Your local home-improvement store has model smokestacks!
You might not recognize them as such at first glance, but tapered replacement table legs are really smokestacks in disguise. They come in several styles, and lengths from about 6 to 29 inches. A long leg costs around $5.00.
The left photo shows two typical replacement legs. The “colonial” style leg was cut at the red marks and yielded the 137-foot (HO scale) stack shown in the right photo. The “modern” leg is about 28" long, which would produce a 203-foot stack in HO scale.
Here are the steps I followed to transform a table leg into a smokestack.
- Filled the grooves with latex wood putty. When dry, I sanded it smooth, then applied a second coat to fill in a few remaining depressions.
- (Optional) Performed minor reshaping of the ridge at the top of the stack, using a power drill as makeshift lathe.
- Cut the leg at the red marks.
- Bored a shallow hole in the top end in case any 7-foot-tall guests want to look down into it.
- Sanded the entire leg smooth, and applied two coats of sanding sealer (sanding between coats).
- When the sanding sealer was thoroughly dry, I sanded horizontal "concrete form" grooves around the smokestack, using 60-grit sandpaper. I wrapped the sandpaper around the stack, then grabbed it "really hard" with my hand, and rotated to gouge the grooves.
- Airbrushed the stack with a beige arcylic paint. When dry, I wiped diluted black paint on to emphasize the concrete form grooves, and to provide vertical streaking.
So, if you're looking for a smokestack, drop by your local home-improvement center and check out the selection of replacement table legs.