The Collection - The Disease

Dear Marjorie - My husband is 46 years old and spends most of his time playing with toy trains. He doesn't pay any attention to me these days.

Dear M - You have my deepest sympathy! Unfortunately, this condition is well known and is usually terminal. Very few people ever fully recover. However, you can turn this situation to your advantage! Trainaholics are so oblivious to their surroundings that you can bring as many men back to the house as you want - your man will never know!

Whatever you do though, don't get rid of your train fanatic - they are notoriously good at paying the bills! Blessings

When I first read this letter in a women's magazine I was shocked, devastated, mortified........

It took me a while to comprehend the truth in these words, but I am determined to 'clean up' my act.

No more trains!

The disease started .......... continue reading my incredibly boring history


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Rolling Stock - Box Vans

Hornby Dublo Box Vans

....actually, like the low-siders, there are a few impostors amongst the box wagons.

12T Box van - N182153 - Hornby Dublo - The Genuine Article

First on the catwalk today is a tasty dish from the North Esst N182153. A 12 ton box van with all metal construction. Of course in the real world, you know, the one you see when you look out of the window? .... well out there in the big boys world the box vans were wooden sided.

I briefly poked my head into the stuffy offices of the rolling stock know-it-all's and, through the shifting cloud of cigarette smoke and the consequential tear-streamed eyes, I ridiculously asked a few questions about the history of this type of wagon. If you understand just one thing that I have written on this blog so far, believe me when I say that, if you find the history of the construction of rail goods wagons even vaguely interesting, then you need professional help!

Take a look at this website It deserves an award, though for what I am at a loss.

I was lucky to come away with the one tiny piece of sanity I had set aside especially to be able to find the post office to draw my old age pension.

The sides would have been made from 1 x 6 boards, coachbolted .....yaaawwwnnnn.. into place with either an internal steel skeleton. The original exo-skeletons were found to rot very quickly. zzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZ

This one has slight bit of corrosion on the corner of the roof where a bit of paint has chipped. If you borrow my magnifying glass here____ you can just make it out in the top left corner.

Ignoring the slight imperfections, it has the saving grace of noisy metal wheels. sigh...

Next ladies and gentlemen..... that reminds me - can anyone tell me if there is such a creature as a woman who takes an interest in Hornby Dublo trains? I have yet to encounter one and, well..... my wife doesn't understand me - you know how the story goes! I am only interested to know. No other reason. You know how trains have been a yang dominion since the Victorians drove sex into the closet.

Discretion is my watch-word, I need not add But did anyway. It's ok, my wife has long since stopped reading this blog.

I think!

Did I lose the thread somewhere?

Box Wagon B757051 - Hornby Dublo

Plastic body dates this one to almost within my lifetime. Here you will notice, if you look carefully, the exo-skeleton that I mentioned earlier (I recommend that you take notes if you cannot remember things too well) is clearly visible in this fine example of plastic moulding. The plastic construction certainly enabled greater detail to be included in the models.

The roof is a little scuffed, but it looks incredibly authentic... and that's the whole point isn't it?

10 Ton Fish Van - 168975

When messr's Hornby, Dublo and co. came up with this idea, they were appealing to the 'Little Schoolboy within'. The thought of stinky fish and entrails and gore, ripe in the summer heat of an enclosed rail wagon is enough to excite the most ancient and wise of men to revert to boyhood.

This all metal vehicle has sealed doors for long life smell retention and even a cardboard box containing a little tube of authentic 'whife d'halibut' to squirt in the wagon's air vent.

That was a wee jokie - OK? The air vent is actually sealed.

Metal wheels. Condition very nice.

You naughty little box fetishists will also note the condition of the cardboard is unsullied! Enjoy.

Trackmaster Box Van - 86203

Where this unusal specimen was found i do not know, but it has a colleague in the high sided department too.

The roof is warped - You see! I warned you about too much plastic and how it warps in the sun...but you don't listen to me. Oh no...

The roof is warped (I just said that, didn't I?) and more importantly, the couplings are incompat..EEE..bLe, as my wonderful french teacher, Mr Michel Thomas, would say. Incidentally, if you ever want to learn a European language, chug down to your local library and get a copy of Michel Thomas on CD. I learned more in half an hour with him than I learned in 5 years of French lessons at school. A vocabulary of 3000 French words in 30 minutes, he promises the listener and damn me if he didn't accomplish just that!

The couplings can be replaced of course, but the one saving grace of this beast is the ....cardboard box?

Last in this field is another creation from the Playcraft crib.

(Playcraft P6571) 10T Box Wagon W2910

There is something not quite right with this one, although I am sure the designer researched or at least tottered down to the freight yard to copy one. It's a long wheelbase which, when scaled up, would make it about 45' as opposed to the standard 33 foot trucks that became the standard of the century. Yet the stated weight is only 10 tons.

The slatted sides would indicate that this wagon was probably designed for livestock, yet the inscription on the side clearly says FRUIT and PASSENGERS. This wagon is equipped with electric lights, so it's not an old design. Perhaps it was used for the quasi-legitimate immigration trade across European borders. I heard a story about one person who stowed away in an empty freezer wagon. When he realized he was locked inside the cold store, he froze to death. The refrigeration unit hadn't been switched on as the wagon was empty. Such is the power of the mind eh?

The doors slide smoothly on fancy French runners. The red lights come on at the tail end. There isn't a mark on it. Like the other Playcraft (Jouef) items, it does have the original box, but .....the modern boxes just don't make the grade for me ....shakes head despondently...

More coming soon....
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