Small Mine “Victoria”Small Mine “Victoria” is a machine shop, headframe and hoist house, and elevated loading facility. Once built, you can arrange these into many configurations to fit on your layout or diorama.
The description of the kit is in the RailRoad Modeling review so let’s get to the construction! Despite a 20 pound tool box of modeling tools, for this model I only used a pair of hobby knives, a tweezer (rarely), two machinist angle plates, a metal ruler, a plastic L-clamp, and a few clothes pins. NOCH supplies two tubes of Uhu brand quick setting glue; I assembled this entire set with only the tube remaining from the NOCH Tanzboden model!
I have found that cutting the smaller parts from the sheet is easier with a curved hobby blade such as X-ACTO’s #10 blades X210. A straight blade leaves some burrs yet it worked well on larger parts.
The press board material is properly rigid and the laser cuts are very clean and fine. However, it is paper after all. Care is required handling thin and narrow parts. Board, unlike styrene, will mush if you mash it enough, and it is not as easy to just slice a sliver off to make parts fit. NOCH also suggests having a soft toothbrush ready to clean any laser-burn soot from the edges; I never found any that I thought detracted from the appearance of the part.
NOCH engineered these models to be durable and look good. Except for the loading bridge trestle, each structure consists of a sturdy inner shell upon which you add a layer of exterior detail. In a sense, you build each structure twice!
The slot and tab construction works very well. However, scrutinize the directions and test-fit all parts before applying the Uhu adhesive. The directions are mainly illustrations that are rather dark and have some ambiguities. They do not depict some important details, such as the very fine window facings scribed onto the exterior side. Also, some illustrations show part sheets with parts cut slightly different from what was in my kit, and mislabeled in one case.
NOCH supplies glue that works very well. It sets in about 4 minutes. I use both big gobs and small drops depending on the part.
Raising VictoriaTo ensure things are plumb and square, I used angle plates and clamps while the glue set. The one item of this kit which I did not completely use is the window glazing. NOCH provides a sheet of frosted velum for window glass. While the assembly instructions guide me to add this during construction, I chose not to because I intend to weather the outside of the structures.
Maschinenhaus / Machine House Supplying energy to the mine and hoist is the machine house: a simple brick structure on a concrete foundation with a flat sloping roof, vent, broad main entry protected by sliding timber doors, illuminated through a row of windows along one wall, four small high bricked over windows, concrete chimney, and a stucco side office building.
Dozens of parts are cut into five sheets: concrete internal structure, brick veneer, foundation and stucco office, wooden doors, and tar paper roofing. Oh, and the velum windows, used in all of the buildings. Eight steps guide one through making these two buildings.
Step 2 shows the internal walls attaching to the floor opposite of the orientation required for the brick veneer to fit correctly. I only discovered this after initial assembly and had to disassemble the buildings. The parts were stressed and alignment suffered during reassembly.
Constructing the chimney is a challenge as it consists of some narrow parts. This was the first item I constructed; this probably accounts for why it was difficult to affix the stack to the wall. The rest of the buildings go together with big components that are easy to join. There are some delicate pieces: door hinges, door framing, door stoop, and the window ledges. Use the glue sparingly or you will have small gobs to clean up. Depending on how long it has cured, it can be easy with the tip of your knife.
NOCH brick fascia board is amazing to me. It is three dimensional and shows the mortar between the bricks. Thin as it is some sheets slightly warped, especially the fascia around the large windows, so I clamped it to the inner structure. When you attach the brick, you also add lintels over the bank of windows and the big door.
These are tough lil' models, not houses of cards. Note the officer room under the angle plate while the veneer cures to the inner wall.
Three sliding doors have good detail and separate framing. Using glue sparingly (not always sparse enough) and seating them under my trusty weight, the doors assembled tight.
Finally I added the chimney, roof, door details, and window ledges. With experience of these simple buildings behind me I graduated to the next structure.
Copyright ©2020 by Fred Boucher. _OPINIONS RailRoad Modeling, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2012-03-26 00:00:00