Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Recently Updated: Moore's Balsa Products & Machine Shop Kit List

News Flash! 

If you've been following along at home you may have noticed that I've been updating the list of boxings of the E. L. Moore designed Machine Shop kit in the Moore's Balsa Products post. Martin has generously shared images of a number of boxings he's found, and so far there are 14 (!) in the list (the AHM original, kit #5839 + 13 reboxings). Yes, 14. I have no idea if this many was common in the industry, but it seems like a lot to me. There might still be more out there. I'll keep you posted.

Pickle's B-Side

Martin flipped over the Pickle Factory walls, and lo-and-behold, you can see the arches and some brick from its ancestor, E. L. Moore's AHM Schaefer Brewery kit.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Beer & Pickles

A well disguised F&M Schaefer Brewery
I was reviewing the instructions on how to build the Perry Schibbel Fruit & Co-Op in Art Curren's book Kitbashed HO Model Railroad Structures, and found that the table in the back listing kit substitutions that could be used for the various projects noted Model Power 's Heinz Pickle Factory, kit #465, could be substituted for AHM's F&M Schaefer Brewery, the E. L. Moore designed kit that the kitbash is based on. The only difference being that the pickle factory has wood sides, not brick as does the brewery. 



Left: Pickle Factory; Right: Brewery
Martin generously sent me a photo of the pickle factory's walls, and when compared to the brewery walls in my Model Power repop, well, you can see the basic shapes are indeed the same. Ok, one has square openings, and the other has arched, but Mr. Curren was right, you could no doubt build a wooden version of Schibbel's. The pickle factory is just a 'wooden' version of the brewery.

As with many of these kit buildings a few other manufacturers sold this pickle factory. There's a Pola version and a Lionel, and probably others, but the key thing is that this is yet again another kit that can be traced back to E. L. Moore. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Random Falconry

We're in the middle of a long stretch of sunshine and temperatures in the mid to high twenties - maybe hitting the low thirties next week - so there's not much layout work or modelling going on. Although there's lots of conversations, research, reading, and rambling happening along with the outside house maintenance and goofing off. The still unfinished old Ford Falcon based Ranchero has been staring at me from the table begging me to finish it, so I thought I'd oblige with painting and gluing a few parts.

Some further randomness:

Over at Moonbase Central there're are some pictures posted of a tin money box sold by Woolworth's in the '50s UK. As soon as I saw the pictures I knew I had one stashed somewhere in my parent's things. Up until that post I never gave it a second thought; funny how the mind works. I think it came from my grandmother's house. On the back in very small print it says Made in England and Burnett LTD London.


In the June '72 issue of Railroad Modeler E. L. Moore had an article called Uncle Peabody's Machine Shop where he suggests - I won't say says - Airfix machinery was used to outfit the building. That blurry b&w is a scan from the article of the building's interior with machines in full view. In the October '62 issue of Model Railroader Arthur E. Anderson says in an article called Structure for a Souvenir Factory that he fitted the interior with Airfix plastic dummy machinery. Did Airfix actually sell an accessory set of machine shop machinery? After some extensive digging, Martin and associates don't think so, and I can't find any indications either. Maybe E. L. Moore was wrong? Maybe the machines were actually part of some other Airfix kit? Maybe they were only sold under the Airfix brand in North America? If you know anything about these mystery machines please leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Street level overlays

I cut two overlays from construction paper for the street level entrances to the tower's offices and stores. The verticals will have another layer of card glued on to mimic the thickness of the prototype's. Hmmm, these unforgiving digital photos show the overlays need a little clean-up before installation, but at least the fit, shown in the tilt-up below, isn't too bad. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Johnsons Chemicals or Burns Engineering?

It's weird how my memory works. When Martin sent me a photo of this Burns Engineering Corp. boxing by Atlas of the machine shop, which they had also boxed as Johnsons Inc. Chemical Products, my mind flashed on seeing lots of machine shops with Burns signs back in the '70s, but for some reason this only bubbled up when I saw this box top. The painting on the Johnsons boxing suggests it's moulded in yellow brick, and has a water tank that this one doesn't. The variations and boxings this kit has seen never ceases to amaze me. I wonder if this is typical for these cheap-and-cheerful kits, or if this is unique to the machine shop? 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Machine Shop '73

Martin noted that the machine shop that appeared as a new product in Pola's '72 catalogue, appeared in AHM's '73 catalogue. You can see that AHM used the same painting Pola did. I wonder if there was a '72 AHM catalogue, or if their '73 catalog was published late in '72 - say, in time for Christmas - because I'd like to narrow down the date when the kit became available in North America. Well, on the other hand, given where we are in the 21st century, it hardly matters much if it was released 47 or 48 or even 47.5 years ago, the fact that it's had the life and longevity that it did is amazing in and of itself.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Smithy Arrived In '75

Another find in the Pola catalogues: apparently E. L. Moore's Smithy was a new Pola product in 1975 according to that year's catalogue

And if that wasn't enough, it was also featured on the cover!



New for '72

I've been browsing through these Pola catalogue scans and came across that image from their 1972 combined HO / N catalogue. Obviously from the 'neu' the machine shop was a new release for 1972. AHM was the North American distributor for the E. L. Moore kits so I need to find an equivalent entry in an AHM catalogue.

Visual density

Hidden behind the Mortimer Loop fence is Mortimer Park. Naturally, it's a rather big, open space, but I thought it was a little too big for a part of the city that was supposed to be older and denser with buildings. After some playing around with building placement I thought I'd add the Bookery along the edge of the park and walkway. Right now it's just sitting on top of the park's grass, and some excavation and blending needs to be done to fit it in.