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Micromodels. - Kit Bashing - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 02:45 pm
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col.stephens
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:bump  As we are about to begin the headlong rush to Christmas, 2017, and as we have quite a few newish members, I thought I would 'bump' this thread.  Hard to believe that I originally posted this thread three years ago - Christmas 2014.  I have added a few new models which I have acquired since the original posting.


Once again, enjoy the stroll down Memory Lane.


Terry


 


 


Just to brighten-up the forthcoming festive season and to give you somewhere to escape to when 'The Sound of Music' is being shown on the box for the umpteenth time, I would like to share with you a fascination of mine.  I have a collection of miniature card model kits, dating from the 1940s to the 1960s, which were once popular in the U.K. before the arrival of plastic model kits.  Modellers of a 'certain age' may well remember buying these kits in their younger days and I hope that you will enjoy this ride through 'reminiscence land'.  To our younger modellers I hope that you will be interested to learn just what was available to modellers in a Britain where the term 'hi-tec' didn't exist.  Many of us didn't have cars, telephones, or even fridges.  Central heating was for public buildings or the rich, and, in London, the smog was a common winter hazard, 

In order to tell the Micromodel story, I have widely consulted the excellent publication 'Micromodels' by L.J.Harrison, and I give credit to him here.  A small amount of 'history' is necessary to understand how Micromodels came into being, and I hope you will bear with me.

The Micromodel range included railways, historic buildings, ships, aeroplanes, cars, and items of a miscellaneous nature, such as a threshing machine and a beam engine.  I will start the story with the railway models and, if there is sufficient interest, I will go on to describe the other models in the range.

So, having set the scene...welcome to the world of...





MICROMODELS




Your Workshop all in a Cigar Box.















Terry


 

 

 

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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 03:04 pm
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shunter1
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Excellent thread and subject Terry.
Brings back a lot of memories of models past and the London smog.
With your series and Jims card rolling stock and Locos I can see card getting a boost as a modelling medium.
Cheers,
Derek.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 07:05 pm
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col.stephens
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The Micromodels story...

Our story starts back in about 1941 with a company called Modelcraft Ltd. of 77 Grosvenor Road, London, SW1, who published plans for model makers.  About this time, Geoffrey Heighway became their chief designer of card models. A number of miniature card kits were produced, mostly with a military theme, under the name of 'Micromodels',  In 1947, Heighway left Modelcraft Ltd. and formed his own company, Micromodels Ltd. of 6 Racquet Court, Fleet Street, London EC4.

Micromodels Ltd. produced its first railway models which cost 1s.3d (just over 6p) each.  Like the Modelcraft Micromodels, each model consisted of an attractive coloured wrapper with six cards slipped inside.  Many of the kits consisted of two or three models.  All of the railway models were to a constant scale.  I don't know the exact scale but I think that it would equate to something like 2mm=1ft or slightly smaller (just smaller than 'N Gauge').  Each Micromodel wrapper and cards measured approximately five inches long by three and six-eights inches wide.

 
The first five sets were issued in 1947 and included Set A1 which contained parts to make two locomotives, a giant streamlined 4-4-4-4 with a 16-wheeled tender, of the Pennsylvania Railroad and a 4-4-4, with 8-wheeled tender, of the Canadian Pacific Railway.  Today, this is one of the rarest Micromodels.  If you have one, I would be pleased to receive it as a Christmas present!



Terry


 

 

 

 

 

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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 07:27 pm
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gastwo
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Keep it coming Terry - this is fascinating stuff!
(I wouldn't mind betting that 'Doofer' made one or two in his time...)

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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 08:09 pm
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col.stephens
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The Micromodels story...


Set C1 featured a 3ft 6ins Beyer-Garratt of African Railways. The wrapper was unusual in that it had a potographic style, unlike most of the other Micromodels which had coloured artwork, as on Set A1 previously discussed.  The other model in this set was a 4-8-4 K Class of New Zealand Railways.  This set is quite common these days and not too difficult to obtain.




