The Penrose Mine

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The Penrose Mine

Keith Hayes
This post was updated on .
There is a sewer pipe just to the right (south) of the Leadville depot. Actually there are two. Figuring out how to hide pipes and columns in plain sight on our layouts is an old art form. At Leadville,  I have been inspired by some photos of the prototype that show mines on hills south of the depot. I figure if I can disguise the lower portion of the pipe, the distraction will be successful.

A foam landform has provided an adequate stand in for the Penrose Mine for years as other projects have demanded attention. A last bit of the Stanley Mine hints at what may be.

Further to the right, an HO model was modified to become the Miles Montgomery mine. Grandt log retaining walls were used to hold the ever-expanding tailings pile. The retaining wall parts are neat modular parts that were included in a small mine kit. Dave Grandt was kind enough to sell me extra parts to build the log walls.

At the Penrose, the challenge is to duplicate the wall at 3/16 scale in closer view. The plan has long been to use dowels, and I found a cheap source of 12" dowels at the craft store, about (7) foot-long sticks for a couple bucks. I tried to make a jig to drill out the dowels for deadman that extend into the rock to hold the wall in place. This first attempt did not work well-perhaps a fresh drill bit would have yielded better results. After some reflection (and a couple years distraction), I concluded a sanding disc in a motor tool would achieve the solution to mass produce Lincoln log parts.

It went a lot faster than I thought. I realized that I needed about 200 short deadmen parts to hold the long log in place. The deadmen are made from 3/16" dowels and the face logs are 1/4". These got stained with a driftwood stain from Timberline Scenery. I built the wall in place.

The wall is more irregular than my inner engineer would like, but it is visually interesting and has a reasonable amount of repetition. It looks like the walls I recall seeing in Leadville as a kid.

Next up was coloring the wall. Granted I observed walls with 50-plus winters on them. Time had allowed the irons in the waste rock (and probably a lot of other nasties) to leach out and ooze down the logs. The results are colorful stains of yellows and reds. Prior to cutting and staining the dowels,  I had thought to draw them across a saw or file to add grain. In my haste to get the project moving,  this was rejected as a time consuming process that might not yield good results. Trees grow in spirals (you can see this in standing trees that have been hit by lightning), probably to improve wind resistance,  so to get the grain right, I would need to rotate the dowel as it is drawn across the saw. Dwelling upon this I concluded it would result in cut up digits, so I pressed on. I used craft store paint to emulate the stains.

I have some cream and gold and a sienna. The log ends were dabbed with cream and white and then a drop of water to draw the pigment into the end grain. Then the colors were thinned and drawn across the logs. A source would be established and the color stain expanded below in a triangle. Colors were overlayed randomly and several times. The top logs got some white to bleach them some. What happened is the water pigments emphasized the natural grain in the logs and made it stand up in a nice way.

I am pleased with the results and now need to move on to the waste rock pile and the head frame building.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Kurt Maechner
Wow.  Thank is super impressive!  Nice work!
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Jeff Young
Nice work, Keith!

How much did you force the perspective in the houses in front of the Miles Montgomery?  Do they step down to HO, or all the way to N?  I wouldn’t have thought it would work with them right next to each other like that, but it’s very effective.

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Re: The Penrose Mine

Keith Hayes
Thanks, Jeff.

You can read all about Hemlock Street on the main page. There is a multi-part post there and you can find it by searching for, "Hemlock."
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Lee Gustafson
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Keith,

Very creative solution to the log wall problem. Color looks good as always your work is an inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

Lee Gustafson
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Mike Trent
Administrator
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Beautiful work, Keith.
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Jim Courtney
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Great work, Keith!!

Leadville is sure coming along -- at some point you need to give us a tour, from left to right of all the progress you've made in the "Cloud City".
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Lee Gustafson
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Keith,

I have re-read your posts on Hemlock street and appreciate the thought, planning and model building skill that you have applied to that project. I’ve had the opportunity to visit your layout and appreciate how you’ve used the space to create Hemlock street in model form. Thank you for your posts.

Lee Gustafson
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Chris Walker
Keith....I'm impressed with your rendition.

UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Keith Hayes
Thank you all for the kind words.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Don Gustavson II
Keith,
The wall looks great.
My Dad and I drove through Leadville where we where out there. And I was surprised at how many retaining walls there was.
HOn3 is the path I have chosen.
The Nearly Historical Railroad.
http://www.nhrailroad.com/
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Keith Hayes
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Today was paint day in Leadville. I am continuing work on three Phase I coals, and have an evil empire project I will share more about in the future. 

Of course there was some shopping at the Symposium last week. I stopped by the Wild West booth and talked with Mike Pyne. He has a great corrugated metal product that I like because it is paper,  is easy to work with and doesn't crinkle.  On the other hand you cannot etch it, either.

In anticipation of construction of the Penrose shaft house,  I picked up 3 packages. I hope it is enough.

This is about half of it, and I applied random applications of grey, rust and brown. On a past project I didn't paint enough and had to recreate my mad method.

Mike has also invested in a 3d printer and is making a number of parts on it. He told me he is redesigning many of the machine shop tools he has using 3d printed parts. I believe one of his early experiments was this ore car. I bought 3 kits which means 6 cars. These are nifty little kits that require little cleaning. Mike figured out how to build the frame with the base so it swivels! The hardest part of the build is keeping that squirrelly part aligned as you slide the wire in to install the body. All this makes it possible to position the car with the body in just about any position. My sole complaint is that the body could use a dent or two.

I guess I had better figure out what the head frame will look like. I cannot procrastinate much longer.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Todd A Ferguson
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Nice work Keith.
Years ago I was playing around with ideas to make cribbing as in the Argo Tunnel storage chutes and also used on the RGS at Ophir Loop.  My focus was also S scale.  I estimated the cribbing to be made from logs about 9" in diameter.  I reasoned that that would be large enough to build reasonably fast but not so heavy that a couple men could lift and move them.  Sort of like mine props...

What I ended up doing was determining the spacing of the deadmen and quickly drawing out a pattern of holes which I could laser cut into 1/8" basswood or plywood.  As for the circular notches in the pieces I thought about a drilling jig or a jig that could be used with a router and bit or the appropriate scale diameter.  But what I ended up doing was drawing the long lengths with the notches included so they could be laser cut in the proper thickness of basswood sheet.  The laser did all the cutting and the sticks were quickly rounded over with some course sandpaper to roughly round.  This also created some texture on the pieces.  Then it was just a matter of cutting pieces to length and gluing.  I kept the deadmen short maybe a 1/2" or 5/8" long in S scale.  The assembly could be assembled relatively flat, stained as desired and the rock rubble glued in place before the installation.

Best,
Todd
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Re: The Penrose Mine

South Park
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
  Keith,

  I have been thinking about this sewer pipe problem, as well as various angles
on prototypical modeling, and I think I may have come up with an answer that
will serve you well.

  Go out back and build a full scale outhouse, buy a large, old school washtub,
and then take a sledgehammer to those sewer pipes ... problem solved !

  But there is more.  The outhouse will allow you to LIVE to prototypical that
you are modeling.  Heating water on the coal/wood stove and doing the weekly
baths in the kitchen in that washtub will really help the whole family live and
feel the history you are modeling.  AND you can use that former indoor bathroom
as an additional space to expand your layout.

  All I see is win-win here.  
"Duty above all else except Honor"
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Keith Hayes
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Okay...it has been a couple weeks and I have the ore cars finished up.

These are a little fussy to put together but are still an enjoyable build: go over to Wild West and order yours now.

I forget now if we decided these would be delivered in black, or rusty steel, or primer red, or even a safety yellow. Yellow would make for a nice splash of color.

I started to mock up the head frame today.

That 4000-series car keeps getting in the way, Chris. (I should have numbered the car 4014 😀).

Anyway,  you can see the mock up in the background as of today. As I have been pondering this project,  I was thinking that the ridge of the elevator enclosure would be perpendicular to the lower roof. Consulting the photo, the two ridges were in fact parallel. A wrench in my works is the drain from the dishwasher and the sink above join right here with a 'Y' fitting. I tried the elevator roof both ways, and concluded that the parallel ridges conceal more of the pipe.

