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 Anvil Mt. Models: Iowa-Tiger Aerial Tram Terminal
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Premium Member

Posted - 03/06/2014 :  1:49:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, after doing scratch builds for some time now I thought that I'd break into my collection of kits. This is what I'm going to build as my next HO scale structure.

This is the kit box and label. Yep, it's kit #1 of the limited run as signed by Lowell Ross of Anvil Mountain Models.

-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Country: USA | Posts: 7236

Dave D

Posted - 03/06/2014 :  2:11:25 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Dave D's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Nice looking structure KP

Gonna try the stain and powders on it????

Hope so, looking forward to your progress.

Country: USA | Posts: 1058 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 03/06/2014 :  2:50:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
subscribing to this thread. what a great looking structure, and there's no doubt in my mind that the finished product is gonna look spectacular.

Country: USA | Posts: 1733 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 03/06/2014 :  2:56:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anvil Mountain Models ( http://http://www.anvilmountainmodels.com ) manufactures accurate models of actual structures found in Colorado narrow gauge areas. As AAM kits are laser cut, the structure components should fit together well.

I know that Lowell Ross of AAM is an architect by trade. As such, I expect that the kit components will be well designed for the construction process.

Lowell is also an award winning modeler. But what is unique is that Lowell has a real passion for the history of the mines/mills in Colorado narrow gauge country. As such, I suspect that the kit will be logical in the construction sequence and I'm hoping that additional coloring and weathering information, as well as the structure's setting and history will be presented due to Lowell's modeling and historian backgrounds.

I chose this kit as I needed to have a lead-in for my next scratch build project. In real the real world, the Iowa-Tiger sent ore via aerial tram buckets down the mountain side to the Silver Lake mill. I'm currently researching the Silver Lake mill to model next.

So, the Iowa-Tiger supplied this monster:

Image used with permission. From the L. Ross Collection, Anvil Mountain Models.

Next is to get out the razor blade, open the box and see what we're working with.

-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Country: USA | Posts: 7236 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 03/06/2014 :  3:32:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit dougcoffey1950's Homepage  Send dougcoffey1950 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Awesome and very inspirational.


Country: Canada | Posts: 1009 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 03/06/2014 :  3:42:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well you certainly picked a good one to start out with.

With your talent and eyes for the right coloring I suspect we will see some outstanding modeling and tutorials.

You can count me in for following this wonderful thread.


"And in the end, itís not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 12290 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 03/06/2014 :  3:50:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kris,that's a very cool looking kit!
It seems to be right up your alley...or is that mine shaft.
Best of luck with it!

Greg Shinnie

Country: Canada | Posts: 8723 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 03/06/2014 :  5:28:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks everyone. I appreciate the support and I hope to present you with an enjoyable ride. With luck, maybe we can find or try out a coloring or weathering technique(or two...).

Well, as usual with the kits I open, there is no way of getting everything to fit in the box again. How do they do it? Brett at SWSM is the master of box packing IMO however.

When I opened the box the first thing looking at me was several pictures of the prototype structure and the structure's history. This was the top page of 15 pages of manual. The pages are printed on both sides, so in effect there are 30 pages of instructions. A quick glean of the pages showed that there were instructions for mixing stains to color the structure, weathering techniques with tools pictured and a well laid out series of construction instructions which included lots of pictures. This should be an enjoyable build!

Humm.. 2 pages of legal size paper of the footprint template. There is also a thick cardboard jig for a couple of functions.

Thirteen packages of laser cut wood parts. All are nicely labeled for contents.

And a CD. Cool... The CD itself is not labeled, so I got out the felt pen and labeled it now before even moving from the desk.

Well, I'm going to go hide for a bit with my reading material. Plan to read the instructions at least twice. First time is a read through to get a feel for the project. The second reading will be done with the package parts in hand to obtain a understanding of parts.

But before going off to read, the CD is calling me. Updates tomorrow.

-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Edited by - hon3_rr on 03/06/2014 5:37:55 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 7236 Go to Top of Page

Cascade Man
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/06/2014 :  7:12:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have always loved this kit. I missed getting one though. You will certainly do it justice!


Country: USA | Posts: 320 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 03/07/2014 :  09:24:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nope, you'll never get all that in the box again! So, now that you're committed to this, it will be fun for us to follow along ...


Chambers Gas & Oil -- structure build
Quality craftsmanship with a sense of humor!

Country: USA | Posts: 4674 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 03/07/2014 :  09:41:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit CBryars2's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Looking forward to this build. Always loved the kit but could not justify on the Colorado and Southern.

The Mill image is fantastic. When you get those two together it will be huge.

Thanks Cameron

Country: USA | Posts: 775 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 03/07/2014 :  11:59:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys. Appreciate everyone who is checking in to see what I'm doing.

