Password Protected – an Editorial Statement

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Fear not! we are not about to introduce a password for normal use.

 

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The editors need to share a post, currently under development, with a key contributor to ensure accuracy and correct attributions, before it is released for general viewing.

The simplest route for us is to issue the draft under password protection so that only the key contributor and the editors can see the full draft in the blog format. Only the key contributor will be issued with the password.

Public viewers will see the working title of the post and the phrase “password protected”.

Followers will receive the usual notification sent when a new topic is published, but the wording may suggest to the casual observer that full access will be granted – this is not so.

Unless you are the key contributor, you do not need to do anything with a password protected topic. Please do not ask for the password, or make any comments.

Your patience will be rewarded by the publication of the checked and corrected post in due course,

The MOF

Comparison of boxcars, On2 cf On30

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This series of pictures aims to illustrate a/. the difference in size between a 1/4 inch scale model of a Maine Two Foot boxcar and a typical ready to run boxcar in On30, and b/. the difference in ride heights between the same model boxcar built as an On2 model and one built to the common standards applied to On30.

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The very low, close to the ground appearance of the On2 model is apparent in this shot. It is commonly stated that the body of Maine Two Foot freight car should overhang the trucks “like a well upholstered lady sitting on a bar stool”.

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This shot also shows Trevor Marshalls’ method of simulating the seamed roof appearance using “tiles” of thin metal foil applied individually. Note that the latest research shows that all Maine Two Foot boxcars were built with tin roofs made from overlapping sheets, although the sheet size, laying patterns and method of attachment to the sub-roof did vary with builder and road, and sometimes build dates.

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These two pictures show the same boxcar model, a B&SR 26 footer scratchbuilt by Terry Smith from his own urethane parts, built to common On30 standards on the left and to On2 standards on the right. The On30 model is shown on standard UK OO gauge train set track (his nephew’s) while the On2 model is shown on Precision Scale On2 Flex track.

The On30 model is shown with an early style urethane roof casting with rather pronounced raised seams (taped), whereas the On2 model is shown with a later style urethane roof casting with more subtle seams (embossed).

Maine On2 layouts – Peter Barney’s SR&RL

The first set of pictures following appear here by courtesy of Koji Yuen of Okayama, Japan and Peter Barney, who also supplied the captions. They were taken by Koji when Peter’s home layout featured in the Layout Tours of the 22nd National Narrow Gauge Convention of Warwick, RI in 2002.

Peter’s On2 layout almost fills the basement of his home in southern Massachusetts. The line is a point to point reproduction of the SR&RL from Farmington to Phillips, Strong and Rangeley. The line is wrapped around and threaded through the walls in the basement which support the house above, presenting the line as a series of vignettes and operating areas, and not offering any one viewpoint which shows the complete extent of the line.

Peter advises that much of the line, except the Farmington area has been rebuilt since these pictures were taken, and an example is shown at the end of the 2002 pictures.

The author’s own recollection of his visit to the line (in the late 1980’s) is that many of the mills were built large enough to correctly dwarf the trains.

 

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Farmington yard. While shorter than the original does have the feel and the standard gauge lines crossing two foot gauge lines.

 

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Looking north toward Phillips. The model yard was a mirror image of the real Phillips yard.

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Phillips yard; the roundhouse had three full stalls, then 7 fake stalls against the wall.

 

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# 18 switching Phillips yard.

 

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The International Mill in Phillips made from plastic engine house walls.

 

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Freight train going through Dead River.

 

Peter’s modeling was not limited to the SR&RL in On2, but extended to the other Maine Two Footers being given running rights over the SR&RL layout; the basement also housed Peter’s Kennebec Central layout which was featured in Railroad Model Craftsman. The picture below shows the Sandy River being invaded from trains from Fiji. Peter made the locomotives from Mantua/Tyco 0-6-0 mechanisms narrowed to On2. …………..Sweet!

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Like many On2 modelers, Peter also models in the large scales in his garden.

 

To visit Koji Yuen’s website showing his railroad models click here. An English language page is available.

