The Next One Over On The Model Car Sunday

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Every entrant into a contest has to take the chance that they might be an also-ran. In the case of artistic works they might be the canvas that is hung around the corner from the broom closet – in the case of models they might be the ones next door to the Big Production.

The result is that while they might not suffer ignominy, they never really achieve notice, either. Thus the model cars you see in this post. They featured in the last Super Model Car Sunday but may not have gotten the attention they deserved. You just needed to look at them in the proper light…

A. Here are two smaller model cars – Heading and this one – they look like 1/4 mile dirt track sprint cars, but they are not made to the common 1:24 scale – these are closer to 1:32 scale.

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The parts of the cars that would be chromed plastic in a 1:24 or 1:25 kit from a major manufacturer are not – they are silver-painted plastic. The tyres look like they are plastic halves glued together. The style is sort of Chunky Monkey. What could they be?

I’m betting Aurora kits from the 60’s. Might be wrong, but if it is not kits, it is parts. I recognise the look – I used to build them myself when better kits were not available. I never really realised how good they actually were. I think if they have included chrome parts and rubber tyres we would have lapped them up.

B. The Kit With Chrome But No Headlights. These kits were generally sold in the second-line stores in Canada – stores out in the bush towns or in places that did not have enough trade to stock AMT, Monogram, or Revell. The sort of kit that might have sat in a five and dime store in Drayton Valley or Wetaskwin for years before it moved. The sort of kit that was made in Hong Kong before that was a good thing.

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In this case it is a Studebaker Lark – another gauge of the unimportance of the kit – no-one in the big makers would have thought to provide this sort of pedestrian model…and if they did acquire a cold for it they would have added trees full of junk customising parts and a crass decal sheet in an effort to turn a profit.

Well, fortunately, Western Australia has a lot of country towns with second-grade stores and if you are lucky you can come across this sort of kit. Disregard the chrome headlights – if you are keen you can drill them out and put in clear lenses.Ditto the stop lights. Also disregard the fact that the basic kit is very, very plain. Celebrate it for the fact that is IS a Studebaker and you have found one and no-one else that you know probably ever will. Build away.

C. The Chevy with its top on sideways…Well, not everything can go completely right. You might get the metallic blue paint on safely and you might get the trim painted neatly, but if someone puts your model out on the display table and doesn’t realise that the top is separate from the body…or worse – actually cracks it off themselves – you can end up with the Frank Sinatra Look. Hat skewed to one side.

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The moral is to glue the thing on with something that has a little sway and give. I recommend the Canadian Weldbond PVA glue as likely to grip but not obtrude.

D. Help me out here. I suspect it is a Nash, but past that I am flailing. Is it a kit? Is it a toy car from Woolworths? Is it a resin casting? Who thought of the green? Did it have chrome on it once? Is it something that the owner bought at a pop-up junk stall in the centre of the local shopping mall? I’ve gotten some no-name minor-player diecasts there and been very grateful for them. If they are cheap enough you can experiment and butcher them with no qualms.

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Okay. No-one get mad if I have singled out your pride and joy. They are ALL unique and valuable models…and you have them and no-one else does. Even if you were overlooked at the SMCS, I noticed you and applaud your efforts. Surprise me more next year, please.

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