Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Straco Layout, Part 31 - Where's the fire, chief?

The Linemar NYC fire truck (click on image to enlarge)
Read all the installments of the Straco Express layout project here.

There was a problem with my Straco Express display. And it had to do with municipal services. Many Japanese penny toy manufacturers created sets in a very simple fashion. They took a single automobile body and lithographed different designs on it. The most common designs are police cars, taxis, ambulances/medical cars -- and fire chief cars.

One of the earliest 3" friction cars I had obtained for the display layout was a fire chief's car (manufacturer unknown). When I purchased the set of Nomura vehicles, I got another one, albeit of different design. (see Part 26, Maxing out the Motorway). So I had two chiefs, and no Indians -- er, firetrucks.

The Straco Layout's Fire Dept.: (from L to R) Nomura Fire Chief car,
Fire Chief's car (maker unknown), Linemar NYC Fire Truck.
A recent eBay took care of that. The new addition was made by Linemar, the Japanese subsidiary of  Louis Marx & Co. The firetruck is marked "NYC" and fits nicely into the display. It turns out the firetruck was offered as part of a set that also included the Potomac Electric Power Company truck (Part 27, Local Power to the People!), and the Bond Bread delivery van (Part 30, The Name is Bond. Bond Bread).

The body is a fairly intricate stamping, with lots of embossed detail. I think I'll pair it with the first fire chief's car I purchased, as the Nomura chief's car is more rounded. The earlier car has stamped detail that better matches the Linemar fire truck. 

Am I done? Possibly. I've seen other vehicles from Linemar's set for sale -- mostly for far more money than I'd care to spend. Still, any train layout  -- scale or tinplate --is always a work in progress. At least now I'll have some fire control.

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

  • 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
  • LineMar Bond Bread Van $8.00 
  • Linemar Fire Engine $4.95
  • Namura Red Sedan $5.00
Total Cost: $108.00

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