Some more of Peter Barney’s modeling.

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This picture shows the latest section of the layout that Peter has re-built – the Clary Mill with Wiscasset #6. Click on the picture to view at a larger scale.

 

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Peter built this module of Bridgton for the Bridgton Historical Society, where it is now on display.

 

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In 2015, the WW&FR Museum of Alna, Maine commissioned Peter to build this module to show visitors what the Wiscasset water front looked like when the line ran down that far in the 1900’s.

 

 

 

 

Top posts for 2016

The editors would like to thank all the contributors for their material used in the past year, our most viewed so far, and also to wish them a Happy New Year. Visitor and viewing numbers for 2016 were the highest recorded within a full calendar year, both being up by more than 25% on the previous years figures.

Here are our most viewed posts for the calendar year 2016;-

#1 – Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Megantic module; published 15th February 2016.

#2- MaineOn2 layouts – Trevor Marshall’s Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR.

#3 – Library of Congress – Vintage Aerial views; published 1st January 2016.

#4 – Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module; re-published on blog 26th   February 2016.

#5 –Maine On2 Layouts – Bob Brown’s Wiscasset dock.

#6 – Minimum radius and big Forneys – On30 version.

Yet again, this is a rather different listing compared to those of the previous years, with three of the top four positions being taken by new topics posted this year. Bob Harper earned a well deserved top placing with his new module Megantic which has now been shown at a number of UK venues, and he also placed fourth with his older Franklin module which made it across the pond to the National Narrow Gauge Convention at Augusta, Maine in September. In October, back in the UK, Franklin was awarded the David Lloyd Trophy for the “Best Layout in Show” by popular vote at the Expo Narrow Gauge Show held at Swanley, Kent. This is the biggest show in the UK devoted to small scale Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling.

The number of specific viewings of Megantic this year sets a new record for the highest number of views recorded within a calendar year, and it scored more than second and third places combined.

The nationality of viewers was pretty stable, with some 74% of the 2016 viewings being made from the USA, with the United Kingdom in second place with some 7% and Canada in third place with 5%.The blog has recorded visits from 73 different countries around the globe this year.

This year has seen the largest number of new topics posted within a calendar year, apart from our start up in 2013. This can be attributed to our chief scribe using his last year’s Christmas present to himself (50 years of the Gazette on DVD) to satisfy his own curiosity about the early days of commercial On2 in the 1970’s and sharing his findings on the blog.

We hope that our viewers have found the site of interest over the last year.

We have more topics and content in-process, so keep coming back in the coming year.

 

 

 

 

Track standards- parallel track spacing for Maine On2

Parallel track spacing can be a problem for Maine On2 (and other scales) layout builders at the design stage, particularly if they need to shoehorn a design into restricted space, as there is not a lot of information around for guidance, but here’s what we have found.

The NMRA Standard for model railroad parallel track spacing is S-8 which can be viewed here. The general view of the Maine Two Foot modellers is that this standard is not particularly helpful as it depends upon interpretation and interpolation, but still does not give clear results for On2. This was so eloquently put by Yahoo! group member Hilary Smith very many moons ago:-

In my reading so far, I have either not come across spacing discussions or have overlooked them. Looking at NMRA S-8 Track Center Standards for Class II (small four-wheel truck diesels; small steam; old-time, logging, branch line rolling stocking stock) O scale standard gauge puts tangent track at 3.75″ (or 15 scale feet) apart, and for a curve of 41.5″ radius, 3.8125″ apart. For On3, tangents are 2.75″ and for 41.5″ radius, 3.375″, proportionally much wider spacing in curves relative to tangents than in standard gauge. Comparing On3 tangent spacing with standard gauge shows that the track centerlines are a full 1″ or four feet closer together, but on curves only 0.4375″ (or 1.75 feet) closer together. So, are On2 cars no skinnier or longer than their On3 counterparts meaning that On3 spacing standards are a good choice? Or should the centerlines be closer still? Thanks for any observations, experience, or advice.

