Friday, May 29, 2020

Legacy

All these posts about the kits E. L. Moore either designed or influenced has made me think again about his legacy in the 21st century. I've touched on this in previous posts like The Tao of E. L. Moore, The Tao of E. L. Moore, Take 2, and The Moore Way, but those posts don't factor in kits.

What about his legacy? Well, his name and magazine articles are known amongst some older model railroaders. He's known fondly amongst a few, but others associate his name with low quality work in balsa. Hopefully if you're a long time reader here you'll be aware that although there were indeed some questionable projects, the majority of his work was of good quality, with maybe a half-dozen or so reaching into the craftsman category. I think the photographic technology of his era did many of his projects an injustice, as it did with the work of many other builders. 

The plastic kits he had some involvement with appear to be all out-of-production now, although a few of the kits were manufactured for 50 or so years under one brand name or another. There is healthy buying and selling of the old kits online, although it's generally not known he designed them. There are a few exceptions like the AHM kits that credit him in a red box-top label. It's a shame that he or his estate didn't profit financially from the popularity of these products, although I suspect the amounts of money involved would be small.

His plastic kits were in the cheap-and-cheerful end of the spectrum when they first hit the market. But, these days it's not unusual for them to get harsh reviews on auction sites - not to mention be misdescribed - and if built unskillfully straight from the box, they can look crude. But, as with all kits, a bit of care and creativity can yield a decent and interesting model.

The plastic kits constitute a sort of invisible history. Throughout the '70s and '80s they appeared in numerous magazine photos, and as basic components in many kitbashing articles, but in most cases their origin remained unknown. They formed a sort of background music to the model railroading vibe of those decades. Many of the kits are still seen on layouts today, and even in the odd magazine article or two. Again, their appearance in articles, layouts, and at auction sites is an almost silent Moorian melody still playing through model railroading.

And he's credited with influencing the design of a few laser-cut craftsman-style kits. I've found a couple online, there might be more out there. Time will tell.

Overall, I'd say his legacy is somewhat modest, and a bit on the invisible side, compared to that of say John Allen or John Ahern. 

An aspect of his legacy that seems completely lost is his approach to modelling and writing that I touched on in The Moore Way. This aspect isn't alive in the kits simply because they're mass produced consumer products. And, ironically enough, Mr. Moore hated to build kits, so you can see why it's odd that the most enduring part of this legacy, kits, are things he himself hated building. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Lean times

E. L. Moore's Central Warehouse with a bad lean.
I was doing what I do a lot these days, browse the internet during 30C+ heat, and as is often the case I stumbled across this E. L. Moore inspired kit: Builders In Scale's Lean's No. 2 Warehouse. The page states: It's based on an old MR construction article by E. L. Moore of a simple old fashioned warehouse that's all but falling down. Looking through my photos I think the kit is based on the large leaning building part of E. L. Moore's Central Warehouse model described in his article Turn backward, O Time that appeared in the January '67 issue of Model Railroader. The kit looks quite nice, and once again we see another E. L. Moore design surviving into our times.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Recently Updated: Moore's Balsa Products & Machine Shop Kit List

News Flash! 

If you've been following along at home you may have noticed that I've been updating the list of boxings of the E. L. Moore designed Machine Shop kit in the Moore's Balsa Products post. Martin has generously shared images of a number of boxings he's found, and so far there are 14 (!) in the list (the AHM original, kit #5839 + 13 reboxings). Yes, 14. I have no idea if this many was common in the industry, but it seems like a lot to me. There might still be more out there. I'll keep you posted.

Pickle's B-Side

Martin flipped over the Pickle Factory walls, and lo-and-behold, you can see the arches and some brick from its ancestor, E. L. Moore's AHM Schaefer Brewery kit.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Beer & Pickles

A well disguised F&M Schaefer Brewery
I was reviewing the instructions on how to build the Perry Schibbel Fruit & Co-Op in Art Curren's book Kitbashed HO Model Railroad Structures, and found that the table in the back listing kit substitutions that could be used for the various projects noted Model Power 's Heinz Pickle Factory, kit #465, could be substituted for AHM's F&M Schaefer Brewery, the E. L. Moore designed kit that the kitbash is based on. The only difference being that the pickle factory has wood sides, not brick as does the brewery. 




