Friday, October 22, 2021

Dublo vehicles

Dublo lorries

I've been looking for a Hornby Dublo VW van for many years. The originals aren't common, and those that appear are either tatty or expensive, or both. 

When Hornby announced a replica in their centenary range, I knew I'd be buying one so placed an order with my local model shop. The Covid happened and also the Hornby Tiers system put my local guy in Tier 3 which means high-demand items either don't turn up, or are very late. 

Grudgingly, I decided to take a quick look on eBay, where prices were normally 150% RRP - but patience paid off and I managed to snag a model for RRP plus postage.

Dublo VW

It's an interesting beast. The plastic baseplate is marked Oxford - which makes sense bearing in mind the connection between the companies. The decoration is top notch, but those "chrome" window surrounds are a long way from the "glass" and I don't think the front is vertical enough compared to a real VW. As I recall, on the puka Hornby Dublo (Meccano?) model, it was too upright. 

The Scammell purchase came about when I found myself in Chester Model Centre. Since my rule is that I always buy something if I visit a model shop, and I wasn't in need of anything really, the lorry was it. 

Dublo Scammell

Again, this is based on the standard Oxford casting, which looks the part. Decoration is also good. 

What to do with these models? Well, I could wrap them back up in their tissue paper, stick them in the collection and wait for the values to soar. But since everyone will be doing that, I'm inclinded to some matt varnish, flush glazing and even a bit of dirt so they can appear in the back of photos as set dressing.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Car dealership and Playtrains in the Hornby Collectors Club magazine

In the Autumn 2021 issue of The Collector, I've a couple of pieces. 

The first is a car dealership built from a MKD Kit, now part of the Joueff range. If you click the link you'll notice that out of the box, the aim is to build a Peugeot dealer, but I don't own any suitable cars - but of course do have a collection of VW's, so the building has been re-branded. 

It's an interesting kit with some experimentation required for the wall finishes and then, after some head-scratching, a surprise. The designer intended it to be lit up. No parts are provided, but with a little ingenuity, and a couple of LEDs, that's what I managed to do. 

I've also taken a look at the new Playtrains range, from a collectors' point of view. 

I'm a big fan of the new models, and I can see it being a sensible move to add them to a Hornby collection. After all, in a few years time, there will be very few mint, boxed sets out there. Possibly an investment purchase for the future? 

The Collector is the house journal of the Hornby Collectors Club.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Warehouse Wednesday: Insurance office

Thanks to Duncan Young for this photo. He says "Sojourning in Long Melford— the village is jam packed with modellable buildings but see this little stunner- about 15 feet across and an ideal filler for a gap. Its purpose and representations are fascinating." 

It is a little beauty. And "driving" up and down the high street reveals a few other candidates, such as the antique centre. In fact, the whole place offers a wonderful variety of architecture and building materials. One to add to a list for a future visit!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Return to Hellingly

For some video work, I need a working model railway, and so decided to pull The Hellingly Hospital Railway out of storage. 

All my layouts live in an insulated, but unheated storage container, and I've always concerned how well they will fare in there. I don't have the option to put them up in a nice, warm house as efforts to win the lottery have so far proved unsuccessful. 

Anyway, the layout has been in the container, wrapped in an insulated bag, for at least 5 years since I last looked at it. First impressions were goo. The leaves are still on the trees, and apart from a little bit of fluffy mould (I think) on one branch, it survived well.

Except that when I unloaded the model from the car, I dropped one end of it two feet onto a gravel drive. 

Much scrabbling around later, I dug up what I hope is all the little details that came lose. 

The challenge is to match the detail to the blank spots on the ground. 

Some PVA, a few weights and a few minutes work, and hopefully the model is as good as it ever was.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Metal bomping

A busy week means minimal progress on the Hudswell Clarke shunter. All I've managed to do is bomp the rivets in the body parts. 

As usual, the metal goes into my GW Models revetting tool. Bought well over quarter of a century ago for what seems like a lot of money, but really isn't, it's still something I'm pleased I purchased while flush from a redundancy payment. 

To be honest, I don't use it to it's full potential on this job. The slides that allow for accurate rivet placement on plain metal aren't fitted. For etched kits where there is a half-etch mark on the back of the component to locate the proddy bit, I do this by a combination of eye and feel. 

Rivet size is judged in the same way. I don't bother to set the stop under the handle, I work by feel. You can tell when the handle, and thus the forming tool, is pushed far enough down. Proper model makers will be horrified, But the results look OK to me.