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.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

E. L. Moore's Home for Small Locos and Yard Blacksmith Shop

[E. L. Moore's Home for Small Locos; J. R. Fisher collection]

Since I’m on the subject of enginehouses, as well as the brick enginehouse, E. L. Moore’s Home for Small Locos, which appeared in the March 1973 issue of Railroad Modeler, was present. I’ve often thought his Railroad Modeler projects were a little odd, even though I was fascinated enough by Caleb’s Cabbage Company to go so far as to build it. However, upon seeing this engine house, I changed my opinion - much as I've done with many of the originals I saw.
The single-stall enginehouse seems a lot more utilitarian than the brick one. It makes no pretensions about being anything much more than a big box to house a locomotive. I guess in that regard it seems more akin to similar structures in our era than the friendlier red bricked, densely windowed, ivy-covered, and hipped-roof-with-ventilators structure that was the centerpiece of his 1900-era shortline terminal.
The contrast between the greyed and weathered board and batten siding against the natural stone foundation - made simply from stone paper - is striking.
Propping open the upper portions of a few windows is a nice touch.
With the back and front doors open you can see right through. Mr. Moore notes at the end of the article that he didn't add lights, but as with the brick enginehouse, I'm curious to see what it would look like lit in a night scene.
The roof painting is simple, but effective. The rust is Floquil's rust.
Like many of his buildings, the roof can be lifted off to expose a finished interior.
I looked for a signature on the bottom, but didn't find one in this case.
On page 17 of the Railroad Modeler article there's a beauty shot of the enginehouse set up in a simple locomotive yard diorama. Included in that scene is a blacksmith shop that looks a lot like this one.
[E. L. Moore's Yard Blacksmith Shop; J. Collier collection]

This little building was written up in E. L. Moore's article Yard Blacksmith Shop that appeared in the October 1965 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. The one shown in the Railroad Modeler diorama is very similar to this one, but the cupola is different. E. L. Moore was known to make multiples of some of his buildings, and appears to have made a variation on the Railroad Model Craftsman blacksmith for the display.
Most of the interior detailing that was present in the article was missing from the model.
Mr. Moore mentions in the article that it's built from materials he had around, and recommended the reader do the same.
There's also a water tower of some sort in the Railroad Modeler diorama, but a similar one wasn't present in the collections.

Friday, September 25, 2015

E. L. Moore's Brick Enginehouse

[E. L. Moore's Brick Enginehouse; J. R. Fisher collection]

This big, red brick two-stall enginehouse was the centerpiece of E. L. Moore’s 1900-era shortline engine terminal. His construction notes can be found in Brick enginehouse, published in the March ’67 issue of Model Railroader.
I’ve always thought of an enginehouse as a sort of milestone project for scratchbuilders of miniature railroad buildings. That’s probably because enginehouses play such a dominate role in a large number of model railroads, and they are often the centerpiece as it was E. L. Moore’s shortline terminal. In Mr. Moore’s era the masterwork of masterworks enginehouse-wise was John Allen’s wooden, two-stall enginehouse that was described in a 3-part series, The GD Line Builds an Old Time Engine House, in the October to December issues of Railroad Model Craftsman in 1948. Its realistic appearance, built with rather simple construction methods, and gorgeously lit and staged photos, helped to revolutionize thinking regarding standards of realism model railroaders could achieve. However, I think part of the reason for its enduring and well deserved fame is not just in its details, but in its design: cleverly placed and shaped large windows and doorways that allowed for great lighting, viewing and scene staging.  Those meant it could be dramatic in ways that are hard to surpass.
Mr. Allen’s enginehouse was suitable for a temperate climate in a western state – ideally, California I suspect – and Mr. Moore’s appears better suited for a colder, wetter, northern climate of a northeastern state. Its windows are smaller and walls more substantial. Where Mr. Allen’s has spritely trim work on the outside, Mr. Moore’s has ivy. I think it’s tricky to capture the drama in photos as Mr. Allen did with Mr. Moore’s enginehouse. John Allen’s pictures seem to have a lot of elbow-room in them, and E. L. Moore’s are more confined – my guess is that might be an artifact of his situation rather than his vision. 
My photos are on the clinical side, but after seeing Mr. Moore’s enginehouse up close I think it could be staged more spaciously for photos –with scenery, locos, lighting, people and accessories in a Moorian style – that would rival those of Mr. Allen’s. I hope the future holds the possibly of testing that hypothesis :-)
The roof is still quite a solid structure and is still unwarped and fits snuggly on the walls.
Once the roof is off you can get a good look at the fully detailed interior. Mr. Moore notes in his construction article that the light reflectors are over-size so that they throw a good light - another reason that I think some night shots of this building hold some promise. One could easily add more lights if the ones there are inadequate.
My thumb is holding the model through the opening where the doors are missing. Well, thankfully, they aren't missing, they were detached and just need to be re-installed.