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

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The Great Divide

Well-Known Member
#81
I could be wrong on the Vauxhall Cresta. I'm remembering from a photo I saw as recently as 25 years ago. I was thinking it was the Cresta due to the rounded trunk and the maroon/ cream color. I don't recall ever seeing a picture that showed enough of the front of the car to identify.

The earlier Matchbox #65 (a) Jaguar Saloon was usually painted blue, and had no window glass. A later (early 60's) release of the #65 (b) Jaguar Saloon was usually seen in maroon, had tinted window glass, and an opening hood. The yellow #45 Vauxhall Victor, by the way, started out with no windows, but by the early 60's they added tinted windows. In those days the bodies were molded as one piece including molded in grilles and bumpers. On some models, they added a touch of silver paint on headlights, grilles and sometimes even the bumpers, but they were usually pretty stingy on the silver paint and the coverage wasn't necessarily all that consistent from car to car. The Jaguar may not have been as tall as the Vauxhall Victor, but I'm pretty sure it was longer and wider.

As for the pricing, yes, the prices probably are a bit of a shock. But then they are 60 year old collectibles at this point.

The only other ones I was thinking that could be a possible second car, was the Matchbox #36 Austin.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Matchbox-A...241566?hash=item3d948c82de:g:qIcAAOSwGIVdlMA~

...or the #30 Ford Prefect. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-le...091349?hash=item4b69979e55:g:7PYAAOSwrVddYpSe


In the 50's, Matchbox also made a #32 Jaguar XK120 coupe. https://www.ebay.com/itm/LESNEY-1-7...874995?hash=item2618259b33:g:WKUAAOSwvD5Z9KeX


I don't have any books or magazines with photos of the Expandalot, so I went back and looked at all the slides of the original layout at the link you provided. I didn't find any photos of the Expandalot, but it was a reminder of how awesome his work was. This time, looking at the slides, I paid special attention to the vehicles in the photos. I was surprised to see that in one area, the cars were merely pictures cut out of a magazine. Probably 90% of the cars, pickup trucks, panel trucks, and others were Varney Fords. The Varney Ford trucks (late 40's -early 50's vintage, and the Varney Ford sedans (1952-54 vintage) were available molded in clear or in colors. Since the windows were molded into the bodies, Mr. Allen chose the clear ones, and painted each one individually to maintain the clear windows.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=varney+ford&_sacat=220

In the crowded city scenes, he used some Anguplas cars and trucks as well (some currently available through Walthers under the manufacturer name Eko). https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr...220&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=220&_odkw=anguplas

https://www.walthers.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=eko

Most of the antique Model T cars and trucks and antique Mack trucks are from the recently discontinued Jordan Highway Miniature line of kits, though a few Anguplas antique cars were present as well. I only noticed a couple Matchbox cars around the layout. One truck, in what must be a very prominent location as it shows up in several photos, is a Wiking 1956 Chevy stake body truck. Wiking re-released that model a few years ago, and it still shows up as part of a three truck set on Walthers website. https://www.walthers.com/catalog/pr...kebed-beige-tractor-trailer-green-gray/?ref=1
I noticed a couple Tootsie Toy HO scale vehicles, most noticably the Rambler wagon https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=tootsietoy+ho&_sacat=220 , though my guess is that the camping trailer was probably also a Tootsie Toy model. I think I spotted two or three of these 3" long Tootsie Toy tanker trucks on the layout. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-19...207800?hash=item2882fb6eb8:g:XssAAOSwPMpdPdZn

