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EL Moore articles suggestion for MR editors

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EL Moore articles suggestion for MR editors
Posted by jmbjmb on Monday, April 06, 2009 10:49 PM

I guess I'm not the only EL Moore fan out there.  Have the editors thought about collecting all his old articles into one of those pdf downloadable minibook MR is doing.  Now that my new layout is to the structures and scenary stage, I'm digging into my back issues for articles, plans, and techniques again.

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 1:49 AM

Great idea - really...Approve

Only problem is, E. L. Moore published his work in RMC.Sign - Oops

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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Posted by Midnight Railroader on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 2:06 AM

tomikawaTT
Only problem is, E. L. Moore published his work in RMC

 

There were several ELM articles in MR over the years.

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Posted by CNJ831 on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 7:20 AM

Midnight Railroader

tomikawaTT
Only problem is, E. L. Moore published his work in RMC

 

There were several ELM articles in MR over the years.

In fact, E.L.Moore authored upwards of 30 construction articles to appear in the pages of MR between 1960 and 1980. In total, he penned something like a couple of hundred pieces for the various publications! Moore is truly one of the hobby's all-time greats, from a time when the object of the hobby was modeling, rather than just buying and collecting.

CNJ831

 

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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 8:56 AM

 I have a DOC file of nearly three pages with titles of article  by EL Moore. Here are the publications listed. He did his work without the Internet. No doubt a lot of trail and error. No one to ask, What is the best way? He figured it out on his own.

I could copy and paste the list here but it would require a lot of space.

BBMR = Bridges and Buildings for Model Railroads

RMC = Railroad Model Craftsman

RM = Railroad Modeler

MR = Model Railroader

HOMMT = HO Monthly/Model Trains

NMRAB = NMRA Bulletin

http://www.carendt.com/microplans/pages/shelf/termini/index.html

Rich

 

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Posted by reklein on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 9:32 AM

Hey Rich,thanks for the list. I knew E.L.Moore published in model trains back in the late 50s and sixties. Buildings from his plans can be updated with our modern materials. COOL!! BILL

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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 9:43 AM

 I can email the DOC file to those who request it. Email me off the list. I can attach the file to email, Not PM. I obtained the list from a different forum. I have not checked the list for accuracy.

Rich

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Posted by Autobus Prime on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 10:03 AM

Folks:

This would be a BIG book!  I'd be tempted to buy it. 

Moore is a fascinating author for many reasons.  One thing we should remember is that he was a maverick even in his day.  The 1960s are way back past the 20 year memory hole, but balsa was just as quirky a choice of materials then as it is now.  Inked windows and homemade corrugated roofing were unusual as well.  His style combined early-day techniques with careful workmanship, a good eye for structures, and his own innovations, into an unusual but utterly workable system. 

He was definitely an individualist, but he was so prolific that he had a huge impact...and he didn't really get started with it all until he was in his 60s, which is also amazing, when you think about it.  At that age, the world's almost ready to declare you irrelevant, and sometimes we're tempted to follow, or even agree...but not Moore. He was just getting warmed up.

Another fun feature of such a book - a lot of it would look like a catalog for AHM and Tyco structure kits.  So many were "kitted".   A lot, like Ma's Place, are still out there.

Reading that Westcott interview I mentioned elsewhere has given me a further perspective on Moore...in a way, he was a polar opposite.

Westcott was for innovation and manufacturer support, but always felt he made his best contributions early on, being too busy with editorial work in later years.  He generally maintained a relatively serious tone, and often analyzed model railroading in light of current events or current trends. 

Moore emphasized economy and old techniques, making things from simple materials - the very thing Westcott, in his interview, said he had hoped to de-emphasize!  He picked his tone out of a cracker-barrel somewhere, staying studiously anachronistic, and did his best work in his later life. 

I think it is a marvelous credit to LHW that he allowed such counterbalancing of views, including his own, and I feel that we can draw a huge lesson from this...this balance helped make those magazines great. 

It's still fun to use Moore's techniques and materials, too, of course. Big Smile

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Posted by danmerkel on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 11:05 AM

I've often felt that a compilation of at least some of his articles would be a very good project.  MR did a compilation of Art Curren's articles; something like this would be very similar.

The E.L. Moore articles often had an additional "yarn" where he described a little of the "history" of the building often in very imaginative terms.

Don't forget that given today's level of computer literacy, perhaps a CD of the articles would be much easer and less expensive to produce.  Just a thought...

dlm

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Posted by moelarrycurly4 on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 11:34 AM

 Did E.L. Moore do an article on a Factory that he also had it catch fire and burn? I think it was a fireworks factory.

