Sunday, July 28, 2019

Outside the Natural History Museum

I did a little bit of clean up after gluing the walls together, and then took it outside for a couple of photos. It was hot and sunny, so all the shadows are strong. You can see there's a rather nice patio out back.

A paper metal revival?

Voie Libre International never fails to surprise and delight. Among other interesting stories, issue #98, July / August / Sept 2019, has a fascinating article called Making Corrugated Sheet-Metal Out of Paper, by Éric Fresné, where he discusses a method for making 1/76 scale corrugated metal panels from paper. You may recall E. L. Moore had a way of making those sorts of panels in HO, but I think Mr. Fresné's method gives a better result, and I suspect it should work quite well in HO too. It turns out there's no connection between Mr. Fresné and Mr. Moore other than a creative outlook.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Walls Up!

I spent a little time here and there over the last few days to finish off the walls. I figured if I could glue them into a box, I might be encouraged to speed things up on this project.

Mission accomplished! The walls have been glued together, and are awaiting clean-up before proceeding on to finishing interior detailing.

I had to take a picture after all the window 'glass' was installed and the lower wall trim was in place.

This is the only photo I took during wall assembly. There was considerable trimming, adjusting, and fiddling to get good alignment and passable corner joints. Still, there's going to be some cleanup before moving on to detailing.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

He uses trains as dental floss

While escaping the heat in the comfort of an air-conditioned hobby shop, what did my sunburnt eyes see, but none other than Polar Lights' re-pop of the original - accept no modern-day re-boots - Godzilla! 

It's been a long wait for this day. I've been walking around unattended all this time not knowing this kit was out there. I need to get out more. Who knows what other wonders await.

As the box says, it's 16 horrific inches tall, and the internet says it's in 1/144 scale, which is very gosh darn close to N scale. Maybe I can say he's actually HO, but awaiting a growth spurt :-)

When I'm 65, I can only hope that I too will be out there stomping on hideous modern towers, swatting away pesky airplanes, while happily astride a diorama base featuring crushed buildings and a tank

Studio tour

The video is a tour of my friend John Belt's studio at SUNY Oswego. After 43 years he's retiring from teaching Tech Education, and the video is a last look at the studio before dismantling. This is not a single sitting video. It's long and detailed and needs a few short sittings to see everything. There's a few objects in the video that I too have, and no doubt while I'm holed-up here, escaping the heat, I'm going to look through my shelves to see if I can find them.
The video got me reminiscing about the old posts from 2011 on the Museum-Gallery-Studio classification system of model railroads. Over the years the ideas discussed there morphed into something called The Trains Preserve in 2016, and then this year I got to thinking of other variations when it struck me that Bill Schopp was the amateur scientist - in the Scientific American sense - of model railroading and his layout was his studio/lab. That's the kind of thing I'd like to build: free-form, easy to change and try things, but with areas for setting up photos that can be changed around as ideas change. A sort of model-making / model-streetcar-system Exploratorium (or at least an Exploratorium as I remember seeing it at the Palace of Fine Arts in the '80s.)

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Inside trimmings

Galen asked me how things were going with the Natural History Museum and I said something weaselly. So, to redeem myself I took a photo of what's on the table.

To trim the unsightly lower portion of each window I'm adding a thin styrene strip across the lower window edge, and then gluing a strip of brick paper below. This adds a ledge that will go all around the inside of the building.

The brick paper strip is a slice of self-adhesive aged brick from Micro-Mark. I wanted something a little thicker and newer looking than the brick paper used on the walls and this filled the bill nicely. Things are moving along and hopefully it will be done well before Christmas :-)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Looking for some tacos amongst the Eagles

In the Key of C

President's Choice Organics Caboose
HOc: Casualized HO scale.

Usage: The club held a display of 2'x4' HOlayouts at its annual meeting.

Source: The result of applying the philosophy of casualization across an entire HO scale layout. Casualized variants of other scales, like Oc and Nc, are also possible. Distortions, exaggerations, compressions, gauge shifting, and other transformations are allowable, but are performed in service of creating a feeling or impression. 

HOc shouldn't be confused with freelanced HO, where freelance implies the layout isn't being built to represent a real life prototype. In Latin, hoc means "this", which is a useful thing to keep in mind when viewing an HOc layout as the focus should be on this that's on view instead of comparing to absent prototypes and references. Does this get the maker's intent across? What does this have to say.

from The Dictionary of Non-Existent Model Railroad Terms, 3rd ed., 2019.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Eagles at the Beach

It's summer. Soon it'll be the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. What better time to get the Apollo Lifeguard Modules out of storage and on the backlot for some photos.

Monday, July 1, 2019

E. L. Moore, Interior Designer

The post with the enhanced interior photo of E. L. Moore's Elizabethton Depot got me thinking that I should enhance all the interior shots I have of E. L. Moore's models. When I first posted them I tried to keep them naturalistic, but in many cases details were obscured by strong shadows. In the photos that follow I have deliberately gotten rid of as much shadowing as I can, and overexposed the images a bit to highlight interior details and finishes.

The colour photos posted below are ones I shot back in 2015 of a collection of E. L. Moore original models, and the black & white photos came from either: ones shot by E. L. Moore that I restored in 2016; or ones provided by Paul Zimmerman that accompanied a number of lost E. L. Moore articles - I'll make note by each image regarding the source.

The model above is Mr. Moore's Schoolhouse and so is this one below.
Village School (Paul Zimmerman collection)
This is one of E. L. Moore's mountain cabins.
Wells Fargo Store mentioned in Crossroads Store article (E. L. Moore archive)
Crossroads Store (E. L. Moore archive)
Crossroads Store (Paul Zimmerman collection)
Either the Grizzly Flats or Blue Lake Depot (E. L. Moore archive)
Cal's Lumber Yard (E.L. Moore archive)
Second floor of the Red Eye Saloon (E. L. Moore archive)
Log version of the Little Church on the Hill (Paul Zimmerman collection)
Ground floor of the Clarabel Hotel (E. L. Moore archive)

Spumoni Club Coach (E. L. Moore archive)
Branch Line Station (E. L. Moore archive)

The number of models with detachable roofs is surprising. Not all interiors were detailed, but many were finished to a degree that would allow for later detailing. I sometimes wonder why he went to all that effort to make a clean interior, but never got around to detailing it.

If you're interested into other deep dives into E. L. Moore visual arcana you might want to check out Moore Green, The Adventures of Baby Spumoni, or The Adventures of E. L. Moore, Train Photographer.