long abandoned, the Maude
Monroe (also mistakenly labeled the Hukill Mine
in the past) still stands outside of Idaho Springs, Colorado, a short
west of Denver. Master Creations introduced their HO kit in the
1970s, but the mine's popularity really took off when Harry Brunk
published an article in the Narrow
Gauge And Shortline Gazette in 1985, describing his beautiful
scratchbuilt model. Our kit would have been based almost
entirely on Harry's article until a set of extremely well detailed
plans for the mine (and support structures) was made available by
Don Griffin of Idaho Springs. Don's 8 sheets of highly accurate
plans contain a wealth of information, more than I could possibly
include in the kit. However, even after compromising on some of
the smaller details, the resulting model is truly of museum quality and
one you will be very proud to display.
You should note from the start that the mine is located well above the
loading track, which is replicated by the kit (2½-inches for the
S-scale kit). The kit includes the tiered retaining walls and
detailed chutes. If you feel like a challenge, the bottom
sections of the chutes are hinged and operate. To capture the
detail of the slide gates, our friend John Socha-Leialoha machined the
dies and injection molded the rack & pinion operators just for this
kit. They are truly the work of a master craftsman.
The structure walls on the prototype
were covered with tarpaper held in place with battens (the pre-cut
tarpaper and battens in the kit are peel-and-stick). Of course,
the kit includes this feature, plus, the underlying walls are scribed to depict the
individual boards should you choose to distress the tarpaper.
The prototype's roof was also tarpaper (included in the kit), but for
visual impact I decided to use corrugated metal -- also
The kit contains many jigs to ease assembly, but building the headframe
may still prove challenging. All the parts are pre-cut by
laser and fit precisely, but the instructions must be closely
followed. Speaking of which, the spiral-bound instruction manual
is 43-pages long with large (readable!) type, and contains 72 photos of
the construction process. It also includes recommendations for
tools, adhesives, a few assembly tricks, and finishing your model.
The kit includes the various nut-and-bolt
details, as well as the numerous tie-rods holding the structure
The kit wouldn't be complete without the
Hoist House. Again, a tarpaper covered structure.
The ore bin and side stairway measure
4¼-inches wide (11-cm), overall, and the depth is approximately
18-inches (46-cm) when the Hoist House is located on the same flat
plane as the ore bin. However, the Head Frame brace can be
mounted at a steeper angle or even supported off a hillside behind the
mine, reducing the required depth. By locating the Hoist House
further up the hillside allows you to install the mine in
14-inches (36-cm) of depth of less. (Depth dimensions are
measured from the center of the track to the rear of the Hoist
The top of the Head Frame measures approximately 11-inches above the
We currently offer two sets of support structures for the mine.
Set 1 includes the Change House and the Carpenters' Shop. Set 2
consists of the Office, Compressor Building, Water Tank, and Outhouse.