INTRO PARTS
SETS
Moubal
Jumbo
MANUALS
Moubal
Jumbo
MARKETING
PRICE LISTS
BUILDING
MOUBAL

RELATED





All cardboard parts are numbered












Columns come in many lengths






Wall panels are 1-1/8", 1-3/4", 2-1/4", 2-7/8" or 4 inches tall






Connector strips are 1 inch wide






Roof purlins are 3/4 inches wide






Roof panels come in many shapes
and interlock at the ridge







Around 1930, round upper windows were changed to square




This page shows all the standard Mobaco and Jumbo parts, as well as the specialty parts for the  Garage sets, the Wind Mill sets, and the never produced Set Z, as well as a few custom parts used in display models and illustrations.

Towards the bottom is a section on the manufacturing of Mobaco parts and boxes.



PART NUMBERING

Most Mobaco cardboard parts are stamped with a part number. Stampings vary in location, in typeface and in font size.

Instructions refer to these part numbers, making assembly easy.

 

SIZES

Interestingly, parts measurements are based on the imperial system (inches), not metric!

In general:

    • Columns are 1/2" square, and spaced 2-1/4" on center, leaving 1-3/4" between them. They come
      in various lengths.

    • Wall panels are 2" wide, fitting into 1/8" deep grooves in the columns, leaving 1-3/4" exposed.

    • Stories are 4" tall, and wall panels are either 1-1/8", 1-3/4", 2-1/4", 2-7/8" or 4" tall.

    • Connector strips are 1" wide.

    • Sloping roofs are generally 45 degrees. Roof panels are supported by 3/4"-wide purlins of
      various lengths, which are inserted in slots in gable wall panels. Ridges are either centered
      between two rows of columns, or centered over a row of columns. Roof panels interlock at the
      ridge and are held in place by gravity.



HISTORY

Most parts remained unchanged through Mobaco's 40 year history. However, the windows (part 20) originally had a round top, and later were changed to square. This probably happened in 1931. The presence of round or square windows helps to date sets.

The other item that changed are the columns. Until approximately 1950, columns were 1/2 inch square = 12.7 x 12.7 mm. Starting with the Jumbo ABCDE series, columns shrunk to 12 x 12 mm, and the holes in the floor plates shrunk accordingly. Old columns won't fit in the new floor plates (unless you jam them in).

Originally, the cardboard parts were dark gray, light purplish red, light green and off-white. In 1931 the green and red become much brighter, at the same time the square window was introduced. Parts 60 and 62 initially were not numbered, but starting in 1931 the were finally numbered. This also helps to date sets.

Yellow parts were introduced in some of the pre-war specialty sets, and used more by Jumbo after the war. According to Halbertsma, older parts were made from a dark cardboard core with colored face layers, later the color became integral. During the war, some parts were painted white cardboard.

Click here for the part contents of the various sets.



PARTS LIST

Below a listing of parts that I found so far. Numbers correspond to the imprint on the parts. In some cases, parts have no imprint, but number is shown in a list of box contents or in a price list. This is noted in the table. Moubal and Jumbo were not very consistent with parts numbering. Duplicate numbers are shown in red.

Jumbo introduced a few new parts, and dropped some of the original Moubal parts. See 3rd and 4th columns:
• X's in the Moubal column are based on a Moubal price list dated August 1st, 1935.
• X's in the Jumbo column are based on an August 1953 Jumbo illustrated parts list. Several parts are
  shown in this list, but strangely were not included in their sets. They are marked with (#) in the table.

All images are at exact half size, except for a few very large items which are at quarter size. Unless otherwise noted, images are scans from my grandfather's (well-played) set.

Note that Descriptions are my own, as I don't know of any official descriptions.

All dimensions are approximate. I found there may be as much as 1/16" variation between identical parts.

Certain parts were specific to special sets: the Garage Sets and the Windmill Sets. They are tabulated separately below.
 
In 1931, Moubal proposed Set Z with a handful of new parts, as shown in the first Gnomes handbook. They were never put into production but were modeled in CAD by Koos Welling.




ALL PARTS

no.
Description
 Moubal 
 Jumbo  
Image
1
Column - guardrail height
1/2" x 1/2" x 1-3/4" (verify) long
Number imprinted on older parts
 X
X
1-1/2
Column - 2/3rd story high
1/2" x 1/2" x 3-1/8" long
Number not imprinted on part

X
2
Column - 1 story high
1/2" x 1/2" x 5-3/4" long
Number imprinted on older parts
 X
X
3
Column - 2 stories high
1/2" x 1/2" x 9-7/8" long
Number imprinted on older parts
 X
X
4
Column - 2-1/2 stories high
1/2" x 1/2" x 12" long
Number imprinted on older parts
 X
(#)
5
Column - 3 stories high
1/2" x 1/2" x 14-3/16" long
Number imprinted on older parts
 X
(#)
6
Column - 3-1/2 stories high
1/2" x 1/2" x 16-1/8" (410 mm) long
Number not imprinted on part
X
(#)


Shown at half the size of the other parts

7
Column - 4 stories high
1/2" x 1/2" x 18-1/8" (460 mm) long
Number not imprinted on part
 X
(#)


Shown at half the size of the other parts

11
Solid wall panel, red
2" wide x 4" tall
 X
X
12
Solid wall panel, white
2" wide x 4" tall
 X
X
13
Peaked (Gothic) door panel, gray
2" wide x 4" tall
X
(#)
14
Arched door panel, gray
2" wide x 4" tall
 X
X
14 Arched door panel, yellow
2" wide x 4" tall
 X


14 Door panel with rectangular openings, gray
2" wide x 4" tall
X


15
Peaked (Gothic) window panel, white
2" wide x 4" tall
X
X
15
Peaked (Gothic) window panel, yellow
2" wide x 4" tall

X
18
Solid wall panel, white
2" wide x 2-7/8" tall

X
19
Short square window panel with center mullion, yellow
2" wide x 2-1/4" tall

X
19
Short square window panel with center mullion, white
2" wide x 2-1/4" tall


X


20
Arched window panel with center mullion, green
2" wide x 2-7/8" tall
X

20
Square window panel with center mullion, green
2" wide x 2-7/8" tall
 X
X
20
Square window panel with center mullion, yellow
2" wide x 2-7/8" tall
X

