The Hollywood Solution

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The Hollywood Solution is very like the Stage Solution. I suspect it is very like the Canberra* Solution, too…

The problem is to present the viewer ( or voter ) with a magnificent setting so that the actors and actresses ( I’m that old and that set in my ways…) can read out lines that two drunks have cobbled up on a 4-week bender and get paid large money for it. And score awards and sex. I have had ambitions to be one of the drunks but no-one was buying.

My task in the Little Studio is to make toy cars look good – sometimes I dress them up with people, sometimes with props. They all have to be in a set somewhere – no-one wants to see them laid bare on a deal table. You can get that at the toy car swap meets and they are dismal affairs. I am making fantasy and glamour.

Up until now I have had lots of resources that I have neglected – simply did not realise that I was looking at history. I refer to books on Kustomland  and the Barris brother’s custom cars. I’ll bet there are a lot more good ones out there and I am going to take my lunch money to the 2016 Victorian Hot Rod Show in January and go slightly mad.

Well, the pictures that George and Sam took of some of their cars – and that James Potter took of cars around Lynwood, California in the 50’s and 60’s – were iconic. They showed very famous rods and custom cars. And in a number of cases they used particular locations to do the shoots – locations that showed up repeatedly in the publications. I found two that I figured would be useful for the Little Studio to use and decided to make my interpretations of them in 1:18 scale.

An aside – I have mixed emotions about 1:18 scale. I love the large size of the cars and I note that they generally fit on a standard IKEA shelf very well. But they are not near any other scale in modelling and accessories are limited to what the Chinese manufacturers figure will sell big. If I worked in 1:24 I daresay it would be similar, and 1:22.5 – LGB scale – is no better. 1:32 would be Guage 1 but who needs railways when you have toy cars and 1:32 toy cars are too small to be star cars in a photo. 1:12 is great because it is also doll house scale but the choice in cars is limited.

I need Doc and Marty to go back to about 1946 and compel all makers of die cast toys to settle upon a common scale. They can do it at gunpoint as far as I am concerned. The world I want to live in would be so much better…

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Well, the aside is finished so here we go. James Potter used a portion of Lynwood High School to take custom car shots and I have made my version of it. Not the same precisely, but definitely with the flavour. Likewise I have a stucco tilt-up wall that the Barris brothers used frequently. The colours are deliberately different. The intention is the same; to showcase fine custom machinery.

The Hollywood part? The corner of the high school and the wall are just facades – nothing but fake fronts with no substance behind them. Welcome to the Little Studio…and Canberra…

  • Americans and Canadians may wish to substitute Washington and Ottawa for Canberra. Might as well…

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