As i had promised myself...the elevated water tank samples are complete...
It has been a frustrating week with a trial of birch timber which i had obtained to trial for the columns & bearers of this project an absolute disaster. The birch is essentially a rather expensive ply & the charring which occurred due to the material & laminating glues being "cremated" by the laser was totally unacceptable. To be honest i have been wanting to trial this stuff on the laser for a while & i have now "been there", "done that", "bought the T shirt" & am not happy Jan...
So... the end result is that all timberwork in this proposed kit(s) will be basswood. As much as basswood can be a little brittle across the grain at times...it does look like timber should & does weather & age like timber should. When the kit is assembled the individual items come together to form an extremely strong finished article.
I have decided the baseplate will be 3mm opaque acrylic with the column holes all cut out & ready to go. The acrylic will give a solid base which will not warp etc over time or during layout scenery building. The acrylic will accept PVA glue so scenicking the base is no problem.
The rest of the items are all precut & shaped to aid construction. The footings will remain basswood as the adding of cast components will just add to the cost of the kit & existing footings can be readily painted an aged concrete with ease. The columns & bearers will be one piece as per the last posting. There will be 4 of these components & all that is required is the footings to be slid on to each column prior to locating & gluing the columns into the base. Once these 4 composite components are installed & square to the base plate & each other... the 7 joists can be added & as the bearers have precut recesses... this operation is dead easy & you will end up with a very square & accurate looking stand. The last items to be added are the diagonal braces & again they precut & shaped to make construction very easy.
The kit should take around an hour or so to complete...taking away glue drying time...
Now to the tanks...My original plan was to purchase the tank kits from the respective manufacturers & offer a complete tank stand kit... but due to a number of political issues this will not be happening in the short term. There is also the concern where many modellers will already have a tank kit or two in the drawer & all they need is a stand for them.
While talking about the tanks & to aid in our decision of how many kits to produce in the first run... I have included an email address firstname.lastname@example.org & would seek "expressions of interest" for numbers & another issue of importance to canvass is which tank you are proposing to fit to the stand. While the Ian Lindsay tank is a simple placement once the stand is complete... The Silvermaz unit is another issue altogether. The tank floor that comes with the kit has joists moulded into it & we have fabricated a replacement acrylic floor to make fitment to our tank stand easier...but knowing which tank you intend to use will give us a better idea of how many of these replacements to make...
On the subject of plumbing....to get the kit out there in the first instance & keep pricing down... will mean we will have to shelve plans of including plumbing... While looking at the many photos of the prototype i would feel sure that many modellers will already have all the bits needed in the "scrap box"
Also over the christmas break it is my intention to watch a lot of cricket & golf... gather some tank kits " retail" & build some of these kits & offer them as finished items on our stands with water, plumbing, weathered etc etc...i will post if this happens...& they will most probably appear on ebay.
In closing...during the week i will attend to the pack notes & box artwork & hopefully within the next week or so another kit can be added to our range....
As for price of these kits...while this has not been finalised we would anticipate a price of around $30/35.00...Which when added to the tank cost would put a water tank completed on the layout for around $40/45.00
|The acrylic base with column locations ...pre-cut|
|The original Casula / Sivermaz tank floor on the left & the replacement floor on the right|
|Stand completed with modified Silvermaz tank ( new tank floor )|
|Close up of stand detail...|