Friday, August 19, 2016

Yet another Tank House

After I had finished my John Krohn Tank House, which consists mainly in one single structure, I wanted to build yet another one, a little bit different.

While browsing the net for pictures of tank houses, I stumbled over the Stanley Ranch Tank House that's actually part of the Garden Grove Historical Society's Stanley Ranch Museum Historical Village.

The tank tower reminded me of a railroad watertank and I figured out that if I would find a suitable model, I would simply plank the timber bents and add a shed to it as a stand-in for a free-lanced close-to-prototype tank house.

The search for a suitable model proved to be not as easy as I'd expected. Most of the recent models were either too big or too expensive. I would only need the timber supports for my project and the rest will go to my parts box, so a cheaper model was needed. Fortunately the Model Power Water Tank did the job.

I assembled the timber bents as per the instructions, using the base of the model as a guide to align the sides until the glue had dried. But before I assembled the supports I sanded the sides smooth to eliminate the bolt heads on the cross braces. I filled in strips of .020 styrene to obtain a equalized surface to glue the siding onto.

As a base for the long shed I used a Walthers office shanty which I had lying around already assembled. I discarded the window and door castings as well as the roof. I cut pieces of novelty siding to size to fit around the tank tower. I made a cutout for a Grandt Line 5-panel door casting.
I also covered the tank platform with scribed siding to simulate planking and lined the sides with strip styrene.

I cut openings for a window and a freight door into the right siding of the shed. On the tank tower I also used the protruding timbers with the small platform. It serves as an access platform to the water tank. This tank house has no interior stairway, so I will lean a ladder against the small platform to get to the tank.

Because the tank tower walls lean inwards, I had to fit the sidewalls of the shed accordingly. This is achieved by a bit of trial and error and a few passes with a sanding stick. Then I glued the two sidewalls to each side of the Walthers shed. As shown in the picture, I used the locations of one side and the rear window as a guide for the openings of the new windows. Because the new side walls are longer than the original Walthers shed, I installed the freight door there. I also fitted the missing floor in between the original shed and the tank using a piece of .060" styrene. 

For the end wall and the window location I used the Walthers shed as a guide and glued the new wall directly to the old shed wall.

Contrary to the John Krohn Tank House, which has an enclosed water tank, this one is open. The tank on the Stanley Ranch Tank House is rather small and the one from the railroad water tank too big. I looked around for something in between. I choose a piece from a mailing tube with 2" diameter. I left the plastic plug in one side and planked the side with 1x6 and 1x4 scale lumber strips cut to size using my NWSL Chopper.

I applied a small bead of carpenters glue to the carton base and spread it with an old paintbrush. Then I applied the wood strips. This goes very straight forward.

I made a new roof for the shed using Plastruct Shingle sheet cut to size.

I stained the water tank with a mix of a few drops of India Ink and Isopropyl Alcohol. I applied the stain with an old paint brush. As this was my vacation project I had forgotten to take the stain mix with me. Otherwise I would have stained the wood before applying it to the mailing tube.

This view shows the ladder leaning to the small platform to access the water tank.
All the subassemblies and roof are only put in place and not glued yet. Now the tank house is ready for the paint shop.

Stay tuned for the finish.