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Micromodels. - Kit Bashing - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2014 06:59 am
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col.stephens
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You're welcome Ian.  Nice to know you are still with me!

Terry

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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2014 07:20 am
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I'm still going as well, Terry.

Keep 'em coming.   :thumbs



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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2014 07:50 am
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col.stephens
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The Micromodels story...

ARC 15 - The Bull Hotel, Long Melford, Suffolk.  First issued in late 1951 or early 1952 at a cost of 2/0d.  Reprinted in 1952 and 1955.  Built in the mid-1400s, this old hotel pre-dates the first Tudor monarchs by some 35 years.  It has a wealth of features including a fireplace dating from the Tudor period.  The ghost of Richard Evered, who was murdered in the hotel in 1648, is said to haunt its corridors.



 


The wrapper contained six cards and a strip which made up into this delightful model:




 




ARC 16 - The Guildhall and Cottages, Thaxted, Essex.  You could have bought this delightful model in 1952 for 2/6d.  Reprinted in 1955 for 3/0d.  A very attractive wrapper which contained six cards producing a beautiful little replica.  Believed to have been built sometime between 1462 and 1475, this historic building has an open-paved ground floor which was used as a market and meeting place.  It is still in use and is very much at the centre of activities in this thriving Essex town.




This is what you got for your money...



 



More soon...


Terry

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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2014 08:01 am
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This is an absolutely brilliant thread Terry and considering that these models pre date the likes of Scalescenes by 50 to 60 years i think the detail is fantastic.Are the models made to any scale at all?.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2014 08:06 am
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col.stephens
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Thank you Alan.  Glad you are still with me.  The Architectural models appear to be in different scales, depending on the size of the building.  All of the London Gates are to the same scale but, as you'll see shortly, there were some huge buildings in this range, so different scales had to apply.

Hello Max, nice to know you are still following too.

Terry

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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2014 08:42 am
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col.stephens
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The Micromodels story...


Arc 17 - Windsor Castle.  You could have owned this royal castle in 1953 for the grand sum of 3/4d.  The set was never re-printed.  It was included as part of the Coronation Set celebrating the crowning of HM Queen Elizabeth II.  Quite a rare model.  The attractive wrapper contained ten cards.  I recently had a visit to this royal residence.  Having a knowledge of the layout of the Micromodel  proved very useful in finding my way around!  A 'must see' on your next visit to England.



Some years ago I had a bash at building this model.  Unfortunately, I didn't get around to finishing it.  Still, I'll show the part completed model here just to give you a flavour...






.ARC 18 - Royal Lodge, Nreyi, Kenya.  This model was never issued.


Arc 19 - The Houses of Parliament.  The second model in the Coronation Set.  The only printing was in 1953 at 3/4d.  However, this is a very common model.  Twelve cards and one strip of grey buildings.  Boring to look at, but produced an interesting model.  Just a shame that the real building is full of liars, thieves and vagabonds!  And they jokingly refer to each other as 'Honourable'!  Come the Revolution!




ARC 20 - Westminster Abbey.  The third model in the Coronation Set.  Only printed once in 1953 at 3/4d.  Another fairly common set containing twelve cards and a strip.  Similar in style to the previous model but made up into a very interesting model.




To be continued...

Terry


 

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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2014 11:34 am
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I suspect these were mostly "after my time" during the '40s I was more into Hornby 0 gauge, Meccano & flying models planes; by the end of 1951 I was in the RAF, and didn't start producing kids until '55.

I think maybe parents choice of "toys" at Xmas and birthdays tend to influence what interests we follow, once you have something like a "train set" or Meccano your pocket money (if any) would go towards increasing those,



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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2014 12:06 pm
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col.stephens
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The Micromodels story...

 ARC 21A,B,C - Hampton Court.   The largest Micromodel produced.  This consisted of three packets which, together, enabled you to build the whole of this former royal palace.  To build the whole model, you would have had to work your way through 38 cards, plus one half-card and two strips.  Just bear in mind that the average Micromodel had only six cards.  First and only print was in 1954.  As all three wrappers are the same except for the letter 'A', 'B' or 'C' and the description of the contents, I have shown one only.



