Model Railroading in the 50s and 60s.

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Mark, I would comment that the drop in the number of pages maybe due to several reasons.

-Reduced number of advertisers and advertisers using fewer printed ads.

-Increased online websites.

-Fewer modelers contributing articles.

Also, it maybe hard to keep the magazine fresh with new subject matter. Yes, the MRVP is taking a major role in MR's attempts to increase readership of the magazine and the video programs.

Greg
 

NP2626

Active Member
Since I started this thread, one of the things I have done is looked at the cartoons; or, funnies in many of the issues I've looked through to see if any of them where actually funny. They are consistent in that they are horrible as far as humor is concerned! I would say that Bill McClanahan's Cartoons where drawn very well and that he was a very good artist. I must have a very different point of view on what is funny, as I have to say many of the cartoons simply made no sense to me! It's a good thing that I don't grade the issue on how humorous the cartoons where, as I saw so few that actually where! Although I can appreciate the effort that went into them!
 

NP2626

Active Member
Here is another statistical look done by Model Railroaders Russ Larson in the July 1984 issue on where our model Railroads are located:

Basement 48.6%
Spare room 24.3%
Garage 8.5%
Attic 3.6%
Special Room 5.3%
Other 9.7%

I hear more about people building a layout in the garage. Maybe this is more popular today.
 
Mine will be in the basement... someday. The room that is "mine" is currently shared storage space. Curiously, since the kids came along, there never seems to be enough storage space. The kids are now grown -- yet, there's still not enough storage space.

But someday... mwah hah hah!! :D

Regards,
Tom
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
Tom - I can feel your pain. My kids have been gone for years and my basement WAS full of their stuff. Over the past two years we renovated the entire main level of the house. During the work, we filled up six construction dumpsters and the kids were told that if they didn't come and get their stuff, it would be leaving in the dumpster. In the process we reclaimed two bedrooms and a family room.

My train room was always my "man cave" and wasn't cluttered with their stuff.
 

NP2626

Active Member
In the November 1984 issue is a fairly extensive article on Mantua Metal Products. I also found an article on building a hill side water tank that I think I am going to incorporate on my layout.
 

Sirfoldalot

Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
You jogged my memory! I remember the "hillside water tank" - and thought at the time that it would be a nice addition.
If I am not mistaken, I believe that the D&RGW (opps Silverton line) still uses one at Nettleton?
 

NP2626

Active Member
The January 1985 issue has an article similar to the one in my last post on Mantua, about Gordon Varney and Varney Railway Models. This is another interesting history lesson for those of you into such things. The article leads right into another that is a chronology of Varney Products written by Jim Hedigar. The magazine is still being edited by Russ Larson and by now the only MRC power packs being advertised have plastic cases. The February 1985 issue has an article entitled: Beginning a new series: Interfacing a Computer with a Model Railroad written by Bruce Chubb. Of course the process needed an Acronym, so Bruce named it C/MRI! I'm guessing this acronym stood for Computer/Model Railroad Interface. There is a fascinating article on building a steam shovel from military model tank parts. Not knowing much about how an actual steam shovel worked, I can say that it looks to me like Al Boos, the guy who wrote the article, knew his stuff. There are a lot of details that will never be seen by anyone once the cab is put on. Very neat and super interesting! The next article in this issue is about the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park. This museum houses three model railroad clubs and holds multiple Model Railroads: First is the N Scale "Pacific Desert Lines", then the HO scale Southern Pacific/Santa Fe's Tehachapi pass, The Ho Scale San Diego and Arizona Eastern and Finally the O scale Cabrillo and Southwestern layout. At the time this article was written the Museum was only four years old. Here is a recent URL for a video of the museum, if you have never seen these layouts, you deserve a look! These ares one of the best layouts on Earth. The museum also houses temporary layouts.

Oh! and PFM is still advertising on the back cover!
 
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On a visit to San Diego years ago, I was within walking distance of the San Diego Model Railroad clubs. From where I sat on a bench resting, I could see the building that housed the clubs. It may of been the long days of the vacation that I was just too tired to visit the clubs or plain dumbness on my part.

