Interessengemeinschaft Modellbahn Kaarst eV


DB-Anlage / bauberichte /stahlwerk

Corona AG – a steelworks in HO

Text and Model: Jürgen Schröder

One of the few, perhaps the only, positive effect of the Corona pandemic was and is that one suddenly finds time and leisure for the hobby of model railroading again. So, in December 2020, I had decided to build a steel mill in H0 (1:87) scale.

Now it is finally finished in November 2021, after countless hours of tinkering. For this I have used the following materials, among others:

  • 2 x Electric Furnace kit from Walthers (electric steel mill)
  • 2 x Heavy Duty Crane kit (heavy duty crane bridge)
  • 2 x HO headlight 84114 from BRAWA
  • 1 x HO headlight Viessmann - older model with bulb
  • 1 x universal lighting set company Franzis (Conrad Electronic)
  • 5 x track inserts 48603 by Auhagen
  • 2 x Citrovin lemon juice concentrate container (EDEKA)
  • 4 x Roco track crossing 90degrees Art. 42271 (Ebay)
  • Faller decorative plates quarry stone wall
  • Street paint concrete from HEKI Art. 6600
  • Hobbycolor soot black
  • Color spray red, leather brown and steel gray from SparVar
  • Components of the kit "Ringlokschuppen Düsseldorf" from BuK
  • Hard foam boards Styrodur in different thicknesses from the company Styrocut,
  • Chipboard with the dimensions 100 cm x 35 cm (1.5 cm thick)
  • Various small material from the handicraft box like stairs and railings

A long time ago I had bought an Electric Furnace kit, which had been waiting unopened for its use. When I searched the internet for prototype photos and model conversions in preparation for my project, I naturally came across the Trix kit 66106 (identical in construction to Walthers Oxygen-Converter). This kit contains a steel plant based on two so-called Thomas bulbs, or Bessemer converters.

I was initially disappointed that my kit deviated from it to include an electrical converter, which I actually didn't find that appealing. With the dimensions I had planned, I would have had to dig deep into my pocket to buy two Trix or Walthers kits of the "Oxygen converter" version. So I decided to build the Thomas bulbs as a MOC (My own Creation), or as a scratch building (self-build without prefabricated parts). 

I went in the supply cupboard and in the laundry room on search and found actually a small plastic container, which was appealing for my purposes. The consumption of lemon juice concentrate increased sharply in our household as a result, because some attempts have also been unsatisfactory.

Here you can see the stud frame of the Walthers kits and already recognize the dimensions.

A first try, still with only one Thomas bulb.

The steel constructions are made of such spraying parts of the BuK kit. All steel structures were sprayed in leather brown.

One month later, the model had grown to two Thomas bulbs and already included a device "oxygen lance" (oxygen converter).

In the style of the Trix kit, a pig iron car from also Trix stands under the bulbs. So that nobody burns his fingers, the area is closed off by steel grids and gates.

Gluing on the side and roof panels (sprayed in steel gray) was not straightforward.

Then the gap between the kits still had to be closed

A lighting sample with LEDs and the electronic building block from the universal lighting kit. Various LEDs are switched on and off seemingly at random, while other LEDs are dimmed up and down. The building block masters different programs, which are selected via a jumper on the circuit board. When the red LEDs in the Thomas bulbs dim up and sporadically LEDs in other colors are added, the result is an impressive effect. Whether this is true to the prototype, we leave undecided.

On the foundation, the dimensions of the hall were drawn and Roco Line tracks were laid. The crossings are used to bring the pig iron cars forward under the Thomas bulbs, so that the crane bridges can move the pig iron containers (theoretically, because the cranes were not provided with functions. But this could be done later).

Then a first layer of rigid foam boards is laid (thickness 2 mm) and raises the subgrade exactly to the level of the top edges of the sleepers. The beer bottle is only for size comparison :)

A second layer of polystyrene foam sheets with a thickness of 1.5 mm is glued on top. This keeps the subgrade slightly below the top of the rails so that the locomotives will not have contact problems later.

Auhagen track inserts were glued between the rails. The top layer of the panels was colored with concrete paint before being glued on. A concrete slab structure was also pressed in. This is easily done with a ruler and tweezers guided along it. The material retains the indented structure.

Then come more placement samples.

Since the crane bridges collided with the structures of the upper edge, the hall got another strip foundation.

After the LEDs were installed, you can see the steel boiling.

Then a few more figures: the gentlemen from the management watching the steel workers.

Finally, the Corona AG steel plant was sorted out to the windowsill, so that there is room again for new construction projects. A short intermezzo before heading off to the IGM Kaarst clubhouse.