Saturday, 27 July 2013

General Update

Been tinkering with a few models and here's a little update on them.

First up, the Diopark bicycle is now ready for paint...

All it needed was the parcel tray and supports added.  Really nice model.  Next one I'll add a basket to the front and a box on the back, while removing the cross bar and making it a tad more modern.

I have also built Diopark Honda Cub #2. This time I aligned the rear spokes properly and used the double seat rather than the single saddle.  Nice little (if very fiddly) kit...

I'll make the single seater a Ramen delivery bike, complete with weird hanging thing attached to the rear parcel tray area.

Finally, progress continues with the attempt to convert the old Arii hand cart into one of these:

(images from various websites, found after an image trawl)

So far I've removed the closed end of the cart where the stove is.  From what I can tell, these carts seem to be different from the next, with only the design of the stove being similar, which is a help.  So next I need to scratchbuild the stove, metal box, chimney and then work on the details...

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Arii Showa era cart upgraded.

The DioPark bicycles got me thinking and I dug out the old Arii 'rear car' from my Showa box and decided that, with some simple changes it could be a decent little diorama extra.

These carts were everywhere in the Showa era (both before and after the war) so any period diorama would benefit from having one somewhere in the background.  I have seen guys in Akihabara pulling these things laden with cardboard for recycling, and my good friend Phil even photographed an abandoned one earlier this year on his trip to Japan.

The kit comes from this set:

I have sadly lost the Sweet Potato seller's additional features, but the core cart is still there.  These were mostly just frames with wheels, but the Arii version has a wooden floor and I'm assuming wooden sides, although they could even be canvas I suppose.  The frame around the wheels is a little thick but doesn't look too bad... however the wheels have to go: they are thick and solid, with the spokes represented as raised lines radiating from a central hub.
I had some spare Tamiya German bicycles and Aber detail sets for them, so decided to sacrifice parts for this... all for the better good ^_^

I removed the front wheels from both bikes and cut away the moulded spokes and front forks, but kept the mudguard in place... it looks nice.  I then added the Aber etched spokes and fixed the new wheels to the cart.  The wheel frames needed the hub pin cut down, but other than that it was a very simple job.

With a figure so show the size of the model...

Now to think what to do with it... finding photos of these on the internet is a nightmare, as are any Showa era photos of everyday life.  All I can do really is watch a few Japanese films from the 1960s and try to figure out what it should be used for.  The sweet potato original might be an option, and a challenge as I would need to scratchbuild pretty much everything, including the cooking equipment.
I'll post the finished model once I've decided what to use it for...

Saturday, 20 July 2013

New DioPark Japanese Bikes - Part 2

Well, thought I would try one of the DioPark bikes... and they are fiddly little things, with the spokes wheels being very fragile.  After much swearing and cursing I managed to get one 99% built (needs the rack on the back added and I lost the bell... it's the size of a pinhead.
The slightly wonky spoke rims hopefully won't be too obvious once painted ^_^

Here it is with the one I converted from a Tamiya German bicycle...

Friday, 19 July 2013

New DioPark Japanese bikes

DioPark of China have released a new set of Japanese pushbikes in 1/35 scale... not 1/32, but close enough.  The bikes are well-detailed, and you have the option of moulded wheel spokes or finely etched ones, complete with dished mouldings for creating the right look for the wheels.  These should also work with the Aber set of wheel spokes for the Tamiya bikes.

So, here are some photos of this new set...

The business placards for the bikes are cut-off-and-stick-on card from the back of the box... not ideal to be honest.

Two complete kits in the box, so two sets of etched spokes and placards for the cross-bar.

The plastic parts...

And the instructions...

This looks like the models will build up beautifully, and will go well with my cars and planned mini dioramas.  They are MUCH better detailed than the Tamiya German bikes that these resemble... the advantage of CAD design over traditional hand-made masters.