Monday, 16 August 2021

Enthusiast Package from the UK

My first order from the UK based modelling industry for a long time has arrived at my doorstep. The package held 3 figures from Modelu printed in a hard resin material. Two of the figures are railway enthusiasts carrying 1950's era cameras and dressed in typical clothing for the period. The third figure is a sitting man posed as if driving a locomotive. 

Two mates on excursion. Modelu figures straight from the package.

When I finished the Citroen Traction Avant with 1950's Copenhagen license plates I had the idea to let it be the car of a group of railway enthusiasts. In 2017 I created a team of railway enthusiasts in 1/35 scale and wondered if I could somehow do a new effort in 1/19 scale. As there where no obvious figures appropriate for conversion and as there is enough to do on Nystrup Gravel besides family, work and volunteering on the 700 mm gauge 1:1 scale HVB, the idea sort of slipped my mind. In the hectic month leading up to my summer vacation I saw an announcement from Modelu introducing a series of railway enthusiast figures. They fitted my idea of the early pioneers capturing the 1950's narrow gauge industrial railways on film. Without further ado two figures and an extra was in the online shopping cart and paid for.

The figures are 1607 'Photographer with Box Brownie', 1673 'Photographer with Leica Mk 2' and 1452 'Seated workman'.

Modelu figure 1607. A man with a simple box camera trying to find the objective through the viewfinder.

One of the more disappointing features with figure 1607 is the camera front without any detail. I may be spoiled, but a camera with no lens? I'll add details to the camera front myself.

The figures in their small ziplock bags arrived relatively safely packaged in a small box with two pieces of bubblewrap as protection. The package had been almost a month underway, most of the time sitting in various customs facilities.  

The quality is the usual large scale quality from Modelu. While the Modelu figures have outstanding realism in their poses and the figures produced fit absolutely perfect for my modelling theme their details are a little soft and sometimes missing altogether. It seems some figures suffer more than others, so I can only speculate as to the reason. In the past I have modified the figures (usually by carving/sanding and adding detail parts) and that will be necessary for all 3 figures in this shipment as well. 

Finger on the shutter release button and keeping the camera steady. I really like the figure's complete attention to the photographic task in front of him. Not only has the pullover crept up, the hair is in disarray and only the potential image is in focus.

The driver figure is an obvious candidate for a job on my Pedershaab-locomotive (one of my long drawn out projects).

Brexit have led to a sharp decline in my trading with the UK and I now source all but the most specialised modelling products from EU-countries. With a little ingenuity and effort that is quite possible, and I wonder why I didn't before. Modelu figures are so far alone in caring for some of my specialist needs as a modeller despite the recent upcoming of a German manufacturer. Perhaps this was my last Modelu purchase?


  1. Depending on the model of Box Brownie the amount of detail, and colour, on the front varied a lot. I suppose that provides another way of setting a period of time, although they tended to be long lived.

    As for the Leica, well Leica enthusiasts will soon tell you if you get anything wrong painting it...

  2. Thanks for the input, James. Yes, the box camera could probably be any of the quite widespread box cameras of the period. I have an old German made from Agfa. I'm quite nervous about the Leica Mk 2 as it may be a model later than my early 1950's theme. What will camera aficinados say?

    1. It might be worth asking Alan what actual model of Leica Jamie Green brought to the session. I'm trying to workout if it is an optical viewfinder on the top plate or an exposure meter. I have to say I'm impressed by how well the camera case has been reproduced.

      I just need one with an 8mm cine camera.

  3. The Leica IIf was introduced in 1951. It used the top plate rangefinder for any lenses other than the standard 50mm. I had a play with one when I worked in a camera shop. but wasn't hugely impressed.

    1. Thanks a lot for the info on the Leica II. It seems to fit well in my chosen timeframe of the early 1950's.

  4. I absolutely love the idea of railway enthusiasts taking pictures of the rolling stock, probably to the mild bewilderment of the workers who are just doing their job. I will for sure steal the idea and use it on my own layout :-)

  5. I wouldn't consider it stealing. The many good Modelu figures are a good source og inspiration, and in 1/87 the soft detail visible in 1/19 scale isn't noticable. I'm looking forward to your interpretation - probably finished before mine...