Yesterday we started a new series of vintage paper buildings here on Toys and Stuff, the Jaymar #255 39 PC Railroad and Village Construction Set. These sets were produced from ca mid-1950s onward first under the 'Jaymar' name and later under the 'Marx' name and were included with Marx 3-rail O-gauge train sets.
I have to admit this particular set had me thinking twice about collecting vintage paper because, to use an appropriate metaphor, it was a train wreck of a set! Pieces were torn apart, the heavy cardboard was separating, building walls split or creased badly, painter's masking tape used to attach pieces together! Even the envelope that the set came in is held together by a solid cover of clear packaging tape on the outside. I actually put off doing the posts on this set because it was in such bad shape and I didn't want to mess with it. Part of the problem lay with the design of the components themselves. I have a lot of respect for Marx and their design and construction methods but the team responsible for the paper villages really screwed things up!! Why? The construction method used for the buildings is tab-&-slit, versus the much better method of tab-&-slot as found on the Built-Rite houses. The cardboard used in the Marx sets is so heavy it's nearly impossible to force the connecting tabs into the slits without damaging either the tab or the adjoining piece. I can see many a child (and parent) throwing up their hands in frustration trying to assemble these.
Okay, that being said, I did go ahead and assemble the kits as best as would allow. Only a couple of quick repairs were made in the set and those will be covered in the appropriate posts. The photos presented here will show all the warts and blemishes of the buildings as I received them. In addition, this time the hi-res scans of the components will be included in an unedited state (for the most part). That will give you, the reader, the opportunity to make adjustments as you deem appropriate. I'm also toying with the idea of gluing the buildings together with interior bracing, then rephotographing them. They couldn't possibly look worse and may even save them as display items. It would be nice to remove the masking tape from the pieces but obviously ripping it off is not an option as it would destroy the artwork underneath. I wonder if there is a mild solvent that would allow the tape to be gently peeled off???
We'll start the series with the Church. The Church is included in this 39 piece set but is not included in the smaller 34 piece sets. You'll notice in the photos that slits have been cut just above the front door, ostensibly for placement of an overhang, yet the artwork on the envelope doesn't show an overhang and the slits on our building have never been tampered with. The Church measures 4 3/8" (11.1cm) W x 6" (15.2cm) D x 8 1/4" (21cm) H. Enjoy!
The Church is shown top center of the village and clearly has no overhang above the door.
Notice the two slits above the door for the overhang or awning that was never apparently included in the set.
The photos also show the rather sorry shape these buildings were in. Who in their right mind would put masking tape on the outside of the building and cover up the artwork?
The unedited scans
See the masking tape? That was one solid piece which meant the walls couldn't be folded! I had to cut through the tape to be able to fold the walls for assembly. The walls were printed on one continuous piece of cardboard requiring two separate scans.