21
Solid wall panel, white
2" wide x 1-3/4" tall
 X
X
22
Solid wall panel, red
2" wide x 1-1/8" tall
 X
X
23
Solid wall panel, white
2" wide x 1-1/8" tall
Note: sometimes part 23 has a clock imprinted, but that is oficially Part 73
 X
X
24
Slotted wall panel, green
2" wide x 1-1/8" tall
 X
X

24
Slotted wall panel, yellow
2" wide x 1-1/8" tall
Moubal only used yellow it in their Garage Sets
 X
 X
25
Arched wall panel, green
2" wide x 1-1/8" tall
 X
X
26
Crenelated wall panel, gray
2" wide x 5/8" tall (verify)
 X
X
26 Crenelated wall panel, gray
2" wide x 7/8" tall

 X
X
27
Solid wall panel, white
2" wide x 3/8" tall
X
X
28
Solid wall panel, white
2" wide x 13/16" tall
 X
X
28H
Solid wall panel, white
2" wide x 5/8" tall
(verify)
 ?
 ?

29
Tall clock panel, white with printed clock
2" wide x 2-7/8" tall
X

29
Tall clock panel, white with printed clock
2" wide x 2-7/8" tall

X
30
Crenelated wall panel with gap (similar to part 26)
2" wide x ...." tall (verify)
X

30
Crenelated wall panel with gap (similar to part 26)
2" wide x ...." tall (verify)

X

39
Connector strip, 1-1/2 holes, gray
15/16" wide x ....." long
Similar to 42, but with one hole open, similar to 55
X

40
Connector strip, 1 hole + cantilever, gray
15/16" wide x 2-3/16" long
 X
X
41
Connector strip, 1 hole + two cantilevers, gray
15/16" wide x 3-7/16" long
 X
X
42
Connector strip, 2 holes, gray
15/16" wide x 3-3/16" long
X
X
43
Connector strip, 2 holes + one cantilever, gray
15/16" wide x 4-7/16" long
X

44
Connector strip, 2 holes + two cantilevers, gray
15/16" wide x 5-11/16" long
X
X
45
 Connector strip, 3 holes, gray
15/16" wide x 5-7/16" long
X
X
46
Connector strip, 3 holes + one cantilever, gray
15/16" wide x 6-11/16" long
X
(#)
47
Connector strip, 3 holes + two cantilevers, gray
15/16" wide x 8" long
X
(#)
48
 Connector strip, 4 holes, gray
15/16" wide x 7-11/16" long
X
X
49
Connector strip, 4 holes + end, gray
15/16" wide x 9" long
X

50
Corner connector strip, 3 holes
15/16" wide x 3-1/4" x 3-1/4"
X

51
Corner connector strip, single hole
15/16" wide x 2-1/4" x 2-1/4"
X

52
Connector strip, 1 hole, gray
1" x 1"
X

53
Connector strip, 2 holes, each with slot, gray
15/16" wide x 3-3/16" long
X

54
Half of arched door panel
2" wide x 2-1/4" tall
X
X
55
Floor panel, 2x 1-1/2 holes, gray
3-3/16" x 2-3/4"
X
X
60
Floor panel, 2 holes, single cantilever, gray
3-3/16" x 2-3/16"
X
X
61
Floor panel, 2 holes, double cantilever, gray
3-3/16" x 3-7/16"
X
(#)
62
Floor panel, 4 holes, gray
3-3/16" x 3-3/16"
X
X
63
Floor panel, 4 holes, single cantilever, gray
3-3/16" x 4-7/16"
X
X
64
Floor panel, 4 holes, double cantilever, gray
3-3/16" x 5-5/8"
X
(#)
65
Floor panel, 6 holes, gray
3-3/16" x 5-7/16"
X
X
66
Floor panel, 6 holes, single cantilever, gray
3-3/16" x 6-11/16"
X

67
Floor panel, 6 holes, double cantilever, gray
3-3/16" x 7-7/8"
X

68
Floor panel, 8 holes, gray
3-3/16" x 7-11/16"
X
X
69
Floor panel, 8 holes, single cantilever, gray
3-3/16" x 8-15/16
X

70
Short tree, green
1-7/8" wide x 2-3/8" tall

X
71
Tall tree, green
1-7/8" wide x 4-1/2" tall

X
73
Short clock panel, white, with printed clock
2" wide x 1-1/8" tall
Note: This part is sometimes shown as Part 23.

X
74
Windmill sail

X


This item appears in Jumbo illustrated parts diagrams,
but so far not a single example has been found
75
Windmill sail?
2" wide x 4" long (incl. point)

X
 
76
Chimney
1/2" x 1/2" x 1" tall

X
80
Purlin, 3-1/2 bays long, gray
3/4" wide x 8-5/8" long
X
(#)
81
Purlin, 3 bays long, gray
3/4" wide x 7-1/2" long
X
(#)
82
Purlin, 2-1/2 bays long, gray
3/4" wide x 6-1/2" long
X

83
Purlin, 2-1/2 bays long, with slot, gray
3/4" wide x 6-1/2" long
Note: This part is shown in Jumbo's illustrated parts list without the slot (similar to part 82).
X
(#)
84
Purlin, 2 bays long, gray
3/4" wide x 5-1/2" long
X
X
85
Purlin, 1-1/2 bays long, gray
3/4" wide x 4-1/8" long
X
X
86
Purlin, 1 bay long, gray
3/4" wide x 3-1/8" long
X
X
87
Purlin, 1/2 bay long, gray
3/4" wide x 2" long
X

88
Zigzag purlin, gray
6-1/2" wide x 1-1/2" tall

Allows for purlins to cross.
X
(#)
89
Cantilever truss, green
4-1/8" wide x 2-1/4" tall

Top has 10 degree pitch, resulting is gently sloping roof. Notch prevents roof element from sliding off.
X
X
89
Cantilever truss, gray
4-1/8" wide x 2-1/4" tall

Top has 10 degree pitch, resulting is gently sloping roof


102
Long roof panel, 4 notches wide, red
3-5/8" wide x 7-1/16" tall
X

103
Medium roof panel, 4 notches wide, red
3-5/8" wide x 5-3/8" tall
X
X
104
Medium roof panel, 4 notches wide with corner notched, red
3-5/8" wide x 5-3/8" tall
X

