.

The extended chute was attached to the elevator head, and after some measurements, a narrow slot hole was cut in the roof the admit the chute into the building.  I made some small scrap pieces to conceal the rough cut opening in the roof.

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