Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Vintage Dino Profiles: Marx Megatherium - Okay, Not A Dino, But Prehistoric

This isn't the first time a non-dinosaur has been lumped into the dinosaur category here on the blog and it won't be the last. As kids growing up in the '50s and '60s, we knew these weren't dinosaurs,  but we just didn't care. For us, 'prehistoric' was good enough! To be fair Marx didn't market these as dinosaurs but rather as prehistoric monsters, prehistoric animals, or prehistoric mammals, and that would be good enough. It was just our childlike imaginations which lumped them together with dinosaurs.

The herbivorous Megatherium (great beast) was a contemporary of man and lived during the Middle Pleistocene to the early Holocene in what is now South America - about 400,000 to 8,000 years ago.  Also referred to as the Giant Ground Sloth these suckers were huge and would have stood about 3m/12ft high on its hind legs! Marx's version measures 3" (7.62cm) L x 3 1/8" (7.93cm) H. Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Monday, December 28, 2020

Vintage Dino Profiles: Marx Mold Group PL-1083 the Second Series Mold Group (1961)

This Second Series Mold Group is interesting in that it includes some prehistoric animals which were contemporaries of Hominids (aka Cavemen) like the Megatherium, Woolly Mammoth, and Smilodon. The group consists of:

Front row: 




Back row:



Wolly Mammoth



Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Sunday, December 27, 2020

TRAIN TIME: Part 20 "We've got cows!"

While sitting at the Edge of Town layout the other day and pondering what to do next, some 'low hanging fruit' sort of popped into my head. 'Low hanging fruit"?  huh? That is to say: easy to get to or easy to work on projects that can be finished up in little time. Welll, I got tired of that billboard sticking up like a sore thumb in the lower left corner of the layout and pulled out my scenicking material. Plopped down some hedges, moved a tree from the lake area over to that corner, applied a couple packages of Woodland Scenics Tufts, some cows, and voilà: instant pasture. Oh, I know it's not a proper pasture. There should be a fence paralleling the track and that wooden fence along the backdrop removed, and a pastoral scene added to the backdrop to make this a more realistic scene, but it'll do for now. I can take the cows off and it simply becomes a fenced in plot of land. Enjoy! Opa Fritz

I pulled out the cows first to see what it might look like.

Then came the hedges, then the tufts, and finally the tree.
I'm okay with this for now and it definitely adds a rural flavor to the layout.

You can see here that if those cows aren't careful, the road crew's gonna have road kill steak for supper! Got the A-1 Steak Sauce guys? LOL

In other EoT news I replaced the Marx uncoupling track on the siding with a regular straight track. Seems that the couplers on Lionel (and other trains) were getting caught on the blade that sticks up

Also, the troublesome postwar manual switch was replaced with a prewar electric switch. I haven't hooked it up to a control button yet.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

TRAIN TIME: My 2020 Christmas Layout - Better Late Than Never

Had a brain dump. Seems I totally forgot to show you guys what this year's Christmas layout ended up looking like. I posted some in-progress stuff on December 12th but then forgot to do any more. Anywho, here it is: two separate layouts actually, one in "Snow Village' and the other in Tintown. Enjoy! Opa Fritz

TRAIN TIME: Part 19 A New Passenger Shelter For The Edge of Town Layout

Did everyone have a Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Frohe Weinachten, Mele Kalikimaka, Kelemesz Unnepeket? - okay I'm running out of ways to say it here LOL Ours was good. The grandbaby made out like a bandit - Opa Fritz got chocolate hahahahahaha

As one would imagine, work on my Edge of Town (EoT) micro-layout had pretty much come to a halt. What with the Halloween layout, then the Gettysburg set-up, followed by the Christmas layout, the EoT has taken a back seat and I even stated in one of my Christmas layout Y'allTube uploads that nothing would happen until next year. I lied. :-) Anywho, this past week found me with a couple of days in a row with some actual, real life, honest-to-goodness 'me' time! Wow! how did that happen? 

I was sitting at the layout running a recent acquisition, a Williams NW-2 lettered for the Wisconsin Central.

Then I got to thinking about the latest project I had been working on (and slow leaking): a 'new' passenger platform for the layout. Until now I have been using a Plasticville Freight Depot (an odd choice of names by Plasticville because the thing looks more like a suburban passenger shelter).

But as small as this is I've been wanting something even smaller, something that hearkens back to my days when I was really into narrow gauge/shortline/branchline type of railroading. So I bought a junker freight depot off of fleaBay and modified it by cutting it down, cutting off legs and re-positioning them.  This was where I stopped about 6 weeks ago:

Fast forward to this week and my 'me' time, and I was thinking there was enough time to do some more work on this by adding a new deck (to hide the post holes in the original deck), framing it with 'boards', and distressing the plastic to look like really old beat-up wood. I then pulled out a Plasticville 2-stall outhouse and cut out the middle wall/partion and sanded the back wall. It was glued to the deck and everything given a coat of tan primer.

Funny thing, but when I had the idea for this I was trolling the Internet and found a picture of a real one that looked almost exactly like this (I forgot to save the pic tho) but here are some other inspirations culled from the Net. In rural communities these small platforms could either be flagstop stations, milk platforms, or a combination of the two. I'll be using it in a combination mode.

below photos credited to the Internet!

It's not finished yet but this shot shows the look I'm going after
The Marx news stand was also removed in favor of a much smaller Woodland Scenics news stand.

Previous fun runs on the EoT

Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Friday, December 25, 2020

A TRAIN TIME Merry Christmas Greeting

Trying to squeeze in as much holiday cheer as I can - not bad for the world's most uncelebratory person huh? I must say though, that as rotten a year as 2020 has been, it's been a blessing to have made it this far and to have been able to enjoy my hobbies the way I have. To all of you out there:

Stay Safe

Stay Sane

Embrace your loved ones

and have a Very Merry Christmas!

Don't celebrate Christmas? Welll, I read somewhere that this general time of year has something like 40+ hoildays or special days. So, with that in mind - Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Dinosaurs - Somewhere In Disneyland 1980

I'm not ready for the next round of Marx dino photos so, to keep the theme alive, I thought I'd post these two shots taken at Disneyland in 1980. They'll show up again when I manage to get that far in my "Ed's Travelogue" series. Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Egg Nog For The Holidays

 Do you all enjoy egg nog for the holidays?

For many years when I was growing up, pre-mixed egg nog was simply not available, we had to make it ourselves. As a kid, had a Tupperware egg nog mixing cup that I used to make my own nog. It was a cup with lid with a kind of star-shaped attachment that fit on the inside meant to break up and mix the white & yolk and I actually had that thing up until a few years ago when I gave it to the thrift store.

My recipe was basically: 
-1 egg
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2-3 Tablespoons sugar (I like s-w-e-e-t), 
-whole milk filled to just under where the star shaped attachment would sit. 

Shake the bejeezus out of it, poor into glass, sprinkle top with nutmeg. 

(images culled from fleaBay)

Now of course with our food supply having become so bastardized I would never consume raw eggs (as I no longer eat 'cannibal' sandwiches) so I go with the pre-mixed stuff. Fortunately, our local dairy here in Las Vegas (Anderson) makes an exceptional - and thick - egg nog made with whole milk to which I sometimes add a little bit of Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog (or similar)  which is a blend of nog, brandy, rum, and whiskey - you know, just for flavor :-)  Bettina calls it 'ei liqueur' and the German blend tastes different than ours - not better, just different.


Opa Fritz