 

Edit: It was the Cannonball and Safty Powder works. 

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Posted by Midnight Railroader on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 2:07 PM

Autobus Prime
Moore emphasized economy and old techniques, making things from simple materials - the very thing Westcott, in his interview, said he had hoped to de-emphasize!  He picked his tone out of a cracker-barrel somewhere, staying studiously anachronistic, and did his best work in his later life. 

 

It would be good to see someone like that come along today, but with the current prevalence of the "Buy It and Use It" philosophy, he likely couldn't get published.

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Posted by Midnight Railroader on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 2:09 PM

richg1998
I can email the DOC file to those who request it. Email me off the list. I can attach the file to email, Not PM. I obtained the list from a different forum. I have not checked the list for accuracy.

 

Using the Model Train Index site would also yield good results.

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Posted by Autobus Prime on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 2:48 PM

Midnight Railroader

Autobus Prime
Moore emphasized economy and old techniques, making things from simple materials - the very thing Westcott, in his interview, said he had hoped to de-emphasize!  He picked his tone out of a cracker-barrel somewhere, staying studiously anachronistic, and did his best work in his later life. 

 

It would be good to see someone like that come along today, but with the current prevalence of the "Buy It and Use It" philosophy, he likely couldn't get published.

MR:

Possibly not, but you never know.  Moore wasn't necessarily aligned with his publishers' philosophy, but he designed good projects, wrote well and took good photographs.  Good combination. 

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Posted by markpierce on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 2:48 PM

Wouldn't it be a wondrous thing if the model railroad magazine publishers cooperatively produce a book with the complete works of Moore?

Mark

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 3:36 PM

 

markpierce

Wouldn't it be a wondrous thing if the model railroad magazine publishers cooperatively produce a book with the complete works of Moore?

Mark

Yes, it would be wonderful.  Also quite a surprise.

I would buy it even though I have many of the back issues with his articles. 

Enjoy

Paul

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 4:55 PM

Moore used balsa to be sure but also cardstock and paper and clear plastic (for windows).  He would usually mention what a building cost him and generally it was around $2.00.  And his workbench, if I recall correctly, consisted of a TV table. 

One tool or technique he used was a wood burning pen on balsa to create a variety of textures, such as shingles.  The thing about a wood burning pen (sort of like a soldering pen with lower heat) is that it tends to seal the grain on balsa wood.  I have used one to create a cut stone look on thin balsa wood for the (otherwise completely flat) top of Chooch cast resin cut stone retaining walls.  Properly painted it very plausibly matched the cast wall itself. 

And yes he built a building, I think a fireworks plant, blew it up, wasn't pleased with the resulting photos, so built another one, and blew IT up. 

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Posted by jmbjmb on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 9:04 PM

Yep I loved his quirky style of a story while building.  I had nice collection of structures I had built over the years that got lost while moving.  Of course, like I said earlier, now that my layout is ready for structures I have the chance to build them again using more modern materials.  You know, with the current economy,  maybe more people would be interested in those techniques again.  Even with modern prices and materials, the cost will still be a few dollars compared to $50 or more for a plastic kit and several hundred for a top level one.  That's a lot of fun for the cost of a trip to Mcdonalds.  Let's see, I think the first thing I need is a country store.  Or would it be the lumber yard.  Yep, the EL Moore Building Supply would be a fitting structure.

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Posted by CNJ831 on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 7:31 AM

Although I've certainly been a fan of E.L.Moore down through the years and agree that it would be useful to have a compilation of his articles issued in a single volume, as was done with Art Curren's many MR kitbashing projects, I'm not so sure about reprinting many of Moore's far older articles verbatim would turn out to be such a successful idea for current modelers' usage.

A great many new and far better scratchbuilding products have appeared since Moore's era that could, and really should, be substituted in replicating his scratchbuilding projects today. I've personally built a number of models based on translating older (1950's and 60's) projects that appeared in MR and can relate that certain components were either no longer available, or were far inferior to what could be used in the way of today's materials at similar cost.

Likwise, I don't recall just now what measurement system was employed by Moore over the years, but I do remember that many MR authors of long ago gave dimensions in factions of an inch, rather than scale inches and feet for their dimensional lumber components, further complicating the situation when any adaptation/re-sizing of the model, or simply building to scale accuracy, is called for. This, too, along with similar quirks, would need to be looked for and addressed before any re-printing was offered.

Thus, I would have to think that any compilation of E.L.Moore's excellent MR (or otherwise) articles would need some degree of re-writing and updating to offer maximum usefulness to the reader, particularly those who are without extensive past scratchbuilding experience. While definitely a highly commendable project, more effort than might first be supposed would need to go into it.