 


ARC 22 - St. Peter's, Rome and Vatican.  You could own this model in 1954 after shelling out 3/4d.  Never reprinted but it is a very common model.   The twelve cards are drawn to a very small scale to enable the whole model to fit into a small area.



 ARC 23 - The White House, Washington.  The only printing was in 1955 at a cost of 3/0d.  Only five cards were included in this set.  Personally, I don't think that the wrapper illustration is much to write home about.  The cards, however, are nicely drawn.




ARC 24 - The United States Capitol, Washington D.C.  Printed in 1955 for 4/0d.  Never reprinted.  The set contained twelve cards which were similar in style to ARC 23.



There were a number of other models proposed with the ARC suffix, but none were ever issued.  However,
Micromodels USA (see link earlier or later in this thread) has produced at least five models, to my knowledge, based on the original ideas.


 


Set WM - Water-Mill.  The only printing was in 1948 at 1/3d.  Later re-produced by Autocraft Ltd.  The six cards were printed in black and white for 'hand-colouring'.  Apparently, a working model could be produced from this kit.  Here is the Autocraft reproduction...



Set WM2 - Windmill.  Printed in 1949 for 1/8d.  No reprint issued.  A working model based on the mill at Aythorpe Roding near Great Dunmow in Essex.  Another working model printed on six black and white cards for hand painting.  Here is the Autocraft reproduction...




Set FB - Festival of Britain Site 1951.  Printed as an official souvenir of the exhibition site on London's South Bank.  Of course, the buildings, such as the Royal Festival Hall, have become part of London's fabric.  It was on sale for 3/4d.  An interesting subject but, unfortunately, the ten cards are in black and white.  Autocraft Ltd. reproduced this set at a later date.  Here it is...



Modelcraft 'The Skylon'.  Modelcraft Ltd. also produced a kit based on the 1951 Festival of Britain.  This was 'The Skylon' which was the futuristic centrepiece of the exhibition.  It resembled a kind of space rocket.  Published in 1951 at 9d.  A nice wrapper but only contained two, rather boring cards.





And those, as far as I am aware, are all the models in the Micromodel story.


I will briefly deal next with some of the publications put out by Micromodels Ltd., and look at how you might go about obtaining some models should you have the desire to construct some of these excellent miniatures.

Terry








 

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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2014 12:56 pm
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col.stephens
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Please not that I have added two extra Modelcraft models to the Miscellaneous Section at the end of the 53rd post.  There are no pictures but you might find it interesting.

Terry

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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2014 04:14 pm
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col.stephens
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The Micromodels story...

Micromodels Ltd. published two booklets.  


The Microputian Population.  First published in 1950 for 2/6d.  Re-published in 1952 with the price being dropped to 2/0d.  This booklet instructed you as to how to carve miniature people from matchsticks, with which to populate your miniature buildings.




 Making Models in Card.  Published in 1955 at a cost of 2/9d.  The title probably says it all.  Interestingly, there is a photograph in this booklet of the proposed ARC 25, the Maori Assembly House, although this model was never issued.  However, Micromodels USA (see below) has produced a new version of this model.



I also have in my collection a four-page leaflet which shows the available models...



And here is an advertisement from the Model Railway Constructor in 1958 after Micromodels Ltd. had been sold...



For more information on Micromodels and to see pictures of those models which I have been unable to show, please refer to the following website, which is hosted by the acknowledged expert on Micromodels, Lester Harrison.  As stated at the beginning of this thread I have drawn heavily on Mr. Harrison's knowledge, mainly from his earlier publication 'Micromodels - Your Workshop in a Cigar Box- The Story of Micromodels'.


As regards making the models.  Please don't destroy any original Micromodel as they are now very collectable.  Instead, please consider making the models from good scans.  Accordingly, if you search Ebay for 'micromodels', you will find many called Micro'New'Models.  These are excellent scans being sold by the current owner of most of the printing plates, Autocraft Ltd.  Generally these are much cheaper than the originals and allow you to obtain most of the range, including those which are very scarce.