Two vehicles that seemed out of place were late 60's through early 70's Mini Lindy trucks. A Chevy dump truck and a cement mixer.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1968-Mini-...604325?hash=item4b6c01cc25:g:cxgAAOSwwRVb26-u

https://www.ebay.com/itm/White-Moto...817565?hash=item44474a24dd:g:z~IAAOSwKYldkTy1
Well WOW............ ! OK am I glad we spoke. Yes pictures of the Expandalot are hard to find and the best one is in Linns book. The 4 door Jag must have been painted by John as it is the red version for sure. None of the others fit the bill..
And yeah when ya looked close John used paper cars all over is layout. They worked good for photographs but I can't get away with that here. In fact there are bunch of things I can't get away with here so I am creating improvements any time I can.
The rest of this automobile info is just fantastic reference material for me Jim. I spend countless hours researching things and it takes time to figure things out and I learn more about some things than I ever wanted to know for just one building or car or train decal to be right on with this build. This post is a treasure and many, many, thanks for this.

Anyway the Victor and the Jag will get me looking good soon enough... The rest of this I am going to copy into my files and go through one at a time. Please by all means Jim look around in there... If you can identify any other vehicles let me know, you know your stuff on these early cars. John had a deal with Varney (free stuff) as he did so much advertising work for them.. So many of his tenders he used to change the look of his engines were Varney products simply modified... and even the drive system on his Gas Car as a diesel truck that I think came from a Varney F unit... ... Just like the one he had Emma pulling onto a flat car in one of his photo stunts.. totally out of place and WRONG for that gas car but I bet he had it on the bench and just set it in and off it went.

Good stuff here Jim... fun to read all this Hats off...

Randy
 
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The Great Divide

Well-Known Member
#82
Jim would you know if there is a paint that matches these colors? That cream/yellow of the Vuxhal Victor would save me a fortune if I bought a car with beat up paint and just restored it. I think I will do that anyway and I do have to paint the roof white and the other side black.. but I want to be as close to the right yellow color as possible. Without joining a matchbox forum to find out... I would bet you know all this stuff. The jaguar has a color I do not see... it seems to be a grey silver blue... I see some XKE's in that color but none of the four door cars I am after. Odd... Anyway Any info wold be great....
 

Jim 68cuda

Active Member
#83
Jim would you know if there is a paint that matches these colors? That cream/yellow of the Vuxhal Victor would save me a fortune if I bought a car with beat up paint and just restored it. I think I will do that anyway and I do have to paint the roof white and the other side black.. but I want to be as close to the right yellow color as possible. Without joining a matchbox forum to find out... I would bet you know all this stuff. The jaguar has a color I do not see... it seems to be a grey silver blue... I see some XKE's in that color but none of the four door cars I am after. Odd... Anyway Any info wold be great....
Don't know why so many of the Vauxhalls are so expensive. The Vauxhalls were a rather common model. Over the years I've found some inexpensive vintage Matchbox cars at Greenberg Model Train Shows as well as automobile swap meets. Can't help you on matching paint. I've never attempted to restore one. But, heres a Youtube video of one being restored.

I saw several of the dark red and the blue Jaguar Saloons on E-bay. As for a Jaguar Saloon in a "grey/silver blue", I have never seen one in that color. Perhaps Mr Allen, repainted the color on that one. The only Matchbox car of that era, that I am aware of, in the color you describe, was the #44 Rolls Royce.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lesney-Mat...JgAAOSw3IxdaRpU:sc:USPSFirstClass!22602!US!-1
 

The Great Divide

Well-Known Member
#84
Don't know why so many of the Vauxhalls are so expensive. The Vauxhalls were a rather common model. Over the years I've found some inexpensive vintage Matchbox cars at Greenberg Model Train Shows as well as automobile swap meets. Can't help you on matching paint. I've never attempted to restore one. But, heres a Youtube video of one being restored.

I saw several of the dark red and the blue Jaguar Saloons on E-bay. As for a Jaguar Saloon in a "grey/silver blue", I have never seen one in that color. Perhaps Mr Allen, repainted the color on that one. The only Matchbox car of that era, that I am aware of, in the color you describe, was the #44 Rolls Royce.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lesney-Mat...JgAAOSw3IxdaRpU:sc:USPSFirstClass!22602!US!-1
Nice.. well Jim this should do it then. I will find a crappy one with a decent windows.
The Jag seems to have a windscreen but no side windows. I will come up with very close colors as most people seem to do. I do have some floquil colors that should work nicely here. Paint the top white... hit the back and side with black... reassemble.... hit it with some chrome paint then use that Pale Blue color on the jag and I think I got it.

