Modifying a Banta Modelworks Water Tank With a New Roof & Other Details
Engine #6, Ollie Johnston, pauses to take on water at the Thunder Mesa tank. The tank draws its water from the same spring that feeds nearby Big Thunder Creek. It looks like there's still some scenery work to do in this area.
I often work on several projects at the same time. Some get finished in a week or two, while others get dabbled on over the course of months. This water tank project was started last spring but I wanted to complete it as part of the larger Big Thunder Creek project that's been occupying my modeling time for the last month or so. The tank stands just next to the creek, west of the depot in front of Thunder Mesa Mill.
I started with a Branch Line Water Tank kit from Banta Modelworks. This is a nice laser cut wood kit that builds into an attractive model. The smaller dimensions of the tank are a good visual fit with other structures on the TMMC, but I wanted a little more character in my tank so I added a peaked roof and some other details.
All the wooden pieces assembled. With the included cardboard jigs, this only took a couple hours. Rubber bands were used to clamp the tank wrapper in place on the plywood form while the glue dried.
A hatch was built up from strip-wood and bits from the scrap-box before being shingled with Bar Mills laser cut paper shingles. The finial ball is the head of a large dress-pin.
The Bar Mills shingles looked much too garish on their own so I dulled them down with a heavy dose of powdered chalks. The finial ball was painted metallic copper and then given a patina with dry-brushed dark green paint and chalks.
To make it easier to center the roof on the tank, a hole was drilled in the center of each and a small metal pin was inserted to align the two.
The ladder was aligned to access the roof hatch and then glued in place using some leftover strip-wood as supports.
Some of the last details added were these "concrete" footings made from strips of painted illustration board.
Building the water tank was a fun project and I'm very pleased with the way it all came together. Bill Banta makes a fine kit that lends itself well to all sorts of kit-bashing possibilities. I look forward to planting the tank on the layout and working in the ground cover and other details to complete the scene. As always, thanks for following along, questions or comments are welcome below. Adios for now!
Thunder Mesa tank, ready to service locomotives on the TMMC.