Miniatures news, February 1961

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Interest in motor car miniatures grows apace and the Miniature Auto Society, to cater for collectors, has been formed, although whether it will operate on a non-profit-making or commercial basis is not clear. The secretary’s address is ” Bankside,” Badgers Mount, Sevenoaks, Kent.

Then that popular journal Model Maker has been increased in size in order to incorporate eight extra pages every month devoted to model-car matters, the price remaining unchanged.

New miniatures issued recently include a Lesney ” King Size ” McCormick International farm tractor (No. 4, 25. 6d.) to ” O ” scale, so that the number of makes of model tractors available is increased, and two new ” Matchbox ” Lesneys, a Lambretta TV175 scooter sidecar outfit (No. 36) to “O ” scale and a Chevrolet Impala (No. 57) priced at 1s. 8d. each, in ” 00 ” railway scale. Meccano have an exciting Dinky Alfa Romeo 1900 Super Sprint (No. 185, price 4s. 3d.) and a very splendid Mercedes-Benz 220SE (No. 186, price 5s. 9d.), and in the Dinky ” Supertoy ” series a very fine 7¾-in.-long snow plough (No. 958, 12s. 6d.) and a detailed model of the American Wayne school-bus (No. 949) with full complement of seats and windows and the various warning notices and lamps found on these imposing vehicles. Playcraft Toys Ltd. have added Lincoln Continental saloon and convertible models to their ” Aurora ” 3-in-1 plastics assembly kits. Very detailed, each kit costs 12s. 6d.

Coming to powered models, MOTOR SPORT has no enthusiasm for kart racing, as regular readers will have observed, but as vehicles for children to drive round private estates and garden paths there is something to recommend them, either in the electrically-propelled form seen on the Exide stand at the recent Schoolboys’ Own Exhibition or as low-powered petrol-engined karts; a race meeting for ladies and children driving the latter is being organised at Nazeing on February 25th—entry forms can be had from the Trokart Sales Division, Lambretta-Trojan, Purley Way, Croydon, Surrey. Better still would be scale model racing cars and fathers who feel like building something on these lines may find the new Trojan-Rice 21-c.c. two-stroke engine which fits into a 6-in, cube box, weighs 3¼ lb., develops ¾ b.h.p. at 6,300 r.p.m. and consumes 1 gallon per 8 hours at full constant load, of interest—although it doesn’t seem so long ago that petrol engines of 15-20 c.c. were regarded as models, whereas this little Trojan product is intended for boats and industrial applications. And Triumph now make a good TR pedal car.

Finally, in the field of miniature racing, Formula 152 is supplied by G. & R. Wrenn Ltd., of Basildon. Built to a scale of 1/52nd from data and photographs supplied by MOTOR SPORT, the two cars available, a 1959 Cooper and front-engined Ferrari, are commendably accurate for such a small scale. The Wrenn layout differs from the larger kits available in that up to three cars can be independently controlled on each lane of the circuit, and to enable these cars to pass each other an ingenious deflector can be fitted to any straight section of track which flicks the cars from one lane to another. Also a small lever projecting beneath the cars can be adjusted to alter the performance so that the car can be ” tuned ” for slow or fast circuits. Having experienced this exciting game we can vouch for the efficiency of the deflector mechanism, which certainly adds to the interest as one can switch to another lane to avoid a crashed car or take the outside lane for a wider line, while a skilled ” driver ” can tune his car for maximum performance and drift the corners in approved style. A basic kit costs £6 15s. 6d., while additional items for building longer circuits are available at quite modest cost, and an ” Owners’ Manual ” gives all necessary assembly and servicing data.