Sunday, March 31, 2019

On the trail of Gil Mellé’s Industrial Model Works

Awhile back I read in a biographical note RMC ran in 1964 on Gil Mellé about a model railroad structures company he once ran called Industrial Model Works. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but I’ve started to wonder what the company produced, and where it was located. There doesn’t seem to be much information out there, and I wouldn’t even know about the Gil Mellé / Industrial Model Works connection if I hadn’t read about it just by chance in that ancient issue of RMC. I’ve done a little digging, and here are a few things I’ve found so far.

I looked around for ads. I couldn't find any in RMC or Model Trains, but did find a few in Model Railroader. That one on the left is from the November '58 issue. 

The Loco Service Terminal kit could be bought complete, or as individual pieces. The complete set up gave you a boiler and pump house with a horizontal oil storage tank, all for $2.95. There were also vertical oil tanks and sandhouses you could buy separately.

In December 1961, RMC ran two Gil Mellé articles: one was called Vertical Tank, and the other, Pump & Boiler House. Likely the kit and the articles are one in the same. Also, an article for the horizontal tank appeared in a April '62 RMC called, Horizontal Oil Tank.

And, last but not least, down in the ad's lower right, the company is located in Lodi, New Jersey.

In the December '58 issue of MR there was an ad for a Norfolk & Western Coaling Tower for $2.95. This kit was also the basis of his article Norfolk & Western Coaling Tower that appeared in the April '62 issue of RMC.

This ad for a vertical tank and a free tool shed ran in the January '59 issue of MR. The tank looks like the one that came with the loco service terminal. 

There's no mention of See Your Dealer First. This time the ad has a P.O. box in Lodi for you to buy direct. Maybe he wanted to get rid of odd stock that dealers didn't want to handle.

An internet search turned up this photo of the contents of the vertical oil tank kit. It looks quite basic, but that's typical for the kits of the time.

This is the last ad I've found so far. It appeared in the March '59 issue of MR. Maybe that sandhouse is a repackaging of the one offered in the loco service terminal? 

The March issue also ran a review of the loco service terminal in the Trade Topics section. The review sticks to describing the kit, and doesn't make a recommendation, although it does state the model is based on a prototype found along the Louisiana & Arkansas RR at Shreveport, Louisiana.

I should also note that the November '61 issue of RMC ran a Gil Mellé article called, Old Time Sand House.

On the right is the box for the old time sandhouse kit. On the left is what looks like a 'BLAW-KNOX Concrete Plant' kit, also from Industrial Model Works, which I haven't come across an ad for yet.

That Concrete Plant / Cement Plant seems like a more involved kit. The plans look amazing, and, interestingly enough, they state: A product of Industrial Model Works of Carlstadt, New Jersey. Some more internet searching shows that Carlstadt is around 10 miles south of Lodi. And Lodi is around 15 miles south of Ramsey, NJ, where the RMC office was located in the 1960s. So when Hal Carstens noted in the February '62 issue of RMC that RMC author Gil Mellé dropped into these hallowed walls recently with his latest creation,if Mr. Mellé  was living in Carlstadt or Lodi or somewhere thereabouts, dropping by was fairly easy to do. Gil Mellé's IMDb entry states he didn't move out to Los Angeles until 1969, so I suspect he was living somewhere in New Jersey until then. Maybe he ran Industrial Model Works out of his basement or garage?
Image sourced from this ebay entry - looks like a good deal!

It looks like what might have happened to IMW and its kits is that Mr. Mellé produced a number of them in the late '50s, maybe couldn't make a go of it, closed down the company, switched to writing articles in late '59 or early '60 (his first publication was in RMC in October '60), and used a few, or all, of the kits created by IMW for several articles. Maybe articles were the best outlet for him because he wrote about a number of very sophisticated projects that might never have seen the light-of-day if he was concentrating on mass-market kit production. But, this is all speculation.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

From the Time Machine's Glovebox: The Custom Dodge Rampage

Last week the Custom Dodge Rampage post from 2014 was the most viewed. That was one of the most complex kitbashes I've ever worked on, and although it was an on-again-off-again build that took many months, it was also one of the most enjoyable builds I've worked on. The long gone El Camino / Ranchero body style is one of my favourites, and over the life of this blog I've collected many kits for a one-day-I'll-get-around-to-building marathon - a marathon that'll likely take a year if starting day ever arrives.

