Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Straco Layout, Part 22 - Tri something new

You can't tell from this photo, but that green and yellow
sedan isn't quite what it appears to be.
Last installment in this series (The Flat Arm of the Law) I talked about being surprised by an eBay purchase. Close on the heels of that purchase I bid on another vehicle for the Straco Express layout (read more about the whole project here). And because there was only one photo posted for the item, I received another surprise.

The car looks great, and it’s serving its purpose on the layout. I wanted to balance the colors of the vehicles (which tend to favor red and blue), so a green sedan – at a modest price – was exactly what I wanted.

When I received the vehicle, though, I saw something that didn’t show in the photo. The car only has three wheels.

Only three wheels -- and that front wheel looks a little
sketchy to me.
It’s a well-made vehicle overall. The bottom is completely enclosed, with a friction drive motor and rubber tires. The single front wheel, however, is pretty cheaply made (apparently out of recycled metal).

But no matter. Unless you’re looking at eye level, the missing wheel isn’t obvious at all. I wonder how much stability the car would have with the friction drive revved up and spinning. Since the drive mechanism’s frozen, I can’t try it out to see what would happen. As a display piece, though, this little sedan works just fine.

So overall, I’m happy – but in the future, I’ll be sure to ask the seller for a wheel count. I won’t take that for granted again!

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
Total Cost: $58.09

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