Left: Pickle Factory; Right: Brewery
Martin generously sent me a photo of the pickle factory's walls, and when compared to the brewery walls in my Model Power repop, well, you can see the basic shapes are indeed the same. Ok, one has square openings, and the other has arched, but Mr. Curren was right, you could no doubt build a wooden version of Schibbel's. The pickle factory is just a 'wooden' version of the brewery.

As with many of these kit buildings a few other manufacturers sold this pickle factory. There's a Pola version and a Lionel, and probably others, but the key thing is that this is yet again another kit that can be traced back to E. L. Moore. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Random Falconry

We're in the middle of a long stretch of sunshine and temperatures in the mid to high twenties - maybe hitting the low thirties next week - so there's not much layout work or modelling going on. Although there's lots of conversations, research, reading, and rambling happening along with the outside house maintenance and goofing off. The still unfinished old Ford Falcon based Ranchero has been staring at me from the table begging me to finish it, so I thought I'd oblige with painting and gluing a few parts.

Some further randomness:

Over at Moonbase Central there're are some pictures posted of a tin money box sold by Woolworth's in the '50s UK. As soon as I saw the pictures I knew I had one stashed somewhere in my parent's things. Up until that post I never gave it a second thought; funny how the mind works. I think it came from my grandmother's house. On the back in very small print it says Made in England and Burnett LTD London.


In the June '72 issue of Railroad Modeler E. L. Moore had an article called Uncle Peabody's Machine Shop where he suggests - I won't say says - Airfix machinery was used to outfit the building. That blurry b&w is a scan from the article of the building's interior with machines in full view. In the October '62 issue of Model Railroader Arthur E. Anderson says in an article called Structure for a Souvenir Factory that he fitted the interior with Airfix plastic dummy machinery. Did Airfix actually sell an accessory set of machine shop machinery? After some extensive digging, Martin and associates don't think so, and I can't find any indications either. Maybe E. L. Moore was wrong? Maybe the machines were actually part of some other Airfix kit? Maybe they were only sold under the Airfix brand in North America? If you know anything about these mystery machines please leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Street level overlays

I cut two overlays from construction paper for the street level entrances to the tower's offices and stores. The verticals will have another layer of card glued on to mimic the thickness of the prototype's. Hmmm, these unforgiving digital photos show the overlays need a little clean-up before installation, but at least the fit, shown in the tilt-up below, isn't too bad. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Johnsons Chemicals or Burns Engineering?

It's weird how my memory works. When Martin sent me a photo of this Burns Engineering Corp. boxing by Atlas of the machine shop, which they had also boxed as Johnsons Inc. Chemical Products, my mind flashed on seeing lots of machine shops with Burns signs back in the '70s, but for some reason this only bubbled up when I saw this box top. The painting on the Johnsons boxing suggests it's moulded in yellow brick, and has a water tank that this one doesn't. The variations and boxings this kit has seen never ceases to amaze me. I wonder if this is typical for these cheap-and-cheerful kits, or if this is unique to the machine shop? 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Machine Shop '73

Martin noted that the machine shop that appeared as a new product in Pola's '72 catalogue, appeared in AHM's '73 catalogue. You can see that AHM used the same painting Pola did. I wonder if there was a '72 AHM catalogue, or if their '73 catalog was published late in '72 - say, in time for Christmas - because I'd like to narrow down the date when the kit became available in North America. Well, on the other hand, given where we are in the 21st century, it hardly matters much if it was released 47 or 48 or even 47.5 years ago, the fact that it's had the life and longevity that it did is amazing in and of itself.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Smithy Arrived In '75

Another find in the Pola catalogues: apparently E. L. Moore's Smithy was a new Pola product in 1975 according to that year's catalogue

And if that wasn't enough, it was also featured on the cover!



New for '72

I've been browsing through these Pola catalogue scans and came across that image from their 1972 combined HO / N catalogue. Obviously from the 'neu' the machine shop was a new release for 1972. AHM was the North American distributor for the E. L. Moore kits so I need to find an equivalent entry in an AHM catalogue.

Visual density

Hidden behind the Mortimer Loop fence is Mortimer Park. Naturally, it's a rather big, open space, but I thought it was a little too big for a part of the city that was supposed to be older and denser with buildings. After some playing around with building placement I thought I'd add the Bookery along the edge of the park and walkway. Right now it's just sitting on top of the park's grass, and some excavation and blending needs to be done to fit it in. 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

From Machine Shop to Benzene Separation Plant

I think the 30Squares Media Empire is going to have to open an E. L. Moore research centre in England to supplement those in Virginia, Toronto, and Ottawa - not to mention all the great leads sent by readers worldwide - given all the excellent information Martin is sending me. This fascinating Pola 'Benzolabscheidung', which Google Translate tells me means 'Benzene Separation'*, that Martin found is clearly another variation on E. L. Moore's AHM Machine Shop kit. But, there's a little twist in this version: it looks like the back wall has been replaced with a front wall casting, and clearly the tar paper roof has been replaced with what looks like a tile job and a dangerously tilted chimney - well, I can't quite make out the roof covering, but it clearly isn't tar paper and skylights. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it's amazing the number of E. L. Moore kit variations there are out there.