105
Shorter roof panel, 4 notches wide, red
3-5/8" wide x 4-3/4" tall
X

106
Short roof panel, 4 notches wide, red
3-5/8" wide x 3-3/4" tall
X

107
Short roof panel, 4 notches wide, red
3-5/8" wide x 3-1/8" tall
X
X
108
Trapezoidal roof panel, 4 notches wide, red
3-5/8" wide x 7" tall
X

108a
Trapezoidal roof panel, 4 notches wide, mirrored notches, red
3-5/8" wide x 7" tall
X

109
Triangular roof panel, 4 notches wide, red
3-5/8" wide x 5-3/8" tall
X
(#)
110
Triangular roof panel, 4 notches wide, mirrored notches, red
3-5/8" wide x 5-3/8" tall
X
(#)
121
Long roof panel, 3 notches wide, red
2-5/8" wide x 7-1/16" tall
X

122
Long roof panel, 3 notches wide, notched along lower side, red
2-5/8" wide x 7-1/16" tall
X


123
Medium roof panel, 3 notches wide, red
2-5/8" wide x 5-3/8" tall
X
X
124
Short roof panel, 3 notches wide, red
2-5/8" wide x 3-1/4" tall
X
X
127
Long roof panel, 3 notches wide, notched along upper side, red
2-5/8" wide x 7-1/16" tall
X

131
Long roof panel, 2 notches wide, red
1-5/8" wide x 7-1/16" tall
X

132
Medium roof panel, 2 notches wide, red
1-5/8" wide x 5-1/4" tall
X

133
Short roof panel, 2 notches wide, red
1-5/8" wide x 3-1/8" tall
X
X
140
Cantilever roof panel, 3 bays wide, red
6-5/8" x 2-15/16"
X

141
Cantilever roof panel, 2 bays wide, red
4-3/8" x 2-15/16"
X

142
Cantilever roof panel, 1 bay wide, red
2-1/8" x 2-15/16"
X

143
Flat roof panel, red
8-1/8" long x 4" wide

Used in conjunction with part 89

X
X
150
Mansard/hip roof panel, middle, red
2-1/4" wide x 3-15/16" high
X

151
Mansard/hip roof panel, corner, red
2" wide x 3-7/8" high
X

152
Mansard/hip roof panel, peak, red
3-15/16" wide x 3-7/8" high
X

160
Steeple roof, red
1-3/4" wide at base of each section x 4-7/16" tall
Overall part size: 6-7/8" wide x 4-1/2" tall

Part has three folds allowing it to bend into a tall pyramid with a square base

X
X
161
Cap for steeple roof, brass(?), painted red
7/8" wide at base, 1-3/8" tall to peak, 2-3/4" tall to top of ring

Fits on Part 160.
X


171
Narrow roof strip, long, red
appr. 5/8" x 7-1/4"
X

180
Peaked gable wall panel, centered between columns, white
2" wide x 1-3/4" tall
X
X
181
Sloping gable wall panel, 1 bay wide, white
2" wide x  3-7/16" tall
X

182
Peaked gable wall panel, 2 bays wide, white
4-1/4" wide x 3-1/2" tall
X
X


       Floor plates went through several changes. Initially, they were made from cardboard layers glued together, and later they were made from hardboard.
       So far, this is what I was able to make of their history (changes in design are highlighted in yellow):

Type
Material
Pattern
Sides
Dating
1a
Cardboard layers
Octagonal - one side
Vertical
From the start, Fall 1924
2
Cardboard layers
Octagonal - both sides
Vertical
Introduced in Fall 1925 or Spring 1926.
Note: oldest Sets 00 have a pattern on both sides, and Set 00 was probably introduced early 1926
3
Cardboard layers
Octagonal + support plate
Vertical
Found in Set 0 with serial numbers 31xxx and Set 00 with serial numbers 51xxx (1927?).
Note: floor plates with support plates were introduced at the same time as the new box lid construction, with a double edge-fold and paper lining on the inside.
1b
Cardboard layers
Octagonal - one side
Vertical
Found in Set 0 with serial numbers 32xxx through 33xxx and Set 00 with serial numbers 52xxx through 53xxx, and until shortly after the ending of serial numbers (1930?).
4
Hardboard
Octagonal - one side
Slanted
The transition to hardboard plates was done at the same time as the introduction of the lid illustration of a house with square windows, probably in 1932.
5
Hardboard
Circles
Slanted
It appears that at the beginning of the war, either in 1941 or 1942, Moubal introduced ground plates with a circle pattern. This pattern was used until the end of production in 1961.
6
Hardboard
Circles
(Almost) Vertical
Almost vertical sides were introduced shortly after production resumed after the war, simultaneously with the introduction of Set 00 with "Nederlands Fabrikaat" in modern spelling (1950?)


200
Floor Plate, 2 holes x 2 holes, brown
4" x 4" x 1/4" thick

Number not imprinted on part

Note: other side has no tile pattern


X
X
         
                 Octogonal pattern (Moubal)      Circle pattern (Jumbo)
200
Floor Plate, 2 holes x 2 holes, tan
4" x 4" x 1/4" thick

Number not imprinted on part

Note: other side has no tile pattern


X

Circle pattern (Jumbo)
200
Floor Plate, 2 holes x 2 holes, green
4-1/2" x 4-1/2" x 1/4" thick

Note that this plate is 1/2" larger than the one above!

Number not imprinted on part

Note: other side has no tile pattern


 
X

Circle pattern (Jumbo)
201
Floor Plate, 3 holes x 3 holes, brown
6-5/8" x 6-5/8" x 1/4" thick

Moubal version has column supports at the bottom. These were produced around 1925-1926.

Jumbo version never had column supports.


Moubal version with open holes is Part 204

Number not imprinted on part

Note: other side has no tile pattern

X
X
  
           Octogonal pattern (Moubal)                   Circle pattern (Jumbo)
201
Floor Plate, 3 holes x 3 holes, tan
6-5/8" x 6-5/8" x 1/4" thick

Number not imprinted on part

Note: other side has no tile pattern


X

Circle pattern (Jumbo)
201
Floor Plate, 3 holes x 3 holes, green
6-5/8" x 6-5/8" x 1/4" thick

Number not imprinted on part

Note: other side has no tile pattern


 
X
 
Circle pattern (Jumbo)
202
Floor Plate, 4 holes x 4 holes, brown
8-7/8" x 8-7/8" x 1/4" thick


Number not imprinted on part.