On my next visit to San Diego a visit to the club will be on the top of my priorities.

Greg
 

NP2626

Active Member
I had a video tape showing the various layouts included in the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. I used this tape as a program for a Rotary meeting. I was most impressed with the La Mesa's Tehachapi Pass and the San Diego model railroad Association's San Diego and Arizona Eastern's, layouts. What is impressive to me with La Mesa's layout is the scenery to railroad ratio which is very high in the scenery department, to the point of almost real! Both are HO and extremely well done! I too visited San Diego in 1994, I was there when the Northridge Earth Quake hit and we felt it. My wife and I had a day to fool around, I asked if she was willing to go to the San Diego Zoo; or, Balboa Park. We chose the Zoo; so, I need to re-visit there too!
 
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NP2626

Active Member
I have seen a couple of Art Curren's articles on Kit Bashing structures and not made comment, yet. Since I have done a few of his Kit Bashes, I thought I would discuss Art's simple methods of changing a structure kit into something else. Certainly Mr. Curren was/is not the only writer for Model Railroader to discuss Kit Bashing structures. I think that his "Kit Mingled" (his name for the process) might be so well used that many of us have few structures on our layouts that are straight stock, at least I know I am one of them. Follow along on Art's Kit Mingled projects and as he said, you start to look at kits as only the parts needed to build something different. I would say that roughly 50% of the structures on my layout have been bashed into something different than the manufacturer intended. Another 15% are scratch built from raw materials from Evergreen, Durango Press, JL Innovative design, Plastruct, Walthers, Tichy, Grant Line, etc... The art of Kit Bashing builds skills and confidence to go on to building from Scratch, if so desired! I bring this up at this juncture because in the March 1985 issue of Model Railroader, Art's Gambol Waite & Hope "Kit Mingled" business is discussed. It was built from two AHM Freight house kits and I guess that TYCO also had this same kit available. However, neither manufacturers are still doing business. A similar kit is now available form Walthers (In their Trainline Series) as either Brick HO 931-918 @ $22.49; or, "Board and Batten" Kit HO 931-905 @$22.49 also, as the kits Art used. Either of these would work for me and it's my guess that other manufacturers are also making this kit. This is a structure that I find really interesting and may actually bash this one for the new part of my Layout!

I think that people are still interested in building structure kits. Although more and more ready built structures are showing up. Building structure kits takes a little time; or, skill and if you haven't done so, give it a try!!
 
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NP2626

Active Member
I ran across an ad in a recent NMRA Magazine that I really liked! It is for Fast Tracks Turn-out and Track building jigs. There motto is "YOUdon't have to build it... You GET to build it"! This is exactly my thoughts about this hobby!! So many in today's world fail to see that the building process is as much fun, if not more, than operating their home layouts. They set goals for achievement that get in the way of true enjoyment of this hobby, (my opinion). They say they are just too "Danged" busy to build models! I guess I need to back off and accommodate these philosophies that are absolutely foreign to my way of thinking and let model railroaders pursue the hobby the way they like (I do have difficulty with this; however, as because they are a majority, their ideas on how the hobby is to be enjoyed, effect my ability to do what it is I like in the hobby).

I wish I could find a hobby that is only about the building aspect of creating models! I have been building models since a kid in the 50s. Everything in today's world just seems to be killing that aspect of the building of models! Nuff said, I'm sure that those of you who don't have time to build models, will not take kindly to my criticism of the state of this hobby!
 
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NP2626

Active Member
The September 1985 issue of Model Railroader has an article by another of my favorite model railroad builders and that is Michael Tylick. he discusses his Fitchburg and SouthBridge HO Scale layout. I feel that Mr. Tylick is as skilled a modeler as George Sellios! If you have never seen anything by Michael Tylick, you need to take a look at one of his layouts. Mr. Tylick has built layouts in different scales and of differing types. I know he built a project layout for Model Railroader that was an Interurban layout. Every once in a while something he has done will appear in the "Track Side Photos" of Model Railroader. Scenery and weathering are his forte and I would say there are none better!

