Monday, October 5, 2015

E. L. Moore's Water Tower at Elizabethton

[E. L. Moore's Elizabethton Water Tower; J. Collier collection]

Although I noted that this water tower could be used in the 1900-era shortline terminal diorama, it's very similar to the ones seen in photos of E. L. Moore's Elizabeth Valley RR.
A little squatter version with an octagonal roof can be seen in several published photos of the EVRR - notice the number and spacing of tank bands is different in the ones in the published photos. You can see a clear view of the non-business side in one of the black-and-white photos near the end of this post.
E. L. Moore wrote a number of water tower construction articles, but not about this one. His Burn those models that appeared in the May 1955 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman is the closestThere's a photo of the tank sans support frame, a discussion about how to engrave the roof shingling with a wood burning tool, and a clear photo of the finished model. I rather like the conical roof on this water tower in comparison to the one in the article and photos. It seems more refined, and the overall proportions of the completed tower look a little more graceful.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

E. L. Moore's Dilly Manufacturing Co.

[E. L. Moore's Dilly Manufacturing Co.; J. Collier collection]

E. L. Moore's Dilly Manufacturing Co. is a lineside industry on his 1900-era shortline terminal
In a comment on the 1900-era shortline terminal post, Iain Robinson noted that Dilly's appears similar to the 8-Ball Locomotive Works. I did a little digging, and some internet searching suggested that there was an article called 8-Ball Locomotive Works by Bob Hayden in the October 1970 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.
[Part of Bob Hayden's 8-Ball Locomotive Works photo-spread in the October 1970 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. You can see that Dilly's is more-or-less identical]

I didn't have that issue, so I ordered one. Turns out that Dilly's is more-or-less the same. But, that's not the end of the story. The article states that Mr. Hayden based his build on an article called 8-Ball Loco Works by Eric Brunger that appeared in the February 1951 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. And, as they say in infomericals, "but wait, there's more."
The article states that Mr. Brunger's early '50s article in RMC had the plans drawn by Bill Livingston, and the Livingston plans were re-printed in Mr. Hayden's '70 RMC article. So what?
Well, E. L. Moore states in Turn backward, O Time that Dilly's is also based on plans by Bill Livingston that appeared in Model Trains, and since Model Railroader owned Model Trains, he reproduced the plans in his article.
Now I'm curious to find those plans in Model Trains, but beyond the apparent parallel universe lineage of the 8-Ball Loco Works and it's descendants, this seems to backup the RMC editor's note in the Hayden article that it was one of most popular articles they've published. 
From leafing through the pages of old model railroad magazines and doing internet searches, you can see that there are many manufacturers who've offered kits based on this building. It has remained popular all these years.
In E. L. Moore's version you can see some of his familiar touches: detachable roof stiffened with solid triangular gussets, shingles engraved with a wood-burning tool, green siding, inked window framing, and an interior awaiting animation.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

E. L. Moore's Schoolhouse and Church

 [E. L. Moore's Schoolhouse; J. Collier collection]

I posted some pictures of E. L. Moore’s Schoolhouse back in the spring when it was first brought to my attention. It was even more of a surprise since it’s one of the ‘lost’ E. L. Moore projects. That project came back to mind after posting the Jones Chemical Co. photos. The brick engine house and the Planter’s building look stately when photographed by themselves and not embedded in a scene, but Bunn’s Feed and Seed and Jones strike me as having an abandoned look. Their construction is fine, but the lack of Moorian surroundings diminishes them a bit. Well, it could simply be that since my initial encounter with those two was via Mr. Moore’s staged photos in Model Railroader, my own nostalgia is getting in the way. It’s possible.
The only building in the 50 or 60 or so E. L. Moore originals I saw that still had any Moorian scene, or remnants of a scene, attached to it was the Schoolhouse
Those carefully placed figures bring the charming interior to life and lift it out of being merely a showroom – although, the miniature furnishings in there are quite fine in their own right.
Like all the other buildings that have removable roofs, this one fits snuggly and isn't warped. One different thing about this one is the roof trusses are notched to fit over the main beam that keeps the end walls straight.
[E. L. Moore's Church; J. R. Fisher collection]
The Church is a variation on the Schoolhouse, and just as nicely built.
The windows have triangular tops and are more indicative of those that would be part of a rural church. Also, the building isn't as long as the Schoolhouse.
Seems a bit tilted. I don't think that is camera distortion.
Although, in this view it looks ok.
Unlike the Schoolhouse, there is no interior even though the roof comes off. Combined with the little hole in the lower left corner, maybe Mr. Moore had planned to add an interior, but never got around to it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