Hilary Smith,  Northern Virginia

 

The post got two replies;-

Terry Smith: The Maine two foot passenger cars can be longer than was common on three foot gauges, meaning that models of Maine cars “cut the corners” more than the equivalent three foot lines. The controlling dimension is the truck centres. I think that three foot narrow gauge cars are slightly wider in general than two foot, but not sufficiently different to make a difference modelling wise for track centres. ie using the On3 data will be OK for On2.

Trevor Marshall:  
You asked about spacing between tracks on tangents and curves for On2 layouts. I think it’s safe to say, as Terry Smith suggested in his reply, that passenger cars are the critical equipment for curves. Therefore, if you have such a car (SR&RL – not, say, Monson, whose lone passenger car was much shorter), you could do your own testing:

1 – lay a minimum radius curve on a surface on which you can draw with a pencil. You can either spike down a piece of On2 flex, or just a pair of rails, directly onto, say, a 1×6 piece of pine.

2 – put the car on the track.

3 – holding a pencil at each end of the car on the outside of the curve, roll the car along the track so the pencil draws a line on your surface

4 – repeat holding a pencil at the midpoint of the car on the inside of the curve.

5 – measure the offset between the track centerline and each line you’ve drawn.

Note that the pencil line will be slightly offset from the edge of the car – that’s built-in clearance for you. If you don’t yet have a passenger car – or don’t want to use that nicely painted model as a marking device – you could always cut a passenger-car-sized piece from styrene or wood (doesn’t have to be exact, but should be at least as large as the car is, corner to corner), add some bolsters from styrene strip under it at the proper locations, and screw some On2 trucks to it. You could even add pencil holders at each corner and in the middle if you like. Build two of them and you can check clearance on the layout before running your real models through. Heck, even add vertical pieces at the ends and in the center to turn one into a clearance car for bridges, buildings, holes in the backdrop, etc.

That’s curves for you. For straights, I have two standards: For transfer tracks, freight platforms, or other places where cars will be spotted adjacent to each other or adjacent to a structure with the intent that plates be dropped between them for the transfer of goods via hand-trucks or strong backs, I use my widest pieces of equipment to lay the tracks as close together as possible without sideswiping. For other places, I’ve spaced tangent track on 3″ centers. This is way more than the minimum spacing required, but it looks right to me – narrow gauge yards tend to have a spare, open feeling to them, and 3″ spacing allows for an O scale figure to stand between cars on adjacent tracks without getting sideswiped. Remember, the minimum is not always the best.

Hope this helps. – Trevor in Toronto

Some time later, the question was asked again, and this time the replies included references to the Maine Two Foot prototypes and other modellers’ experience.  

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Bob Schlechter: Scaling from the prototype photo above, taken at Bridgton Junction, gives approximately 8′ 7″ to 8′ 9″ as the center to center distance of the two foot trackage to the standard gauge trackage. The photo was taken from the roof of a standard gauge box car looking downward at the trains and trackage giving a good vantage point.

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Bob Schlechter: on my Kennebec Central diorama (above) I used 8 1/2 scale feet center to center. Looks good for prototype spacing but if one is going to do lots of operation and switching you may want it wider to allow for full size fingers to be able to reach in between cars!

 

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Terry Smith: “I used 2½” spacing for straight parallel tracks widening to 2¾” around the curved sections (36” radius) on the Reading iteration of my P&SR (pictured above). I added the extra bit of clearance around the curves because I had a passing loop cum staging tracks that were bent round a 90 degree corner in parallel.
I do not recall having problems with access for manual uncoupling (using a Rix wand for my Kadee’s) or with interfering overhangs/underhangs with the longer rolling stock (coaching stock and Bridgton 34 foot freight stock) or locomotives like the large Forney’s, (B&SR/B&HR #7 & #8), or SR&RL #24 using these values.

 

Bob Harper: I use 3″ spacing on my On3 tracks and 2½” on my On2,  which reflects the difference in width of the real rolling stock – 8′ on the 3′ and 6′ on the 2′ lines. Looking at Franklin on the FAQ’s will show how this looks.