A few months after finishing the Rampage, I took the leftover parts from the 1993 Civic kit that had donated the interior components and started on a custom Civ-amino: a Honda Civic convertible and El Camino style hybrid. I got as far as making the major cuts to the body, but then reality called and it got shelved. The body is still waiting calmly in the parts box for the day when I restart this project.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Projektiert Von Mister E. L. Moore

Projektiert Von Mister E. L. Moore: that's what it says in that second red box on the above AHM kit of E. L. Moore's Grusom Casket Company. E. L. Moore's AHM kits that were sold in North America were stamped with Designed by E. L. Moore, so I thought it interesting that all the other text on this box was in English. I guess this box was printed for the German market, and the changes made were the least they thought they could get away with. Below is a Pola boxing of the same kit, and although it states Made in Western Germany on the side, it looks to be made for the North American market. I bought both of these last year: the Pola first, and then the AHM. The Pola was incomplete.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A relative of E. L. Moore's Branch Line Station?

I saw this photo of a small station on the Kansas City HO Club's Kansas City South Prospect Railroad in the February 1958 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. It sure looks a lot like E. L. Moore's Branch Line Station that appeared in the April 1964 issue of RMC. The similarities are very similar :-) Did this little station inspire E. L. Moore's, or vice versa, or is this just a common station type and it's all coincidence? In his article, Mr. Moore states he built one of these stations for the first time 10 years earlier, which by my calculations is sometime in 1954 - so, the timeframe is right. Now, he also says the first one used capped siding, and the siding on the one in the photo looks like commercial clapboard, or possibly scribed cardboard. Maybe Mr. Moore's memory is faulty and the one in the photo is it? Maybe, but my money's on coincidence; however, we'll likely never know for sure.

[1 April update: Yikes! I posted about this back in August 2017 - need to update my off-line indexing!]

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Dollar architecture

Ok, well, only that thin apartment on the left was $1; that squat thing on the right, that might have once been part of a motel, was $2. This is more than I usually buy at most swap meets, but I was pleasantly surprised at today's finds. There are no manufacturer's marks on either, but I suspect they're both German - and that 8150 may help with identification. With a little enhancement they'll fit right in on the Alta Vista TC.

Plans for the Sharbot House

I've been sorting through my father's files and was quite surprised to find these plans for the Sharbot House, the house I grew-up in, sandwiched between some old folders filled with medical bills from the 1980s. A few years back I made a start on building an HO-scale model of this house, and spent rather a lot of time drawing up a floor plan from just old photos and my memories. I'm rather pleased to report that I seem to have gotten the overall outside dimensions more-or-less correct: the plan shows the house to be 41' wide across the front, and I estimated 41', but according to the plan the longest side wall is 36'-9", and I estimated 40'. Not bad.

Along with the plans are a set of documents that form what looks like a complete record of the business and legal activity associated with the purchase. Add this to the old photos of its construction I uncovered a few years ago, and I think it makes up an interesting look into building and buying a typical suburban house back in late 1950s Toronto. One of the more interesting documents is the summary my father wrote - shown over on the left - of all the costs associated with the house. Although the base price was $14,950.00, once you added in things like storm windows, fencing, painting, and so on, the total price came out to $16,025.00 (I don't know why he wrote $18,250.00 over on the left). And there was a mortgage of $11,500.00.

As far as a model is concerned, I notice that there are a few differences between the plans and the actual house. For example, our house was a flipped version of the plan. The bathroom arrangement was a little different: the toilet was under the window and the tub was beside the door, which changed the arrangement in the kitchen a little because the new location of the tub changed the shape of the kitchen wall where the fridge fit in. Clearly, a little further study of the plans is called for.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Shot through like a Bondi tram

Being a streetcar aficionado I always take note when I see them mentioned in places I'd least expect. Like in Robert Hughes' memoir, Things I Didn't Know. In a single paragraph in the chapter on his childhood in Sydney he captures the lost romance and physical essence of those machines better than any specialist book I've read:

