Grain Terminal Build is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Well-Known Member
I sold parts of my Ethanol Plant, the ST tank cars that supported it and now have 76”x14” of space to fill. Enter the Grain Terminal. This was an added discussion I was tacking onto the conversations in the daily diner. It belongs in its own build thread.

I have the following Walthers Cornerstone kits available:

3- ADM concrete elevator kit #933-3022
2- grain dryer kits #933-3128
2- surge bin kits #933-2935
3- Elevator silo add-on kits #933-3023
8- wet/dry storage bins 2 in a kit #933-2937
1- Western coal flood loader #933-3089

These were gifts received from family the last 3 years or so. I knew eventually I was building a grain terminal. I didn’t realize though that I would end up selling my WIP ethanol plant.

I do have detail parts for the GT from various model manufacturers including conveyors built on my daughter’s 3D resin printer for my Paper Mill complex. I have a list but basically additional grain storage bins from Walthers, ISE, Faller and Rix. Stamped metal safety cages, ladders, walkways and towers from Walthers, Model Tech and a couple friends. Styrene ladders, walkway and safety cages from plastic and Model Tec. The grain Legs are from Walthers, Rix and scratch. Propane tanks are from a Walthers kit and will be moved if needed from the transload facility. Hope you follow along and enjoy.



Well-Known Member
The space I have is where much of the EthanolPlant was located 76”x14”. Here are a few pictures:

Pictured here is the closed aisle entrance gained by a duck under. Underneath the trees on the right side of the picture is my refrigerator and diet soft drink and rum storage area. The green trees are the only Woodland Scenics trees and the only commercial trees and bushes on the layout. All other trees are wire armatures made my me. This also the only spot on the layout without stage skirting to hide the underneath of the layout. The washtub is next to the water softener and out of the picture is my paint booth vented outside. The washtub is great as I clean everything there including me before heading out of the room.

This following 2 pictures below shows in the corner 3 items left from the EP. Stradling the track here is the old corn bins and elevator leg is at about 90’ tall. Not sure the corn bin silos will stay. Also here is shown the 70’ tall scratch built grain/rice dryer and the surge bins with one of the dryers underneath.

Thinking about a backdrop here but I couldn’t find a decent one for when the EP was here, so I doubt it will occur soon!





Well-Known Member
After Thanksgiving I started the build. 1st were the 2 Surge bin kits. Not tough to put together but the bin rings must be fit per the instructions. Since I have built and sold 6 of these no problem. Mistake, after I assembled the bins and let them sit overnight, they didn’t line up with the legs. As I tried to save the bin, to loosen the glue I added more glue but it didn’t loosen the bin rings. I pulled out the trusty heat gun. This is for EXPERTS only and I don‘t qualify. It not only loosen the rings it melted the bottom ring. I ended up cutting down the bin ring and then proceeded to screw it up again. I am going to live with it even though I did start a new surge bin kit, finished assembly but not painted.

Pictured is one of the 2 dryer bins assembled and painted. They fit under the surge bins.

After assembling the grain dryers I read that they dry grain at about 1200 bushels per hour x 2 dryers means the GT has a built in bottle neck. So, after some internet sleuthing I found some grain/rice dryers and built my own. HO scale size is 12’x6’x 80’ high. Handles 5000 bushels per hour, so the terminal can dry 7400 bushels or so per hour.

As below, still in styrene white needing fans (on order and late, thanks USPS) and the 2 duct vents are created and also waiting for the

If you want to know about the kits or scratch building let me know. Almost all my styrene is from Evergreen and is available at Hobby Shops, online or at Amazon. I use the Model Master liquid glue in the needle bottle. The needle bottle is getting tough to order per my LHS owner. I also use MEK and occasionally Aleenes tacky glues. The new bench will have a quiet stove top hood for venting but currently I use a computer fan to move the fumes away from me.


Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Next I wanted the concrete silos. The silos are part of the ADM Concrete Elevator kit and the add-on silo kits. 4 pairs = 8 concrete silos.
I played with 2”, 2.5” and 3” pvc pipe to build my own as I have seen done on You Tube videos and magazine articles. Easy Peary, use a chop saw cut them square at 9” lengths. The issue was the cost of 32 silos, creating the top of the tanks, buying PVC glue as MEK didn’t work for me, spending my time, it turned out purchasing the add-on silo kits was less and probably look better. I don’t want to sound like a Walthers commercial, but some kits are very nice, these are some of those.


So 32 silos built per instructions in groups of 8 or 4 group/sets. They fit together very well, no gaps to be puttied and I was able to get them at a good price. They need to be painted. 4.5“ wide x9” long and 9” high. They do make the rolling stock seem small. That to me is ideal, the difference in size is noticeable.


Coming next, the scratch headhouse.



Well-Known Member
Thanks Willie I truly appreciate the comment and you looking in.

I really need to find a color I like for this complex. I am not sure why the majority of the real Grain Terminals are cement painted white. I want a concrete color that looks good and on the GJohnston thread on Concrete Colors there are some good choices in there. The white would be too much as this complex is now 9’ long. The only color decisions I made are the blue on the surge bin frame legs. I know I will run a 12’ scale stripe the length of the headhouse and elevator portion of the complex. Hopefully a sample of that Wednesday. The safety cages will be red, the ladders will be yellow and safety rails will be blue. Doors are already painted a dark blue.
Here is where I am at:

in the original corner


here is the GT moved behind the Paper Mill yard and 10’ to the right of the above pictures
(7) Grain Terminal Build |
to the right of the above will be another set of bins, but the aluminum colored wet/dry bins, I have a bunch to build but will only use 4.

here I moved the 61” long cold storage building into the corner. This gives me some good area to expand the truck docks in a more 3D section of the building instead of the falsefront it is now

and a shot down the tracks toward the water tower

now it’s decision time for me. I doubt I will post for a few days, but thanks for looking in and comments and ideas are especially welcome
Last edited:


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Nice work.

We have several grain elevators in the area, including a couple that are nearly a half mile long. And they do make railroad cars look small.


This one (the DeBruce Elevator) is 1/2 mile in length. It is the largest in the world and is about 10 miles away from my office. Built in 1944, the cement structure is composed of 246 individual 30-foot by 120-foot tall connected concrete tanks in three parallel rows, all under a single headworks. The structure has a capacity of over 20 million bushels of wheat, enough to supply all the bread consumed in America in a six-week period. There is another nearly as large in Hutchinson Kansas (ADM had that one and still may).


Well-Known Member
Thanks guys appreciate the look ins and comments.

Rico, thats a great looking complex. Any idea how tall those silos are? Those colors on the silos are what I am trying to duplicate

Patrick, great picture. I have always been impressed by large structures especially the grain silos. I had been collecting Google Earth pictures of these type of large complexes and taking what I liked. This past August my son flew his plane for business and flew over the Hutchinson facility. No pictures but called and said Dad you have to see this thing. The closest facility to what I am building I think is the Ardent Flour Mill in Kenosha (yep that Kenosha) Wisconsin.

Dave-thank you. I thought when posting in the diner maybe I should start a thread. Got an email suggesting that, so here I am. I wasn’t sure how basically a picture story would go over. I didn’t and don’t plan to do a step by step. I don’t feel a need to tell experienced modelers how something was done, especially a kit or kitbashing building. I did start out saying contact me for step by steps and I can personally email that. Pictures as I say in the diner really hit a joyful spot for me. I am glad the pictures in one spot work for you too.



Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Patrick/Tomo -- I have stood alongside that storage facility there in Hutchinson.
That thing is UGHUGE!
I was not aware of the one near you there, Patrick!
TOMo, I echo the former comments above.


Well-Known Member
I believe there is, it just doesn’t always look prototypical!

Sorry Tom I don’t know how high the silos are but I could find out.
They certainly look higher than the stock silos don’t they.
Rico, that’s fine on the height. It maybe a camera angle thing

thank you

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.