Editor: see the picture above of Bob’s Franklin module where the slight out of focus plus lighting highlight the tracks. To view more pictures of Bob’s Franklin module on another browser page, click here.

Bob Harper continues: Obviously the throw-over of the long On2 coaches is important, but I have found that the critical dimension is the cab on SR&RL #23. This is far wider than anything else (apart from a snow plow?), and my mistake of having the driver leaning out of the side window made clearances even worse! He has since been repositioned.

But another factor to bear in mind is the sense of proportion of the whole scene. Unless we are very fortunate with the space available, we inevitably have to fore-shorten out scenes, and trying to keep a prototypical width while losing the prototypical length can lead to the eye perceiving the track spacing to be too wide. In order to keep the overall scene in proportion, it may be necessary to slightly reduce the track spacing from prototypical standards.

 

Trevor Marshall: I like the generously spaced look of the Maine Two Foot yards, like in the picture below of Bridgton on the B&SR/B&HR;-

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Trevor continues: I’ve used 3″ centers on my On2 layouts. I find it gives that appropriately “NG” look.

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Above is a picture showing Enoch Pond station area under construction in the first iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR, which captures the spaced out look between the tracks.

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This is a rare overhead shot of the Hebron Pond Slate Company sheds and passenger depot on the second iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR.

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Trevor continues: – I built a test track board that included both 2′ and standard gauge tracks, side by side, like a transfer yard (illustrated above by the interchange yard at Monson Junction). I lined things up visually – used a standard gauge and 2′ boxcar and double checked my spacing with an engine. I think I left a scale 6″ between the equipment, and raised the 2′ gauge line so that the floors of the cars were level.

What I did NOT do was check the spacing with a 2′ gauge plow. ……..Guess what? They’re a lot wider than other equipment. So, if you can get a plow or mock up the width of one (a block of balsa would do), it’s a good idea for checking clearances.

I think I’d still build the transfer tracks close like I did. Crews will just have to shovel the tracks by hand, or plow when there are no standard gauge cars in the yard.

Editor (18-12-2016): I’ve just found my plans of the Bridgton snow plow #2, which measures 8ft 10ins wide at its maximum – a lot different from the normal 6ft 6in to 6ft 9ins width of Bridgton freight cars and coaches. The model snow plow that Trevor acquired was built from a SRCS kit for SR&RL #513, which measures 8ft 4ins wide at its maximum.

Editor: Here’s a picture of the interchange yard at Snowdon on the second iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR.

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For more pictures of Trevor’s layouts click here. Well worth a browse!

If you have different suggestions and/or experience and would care to share it with us then please contact us.

 

 

Herman Mitchell and Mitchell Scale Models

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Herman Mitchell is one of the unsung heroes in the history of Maine On2 modeling as he was a highly skilled pattern maker who produced the master patterns for castings which were sold or used by Scale Railway Equipment Company, Bob Werner and his businesses of The Hobby Barn and Portland Products, LeeTown Model Services and numerous others. Herman also sold some of his castings under his own Mitchell Scale Models label, such as the SRRR 5 rung boxcar ladder shown above.

In June 2010, Herman’s passing was announced by his friend Pete Mesheau with the following words;-

My good friend Herman (Mitch) Mitchell passed away at his home near Farmington Maine, May 4th. He was 91. Mitch formed Mitchell Scale Models back in the early sixties and built models and components for a number of US firms.

 

He was born in Germany, but left at the age of 18, emigrating to Long Island in 1937.  He trained as a professional pattern maker and machinist.

 

After a chance trip to Phillips, Maine in the mid fifties, he moved his family there from NYC, as it reminded him of the countryside he grew up in.

 

Over the years he did numerous patterns and offered castings in 1/4″ and 1/2″. Many of his two foot patterns were used by Portland Products and Scale Railway Equipment back in the 70’s and 80’s. His craftsmanship and attention to detail was first rate.

 

He was a true pioneer in Maine two foot modelling.

 

Peter Mesheau

 

Earlier in March 2007 Wes Ewell wrote;-  Mitch Mitchell is an extremely capable retired machinist who produced most of Bob Werner’s masters. Bob Schlechter and I met him at a WW&F picnic eight or nine years ago, but I haven’t seen or heard about him since.