The form of transport I most liked, however, was the electric streetcar, known as a tram. Until the 1950s, the city and its suburbs were served by a network of these magnificent vehicles; they were scrapped, abandoned, their rails torn up and their overhead wires taken down, under pressure from the usual corrupt New South Wales politicians and their friends the lobbying gas company executives, who wanted all state-owned public transportation to convert to internal-combustion double-decker buses instead. Apart from its environmental consequences, this was an aesthetic blot: roaring unpleasantly and belching nasty clouds of carbon monoxide-laden exhaust, the buses were intolerably ugly and hard on the ears compared to the elegantly skeletal, slat-seated "toast-rack" trams, or even to their enclosed successors. You would ride the tram along New South Head Road, down past the old colonial lighthouse on South Head, to the end of the line at Watson's Bay. You wanted to lean out of the tram but the conductor usually stopped you. On its headlong descent it swayed deliciously around the tight curves in the sandstone cuttings, injecting a note of fairground mock peril into the trip. The day would be salty, blue, and blustering with the wind off the Pacific. The bogies rattled, the bell dinged, harmless sparks flew from the wires. The speed of these vehicles even contributed a saying to Sydney's argot: if someone ran away fast, or perhaps fled from an awkward social or sexual predicament, he "shot through like a Bondi tram." Trams, like the harbour ferries, were among the things that made Sydney a great place to be, especially if you were ten or eleven.

Hughes' writing is pure pleasure, whatever the subject. If I can manage it I hope to read my way through all his books over the next few years. I started with The Spectacle of Skill: Selected Writings of Robert Hughes awhile back, and I still think it's a good place to begin if you ever think to give Hughes a try.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Venice Time Machine Project

Ok, it's a virtual 'time machine', but it still sounds like a great idea.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

You say layout, I say model railroad, Let's call the whole thing off

jingle plays - voices sing: WMRR, all rail radio - jingle plays

The Doobie Brothers’ song 'What a Fool Believes' plays softly in the background. 

Host Frank Madwood takes to the mic.

Frank: Last week we received a postcard from a listener in Charlotte, North Carolina, saying that on the show we too often confuse layout with model railroad. He wrote that we’d be doing a great service to the community by clarifying the terms so that those listeners of a more weak-minded disposition, such as his cousin Cal, wouldn’t prattle on about their tremendous model railroads that were in fact just layouts.

I don’t think we have any weak-minded listeners, but it seemed like an interesting topic, and we asked Professor Mary Ellesmere, director of the University of New Toronto’s Centre for Rail Guided Transportation to help us understand if there is any distinction between layout and model railroad.

Professor Ellesmere joins in me in the studio today to discuss what she found. Professor Ellesmere, welcome to the show.

Background music fades out.

Mary: Thank you, and, Mary, please.

Frank: Mary, is there any difference between a layout and a model railroad?

Mary: Yes and no. In everyday writing and conversation those terms get used interchangeably, but if we look back at some old writing in the field, we often see layout being used to talk about a temporary arrangement of track, often put together on a floor, especially near or around a Christmas tree, with model railroad reserved for a more permanent or fixed configuration that in some way tries to replicate something about an actual railroad. A model railroad, especially its track plan, will often be referred to as a layout, but those temporary setups aren’t referred to as model railroads.

Frank: So, layout is something temporary and doesn't necessarily represent a real railroad?

Mary: That's right. Strictly speaking, layouts seem to be more about loose, temporary, free-form fun. But, in everyday usage, layout is often used to talk about any type of track construction from something temporary under a Christmas tree to a highly, detailed, fully operational, historically correct, permanent display of trains.

Frank: You brought along a number of quotes from old books and magazines to illustrate how layout has been used.  We set up Don in Studio C to read them to our listeners in his best radio voice. Don, are you there?

Don: Yes, Frank.

Frank: Mary, this first piece is from none other than H. G. Wells.

Mary: Wells' 1911 book Floor Games describes a game he and his two sons played called the game of wonderful islands. This book might be the earliest about play with layouts.

Frank: Didn't he write a book called War Games?

Mary: You might be thinking of Little Wars that was published two years later in 1913.

Frank: I probably am.

Mary: Floor Games is a bit different. It describes some games where using soldier figures - because not many civilian figures were available in those days - bricks, boards, toys, planks, wind-up trains and track, and whatever miscellanea could be found around the house, two islands would be laid out on a floor, and they'd play out stories that came to mind from the scenes they'd build. They'd continually iterate the physical scenes and stories based on the scenes and stories they imagined. This could go on for a few days until the floor had to be reclaimed for more mundane purposes. 