Other side generally has no tile pattern (although there are examples with tile pattern on both sides)
X
X

Octagonal pattern (Moubal)
202
Floor Plate, 4 holes x 4 holes, brown, with column supports
8-7/8" x 8-7/8" x 1/4" thick


Number not imprinted on part.

Other side has no tile pattern
X

Octagonal pattern (Moubal)
202
Floor Plate, 4 holes x 4 holes, green
8-7/8" x 8-7/8" x 1/4" thick

X

No pattern, probably misprint (Jumbo)
203
Floor Plate, 4 holes x 8 holes, brown
8-7/8" x 17-7/8" x 1/4" thick

Number not imprinted on part.


O
ther side has no tile pattern
X
X

Octagonal pattern (Moubal)


No pattern, probably misprint (Jumbo)

Shown at half the size of the other parts
203
Floor Plate, 4 holes x 8 holes, brown, with column supports
8-7/8" x 17-7/8" x 1/4" thick

Number not imprinted on part.


O
ther side has no tile pattern
X


Octagonal pattern (Moubal)

Shown at half the size of the other parts

203
Floor Plate, 4 holes x 8 holes, tan
8-7/8" x 17-7/8" x 1/4" thick

Number not imprinted on part.


O
ther side has no tile pattern

X?
Looking for scan
203
Floor Plate, 4 holes x 8 holes, green
8-7/8" x 17-7/8" x 1/4" thick

Number not imprinted on part.


O
ther side has no tile pattern


X

Circle pattern (Jumbo)

Shown at half the size of the other parts
204
Floor Plate, 3 holes x 3 holes, brown
6-5/8" x 6-5/8" x 1/4" thick

Similar to Moubal part 201 except with open holes


Number not imprinted on part

Note: other side has no tile pattern

X



(#) Shown in Jumbo's illustrated parts list but not included in any of their sets.

Scans for parts 1, 13, 15, 19, 23, 26 (Moubal & Jumbo), 27, 50 ,51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 76, 81, 87, 88, 105, 106, 108, 124, 143,
150, 151, 152, 160, 161, 200, and 201 are courtesy of Peter Adams in The Netherlands.
Scan of part 20 with arched window is courtesy of Johan Jager in The Netherlands.

Scans of parts 1-1/2, 89-green and 200-green are courtesy of Marten Roël in The Netherlands.
Scan of part 14 with square openings is courtesy of Alex Geelhoed in The Netherlands.
Scans of parts 30, 75, 89-gray, 108a and 201-Moubal courtesy of Leen Kalden in The Netherlands
Scan of part 161 courtesy of Rien ten Bos in The Netherlands




Special parts for Garage Sets No. 1 and No. 2, and Small Garage

See general parts list above for standard parts 

no.
Description
Image
2A
One-story column with mitered top and hole for spring (part 162).
This column is the same for Garage No. 1 and No. 2.
1/2" x 1/2" x 5-5/8" (143 mm) long. Angle of cut is appr. 17.5º
Number not imprinted on part
2A One-story column with nail and hole for curtain rod, for Small Garage.
1/2" x 1/2" x appr. 5-3/4" (145 mm) long
Number not imprinted on part

3A
Short column with mitered bottom and hole for spring (part 162), for Garage No. 1
1/2" x 1/2" x 2-1/2" (64 mm) long.
Angle of cut is appr. 17.5º
Number not imprinted on part
3A Gray curtain with wood dowel and steel weight, for Small Garage
Curtain: 6" (151 mm) x 5-3/8" (137 mm)
Wood dowel: 9-1/4" (235 mm) x 7/32" (5.5 mm) diameter.

Number not imprinted on part

8
Sliding door track - lower
1" wide x 11-1/8" long
Number not imprinted on part
Works with part 72 (see below)
9
Short column with angled bottom (miter) and hole for spring (part 162), for Garage No. 2
1/2" x 1/2" x 3-5/8" (93 mm) long.
Angle of cut is appr. 17.5º
Number not imprinted on part
10
Tapered ramp, wood - fits next to ground plate
1-7/8" (45 mm) wide x 17-3/4" (450 mm) long x 1/4" (6 mm) thick

14
Arched door panel, yellow
2" wide x 4" tall
16
Sloping wall panel with windows, tall, for Garage No. 2, yellow
appr. 11" (279 mm) wide x 4" (101 mm) tall
Used in conjunction with part 183
17
Sloping wall panel with windows, short, for Garage No. 1, yellow
appr. 11" (279 mm) wide x appr. 3" (74 mm) tall
Used in conjunction with part 184
20
Arched or square window panel with center mullion, yellow
2" wide x 2-7/8" tall
24
Slotted wall panel, yellow
2" wide x 1-1/8" tall
70
Roof panel with skylights, gray, for Garage No. 2
9-3/4" x 13-1/2"

The holes for the posts are rectangular, to accommodate the angle of the roof panel relative to the posts. The "skylights" are identical to the cut-outs of window panels.

The later Jumbo short tree has the same part number.

70 Roof panel with fold, gray, for Small Garage
8" (205 mm)" x 2-5/8" (66 mm)
+ 8" (205 mm) x 5-11/16" (145 mm)


The holes for the posts are rectangular, to accommodate the angle of the roof panel relative to the posts.

The earlier Roof for Garage No. 2 and the later Jumbo short tree have the same part number.


71
Floor panel, 3 holes, single cantilever, gray
2-3/16" x 5-7/16"

71 Low-slope gable end panel, 2.4 bays, white, for Small Garage
2-5/8" (68 mm) wide x 1-1/8" (28 mm) tall
Slopes are appr. 60º and 23.5º

72
Sliding door track - upper track
1" wide x 12-1/4" long
Number not imprinted on part
Note: Wood track is glued to cardboard strip with column holes. 
Shown is the under side. Upper side is cardboard
73
Roof panel with skylights, gray, for Garage No. 1  (similar to Part 70)
13-1/2" (320 mm) x 7-7/8" (200 mm)

Note that the holes for the posts are rectangular, to accommodate the  angle of the roof panel relative to the posts. The "skylights" are identical to the cut-outs of window panels.

