Deer Creek Mine - Lighting locations

Good morning all,

I am looking for suggestions on where the ideal locations are for lighting on the Deer Creek mine diorama. I am at the beginning of this build (just completed the ore bin) and would like to plan any wires that I am going to run before I get too much further down the line. I have included two pictures from Bill's official build as reference. Any suggestions or thoughts from this group would be appreciated. Lighting will be SMD leds (0402/0603) with shades and possibly some 1.5mm bulbs (although I would prefer to limit or exclude these).
Wondering if anyone has alternative suggestions, additions or thoughts. I am also planning on adding a couple of lights in the hoist house.
Thanks all for your time and thanks Bill for your build thread.


My current thinking is:
Picutre 1
A&B - light the stairwell and dump track areas
C - I don't know how to effectively light this area yet - Maybe a second Post and light shinning on the chutes.
D - Post and light that shines towards the door of the house and the boiler area
Picture 1

Picture 2
G&H - To light work areas and provide back light to the diorama as it will be the back side of viewing on the layout
Picture 2


  • Hi Mike On C I would go to the right in case of a bulb change and for the LP if they had to do it. Or put the two C in where you have them marked the left one would light up the center on the mine. Just Saying. ................Carl
  • Hi Mike-
    First off, I hope you enjoy building this model as much as I did. It looks intricate and complicated, however, the jigs and building aids provided eliminate a lot of the stress. It's a fun kit!

    With lighting, (I wish I had installed some in mine!) I'm not an expert. But, it's probably best to look at where to put them from a position of a worker: "why would they want/need one" in a particular place? That being said, I wouldn't put any in locations "c" or "g". The one at "g" doesn't feel prototypical. And at "c", I don't think they would put lights on the chutes--they may light up that area if there was a ladder, like this:


    So here's where I'd put them:

    One on the pole and a goose neck coming off the bottom board of the lift house (to light the stairs)


    A goose neck above the double doors and a hanging lamp above the track inside of the loading area:

    Goose neck above the man door. Possibly 2 hanging lamps above the boiler at the two x's (but that's probably too tight of an area).


    I'd also put one on the inside of the hoist house to illuminate the twin cylinder hoist. I can't remember how many LEDs can be powered by one distribution board--this is where hopefully Bill Sartore will chime in! I think 6 is a number to shoot for.

    Just my opinion--which could be 100% incorrect!
  • Well thought out Bill.
  • This is how I lit up my O scale version. There is 1 underneath, but there probably should have been 2, probablyly should have been one on the stairs as well.
    IMG_0120 (2)
  • edited November 2017
    Carl - Agreed that would be a very kind place to put the light for the poor sap that has to change them. The chute area is definitely a question mark for me in terms of prototype lighting and I haven't been able to find much in the way of pictures to support either option.

    Bill - Definitely well thought out placements. One question I had based on your diorama about the goose necks above the two main doors. I really like the sight lines down either side of the diorama (they are clean with a steep sloping roof-line and relatively flat front with little to no roof overhang and a narrow profile) and I am worried that goose neck lights will stick out on those sight lines like....well, goose necks and look funny. What do you think based on your own build?

    BrownBr - Very cool. I was wondering about a random light in the head frame that would light up the goings on up there, it seems like there should be one up there, good idea. I suspect if there was ever night time loading they would have a lighted chute area and those look good in your diorama. Working in HO scale I may move the lights to the outside 2 frames and have them angled slightly toward the center of the chutes. If I end up adding lights there, the chute area seems like it will be a focal point on the diorama that would be visually rewarding to have lighted. That picture is extremely helpful!

    Thanks guys for the feedback and suggestions.

  • Mike--
    Seeing how awesome Bryan's model looks is giving me second thoughts!
    The light up top is a great idea because the ore car gets pushed down the track by some worker.

    For the goose neck lamps above the doors, you could probably adjust how far they jut out. Right where the "conduit" curves could be the point that they attach to the building. I think Bryan has one above the double doors on his. Also, how you position of the double doors will affect the sight lines. But, I see what you're saying: the overhang and door frame clearance are pretty tight.

  • Hi Bill,
    This will be one of my infrequent (thankfully - you might say!) and long-winded commentaries, so apologies in advance for ambushing your thread and please skip this entirely if it's of no interest!

