Well, ok, there was also another reason. The Art Curren post got me thinking that cheap and cheerful kits once had a place in the hobby. Some people bought the kits, built them as intended with varying degrees of skill, and put them on their layouts, but others, like Mr. Curren, used them as convenience items for kitbashing structures that were more to their own liking. And his preference, if his "Stratchbuilding"-with plastic kit walls in the June 1977 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman is anything to go by, was for the readily available E. L. Moore plastic kits that had been on the market for a number of years by that time.
At this blog I've built a few of those E. L. Moore kits, but more from the straight out-of-the-box perspective, than with a kitbashing intent. They aren't the most high fidelity kits, but with a little work, they can be rather attractive.
My first builds here at 30 Squares - Ma's Place and Speedy Andrew's - were the subject of this 3 part series: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
What got Vince and me talking was that as well as the kits directly made from Mr. Moore's RMC articles, there's a whole other set of cousin kits that were manufactured based on the parts from the original 9 (there's a list of The Original 9 over at my Wikipedia article). Speedy Andrew's over there - really, an auto repair garage, not a surf shop - is one. You can see it's based on Ma's Place. I think it would be quite a lengthy investigation to track down the entire lineage of kits as the molds have changed owners over the years, and the kits went in and out of production over the years.
It turns out, unbeknownst to me at the time, I did buy and build a couple of E. L. Moore kits back in the '70s. Ok, I knew I bought the kits, but I didn't know who designed them :-) That one is the Ramsey Journal Building that I tried to convert to a Home Hardware. A lot of the parts are now missing, but it was a semi-sensible conversion, although very basic on execution.
A couple of years back I bought this kit at a swap meet with an eye towards getting the parts I needed to restore my Home Hardware. I think I paid a loonie for it.
You can see the indications on the AHM kit that this was designed by E. L. Moore are long gone on this Tyco version.
Good thing I didn't pay too much, because it looks like the original owner took Art Curren's advice to heart and used the walls to build something else. Luckily, the walls are what I have, and it's the other parts I need.
Also back in the '70s I built E. L. Moore's Village Smithy kit. And, again, back then I didn't know about the E. L. Moore connection. I think somewhere along the line I cannibalized the kit to make something else, hence the missing parts.
I have bought a few more E. L. Moore kits in this century. Over there is the W. E. Snatchem Funeral Parlor which interestingly enough, the manufacturer left the W off the sign, so no one will get the joke if they're not in-the-know - like you are :-)
I was so happy when I found an intact kit of the Molasses Mine. It was the subject of a build post and I was also lucky to see the original.
But, the rest of the kits I've bought over the last few years are still in boxes. That one is the sister project to W. E. Snatchem: The Grusom Casket Co. That one apparently was for the German market because those red boxes announcing the kit was designed by E. L. Moore are in German.
I bought that AHM version of Grusom's because this Pola version I bought about 6 months earlier didn't have all the walls - half were missing. I didn't check the kit when I bought it, so my fault. Once again, someone was using the kit's parts to make something else a la the Art Curren philosophy :-)
I was more cautious when I bought this Busy Bee Department Store kit and opened it soon after it arrived. I was lucky to see the original this kit was based on back in 2015.
Just to prove that I opened it, I did an unboxing video.
Finally, I have this kit of E. L. Moore's Schaefer Brewery - retitled by Model Power - awaiting my acquisition of a second so I can build Art Curren's Perry Shibbel Fruit & Produce Co-Op that you can find in his 1988 book, Kitbashing HO Model Railroad Structures. I've studied the plans a bit, and it turns out I think Shibbel's could be built from a single kit with a strategic substitution of styrene brick sheets here-and-there.
Even from this small selection of E. L. Moore designed kits, you can see the masters have been owned by a few companies over the years, so compiling a list of them all, and their derivatives, would be challenging.