*Benzene separation? OMG I hope that isn't some kind of residence behind the plant, and is that yellow double-decker bus in the background dropping off people nearby? Benzene is nasty stuff. Years ago I worked in a lab doing research on ways to separate oil from tar sands, and benzene was one of the solvents tested. We had to wear all kinds of serious PPE and follow very strict lab protocols for handing the stuff. I gave up chemistry after that and tried to find a sedate desk job where paper cuts and eye strain would be my main worries. I would not want to see how benzene is being handled in a re-purposed machine shop :-) 

Friday, May 15, 2020

PortaCabin problem on Mortimer Ave.

I've been playing move-around-the-buildings checkers on Mortimer Ave to study different arrangements. The PortaCabin Problem keeps rearing its ugly head. I've had some recommendations to eliminate or minimize it, and I need to get around to giving them a try. That'll considerably improve the look of the street.

Finishing off base painting

I had run out of paint a week or so ago, but it turns out the local hobby store was open for curb side pickup, so I put in an order for some paints and miscellanea. Great service: the items were ready for pickup in just a couple of hours. Next week stores not in malls can reopen, so a semi-normal hobby store experience will begin.

That's a long opening just to say I've been working on finishing painting the layout sidewalks and concrete areas now that I have paints. It's interesting for me to do it, rather boring to read about, but essential to completing the big picture. The base colour is Model Master Camouflage Grey acrylic layered with a number of thinned browns, tans, and a bit of black.  

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Schopp talk during a pandemic

Take a look at the Mutter Museum exhibit on the 1918-19 influenza pandemic
Being at home just about all the time has meant a lot of time spent pondering obscure stuff and wandering through books and magazines I haven't cracked open in a long time, along with bouts of model building.

I've been thinking a bit about the work of Bill Schopp, the longtime contributor to Railroad Model Craftsman as well as other mid-20th century model railroad magazines. Well, maybe what I've been thinking about is the lack of readily available information about his work, which is odd given that it's claimed he wrote well over 1,000 articles on a wide range of model railroading related subjects. If true, that would likely make him the most prolific model railroad writer in the mid-20th century.

To me he's best known as the writer behind RMC's The Layout Doctor column. While I was researching E. L. Moore I must have encountered that column in just about every issue from the '50s and '60s. But, he did a lot more than track planning.

Although, from a cursory examination of his writing I can sort of see why he's not better known today. A lot of his work is counter to today's zeitgeist . Some might say, obsolesced, but for me the jury's still out on that. Look, he's a guy who doesn't even have a wikipedia entry let alone any biography or analysis of his work. There's only anecdotal reportage, and that alone is not a basis for any thoughtful assessment.

Here're a few possible reasons for his obscurity.

His trackplans have a lot of track. Spaghetti? Maybe. But, his Layout Doctor persona showed there was method to his madness.

He liked trolleys, and wrote a lot about trolleys and trolley layouts, which have more or less disappeared from the mainstream hobby in North America. Trolleys, trams, and streetcars, whatever you want to call them, have little 'traction' in our era, and it's likely to get worse as the pandemic corrodes ridership in the prototype world. Schopp's era saw massive streetcar line abandonment, but a lot of people had fond memories of trolley travel, and for a not insignificantly sized group that translated into hobby activity. That has almost all gone. And if there is diminishing interest in real world streetcars, there will likely be further diminishing interest in them in the model world. I suspect in a post-pandemic world anyone who can drive instead of taking any form of public transit will. The risk of exposure to the virus, whether real or imagined, may further eliminate any broad support for LRT or streetcars in the general public, and reduce ridership to only those who have no other options. This is all speculation on my part of course, and we'll see what the future holds, but interest in modelling electric public transit is tiny and likely isn't increasing.

