Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mt Bogong Mining Company

With the cold weather lately I haven't been in the mood to work out in the shed even though I have plenty of jobs on the list to do. Since I finished the bridge I have been unmotivated to do much modelling but this weekend I decided to start a new project. I have plenty of projects I could finish but because this is a hobby I started another project.

Mt Bogong is still just some lines on a plan. I am yet to build any benchwork, scenery or structures that will be in the town. I am planning to base Mt Bogong on Walhalla in Victoria's Gippsland. Walhalla was a gold mining town in a very narrow valley that in its hey day housed 5000 people.
Star hotel Walhalla
The Post Office in the foreground and shops in the background. The Long Tunnel battery was opposite the shops on the left side of the street

The Victorian Railways built a narrow gauge line to the town but unfortunately the town was already dying as the railway arrived. Today part of the railway has been rebuilt and is operated by the Walhalla Goldfields railway This ride is a must for anyone interested in narrow gauge rail in Australia. The main mine in town was the Long Tunnel and they had a large ore processing plant right in the middle of town. I have always wanted to build a model of something like that.

My plans for Mt Bogong call for a large ore processing plant but I think my mine will process tin instead of gold. Gold was a more boom & bust operation and not many large mines where operating after world war two, but tin is a metal that is regularly mined. There were tin mines in the Snowy mountains with a location between Jindabyne and Omeo still known as Tin Mines. From my research the exterior of the ore processing plants of both tin and gold look very similar so I had plans of copying the plant at Walhalla. I wanted a large building because it needs to generate enough traffic to justify a whole railway.

A couple of months ago while idly surfing eBay I found an O scale kit produced by Banta model works of the Pro Patria gold mill. This mill was in Rico Colorado and was served by the legendary narrow gauge railway the Rio Grande Southern. This kit is massive and retails for a massive price but here it was at less than half price. With the dollar the way it is I couldn't resist. While it is an American prototype, if I replace the board and batten walls with corrugated iron it will fit right in. I could have scratchbuilt it cheaper but the convenience of having everything laser cut is worth quite a bit.

To break my inertia yesterday I decided to break out the kit and make a start on the Mt Bogong Mining Company. Even though I am yet to make a start on Mt Bogong I think there is value in building the main structure before I begin, especially when it as large as this. The footprint s 1000mm x 1200mm so I need to design the town around it. I have included an O scale horse in the photo's to give an indication of the size of this building.
In a couple of hours the base structure went together very well. So well that I ran out of glue! I went to town this morning but I couldn't find glue anywhere so progress will have to wait until I get to the Bunny warehouse. While I am waiting I should start making some corrugated iron because this is going to need quite a bit.

Cheers Murray