In 2016 Pete Mesheau wrote;- Mitch offered a few 1/4″ parts that he did up himself but for the most part, his On2 work was for Portland and SRE. His parts were cast at a small Rhode Island foundry.

The 40 odd 1/2″ scale two foot patterns (pictured below) are still with me, along with a number of 1/2″ parts.

Mitch did many On3 patterns as well, and a number for 1/4″ and 1/2″ scale street cars.

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An overview of the Herman Mitchell 1/2″ scale patterns held by Pete Mesheau.

 

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A close up of Herman’s pattern for a 1/2″ scale Maine freight truck sideframe, with a rail car wheel in the background.

 

 

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A range of Herman’s 1/4″ scale patterns with a swing motion freight truck sideframe in the hand.

 

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Examples of Herman’s 1/4″ scale parts in brass and whitemetal. The truck sideframes across the bottom are from the SRECo range.

 

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Some more of Herman’s 1/4″ scale parts in brass.

 

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Bob Werner included Herman’s range of 1/2″ scale parts in his Hobby Barn Catalogue.

The editors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Pete Mesheau in preparing and checking this topic.

 

 

 

Robert Sloan, Decals and Etchings, 1973 – 1985.

Robert Sloan was a Professor of Geology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis who became interested in narrow gauge railways and modelling them in the early 1970’s. He became a well known author on early Colorado three foot lines, and  produced decal sheets for these lines. He also produced etched overlays in thin brass (0.010″ is mentioned in the review below) for loco conversions which included some of the Maine Two Footers.

Initially advertising as Sloan Decals, in later adverts he traded as Robert Sloan. He sold the business in 1984/85 to Narrow Gauge Stuff of Hopkins, Minnesota. Just over a year after they announced the acquisition in the May 1985 edition of the Narrow Gauge and Short Lines Gazette magazine, Narrow Gauge Stuff stopped advertising in the Gazette.

Click on each picture to view a larger copy.

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This review appeared in the November 1977 edition of the Narrow Gauge and Short Lines Gazette magazine under the New in Review banner.

 

The catalog, whose pages are shown below, was obtained in 1978 (the second edition), and the text afterwards comes from Robert Sloan’s auto-biography published on his University website.

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Extracts related to modeling taken from Robert Sloan’s auto-biography, written in 1995-1996;-

In the winter of 1972, I had run across a photograph of a pair of very fancily lettered refrigerator cars in a book, and desperately wanted to build those cars. But I didn’t want to hand letter them with a 0000 brush or a crow quill pen under a microscope. So I spent many hours deciphering the letters on the photo, Sal even got into the act as we would think of what the letters might be at night in bed, then get the book with the photo and check likely candidates out. (Between us we called it “Retches Barley” since that was one of the words we thought we figured out late at night.) After there were few more changes, I drew the lettering on a car side drawn to scale at ½” to the foot, sent the artwork to the only decal manufacturer I knew of, the Meyercord Company, that had made the prewar model airplane decals I had used. I set it up so that on each sheet there would be a full set of O scale decals, ½ set of S scale, 7½ sets of HO scale and tucked away in otherwise waste space 2 sets of N scale (That, so far as I knew, no one was doing). 800 sheets of decals cost $300 to make, so I took a gamble thinking there might be enough modelers out there to buy them, drew up a set of plans and a set of instructions and sold them as a set. I announced them in Slim Gauge News, in Spring 1973, a modeling and historical Narrow Gauge railroading magazine, where I had started writing articles. My gamble paid off, in the first 30 days all of my investment was returned, when I sold the decal business in 1984, I still had half of the original decals left. This lead to the Sloan Decal Business, which made enough money to cover the costs of my railroading and my professional research. The business went from lettering to specialty brass etchings when I took over the Beaver Creek Line of etched cabs and tender wraps, I wound up making brass etchings to convert existing inexpensive models to Narrow Gauge locomotives in the next larger size, N to HO narrow gauge, HO to S narrow gauge, and Z to N narrow gauge. I added a few white metal castings into the line as well, again for conversions. This made it possible for many to model narrow gauge cheaply. Over the years I wrote some 65 articles for various magazines, organizing them into several books. My model railroad and historical railroad bibliography is almost as large as my professional bibliography, although the papers did not take as long to write.

