Tuesday, January 23, 2018

TRAIN TIME: Rnning My OLD Marx Commodore Vanderbilt Wind-up

During one of my 'me' time sessions a couple of weeks back I pulled out this Marx Commodore Vanderbilt wind-up (aka clockwork) engine and a few 6", 4-wheel, tin-litho cars and gave it a few runs around the Edge of Town Layout. I'm not a big fan of wind-ups and have sold nearly all the ones I had. I'll probably keep one or two behind so the grandbaby can play with them, but otherwise I'll stick to electric. I've seen a lot of really nice layouts using strictly wind-up and I know there is a small but passionate fan base out there so I'm not gonna diss them because they do have a charm all their own that is undeniable. That being said - Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

This particular piece probably dates from the 1930s and with a little grease and oil ran fine - if not for long

These three cars were enough for the engine to pull around the small Edge of Town layout without causing the train to derail. One less car and it would have run too fast, one more car and iit would not have run as far (which isn't saying much)

In defense of the engines pulling power, the layout does slope downward giving any engine a noticeably hard time pulling in the counter-clockwise direction.

A short film I did of the running session

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Hallmark Kiddie Car Classics 1932 Keystone Coast-to-Coast Bus From 1998

I buy very little in the way of diecast anymore but when I saw this some months back it looked like it would fit right in with the vehicles on my layout. This is a toy copy of another, larger toy from days gone by. Hallmark took Keystone's Coast-to-Coast Bus from 1932 - a large ride-on toy of the era - and shrunk it down to approximately 1/43 scale-ish. The toy, released in 1998, is part of  Hallmark's Kiddie Car Classics line in which they've taken large ride-on toys from yesteryear and reproduced them in a smaller size but still retaining the look and charm of the originals. It features an opening roof, and front wheels which turn either by the handle on top of the roof - or the wheel (which the handle engages when the roof is closed) located in the cabin. It's a beautiful baby blue and silver combination and measures  5 3/4" (14.60cm) L x 1 5/8" (4.12cm) W x 2 1/2" (6.35cm) H.As you can see by the photos at the end, this bus looks great alongside the other vehicles on my 3-rail O-gauge train layout. If you're imaginative, the handle sticking out of the roof can be explained as an exhaust pipe :-)  Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Photographing blue colored toys has become a challenge. You'll notice several photos with a more golden or warmer tint to them. My camera, a Nikon Coolpix L340, has a hard time with blues when placed in my Amazon MyStudio set-up. Editing helps a little but there's still a distinct difference. THEN, I tried photographing elsewhere out in The Cave using different color backdrops and still  ended up with a mixed bag of photos. Well, okay, I'm not gonna wait another year and take a thousand more photos, so as we say, this is good'nuff for govmint work :-)

Here's a good example of that 'warmer tint' I talked about

I turned the toy just a tad and the very next photo was just fine! The blue you see here is the correct shade for this toy BTW

The Hallmark bus looks right at home, perhaps more at home, than some of the vintage buses on the layout

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Japan - Unk Mfr Tin-litho USAF Boeing 707

Here's a nice little gem I picked up a while back, a small Boeing 707 in fanciful USAF markings by an unknown Japanese maker. Measuring only 5 1/2" (13.97cm) L x 5 1/2" (13.97cm) WS x 2" (5.08cm) H, it's now a part of The Small Squadron. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina