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Brian Austin

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About Brian Austin

  • Rank
    MCM Regular

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  • Are You Human?
  • Scale I Build
    all of them

Profile Information

  • Location
    General vicinity of Boston
  • Full Name
    Brian W. Austin
  1. Who came up with the 1:20 scale kits and why?!

    In model railroading scales can vary due to different issues. Even HO and 0 Scales have their variations. Sometimes there's just the convenience of a round number, such as American 0 Scale's easy 1/4th inch-to-the-foot 1:48 vs. British 7mm-to-the-foot 1:43 or Eurpopean 1:45.). On other occasions a scale is fudged in order to fit the then-available motors and axle drives inside the model body shells. British N scale is oversize due to this issue. Japanese models tend to be overscale too, but because their trains (excepting for the standard-gauge bullet trains) run on narrow-gauge track. The British H0/00 thing was mentioned earlier. This was also due to space considerations, to allow the dainty British locos to run on H0 gauge track the scale increased a bit, and as major manufacturers jumped in the compromise stuck. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OO_gauge. I should point out that at the very start, when German toy manufacturer Marklin instituted a range of gauges in the early 1900s or so, they cataloged each gauge with a number, #0-5, ranging smaller-to-larger like artists' paintbrushes. 0 then should be read as the number zero, not a letter. H0 is literally half of 0, and was introduced many years later. Gauge #1 was the next largest after 0 in Marklin's lineup, and in later decades became the foundation of the garden railroad mess..."i.e. G Gauge". It should be noted that actual scale for toy trains was never a consideration at the start, these were just toys. I happen to have a clockwork 0 Marklin set from around 1902 or so, and it even came with an original paper catalog, which must be fairly rare these days. Proportions are "cute" rather than "correct" to say the least! Scale accuracy didn't begin to matter until the '20s or '30s or so. By then gauge standards were forming, with new ones arriving. New scales wound up with letter designations due to marketing forces, straying away from Marklin's old neat and tidy cataloging system.
  2. Who came up with the 1:20 scale kits and why?!

    A somewhat arbitrary decision that became a standard. You can blame Tamiya. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1:35_scale The scale sometimes is used with promo diecast vehicles. I have a '90s Mercedes sedan diecast in this scale, which is not far off the 1:36 diecast toy scale.
  3. Who came up with the 1:20 scale kits and why?!

    There were some lovely large scale promo models made of the "Step Down" Hudsons, and apparently they were manufactured by the auto manufacturer themselves, then the tooling was sold to Louis Marx toy co. to be made as toys. Some variations can be seen at the collection of Hudson automobiles in Shepshewana, Indiana. In the picture you can see the red and the green Marx toys along with the older promos with their front clips removed.
  4. Who came up with the 1:20 scale kits and why?!

    What's your beef with 1/4 scale? It's a common size for engine models. You can even get fully-operational fuel-fired model engines in that scale, made of cast or machine metal . There's been a cottage industry for around 7 to 8 decades of offering raw castings, leaving the machining to final spec to the builder. Regarding smaller engine scales, there's also the old Parma engine kits, produced in lovely 1:10 scale to match their line of R/C toys. And what's wrong with 1:6 scale engines? They'll look fine in the 1:6 scale Barbie/GI Joe or radio control toys. :-)
  5. Who came up with the 1:20 scale kits and why?!

    Hubley's Duesenberg kits were 1:18, while their Packards were 1:22 and their Chevys and Fords were 1:20, all according to the flyer that came with my Ford kit. Oddly enough, there was someone complaining on a "G Gauge" model railroad message board some time back that there were few appropriate kits in 1:20 scale to match his trains, and that kit manufacturers are missing a big market (by his estimation) and should tool up some new kits in that scale. There was a line of "craftsman"-type kit (wood with some metal parts) produced in 1:20 scale by North East Narrow Gauge catering to this market. It included their Tin Lizzy line of Model Ts along with a selection of horse-drawn wagons, in addition to their "Maine 2-footer" locomotive and rolling stock kits. Sadly they went out of business several years ago. (Dead catalog page archived at archive.org linked here for reference to show the Tin Lizzy line of products.) https://web.archive.org/web/20121006000833/http://www.nemodel.com:80/shop/agora.cgi?product=tlc
  6. Visible Centaur

    Now that's a horse of a different color! With those tentacles he's a little "off-centaur". :-D .
  7. Why aren't tires in model kits made of rubber?

    And black vinyl for the most part looks like...black vinyl. :-)
  8. Renwal The Visible Automobile Chassis

    What is the wheelbase of the Renwall chassis? To me it looks a bit on the short side, once you figure where the driver's seat is supposed to go. And if it was reissued there'd be someone whining there's no body in the kit to put on it...
  9. Big scale E100 pickup

    Well someone scratchbuilt a large Dodge A100 body out of wood for radio-control application. He's built other large-scale R/C trucks bodies in this material as well, so an Econoline should be do-able. http://www.scale4x4rc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=59675 And then again someone else kitbashed an old large plastic Teenage Mutant Turtles toy A100 to make an R/C van. Body could be reworked into an Econoline. http://www.scale4x4rc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=43741&page=2
  10. Why aren't tires in model kits made of rubber?

    They could mold them in black styrene. :-P
  11. On our way to the midwest on our summer vacation, my father and I stopped at Roadside America, the legendary model railroad/tourist trap. It's been at this location since the '40s or so, and the display hasn't changed much since the '60s. Collectors will appreciate the old toys and promo models, along with tinplate and modern LIONEL trains. Buildings are scratchbuilt in 1:32 scale (by one person!) vehicles and figures bizarrely range from 1:50 to 1:24. This would be the perfect place for all those 1:28-1:27 off-scale diecasts everybody hates. :-) Please click on the image below to visit my album. First two images in the album are from a 1987 visit.
  12. '83 Chevrolet Citation X-11

    Nice build. My family had more than one Citation (4-dr hatches) in the family, and my father's recollection was that they were decidedly "average". Not as terrible as some want to say, but not spectacular either. How wonderful were their competition's offerings at the time? :-) I learned to drive on a Citation sedan, and don't recall too much trouble with it. My first car of my own was a hand-me-down '88 Plymouth Reliant, and my recollection was that one was pretty 'average" as well. :-) I've always liked the later X-11s, and have wanted to convert the Monogram coupe body to the hatch style
  13. So! Who wants to build this one????

    Bugatti Fan, it appears to be a Jeep Wrangler body on a heavy truck chassis, possibly International.
  14. So! Who wants to build this one????

    I don't know guys. Why do you do the things you do? :-) Just because he has some money doesn't mean he can't do something creative with it. That giant-replica Power Wagon would look great at Burning Man.