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Posted by Autobus Prime on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 8:01 AM

CNJ:

I would imagine a straight reprint would be the only way this would happen.  Actually, I'd hate to see extensive rewriting done...that always tends to butcher the work.

Maybe a good, nonintrusive solution would be to do what the cookbooks do and print a table of material substitutions and a table of size equivalents in the front.  Neither would have to be very large.  You might even throw in a few articles about modeling with styrene or wood, from later magazines.

Really, though, substitutions and figuring-out are the order of things when following any scratchbuilding article, 2006 or 1936, and I haven't run across too many structure articles that would be hard to follow with modern materials.  As Eric La Nal wrote back in '37 or so, "I'm not going to hold your tools for you"... if an author tries, you get an overwhelming mass of steps and data that might only work for him.

Some plans, some photos, a basic outline of construction, especially any unusual bits, and a big kick of inspiration; that's what a scratchbuilding article needs.  I think most of the learning is in the doing.

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Posted by blownout cylinder on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 8:23 AM

Autobus Prime

Really, though, substitutions and figuring-out are the order of things when following any scratchbuilding article, 2006 or 1936, and I haven't run across too many structure articles that would be hard to follow with modern materials.  As Eric La Nal wrote back in '37 or so, "I'm not going to hold your tools for you"... if an author tries, you get an overwhelming mass of steps and data that might only work for him.

Some plans, some photos, a basic outline of construction, especially any unusual bits, and a big kick of inspiration; that's what a scratchbuilding article needs.  I think most of the learning is in the doing.

I think one can get away with conversions and the like but, as you pointed out, the actual issue would be the "holding the tools" part.

This reminds me of an exercise that we did in some writing class that involved trying to write down everything involved in putting a coat on.No one got everything in on paper, there were steps missing, et cetera. So it would be here as well, some of us do things so naturally that when it comes to getting it all on paper, I'm not so sure that it can, in fact, be done.

Any argument carried far enough will end up in Semantics--Hartz's law of rhetoric Emerald. Leemer and Southern The route of the Sceptre Express Barry

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Posted by CNJ831 on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 8:42 AM

Autobus Prime

CNJ:

Maybe a good, nonintrusive solution would be to do what the cookbooks do and print a table of material substitutions and a table of size equivalents in the front.  Neither would have to be very large.  You might even throw in a few articles about modeling with styrene or wood, from later magazines.

Really, though, substitutions and figuring-out are the order of things when following any scratchbuilding article, 2006 or 1936, and I haven't run across too many structure articles that would be hard to follow with modern materials.  As Eric La Nal wrote back in '37 or so, "I'm not going to hold your tools for you"... if an author tries, you get an overwhelming mass of steps and data that might only work for him.

Some plans, some photos, a basic outline of construction, especially any unusual bits, and a big kick of inspiration; that's what a scratchbuilding article needs.  I think most of the learning is in the doing.

Yes, a conversion table might prove useful to a certain degree. However, older articles often specify certain manufacturer's castings, details and parts, the equivalents of which may not even exist today and suggested substitutes would be necessary to make the project(s) viable today. It's an all too common situation in regard to articles decades old.

By example, several years ago I intended to kitbash an F-10 locomotive based on an extensive construction article appearing in RMC. It seems likely that RMC had held that article in their files for some time, since about 50% of the specified component parts and materials were no longer available in the marketplace! I did eventually manage to build the engine but only because of my extensive scratchbuilding background. The fact is, the project ended up pretty much my own, rather than based on the RMC construction article. 

I see the potential for similar problems by simply re-printing E.L.Moore's articles (or any collection of early projects) verbatim in this day and age when the scatchbuilding skills of the average newer hobbyist are dramatically less than in Moore's time. Serving simply as a source of inspiration won't cut it in much of today's hobby, where its newer, younger, element is mainly familiar with simply gluing several plastic walls and a roof together. To sell well in such an enviroment the printed material must indeed lead the reader by the hand through the many necessary steps. Usefulness is the key to selling such a publication, not nostalgia.

CNJ831

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Posted by blownout cylinder on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 8:59 AM

CNJ831
Serving simply as a source of inspiration won't cut it in much of today's hobby, where its newer, younger, element is mainly familiar with simply gluing several plastic walls and a roof together. To sell well in such an enviroment the printed material must indeed lead the reader by the hand through the many necessary steps.

