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Old 16-04-2014, 12:04 PM   #1
Odahs
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Default What's 'wrong' with the Dinky Mobile?

Hi guys, I could answer my title question myself with 'nothing at all, I've really fond memories of it from childhood'

So appreciating that it is what it is and was made as a toy for pushing across the carpet, firing missiles at the cat, hitting with Dad's hammer etc how does it compare to the studio model?

I've just got one from ebay and scaled down the well known 3 view photographs of the studio model and concluded, actually it's reasonably accurate with general proportions.

I've only studied the side view in detail thus far and started nit picking.

So I have the front axle is slightly too high, but the rest of the wheels are about in the right place and I was surprised to find about the right diameter.

The curves are missing where the base of the body section joins the chassis. It's squared off probably as a manufacturing consideration. This also makes the wheels look small as the gap above them should be filled in more with the curves.

The front 'cheeks' of the cab are not pushed in enough, being vertical on the Dinky toy.

The raised surface panel lines are far too heavy and add to the 'chunky' look.

The side cab windows are incorrect and should not have a frame visible.


If anyone can see or knows of anything else I should consider at this stage please make mention of it.

My aim is to collect up four of them and then bring them on a very tight budget towards the standard of the PE diecasts, with a bit of modification and some resin casting. But hopefully this thread will be a reference for others too.
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Old 21-04-2014, 02:29 PM   #2
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Taken another look and think perhaps the easiest route will be to recast the lower chassis part of the diecast in resin. The 'cheeks' could be cut off the upper body part and included in the lower resin replacement. It's one of those things where I'm thinking it could just be a scratch build but I like the idea of it being a code 3 (if an extreme one) of the Dinky, there are plenty to be had out there in various states of disrepair so can't see any harm in it. Will post more when surgery begins. Been on a long self imposed break from modelling so just currently thinking out some projects for when I get back into it.
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Old 23-04-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
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A picture says a thousand words as they say! I've made up a composite of my main reference photograph for the right side elevation and the JWGoode plans and scaled them to the Dinky Mobile. I've skewed the photo to fit the plans. Now I can change the opacity of each in Photoshop and compare details with my screen shots from UFO and make a list of things to change or retain on the Dinky diecast.




The model looks a little bigger in the picture above than the image, but it's just a perspective thing, they match up well for overall dimensions when it is laid directly on the reference image.

I think I must have got the mobile Foster got injured in during E.S.P. as the front windscreens have been blown out and there is obvious damage to the seats too!
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Old 24-04-2014, 01:10 PM   #4
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Clean-up in progress - do I love playing with evil chemicals and making a mess... ...well at least some of the time!



Cleaned up diecasts. These are the only parts I'm planning on retaining, the rest I've put aside as spares and for reference if required. The thought being that this make-over will suit the more cosmetically challenged mobiles from ebay





Will follow up with some comparisons of the stripped chassis and body to my references, looking at discrepancies and thinking about how they might be corrected. I'm on as strict order from myself not to get totally obsessed with my model making activities and forget I have a life outside of model making, so that's it for today.
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Old 25-04-2014, 12:51 PM   #5
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The dinky's look great devoid of paint - what did you use to strip them with
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Old 25-04-2014, 01:21 PM   #6
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My stripping process is involved but it works well with little effort.

Soak overnight or a little longer in brake fluid. All the plastic should be removed and also best to remove stickers before soaking in the brake fluid.

Remove from the brake fluid and wash off the bubbled up paint with cellulose thinner.

The cellulose is best brushed on with a soft 1 inch paint brush, it will remove the already bubbled paint from the brake fluid bath with little effort. You can use wire wool or a soft wire brush on stubborn bits.

I then spray with an automotive brake cleaner and dry with a compressor. This step can be missed but as diecasts are somewhat porous it helps get any residual brake fluid cleaned away and the dirt and dust in deep recesses etc.

Next I put them in a hot solution of washing up liquid and scrub them with a foam pan cleaner. If happy with the result that is it.

Sometimes though there age related residues in really hard to get at places, my solution is put them in the dishwasher for an hour or so. Afterwards they'll need to go back in the washing up liquid solution to remove all the dishwasher salts, else they'll start to form an unpleasant surface corrosion.

In the picture above, the brake fluid is in the ice cream tub in the middle. On the left is the cellulose thinners in the heroes tub, you can see the removed paint chips floating about in it. If you want to use the cellulose over and over, use a metal tin, as it will eat plastic eventually.

Glad you asked, it reminded me I've got an Interceptor soaking in brake fluid I need to go rescue
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Old 25-04-2014, 04:43 PM   #7
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Started to compare drawings to the diecast parts.

Firstly the body, not too bad in profile, purple hatch/scribble indicates difference between dinky outline and drawing. In this case it mostly represents 'missing' material.



The next comparison is the chassis. Here the purple represents additional material. The side walls are deep and the outline at the back is wrong. The front and rear wheels do not align with four central ones, the rear I can live with, the front, not really.



The combined effect is the chassis places the center of the wheel axles 2-3 mm too low compared with the overall length/height of the mobile. Add this to the missing material from the lower body and slightly under diameter wheels, and it's part of the reason the Dinky looks a bit ugly duckling rather than Shado perfection...