 Set F1 consisted of two locomotives, a black German State Railways 4-6-4 streamliner with a 10-wheeled tender and a brown Paris-Lyons-Mediterranean Railway 4-6-2 streamliner with an 8-wheeled tender. This is now another very rare set.



 


Also released as one of the first five sets was Set H1.  This was a rather interesting set of 'Famous Historic Locos', namely 'Puffing Billy', 'Rocket' and 'Locomotion'.  Two cards were devoted to 'Rocket' which included an early passenger coach.  Two cards produced 'Locomotion' and two open wagons.  The other two cards would produce 'Puffing Billy' and an early carriage.  A very common model these days.





For comparison purposes I have also included here the Modelcraft Ltd. Set J1 featuring Stephenson's Rocket.  This was released in 1947 but was probably designed by Geoffrey Heighway a few years earlier when he still worked for Modelcraft Ltd.



The remaining set of the first five railway Micromodels issued in 1947 was Set M1, which consisted of 'Famous British Locos'.  Your 1/3d of 'old money' would have bought you three locomotives.  Two cards were devoted to an LMS 'Duchess' class 4-6-2 in maroon livery.  Another two cards would produce a green Southern Railway 4-6-0 'Lord Collingwood' and the final two cards would provide you with an LNER 4-6-2 'Super Pacific'.  This kit is scarce these days.  Here it is...



More soon.
Terry


 

 

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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 09:52 pm
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I noticed that the photos have been removed. Are these the models you refer to...

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Micromodels&newwindow=1&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Ku-VVKOTMIeL8QXnroDgBQ&ved=0CDsQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=644

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 10:11 pm
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col.stephens
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Sorry Gary, my mistake.  They have all been restored now.

Terry

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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 10:14 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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I thought that they may have been subject to Copyright and Alan had taken them down.   :lol:

An interesting thread, Terry.



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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 10:29 pm
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Oh yes!

Memories, but at 2/6d (? ) for Hampton Court Palace when Airfix Spitfires wrre 2/-d there was no competition. I did try some tiny galleons in card but they might have been another brand.

Oh! The smell of Seccotine glue....

D



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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 11:06 pm
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col.stephens
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The Micromodels story...


Into 1948 and the railway models continued to be released, although at the higher price of 1/6d (7.5 New Pence).  Set AC featured a black New York Central 4-8-4 with a 14-wheeled tender.  The other loco in this set was a Victorian Railways (Australia) 4-6-2 'Edward Henty'. Very rare set.




This year also saw the release of Set C2.  This featured the South African Railways Royal Train, as used by HM King George VI, on his visit to South Africa.  The set comprised a 3ft 6ins gauge 4-8-2 of class 15F, and three coaches. Another vary rare model.




Set HM was also released, comprising a GNR Stirling Single 4-2-2 in lime green and a LNER Pacific class A4 4-6-2 in blue.  Rare.



Set HM2 was also produced in 1948.  In this set we were presented with two locomotives, GWR 4-6-0     'King George V' and GWR 4-2-2 Broad Gauge loco of 1851.  Apparently, a mistake was made on the original artwork and the boiler of 'King George V' could not be formed properly.  This was corrected in a 1954 reprint.  The reprints are commonly available.



 This year also saw the production of Set M2, comprising an LMS 'Coronation' class' streamliner and SR West Country class 4-6-2 'Salisbury'.  Earlier prints are rare but later reprints are available.



More to follow...

Terry
















 







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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 11:09 pm
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col.stephens
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dooferdog wrote: Oh yes!

Memories, but at 2/6d (? ) for Hampton Court Palace when Airfix Spitfires wrre 2/-d there was no competition. I did try some tiny galleons in card but they might have been another brand.

Oh! The smell of Seccotine glue....

D


They were probably Micromodels Doug.  I could cover them in future if there is any interest.