E. L. Moore's Jones Chemical Co.

[E. L. Moore's Jones Chemical Co.; J. R. Fisher collection]

E. L. Moore's Jones Chemical Co., which appeared in the March '74 issue of Model Railroader, is the next on my list of personally significant E. L. Moore projects, just second to Bunn's Feed and Seed Plant. It was the next E. L. Moore project to appear in Model Railroader after Bunn's back in August '73.
The model is in good condition and the only major missing piece appears to be the rooftop shack beside the tank structure. You can see on the lefthand side of the roof where the shack was glued on.
This project made maximum use of his method of embossing paper to make metal siding and roofing. It's quite convincing.
When I look at this loading dock view and compare it to the same view in the article I'm reminded how much Mr. Moore's placement of figures, vehicles and other props enhanced the building and the scene - his building is good, but it's missing his signature narrative touch. 
Those chemical tanks are made from 35mm film canisters wrapped with paper and they're still looking good.
Jones is also a project I built awhile back. I found it too difficult back in the '70s, but I looked forward to trying again when I got back into the hobby. I mainly used styrene in my build, but if you can forgive me :-) here are the build posts,

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

E. L. Moore's Bunn's feed and seed plant

[E. L. Moore's Bunn's feed and seed plant; J. R. Fisher collection]

It  turned out that Bunn’s Feed and Seed was one of the buildings I saw that day. It was that project from way back in the August ’73 issue of Model Railroader that got me started in the hobby, so learning that it still existed and was in good condition was a pleasant surprise.
Back in the spring I was provided access to a copy of Mr. Moore’s manuscript for Bunn’s. The  article was originally titled Grandpa Bunn’s Feed and Seed Plant and  included a story about Grandpa Bunn that was edited out of the published article.
You see all those posters on that wall? If you've got a copy of the article handy, compare them with the posters on the same wall on the last page of the article. They're identical.
That's important because - look at the date on the bottom - below E. L. Moore's signature it says: '74. The article was published in August '73, and submitted to Model Railroader in January '73. My guess is it was built in late '72. I think this is the original because the postering would be difficult - if not unlikely - to be identically replicated on a later version. Guessing again: it was signed and dated when Mr. Moore gave it to Fred Kelley.
Here's the view from railside. There seems to be a tilt on the metal-sided building.
There's some more posters on these walls too and they also match the ones on the published photos.
A few years ago when I got back into the hobby, building a new model of Bunn’s was a top priority :-) Unlike E. L. Moore’s I made use of styrene for the basic structure, and made a number of other modifications. Here are the posts in the series,

Sunday, September 27, 2015

E. L. Moore's Central Warehouse

[E. L. Moore's Central Warehouse; J. Collier collection]

Although the brick enginehouse is impressive and the focal point of the 1900-era shortline terminal, my favourite buildings on that diorama are the supporting businesses that are strung out along the right-most siding. All are interesting, but the Central Warehouse is likely the best, as well as being the stand-up comedian of the bunch - or maybe, more accurately, the propped-up comedian :-)
It was packed away in 1983 and hadn't seen the light-of-day since. I've seen a few of those old movies where archaeologists open up a mummy's tomb and then all manner of trouble starts, so I figured I'd snap the unboxing in case anything odd happened during the process :-)
The first step was to carefully cut through the tape.
Folding back the end flaps revealed the toilet paper wrapped model.
Now the mummy - er, model - was extracted from the box.
Begun unwrapping the outer layers.
With the outer layer removed, some more unwrapping.
The ends of model were are now exposed - things were looking promising.
As more layers were peeled back, the shape became clearer.
Repositioned to remove the final layer.
Done! And there it is. 32 years later and looking fine. 

All joking aside, the preservation job done on the model by wrapping it in toilet paper and boxing it up did the trick and kept the model in fine shape.
Plans for the model were given in the Turn backward, O Time article about the 1900-era shortline terminal that appeared in the January '67 of Model Railroader, but there wasn't an article devoted to its construction.
I like the variation in colour across the model.
The small extension is un-tilted and gives some contrast to the tilted main building.
Like most E. L. Moore buildings, the roof lifts off to show a finished interior.
The roofs are built using his standard technique of solid slab triangular trusses to give strength. Both roofs fit well and haven't warped over time.
It looks like one truss was made from a scrap of wood that had some stones scribed into it. 
The extension roof is built using the same technique.
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