Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Straco Layout, Part 23 - Lumbering along

Three posts about the Straco Express layout project in a row is unprecedented  (read more about the whole project here). And it's not likely to happen again (I promise). It's just that I happened to find three vehicles on eBay all around the same time and all for a good price.

Commerce is picking up on the Straco Express layout. I recently purchased a small lumber truck to add to the display. As with the other vehicles, it was made in Japan in the 1950s’-1960’s. And like the other vehicles, it has some features that I found of interest.

The first was the quality of construction. Although the metal chassis isn’t painted, it still completely encloses the body. It has a friction drive and rubber wheels, so this is a higher-end “penny toy.”

The TN logo indicates this is a Nomura product
(click on image to enlarge)
And why is that significant? Because of the second feature -- the trademark symbol. Clearly marked on the door is a "TN" in a circle.

This is the same logo that appears on my super-cheap bare-bones police car (see The Flat Arm of the Law). So I now know that Nomura offered penny toys at different levels of quality (and I'm assuming for different price points).

The third interesting feature is the location of the friction drive – it’s in the cab. The reason it’s there is that this truck is part of a series of vehicles of similar design.

This version of the truck body explains
why the friction motor's located in th
I’ve seen this body style as a panel van – the back of the truck was simply smoothed out and squared off. I’ve also seen a flatbed version – which has no room in the back for the friction drive. Which is why it was placed in the front for all models – one size fits all.

This lumber truck a nice little piece, and it’s helped me piece together a little more background on the Nomura company.
 
What’s next for the project? If traffic gets any thicker, we might have to do some more paving.

Total cost for the project:

Layout construction:

  • Pegboard: $4.95
  • Flathead Screws: $0.40
  • Molding: $2.49
  • SilClear: borrowed from a friend
  • Green Paint: left over from another project
  • Wood Screws: $3.60
  • Felt Pads: $1.99
Power Pack: $5.90
Small Houses: $3.00
Testor's Gray Paint for road: $1.29
Bandai Areo Station: $8.99

Vehicles:
  • Two Japanese toy cars: $2.00
  • A.W. Livestock truck: $4.99
  • Taxi: $2.99
  • Ambulance: $2.99
  • Two Japanese patriotic cars: $6.99
  • Namura Police Car $2.52
  • Haji three-wheel sedan $3.00
  • Namura lumber truck $3.48
Total Cost: $61.57

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