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Tank farm (Faller kit)


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I have built the Faller kit for a tank farm, their p/n 130486. The model went together very nicely, much as we would expect of a Faller kit. Here are some photos to show the highlights of my build.

 

Faller claim the kit to have 477 parts. This is probably true, but the model uses barely a third of these. I missed out the delivery pumps and used about 120 of the parts to build my model:

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I have hundreds of unused parts left over for future projects.

 

The kit is well designed. The parts are cleanly moulded with virtually no flash to be pared off, and most joint lines follow natural joints on the prototype. I began with the easy bits. I was running short of EMA Plastic Weld so I used old-fashioned polystyrene cement for the large parts where there is a rebate to hide the glue. This worked fine and no nasty marks on the outside of the model:

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The tanks are moulded in the shade of blue used by the German fuel company Aral. This colour rather defines Aral, so if you want to locate the model somewhere else in the World, you have to repaint the tanks. I sprayed the tanks with Halfords white primer, this masked the worst of the deep blue colour.

 

You have to build this model on some kind of a base, so you know where to cut the pipes and you have something to fix them to. I used a piece of plywood about 300 x 150 mm, and tried out some different arrangements of the tanks:

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The site office building here is from a Kibri kit.

 

I finished the tanks with Tamiya aerosols, using two shades of grey I had to hand at home. These paints are rather good, I obtained an excellent finish and I will buy these again.

 

I braced the plywood with some strip wood underneath, and coated the entire base with dilute PVA hoping this will discourage warping. Then I added a scenic dressing on the top and glued down the tanks. This meant I was gluing the tanks down onto an uneven surface and I had to put in some paper shims to keep everything true:

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It might have been better to glue the tanks down first and then add the scenic dressing around them, but this would have allowed the ground surface to creep up the sides of the models.

 

Like many Faller kits, the design uses parts designed for many applications. This leaves you having to trim some parts to fit and to assemble many small parts - there are about two dozen parts in here:

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I left some of the pipes as unpainted coloured plastic and these have just enough sheen to catch the light:

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The instructions are wholly pictorial with no narrative. I understood all of the steps and I made only one notable mistake, this was the location of the ladder on the small vertical tank.

 

The kit includes two sets of fuel pumps: point-of-sale style pumps with meters, and industrial-size pumps to transfer the product in the tanks to road tankers. I omitted all of these, and I would have got better value for money from the kit if my model served road traffic as well as the railhead.

 

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I can think of two minor weaknesses with the kit:

  1. Some of the pipework was infuriating to put together, with almost every elbow and flange supplied as a separate part – a few dedicated parts would have made for an easier and quicker build.
  2. There is no bund (retaining wall) in the kit so if you want one you have to make it yourself. I excuse myself by saying my model represents a gas installation.

Neither of these are serious or would put me off tackling the kit again.

 

The kit builds up into a model with more presence than many similar kits, but without taking up too much space. I think it will blend well into my layout.

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Credits:

B&Q Croissant emulsion : base first coat

Woodland Scenics fine gray ballast : ground surface

Tamiya TS-32 (aerosol) Haze Gray : smaller tanks (pale grey)

Tamiya TS-48 (aerosol) Gunship Gray : vertical tanks (darker grey)

Tamiya X-11 (brush) Chrome Silver : some walkways and ladders

Preiser: wheelie bin

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Hi Richard,

A very interesting build, well done.

The closest I've ever gotten to a tank farm is a couple of very large ones next to the motorway south of Athens in Greece!

What I have observed is the tanks (like yours) are usually painted grey or white, presumably to reflect the suns rays? More of a problem in Greece admittedly but it does make me wonder why the originals in your kit were the Aral dark blue - unless they don't get much sun!?

Cheers,

John.

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4 hours ago, Allegheny1600 said:

Hi Richard,

A very interesting build, well done.

The closest I've ever gotten to a tank farm is a couple of very large ones next to the motorway south of Athens in Greece!

What I have observed is the tanks (like yours) are usually painted grey or white, presumably to reflect the suns rays? More of a problem in Greece admittedly but it does make me wonder why the originals in your kit were the Aral dark blue - unless they don't get much sun!?

Cheers,

John.

 

I think the tanks in the kit were Aral blue in the same way an installation for BP might be green. These would be for fuel oils.

 

Tanks for gases are indeed usually white or pale grey, even in Britain.

 

Tanks holding unpressurised liquids as opposed to pressurised gases often have a flat top or ends. A domed end is there for strength e.g. in a railway wagon carrying only fuel oil.

 

Somewhere or other Faller describe their kit as for a gas or oil installation. Really, I should have painted my tanks white. This would avoid awkward comments about the lack of containment walls :-) However, my Tamiya white aerosol was empty when I picked it up!

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