Sunday, November 29, 2015

Urban renewal at Scarboro Square

With posting photos of E. L. Moore buildings finished, I'm trying to get the layout spiffed up for Christmas. Over in the white box is Scarboro Square. It's one of the few parts that hasn't been updated - it's more or less the same as shown in this 3 year old photo. I decided to rip it out, add some buildings that have been languishing on my shelves and install some lights.
Everything was pulled out except the station.
Some new plastic pavement was aded.
And after much fiddling, some places for new buildings were established. While working on this, and the diorama for the HOJPOJ,  a feeling came over me that this will be the last run for the Lost Ocean Line. I'm thinking that next year I'd like to build a completely new layout. I've learned so much over the last few years, and have a lot of pent-up ideas I'd like to try, so I think these might be the LOL's last days.

2 photos from the 8 Paws Railroad

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit John's 8 Paws Railroad. It's a massive layout based on a dog-bone plan with the main line running a good 35 feet. There's lots of passenger train action in this world. Gotta make a return visit to get some better photos.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

HOJPOJ Reno: Movin' along

The next job I decided to tackle was to make a replacement pipe elbow for the one that was missing on the far most cyclone. I tried to make one using E. L. Moore's paper wrapped and shaped balsa strip method, but I couldn't master it. I then tried making one from a bamboo skewer that had just the right diameter, but the wood was too stringy and brittle.

What I did next may cause heart palpitations in purists, so maybe you want to skip this part if you have a medical condition: I made an elbow from styrene tube.
I had to eyeball the angle between the two sections of tube, but in the end, it looked more-or-less ok and I didn't have to bend or force the original wooden pipes to connect with the replacement elbow.
The elbow itself doesn't completely match the others style-wise, but when it was finished and painted, it blended into the overall look of the building and doesn't draw attention to itself even though on close inspection one can tell it's a non-Moore replacement.
This is an initial test fitting. There was a bit of sanding and filing required to get it to a snug fit.
One Moorian thing I did do on the elbow was to wrap the ends with glued paper strips to simulate connectors. 
After painting, it blends in not too badly with the other parts. The prototype likely underwent maintenance and repair during its lifetime, so one can use that story on this piece too :-)
The next thing was to make a replacement roof panel for over the door on the far cube. It's just a small slice of thin wood with a piece of paper embossed to look like corrugated metal glued on top. This was Mr. Moore's classic technique for economically making corrugated metal sheets.
Basically, one places a piece of paper over a strip of actual corrugated metal and then scores the pattern into a sheet of paper placed on top. I used a 4H pencil as a scoring tool. I think E. L. Moore often used a spent ballpoint pen.
They don't look too bad when they're done. Mine are a little rough, but I only need a couple of cuttings for the little roof.
The roof's substrate was made from a 1/32 inch thick slice of balsa that was sanded down further to get it about 1/64 inch thick. The paper metal panels were then glued to one side. All that was left at this stage was to paint it.
You can see the finished roof over the door on the far right. Some thin scale lumber strips were used as supports. At this point I also added two ladders to the first level roof. One is clearly seen on the far right, but the second is obscured in this view by a cyclone. The ladders are plastic items from my scrapbox.

Also, the tall smoke stack has been glued back into place in the above view. 
A new cardboard smoke stack flange had to be cut out as the original was torn into two pieces and a chunk was missing. On the original the flange appears to stand-off a bit from the roof, but with the hole for the smoke stack so jagged, I pressed the flange against the roof so the hole in the roof would not be noticeable. All that's left for the smoke stack is to replace some of the broken thread that simulate cable stays.
A couple of other things I should note. I've added the rail siding. It's a piece of Peco code 100 cut to length. The ties were painted before installation with a loose wash of browns and grays and black to kill their plastic-iky look. For ballast, I use N-scale stuff because I think it has a finer look than what's marketed as HO-scale. Once the ballast was glued in place I shloshed on a thin wash of flat black and gray to get rid of the glossy newness. That little balsa shack on the other side of the track is a terminus for some pipes that will come out of the brick building and run high above the track. The building has the holes for the pipes in its front facade, but the wires that were used to simulate the pipe are long gone. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

E. L. Moore's Outhouses

This is the last post in the models of E. L. Moore series. Maybe it’s fitting that the last one deals with the most obscure of E. L. Moore’s projects. 
[An E. L. Moore Outhouse; J. Collier collection]

E. L. Moore took on the role of Lem Putt’s equivalent in HO scale and produced many and varied miniature outhouses. Given that he modelled rural America in the late-1800 and early-1900 era, outhouses were still a prominent feature of daily life, so modelling them wasn’t out of the ordinary, although he did go at it with a unique gusto :-) If you look closely at photos of his Elizabeth Valley Railroad you’ll see that all buildings have an outhouse – as one would expect.
[An E. L. Moore Outhouse; J. Collier collection]

It turns out he was known to make outhouses and give them as gifts to friends. I suspect they were much appreciated :-)
This one has an awful lot of cross-ventilation, as noted on the bottom.
From what I can tell he built a lot of outhouses, but the only one of E. L. Moore’s publications that featured them was the article A Mighty Relaxin’ Job that appeared in the November 1975 issue of the NMRA Bulletin
That article featured something like 18 outhouses! Maybe the whole subject of outhouses was outside what the national, mainstream magazines considered decent conversation. Who knows? Looking back, this whole outhouse schtick, whether from Chic Sale or E. L. Moore, seems quaint and rather tame. Not too mention funny.
[This Outhouse and the ones that follow are from the J.R. Fisher collection]

Maybe there was some Earth, Wind and Fire influence on this one :-) but there's not much witty repartee I can add about this outhouse medley without wearing out my welcome, so scan on through the images and I'll meet you at the end. 

Ok, well, I'll break my silence about this one. The nicely modelled catalog doesn't compensate for all that 'ventilation'. Hopefully this one was placed deep in a forest.

Apparently '69 was a good year for outhouses.

Another from the big outhouse year: '69.
And that's that. 

One more thing, if you've missed any posts in the series, here's the index.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

E. L. Moore's Cract and Dentit Manufacturing Co.

[E. L. Moore's Cract and Dentit Manufacturing Co.; J. R. Fisher collection]

E. L. Moore's Cract and Dentit Manufacturing Co. was the subject of The chair and desk factory that appeared int the  December 1972 issue of Model Railroader.
Unlike the Cotton Waste Plant and the Village Grist Mill, this model uses Mr. Moore's classic technique of using embossed paper to simulate corrugated metal.
The model reminds me of the HOJPOJ factory. It's an odd amalgamation of different and interconnected building styles that have been put to use as a factory.
There's a brick building on the front that looks a lot like a courthouse with a more utilitarian, corrugated metal sided building on the back.
And there's all sorts of pipes, cyclones and a smokestack on the roof.
But, it looks like there's some real corrugated metal on the roof along with the embossed paper version.