 

And in order to do that, one needs to be cogniscent of the issues regarding writing these instructions down--such that the reader can understand it. All the re-writing done will come to nada if the fellow reading it still cannot understand it---as we have some who have issues with the commercially made kit instructions are demonstrating----- 

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Posted by reklein on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 9:38 AM

I think it'd be tough to dimension a building you made up in scale inches and feet, unless of course you measured it after you built it. Some of those older articles, not necessarily Moores didn't have complete dimensions anyways.

  I'm thinking Evans design model builder CD would be great for some of these structures. I also think card is way underestimated as a building material too.BILL

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Posted by Autobus Prime on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 10:01 AM

CNJ831

Autobus Prime

CNJ:

Maybe a good, nonintrusive solution would be to do what the cookbooks do and print a table of material substitutions and a table of size equivalents in the front.  Neither would have to be very large.  You might even throw in a few articles about modeling with styrene or wood, from later magazines.

Yes, a conversion table might prove useful to a certain degree. However, older articles often specify certain manufacturer's castings, details and parts, the equivalents of which may not even exist today and suggested substitutes would be necessary to make the project(s) viable today. It's an all too common situation in regard to articles decades old.

I see the potential for similar problems by simply re-printing E.L.Moore's articles (or any collection of early projects) verbatim in this day and age when the scatchbuilding skills of the average newer hobbyist are dramatically less than in Moore's time. Serving simply as a source of inspiration won't cut it in much of today's hobby, where its newer, younger, element is mainly familiar with simply gluing several plastic walls and a roof together. To sell well in such an enviroment the printed material must indeed lead the reader by the hand through the many necessary steps.

CNJ831

CNJ:

I've run across the part-unavailability you mentioned.  It can cause some trouble with structures, although it's not so bad as with rolling stock. 

Moore's articles tend to be far less troubled by it than average, just because he kept the use of commercial parts to a minimum, no doubt to keep costs down, and used simple stock materials that are still available and easily substituted.  You can still get sheetwood, and cardstock, and clear plastic, and Northeastern siding, construction paper, and dry ball-point pens, and even the Northeastern corrugated siding he used as a forming die for paper (I always wonder what NE thought of that one.) 

Windows and brick are the only exceptions I can think of. 

Moore inked windows with a ruling pen. Drafting suppliers can be hard to find, but the pens can be bought online. Smile Windows can be inked quite well with a Sharpie, or run off on clear overhead-transparency stock from Scalescenes or home-drawn images; commercial castings can just be dropped in, too.  (Moore actually used ready-made windows on at least one structure. It added a few dollars in cost and he stated that he was "unlikely to repeat the experiment". Smile)

Moore used Northeastern brick, or Walthers brick paper.  Unobtainable, but there are plenty of substitutes.  I use Scale Scenes brickpaper.

Now,as for the necessary skill, I feel that it can be developed pretty easily, once you get started.  We were all newbies once; of course, you've gone waaay farther from it than I have, but maybe I remember the first steps all the more clearly for it. Smile  I was reading Raymond F. Yates' How To Improve Your Model Railroad, chapter "Models for Almost Nothing!"  I think I must have been about 11, and as it turned out, I had almost exactly that much pocket change. Big Smile  There was one image, duplicated from "The" Model Railroader, which showed the basics of simple cardboard buildings - cut out the walls in a strip, scribe siding, score corners, glue together, cut windows and door panels from more cardboard and laminate behind walls.  There was a little bit about measuring prototype structures and scaling them down.   That was all it took, so I grabbed a cereal box and started cutting. 

What emerged was an odd freight station, a basic gable box with a door and some windows.  Siding was clapboard...I figured "Hey, real clapboards are like this" and cut out a bunch of overscale ones, overlapping them until the whole thing was covered.  I think they were cut from posterboard.  The whole thing was plopped on a piece of 1/4" thick wood as a platform (it was an odd bit, laying around the house) and painted -yellow, I think- with poster paint.   Odd bits of wood made piles of crates, and it was done.  "Hey," I thought, "I kinda liked that, but it looks a little big."  So I went back, learned a little more about scale from some article or other, and built the next one better.  I think the yellow house here was my third structure; I wish I'd saved the first two.:

http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b191/autobus_prime/rr/2-houses.jpg

I suppose that's why I don't favor a lot of hand-holding. I don't often follow preprogrammed steps.   I suspect a lot of the people who want to build things are that way - a lot of the value in scratchbuilding is the creative freedom it gives, and people who value creative freedom highly often aren't good direction-followers.  Learning to scratchbuild, for me, has been an iterative process of finding inspiration, doing some work, finding solutions to problems encountered, applying the solutions, and so forth. 

I've always learned best that way, whether it's been mathematics, computer programming, CAD, or cooking.  Instruction inspires action, and action in turn helps me understand the instruction.  This kind of learning tends to stick.

