I recently picked up this beautifully illustrated, soft-bound book at a local charity store for just £1.00. My intention was to use the coloured images as enamel signs on my 1:27.7 scale, narrow gauge railway layout but after doing some research I'm now wondering if I should keep the book intact.
Regular readers will know that I have been working on a narrow gauge railway layout - a shelf layout featuring scratch-built buildings and structures constructed to the rather unusual scale of 1:27.7 or 11mm = 1 foot. For more information check out this label.
Normal HO-OO model railway track has a gauge (the distance between the tracks) of 16.5mm. Divide this by 18 inches (a recognised although rare gauge for industrial and military railways) and you get 11mm to the foot or 1:27.7 scale. In this scale (11mm to the foot) a normal height man would be between 63mm and 65mm tall. Not a common scale - hence all the scratch building.
Enamel signs for decoration
The book has many colour (and some black and white) illustrations that would be ideal for use on the layout. Using techniques championed by Emmanuel Nouaillier my plan was to superglue the paper images onto plastic card and then mount these scale signs on the layout.
I enjoyed looking at the images so much that I had a 'cunning plan'. I thought that I would search e-bay to see if there was a second copy of the book available - use the first for cutting up and making signs, while the second could be kept for reference. A good plan - so I thought.
Then I saw just how rare this book is. And just how high the second-hand prices are! Particularly in America.
What should I do?
These two images show just a couple of pages from the book, showing the huge amount of historical enamel signs or as they call it in the book Street Jewellery.
The TIZER illustration to the bottom left of the image above shows just what I mean - It would not take much to turn this illustration into a scale enamel sign for the layout, but as stated above. Should I keep the book intact?
Details of the book
Enamelled Street Signs (previously published as Street Jewellery) by Christopher Baglee and Andrew Morley
Published by New Cavendish Books, London for Everest House Publishing, New York in 1978
ISBN; 0 89696 055 2
Page size; 285mm x 215mm
88 pages mainly black and white with full colour cover and 16 colour pages (see above)
List price $7.95