He didn't lean toward finescale; his obituary in the June '74 issue of RMC had this to say: Bill Schopp was more concerned with putting ideas into action than he was in producing contest caliber models - I rather admire that putting ideas into action bit. He's also the inspiration of casualization :-)

Oh, and he had a little correspondence with E. L. Moore. One of the outcomes was the legendary Molasses Mine, and maybe he influenced one or two other of Mr. Moore's 'fantasy' projects. 

So, streetcars, 1,000+ articles, a desire to explore ideas, and as a bonus, a connection with E. L. Moore. It's catnip all the way down :-)

I've written a little about him, but given his 1,000+ article legacy, my writings don't even scratch the surface. Finding his articles is a bit more difficult than E. L. Moore's. First, I was influenced by Mr. Moore's late period work in the '70s when I was starting off in the hobby, so I had a sense of where to look and what to look for. Also, Mr. Moore focused on mainly one area, structures, and had a following of people who were familiar with at least some of his work from the '60s and '70s. There was a solid starting point.

Schopp's work seemed to appear mainly in Railroad Model Craftsman and its predecessor, The Model Craftsman, neither of which have digital archives. I own a fairly complete collection of RMCs from 1949 to 1990, with maybe only a dozen or so missing issues; however, I only have around a dozen issues of The Model Craftsman, and since his first publication was in the July '37 issue of MC, I'm missing most of his early work from 1937 to 1949. And I have no issues of Miniature Railroading, Toy Trains, or know which British magazines he published in. So, I'm missing a lot of information.  With E. L. Moore the main task seemed to be putting the pieces together,  with Bill Schopp, it would be in finding the pieces.

I don't know if I'll pursue an investigation, but I did take a look in the April '49 issue of RMC - the first issue of The Model Craftsman to be rebranded as Railroad Model Craftsman - to see if I could find a piece of the Bill Schopp story. Lucky for me there were two trolley pieces. In The Layout Doctor column of course.

Here's his addition of a trolley line to one of the first of the two trackplans that were under the microscope that month.

New trolley line added to the Weckler layout, MC Apr '49
The trolley line should add interest when the railroad is more or less complete. I have drawn it with four inch radius curves suitable say for a Birney safety car or short double trucker. If you want to economize still further, the old time four wheeled trolley made by the Beach Island Mfg Co. will take three inch radius curves.




It turns out that four-wheeler was also being offered in the The Car Barn advertising section dedicated to trolleys and traction equipment.











And here's the trolley line that he added to the second trackplan.

New trolley line added to the Tabacsko layout, MC Apr '49.
The trolley line runs from a loop hidden under a removable industry at Junction to another and larger loop around two blocks in the city. If a wye is built in the car line and the switches are sprung as shown by the arrows, a clockwise car can operate just on the loop, while a counterclockwise car could run out to the other loop.








They're both more-or-less dogbone plans, and they do appear to more-or-less serve to transport people from homes to work, but the layouts could no doubt be built without them. The trolley lines don't appear to be integral to the layouts' stories. I'm interested to see if there's a 'Doctored' layout in some issue where an added trolley line determines the success or failure of the of the overall plan's story.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Schaefer Brewery becomes Die Craft Manufacturing Company

You may remember Martin's eagle-eye spotted that Pola's Schilling Iron Casting was actually a variation on the AHM kit of E. L. Moore's Schaefer Brewery. He's done it again and thoughtfully alerted me :-) You can see that Life-Like's Die Craft Manufacturing is a re-boxing of Schilling Iron Casting, which itself is a reconfiguration of the elements of the E. L. Moore designed AHM Brewery.  This Iron Casting / Die Casting company is an interesting variation as there aren't the usual clues to its heritage. It's only after an examination of the images and parts is it clear who its ancestor is. 

Union Foundry from E. L. Moore's Machine Shop

Martin kindly sent me these photos of another variation on E. L. Moore's Machine Shop that was sold by a West German company called VAU-PE. Although the building is pretty much the same as the original, the unique thing about this version is the extensive grounds that accompany the model. As you can see there's a hoist, storage tank, a tall chimney, and some sort of storage shed out back. I continue to be amazed at what's out there.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

From Machine Shop to Creamery

Snipped from a larger photo in RMC June '74
Scratchbuilding a creamery did not fit into the schedule of Jobs To Be Done on the layout, so I looked over my accumulation of plastic building kits to see what could be modified to do the job. I finally selected the AHM "Gruesome Casket Company" kit and modified it as shown in the photographs and sketches.

Chuck Yungkurth explains his choice of base kit for a creamery build in Milk trains, milk cars and creameries in the June '74 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.