 Micromodels USA are currently producing new Micromodels and some that were envisaged by Geoffrey Heighway, but never produced.  Have a look here...


http://www.micromodelsusa.com/#MicromodelsUSA


I would be very happy to hear from anyone who has in their possession or comes across any Micromodels.  I still have a few gaps in my collection.


Well, that's your lot.  I hope that you have enjoyed this festive season journey through the world of Micromodels. 


Happy New Year to you all. :cheers


Terry


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 Posted: Thu Jan 1st, 2015 07:40 am
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gastwo
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What a brilliant thread! many thanks for bringing the story (and models) to us all.

Shaun.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 1st, 2015 03:16 pm
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I'll second that Shaun. :thumbs

An excellent thread Terry - a real trip down memory lane and quite a few surprises there were down that lane.  I had no idea they'd issued all those models but it was great to see them and to read the story of the company.  I haven't checked but I wonder what 1/6p is worth, in real terms, today ?  I suspect the models were a bit dearer than at first seems .............:roll::roll:  Also, I can't remember what level Purchase Tax was set at but I wonder how it compares with VAT today .............:hmm



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 Posted: Thu Jan 1st, 2015 04:33 pm
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In 1954 purchase tax was 33.3% basic rate,66.7% for luxury goods and exempt for utility goods.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 1st, 2015 05:35 pm
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Petermac
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Wow - that's a hefty lump to add to the net prices.  I wonder if miniature houses are "luxury goods" or exempt ...............:hmm

Thanks Alan - I'll stick with VAT. ;-)

It reminds me, before we moved to France, we had a holiday house in North Cyprus (the Turkish bit) for 10 years.  Over there, I could buy english cigarettes - made in UK, shipped to Cyprus via Turkey for considerably less that £2 per packet when the UK price was nearer £5+.

I commented on the price (local fags were about 10p for 1,000 ....they were made from camel dung ....:lol:).  The shopkeeper apologised for the "high price" of UK cigarettes saying it was as a result of Turkey taking 20% tax as they passed through and the local Cypriot government adding a further 40% tax because UK fags were classed as "luxury goods".   I'll leave you to work out what the poor old  tobacco grower might be getting paid ............



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 Posted: Mon Jan 5th, 2015 08:32 pm
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col.stephens
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For those who have been following this thread I have made some additions which you might like to look at.

In the 29th thread I have added an illustration of set BD - the Breakdown Train, which has just come into my possession.

In the 58th thread I have added a couple of photos of ARC 5 - Aldgate, when constructed. I decided to build this model last week.  The observant amongst you may notice that the wrapper illustration differs somewhat from the actual model when built.  No prizes for spotting the differences.

Enjoy!

Terry

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 Posted: Mon Jan 5th, 2015 11:03 pm
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Terry your thread has been fascinating, although I don't recall the micromodels you have certainly evoked memories of childhood. Rainy Saturdays, assembling the fruits of pocket(or paper) money in the former of a balsa aeroplane (with rubber band of course)or watching auntie cutting up her woodbine packets to make a tank amongst other things.
Cheers

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 Posted: Tue Jan 6th, 2015 08:10 am
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Petermac
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I'd absolutely agree with that Ian - and I do remember Micromodels.   I had no idea of the scale of the operation and it's been a fascinating history.  I wonder if there are any small companies today who could be so prolific...............:roll::roll::roll:

What has got me a bit baffled Ian, is why your auntie would need a tank ?  Were you a belligerent child ? :hmm




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 Posted: Tue Jan 6th, 2015 10:41 am
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Ha you nearly got me then Peter but it's pretty obvious, I needed somewhere to put the goldfish I'd won at the fair!

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 Posted: Tue Jan 6th, 2015 11:59 am
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:mutley:mutley:mutley:mutley

Did they smoke too ?  "Woodbines" :hmm - there used to be a paper pack of 5 priced, I think at around 5d (5 old pence - of which there were 12 in a shilling - for the youngsters .....)



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 Posted: Tue Jan 6th, 2015 12:19 pm
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Only the Haddock...yes if I recall there were 2 distinct camps, you were either Woodbines or Park Drive unless you wanted a severe cough then it was Craven A, ah happy days. Wasn't glue called Gloy then (pear shaped bottle with red rubber top).

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