Author Topic: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale  (Read 1621 times)

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Dave Schneider

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Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« on: January 11, 2018, 01:57:17 AM »
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Hello all,

I have decided to give this a try. Here is the Ben-Hur refrigerator warehouse along the Snake Track spur of the Milwaukee Road Beer Line in Milwaukee. I am building a modest HO scale layout and this will be a major industry. For reference, here is the track map and aerial photo from 1970.

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View of Ben-Hur from the North. The portion of the modeled building is shown by the dashed line. This will be a big structure in HO. About 24 by 20 inches.

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I like the curved building and the stepped wall height add interest.


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View of the north end and east wall. Some nice details will add interest I think.


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I am planning on using Monster Modelworks laser cut concrete block on lazerboard, which should make it easier to curve than using basswood. For the substructure I am leaning towards plywood roof and floor with thin masonite or hardboard for the walls. That should take a curve pretty well.

Happy to entertain thoughts and suggestions on this!
Best wishes,
Dave

« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 02:20:27 AM by Dave Schneider »
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

tom mann

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 08:50:54 AM »
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I'll be interested in seeing how the MMW concrete block looks.

Dave Schneider

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 02:44:35 PM »
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I'll be interested in seeing how the MMW concrete block looks.

Here is an example in basswood from one of their kits. I love their products.
Best wishes,
Dave

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If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Dave Schneider

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 02:27:03 PM »
+1
I received by lazerboard concrete blocks from MMW yesterday.  I have been out of town for a week and finally back so I hope to make some progress on this by the weekend! The etching in the lazerboard is shallower than in the basswood shown above (which makes sense), but I think it will work out just fine. Thinking about how to lay out the curved wall since I don't have the trackwork built yet. It isn't a constant radius, so I will probably lay this out with a spline or easement. Maybe nails at a couple of fixed locations and then use a yardstick to lay out the curve. Does this make sense? Thoughts?

Best wishes,
Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

tom mann

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 04:06:27 PM »
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 That’s how I would do it.  And I probably would lay it out directly on the bench work just to be safe.

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 04:01:38 PM »
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That Riviera is pretty sweet, too.  Who's model is that?
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Dave Schneider

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 07:46:49 PM »
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That Riviera is pretty sweet, too.  Who's model is that?

Yes it is. Made by NEO. Cost me $10 on sale from American Excellence. https://www.american-excellence.com/
No longer available but NEO makes some very nice models in HO. Nothing but easy transactions and occasional bargains at American Excellence.

Best wishes,
Dave
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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 11:01:15 PM »
+1
A small bit of progress in between a couple of work trips (I leave again tomorrow). I managed to lay out the main curved wall, which is the feature that attracted me to this building in the first place. I need to extend the benchwork a bit using from pink foam, and then laid down the future track centerline. I allowed for 1 inch from the centerline to the building (in HO), and this looks like it will work. I used pins and a thin piece of plywood as a spline to test the look. Next I will take some coordinates for the pins and lay out the spline on some 3/4 inch plywood for the base and roof. I will rip some plywood spacers to set the roof height and then sheath the outside with 1/8 inch hardboard. Finally I will overlay the lazerboard concrete blocks.

Here is an overview of where I am at, with the plywood spline in place and the area of the building shown with the scribbles.  The back wall is about 28 inches and it is 20 inches from the backdrop to the the front wall.

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Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Dave Schneider

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2018, 03:06:15 AM »
+1
Finally had some time to make some progress. This building is quite large, so I am building the core out of 1/2 inch birch plywood so it won't warp over time. I ripped a couple of 20 x 28 inch pieces, screwed them together temporarily and then transferred the curve that I laid out on the layout. I made a grid and then drilled holes for T-pins. I used a flexible ruler and clamped it to the pins and then traced the arc. I used a skill saw to cut the curve and a belt sander to smooth the curve. I am using 1/8 inch masonite hardboard to for the walls to be covered by Monster Modelworks lazerboard concrete block sheet. Here are some photos of the progress. I am happy with the heft of this building. I looks like it could logically support rail service.

Lots of fun ripping plywood outside at -5 degrees.

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The base interior spacers.

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Mockup of the curved wall with the masonite tacked on to see how it looks. I like it!

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Best wishes,
Dave

« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 03:12:17 AM by Dave Schneider »
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

milw12

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2018, 08:56:13 AM »
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Very nice, this will quite the structure when done! I know what you mean about wood work in the cold, a few weeks ago I built some steel stud benchwork in the garage when it was -2 and dropping. The sunflower heater never really quite caught up  :scared: Given how cold the metal was, and it's hard to do this work with warm gloves so there were quite a few breaks to warm up.

-Lucas
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Dave Schneider

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 10:05:01 PM »
+1
I made a bit more progress on the warehouse. I had planned to build the exterior walls out of 1/8 Masonite, but it was too thick for the Rix Products cap tiles that I wanted to use. So I went with 3/32 styrene sheet that I was able to get locally (4x8 sheet). That is .093 and with the lazerboard overlays it works out well. I was able to rip the styrene with my table saw and notch the variable wall height. I was only able to fit 3 of the 5 loading doors but there is room for three 50 foot cars. Here is an overview of where I am at present along with a close up of the Monster Modelworks concrete block rendered on lazerboard and the Rix cap tiles.

Best wishes, Dave

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« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 10:07:14 PM by Dave Schneider »
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Dave Schneider

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2018, 07:19:30 PM »
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I enjoy researching the history of industrial buildings and came across this interesting history of Ben-Hur Manufacturing in: https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/pdfs/hp/Milwaukee-Industrial-Intensive-Survey.pdf

"Originally known as the Lavine (or Lavigne) Gear Company, it began in Racine in 1911 and manufactured automobile steering gears. Herman Uihlein, son of the Schlitz Brewing Company president, served as the first president of the company. By the late 1930s, the company designed and manufactured the Ben-Hur Trailer, which was widely used by the U.S. Army through World War II. The success of the trailer appears to have prompted the company to change its name to Ben-Hur Manufacturing by 1941. After the war, Ben-Hur Manufacturing moved to developing at-home refrigeration units, including models designed by the well-known industrial designer Brooks Stevens. Ben-Hur Manufacturing eventually became the third-leading producer of residential freezers by the mid-1950s."

I didn't realize that this company was one of a dozen or so that produced this ubiquitous Army trailer, that the company had a tie to the Schlitz Brewing, and a tie to my wife's family (Lavigne). Very cool. I am considering a multiple era railroad at some point covering both WWII and the late 1960s to early 1970s. Flatcars loaded with the Ben-Hur trailers would be quite interesting. After the war they also produced camping and farm trailers before moving into refrigerators and freezers. That post-war boom was really something.

Best wishes,
Dave

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 08:52:38 PM »
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My Grandma had a Ben-Hur Freezer.
Bryan

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Dave Schneider

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2018, 02:20:49 AM »
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Hello all,

The next stage of this build is to glue the styrene walls to the plywood core. Any suggestions on the best adhesive? I'm thinking maybe contact cement? I want this to be rock solid when I'm done and the curved wall will have some stress on it.

Best wishes,
Dave
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peteski

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Re: Ben-Hur Warehouse in HO Scale
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2018, 03:00:51 AM »
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If it is organic-based contact cement (the smelly stuff) - don't use it. It might take months or even years, but the styrene sheet will warp and curl. I've seen that happen several times when Pliobond (brand of contact cement) was used.  If the cement is water-based then it will likely work ok.
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