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Sad as it is, thank you for the news about George Bishop. Thank you even more for what you have written about him, which echos the thoughts of the vast majority of us who knew George. I first met George in 1970 when he was working for an engineering form in downtown Boston and I was working in by first insurance position there as well. George wanted decent lettering of the "Speed Lettering" type for Boston & Maine steam locomotives and none was available at the time. His first efforts were meager compared to what he has offered for "Speed Lettering" for the last tewnty years or so.
I believe the latest sets are the fourth version of the artwork and really are very good. As you noted he would keep at it to improve someting until he got it "right" and I would add weather it took days
or years. Floquil paint, as many of us will recall, had issues of its own between about 1975 and 1985. When George spoke with me about the difficulties he was having with the paint and the supplier I became one of those who urged him to find a new supplier and, like you advise Fred Beceker did, pointed him toward the West Coast. In the end I feel his Accu-paint" was/is the best paint we have ever had available in the hobby for use on styrene and wood materials. having used Scalecoat on brass for over forty years I do not know how it works on that material. He was as pleased to do the artwork for my NERS decal sets as I was pleased to have him do them. I had good source material, which George loved, and he really got into things.
George was about the most reasonable supplier I have ever worked with in this fine hobby. Only Gordon Cannon and Dan Wesson have ever equalled him and George will be missed here as much as they are.
He was always so enthusiastic about things with those of us who took the time to know him. Those who did not really know him may never know the treasure they have missed. Somehow I'll bet he and Harry Frye are enjoying New England modeling together again with a great pike somewhere in the sky.
--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:
Since Accupaint has come up many times on these mailing lists,
I thought it might interest some to know that George Bishop died
on December 20, 2010.
George "took me under his wing" when I rejoined the hobby in 1988
by way of the Nashua Valley Model Railroad Club in Massachusetts.
This was a "proto-freelance" New England railroad that represented
many of the cutting edge ideas of the hobby and George provided much
of the creative energy behind the layout design and concepts. This
layout was featured in at least two major magazine articles, I think
one in Model Railroading and another in Model Railroader.
He was one of the best all around modelers I've ever known and was very
generous with his time and expertise. And he told me lots of stories about
the hobby that I would never have known otherwise. It seemed like almost
everyone in the hobby in New England knew George, and he knew them too.
For example, when did Jack Parker release Central Valley bridge parts?
George needed a huge amount of the stuff to build the "Canyon Diablo"
bridge as well as a double track bascule bridge for the club, and he
convinced Jack to sell him bags of the stuff. There were still leftover
piles of it at the club when it closed in 2007. And the bridges were
built, beautifully, as was almost anything George decided to build.
George originally started Accupaint with Floquil/RPM as his supplier.
After speaking with Fred Becker of Front Range, who had found a very
interesting supplier in California for paint, George switched -- and
this paint is still highly valued by many modelers. George also made
"Accucals" decals. His meticulous research and artwork and silkscreening
resulted in some of the best decals ever. George also produced decals for
Quality Craft, Diamond Scale, and other "craftsman" kit manufacturers.
George also partnered with another fellow in a commercial vinyl decals
business; for 10 years or so he ran a small hobby shop that he stocked
with all kinds of detail parts and kits -- a modeler's delight! He tried
to start a railroad video production business. He got interested in resin
manufacturing and produced an incredibly accurate model of the TurboTrain.
I watched him making the masters for this, and then experimenting with
rubber molds and casting materials. When George wanted to know how something
was done, he just did it, relentlessly, until he figured it out.
When George lost his old family home, he decided to replace it with a new house.
So he built a 1/48 scale model (fully framed) out of Evergreen styrene! It was
a work of art. In the end he decided a small modular ranch home was more
practical, and that's where he lived, next to the NVRRA club, until he moved
to an assisted living facility.
George, a man who loved trains and made great contributions to our hobby and
who has greatly enriched my experience of the hobby. And he was just fun to
be around. I still have a video George made for me of the "Golden Spike" on
my home layout .. George made a scale banner that stretched across the track
and filmed as the train burst through!