I have also been thinking about what material I want to build this structure of. Since the Wild West corrugated material is paper I picked up some black foam core for a sub frame. The photos show the building in poor condition in 1937-8, and on my layout this will be a shipping location. I have a stash of Grandt parts and am looking forward to using them. It is difficult to tell if there were windows and doors on the real thing...Rule Number 1, you know.

I need to get this goin so I can also build the Raggs Compressor Building. The kit also has a nice small water tank, but I think it's on the small side for this project,  and am on the lookout for a suitable cylinder as a candidate for the Penrose operation.

Espee, Jim and I admired this two story privy on the Everett & Monte Christo:

I guess you have to pay extra to use the top level. Anyway,  I ran your idea by She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, and she just laughed at me and walked off. Not a good sign.

Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: The Penrose Mine

South Park
  I was quite taken by the Everett & Monte Cristo layout.  This RR ran close to where
I grew up and I hiked a fair bit of it as a teen.  Robe Canyon was really scary in parts,
where the RR grade had washed away.  The "town" of Monte Cristo was mostly gone
in the 70's, but the area was heavily scattered with lots of debris.  The fun stuff that is
often packed off.

  I was inspired by the photos to see what Google had to tell me that I did not already
know about the E&MC and related RR's in the area.  I was surprised to learn that the
E&MC inherited an already-built line to Snohomish.  I always thought they took off
from the Seattle, Lake Shore, & Eastern-built NP mainline to Canada at Hartford, and
that was it.  I scoured the internet for ANYTHING on this Everett-to-Snohomish piece
of track, but came up empty, other than some NP-era photos at Lowell.  What baffles
me is where the track ran from Lowell to Snohomish.  I lived there for 30 years and
there simply is no trace of a ROW between those two points !

  The Milwaukee Road built down the Snoqualmie Valley to Monroe, crossed the GN
there at grade, and pressed west on a nearly parallel line to Snohomish, and on to Lowell,
crossing the E&MC/NP and GN lines on a wood pile trestle there at Lowell, continuing
on into east Everett on the high side of the other two.  The Milwaukee depot was still
in use by a post-RR owner when I lived there, giving some idea of how their track came
into Everett, but I can find nothing on where that E&MC line ran west from Snohomish.
"Duty above all else except Honor"
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Re: The Penrose Mine

degg13
I'm not sure if they hold anything on the line, but the GN/NP archives in Burien has an incredible amount of material on the area's railroads. Maybe there's some info buried in there on the Monte Cristo line. I've been able to find a great deal of information there on the local Seattle operations and know that some records or plats buried in the collection that may relate to the line.

When I saw that layout about 12 years ago I was amazed by how well he'd captured the Monte Cristo end. What an incredible line.
Dave Eggleston
Seattle, WA
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Keith Hayes
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Chris,  here is some progress on the Penrose for your Monday morning. I am still fussing with the elevator and shaft house. The elevator is too wide, which is to say it doesn't need to be as wide and still hide the pipe.



In the center is a Raggs compressor building. There will be a team track between the shaft house and the compressor building. The track will end at the cribbing with an Ophir-like metal chute to guide ore down to waiting rail cars.

Next on the right is the change room. This will be at an angle with a road switch-backing up between the buildings. I will have a vertical steel water tank behind the compressor building. This may be on a frame, both to adjust for grade and give the scene some verticality to balance the large elevator building.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: The Penrose Mine

Chris Walker
That's quite a mission trying to hide that pipe.  Have you thought about a bulged sky backdrop insert that loops out over and around the offending pipe rather than construct something totally out of place in Leadville??

A higher cribbing could help.

http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/78292/rec/418



http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/699


http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/728


p.s.  I am still appraising your added W Boxcar.  
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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Re: The Penrose Mine

South Park
  I tell ya, ... none of this would be an issue if you just removed the plumbing from the
house.  She-who-must-be-obeyed needs to adjust that attitude for the sake of aesthetics
AND the citizens of Leadville !  Her sense of doing something for the greater good is
sorely lacking here.

  I think a lot of those on this forum would appreciate your setting a precedent on this
whole wifeperson saying "no" thing ....  🚀

"Duty above all else except Honor"
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