Terry

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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 11:09 pm
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Oh how I remember those card models Terry. :thumbs:thumbs:thumbs  My brother and I were great fans - he building trains and buildings whilst I built the ships.  He went on to become an architect whilst I became a farmer - guess who made the best models .............:roll::roll::roll:

I remember treating the ships with "banana oil" to waterproof them and popping them in a bath of cold water with a dab of baking powder in a designed in "stern pocket".  The water reacted with the baking powder and the resulting "fizz" drove the boats along.

Absolutely wonderful models and, even by today's standards, not at all bad reproductions. :thumbs:thumbs

I'm really looking forward to the next installment. :cheers



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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 11:14 pm
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col.stephens
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Peter, the boats which could be propelled along were produced by Modelcraft under their original 'Micromodels' banner. I could cover these later if there is sufficient interest.

Terry

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 Posted: Sat Dec 20th, 2014 11:23 pm
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Thanks Trevor - it seems I may be older than I thought ..................:roll::roll:

A follow-up on ships would be great, not only for my own memories, but also I'm sure our younger members would be fascinated by what we had, or rather, didn't have, post war. :thumbs



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 Posted: Sun Dec 21st, 2014 08:22 am
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col.stephens
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Unfortunately, I realised that some of the images of the earlier sets had not been produced by me.  Accordingly, I have removed them to save the club having any copyright problems.  However, there is still some way to go along this journey and I have quite a few in my collection to photograph.  I hope that this does not affect your enjoyment of this thread.

Terry

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 Posted: Sun Dec 21st, 2014 08:25 am
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col.stephens
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Peter said, "My brother and I were great fans - he building trains and buildings whilst I built the ships.  He went on to become an architect whilst I became a farmer".

Don't worry Peter, there is a model of a threshing machine!

Terry

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 Posted: Sun Dec 21st, 2014 08:31 am
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Are you not able to contact the owner of the photos, to get permission to post them, Terry?



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 Posted: Sun Dec 21st, 2014 08:35 am
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col.stephens
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Hello Max.  I realised that some of the pictures are scans which were sent to me some time ago and I'm not sure who made them. I honestly doubt that there would be a problem, but just to err on the side of caution I thought it best to remove them.  However, with the exception of a few, I have most of the other models and can photograph them myself.

Terry

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 Posted: Sun Dec 21st, 2014 08:45 am
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That's a pity, Terry.  Is there a 50 year Rule with this stuff?

Maybe they would qualify for that.



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 Posted: Sun Dec 21st, 2014 09:26 am
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col.stephens
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The Micromodels story...

Into 1949 with the introduction of more models.  As a change from locomotives, Set X was produced.  This consisted of six carriages, printed one per card.  For your 1/8d you became the proud owner of one GWR chocolate and cream corridor coach, one LMS maroon Vestibule Car, one LMS blue Coronation Coach, one LNER corridor coach in teak, one brown and cream third class Pullman coach and a SR green corridor coach.



And now we come to one of my favourites, Set M3, '8 Tank Engines & Wagons'.  This was an interesting mix consisting of a GWR 2-6-2 tank loco, a LNER J50 0-6-0, an LMS 0-4-0 saddle tank, a 14ton tank wagon, an LNER box van, a SR insulated meat van, an LMS brake van and a NER open wagon.  First published in 1949 at 1/8d. and again in 1950 at 1/9d.  The early wrapper was white but contained some mistakes, making it very collectable.  Firstly, the set number was missing.  Secondly, there was a mistake in the wording.  here it is, see if you can spot it...



 Here is a 1954 reprint, the price having gone up to 3s 0d.  The wrapper is now red and the wording has been altered.




I reproduce them here together for comparison purposes... 



And here's one I made earlier...the LMS 0-4-0 saddle tank with the 14ton tank wagon.  These are made from scans of the originals and herein lies the problem for the collector/modeller.  You don't want to destroy the original kits because you collect them and a scan allows you to build the models without harming the original,  Unfortunately the richness of the original printed models is not apparent on these examples...



The loco measures 34 millimetres over the headstocks!


More soon...

Terry

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