Monday, March 6, 2017

Modifying Interstate Oil, Part 5

This series of posts is about modifying a Walthers structure kit, their no. 3104, “Interstate Fuel & Oil,” to suit my layout space and also to alter some of its most distinctive features. The kit is very widely seen on layouts, and I wanted to make it less recognizable and also look less “out of the box.” The previous post in the series, Part 4, contains links to the first three posts, and can be found at this link: .
     In the present post, I want to wrap up this project. As I mentioned in Part 3, one segment of the kit is a very large base which supports three horizontal storage tanks and the truck loading dock. It was the wrong shape for my layout, and I divided it, first to separate the truck loading portion, then to reduce the number of horizontal tanks to two. (Part 3 can be seen here: .) That left the separated parts to be completed.
     First I finished the truck loading dock. This was largely built stock, but since my kit components can’t be positioned as intended in the kit, I decided I could not use all the kit piping. That in turn meant I had to figure out how to provide delivery piping to the truck dock. I used some of the kit pipe segments, fitted to work with a support block of concrete. The base for the dock was also painted a concrete color, to suggest a concrete pad under the structure. And I felt that the black color of the kit’s truck dock roof was too stark, so painted it the same gray as the other parts. Here’s a back view.

     Second, as I showed in Part 3 (link in the second paragraph from the top of this post), I found the huge “weld seams” or joint seams on the tankage to be very out of scale, and simply applied a file to all of them before I assembled the tank segments. Once assembled, I painted the tanks with Tamiya “Corsa Gray,” their color no. PS-32. The base for all the horizontal tanks was painted a concrete color. In this photo, they still need to be weathered.

     Third, I decided to make the vertical tanks for the kit a little shorter than what the kit directions suggest. That’s because the location of this Richfield dealership on my layout is such that tall tanks could obscure the track that runs behind the tanks. Note below that I used two styles of top vents. These tanks are also “Corsa Gray,” and also remain to be weathered.

These are considerably smaller than the tanks suggested in the kit instructions, which are seven segments high instead of four or five. But even the four-segment tank is a scale size of more than 13,000 gallons (each segment is about 3300 gallons), so neither of these is really a small tank (and both are larger than a transition-era tank car).
     The warehouse and office building, shown completed in Part 4, has had appropriate signs added and a variety of drums placed on the loading platforms. These are not only the kit drums, which were molded in blue (some have received added stripes of Reefer Yellow),but also a few other drums, including a couple of Grandt Line drums. Here is the dealership temporarily placed in my layout town of Santa Rosalia. (You can click to enlarge.)

Richfield’s gravity unloading facility will be in front of the two horizontal tanks, with the pump house alongside. At right is the corner of the Coastal Citrus Association, a lemon packing house on the same spur, which has a PFE car spotted for loading.
     The modifications I have made to this kit worked out as I planned, with what I feel is successful replacement of the kit’s distinctive round warehouse roof and the equally distinctive heavily ribbed tanks. And although the entire arrangement on the layout of the elements in this bulk oil dealership are not finalized, I have all the parts completed, and will experiment a while longer until I am convinced I have the best arrangement for my space. But I’m glad to get this far with my Richfield dealership.
Tony Thompson

1 comment:

  1. Tony, I've been following your mods on this kit. I've got one of these kits stashed away for future use and like you, I've concerned about it's "too common" appearance. Your simple changes have done a nice job of changing the look of the facility...something I'll have to try doing myself.

    -Jack Shall