With a foot print of roughly five inches by ten inches the classic Black Bart Mine will easily find space on nearly any layout. Priced at less than twenty dollars (MSRP), the kit is a real value for any model railroader.
Black Bart Mine in HO Scale
from Alpine Division Scale Models
by George Riley/photos by the author
Over the years mining operations have provided one of the most popular line side businesses in model railroading. Due to this popularity structure manufacturers offer a wide array of mine building kits in nearly every modeling media and foot print. The real choice for the model builder is choosing the structure that meets the space requirements and has the right look on the layout.
Even thought its design is over fifty years old, Alpine Division’s latest version of the Black Bart Mine should meet the needs of many modelers. The mine was originally offered in the Ayers and Suydam lines as a stamped tin kit that was best assembled with solder. The new model has been completely redesigned utilizing wood and corrugated mat board in its construction. This should make the new version much easier to assemble and finish for most modern model builders.
The main wood and card components of the kit are pre-cut and shaped which greatly simplifies the model’s construction. Windows and doors are addressed with the use of injection molded castings that easily fit into their respective openings with a minimum of adjustment. The model needs only a few tools, ACC and PVA (Aleene’s Tacky) glues plus some wood stain and paint to assemble.
The structure represents a small mine loadout, where a conveyor brings crushed material to the top of the hoisthouse for loading into either a waiting hopper or heavy dump truck. With a structure like this, the large mining complex can be modeled "off the layout," as loaders are often located a distance from the actual mine shaft. With a foot print of roughly five inches by ten inches the Black Bart Mine will easily find space on nearly any layout fitting a wide variety of time periods. Priced less than twenty dollars, the kit is a real value.