Vanadium Ore Mine
I'm working on a diorama that will be a tribute to Verne Niner. I hope I can capture a bit of his humor and model skills in this venture. The diorama will be loosely based on his ideas for his new layout that would have included a Vanadium Mine and the associated workings.
My intent is to build two or three freight wagons that will carry vanadium ore in sacks and haul a tank of Frijolene from the mine and Frijolene distillery to the train for haulage to the vanadium mill. I have ordered a bunch of stuff including wagon kits and wheels and figures for the project. I'm still waiting on wagon parts, but I have started carving an existing figure to resemble the wagon driver that I want to honor. I hope this works out. I'm sure it will, FUN was Verne's favorite thing for his layouts it seems, so this will be FUN if nothing else. The scale will be 1:24. I think the rail line will be narrow gauge, in Gn15 since that's my favorite.
The wagons will be pulled by the dino from the Estrella Incident. I was lucky enough to get that creature from Verne last winter. He has successfully been 'broken' to safely pull wagons. In this picture he has been out for a drive and has arrived back in town. It seems that the horses and cowboys aren't impressed with having a triceratops in town, but they don't know how gentle and friendly he is. Besides, he doesn't like horse meat, he prefers alfalfa.
Initial fitting for draft rigging for the critter.
Here is the figure that I'm modifying. It is a tedious process to carve the detail in the plastic, but it is satisfying to see the change coming about. The figure is commonly available and looks like this to start.
So far, I have modified the hat some, worked a lot on the face and removed a bunch of unwanted detail from the shirt. That shirt will need to become a chambray shirt with button front. The vest will need all the pockets removed and some texture added. On the original figure, the arms are bare and tattooed. Tattoos are gone and sleeves with cuffs are to come yet.
Aren't closeups cruel...
The story is that vanadium ore is mined, bagged and hauled to the rail for the trip to the processing plant. One method of separating carnotite, the type of ore being mined, uses hot acid solutions. Hence the need for Frijolene to heat the solution. Oh, my layouts are in the 1937 time period. At that time, vanadium was mined and separated from the uranium and the uranium became waste product. Later the 'waste' was processed to make weapons. But that isn't part of the story. Carnotite as mined contained vanadium, uranium and some radium typically. It is a sulfur yellow ore.
More as it unfolds.