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Sliver Spur Mine Project

I have decided that the Silver Spur Mine will be my Birthday present.

It is a Campbell Kit that I purchased back in the mid 1990s.  It's been sitting on the shelf with many other kits to be assembled on a "Rainy Day".  It seldom rains in Bakersfield so they just sit on the shelf.  

During the design stage of my layout I planned for a mine in the mountains.  I found this Campbell Kit that fit my original plan at B&F Hobby while cruising for parts.  The kit is the Silver Spur Mine #388.  The foot print will fit in a 10" x 18" space located below my Radio Communications Repeater Site at the highest point on my layout.

As usual I got excited about my project and didn't take as many pictures as I would like before I got into it.  The first picture is what the kit consisted of out of the box.



The picture below is well into the first building.  It shows the Shaft House and conveyer structure.  The Campbell instructions are very good but again as usual I didn't follow them and learned the hard way.  They specifically said not to use a white glue to attach the corrugated aluminum to the cardboard, I did and shouldn't have!

Notice the upper corner of the peak of the roof.  The aluminum has already started to come off.  I found it extremely hard to handle the building and not catch an edge of the aluminum.  Each time I used superglue to put it back.  By the time I finished with this building every edge was held down with superglue.

The picture above shows the jig that I made to support the structure during construction.  It was necessary because of the different ground levels of the structure.


The support structure for the tipple is made from the 3/32" square basswood stock, the instructions are actual size and can be used as a template to build the entire kit.

The timber hoist structure is made from 3/32" X 3/32" X 10" basswood stock again using the plans as a template.  While it doesn't look like something difficult to do it took me a full day to cut and assemble the timber hoist.

The alignment for the hoist to fit the roof at the correct angle was more difficult than I expected.

Making the top platform of the hoist was the most difficult thing to this point.  The plastic pulley came in two pieces and needed to be glued together, the detail of the pulley and the pulley bearings is great.  I plan to animate the cable/pulley system so I took great care in the assembly of the pulley and bearings.  The pulley is mounted on a .020" steel rod and turns freely.

At this point I painted the timber hoist with Flo-Stain Driftwood as a base preparation for a oak stain later.  The picture above shows one of my home brew lights.  I light up everything, my lights have lights.

The light is a 2.3mm 12 volt @ 35ma, the reflector is a 2mm washer that I pressed in the center to make it concave in appearance.  I put a 2-56 round head screw in my bench drill press and press the center of the washers into a pine 1" X 2".  The washer sets perfectly on the bulb allowing the wire end of the bulb to form the socket end of the fixture.  I paint the bulb end, wires and reflector with black craft acrylic paint first to prevent unwanted light from showing through then after it dries I paint over the black with green.

The Shaft House is looking good, as you can see in the pictures I have done a bit of weathering to the corrugated aluminum.


Checking out the lights

I hid the #30 bares wire by pressing them into the basswood with flat nose pliers.

The Shaft House is complete in this picture with 7 lights, one inside and six on the outside.


This is the Wench House pulley cover, the sides are pressed basswood with a corrugated aluminum roof.  The sides are pre-cut to the proper size.  After learning the hard way I used a thin coat of Goop on the cardboard to anchor the corrugated aluminum on this building, that worked great.

The opening had to be cut for the pulley.  I made the slot full length so that I could remove the cover to give me easy access to the pulley.

I will need to remove the top house to have access to the cable/pulley operation.

I glued the pulley supports to the front of the building allowing for the top to be removed.

The pulley looks out of focus, the reason it's out of focus is it's spinning.

More lights, I love lights.

The Winch House has a light inside and two outside.  The room off the side has a full interior wall so it remains dark.

You can see the interior light through the pulley opening.

This is where the Silver Spur Mine will be located, next to my mountain top radio communications site.  Here I have cut out a 10" X 18" section of Paper Mache/Foam to accommodate the mine.

The mine is sitting on the prepped foam base.  I used Lightweight Hydrocal on the foam to set the structures on.  I'm making the module removable so that I can continue working on it at my workbench where it is cool, my layout is in the garage and it isn't air conditioned . . . . it gets hot in Bakersfield.

This is my mine sitting on it's base with full lighting, all 10 lamps are on.  The bulbs are 12 volt 35ma, I operate all my 12 volt lighting on 8½ volts to make them more realistic looking as well as extending their life from 600 to 700 hours to well over 3000 hours. 


I have been adding some detail to the buildings, this picture shows the 18 foot long generator exhaust stack and the guy wires to stabilize it.  The tie ring on the stack is a short piece of #26 bare copper wire with three .010" brass rods soldered to the ring.  The ring isn't anchored to the stack, the three brass rods are super-glued to the corrugated aluminum roof.  The stack is a 5/32" x 2½" brass tubing supplied in the Campbell Kit.  I painted the tubing with FolkArt 662 Silver Sterling Acrylic paint then when it had dried for several hours used 8 to 1 water thinned FolkArt 914 Rusty Nail Acrylic paint to simulate rust on the pipe.  I used the same mix of Rusty Nail to the corrugated aluminum roof and walls for rust stains.



This view shows the winch house with subdued lighting and the light on.  As you can see I have done some preliminary ground cover and added the storage shed.


This is a view of the whole module with all 10 lights on.  I haven't filled in the timber holes yet because I can't anchor the timbers until I have the wench cable in place, the timber structure needs to be removed to install the cable.


Slightly different view


The pictures above were taken without flash, the pictures below are with flash on.




This shows one of the three wooden doors that had to be made from basswood stock.

The FolkArt Waterbase Stains work very good on bare basswood, I erred by using LiquiTex Wood Stain.  It was much too dark and it sealed the wooden timbers so that the wood wouldn't absorb the FolkArt stain.  I may have remake the timber structure if it ends up looking toy like.

Next I will add more "Mel" details that didn't come in the Campbell Kit.  Working figures, vehicles, the wench cable mechanism and scenery with trees & shrubbery.  I didn't have a ore hauling truck so did a "Buy It Now" on E-Bay for an International R-190 tractor trailer rig.

I will post finished pictures of my mine in place on my layout later after I have completed the surface modifications to mate the layout to this module.  I have to move, widen and gravel the dirt road to my Radio Communications Site.  The road will have to be improved for tractor/trailer traffic to and from the mine.

Part 4 Coming Soon