Scratchbuilt water tower, G scale!

I recently completed my scale model of the Dos Cabesas water tower for my garden railroad. Here are the pics, beginning with a shot of the
prototype (San Diego & Arizona RR) tower in the Anza-Borrego desert:
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/ViewPhoto?u=3009006&a=32116967&p=74072249

next four shots are of my model.
The foundations are cast concrete. The support structure and platform are made of western red cedar.
The tank was built up from a 7" diameter aluminum tube. To get the correct diameter, I had to wrap it with two layers of 1/8" thick plastic sheet, glued down with urethane glue. The weld lines were simulated by masking off all but the lines. Thick epoxy was then brushed on. The masking tape was removed, leaving a thin bead of epoxy.
The ladder and bolted "manway" were purchased from Plastruct. A second manway was used for the underside of the valve assembly (not visible in the photos).
The water level gauge on the prototype is a pipe with a slot running down it. A weight fits inside the pipe, with a marker that protrudes through the slot. The marker weight is attached to a cord which runs up over a pulley at the top, and down into the tank. At the other end of the cord there would have been a weighted float. This allowed the marker to rise and fall along with the level of the water.
For my model, I used a cutting wheel on a Dremel to cut a slot in a 1/8" diameter aluminum tube. The pulley and marker were simulated with bits of brass. I did not attempt to duplicate the cord or weights for the gauge.
I did want to duplicate the rigging for the spout, but most of it is missing from the prototype. I also could not find photos of any other water tower that had exactly the same type of spout hinge. I had to make an educated guess based on the bits of remaining hardware. I also had a few photos dating back to the mid-70's, when the tower was in better condition and more of the hardware remained intact.
The spout itself was based on photos and drawings from other water towers, and was constructed from brass and cardboard model rocket tubes. The cardboard parts were coated with resin to harden them and protect from the weather.
When the spout is pulled down, the two lead counterweights rise on guide rails. There is another lead weight inside the tank, hanging from a cord which is attached to both the spout and the lever mounted above the spout. In real life this cord would have been attached to some sort of valve inside the tank (possibly a flapper valve?)
For now, the water tower has been placed temporarily at the east end of the layout where it will be out of the way during construction. Eventually it will be moved to another area.
The last two photos show some construction progress at the west end, where I'm building several tunnels and a large mountain.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ray,
That is truly a super bit of modeling and photopraphy. The water tower is wonderful and the layout is looking great.
I would give my eye teeth for some of those rocks. Down here there $400.00 a ton. A little over my head.
Bob CEO/Chief Ditch Digger B & L Railroad & Mining Company Largescaletrainsupply.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

Holey moley! At that price, it better be gold ore!
r
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just plain rocks... There are only nine real rocks in the entire state of Florida, the rest is sand... the rocks have to be trucked in..
Think about how much fuel it would take to ship 20 tons of free rocks from Colorado, Arizona or your neck of the woods... it's scarey. The petrolium companies are making the money...as usual...
Bob Pace B & L Railroad & Mining Company
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

Ah, I see. Even here in San Diego where rocks are plentiful, they are still pretty expensive. I've been fortunate in being able to obtain mine for only the cost of gas to bring them home. Even that adds up, considering how many trips I had to make and how many miles were involved.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In case anyone's interested, I posted three new pics updating the progress on my layout:
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/ViewPhoto?u=3009006&a=32116967&p=75002217&f=0
This first shot shows the large wooden ore bin I'm working on. At this stage is it merely a framework, but still looks cool. I have temporarily placed it on the layout to test the fit of the foundations.
The next two shots show how the construction is progressing on the multiple tunnels at the west end of the layout.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10 Nov 2006 23:39:36 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

It looks like you have some tarpaper or membrane liners going into the tunnels. Are you going to have plenty of drainage along the line, and especially in the tunnels, or is the overall site well drained and is water borne gravel and mud not expected to be a problem?
--
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Caple wrote:

Actually, the walls of the tunnels (near the ends) have had a thin layer of tinted cement applied using crinkled aluminum foil, to give it a rock-like texture. Farther in, I simply painted the walls black.

I'm not too worried about mud and gravel, as there will be very little loose soil. The existing soil drains very well without becoming slushy or muddy -- it's almost sandstone. In fact I've literally had to chisel some areas when digging out the hillside to build the tunnels. The rock hills are designed to let as much water as possible seep into the hillside, slowing runoff.
I've tried to lay things out so that most rainwater will flow away from the tunnels rather than into them.
There are a couple spots where I'll have to install drains to prevent water being trapped by the terrain. I'm planning to disguise one of these as an abandoned mineshaft.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11 Nov 2006 14:05:09 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That's good to hear .

With a few broken boards across it and small group of little plastic people looking down into it? <g>
--
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Noting the adjoining residential area...
Are you zoned for railway operations?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A work of art, Ray! Your entire railroad is a certainly a masterpiece.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Model Railroad Books, Toys, and Trains: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,200 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.