Chemical refineries and production facilities can be incredibly intimidating prototypes. I've been pondering how to model one on my layout for some time now. The maze of pipes, labyrinth of ladders and towering structures and tanks all have a purpose and a place. Adding to the confusion of course is that most of us only ever see these facilities from a distance and the intricacies of their operations are as mysterious and the paths of all those pipes.
Like the prototype, this refinery model can catch your eye from a mile away.
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These facilities are even more impressive after dark. With an abundance of lights, they can dominate the horizon for miles. Capturing all of this in the small spaces many of us have is always a challenge.
This modular railroad on display at the World's Greatest Hobby show in Fort Worth, Texas has accomplished it as well as I've seen anywhere. While the facility actually stretched across several modules, the highlight was this refinery scene. A combination of several structure kits along with scratchbuilt extras, lights everywhere, and a mirror backdrop all come together to create a memorable model in a modest space.
Now back to the drawing board on my own project...