Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Australian Diecast Road Trains

Tuesday, February 20, 2013

Australian Diecast Road Trains

(Please click on the above address to be redirected to Jays Models website)

     I've been writing and writing all over to get permission to write about larger-sized modern diecast toys. I'm still writing, but I received a go-ahead" from down under, as the Australians like to call Australia. Jays Models Diecast Replicas and Accessories sells many  different brand names of all this particular market . I got a brief reply with of course the permission to write and use their photos.

"We have a physical shop as well as an on-line store. We concentrate on high quality construction, earthmoving and transport models from the world's best manufacturers. Australian distributors for WSI Models, authorised dealers for  TWH Collectibles/Drake Collectibles/Sword Scale Models, NZG, Norscot CAT, First Gear. Our specialty is our custom branded trucks and trailers with particular emphasis on road trains and heavy haulage. We carry stock of all the largest shovels, trucks, loaders, cranes, etc, and yes a lot of collectors are machine or truck operators who have a direct connection with the model.
Ron Smith
Jays Models"

  One of my questions that I asked was if people who operate the big machines such as bulldozers, pavers, scrapers, and earth-movers buy these models,and Ron Smith of Jays Models answered yes. If my profession was one of those, I too would certainly have a model of the machine that I worked on.

   As it turned out, Jays Models sells a unique item (among the many others) that he sells that is found in Australia. ANd this item is his custom line of these fabulous models. I did homework later,and found that in Mexico,and Canada these "real machines"also exist.However,in canada the lengths are smaller. What I'm talking about are called the Road Trains. They're those 1000 HP (Horsepower) trucks that pull 2-5 loads behind them. The reason for these "trains" is that Australia is a huge country (continent even!), and even has a railway system. However,I would assume that truck freight is an alternative, especially in the remote regions.

  I asked in a second letter, some questions that after I did research turned out to be  way off course, and embarrassing, but I haven't hear back - yet!  I had thought the roadways in the more remote regions were very sparsely populated and the roads very rough and earth based.  So were there any hijackings of the trains, and were there helicopters to fly out and fix these trucks when they broke  down? Did I ask that? 

  About an hour later, as I was researching Australia, all my questions were very embarrassing, as Australia has some very fine highways systems, the trains sometimes are formed of 4-8 drivers, and there are stopovers for the truckers!  

  The road trains that Jays Models sells were photographed excellently. The focus is great, the lighting is soft to record detail easier, and the camera angle was super. It gave me the impression that these models were actually much larger than they were! Furthermore, when I did some "quick" calculations in my head, I though the sizes might be off. However, being a 1:50 scale, they are the size written! 

   I saw a truck scale chart, but didn't screen-capture it, so for now, 
you'll have to settle for a train scale chart.

I didn't convert all of the trucks from metric to Imperial (inches).   Basically, 1 inch = 25.4 mm.
I did present both measurement units for the train above.  

It's length x width x height is  1120" x 54 mm x 76mm or  44 1/8" x 2 1/8" x 3"

When you look at the truck trains in full enlargement, they don't look "small", thus my confusion.
the length was fine, but  the width and height caught me off guard. I was going to write another e-mail, but was still embarrassed about my erroneous ideas about Australia in 2013 being circa 1900.

If you do the math to convert the 1:50 scale, then this is what you get:

 Length:               44 1/8" x 50       =    2206.25 / 12  =  183.85 feet
Width:                2 1/8" x 50       =  106.25 / 12    =      8.85 feet 
Height:               3" x 50         =    150 /12       =   12.5 feet

In metric, the length is 56M x  2.7M   x  3.8M

That's the math, but I'm going to have to check the dimension of the real trucks.
The width seems narrow,but then agin, I don't think truck loads could be any wider, especially on some narrower highways!

I decided to add  the information on each photo. What I find amazing is the detail and function of some of the features on these models. I use the word "model" because these items are more for collectors, and not to be played with. Also on almost all of the manufacturers sites, as well as many stores, there is a notice that these models are not meant to be played with young children under the age of  5, because the parts are very small and could cause choking!

   Today, I visited a toy store off the island of Montreal, but the owner also would't let me photograph  his modern diecast toys.  However, this time I think I understood why. The toys come in a Scotch-taped box (so as to not open the box). As well, the toy is carefully placed in a formed styrofoam shape to protect it in travel.  So even if I was careful, I could potentially create some damage. On some of the blog posts vis-a-vis model collectors, I've read comments such as "the red of this model is exactly like my truck (the real one)! So I can imagine the buyer seeing a dented box, or slightly ripped cardboard box that the toy is in.

   However, my trip off-island to this toy store was not in vain. The owner spend lots of time talking toys and models with me, and wanted to show me something in his basement store. I went down with him, and lo-and-behold - a whole huge basement of model trains and dioramas full of small, small detail. I asked if I could photograph, and as it turns out a model RR club assembles there. The owner would connect me with one of the club's rep, and I'd be able to take photos. 

   Toy blogging and the path that leads me to my next post doesn't get any better than that!

   G'Day Mate  as they say  down under in Australia - and it certainly is!

As always, thanks for dropping by,

and  G'Day, whatever part of the day you are reading this post.


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