I kept the business until 1984, when it became too time consuming, then sold it, the items are still mostly in production. In the process I made many models including about 20 narrow gauge locomotives and many cars in several different scales, all of them one of a kind. I gave most of them away to friends. I modeled and built locomotives and cars in the following gauges and scales. On3, On2½, Sn3½, Sn3, HO, HOn3, HOn2½, OOn 2’3”, N and Nn3. I never did develop a complete layout, construction and history was more important to me than operation.

Click here to view the full autobiography (150+ pages….!) on another browser page.

 

The extract from the Narrow Gauge and Short Lines Gazette magazine appears by kind permission of Bob Brown, Editor and Co-owner.

 

 

LeeTown Model Service, Inc., an early supplier.

LeeTown Model Service, Inc. is the trading name adopted by the partnership of Lee Snover and Darryl Townsend for their professional modeling activities. As a trading enterprise, LeeTown specialised in Narrow Gauge Railways, Geared Locomotives and high quality (Micro-motor) transmissions. From the 1970’s onwards, they were well known for their On3 Climax locomotive parts and kits, but they also played a significant role in the commercial development of Maine On2 modelling.

LeeTown have always traded from a Belvidere NJ address. Darryl Townsend moved away from this area, and produced some models under the Town Models banner in Illinois. Click here to view the Town Models topic.

Wes Ewell, a noted Maine Two Foot fan, shared a couple of reminiscences of LeeTown in the early days (circa 1965 – 1970) of Maine On2 modelling on the Yahoo! group;-

Darryl Townsend, Lee Snover, Charlie Brommer, John Derr, and I were all charter members of the Mid-Atlantic Narrow Gauge Group that Don Brown brought together nearly 50 years ago. We would gather at Don’s house in Summit (NJ) every month to share ideas and interests. We quickly became a production group, though, working together to produce drawings, kits, parts, and finished models. Darryl was teaching obstetrics at Temple University in Philadelphia, but later moved to Chicago. Lee and Charlie continued on their own. John and I collaborated on drawings for 20 years.  Those were very active years for the two-foot community. 

-Wes Ewell- 5 Aug 2015

 

Forty years ago I did a bunch of catalog and ad drawings for Lee Snover in exchange for models and parts. One of those was one of the first brass Forneys and his etched tank for #22. This was a most unusual piece in that it was etched in the round, not rolled from a flat etching. I think Terry Smith bought mine when I switched to Sn2. If you can find one today it is worth every dear penny you might have to pay for it. The #14 resin tanks that Jim Eagan sold were also excellent and worth the $130 that the one just sold for on eBay. –Wes – 24 November 2010

 

Terry Smith wrote;- I did acquire Wes’s model of tank #22 via Bob Werner of the Hobbybarn, see below.

Editors’ note; the heyday of LeeTown’s activities in Maine On2 (circa 1970 -75 or so) predates my own exposure and interest. LeeTown also had their own approach to advertising by using a mixture of formal display adverts in the Narrow Gauge modeling magazines, which sometimes included future plans with invitations to write in for more info, or statements such as more info in new catalog and the occasional “snippets” and pictures of new parts released to columnists and reviewers which were used in Editorials, mixed in with occasional use of classified adverts.

Looking through the old issues of the Narrow Gauge modeling magazines these days, it is not that obvious whether some of the parts mentioned were made by LeeTown themselves or whether they were acting as retailers, and whether the items actually ever appeared (see the update below for further information).

With these factors in mind here’s a brief overview of the significant points of LeeTown’s Maine On2 activities (subject to confirmation and change);-

November 1969 Finelines: advert suggesting that a batch of 25 SR&RL #6 models was in process for delivery in late 1970, $50 deposit to reserve.