Last night I was reading some Bill Schopp articles and came across that conversion of the Machine Shop end of E. L. Moore's Gruesome Casket Company. The conversion was just a small part of a larger story about the railroad milk industry. Another example of the ubiquity of these kits.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Unsigned

I've noticed that many of my buildings don't have signs or other external details that the real things would. Without signs, and lighting, they seem dead. I created a temporary street on the shelf behind my desk - which turns out to put the ground floors at eye-level when I swivel my chair around to have a look - so I could look at buildings neighbouring the Canadian Press model, and maybe fix-up their detailing as the CP building is finished. I hoping that dealing with a group that needs small details might create a big improvement of the overall scene.
I also lined up a few buildings that are also missing signage and details as these will look rather abandoned when they appear on the layout. I'm hoping by having them glare at me I'll finally breakdown and add details :-)
I won't be adding snow as a detail as I've seen enough. Luckily that stuff melted after 30 minutes or so, but as I write this a new flurry has moved in to fill the gap.

Back wall

Title tells all I guess. I haven't made any attempt to detail the back walls. The centre building's is simply covered with some old MicroMark self-adhesive block paper. I do plan on aging the back walls with pastels or paints so the surfaces won't be too obtrusive.

I've glued the three buildings together with Weld Bond. On the one hand it's probably too early to do that, but I wanted to begin dealing with the complex as a unified whole so that the final piece didn't look too much like three separate things arbitrarily glued together.

In other news: snow! Those white streaks aren't some sort of digital artifact in my camera. It's real, live snow.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Floor drawers

Each of the floors in the middle section has a 'drawer' that provides the stage for whatever scene is happening. The drawers are made from 0.040" styrene, and are designed so they can slip in and out of each floor, allowing a scene to be changed if desired.

Those little styrene panels stuck perpendicular to the back wall are pull tabs so it's easy to extract the drawer. And like the floor on the tower, all the sharp edges were sanded off each drawer so they don't get stuck. Interior decorating is next!

Looks more like a file cabinet than a building :-)

The Moore Walk

Little Folks Studio to E. L. Moore's apartment
After a day at the studio battling the "other children mothers bring along", he slips on a pair of gloves and steps out with a long certain stride on the mile-plus walk home. 

"Only when it's handy" does he take the bus. If he misses one, he walks the whole distance.


That post about E. L. Moore's books got me thinking again about the Hayhow article, so I re-read it. The article mentions E. L. Moore's home address was 712 N Pine, and his photography studio, Little Folks Studio, was at 1702 E. 4th St.. Naturally I went to Google to see what today's walk between those two addresses would look like. It's a bit more than a mile - twice as much actually - and the two endpoints aren't what they were.

Today 1702 E. 4th St., where Little Folks Studio was located, appears to be some sort of parking lot.







And 712 N Pine looks like it has been redeveloped into a professional offices park.







Moore's Baby Studio to E. L. Moore's apartment

In the 1940's E. L. Moore's studio, then called Moore's Baby Studio, appears to have been located on S. Tryon Street, only 0.9 miles from his apartment. Maybe the rent on the S. Tryon Street location got too high necessitating a move to somewhere further out. Also, I think in one of these businesses Mr. Moore had a partner. I need to look into that.

Pieces of E. L. Moore's Zoom Wall o' Books?

As many posts and articles note, walls of books as Zoom backgrounds that signal a user's tastes and status are something of a thing these days. E. L. Moore once noted he had a library of around 1,000 volumes, so his Zoom wall would certainly be a thing to behold. Unfortunately, I only have 5 titles that I think might have been on his wall. Just to be a little clearer, those 5 over there aren't artifacts actually owned by Mr. Moore, but are editions I bought online over the years of titles he had noted in articles he wrote. This isn't a complete collection of titles he mentioned, only the few I could find.

My favourite of the bunch is Clear the Tracks!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Cheap & Cheerful

Not expensive and of reasonable quality

Inexpensive and enjoyable or pleasant

Not of bad quality, or otherwise enjoyable, despite being cheap

Cheap but good or enjoyable

Simple and inexpensive

I've been taking a bit of criticism for my lack of 3-D printing, laser cutting, cameo cutting, and airbrushing. Not to mention my penchant for balsa, love of old-school projects, lack of club joining, and being rejected for even just asking to listen-in on fine-scale forum musings :-) I'm not against 'advanced' methods, they just don't come up as necessities. I'd buy things manufactured using 3-D printing or other modern manufacturing techniques; I'm just not interested in the expense and learning curve associated with doing those things myself.

