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Due to the current ongoing situation, the June 2020 DTCA AGM, did not take place.  We will try to reschedule for later in the year once matters are clearer.

Production of the DTCA special edition Omnisport model has also been postponed.

 

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janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Matt black finished tin base plates

Hello all,

For the post-war models with tin base plates there have been, subsequent to the chemical blackening (brunofix?) period and then the years of shiny smooth black base plates, some years when base plates were finished in matt black.

I do not mean the diecast bases of the well-known taxi’s in the pre-and post-war period, which were painted matt black because of the desired matt black finish of the interior, of which the inevitibly matt black base is the lower half.

I mean the matt black which is applied to the tin base plates of some of later versions of the well-known 1950s models. Two examples here: the no. 440 2nd type Mobilgas Tanker and the no. 955 Fire Engine with Extending Ladder. The years which seem to cover this period the best for both models are 1961 (the final year of the tanker) to 1964 (the first year of the Fire Engine with windows and plastic hubs). Later models of the Fire Engine (and many other Dinky’s, I believe) show the familiar shiny black base plates again, subsequent to this matt black period.

I have two questions / requests concerning this feature:
1. Is there any known or supposed, plausible explanation for this use of a matt black finish?
2. Could others list some models of this same generation of Dinky Toys, which have also been spotted with this matt black base plate, please?

Kind regards, Jan Werner

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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DTCA MemberUK

Here is a photo of a 670 Armoured Car with a matt black baseplate. It is the later version fitted with plastic hubs, my other two 670s are earlier with metal hubs and have the shiny black baseplate.

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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DTCA MemberUK

Here is a photo of one of my 688 Morris Quad Field Artillery Tractors and it is fitted with a matt black baseplate

It is the newest version, fitted with plastic hubs, this change was made in July 1965 and the matt black baseplate seems to correspond to the same time.

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Hi Dave, thank you for the replies and the army examples!
Yes, in fact the mid-1960s army models appear to have a broad representation of these base plates. Still, I believe that they are more soft satin compared with the virtually matt or satinish-matt 'blackboard black' of the Fire Engine, for instance.

Have a look at this, my Morris Tractor, part of a later no. 697 combination, as evidenced by the plastic hubs and colourful end flaps box. Remarkable is the tractor with its satin black base plate (like your example), opposed to the companion limber with its very shiny black base plate, apparently a contemporary. I wonder why I am always trying to find 'Dinky-laws'. They just aren't there!

Kind regards, Jan Werner

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

Greetings all

I am reviving this thread, as it has great potential, especially when black matt tin plate base plates have replaced gloss tin plate base plates, or used in tandem.

I am kicking off the revival with the 155 Ford Anglia that came in both styles:


First we have the shiny, gloss tinplate base plate with the red interior


Followed by the matt black base plate which is under the example with the pale blue interior.

It is unknown whether both base plates were in use for the 155 at the same time, or whether the use of the matt black base plate can determine a later time frame of production.

Kind regards Bruce

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Good industrial practice is to have double sourcing for every thing. This allows to overcome overbooked supplier, industrial actions and to play a supplier against the other for prices.

My opinion is that one of the tinplate supplier could provide pree enamelled rolls of metal and the other was making mat black heat treatment which may be called Bruno finish or brunofix.

If I am right both finishes could be made available at any time during production of a model and any combination of colour, interior, hubs and tyres can be found.

john45
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Hello Jan,

Brunofix is a cold chemical threatment of metal to prevent corrosion. Still in use for many steel parts.
I have some Meccano parts drawings and these dates the use of Brunofix starting 8-1951. Before this date it was nickel for parts. From 10-1956 Meccano returned to nickel but not for all parts. Maybe Korean war effected the use of nickel.
I have no drawings of a base but it should be noted when Meccano changed the surface treatment.

John.

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

John,

This is part of the drawing for the base plate of the Austin Westminster job 20126 (not issued). It does specify the finish of the part.

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA

The only model I could think of off the top of my head, with a matte finish base plate, was the #150 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. Since I only have one of these, purchased in 1959 or so, I do not know if others had the shiny baseplate. By the way, the white tires shown were added by me shortly after I bought it....I thought it deserved the upgraded appearance at the time, so they have stayed. By the way, as a young boy, I was always intrigued by the brunofix finish of those mid-1950's baseplates, and I liked the "mottled" appearance as opposed to a smooth black. I always wondered how/why they did that, and I finally found out here years ago.
Regards,
Terry

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Terry,

Both my Rolls-Royce the 150 and the 551 have the glos finish base plates. As this model was issued more than four years after the end of the Korean war, this mat finish can not be due to that war.

Jacques.

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Interesting, Terry, I have never seen a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith with matt (well, satin) finished base plate. I have four, all with the familiar 'new' shiny black base plates.

The Rolls-Royce does occur with white original tyres every now and then, be it treaded (as usual after 1957). Kind regards, Jan

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
Offline
AustraliaDTCA Member

janwerner wrote:
"Hello all,

For the post-war models with tin base plates there have been, subsequent to the chemical blackening (brunofix?) period and then the years of shiny smooth black base plates, some years when base plates were finished in matt black.

I do not mean the diecast bases of the well-known taxi’s in the pre-and post-war period, which were painted matt black because of the desired matt black finish of the interior, of which the inevitibly matt black base is the lower half.

I mean the matt black which is applied to the tin base plates of some of later versions of the well-known 1950s models. Two examples here: the no. 440 2nd type Mobilgas Tanker and the no. 955 Fire Engine with Extending Ladder. The years which seem to cover this period the best for both models are 1961 (the final year of the tanker) to 1964 (the first year of the Fire Engine with windows and plastic hubs). Later models of the Fire Engine (and many other Dinky’s, I believe) show the familiar shiny black base plates again, subsequent to this matt black period.