    There are already many good suggestions in this thread for lighting locations and type. In addition to the winding engine/hoist house and boiler area, etc., probably the most critical area for lighting is the shaft head. However, in my humble opinion the shaft head area requires a fair amount of additional detailing (particularly in O scale) to give credence to the associated lighting and given the overall status of the detailing visible in the photos of your model it may be very difficult or too late for you add this detail.

    To me the mine-head works in this kit and the way Brett set out the kit building instructions represents a fairly old (or, of course, could be made to look either fairly new or alternately totally derelict) installation.

    The reef/mineral deposit obviously must have had limited production/output/yield at the point in the mine's history depicted by the kit because there is only one winding hoist. Therefore the miners would have accessed the underground working levels in the same skip that was used to haul ore. For what it is worth it is highly unlikely in those days that the ore skip would be exchanged for a man cage because that would involve considerable downtime and inconvenience and when a mine is not hoisting paying ore it is not making money.

    No offense please, Brett, but the kit for the diorama seemingly omits a visible means for the miners and their equipment to get to the underground working face(s). They typically would ride in the skip which would be stopped for loading/unloading personnel and equipment slightly above (say, 1 to 2 feet) ground level at the shaft head.

    The shaft would be lined with timber down to at least the hard, stable rock level and the lining would terminate about a foot or more above the surrounding ground level to prevent anything (example: loose rock) accidentally being kicked or dislodged and falling down the shaft - not a fun event if you were riding in the skip a couple hundred feet below the surface! Typically the surrounding ground would be banked up against the shaft lining extension to prevent rain water from entering the shaft.

    Given the timber construction of the head-works there would have been a very well worn wooden platform/deck the full width of the headgear frame and located at the shaft edge, leaving a small (say, ~ 3" to 6") gap to the skip. Logically there would be a wooden walkway (or maybe gravel pathway) leading up to the platform along the route the miners would walk when they arrive and leave for their shift.

    Based on the vintage of the mine the shaft access protection would likely have been as simple as a lifting "guillotine" gate or hinged gate swinging away from the shaft. Adjacent to the miner access there would be a brightly painted (say, red or yellow) open front box containing the controls to signal the winding engine operator. There would be an electric bell above the box and adjacent to the box was a notice board displaying the operating instructions and bell codes. A similar control box, bell and notice board would be located at the hoist operators station in the winding engine house and at each underground level in the mine. The "controls" could be as uncomplicated as an industrial strength Morse code key to produce simple codes which repeated as individual long and short electric bell rings at every control box station. The platform would be scuffed and dirty and might also contain a rack(s) and/or shelf(s) for extra mining tools, lamps, air hose, etc. Small mines typically had a man ladder down the shaft and in those days they were open (no protective cage).

    As an aside: where I originally hail from this size of mine was typically termed a "small-working" and was privately owned and operated. I was fortunate in my youth to have made several visits to gold mine small-workings including going underground via the ore skip to the working face. These all had a simple Morse-type key and bell arrangement for signaling to/from the hoist operator. The only times I rode underground in a man cage was in large, multi-hoist company-owned mines.

  • Hi guys,
    Thanks again for all of the input and suggestions. I went ahead and added lights above the chutes, in the track loading area (blurry shade in the distance) and in the stair well on the tipple (not installed yet). Likely a light or two on the Head Frame and then, as suggested, a few around the hoist house and inside. I have included a quick picture of where I am at with the tipple and roughed in lights (that haven't been correctly positioned or finished yet) so you could see the direction of things. Thanks again for the suggestions they were very helpful in making decisions. This really is an enjoyable kit to build and I'm looking forward to the rest of it. Take care and Happy Thanksgiving to the US folks.


  • BrianM said:

    Hi Bill,
    This will be one of my infrequent (thankfully - you might say!) and long-winded commentaries, so apologies in advance for ambushing your thread and please skip this entirely if it's of no interest!

    Great Information and always of interest. This would takes hours of research if you could even find the relevant information amongst the junk. Thanks Brian!

    Excellent start Mike, looking forward to your night time shots once completed!
  • Weathering is beautiful.
  • Mike,

    I really like how the light makes a small detail and otherwise mundane item like the step ladder in your photo above pop. In a normal daylight shot the step ladder might just blend in with the overall scene. Lighting makes all the difference.

    Later, Dave S. Tucson, AZ
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