September 1971 Finelines: editorial and advert about the new process B&SR/B&H Tank Cars.

January 1972 Finelines: editorial about the SR&RL #6 and Forney superstructure etches.

March 1973 Slim Gauge News: editorial showing On2 swing motion trucks (as used under the B&H tank cars) complete with brake beams and Grandt Line wheelsets. These could be parts supplied by SRECo.

March 1974 Finelines: advert offering SR&RL Railcar#5 plus future plans for a batch of B&SR loco #7 for release in late 1975 or 1976.

September 1974 Finelines: LeeTown featured as a parts supplier in a Hobbybarn advert announcing the CB SR&RL #6 and offering an alternative set of parts for the home constructor.

Update 05-12-2016: Layton (Lee) Snover has been in touch, initially to renew his acquaintance with Wes Ewell, and has provided the following information;-

In regard to the locomotive models mentioned in the adverts (the SR&RL #6 from November 1969 and the B&SR #7 from March 1974) and whether these were ever built, Lee replied “NJ Custom Brass (Nick and Jack) got in contact and announced that they would import the models. Also the SR&RL Railbus #5.”

 

Lee continued “On3 proved to be a larger market, so I did the Climax models and lost my shirt!  By 1977 I had stopped the On3 even and in ’78 went into making HO Scale cars and trucks. I sold that line to Portman Hobby Dist. in 1986.”

 

“In 1992, I started up again making On3/O ga. “Critters” (small industrial locos), even a few in On2!. About 2003 I stopped making Industrial locos and switched to re-powering older brass Shays, by Sunset and Iron Horse. I still do, and also make custom rebuilds of those into other prototypes for the loggers.”

 

“Darryl Townsend made the brass tanks, etchings, so I have no idea of quantity. Darryl passed away in 2015.”

 

“One other notable job from the Mid 70’s was that LeeTown made a Mt. Gretna RR 2′ gauge 4-4-0 for a fella who worked for the Lebanon Pa. newspaper, in 1/2″ Scale. The model was featured in Model Railroader Magazine in color.  It was supposed to go  to a Museum, but ended up in his living room wall, in a glass walled cut-out, so he could see both sides.”

 

SR&RL #6 in On2 RTR?

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This is the advert from the November 1969 edition of Finelines magazine which introduced the SR&RL #6 model.

LeeTown Model Service Bridgton Tanks

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LeeTown Model Service announced their Bridgton Tank models (note completed tanks only) with this advert in the September 1971 edition of Finelines magazine. Component parts had been advertised during the preceding year as they became available.

Note that the phrase “a new process etched tank” in the above advert is believed to refer to the basic tank body being a brass tube that was etched in the round. It is also believed that LeeTown used the same sized brass tube for both the smaller #22 tank and the larger #14 tank, resulting in the #14 tank appearing undersized.

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This model of B&SR/B&HR tank #22 was acquired second-hand from Wes Ewell via Bob Werner of The Hobby Barn. Wes has stated that he received this model as part payment for drawings and catalog illustrations that he did for Lee Snover of LeeTown around 1970. Given that date, the flat car that the tank is mounted on would have been scratch built.

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This model of B&SR/B&HR tank #21/#14 consists of a Leetown etched “in the round” brass tube tank, (obtained as raw etched brass tube from Bob Werner of the Hobbybarn) which was expanded to the correct diameter and finished off with Portland Products tank ends, dome, safety valve, necklace, ladder and handrail supports. It was mounted on a flat car built from an SRCS 30 foot B&SR flatcar kit with a scratch built cradle and straps.

SR&RL Railbus #5 in kitform + RTR & future B&SR loco #7?

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This is a cut-down copy of the advert from the March 1974 edition of Finelines magazine which offered SR&RL Railbus #5 in kit form and RTR and which also announced future plans for a batch of B&SR loco #7 for release in late 1975 or 1976.

SR&RL #6: set of parts

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This Hobby Barn advert from the September 1974 Fineline magazine lists LeeTown as a supplier “………..for those who wish the challenge of constructing the engines themselves…….”. People who knew Bob Werner would not find it hard to imagine the smile on his face as he wrote those words.