I have two questions / requests concerning this feature:
1. Is there any known or supposed, plausible explanation for this use of a matt black finish?
2. Could others list some models of this same generation of Dinky Toys, which have also been spotted with this matt black base plate, please?

Kind regards, Jan Werner"

Jan

A further example of a matt base plate and a gloss base plate used with the 184 Volvo 122S in answer to your 2nd question above.

The top image is of a white Volvo. I have had two of these and both have the same matt base plate.
The bottom image is of the normal red version, and every example I have of this model has the gloss base plate. One can draw one's own conclusion!

Kind regards
Bruce

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA

To all-
This is a most interesting discussion, and certainly new to me. I had never noticed or heard of these different baseplate finishes, so it will be interesting to see where this goes. The theory of having 2 different suppliers certainly seems to make sense, and would explain it. Bruce, thanks for finding and re-opening this older topic!
And Jacques, are you going to include these photos showing the different bases in your Encyclopedia?
Regards,
Terry

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Terry,

I certainly include all the different base plates for each model when I know about them and can obtain a picture good and large enough.

In the Encyclopaedia, I try to find pictures of every single variation and there are many. I must admit that you guys members of the TMT and DTCA forums have contributed a lot by providing information and pictures.

I hope that TMT will come back soon.

822 Half track M3.

What about this one with a yellow baseplate which is probably dichromated ? It is the first such base plate that I have seen, in fact I have only seen this picture and the model is under investigation 300 miles from here.

More about it later.

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
Offline
AustraliaDTCA Member

dinkycollect wrote:
"Terry,

I certainly include all the different base plates for each model when I know about them and can obtain a picture good and large enough.

In the Encyclopaedia, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What about this one with a yellow baseplate which is probably dichromated ? It is the first such base plate that I have seen, in fact I have only seen this picture and the model is under investigation 300 miles from here.

More about it later."

Jacques

I have not seen an 822 with that type of base plate - all those that have come and gone through my hands have been the normal gloss plates, although one does appear to have a satin finish although that could have been as a result of how I photographed it at the time as well as the lighting conditions.

I am aware that this thread is all about MATT base plates, but thought I would throw in an image of the 181 Volkswagen with a plain/silver base plate and no sales number. (Would I be correct in saying that the 181 was the only Dinky to have an unpainted base plate?) The 181 Volkswagen has both gloss and matt base plates, as well as the unpainted base that came with the light blue with spun hubs version only, although there may have been other colours with an unpainted base plate, as nothing with Dinky Toys is definitive! I have not seen a matt base plate on a 181 either for that matter but that does not mean there are none "out there"!

Bruce

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Bruce,

I have seen that VW before, a late issue with spun hubs, no reference number and no bump above the Y of DinkY on the base plate.

The use of the bump has still not been explained. It is probably a positioning device for positioning the base plates at each step of the stamping.

The stamping is made in several actions on the same completely automatic machine. A reel of tin plate already lackered, varnished, brunofix or what ever treatment is fed into a stamping machine.

1) The first pressing emboses the marking and cuts most of the plate which is still attached to the steel reel. On raising the tool, the reel is moved one step.

2) The second stamping folds the plate and does operation 1 for an other base plate and on raising the tool, the reel is moved one step.

3) The third stamping cuts the base plate loose from the reel and does operation 2 for an other base plate and 1 for a third plate. on raising the tool, the reel is moved one step.

I suppose that the base plate of your VW is not made of bare steel, there must be some sort of anti-rust treatment.

I can not change the title of this thread to "Base plates finish" as all the messages would be lost.

I am sure that other members will apreciate your VW.

This is my 822 with satin (not enameled) base plate.

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

Jacques

Thanks for the explanation on how the base plates are manufactured. Meccano would have had the making of these down to a fine art considering all the tin-plate products the company has manufactured for Hornby and Horny Dublo trains and their associated accessories.

No need to change the title of this thread as the 181 is reported to have matt base plates as well. I am hoping that members who have examples of the 181 with matt bases would submit a picture or two to add to this thread. I do not have a matt finish 181 in my collection - just the unusual bare metal base plate, so I decided to share this with the readers of this thread.

The below is of the 822 that I think might have a satin finish - but you no doubt can tell me one way or the other if this is correct! Unfortunately I am unable to examine it as it has gone to a new owner!

Bruce

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Jan,

Does your limber have plastic hubs ?

Jacques.

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

The best thing to do when you do not know the answer to a technical question is to ask a specialist.

So yesterday, I packed some Dinky and drove 10 miles away to an electro plating compagny.

The technical manager is a very nice guy whom I have met before. He took me to the lab and tested some dinky with some electronic analyser.

This confirmed what I knew that the gloss base plates are painted with electrostatic powder paint. The analyser shows the thickness of the coating.

The finish of the base plates of models similar to Jan's picture above does not have a thickness, there is no coating. In French, this finish is known as "brunissage" and is an oxydation of the metal done in a solution of soda and some additives at 140 °c. This treatment can give both finishes as on Jan's picture depending on the temperature, time in the solution, concentration of the solution, drying etc... This finish is not an electro plating.

Google and Wikipaedia do not return anything for "bruno finish" or "brunofix".

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

Jacques

Did the technical manager provide you with costings for both processes. In other words which was cheaper that could determine the reason for Meccano introducing this later process?

Bruce

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Hello Bruce

There may be at least two reasons for changing the type of finish. The price for both is probably the same but different suppliers may have slightly different prices and of course the lowest wins the order or contract. Also Meccano may need the material before one supplier can deliver so the order will go to an other supplier. It must be known that Meccano France did not make the base plates. they were subcontracted and there may have been two or more suppliers which is standard practice in industry.