Those who cannot resist buying motor-car miniatures are remarkably well catered for. We were looking at a list of Meccano Dinky miniatures the other day and note that the following “real” makes are included: M.G. Midget, Austin-Healey 100, Aston Martin DB3S, Triumph TR2 and Sunbeam Alpine sports models, Talbot-Lago, Alfa-Romeo, Maserati, Cooper-Bristol, Ferrari, H.W.M. and Connaught racing cars, Cunningham C-5R and Bristol 450 sports/racing cars, and Austin A90 Atlantic, Packard Convertible, Cadillac Eldorado, Triumph 1,800, Austin A40 Devon, Standard Vanguard, Hillman Minx, Rover 75, Jaguar XK120, Riley, Morris-Oxford, Austin A50 Somerset, Ford Zephyr, Ford Zodiac, Hudson Commodore, Studebaker Land Cruiser and Volkswagen amongst ordinary cars — sufficient to provide desk ornaments or car mascots for many keen car owners, and the range is being continually extended.
Commercial vehicles are not neglected, either, because the Dinky range includes such makes, as Bedford, Austin, Leyland, Foden, A.E.C., Thames, Commer, Guy, Studebaker, Trojan and Hindle-Smart in various lorry, van, tipper and articulated styles, as well as Landrover, Jeep, Austin Champ, Daimler ambulance, Austin taxi, etc. Farm-loving enthusiasts can get a whole range of appliances, with a Massey-Harris or Field-Marshal tractor to tow them. Prices average around 3s. each and we see that Eyston’s record-breaking “Speed of the Wind” and his Land Speed Record vehicle are still available, at 2s. 2d. and 2s. 5d., respectively. There is also a very fine range of military vehicles.
Keeping to “real” makes, the Playcraft Corgi range of die-cast miniatures covers Ford Consul, Rover 90, Riley Pathfinder, Austin Cambridge, Vauxhall Velox, Morris-Cowley and Hillman Husky, with or without mechanism, as well as Triumph TR2 and Austin-Healey 100 sports models with, on the commercial side, Commer and Bedford replicas. Like Playcraft, Meccano Ltd. now operate a club for Dinky collectors.
Britains Ltd., famous for lead soldiers, list many military vehicles including Austin Champ, and Fordson Major tractors.
Whether you use such miniatures as decoration, mascot or let the kids play with them, they are pleasing possessions and every one you buy helps to maintain them in production. At present two sturdy Dinky Bedford trucks, each 4 in. long, occupy the Editorial desk, one for pins, the other for paper clips, etc. — this is an idea which may appeal to transport managers and fleet operators, who can choose the appropriate make of lorry. Equally suitable would be the Corgi 5-ton Commer, which has the merit of proper windows to the driver’s cab. Elsewhere a Dinky Leyland Octopus lorry carries a Ferrari racing car along a convenient window-sill, to an imaginary race meeting, and no objection has been raised in domestic quarters!
Apart from die-cast miniatures the Revell plastic kits cover such historic American cars as 1904 Oldsmobile, 1911 Maxwell, 1912 Packard, 1912 Mercer and 1914 Regal, at prices ranging from 4s. 11d. to 6s. 11d. a kit. And those who admire professional scale models will find some excellent pictures of the three models of the 1907 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, which were said to have cost Rolls-Royce Ltd. £300 each when they were built some fifty years ago, in last month’s Model Maker.
Coming to larger-scale model vehicles, some considerable time ago we reported on a very detailed and realistic Fordson Major tractor which had quite a vogue amongst motoring farmers and keen model engineers. This was made by The Chad Valley Group, 9/10, Chandos Street, London, W.1, and it has recently been joined by an excellent model Ferguson tractor. This extremely good reproduction of the type of tractor made famous by Harry Ferguson, who is now planning a revolutionary new car, measures 6½ in. by 4¼ in. and runs on rubber tyres, those at the back having a diameter of 3 in. and being heavily treaded, while the wheels and hubs are nicely detailed. The axle details are true to prototype, the steering works, and the bonnet hinges forward to reveal a correctly-proportioned petrol tank and engine with all external components included. These models make good desk companions to remind farmers of successful harvests. The Ferguson weighs 1 lb. 2 oz. and costs 19s. 11d., or 21s. with movable hydraulic lift. Ask for these Chad Valley tractors at any good toyshop.