Thursday, May 5, 2016

Spumoni Club Coach: Done like Dinner

.... he ougtha be thankful I didn't stick a book review in the middle of it and maybe a recipe for rhubarb pie...
E. L. Moore in a 15 May 1965 letter to Bill Rau suggesting all the extra things he could have added to his article, Turn Backward O Time, that appeared in the January '67 issue of Model Railroader.

Before continuing on with the interior, I added windows cut from a sheet of overhead transparency film and a door cut from a piece of 1/16" balsa with stripwood trim glued on. But once those two tasks were completed, it was on with the show.

The inside of the Spumoni coach is even more colorful than the outside. Light green walls, a velvety green carpet and upholstered coach seats in bright red. Full width seats were installed at each end, then four 3' wide seats were arranged in the middle. Uncle Charley, who provided that jug of mountain dew, is snoozing in his own special chair. The coach seats are easily built of balsa, shaped and joined as shown in the drawing, bent pins used for arm rests, then upholstered with tissue and painted. Lastly, a card table is done in green, was set in place.

I don't have any photos or drawings of the interior, only the above description. I made a few changes along the way - left out the card table, mountain dew jug, and Uncle Charley's special chair - but the interior worked out ok in the end.
And I swapped out the carpeting for astroturf. I used a piece of Woodland Scenics grass mat instead. 
The seats were built up from scraps of balsa. I used a couple of seated figures to help get the dimensions right. Those are the full width end benches above before they have been sanded into their final shape.
The individual 3' wide seats were made the same way. Once the seats were done, it seemed like a good time for a sit-down lunch of one of my favourite midday meals, Solihull-style Beans on Toast, and to continue the tradition in this series what E. L. Moore never was able to do in print :-)

This tasty little meal is courtesy of my English cousin who, when we naively asked him what were all the ingredients of beans-on-toast other than the obvious, proceeded into a detailed conversation with my Texan wife to come up with an Anglo-Texan version of an English classic. 

First off, you need some potatoes and cheese.
We used some organic potatoes, which are a bit on the small side, so you'll need 4 or 5 for two people. You'll also need to shred some cheddar cheese. Again, organic was used in this recipe.
Next, you need to heat up the pot of fixings. It consists of a can of Amy's Organic Chili (medium heat), a 114ml can of Casa Fiesta green chilies (mild heat), 1/3 cup of your choice of medium heat salsa (I can't recall the brand we used, but it was likely organic :-) ), and a little cumin. You can change the heat levels to suit your tastes. 
While the fixings are heating, cook the potatoes. We put them in the microwave then wrapped them in paper towel and transferred them to this 'potato pillow' to sit for a few minutes. However, any way you want to cook the potatoes - baking, boiling, etc - is fine.
Those are the cooked potatoes in their paper wrappers. Unwrap them, place two on each plate and mash flat. Pour on the fixings and sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
Lunch is served.
Suitably fortified, I went back to work and finished the seats. They were sanded to shape, painted with Model Master Acryl British Crimson, and thin wires were cut and installed for arm rests. I didn't wrap the seats in tissue to simulate upholstery because I didn't quite like that technique when I used it on the roof.
Getting to the bench seat on the left end of the coach might require breathing in or maybe stepping over the seats in the way. Things are a little tight, but it could make for a nice private setting for a card game :-)
And that is the Spumoni Club Special . . . OBG. The OBG? I'm not certain, but I think it means ON BURNT GRAVY.


  1. Neat wee carriage, seats came out really well. I always struggled making seats from balsa. I'm confused that the beans on toast don't seem to be on toast?

    1. That's what made my cousin's 'Beans on Toast' unique - there was no toast :-) I think Debra added plenty of chilies and spices to take one's mind of the whole toast-free aspect.