Frank: No battles?

Mary: Those came later in Little Wars.

Frank: How does our word layout figure in this?

Mary: It turns out Wells never uses the term layout in the book, even when discussing train track set ups. He talks about 'arrangements', but these arrangements share a lot in common with our train layouts. And arrangements is a good word for them.

Frank: That's your cue Don.

Don: Yes, Frank. These we arrange and rearrange in various ways upon our floor, making a world of them.

Frank: What's next Mary?

Mary. This piece is from the April 1927 issue of Meccano Magazine. Think of it as layout planning guidance where the terrain is a whole house. Floors are involved like in Floor Games. And the whole thing is temporary of course.

Don: It frequently happens that, owing to the limited floor space available in a small room, particularly one containing a good deal of furniture, a satisfactory layout is difficult to arrange. In many even quite small houses, however, there is often a fairly long hall or landing that can be pressed into service, thus making possible a much longer run than could be obtained in any of the rooms. In the case of a landing it is often possible to arrange the layout so that the line passes into and round a bedroom, and it is quite exciting to watch the trains disappear into the room and come into view again in business-like fashion shortly afterwards! The possibilities of a layout of this kind are almost unlimited. We know of one case in which three boys, each of whom possesses a good supply of Hornby train material, have a glorious time almost every Saturday afternoon by combining the whole of their railway material and laying out an elaborate track on a landing.

Frank: The Hornby company published that magazine, and manufactured Meccano and model train equipment didn't they?

Mary: Yes, the piece is a bit self-serving. Unlike Wells who looks at building an entire world from things you readily get - from a store or around the house - the focus here is trains. The model train and track manufacturers are always looking for ways to promote their product, which isn't bad, and one method is to suggest ways to use lots of track. But it plays on something boys and girls like to do: build their own miniature worlds. 

Frank: And the writer referred to that Hornby miniature world of track as a layout. 

Mary: Yes, and the term model railroad, or model railway in this case, didn't appear in the article.

Frank: And then there's W. K. Wathers of Walthers fame.

Mary: Yes, beginning in the January 1934 issue of Model Railroader he wrote a series of articles describing the journey from a layout under the Christmas tree to a full, permanent model railroad.

Frank: One last time Don.

Don: "Well, if this isn't the best Christmas I ever had." Such was the remark of 14-year old Bill Smith as he surveyed the electric train outfit all laid out under the tree.

Frank: How do you recommend we use these terms ?

Mary: That's not for me to say, but keep in mind that layout isn't always just another way to say model railroad. Layout can imply a loose, temporary and unfettered alternative way to approach the hobby, and for that, it's good to know its hidden meaning.

Frank: We'll keep that in mind. Thank-you Mary for coming in today.

Mary: It's been a pleasure.

Frank: Next week Wescott and Schopp return to discuss omnivagant trefoil streetcar layouts, er, model railroads, er, model traction layouts, er, oh fudge. Take us home Bobby…

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Bert's and Dilly's

I had some quiet time and went ahead with installing windows at Bert's and gluing the walls together. Usually I use an old-school ruling pen loaded with paint to draw on the window frames, but this time I used a Sharpie white paint pen with an extra fine point. It's definitely easier, but I'm not so thrilled with the result. I can adjust the ruling pen to produce finer line work. Over on the left is Dilly's. I used a ruling pen filled with green paint to line its window frames, and it's not too bad. I might pop-off Bert's front doors and replace the windows - I need to think about it.
If I was doing a totally old-school, E. L. Moore style HO-scale build, these pens might be the way to go because of the convenience, and they come in a range of colours.
Once Bert's is done I'll have a small collection of retro N-scale builds on the shelf. They'll either show up on the EVRR build when it's restarted, or maybe on a very small diorama, just to show them off. Well, that's the far future, the near future sees more pleasant work on Bert's ahead.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Where in the world were E. L. Moore and Carl Sandburg in 1945?

From a 1945 Charlotte business directory
File this one under Reaching Analysis: Carl Sandburg, the famous poet and Lincoln biographer, comes up a lot when Vince and I are shooting the breeze. Well, you know how my mind works, after awhile I had to ask, did Carl Sandburg and E. L. Moore ever meet? I'd say no, their orbits never crossed, but, surprisingly, North Carolina did enter their trajectories. 

