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.


  1. Besides the models themselves, I'm struck by how colorful they are; EL certainly had an eye for color! Does anyone know how and with what he painted his models?
    I'm trying to build the Elizabethan Depot and so far I've found that brown leather shoe polish gives the balsa floor the appearance I've been looking for.
    Thank you again for presenting these models.

    1. I'm also impressed with his use of colour. I'm not sure what brand of paints he used. I'm going to do some digging and see what I can find. I suspect he used brands that were commonly available on hobby shop shelves in the '50s and '60s - maybe something from the Floquil line, but that's just a guess at this point - since his tendency was to use low cost and readily available materials.

  2. Sorry! I should have written Elizabethton Depot.

    1. A cursory review of some green ELM buildings, this is all I could find about the green paint used,

      Octagonal Water Tower, Aug. ’63, RMC
      ‘The frost box, the tank body, and shingled roof have a tinge of green stain .... a sort of weathered green look.”

      Branch Line Station, Apr. ’64, RMC
      “Since I like green I painted my station a faded green, diluting with thinner; the inside of the office is an undiluted green.”

      Tuscaloosa depot, Mar ’69 MR
      “For painting my model I chose a medium green made by mixing light and dark green with a bit of yellow.”

      Maybe he simply used a green stain from a hardware store thinned with turpentine. If any reader has some information, please leave a comment - I’d be glad to learn more. I'm going to keep looking.