Very informative posts here.. thanks again that was actually fun to find the right cars and then all this extra info on the others too....

Randy
 

The Great Divide

Well-Known Member
#85
I have another build project just about complete, will send along another shot once the camera battery is charged.
For now, I saw this copy of Johns book and I figured if anyone is following the build at all but would like to have a better idea of what I am talking about if I refer to a book photo this is it...! Great book anyway if your a model railroader you should have this... I think it's in the rules actually... https://www.ebay.com/itm/Model-Rail...106016?hash=item52251efca0:g:zDQAAOSw5WRdkk0P
 

Jim 68cuda

Active Member
#87
In one of the slides of the original layout, it appears that one structure is a Fine Scales Miniature two stall engine house. Looking at the FSM website, it appears that kit was originally released in 1968. Did I identify that one correctly?
http://www.gdlines.org/GDLines/GD_Galleries/The_Slides/Set_00/slides/s0_043_enghouse_jun65-orig.html
https://fsmkits.homestead.com/files/twoStallEngineHouse_135.jpg

Also spotted a Revell 2 story Interlocking Tower
https://www.oldmodelkits.com/index.php?detail=26861&mat=other
http://www.gdlines.org/GDLines/GD_Galleries/The_Slides/Set_00/slides/s0_067_49-39-35_jul68-orig.html

The "Andy's Drug Store" in that last photo appears to have started out as the Suydam "Your Hobby Store".
https://www.ebay.com/itm/E-SUYDAM-H...ARD-WOOD-MODEL-BUILDING-KIT-NIB-/362311252939
 
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The Great Divide

Well-Known Member
#88
That's a great book! Along with Howard Zane's book, I'm starting to develop an idea for my layout. It's on the tip of my tongue...
Howard's layout is just so extensive, And that is a nicely done book. He did the printing right. He is the perfect storm of a solid financial disposition, talent, and the desire to achieve something extraordinary.

Howard spoke to me for a long time a few months ago, and he is a humorous, intelligent and gracious man in every way. He'll be coming if I ever get this done. I totally have got to get to his house to see what he did in person. I also have the crazy, super detailed, Franklin and Manchester build from George's FSM layout in Mass as well. Between those three layouts there are more dreams and model building than any 10 men should ever want.
 

The Great Divide

Well-Known Member
#89
In one of the slides of the original layout, it appears that one structure is a Fine Scales Miniature two stall engine house. Looking at the FSM website, it appears that kit was originally released in 1968. Did I identify that one correctly?
http://www.gdlines.org/GDLines/GD_Galleries/The_Slides/Set_00/slides/s0_043_enghouse_jun65-orig.html
https://fsmkits.homestead.com/files/twoStallEngineHouse_135.jpg

Also spotted a Revell 2 story Interlocking Tower
https://www.oldmodelkits.com/index.php?detail=26861&mat=other
http://www.gdlines.org/GDLines/GD_Galleries/The_Slides/Set_00/slides/s0_067_49-39-35_jul68-orig.html

The "Andy's Drug Store" in that last photo appears to have started out as the Suydam "Your Hobby Store".
https://www.ebay.com/itm/E-SUYDAM-H...ARD-WOOD-MODEL-BUILDING-KIT-NIB-/362311252939
Absolutely... I have a list somewhere of every ready made structure he used... Most of them were modified. But a few he seemed to like as they were and weathered them and used them.
 