The later Jumbo short clock panel has the same part number

95
Sliding Garage Door
4-5/16" wide x 5-1/2" tall
162
Spring to connect the mitered columns at the plate height.
Also exists as bent brass rod
   
                                                                       not to scale                  double size
183
Low-slope gable end panel, 4 bays, white, for Garage No. 2
8-11/16" wide x 3-5/16" tall
Slopes are appr. 22.5º and 58.5º
184
Low-slope gable end panel, 3 bays, white, for Garage No. 1 
6-7/16" wide x 2-1/2" tall
Slopes are appr. 20.5º and 57.5º
205
Garage floor plate for Garage No. 2
appr. 14" x 17-1/2" x 1/4" thick.
Officially 450 x 360 mm (see 1935 Leaflet)
Number not imprinted on part
206
Garage floor plate for Garage No. 1
appr. 8-7/8" x 17-1/2" x 1/4" thick.

Officially 450 x 280 mm (see 1935 Leaflet)

Number not imprinted on part

 



 


Special parts for Windmill Sets No. 1 and No. 2

See general parts list above for standard parts

The difference between Windmill Set No. 1 and Windmill Set No. 2 is the size. Set No. 2 is about 50% larger in every way than Set No. 1.

Set 1 has 2 x 2 post holes in the floor plates while Set 2 has 3 x 3 post holes. The tall red spire panels in Set 1 have a narrow arched opening, while in Set 2, the opening is wider and split in the middle (similar to part 25).

A few parts are shared between the two sets.

Parts are all shown at half size.



PARTS USED IN BOTH WINDMILL NO. 1 AND WINDMILL NO. 2
no.
Description Image
-
Brass clip
5/8" x 5/8" x yyy" high
Installed between the two wooden sail posts to keep them perpendicular to each other

-
Brass sleeve
yyy" diameter x yyy" long
The sleeve passes through holes in the sail posts

-
Brass washer
yyy" diameter
Goes between the sleeve and the roof cap

-
Brass screw
1-1/4" long x 1/8" diameter

   


SPECIAL PARTS FOR WINDMILL SET NO. 1 AND NO. 2
Parts are shown at the same scale
no. Description WINDMILL NO. 1
WINDMILL NO. 2
-
Ground Floor plate, tan
Number not imprinted on part

Quantity: 1



5-1/2" x 5-1/2" octagonal x 1/4" thick


8" x 8" octagonal x 1/4" thick
-
Second Floor plate, tan
Number not imprinted on part

Quantity: 1



7" x 7" octagonal x 1/4" thick


9-3/4" x 9-3/4" octagonal x 1/4" thick
-
Guardrails panel, green
Number not imprinted on part

Quantity: 8



2-9/16" long x 9/16" high


3-3/4" long x 11/16" high
-
Wall panel, solid, white
Number not imprinted on part


Quantity: 3


2" wide x 2-7/8" high


2-7/8" wide x 3-5/16" high
-
Wall panel, with window, white
Number not imprinted on part

Quantity: 3



2" wide x 2-7/8" high


2-7/8" wide x 3-5/16" high
-
Wall panel, with arched door opening, white
Number not imprinted on part

Quantity: 2



2" wide x 2-7/8" high


2-7/8" wide x 3-5/16" high
-
Spire wall panel A, red
Number not imprinted on part

Quantity: 4


2" at base & 3/4" at apex x 6" tall


2-7/8" at base & 1-3/8" at apex x 8-1/2" tall
-
Spire wall panell B, red
Number not imprinted on part

Quantity: 4



2" at base & 3/4" at apex x 6" tall


2-7/8" at base & 1-3/8" at apex x 8-1/2" tall
-
Flat roof panel, top of spire, gray
Number not imprinted on part

Quantity: 1



2-1/2" x 2-1/2" (between sides)


3-5/8" x 3'5/8" (between sides)
-
Wooden roof cap (roof of windmill), black

Quantity: 1



2-3/8" diameter x yyy" high



3-3/4" (95 mm) diameter x 1-7/8" (47 mm) high
- Wooden sail beam (spokes). Has a groove in each side to insert a sail.

Quantity: 2


11-1/8" long x 1/2" wide x yyy" thick


15-3/4" long x 1/2" wide x yyy" thick
-
Sails, white

Quantity: 4


4-3/4" long x 1" at narrow side x 1-3/8" at wide side


7-1/8" long x 1" at narrow side x 1-5/8" at wide side
-
Tail piece, white

Quantity: 1


2-3/8" long x 5/16" at narrow side x 1-1/2" at wide side


3-1/4" long x 5/8" at narrow side x 2-3/8" at wide side






Special Parts for Set Z

In 1931, Moubal announced the issuance of Set Z with a number of new parts, specifically a chimney, a stairway, a conservatory, a balcony, a new entry door, a taller gate, a canopy and a flag pole.

However, nor Set Z, nor these parts were ever introduced. Except that the flagpole (part no. 161) was already part of Sets 2a, 3 and 4.

In 2021, Koos Welling and I recreated these parts in CAD, basing the designs on these three illustrations (left to right):
- a photo in a 1931 article by "Natuur en Techniek"
- an illustration in the 1931 Gnomes manual
- an illustration from a 1934 Mobaco letterhead

   



...as well as on this home-made brass/aluminum prototype of the canopy, found by Barend Westerveld in a large Mobaco purchase:

      
Photo and scan courtesy of Barend Westerveld




I created a perspective reconstruction to evaluate sizes and angles of various parts. This showed that the Canopy roof has an angle of 22.5 degrees (half of 45º), the Bay Widow has a roof slope of 30 degrees and the Bay Window support bracket also has an angle of 30 degrees. The stairway has a 2:1 slope. The windows in the Bay Window have lower sills than regular windows, about the same height as the low wall panels (part #23):






Here and there we had to guess as information was incomplete, filling in the gaps while remaining faithful to the Mobaco design language. Here the final result:

    
CAD drawings courtesy Koos Welling




Koos made these animated GIFs of the three models that inspired this project:

    


    


    
Animations courtesy of Koos Welling




SPECIAL PARTS FOR SET Z
Parts are shown at half size. Numbering is made up.
no.
Description
Image
Z-1
Canopy Bracket (need 2)

Z-2
Canopy Roof
 
Z-3
Balcony Bracket (need 2)

Z-4
Balcony Railing

Z-5
Balcony Floor &
Bay Window Floor

Z-6
Bay Window Side (need 2)

Z-7
Bay Window Front

Z-8
Bay Window Roof

Z-9
Entry Door

Z-10
Gate

Z-11
Chimney Sides

Z-12
Chimney Top

Z-13
Chimney Roof Panel

Z-14
Ladder Side (need 2)

Z-15
Ladder Tread (need 9)

Z-16
Ladder Support Bracket
(fits between columns)

CAD drawings courtesy of Koos Welling






Other Special Parts

In some illustrations, special parts are shown that were never produced. Koos Welling drafted them.