Being stashed away at home these days has certainly helped me focus on what my thing is modelling-wise, and I think it's best summarized by: Cheap & Cheerful. But, on the other hand, I do use DCC, and have started to build high-rises with acrylics and plastics, going well beyond my comfort zone. Not to mention that modern plastic kits and associated accessories aren't that cheap. Cheap is a relative term I guess. So, maybe my philosophy regarding techniques and methods is: Cheap & Cheerful+. Maybe over time I'll expand the + part as needed. My philosophy regarding aims, motivations, and subjects is something else entirely. Maybe over time I'll delve into that in more detail :-)

Bonus definitions: See also Casualize and HOc 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Once more into the sunlight

After a mid-morning discussion with the head of the 30Squares' Department of Photography I went outside and took some pictures of the Quebec Bank stand-in in the glorious sunshine that is pouring down on Ottawa. The model certainly has a more realistic look. Hopefully there'll be lots more sunshine in the months ahead, and maybe some more outdoor model photos too.

Right side done

I had an urge to do some painting and so decided to continue on with the building on the right - my stand-in for the Quebec Bank building.

Before getting on with painting I added a fourth floor that tried to capture the basic characteristics of the modern addition to the prototype. It's simply a box built up from 0.040" styrene sheet with styrene brick sheet glued on top along with some 0.020" styrene sheet scored to mimic concrete blocks. The windows are castings from Tichy Train Group.

The brick colour is a loose mixture of Model Master burnt sienna and Tamiya green acrylic paints, but just about any burnt sienna mixed with a darker green will give an acceptable result.

Once everything was painted, a thin wash of flat black was applied.




For the side wall I added a ghost sign from a photograph Vince generously provided. The sign advertises Hugh C. MacLean Publications, which was a publisher based in Toronto from 1909 to 1964. Vince's prototype photo is posted to his Instagram account - I need to add a link.

I resized the photo to fit, and then printed it on a piece of white decal paper. Copious amounts of MicroSet were used to get it to snuggle into the brickwork.

Those windows on the side wall don't look windowy because I closed them by gluing a piece of styrene brick sheet behind them. I also did that to all the windows and doors on the back wall. On this complex I'm mainly interested in the facade, and didn't want to spend much effort on detailing other areas, so I've taken a minimalist approach to side and back walls on the complex.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Office lights

I thought I'd spend sometime creating a lighted floor for the tower. As you can see, the 6th floor's got light. Now it just needs a tenant.

The floor is basically a box made from 0.040" styrene that slips into the 6th floor. It isn't glued in place so it can be taken out for adding or changing the scene. 

One important thing I should note is that all of the box's outside edges need to sanded a bit to round them off. If they remain sharp they catch on the building's walls and make it difficult to insert or remove the box. Also make sure to use the sanding stick to blunt the front corners of the box so they don't dig in while the box it being inserted.

The floors have been notched so that wiring can snake down the building through to the layout. Each floor box has a false back wall that hides the wiring.

I don't know if all the floors in this tower will be detailed and lit, although they will be on the centre Canadian Press building. This tower might only have the 6th and ground floors detailed. Decisions, decisions :-)

Friday, May 1, 2020

Dominion: "Jaunty Model Buildings"

Last summer I posted about the artist Seth and his miniature city, Dominion. Recently I saw a post at HiLoBrow about Dominion and a new article about it by Joshua Glenn that is up at ArchitectureBoston.

Although Dominion's miniature buildings are simply made from cardboard, they're highly evocative, and ring true to me about what Ontario looks like even though the models are highly stylized. Well, the models capture a certain period in Ontario that lives on today mainly in remnants. Seth's graphic novel, It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken, captures the sense of Dominion, or maybe Dominion captures the sense of the story - it's clear they're intertwined even though the novel preceded Dominion's first buildings by many years.

Plot-wise, the book chronicles Seth's attempts to track down a mid-20th century cartoonist named Kalo. While reading it I sometimes wondered if Kalo might have contributed a cartoon or two to any of the era's model railroading magazines. Although Kalo had cartoons published in Esquire and The New Yorker, he did have an early one in Modern Mechanix. Kalo's style is distinctive, so even though a cartoon might be unsigned, or unlisted in a table-of-contents, I think one of his might be identifiable on style alone. Well, if I ever see a model railroad one in his style, I'll let you know.