The Great Divide

Well-Known Member
#91
This freight structure began as a Revell or various owners of the molds for the Superior Bakery or the Weekly Herald buildings. This is all now cast in dental plaster and it still needs metal roofing on the overhang and the main roof is just cardboard with no details. some various signage and this one I am going to interior light and exterior under the dock roof and over the end door.
I hope I don't bore anyone with my ramblings. But I am going to go back and work on the gigantic Port Plastic building next and all the tall industrial buildings there and cover the tunnel with scenery and line the tunnel with black painted aluminum foil that travels under the Port Station. This will establish the far corner near the entrance. Then I should have time to come back to the Yard area and finish the Headquarters building and begin working on the Cross Junction and Corsa bridges and portals... and begin the long runs on the back wall headed toward Scalp Mountain and that should conclude year one on January 1st. Year two should begin more of the scenery that made Johns layout so famous. Those areas are no joke but not as much work as these cityscapes have been so far. John really took me to task over here so far.
 
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#92
Absolutely... I have a list somewhere of every ready made structure he used... Most of them were modified. But a few he seemed to like as they were and weathered them and used them.
The two stall engine house was built by John back in around 1950 and it was a first place award winning model featured in the craftsman back then I think. George Sellios used this model as a basis for the early kit we all know as the two stall engine house.... George then used several more of Johns designs including Coopers Car Repair Shop, Rock Bunker, Branch Line Water Tank, Jamestown Engine Stop, and the Ice house....He copied each of the corresponding John Allen structures with only very minor changes. kits... All 100% JA designs. I am not passing judgement. I love the kits. I don't know George but we have met. But it is a fact his world famous kit business was built off the work and imagination of John Allen. I don't think he would even argue it. Lots of modelers criticized George in the early days I think. He did make a small fortune on this work no doubt. His kits are still top shelf and those designs are never going to be out of style.
 
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#93
I like to read through my copy of Linn Wescott's book called, Model Railroading with John Allen, and look for the plastic, kit bashed models found on John Allen's G&D model railroad. While hard to find, once located you can look closely to discover the changes John made to the plastic kit models.

No one can fault George Sellios for being inspired by the work of John Allen and George greatly admired the G&D and its creator.

Greg

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1571074689791.png

Top center in the photo is an Atlas tower kit and the lower tower is I believe a kit bashed Atlas interlocking tower kit since the roof lines maybe gives it away.
 
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#94
I like to read through my copy of Linn Wescott's book called, Model Railroading with John Allen, and look for the plastic, kit bashed models found on John Allen's G&D model railroad. While hard to find, once located you can look closely to discover the changes John made to the plastic kit models.

No one can fault George Sellios for being inspired by the work of John Allen and George greatly admired the G&D and its creator.

Greg

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View attachment 40539
Top center in the photo is an Atlas tower kit and the lower tower is I believe a kit bashed Atlas interlocking tower kit since the roof lines maybe gives it away.
Hey Greg, yes, it is fun to identify anything ready made. But I hope that's not the only thing you enjoy in that book as this practice will get old quick, there's just not much plastic to be found.
I could only find 4, specific, plastic structures John used. These are two of them. Of the elevated shanty, he used two. I have a beautiful brass tower and a nice wood kit, I built long ago I will be using. So that is a change but subtle.... And I wanted to use Georges FSM kit for the signal tower shown here. Another change, but, by most opinions an improvement and a tip of the hat back to George.
Other than that I am using the same Atlas station for the upper section of Andrews and I have to use the plastic castings of the Revell bakery/newspaper building to get the west divide area just to the right of this picture looking correct. 95% of Johns structures were scratch built. It is a task to make each area look right as I move forward. I am trying. You have to applaud John's vision and obvious effort to keep away from the readily available manufactured structures of the day. They are Rare indeed... It is one more example of craftsmanship that separated his layout from the rest.
 
#95
I enjoy reading Lynn's book on John Allen's masterpiece many times cover to cover. Truly a great tribute. A real bargain at $21.95 when it was first was released in 1981.

The closest thing I could do to copy the G&D was to have a man walking on a cane along a road on my layout just like John Allen did in the cover photo of Lynn's book on the G&D.

