The Great Divide Lines A tribute to John Allen and the Gorre & Daphetid

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#41
Is the Purina feed mill the Alpine Scale Models kit?
In an ancient 1959 model railroad catalog, the Purina Chows Feed Mill was Suydam #82, and was priced at $3.95.
In the 1997 Walthers catalog, Suydam was then listed as California Model Company and the same kit was #700-82, and was priced at $19.95. Dimensions were given at 5"x9".
 
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#42
Well if it's metal its a Suydam, if it's cardstock and paper, it's an Alpine Scale models kit. I have several of their kits. Old school design but they make into decent structures!
I think Suydam had a lot of wood and card stock kits if you go back far enough. Their later corrugated steel kits did not appeal to me. When I built Rosalie's Cannery I used plastic corrugated siding then I later realized John only used lined paper with light pencil shading inside one edge to achieve this look. (fooled me and my research.... if not for a later found photo that gives it away) you can get away with a lot when the viewer is looking at an HO model from 5' or 6' away.
Alpine Models had a kit called main street station... I wanted to build it/modify it to make it fit at the bottom of Austin Street and use it as a trolley headquarters and station stop with a second track where I could program the little trolley to stop for a time as they will be running as John had his on a constant lope. But it is to much of a change to get away with.
 
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Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#43
Yeah, and Alpine Scale Models picked up a lot of Suydam stuff after they called it quits (and now Alpine Division has called it quits) so its probably the same kit. I have a minor in traction (Pacific Electric) and bought several kits and a lot of trolley parts form them before they packed it in.
 
#44
Yeah, and Alpine Scale Models picked up a lot of Suydam stuff after they called it quits (and now Alpine Division has called it quits) so its probably the same kit. I have a minor in traction (Pacific Electric) and bought several kits and a lot of trolley parts form them before they packed it in.
This Purina building is one of the very few kits John used.... and I am trying to stay as accurate as I can... he used the "Weekly Herald" building and/or Superior Bakery walls as well in various places. I have modified some of these walls, like he did, and made a mold now to recreate some of his larger buildings in the background of the Great Divide yards. It is not often I get to build a kit, so this Purina Building was fun to find in the box and to remember making it, and having it now end up, up top, where my 10 year old hands crafted it. I did pretty good for 10. John had me trying very hard to cut things well and be careful with glue around windows etc. and add details as they would be in real life.
 
#46
John did have a diesel show up on his layout once that I know of for a Tyco ad. Never saw one when I was there. Alan was correct as all of the track was hand laid.
Chet, yes indeed, John had all kinds of Varney equipment and various manufacturers items he would stage advertising photo shoots for. Not sure about Tyco but it's possible. But John had no diesels himself and he did not allow them on his layout from all reports.

And yes indeed wood ties and rail, they say John could lay track faster than any man alive. His use of a mirror during this process really does give some excellent results for straight runs or slight even curve work if you want to keep it straight and even. Speaking of hand laid track; I have some of Malcolm Vordenbaum's hand made switches in HOn3. They were made for John but never sent. (according to the man who sent them to me) Precious items and a miracle that I ended up with them. So when I get to the narrow gauge track, much of that will be hand done at least the turnouts. Malcolm was the man that tutored John (a bit) as he built his double crossover switch that sat right next to the Central Valley building. He knew John and met with him at any shows John went to in the southwest. He was from Texas and good friends with the crew of Cliff Robinson, Whit Towers, Frank Ellison etc. and he was known as one of the most talented switch makers to ever live but he never traveled to CA to see Johns incredible work.
His layout had no scenery of any kind.. It was the oddest looking thing I ever saw and not my cup-o-tea but certainly an operators dream...! He had switch after switch and siding upon siding with a two track mainline and crossovers and crossings everywhere. It kind of boggled the mind trying to figure it all out.
 
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#48
And some rock scenery is finally in. It's a start anyway. The current limit of my Gorre & Daphetid engine roster is parked here. Will add the shay, the dockside, and the #60 gas car and then paint and letter all of these up for John's road. There's also some tender changes I have to do as John loved to change tenders to make his engines look completely different than any one else. I have most of them. The rest of the engine facility will all be Great Divide Steam Power. Mostly SP Locomotives.
The slot for the "expand-a-lot" is in as well. This fun little illusion will also be completed soon. (?) I will use vehicles from my era of circa 1948 as the only difference. Anyway having fun. BTW Emma's buddy, the little Plateosaurus that John also had, is now here with the crew. in the photo's.
 
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#57
As the small mountain is going in, so is this storage building in the GD yard right next to the mountain. A super modified morning herald/superior bakery building wall casting, and my own dock castings will recreate this large iconic building quite nicely. This has taken me some time to create three different modified masters that were then each cast into three different molds then cast dental plaster wall sections made, all cut and cleaned, and all fit together then cleaned and gaps filled to produce this one building the same way John did it. Then all the windows made and doors. The main roof and dock roof and various details and brick painting. So far every building and plaster cast bridge supports are built the same as Johns... one at a time, and by hand. Great Divide Appartments and Storage.JPG
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
#58
WOW,..and dbl WOW.

That is an ambitious project you have taken on. And thanks for documenting here. I just got around to reading this subject thread, but you can bet I will be following along with your project.

I only wish I could progress along as quickly as you.

BTW I have some older Suydam kits I could give you,...but I believe they are the metal siding ones.
 
#59
Hey Beiland...... many thanks, I hope anyone who knew of John Allen's work and who shares this interest will have a blast seeing his layout slowly come back to life. I am doing this project much the same as John did, I am trying to take advantage of any new products that I can to get this done faster than the 20 years John invested. But so far almost every single building and bridge and dental plaster casting has had to be made by hand and as accurately as I can muster. This project will take some time to have photographs look more like Johns layout did in later years.

Please look around in here, there are some one of a kind builds that no one has ever seen from John Allen. I am not sure if anyone realizes just how incredible and rare new things from John Allen are. I have some here and more to come. My research has turned up some fun stuff and it is my hope that one day this layout will go to the NMRA museum in CA where they already have some things dedicated to John Allen and several other famous model railroaders there on display. I am trying to make my efforts as accurate as would be wanted by a museum of this caliber. I still have a very long way to go to get this to look that good.

Anyway, spread the word on the build. All kinds of older guy's will know of John Allen and perhaps find this fun to see. Being able to compare my work to the real thing has got to be fun. Ya just don't get to do that often, if ever.



Randy
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
#60
Anyway, spread the word on the build. All kinds of older guy's will know of John Allen and perhaps find this fun to see. Being able to compare my work to the real thing has got to be fun. Ya just don't get to do that often, if ever.

Randy
I put a notation (subject thread and link) onto MRH forum site about your project. A number of their members have already replied.
 



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