Miniatures News, February 1960

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It is interesting that those fascinating motor-car miniatures which are now available from the toy shops in such profusion that keen collectors find their models overflowing from the study and lounge into the children’s bedrooms and the spare room, are mass-produced in England, Ireland and Wales.

It all commenced before the war when Meccano Ltd. introduced their Dinky Toy miniatures, which are made in Liverpool. Collectors still seek the now rare old Dinkys – a pre-war Dinky military vehicle was dug up in a garden recently and had survived so well it is being restored ! – and the modern range is greatly enhanced, with sprung wheels and windows, etc., perhaps the most imposing being the beautifully modelled and finished Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith (No. 150).

In more recent times Playcraft launched the Corgi series of motorcar miniatures which are mass-produced in Wales. Now comes news that the long-established toy concern, Lines Bros., has introduced Triang Spot-On miniatures, which are made in a self-contained factory in Belfast. The Spot-On series comprises a complete model roadway incorporating roads, pavements, traffic signs. etc., and a range of buildings, produced by a subsidiary company, are scaled for use with this roadway. So far as the cars are concerned, these are all to 1/42nd scale, with windscreen, windows, seats, steering wheel, number plates. embossed cast chassis (depicting engine sump, prop.-shaft, road springs and back axle), and red rear lamps. etc. The Spot-On range already includes Ford Zodiac, Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire, Bentley sports saloon, Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, M.G. M.G.-A, Austin Healey 100-Six, Jaguar XKSS, Triumph TR3, Jensen 541, Aston Martin DB3, 3.4 Jaguar, B.M.W. Isetta, Austin A40 Farina, Meadows Friskysport, Goggomobil Super, Fiat Multipla, and Bristol 406. Commercial vehicles include Austin Prime Mover, E.R.F. 68G, Ford Thames Trader, A.E.C. Mammoth Major 8, and Austin FX4 taxi, articulated and heavies being supplied in company livery or normal colour combinations.

Most of the Spot-On cars are in duo-tone finish, prices ranging from 2s. 11d, to 4s. 5d. inclusive of p.t., the commercial vehicles from 12s. 11d. to 13s. 6d. We have examined the Bristol 406 model (No. 115) and it is extremely realistic, even to spot-lamps, roof aerial, air intake on scuttle, extended steering column, etc. It is also very softly sprung, so that the wheels realistically follow “road” irregularities, and the finish is of high quality. Ask for Spot-On miniatures in your local toy shop, and for the sailing dinghy. Shell and B.P. petrol pump sets, police and telephone boxes, and other items in the range. The cars come in cartons, with a colour picture and data relating to the full-size car.  – W.B.

Readers interested in building a simple 2.5-c.c. diesel engine will find a useful article in The Model Engineer for December 10th last year.

Trico-Folberth Ltd. have introduced Trico-Glo-Wash, a new car shampoo which is inexpensive but very effective. A six-shot bottle costs 3s. 6d.

Motorists going abroad this year can obtain from Shell some excellent maps of foreign lands – these cover France, Germany, Spain, Portugal. Sweden, Yugoslavia, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Austria, Greece, Norway and Denmark. They have gay coloured covers and data in several languages, and there is an overall covering map. Inquire for them at your favourite Shell garage.