I'll tackle this early on by correcting the outline at the back of the chassis, then recessing the chassis a few millimeters deeper into the body. The front of the chassis including the front wheel stubs will be removed completely and be reworked.

The width of the lower part of the chassis (chassis walls) that sticks out and takes the axles looks fine so nothing to worry about there.

Last edited by Odahs; 25-04-2014 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 25-04-2014, 08:14 PM   #8
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Having looked at some major modifications above, I decided I fancied a session on the details.

Concentrated on one area, the right hand cab side. Made a note that the grill has some detail issues, it should have an open gap at the top and the square details should be 3 horizontally, two equal sized towards the front and 1 smaller one towards the back. Not sure if it's worth the effort of correcting, but I made a note of it.



What I really wanted to get rid off was the casting lines indicated by the yellow arrows. It hasn't much relation to the studio model, so it all went, along with the heavy side window frame.



The next job in this area will be the reshaping of the cab side window, which is too low at the top, but more on that another day.
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Old 26-04-2014, 11:33 AM   #9
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Time to tackle the side cab window.

Made up a paper template and marked out material to be removed:



It can be seen that the pillar on the dinky is in the way, not really a surprise as it never existed on the studio model in my opinion. I've been intrigued by this area for a while wondering why even the best studio replicas sort of look odd here. The reason I believe is that there was no physical pillar. The side window and front window were made up of a continuous piece of clear plastic wrapped around the corner on the originals. The pillar was then simply painted on. As this suits me fine working in a relatively small scale, I'm going with the same construction.

Modified side window:

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Old 26-04-2014, 02:29 PM   #10
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Decided I wanted to do something different this afternoon, so filled the hole in the roof left by the original rotating missile platform. There was also the housing for the spring to grind off.

In all this area is the most play worn, there is some distortion particularly at the rear, each corner of the 'cut-out' has signs of stress cracks (square corners are not a good idea in diecast, but I guess Dinky knew this but wanted it to look OK) and also signs of sagging in the side walls, which was no doubt just from the original cast as it cooled.

Easy fix though. I've cut a nice meaty piece of of alluminium sheet to fill the gap.



It's a press fit so helps to support the side walls. I won't be bonding it in just yet, as I want to have access through the hole when I adjust the chassis height later on. When it is bonded in though, it will be a good opportunity to reinforce the inside of the corners where the cracks have formed

My next job is to look at the cross-section of the main body. It all looks more plump and curvy in the reference screen grabs, so I need to check it's not a case of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole with the dinky mobile. Or at least if it is, figure out what I'm going to do about it!
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Old 26-04-2014, 04:12 PM   #11
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Fortunately checking the cross-sections it looks like it will just need some material adding to get the shape. The down side is I'll probably lose all the surface details from the sides, which particularly at the top were kind of OK.

It's not much, but basically the sides will need to be filled progressively more working downwards and the the radius along the roof line reformed to change the squared off look to match the studio models:


Last edited by Odahs; 26-04-2014 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 27-04-2014, 08:34 AM   #12
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Thanks for the reply Odahs
It looks involved but coming along nicely
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Old 27-04-2014, 12:08 PM   #13
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Yep it's getting more involved than I had hoped at first. Or perhaps I kind of knew what was likely to be involved and hoped there would be some corners to cut which turned out not to be there!

With the work so far on this one, I'm thinking it'll be best to take a mould at some point and cast the others I want. In all though there is an accurate mobile hiding in there somewhere!
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Old 27-04-2014, 08:31 PM   #14
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Long session today:

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Old 28-04-2014, 05:16 PM   #15
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Wow that is looking great
You should create others from molds and use this like a pewter presentation model
it looks superb in natural finish
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Old 28-04-2014, 07:01 PM   #16
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It won't look so great when it's covered in modelling clay! I burnished it to check for flaws, soon it'll go back dull again as it's keyed for modelling clay. It's a case of remove all the bits that shouldn't be there or are not quite right, then add what is missing, so sadly most of it wont' be bare metal for long.

I know what you mean though and it has inspired me to do another soon in bare metal with the original details. Once the paint is off, it would only take a few minutes to bring it up to this standard. I think a mobile, interceptor and Straker's car in this finish would fill a shelf quite nicely.
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Old 29-04-2014, 02:45 PM   #17
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No work on the model today or yesterday, work is getting in the way but I have ordered some supplies. I'm finding that the Dinky mobile adds up in lots of way to the drawings I'm using. Surprisingly well at times.

It then occurred to me that if one makes allowances for the decisions made for the casting process, some simplification, some over detailing - it could be the main dimension came directly off of one of the studio models... Any thoughts on this?
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Old 29-04-2014, 06:38 PM   #18
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Can anyone help with a better picture of this part?



I've found it's from the track of the Revell M48 scissor bridge, I'm looking for a clearer idea of the shape so I can scale it down. So if anyone has a good image of just the track or this area on their mobile it would be a great help.
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Old 29-04-2014, 07:08 PM   #19
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Fascinating thread this. Here is part of that tank track (left over from when I made my studio scale mobile).

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Old 29-04-2014, 07:50 PM   #20
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Thanks Kevin, just what I was after
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