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Peter's Model Railroading | The Layout | Stops | The Hazel Mine Complex | Hazel Mine Tipple
Tipple Marriage

In the automotive industry, when a car manufacturer's production line finally merges the car body with its frame, it is called "the marriage". So, this momentous occassion of me finally installing the main building on to the tipple's support structure happened on April 1, 2023. Yes, it was scary, as I have been working on this project for a very, very long time. The construction of the main building started on June 14, 2020, and it was my only modeling project until it was finished on February 2, 2021, so seven and a half months. Almost immediately after that I decided to trash my last layout, build my current module (shown in the photo), and build my first attempt at the support structure (the styrene version). The ABS version of the support structure (including the incline) was started on April 23, 2022, and was my only project I worked on until finished on January 4, 2023, so eight and a half months. All of February and March of 2023 were spent building the interior details of the support structure, the parts that I would likely not be able to reach with the main building permanently attached to it. So, to sum up, the building that you see in this photo took 18 months, or one and a half years, of dedicated modeling time to complete! And, it is not yet finished; the incline in the back still needs to be detailed.

To be able to permanently attach the main building to the tipple's support structure, I needed a glue that would give me ample working time. I had to apply a bead of glue to 59" of surface. I usually use 90-minute epoxy for long glue-ups like that, but I couldn't find any. Most are 5 minutes or shorter. So, I settled for this overkill glue, J-B Weld, which gives me 4+ hours, and takes 24 hours to fully cure. I think this is the first time I have used this glue (or epoxy). It went well, and the building was secure within an hour (I didn't want to test it too hard); either way, it did the trick. These two major components of this model will never, ever come apart!

It is an interesting feeling to look at this model that took me almost three years of calendar time to build! In addition to fully detailing the incline, there is still a lot of work left to do on this building, but those are all things I can do over time and they don't require access to impossible-to-reach areas. These include doing touch-up paints here and there, adding weathering to some areas, adding many figures, and other scenery details.