Cameron; Yes, you are correct, the Silver Lake mill diorama footprint is currently estimated at 5 to 6 foot by 3 foot, without the river. Looks like I'll be doing it over two different dioramas which will be connected as this will be a portable diorama for shows. If I do the scene over two dioramas, it will be easier to work in the Iowa-Tiger structure.

Speaking of the Iowa-Tiger, it appears that I'm incorrect in stating that the Iowa-Tiger shipped ore to the Silver Lake mill in real life. I have a geo map showing tram lines and it appears that there was a line going to the Silver Lake mill. However, in speaking with Lowell, it appears that the ore from the Iowa-Tiger was sent to one of the smelters down the line. I'm not sure why there appears to have been a tram line to the Silver Lake mill, unless it went to one of the near-by mines. Anyway, more research needed on my part. I did not want to be putting out incorrect information however, thus the correction.

The kit instructions are really well laid out. I would put them in the FMS class of instructions. The only suggestion I could make is to bind the multiple pages of instructions, but as each of the kits sold has a donation going to the San Juan Historical Society, I can easily forgo the bound instructions. In addition, the CD includes the instructions, with a full set of color photo's to each of the construction steps. This is a nice touch as I do not have to copy the instructions and I always have access to any lost pages. I have always copied the instructions so I have a spare set or two. (Read I live with a cat.)

The instructions have notes about where the modeler could get into trouble in the course of construction. Some are even pointed out (literally) in the photos.

This kit suggest a way of doing roof flashing which I have not come across before. I'm excited to see how this suggested process will work out.

Suggested coloring of the structure is provided, with two options which would be found on the prototype provided. Coloring instructions for an unpainted or barn red are suggested. I'll be going for the barn red color, with the coloring strongly faded due to the harsh weather in which this structure lived. As the walls contain individual boards created by the laser, I'll be using soft pastel pencils to obtain the general hues as well as some accents on the individual boards. Water staining and various other weathering effects will be achieved via the application of chalks, stains and acrylic paints.

These instructions have a discussion/warning about the use of water based stains and paints on the component parts. Great information for those who construct models with wood. SWSM instructions are the only other kit instructions I've come across which discuss the issues of water based coloring and weathering to this detail. Suggestions when using water based coloring are also provided, thus their use is not eliminated.

Let me return to the CD for a moment. The CD has 3 files. One is the instructions, but with color pictures in each of the construction steps. (The printed manual has black/white pictures.) This is a great touch as it helps understand how the structure was colored on the various components as well as helping to understand some of the construction nuances. In addition, there is no need to make copies of the instructions.

A second file contains only the pictures of the construction of the kit. Each picture is labeled to match the instructions and the pictures follow the construction sequence. This is great as it allows one to focus in on just the construction picture of a given step without having to dink around on the PC to isolate a picture. It also allows those who are prone to not reading instructions to go by the sequence of pictures to construct the kit. (Let's be honest here, how many of us really read and follow the kit's instructions?) At least using the pictures one may avoid getting out of the construction sequence and having to address the ensuing problems. As this is a relatively complex kit, I strongly recommend reading and studying the instructions however.

The third file on the CD is a wonderful treatise on how aerial trams work. If one is going to have a tram tower or two leading to the structure, or if one wants to fully detail the interior, I expect that this information will be of tremendous value. This file saves a whole lot of research on the modeler's part. I really wish that more kit makers provided this kind of detailed information on the operation of the various machinery components which may be found in the kit or if the modeler is attempting to super-detail or contest build the kit.

I'm still working through the instructions, so I'll provide more comments during the course of the build.

Well, I need to obtain a couple of bottles of leather dye and maybe a pan pastel or two, so it's off to the art store and Tandy Leather. I'll then be using a bit of a different technique to add weathering and graining to the foundation pieces. This is a technique which I have not shown before, but used many, many years ago to create a really heavy weathering of larger timbers and is an extension of the suggested weathering process.

-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Edited by - hon3_rr on 03/07/2014 12:15:50 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 7236 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 03/07/2014 :  12:59:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll be following along here too Kris.

I was unaware of this company, and from the sound of it, they are VERY concerned about the building process going well. How refreshing!

Thanks for the comprehensive descriptions of your experiences.
Much appreciated.

Country: USA | Posts: 3727 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 03/07/2014 :  2:10:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dougcoffey1950

Awesome and very inspirational.

This from the guy who built the full-size Banta mill model in HO!


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8258 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard

Premium Member

Posted - 03/07/2014 :  5:52:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You've chosen a nice model to build, Kris. I'll follow your work with a great interest.

Country: France | Posts: 17652 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 03/07/2014 :  8:51:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Kris,

Looks like you've got a great project ahead of you. I'll be watching and learning a thing or two as you progress through the build.


Country: USA | Posts: 663 Go to Top of Page
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