SPECIAL PARTS - OTHER
Parts are shown at half size. Numbering is made up.
no.
Description
Source Image
Part Image
S-1
Window in spire of building featured on the cover of the 1924 Mobaco manuals for Sets 1 and 2


S-2
Window shown in Mobaco advertisement in the early 1930's






CAD drawings courtesy of Koos Welling





MANUFACTURING

By carefully studying the parts and boxes it is possible to infer how they were made. And an article in the November 1931 issue of Natuur en Techniek (N&T) reveals some interesting tidbits.


Columns/Posts

Columns were made from beech wood (beukenhout in Dutch), probably steamed to reduce warping. Even after almost a century, most posts are still completely straight. During the war, due to material shortages, some columns were made from oak.

The 1931 article in N&T mentions a machine that planes then grooves the columns. It appears the planing was done as it is still done today, by feeding an oversized rough sawn square length of wood, probably 5/8" x 5/8" (16 x 16 mm) into a machine with 4 planers. First the top side was planed, then each side, and finally the bottom.

The grooves were then sawn with circular saws.
The wood was pushed through manually, and occasionally the operator would stop for a second, resulting in tell-tale circular burn marks. Whenever there is a burn mark, there is one on exactly the same place in the opposite groove, so the grooves on opposing sides were sawn simultaneously. The burn marks tells us they used 6-1/2" diameter (165 mm) saw blades.

The planed & grooved lengths of wood, each probably 10 feet long (3 m), were then cut to length for the various column sizes, and the tops were tapered. On older columns, which still carried a part number, the tops are fairly irregular, suggesting they were hand tapered on a circular sander. They are also pointier than the later columns. Later columns were tapered more regularly, and surface finish suggests that the tapering may have been done with chisels.

    
Burn mark from circular saw                         Left an older column with irregular tapering, right a later one
Photo courtesy of Koos Welling                                    Photo courtesy of Leen Kalden




Base Plates

Initially, base plates were made of 6 layers of uncolored cardboard glued together. The edges were cut vertically.
Around 1932, the material was changed to tan-colored hardboard, and the edges were cut at an angle. After the war, the edges became almost vertical. In Jumbo sets, the hardboard was colored green instead of tan.

   
   
Layered cardboard Base Plate with vertical edges              
Same, with with extra layer to support columns       Hardboard Base Plate with tapered edges


From the start in 1924, the top of the base plates was embossed with an octagonal tile pattern centered on the holes. In probably 1926, both the top and the bottom of the plate were embossed. In probably 1927, the base plates got an extra support layer glued to the bottom so columns wouldn't fall through when moving the model, and only the top was embossed with a pattern (see above). This was done for one or maybe two years. Starting in probably 1928, the extra support layer was abandoned and embossing was on the top only. This continued until the end of production. Occasionally, more recent base plates are found with embossing on both sides, suggesting a production error.

The octagonal pattern was used until approximately 1941, when it was changed to a circular pattern, which Jumbo maintained until the end of production in 1961.

   
Tan cardboard base plate with octagonal pattern           Tan hardboard base plate with circular pattern               Green hardboard base plate with circular pattern (Jumbo)



A few sets were found that have base plates with a grid pattern. Only a handful of these have surfaced, so they were likely produced for just one season, probably in 1951 or 1952. Three sizes were made, with 2 x 2, 4 x 4 and 8 x 4 holes. Imprint was on one side only, and the sides were cut vertically.


       
Images courtesy of Leen Kalden

Not very clear on the left photo but obvious when studying the part is that stamping of the grid onto 8 x 4 base plates was done in two operations. First, one half of the plate was stamped, then the other half. Sometimes the two patterns wouldn't quite meet in the middle. This was also the case with base plates with a circular pattern.
 



Parts manufacturing

The 1931 N&T article has a picture (below left) of parts being stamped in a sheet metal press. Stamping was done with a punch (top part) and counter-punch (bottom part). The hardened cardboard was first cut into strips, probably using a metal shear press, and inserted into a feeder slot in the counter-punch. The operator then hit a foot switch which brought down the punch with great force, punching out the part which fell into a bin below or next to the machine. The cardboard strip was then moved a couple of inches and the process repeated.

In this picture the operator is supposedly making Part #182 (peaked gable wall panel, 2 bays wide). But he is really just posing for the picture as the punch isn't properly attached to the ram, and the cardboard strip is not going through the feeder slot in the counter-punch!

On the right a detail of the punch and counter-punch for roof panels #109 and #110. The teeth were punched out in a separate operation.

       
Scans courtesy Alex Geelhoed



Fabrication of Window #20

The article also shows the punch and counter-punch for square window part #20. Interestingly, the punch has two parts to it.

Here how it works: a cardboard strip is fed into the feeder slot of the counter-punch, behind the cover plate. First, it is inserted ± 2 inches, upon which only the window openings are punched out. The cardboard strip is then moved ± 2 inches. The entire window is now cut out by the second part of the punch, while at the same time the openings for the next window are punched out by the first part of the punch. This way, every time the punch comes down, two operations (= 1 entire window) are executed simultaneously. Spacing indicates there was little waste.


Scan courtesy of Alex Geelhoed



Of special note are the alignment pegs. As the punch came down, the rounded pegs would push the window cut-outs slightly to the left or right before the entire window was punched out, ensuring the openings were properly centered. Still, alignment wasn't perfect, and there is slight variation in the width of the window frames.

Also interesting is the number punch, visible next to the tall window opening on the punch. In the counter-punch, there is a corresponding notch. The number 20 was stamped into the cardboard at the same time as the window openings. Close observation shows that the number in the photo is placed sideways. This is how the number was oriented in the oldest windows with square openings (1931). Later, the number was turned 90 degrees so it was horizontal. The notch in the counter-punch was widened a bit to accommodate this and it appears it was widened to the left as the number isn't quite centered anymore. Still later, the typeface was changed to a more modern font, still slightly offset to the left:

       
     Version 1 of the window with square uppers                                              Version 2                                                                            Version 3

Parts courtesy of Nick Cranendonk




Nick Cranendonk found an original cardboard sheet that was used to make the parts from. It measures 100 x 69 cm.

