Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Straco Layout, Part 26 - Maxing out the Motorway

I believe I'm finally finished with one phase of the Straco Express layout (read more about the whole project here). With one purchase, I've accumulated enough vehicles to properly populate the roads on the display. (click on images to enlarge).

A set of six Namura vehicles came up for auction on eBay, and I was fortunate enough to have the winning bid. I'm not sure whether all six were sold originally as a set, but I would not be surprised if that were the case. They all are about the same age, made the same way (more on that later), and have similar shapes. At the very least, I would guess that the three cars were sold as a set, and the three trucks as another set.

Three Namura cars: Fire Chief, Police, and Taxi.
The three cars all share the same body style, and are only different in their lithography. Two of the three trucks (the lumber truck and the Mobilgas truck) have identical bodies. The school bus is a little different, but the contour of the cab is the same as the those of the other two vehicles.

Three Namura trucks: School Bus, Lumber Truck, Mobilgas Truck
Truck A (bottom) appears older
than truck B (top).
I already had a Namura lumber truck, and my original plan was to keep the one in better condition and sell the other. Now I don't think I will. The new arrival (call it B) seems to be made later than the first one I picked up (call it A). The undersides are different -- truck A has an unpainted carriage, while truck B not only has a painted one, but one with an embossed "Y." That embossing gives the undercarriage a little more strength.

The "TN" trademark that appears on the door of truck A has been moved to a less conspicuous place on the rear of truck B. By comparing the patinas of the two vehicles, it's easy to tell which is the newer model (truck B).

Another clue  to relative age: truck B
(left) appears newer than truck A
(right). Note also the reinforcement
of the chassis on truck B.
There are some other interesting differences between these new arrivals and vehicles already on the display -- which I'll explore in depth in the Collecting -- and collecting information series.

With this influx of traffic, the Straco Express display appears bustling with activity. And the variety of bright primary colors gives the layout the toy-like look I wanted.

What's next? I'd like to have some more buildings and/or trees -- but those will be a little harder to find. It may be a while before there's another post!

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
Total Cost: $81.55

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