In 1945 Carl Sandburg bought an estate called Connemara, located in Flat Rock, North Carolina, which is around 80 miles south and west of the Spruce Pine / Toe River Valley area of North Carolina where E. L. Moore roamed in the 1930s. Sandburg lived there with his family until he died in 1967. However, in 1945 Mr. Moore appeared to be firmly established in Charlotte, and was running his photography studio on Tryon, as is shown in the business directory entry. And it looks like Mr. Sandburg never left the midwest until his 1945 move. Did E. L. Moore ever meet Carl Sandburg? The only connection I might put forward is they appeared to have had an affinity for the same geographical region. If Moore and Sandburg ever did meet  it was probably only in the pages of one of Mr. Sandburg's books in E. L. Moore's 1,000 volume library.

An update to atmospheric traction?

A throughly interesting idea and an excellent model. Wired's cutesy presentation, and veiled age discriminatory style, is a bit annoying, but the gentlemen's great work cuts through all that. Below, is a National Geographic short on the work of Michael Paul Smith. Their choice of olde timey, vaguely 1920s music seems a little odd to me, but the video has lots of insight into his work. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

From the Time Machine’s Glovebox: The World’s Smallest Model of the World’s Biggest Bookstore

Of all the projects I’ve worked on during the 10 years this blog has been active, the HO-scale, scratchbuilt model of Toronto’s long gone World’s Biggest Bookstore is my favourite. The model is basically just a big styrene box with an equally big sign. But, what a sign. The sign is what this project is all about, and I enjoyed building it. It’s also quite impressive whether or not all the little fibre optic ‘bulbs’ are lit. Over the years Toronto has seen it’s share a lot of iconic buildings like this one, and I hope to build a few more of the ones that have some significance to me.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Source of E. L. Moore's Shaggy Mountain Mill

Although this mill was once a landmark in my favorite stamping grounds, the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, I failed to see it in the flesh, so to speak, but came upon it years later, sparkling with hillbilly personality and endowed with a Beatle wig in Sheppard's "Cabins in The Laurel"
The opening paragraph from E. L. Moore's A Shaggy Mountain Mill that appeared in the June '64 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.

After reading that I went and looked up the book in Abebooks, and there it was, Cabins in the Laurel by Muriel Earley Sheppard, with photographs by Bayard Wootten. It was originally published in 1935, reprinted in 1991, and a few times more in the '90s. The copy I bought is a 1995 reprint. 

The book is an account of Ms. Sheppard's interviews and visits with her neighbours in the Toe River Valley of North Carolina in the late 1920's and early 1930's. Many told her stories of their lives in the valley dating back into the 19th century. Ms. Sheppard, a New York native, was born in 1898 - the same year as E. L. Moore - and moved to the valley with her mining engineer husband in 1928. Although I bought the book to see the source of the mill, from studying the photographs I suspect the pictures capture a sense of what Mr. Moore saw during his vagabond years, and I think I got a little better understanding of his so-called 'rural models'.
This is a snippet from the lead photo in E. L. Moore's A Shaggy Mountain Mill story that appeared in the June '64 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.
And this is a snippet of the same mill from a photograph on page 134 of Ms. Sheppard's book.
And here's the cabin that also appears in that opening RMC photo as a background item.
And here's the prototype on page 187 of Ms. Sheppard's book. She notes that it's the snake man's cabin. You can see that E. L. Moore's photo also includes the snake man sitting out front as does Ms. Wootten's photo, but it looks like he added a front window to his model. Mr. Moore's model of Snake man's cabin still existed in 2015, and it's the second cabin in this post, Two Cabins.
One of the great things about buying used books are the unexpected items I'll sometimes find tucked inside. My copy of Cabins in the Laurel had this page from the  27 March 1996 edition of the Mitchell News-Journal, from Spruce Pine, North Carolina (located in the Toe River Valley), of an interview with the current owner of Muriel Sheppard's cabin. Ms. Sheppard's cabin is shown in the photo at the bottom of the article.
That's a snippet from the photo, and the caption states: The cabin sits atop a ridge above Wing Road. The one room cabin with chimney was the original building. That sprawling home in the mountains is a potential E. L. Moore style project if I've ever seen one :-)