There is a continuance of Bruce Chubb's Computer Interface for Model Railroading in the October 1985 issue of M.R. I'm uncertain how long this monthly article has been featured in M.R. but it has been ongoing for at least a year.

I really liked Walther's advertisements for their freight car kits back in the 80s and early 90s. the settings they used really made the cars attractive!
 
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NP2626

Active Member
In the January of 1986 Issue is an article by one of my favorite modelers, Malcom Furlow. Malcom decided he would help a fellow Modeler (Mike Sigmon) with his HOn3 Silverton & Telluride Ry Co. layout. Mike must have lived close to where ever it was that Malcom lived as to take on a project such as this, you would need to have as little travel time as possible. However, the layout is one tha gets my heart pumping. Much of the scenery extends all the way to the floor. There are quite few construction photos to wet your appetite, take a look. Somewhere in my study of the Rio Grande Southern RR, I found out that Telluride actually stands for To Hell You Ride! If that don't sound like a Gun Slingin' hard Drinkin' Western Town, I don't think anything would! Since this is the first mention of this layout, I can only hope that there will be continuing coverage. Malcom Furlow and John Olson are also included in the building of scenery and conclusion of The Seaboard Central layout build in this months issue. Also the first article on Eric Brooman's Utah Belt layout appears in this issue.


I have had continuous trouble with the Model Railroader Digital Archives! Sometimes it will not load for me and sometimes if I don't just click right on through an issue and stop to read something, it will not allow me to continue. I have told the magazine about these problems and I never get an answer from them on what is going on. They always attempt to tell me it is a problem with my computer, which it is not! I can't help but feel frustrated!
 
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NP2626

Active Member
PFM has moved to a smaller ad in the front part of the magazine and Roco now has the back page in the April 1986 issue. This probably isn't the first issue where the end page has changed ownership; but, it is the first one I have noticed.
 

NP2626

Active Member
The title of this thread is "Model Railroading in the 50s and 60s". However, After I got through the 50s and 60s, I have just kept going and am now in the mid 1980s with my look back in time. I have enjoyed this process! I should have titled this thread "Model Railroading from the 1950s to the present" even though I don't know that I will get to the present before becoming board with the project. At this point, I know I will at least keep on until I get to when I started to subscribe to Model Railroader Magazine sometime in 1988.

It has been fun to see all the products that have come and gone and the prices of things, it has also been sad to see all of the changes the hobby has gone through and is continuing to change, to meet how the demands of model railroaders of today.

I would guess that you all have noticed that I don't always catch everything that occurs in the magazine and report it, here. I will say that within the last couple years, 1984/1985, Tony Koester's monthly article "Trains of Thought" have started being published in the magazine.
 
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NP2626

Active Member
The May 1985 issue has a continuance of model railroads; or, projects built by teenagers, I believe, this line of articles started at the January 1986 issue and was a Young Authors Contest and the articles where the winners of this contest. In January an 18 year old wrote about how to build an EOT Device. The March issue has an article on Bounce Weathering by a 16 year old. The April issue has an article on building Guilford Mother and Slug by a 14 year old, using a GP40-2 model. The May issue has an article on a Rio Grande Belt layout built by a 15 year old. The June Issue has an article by a 14 year old writting about a friends back yard ride on railroad. I think it is very interesting that these youngsters show the imitative to write articles for the magazine and what they've written about, is very well done and useful information. Do we have young Model Railroaders that are as capable, today? I wonder? As I find more of these young Model Railroaders, i will report on what they have written, here.

The April issue gives a first look at George Sellios' Franklin and South Manchester Layout.
 
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NP2626

Active Member
Almost all of page #20 here has been written by Your's Truly! Is anyone following along? Even if nobody is, I guess I will continue this thread, as I am enjoying writing it.
 
I'm following, just have nothing to add. I do remember that Art Curren, who I admire, used to preach "why model the backs of structures that no one would see?". He obviously didn't foresee the cab-view cameras that are in use today. I learned a lot by reading his articles.

Willie
 



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