 

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Posted by blownout cylinder on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 10:22 AM

reklein

I think it'd be tough to dimension a building you made up in scale inches and feet, unless of course you measured it after you built it. Some of those older articles, not necessarily Moores didn't have complete dimensions anyways.

  I'm thinking Evans design model builder CD would be great for some of these structures. I also think card is way underestimated as a building material too.BILL

That was one reason I love those scale rules! Certainly makes things WAAAAYY easier---

And cardstock is really easy to use as backdrop buildings --- I got into making N scale clapboard buildings and even cutting clapboard, or board/batton, from it--loved how some of my buildings came out. Balsa, I also found, was great for clapboarding just by scoring the thin sheets.

Oh--the fun one can have with various mat'l. And yes, even though I'm still a technical nooobie I'm still not too keen on the hand/tool holding----I'll make my own mistakes and learn from them, thank you very much-----Smile,Wink, & Grin

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Posted by dknelson on Thursday, April 09, 2009 8:14 AM

We can only speculate what E.L. Moore could have done with foam core board and hot glue guns ....

I could imagine ELM taking, say today's styrene clapboard siding, and making "free" copies of it by carefully pressing bond paper over it.  The idea probably works better with styrene than it did with milled wood clapboard siding.

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Posted by rdmadison on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 9:57 AM

 I've enjoyed this thread, particularly because I just turned 60--but also because all of my structure modeling since 1960 has been influenced by E. L. Moore.  You can see that influence in the photos Paul Dolkos took of the Ninigret Cove Branch and especially the coffee-table size Dorrville Branch (MR Sept 04). Every building was made of cardboard and sticks, and although both these layouts have gone to the great beyond, several of the structures were saved and some appear on my current Masonic Turn NH/CV HO mini-layout.

The speculation about Moore and modern materials perhaps misses the point, I think.  Moore used materials he could get easily and for almost nothing.  Unless you have built a freight station out of shirt cardboard you won't fully realize how inexpensive this can be.  Thanks to Moore, I was building structures before I could afford ANY manufactured products (track or rolling stock).

I don't know if I'll ever make another building out of Strathmore and stripwood, but there is another aspect of Moore's modeling that I'll be carrying forward in future modeling projects: the sense of place Moore was able to evoke both through design and storytelling.  Moore consistently created a sense of "railroad community" rarely achieved in the hobby.  The closest I ever came to that was a pair of very simple Delmarva modules (present location unknown): I think they captured the "posture" of a place the way I believe EL did in that 1967 article--the way the buildings, vehicles, and figures all "stand."  I did it (maybe) once: Moore did it over and over.

Bob

 

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Posted by ELMooreFan on Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:25 PM

Trains.com index has a complete list of E. L. Moore articles, but here's an addition to that list--- stuff not found in that index.  Between the articles in the index plus this list, you'd have a rather complete compilation of his work. 

MODEL RAILROADER
Feb 55 pg 30, Elizabeth Valley RR
Apr 57 pg 33, EV RR
Jun 58 photo, E&K RR
July 62 pg. 22 shanty
Nov 63 photo, E&K RR
Dec 64 pg. 53 hobo jungle
Dec 66 pg. 36 log cottage
Sept 75 Bull Session
May 86 Bull Session
Feb 80 E. L. Moore's Legacy article

MODEL TRAINS MAGAZINE
Fall 57 pg. 21, Eagleroost Village
Dec 57 pg. 36 EVRR blacksmith and watertower
Jan 58 pg. 37, E&K RR bridge and tunnel
Jan 59 cover and photos, pp 28, 29
Dec 59 pg. 37 photo, England RR
Mar 62 cover

RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN
June 62 Meet the author
Aug 63 cover
May 64 photo, inside look from bridge
Oct 66 photo, Morton Stone
Jun 68 pg. 56 Enskale and Hoentee RR photo
Nov 79 Notes on an old timetable
Nov 79 Editors Notebook
Jul 80 Editors Notebook

KALMBACH BOOKS
Bridges and Buildings for Model RRs: Timber Trestles article
HO Primer: photos of EV RR, pp 16 and 41

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Posted by richg1998 on Wednesday, December 09, 2009 8:59 PM

I just found these. If it is all a duplicate, let me know and I will remove it.

Rich

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Posted by ELMooreFan on Saturday, November 17, 2012 11:27 AM

That's a nice list, but my list before it includes Trackside Photos, In Next Month's Issue photos, editorials and other misc. photos or text not found in regular articles.  To be complete, don't miss these; they're not duplicates from the articles.

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