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Corner Bank

So far this year I don’t seem to be getting much pleasure from model making or model streetcar stuff. To keep my hand in I’ve been doing a lot of reading, some writing, photo rummaging, and a little bit of lightweight modelling here-and-there to finish up some projects to see if there’s any spark. One of those little projects was to add windows, doors, and a roof to the bank I started way back in Nov ’17. It took a few weeks, but the basic external features are now in place, and it’s ready for lights and internal detailing.
I need to fix up that facing corner - the wash is a little too blobby.
But, the walls that nobody sees much aren't too bad. See that long side wall, I didn't run out of brick when I faced it, that's more-or-less what one sees when driving by. You can see the block section sticking out above the neighbouring building. I used creative license to fill in the lower wall. I could have bricked the whole thing and ignored modelling the blocked section, but I see the real building a lot in my travels and not modelling the block section wouldn't seem right. I know this isn't much of an issue, but it gets to the heart of model making: if you deliberately leave out things that signal something to you, maybe you should question what you're doing.
It was last summer I painted the walls. Inside, they were painted a sky blue and the floor was made grey. I haven't decided if this building will be a bank or something else. Originally the prototype was a Bank of Nova Scotia, and when I was a boy in Toronto, that chain of banks was where my mum set up my first savings account, so their old school sign has some sentimental meaning for me.
The roof is removable. It's just a piece of 0.060 styrene with a sheet of coarse sandpaper glued to it. Colours are my usual loose wash of greys and blacks. Not very prototypical, but I like the look.
I was looking at the photo of E. L. Moore's workbench again and thought I'd post a picture of my table with this project and Bert's Garage on-the-go. The bank is in the upper left, and Bert's walls are just above the cutting mat. Given the type of tools and materials I use, for all you know this could have been shot anytime between 1960 and now :-) Well, except for the 1980s vintage calculator which I should have replaced with a slide rule :-) Oh, and except for those post-it notes....darn....
Well, I’m hoping I’ll get my mojo back when spring finally arrives. I think the whole ‘winter is a great time for model making while the days are short and the weather outside is bad' thing is a myth, or it is for me. I don’t feel like doing much of anything in the winter, and feel like doing everything when summer rolls around. And that includes model making.
Last week, while contemplating when our 260cm of snow is going to melt, I was reading through the Wikipedia entry on Railroad Model Craftsman and was stopped in my tracks by this sentence in the section about RMC’s change in editorial direction as the ‘60s morphed into the ‘70s: Koester and Boyd worked together to push more modern prototype content and fine scale modeling features in contrast to the more loose interpretations of the hobby previously published by Hal Carstens. I was stopped by the phrase, more loose interpretations of the hobby. Intriguing. Given the rest of the Wikipedia discussion, I think the intent of loose interpretations was to say we’ve moved on from those wild-west days. And we have. But I think along with the advances, a lot of good stuff has been lost. I rather like that term loose interpretations. I need to think about it some more.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Was E. L. Moore Gil Mellé’s successor?: A bibliography and some wild speculation

Awhile back I wrote about how jazz great Gil Mellé was also a prolific Railroad Model Craftsman writer in the 1960s. I spent a little time compiling a bibliography of his Railroad Model Craftsman stories as I want to have a reference when, hopefully, I get around to building a couple of his projects – I particularly like his Rail Cutting Shed  that appeared in the May '61 issue of RMC.

I thought compiling this bibliography would be a simple task, and maybe a little tedious. It turned out to be a bit more demanding than I had expected. RMC didn’t appear to have the highest standards for copy at the time. There were numerous instances of table of contents titles not matching story titles, mismatched attribution, and attribution given in the story, but missing from the table of contents. Hopefully, I’ve straightened things out for the Gil Mellé stories. In particular, I should note that as far as titles are concerned, if there was a conflict I’ve used the ones printed on the stories instead of the ones in table of contents. If you see problems with this attempt at a bibliography, please leave a comment so I can fix them up.


