View single post by Herb Kephart
 Posted: Sun Aug 2nd, 2015 02:56 pm
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Herb Kephart

Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5870
Ah Yes. Stumpy.

I well remember 410M. Was the only thing with ready mixed colors to use. The only alternative for a kid on a dollar a week ''allowance'' was Testors airplane dope, which, since I was into building trolleys, wasn't too much of a hardship, as many of the prototype used orange and cream colors. This was just about the time Floquil came on the market. Some of Walthers kits--they made their own kits in both O and HO back then- that had been put out right after WW2 and had sat on a dealers shelf too long had a dried up bottle of their brand enamel included, which they sold separately--but no one at the hobby shop that I infested used it. My mentor was Stewart Laurent--who had a combined hobby shop and candy store at 49th and Baltimore, in Philadelphia PA. This man had the patience to answer all my questions, bless him.

Elmers wasn't even around when I started. Woodworkers used some kind of (urea, I think ) powder, that had to be mixed with water to make a paste. Testors airplane glue was what I used. My father ate shredded wheat for breakfast every day, so the boxes were my endless supply of cardboard. I still have some models that I made back then-- terribly crude, but they haven't warped. Stewart told me that they wouldn't, if I painted both sides of the card.

Every HO layout back then had building kits made by Ideal, a Philadelphia manufacturer of model airplane kits. You could pretty much count on seeing the same buildings over and over again. The few O layouts were pretty much devoid of buildings, and were lucky to have some plaster hills to break up the table top. HO autos were made from plaster--don't remember the ''manufacturer''. A few crude ''details'' were made by Selley from some lead alloy.

HO ''layouts'' were almost exclusively built on a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood, and if they had any deviation at all from flat and level, it was to provide an opportunity for a bridge--in what was a basic figure eight track plan.
 Laurent, and a couple of other modelers, somewhat unique in that they were scratchbuilders, had a massive layout in the basement of his store. It had both passenger and freight yards, but they were only for storage of made up trains, awaiting their turn to parade around the multi level double track mainline. All hand laid brass rail, and #10 switches. Once a month it was open to customers for operation after 9 PM when the store closed. Joe Dorazio, later a custom builder of O scale locos, was building in HO back then, and would sometimes show up with a loco that he had built under commission. Very smooth running mechanisms were Joe's trademark.

There was a group that had a large O scale layout--outside third rail--in what was once the waiting room of the old B&O passenger station. It had a trolley line that wandered up around and under the railroad trackage. This was where I caught the bug to build trolleys in O scale. I have a couple cars that were built by members and lettered for the trolley line. Every Fall they would have an open house, where the public was invited.

That Kiddies, it what was called at the start of one of the popular radio (AM back then) programs the ''Thrilling Days of Yesteryear''.


Fix it again, Mr Gates--it still works!"
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