Build an industrial water tower

07 October 2021
You can't have a steam engine shed without a water tower, so to accompany the shed he built in the November issue of BRM, Phil has constructed one from a kit.

The water tower is a laser-cut MDF kit from Scale Model Scenery. All the main parts are glued together using PVA. Everything slots together easily, although it's important to make sure all are firmly located so the model is square.

The decoration is a printed paper wrap that fits well, but benefits from a few coats of matt varnish to kill any sheen. Despite colouring the edges of the wrap that fits inside the tank, I'm not happy that you can still see them. Perhaps trimming the height by 0.5mm would help.

Fortunately, a wooden top cover is an optional part of the kit, and after a few washes of dark brown and black paints, it really looks the part for an industrial scene. A dusting with rust colour powders add a little more colour to the model and finishes it off.

Bedding the tower into the hillside requires some messy work with a sharp knife to cut through the plaster bandage and gouge out the polystyrene inside the mound. This is a lot easier than it looks, although keeping a vacuum cleaner handy is wise.

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The legs are glued in place (put some weight on top to ensure they sit down fully) then the hillside is restored with DIY wall filler. Use a pallet knife dipped in water for the neatest results. Doing this before adding the grass makes life easier, but you could do it afterwards, and just add more greenery.

One feature missing from the water tower kit is a pipe to let the water come out. A drinking straw would do, but I'm making use of the Knightwing Industrial pipes pack as this includes some nicely moulded valves and handles for a little extra detail.

Finally, a little weathering powder is applied to both the tower and legs to blend them together. It's not a beautiful structure, but looks perfect in this industrial scene.

The engine shed build appears in the November 2021 issue of BRM - available from our store.

Building the layout it appears on was described in October 2021 - available from our store.