Thanks.

Greg
 
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#96
I enjoy reading Lynn's book on John Allen's masterpiece many times cover to cover. Truly a great tribute. A real bargain at $21.95 when it was first was released in 1981.

The closest thing I could do to copy the G&D was to have a man walking on a cane alog a road on my layout just like John Allen did in the cover photo of Lynn's book on the G&D.


Thanks.

Greg
I believe that man's name with the cane was Jasper. John actually had names for all of his characters and he had a one legged man with crutches as well. I might have the names wrong but I will check. I think the fat conductor was archbar Pete, then we had the Sorfeetz brothers and a host of iconic hand made figures. He had one guy who was sitting under the Big Silver bridge across Port....and he looked just like a bearded Abraham Lincoln to me. And yes that book became my most read book. It is a great story along with a great group of photos... Such triumph and such tragedy hard to not get interested in John if your in this hobby in any way. He is still an Icon of this sport.

I found a shot no one had ever noticed before. This is another of Jo Werewolf guy.jpg hns funny pranks and it makes me wonder how many he pulled that no one noticed and are lost forever now. I have some time while I repair some damage I did to the Port Plastics building. Nothing terrible, but a total time setback, and I do have a specific goal to try and hit by January 1st, One full year. And I am now behind. Anyway check out this fun character. Can't be sure but so far the consensus is a "werewolf" I plan to have a Double Feature playing at the Orpheum "Mighty Joe Young" new in 1949 and "The Wolfman" the first feature from 1941.....So this guy will go well in a scene somewhere looking like a theater prank for ticket sales...
 
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#97
I forgot that John Allen's characters were all given names by John. Didn't the Sorfeetz brothers get hanged from a trestle?

Once I started to add figures to my layout, the layout started to take on a new life. I lost between building different layouts my favorite figure of a guy just sitting. Hope to find a replacement for him someday. He was sitting on rock formations or trestles on each layout.

Greg
 
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#98
I forgot that John Allen's characters were given names by John. Didn't the Sorfeetz brothers get hanged from a trestle?

Once I started to add figures to my layout, the layout started to take on a new life. I lost between building different layaout my one and only favorite figure of a guy just sitting. Hope to find a replacement for him someday.

Greg
Awww dude.... How can you forget the hanging.... ? That is a famous event for all Steam Loving Modelers the world over.. those Sombrero wearing brothers caused more trouble than any scale characters in history. And they famously hung a diesel salesman who had came to peddle his smelly, job killers to the G&D many years ago. That was an iconic, well documented event in scale model history. lol.....!
 
#99
Can anyone who enjoyed John's work recall who was named Emma?

Greg

[Awww dude.... How can you forget the hanging.... ? That is a famous event for all Steam Loving Modelers the world over.. those Sombrero wearing brothers caused more trouble than any scale characters in history. And they famously hung a diesel salesman who had came to peddle his smelly, job killers to the G&D many years ago. That was an iconic, well documented event in scale model history. lol.....!

I wonder how a diesel consist pulling twenty cars would look running on the G&D?

Just think if what changes John may of made to the layout and operations if he were still alive today!!!

Greg
 
Can anyone who enjoyed John's work recall who was named Emma?

Greg

[Awww dude.... How can you forget the hanging.... ? That is a famous event for all Steam Loving Modelers the world over.. those Sombrero wearing brothers caused more trouble than any scale characters in history. And they famously hung a diesel salesman who had came to peddle his smelly, job killers to the G&D many years ago. That was an iconic, well documented event in scale model history. lol.....!

I wonder how a diesel consist pulling twenty cars would look running on the G&D?

Just think if what changes John may of made to the layout and operations if he were still alive today!!!

Greg
I'd bet many people remember emma. I'd also bet not many people will answer either way.
A diesel consist will never happen here so we will never know.
Changes today, would be who really knows. "A lot" I'd venture.

Randy
 
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