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The 2012 Steel Mill Modeler's Meet Wrapup
Last updated on: Sep 12 2012
The 2012 Steel Mill Modeler's Meet Wrapup
This year' meet is now history. Jim Musser did a great job of arranging the meet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ over this Labor Day weekend. We had about 60 attendees and lots of great models in the display room. Combine that with several vendors who brought a LOT of specialty items for steel mill modelers, eight great home layouts for the Saturday tour, nine excellent seminars and three workshops, and a first rate "Mill Hunkie Banquet", and you have a pretty decent way to spend a long weekend.
Here are a few photos:
Parklane Hobbies, aka JoAnn and Gary Lance showed up with a great selection of custom built bottle cars, hot slab transporters, and other custom made freight cars. They didn't have a lot to take home.
Mike Rabbitt provided us with an excellent seminar on how to build an open hearth furnace plant. He followed that up with a scale model of his under construction open hearth furnace complex.
Eric Craig likes to model early 20th Century steel mills and this requires a lot of heavy kitbashing and scratchbuilding. His blast furnace skip hoist works reliably! He also had lighted slag cars and hot metal cars that were DCC controlled. When the cars were representing hot loads, the lights were on. When the cars were empty, the lights were off. A very nifty detail to make operation more realistic.
This year we started the"Joe Magarac Award" for the best photo of a steel mill model. John Best won with this photo that captures the size and complexity of steel mills. Nice work. My photo of his photo doesn't do it justice.
Bob Abbato brought in the large diorama with four turn of the century blast furnaces. This is the Ohio Works at Youngstown. Bob's rendition is to scale and is an accurate replica. The kitbashing of the Walthers furnaces was extensive!
Rick Bickmore has a great layout with his HARSCO Steel plant located along the wall. You may have seen other photos of this mill on the Steel Discussion Board. Rick manages to capture great size and complexity in a relatively narrow space. Who says you don't have room for a steel mill?
Brian Klimek, a first time attendee to the Steel Mill Modeler's Meet showed up with this great model of an HO scale BOF and walked away with the "Dean Freytag Award" for the best display.
Here is a great example of what you can do with the slag dump. Rick kitbashed the Walthers Glacier Gravel Company into a slag processing facility. Nicely done.
Jim Musser builds great models and isn't intimidated by complexity. Here are two scratch built precipitators complete with all the correct piping and platforms.
The ship and crane are both scratch built of styrene.
Here is another photo of Jim's work. This is part of his byproducts coke plant.
If you have never seen Rick and Linda Spano's N scale layout you will be overwhelmed. Rick is a master of animation and special effects. The bridge crane operates.
How about a working N Scale rotary dumper? The loco pushes the car up, the rotary grips the car and tips it over into the loading hopper, coal pours out into the hold of the ship, the car is then released and rolls down the ramp to the kickback track.
Rick's layout is a masterpiece of animation. Cranes move, ships get loaded, there is even a hobby shop with an operating layout in the front window and if that's not enough the room lights dim, colored lights come on to simulate sunset and there is a very credible fireworks display with sound! Impressive.
On Saturday evening we celebrate our get together with a "Mill Hunkie Banquet." This is a buffet style meal with kielbasa, sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage, potato pancakes and more. The food this year was exceptional. We have learned a lot about having a hotel prepare mill hunkie food. Stay north of the Mason-Dixon Line!
If you want to see more photos from the 2012 Steel Mill Modeler's Meet go to Jim Musser's blog at: mussersteelmill.blogspot.com
We had a great time and we hope you will join us next year. We plan to hold the 2013 meet in the Cleveland area.
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