In the context of this blog and this post, Narrow Gauge modeling magazines refers collectively to Finelines, Slim Gauge News and the Narrow Gauge and Short Lines Gazette. These are now available on DVD from Bob Hayden. Click here for more information.

All adverts from Finelines and the Narrow Gauge and Short Lines Gazette magazines appear by kind permission of Bob Brown, Editor and Co-owner.

 

 

 

Scale Railway Equipment Company – an early supplier from the 1960’s

The Scale Railway Equipment Company was started by Jim Eagan sometime before the Editorial below appeared in the September 1967 edition of Finelines magazine under the heading “What’s New?”.

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SRE has always had a reputation for quality parts for the Maine On2 modeller. SRE parts and kits appear regularly on the current second-hand and internet auction sites, where, if correctly identified, they are sought after.

Looking backwards from our current viewpoint, the advertisements in the Narrow Gauge modelling press suggest that the SRE business wandered in directions away from the initial focus on Maine Two Foot.

SRE is mentioned as a component supplier for the first runs of the Custom Brass SR&RL coaches and cabooses, the Town Models SR&RL boxcar and Chris Cardinal’s Laconia coaches.

Click on each image for a larger view.

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This full page advert from the May 1968 edition of Finelines magazine shows the SRE products then available.

 

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This Editorial appeared in the March 1971 edition of Finelines magazine under the What’s New? banner, and announced the arrival of the sprung lost wax brass trucks.

 

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This advert from the January 1972 edition of Finelines magazine gave a status report for the large Bridgton tank car, as well presenting an increasing range of parts.

 

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SRE advert from the November 1972 edition of Finelines magazine showing the variations available for the large tank (car).

 

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SRE advert from the January 1976 edition of Narrow Gauge and Short Lines Gazette showing the kits available for 1976 which ran throughout 1976.

 

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SRE placed this advert in the March/April 1978 edition of the Narrow Gauge and Short Lines Gazette magazine announcing the arrival of the lower cost white metal trucks.

 

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SRE ran this advert in the Narrow Gauge and Short Lines Gazette magazine from January/February 1981 until September/October 1982, after which they appear to have taken a break from advertising in the Gazette, and then resumed on a spasmodic basis with other products (ie not Maine On2). Note that our review period currently finishes at the end of 1986, and that the focus here is on the Maine On2 items.

 

The SRE catalog: this catalog was obtained sometime in the early 1980’s, and carries a listing of UK sourced 7mm scale figures.

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Monson Flat Car

The first advertisement for this car kit appeared in the November 1971 edition of Finelines magazine.

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SRE Bridgton & Harrison Tank Car #14 

This model was first announced at the end of 1971 and was available from the end of 1972 onwards.

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SRE advert from the November 1972 edition of Finelines magazine showing the variations available for the large tank (car).

The tank was an epoxy resin casting produced by Bill Clouser using his “Custom Cast” process, and included the dome, with a separate casting for the cradle. Details such as the filler cap, relief valve, handrail supports, ladder were investment cast brass. Handrails, bridle and grab irons were brass wire. As shown in the advert above, the tank was available separately or with a cast 30 foot flat car body. The model was introduced at the end of 1972 and was reviewed in Model Railroad Craftsman, June 1974 edition with corrected photographs in the July 1974 edition.

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Parts of the tank only kit, taken from the instruction sheet illustration.

 

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Notice the Bill Clouser Custom Cast logo and labelling. These two pictures show the 30 foot flat car model to carry the tank car body.

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For further pictures of the SRE Bridgton Tank car model click here to open another page in your browser.

 

SR&RL Phillips Water Plug

This kit appears to have been announced in the November/December 1977 edition of the Narrow Gauge and Short Lines Gazette magazine. It was reviewed in the January/February 1981 edition with the comment “…back on the market…”.

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All adverts from Finelines and the Narrow Gauge and Short Lines Gazette magazines appear by kind permission of Bob Brown, Editor and Co-owner.