One of the lesser known structures in Silverton, Colorado, is the Silverton Northern Railroad's depot. Built in the late 1800s, it still stands today looking much like it has its entire life. It looks nothing like the "depots" model railroaders have come to expect. As I mentioned on our main page, if you've visited Silverton you've probably walked right by it and not known of its significance. It sets adjacent to the D&RGW's depot, but far enough away that it doesn't seem to have any connection to railroad history. Oddly enough, I don't believe there was ever a railroad track running along side of the depot. About 300-feet separated the (parallel) mainlines of the D&RGW and the Silverton Northern Railroad, and the Silverton Northern Depot was situated approximately halfway between them.
Our friend Lowell Ross (Anvil Mountain Models, now on hiatus) once produced an HO version of the depot and I want to thank him for all the work he put into researching the structure. The information is hard to come by! Yes, we know it was a depot and housed a small assay office (hence, the attached concrete vault), but Lowell discovered that at one time it was also used as a residence and even a store. I chose to produce the kit as it appeared in the late 1930s when it still served as the railroad's depot in its waning years. However, if you aren't including the Silverton Northern on your railroad, you might want to consider using it as a residence/store.
The small footprint of the model is a great feature. Yes, the length is bit long (16 1/2 inches), but the width is quite variable. If you include the vault and the loading dock, the width measures approximately 6-inches. However, both the vault and the dock are optional, which narrows it to just under 4-inches wide (including the stairs on both sides).
Kit construction is typical of our design approach. A well supported interior plywood (no cardboard or laser board used) core makes extensive use of slots and tabs for correct assembly and supports the outer siding and roof details. Interior partitions not only serve to support the outer walls (no additional interior bracing is needed) but also serve as view blocks, making the structure appear more prototypic rather than as an empty shell. The interior partitions include door openings that mimic what might have been the prototype's original floor plan. For structural reasons, the roof is not removable once the model is completed. You may have noticed the chimney support near the upper left corner. All of the chimneys are physically support and easy to install.
The outer siding consists of a layer of peel-and-stick scribed basswood. Much of the trim is precut peel-and-stick. The sign (a decal) was designed by Lowell Ross based on the prototype's. To add more realism, each window can be mounted in the "open" or "closed" position.
The concrete vault is optional in order to "narrow" the width of the building. It can be replaced with a doorway and a short set of stairs. The kit includes 5 sheets of our peel-and-stick, textured, shake shingles for the roof. The three chimneys are cast resin and designed to match those on the prototype. The "stone" is laser etched plywood that has been textured.
The front vestibule is prototypic but I chose to make it optional. I didn't want to hide that beautiful front door! The roof on the prototype's vestibule was covered in tar paper, but I've also included shingles as an option. Note the boardwalk in the photos similar to the prototype's (also see the top photo). Enough materials are included to configure your boardwalk in any number of ways.
Naturally, the kit includes a very well illustrated (43 photos), large print, spiral bound (lays FLAT!), 36-page instruction manual that helps guide you through every step of the construction. It includes a section on helpful tools plus detailed recommendations on what products to use and how to apply the various finishes. In addition to the usual "Parts Layout" diagrams that link each piece to the text, there is also a "Paint Schedule" to help you determine the colors to paint each part. Many assembly tips are included that may even improve your overall kit-building skills. And, yes, we also include one of our glue syringes to help assure a neat appearing final model.
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