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The title for this entry comes from a late 80s advert for the humble Mini.  Perhaps “a mini adventure’ would get the point across easier to the current generation and might be a bit more apt given that’s kind of what its been!

minisAt the start of the process there were several routes to a model mini, the Springside kit, a HO version (under size), the Cararama version (over sized) or the Corgi one.  Since then the Corgi one seems to have disappeared and there’s a version from Oxford Diecast.  Sadly both Oxford and Corgi chose to do the earlier version which surprised me a bit.  I feel Oxford missed a trick not doing a later one.  I’m not talking about the BMC verses BMW type here either.

I chose the Corgi ones and first step is to strip the caked on pain off.  For such a small model the paint all but destroys what is some quite nice detail underneath.  It also suffers from the same problem as a lot of 4mm scale cars – oversized wheels.


Sticking with one original one this was a simple repaint with replacement wheels from the springside kit (as are all except the orangy one).  From left to right numbers 2, 4 and 6 all have new grills again from the springside kit and new rear light clusters (from microstrip) they also have wider back windows and have had the door hinged removed.  Number 4 has the original wheels turned down and wider wheel arches added from scrap brass strip added to the inside of the wheel arch and filler.

Number 3 was a bit of a challenge as I was given a springside Mini Clubman kit and try as I might I couldn’t get the kit to look anything like the real vehicle.  In the end I just used the front of the nose and grafted it onto a corgi one.  The same goes for number 5 (the estate) which started life as a van.

The result is a fleet of minis more suited to a late 80s layout. Still to do are the number plates and tax disks.

8 Responses

  1. Chad Bevan

    Lovely. Do you fit people inside your vehicles Jim? I find this is often missed, so you see these ‘ghost vehicles’ driving round layouts. Did BNS have a car park, too?

    13/11/2013 at 9:14 pm

  2. Colin Parks

    Great work as always Jim.

    I think you are giving us all food for thought with your holistic approach the constructing a layout.

    One thing that always looks wrong with model cars is the way they sit on tippy-toes on their wheels. I haven’t tried it yet, but with plastic wheels, the vehicle could be stood on a hot (but not too hot!), flat surface to gently melt the tyres into a more realistic road-to-tyre relationship. (Don’t know how this characteristic could be achieved with white metal tyres however.)

    All the best,


    13/11/2013 at 9:22 pm

  3. Kevin Prince

    A swift swipe with a 12″ bastard should see to thatt problem Colin. File a flat on the tyre.

    14/11/2013 at 12:48 am

  4. miles

    Good luck with that one Colin – i still have the burn on my hand where the hot plastic landed 30 years ago. I think its a case of ‘showing’ the heat to the plastic!!

    14/11/2013 at 8:53 am

  5. jim s-w

    I glue the wheels up solid and rub the vehicles on a bit of sandpaper to flatten the tyres off.

    14/11/2013 at 9:09 am

  6. jim s-w

    I do fit people Chad. HO ones are best as the glazing usually takes up a lot of room. Of course some vehicles need to be parked so they need to be empty.

    There is a car park on the roof yes as we’ll as a smaller one by the front door where the taxi rank was. I’ve got 20 or so taxis in a draw somewhere so I hope that’s enough. The Oxford FX 4 taxi is much like the corgi mini, it represents an early version and will need updating.

    14/11/2013 at 9:12 am

  7. Dave 87101

    Here’s a thought Jim I dont ever recall seeing any learner drivers modeled so how about sticking a set of L plates on one ?

    15/11/2013 at 8:50 pm

  8. jim s-w

    That’s not a bad idea Dave. A mini would be a classic learner vehicle too but then you’d be brave trying to learn to drive in the city.

    15/11/2013 at 10:32 pm

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