Curious how many parts could be made from such a sheet, I measured the stamping tool and was 
able to deduce the fabrication sequence.

The 100 x 69 cm sheet was first cut into exactly 11 strips of 91 mm x 690 mm each,
using a steel shear.

These strips were then fed into the stamping machine. As the illustration shows, there was only 2.3 mm spacing between subsequent stampings. So they could get exactly 13 parts out of each strip, for a total of 11 x 13 = 143 windows per sheet.

The net area of the windows was 50.4 mm x 73.5 mm x 143 windows = 529,728 mm2 while the sheet had an area of 1000 x 690 mm = 690,000 mm2. The net/gross percentage was thus 77%, which isn't bad.

If you include the window openings, which measure 13.4 x 13.5 mm and 13.4 x 35.3 mm, the net/gross percentage drops to 49.6%. So about half of the material ended up in the waste basket.




Fabrication of Doors #14 and Crenelated wall panels #
26


These misprints show that the "hole" in the door was used to make part 26, the crenelated wall panel:

   
Photographs courtesy of Leen Kalden


To the right is a picture with part 26 shown inside a door.

Manufacturing this would require three consecutive stamping operations: first stamp out part 26, then stamp out the opening in the door, then stamp out the entire door. The last two operations being similar to the fabrication of the windows as described above.

I verified if the latter is true by stacking door parts: this showed that the outside dimension is very consistent, but the placement of the door opening varies slightly, indicating that the door was a 2-part operation, like the windows.

This resulted in as many crenelated panels as there were doors. If you look at the parts lists, in Sets 1 and larger this roughly true. But Sets 0 and smaller had relatively many more crenelated panels, so starting in 1925, the year Set 0 came out, they must also have produced these separately.

Similar to the calculation above, I figured that they would first cut a 69 x 100 cm sheet into 6 strips,
each measuring 115 mm wide by 1000 mm long. These would then be fed into the stamping machine
and result in 19 parts per strip, for a total of 6 x 19 = 114 doors and crenelated parts per sheet.



Another misprint sheds light on how crenelated parts were manufactured when not inside a door. The part shown at right has extra notches punched out. This indicates that the parts were stamped perpendicular to the cardboard strip that was fed into the stamping machine.

Since four of these parts fit in the same space as a 2" x 4" door or wall panel, they likely stamped four of them at the same time, as shown in the adjacent diagram.
A 69 x 100 cm cardboard sheet could thus produce 456 crenelated panels.

Starting in 1949, Moubal and Jumbo switched to lower crenelated parts. Instead of being 22.5 mm tall, they were 17.5 mm high. The crenelation didn't change but the height of the base shrunk by 5 mm. You could get 600 such parts out of a 69 x 100 cm cardboard sheet.

    



Parts numbering


The placement and typeface of the numbers varied quite a bit. Initially, the numbers had serifs, but later became sans-serif. On some parts the number was always located on the same place, as it was imprinted while the part was being punched, as shown for window #20 above. But on most parts, the location and angle of the number seems fairly arbitrary, indicating that numbers were imprinted after the part had been made.

Initially, the wood columns were numbered, but starting in 1927 columns were no longer numbered and you had to figure out yourself which column to use based on the illustration in the manual. Parts 60 and 62 weren't numbered until approximately 1931.

Typefaces and number placement varied a lot and still being studied
in more detail.




Box construction and manufacturing

During the war, boxes were stamped ZHC-P, referring to the Zuid-Hollandse Cartonnagefabriek (South Holland Cardboard Factory) in Delft. There is one example of such a box that uses pre-war paper, which suggests that ZHC may have been the box manufacturer before the war, and perhaps even from the beginning in 1924. Preliminary findings suggest this may have been the case, and this is being further researched.

The boxes always consisted of two parts, a bottom and a lid. There were no dividers inside the box (although there were dividers in the post-war Jumbo boxes, but those were made elsewhere). Construction of the boxes changed over time, helping to date the sets.

The boxes were made with gray cardboard, over which embossed colored paper was glued. The paper was wrapped around the side flaps and into the inside. The corners were then stapled. Initially the inside of the lids was not lined, you could see the gray cardboard. But starting in 1927 (31xxx series Set 0 and 51xxx series Set 00), white paper was glued to the inside of the lids, leaving a few mm of the colored paper exposed and hiding the inside part of the corner staples.

The outside corners were then reinforced with metal corners brackets which covered the outside of the corner staples. More on corner reinforcements below.

The sides of the box bottoms were wrapped with the same embossed colored paper as the lid, and it also wrapped around to the inside. The insides of the bottom boxes were never lined, you could see the unfinished cardboard. The underside of the boxes was covered with a different type of paper than the lid, without embossing, probably because the embossing was rather fragile and would wear off fast.



Box paper

The embossing on the paper was subtle, and gave the sets a distinctive look. So far, I haven't been able to find the manufacturer of the paper. Initially, the paper was a bit dull, but starting in 1931, it had interesting reflections. Here the chronology of the paper types. Images are enlarged to show detail:

Paper on the lid, and on the sides of the bottom box:

                       
              Fan pattern                             Network pattern                           Wave pattern                            Leaf vein pattern                      Sand paper pattern
In Dutch: Waaier structuur                  Netwerk structuur                       Golfjes structuur                         Bladnerf structuur                   Schuurpapier structuur


                                                                                                               All sets courtesy of Nick Cranendonk
         Leather pattern                                                                                                                                Printed spot color
In Dutch: Leer structuur                                                                                                                          Gedrukte steunkleur
                                                                                                                                                                (Set/Doos 000 & 00)



Paper at the bottom of the boxes:

                       
               Burgundy                                      Orange                        Brown ostrich skin pattern               Brown fine pattern                Orange wood grain pattern
In Dutch: Bordeaux rood                              Oranje                           Bruine struisvogelhuid               Bruin met fijne textuur                     Oranje houtnerf


                                                                   
      Red giraffe pattern                        Red mesh pattern                                                                     Striped white cardboard                  White cardboard
In Dutch: Rood girafpatroon               Rood gaaspatroon                                                                       Gestreept wit carton                          Wit carton                          
                                                                                                                                                                    (Set/Doos 000)                      (Set/Doos 000 & 00)



Chronology of lid and bottom papers:

Set 000



Set 00



Set 0



[Other sets still under investigation]




Corner reinforcements

Initially, boxes had narrow galvanized (gray) reinforcements at the corners, with small holes. These tended to come off fairly easily and starting in 1927 they switched to wider reinforcements with larger holes. Even so, the attachment isn't very durable, and many boxes found today have torn corners without reinforcements.

