Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Straco Layout, Part 29 - The Recycled Roadster

Nomura Sedan, ca. 1959
Read all the installments of the Straco Express layout project here.

I hadn't intended to add another vehicle to the layout, but this one looked particularly nice (and was available at a particularly right price).

The toy is in great shape, and although it's almost a half-century old, the lithographed colors are still bright and crisp.

And there are a couple of details that make this an interesting piece.

Two men in the front, two women in the back. Got to be
two old married couples.
First off, note the arrangement of the passengers. (click on images to enlarge). There are two men in the front seat (one with a pipe), and two women in the back. Obviously two married couples out for a spin! Kind of an odd detail for a kid's toy.

Second, the frame has a secret. If you look carefully at the photo at left, you can see that the hidden surface of the metal has a design on it.

Nomura recycled a previously used piece of tin for the frame. The underside of the car is plain, the majority of the lithographed surface is hidden by the car body.

Note the lithography on the
frame inside the bumper.
The chassis started out life
as part of something else.
It's something I've seen before. As a child I owned a police badge made in Japan that was recycled from a peach can.

Nomura was one of the few Japanese toy companies of the postwar era to put trademarks on their low-end toys. Their brand, the letters "TN" in a circle is plainly visible on the back of the car.

There isn't a lot of information available on these Japanese penny toys. So getting one that merits careful study is a welcome bonus.

The Nomura logo is visible in the lower right side.






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

The back of the police badge. Recycling is good!
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
  • 1950's sedan $2.99
  • 6 Namura vehicles $16.99
  • LineMar Pepco Truck $8.50
  • Namura Red Sedan $5.00
Total Cost: $95.05
The front of the police badge. Who knew
it started out as a peaches can?

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