Oct: Oldfield Coal & Supply Co.
Dec: Polyurethane for Scenic Construction
     Lehigh Valley Icing Platform


Jan: Lehigh Icing Platform, Part 2
Feb: L. V. Sandhouse
Mar: From Engine Shed to a Superdetailed Powerhouse
Apr: Customizing Tru-Scale's Blacksmith Car and Jail House into a 
     Superdetailed Blacksmith Shop and Flat Car
     Customize Those Plastic Buildings
May: Rail Cutting Shed
Jun: Black Bart Mine
     Transformer Poles
Jul: Gondola Loads
Aug: Highways are High Points
Sep: Build this 50 Ton Composite Hopper
Oct: A Dust Collector
Nov: Old Time Sand House
Dec: Vertical Tank
     Pump & Bolier House


Jan: The Security Fence
     Customizing and Superdetailing Suydam's Chemical Factory
Feb: Americanize the Airfix Traveling Crane
Mar: Easy to Build Sound Light Unit
     A & S Wheel Foundry
Apr: Horizontal Oil Tank
     Norfolk & Western Coaling Tower
May: RR Police Headquarters
Jun: Customizing a Faller Freight Station
Jul: Quickie Quonset
Aug: Wayside Stock Yard
Sep: Water Car
Oct: Lehigh Valley Office and Crew Quarters
Nov: Portable Car Jack


Jan: Air Raid Warning Signal
Feb: 100 Ton Coaler
Mar: 100 Ton Coaler [JL: Part 2 of the Feb story]
Apr: Building a Split Level Lumber Yard
May: Operating Factory
Jun: Oak Hill Pit Head, Part 1 of 3
Jul: Oak Hill Pit Head, Part 2 of 3
Aug: Customizing the Oak Hill Pithead, Part 3 of 3
Sep: Scenery to Improve Your Layout
Oct: Mine Site Detailing


Jan: Mountain Flotation Plant
Feb: Mountain Flotation Plant, Part 2
Aug: A Car Barn For Your Layout
Sep: Car Barn, Part 2
Nov: Customizing a Tru-Scale Factory
DecSignal Tower, part 2


Jan: Logging Mill, Part 1
Feb: Logging Mill, Part 2
Mar: Howe Truss Bridge
Apr: Build a Tie treating Creosote Plant
May: Los Angeles Junction Diesel Shed
Jun: Scratchbuilding a Styrene Arch Bridge
Jul: Diesel Fuel Tank, Part II [JL: Although it says Part II it's a single part story]
Dec: SP Parts Servicing Depot

If you drop by 30Squares frequently you know that I think everything somehow relates to E. L. Moore :-) and this bibliography is no exception. The thing that struck me as I was compiling it was that during Mr. Mellé’s high output years in the first half of the ‘60s, Mr. Moore’s publications were more-or-less equally spread out across RMC, Model Railroader and Model Trains. E. L. Moore wasn’t predominately being published by RMC; it was just a smattering of stories, and his output in RMC was quite low in comparison to Gil Mellé’s. But when Mr. Mellé’s run ended in ’65, E. L. Moore’s publication rate in RMC took off from then until the end of the ’60s. My speculation is that when Gil Mellé stopped publishing in RMC – likely because his musical career was taking off again -  E. L. Moore was his de facto successor since he could also produce stories at a high rate. Going further with the speculation: if Gille Mellé hadn’t left the scene, it’s an open question as to whether E. L. Moore would have had the impact that he did, and whether any of those AHM plastic kits based on a number of his RMC projects from ’67 and ’69 would have been manufactured.

Well, that's all for now. I leave you with Gil Mellé and his awesome Percussotron.

[4 March 2019 update: Vince cross-checked my list against the online model railroad index and found Mr. Mellé's Dec '64 story was missing from my list, so I've updated it. Turns out Dec '64 seems to be missing from my RMC collection :-( I note that the online index leaves out the Gil Mellé articles that appeared in RMC's Right o' way Models column. It's easy to miss because Mr. Mellé is only credited in small print at the bottom of each column, and not in the magazines' tables of contents - indexing tools would likely have a problem with that, score one for us humans! From what I've read so far, it appears that all stories that appeared in Right o' way Models were by Gil Mellé.]

Friday, March 1, 2019

Long train runnin'

We were in Toronto a few weeks ago and I had the opportunity to take a few photos of the King St. car in weekend operation. The above shot was taken at the intersection of King and Yonge. Toronto was experiencing a cold-snap. I think it was around -15C and windy.