During the war, only the lids were reinforced and bottom boxes were simply papered over at the corners. The brackets were painted silver instead of galvanized and tend to rust.

After the war, the corner brackets had an extra row of holes at the fold line and were painted black, light gray or brown.

Economy Set 000, introduced in 1932, initially had wide brackets, but in the late 1930's it had narrow brackets. During the war, the bottom box had a flat staple instead of a bracket, and after the war

Here the various types:

                             
Narrow galvanized brackets     Wider galvanized brackets                  Narrow galvanized brackets       Galvanized flat staple at
           on oldest sets                       starting in 1927                              on economy sets 000 & 00      bottom box of war Set 000


                
War sets (recognizable by the ZHC P mark      The bottom box of war              Post-war bracket with holes    Post-war bracket with holes     Post-war bracket with holes
on the lid flap) had silver painted  brackets         sets had no brackets                  at corner, painted black        at corner, painted light gray      at corner, painted brown

Sets courtesy of Nick Cranendonk




Mobaco cardboard

Mobaco cardboard is very hard and sturdy. Parts have a certain "ring" to them. It is not known where or who manufactured the cardboard. One theory is that it was done by the Zuid Hollandsche Cartonnagefabriek (ZHC) in Delft, The Netherlands, which also made Mobaco boxes at the start of WWII (and probably since 1924), but from what I found they did not make cardboard, they only processed it to make boxes.

I did some testing to learn more about the cardboard material.

The specific weight of the cardboard is a whopping 1230 kg/m3, which is much higher than for instance museum board which only weighs approximately 660 kg/m3. Mobaco parts sink in water.

I soaked parts in alcohol and in acetone, and nothing happened. When soaked in water they only swelled and gave off some color. But after boiling a few hours and then soaking a couple of weeks in a detergent, I was able to carefully peel apart a red part and found that cardboard consists of 40 (!) thin layers of colored paper pressed together (= 0.06 mm/layer).

The folks at Paramelt, a company that makes paper adhesives, were kind enough to study Mobaco parts with an infrared spectrometer. A FTIR analysis (Fourier Transformation Infrared Spectroscopy) indicated there was kaolin present. They did not detect any glue and thought the layers were simply pressed together in the manufacturing process.

Koalin is a very fine white clay powder that is commonly used in paper production to make it strong and smooth. It weighs 2650 kg/m3. It was probably used to give the parts a smooth surface.

Another option is vulcanized fiber (vulkaanfiber in Dutch) which is made by soaking thin layers of paper in zinc chloride which makes the celullose in the paper sticky. The layers are then pressed together, and become a homogeneous mass without the need of glue. The acid is then leached out by soaking the board in successively less concentrated baths of zinc chloride.

The folks at Vulkanfiber Fabrik Ernst Krüger were kind enough to do some testing and did not find any zinc chloride residue in Mobaco parts, which you'd normally find in vulcanized fiber, so it's not vulcanized fiber.

Some people thought that the parts may have been impregnated with phenol to make them harder, but there is no indication of that. Also, phenol would have made the cardboard too brittle to stamp out parts.

The search for the original material continues!

The average thickness of Mobaco cardboard is 2.45 mm, but variations in thickness show that the cardboard sheets were probably not compressed in a continuous process using rollers, but rather individually compressed in a hydraulic press.

Parts manufactured in 1924 and 1925, when Mobaco was first introduced, were different from the later parts. They had a gray core with colored paper faces. They were thicker and lighter, specifically 2.75 mm thick instead of 2.45 mm, and 910 kg/m3 instead of 1230 kg/m3. But this is still a lot denser than museum board, so from the start, Moubal used special cardboard for their parts.

Here some images from the experiments:

                

              When soaked in water, the cardboard only swells.                               In detergent, a lot of pigment is released               After boiling, soaking and bending





Carefully peeling off layer by layer results in 40 layers of thin paper. The careful observant will notice
there are only 38 layers here, but that's because I was unable to separate a couple of stubborn layers!




Production schedule

Nothing is known about the production schedule. Rumor has it that "Moubal cleaned there machines once a year to produce Mobaco" and that it took about a month. Some Mobaco friends and I put together this speculative schedule, working back from delivery to toy stores for Sinterklaas, the Dutch version of Santa Claus.

Sinterklaas comes on steam ship from Spain, and on the night of 5 to 6 December, he rides over the roofs on his white mare and drops presents through the chimney for children who behaved well during the year!

The Sinterklaas and Christmas sales season started mid November, so Mobaco sets had to be in toy stores by then.

• End of January: Sinterklaas and Christmas sales are reviewed with Distributor(s) and stores; changes to sets and to artwork are discussed and where necessary
  new artwork is commissioned.
• Through the end of May: toy stores send in their orders to the Distributor. Through 1931 that was Bosch Honig in Utrecht, after that perhaps it was Moubal itself.
• Beginning of June: production planning (2 weeks)
• Mid June: cardboard, wood and boxes are ordered (8-week lead time); artwork for the picture on the lid and for the set contents are sent to the printer; printer
  starts production (4 weeks including print checks). This is corroborated by the printer code on some of the set contents which indicate a July printing date.
• Mid July: printed images are sent to the box manufacturer, who starts production (4 weeks); art work for instruction manuals and price lists are sent to printer,
  who starts production (4 weeks incl. print checks)
• Mid August: cardboard material, wood, instruction manuals, price lists and empty boxes are delivered to Moubal; 4 week buffer period until start of production
• Mid September: machines are cleaned and production of cardboard and wood parts commences
• Beginning of October: boxes are filled while parts production continues.
• Mid October: completed boxes are delivered to Distributor
• Mid October through early November: Distributor assembles delivery packages for each store and delivers them in time for the Sinterklaas sales season

Good boys (and a few girls) would find a Mobaco set next to the fireplace in the morning of December 6th, and immediately start building!


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