S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Meccano Dinky Page keywords = Meccano Dinky Hudson Dobson Berliner hobby hobbies auto tank truck armor armour fighting vehicle Antar Erector Hornby Britains

Updated:  10 Aug 2016; 13:25  ET
[Page created 21 Jan 2004; converted 27 May 2014
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/mecdinky.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/mecdinky.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's





but with Hornby, as well.

See the HOBBY Page, et seq.

See also the Comet Metal Products Authenticast Models Page and the Strombeck-Becker StromBecKer Model Kits Page.

This page is primarily concerned with my own collection of Dinky Toys from Meccano Ltd. of England; it will also delve into the former A. C. Gilbert ERECTOR SET* line, apparently since bought out by Meccano, Meccano's own line of mechanical building sets, and Hornby trains.  It would appear that Meccano was first brought out by Hornby.   rev (27 May 2014)

  * - Erector sets are now covered on their own page   rev (27 May 2014)


On this main Meccano Dinky page:
  Ca. 1950 Dinky Toys Catalogs.
  Drawerful of Dinky Toys.

On the Meccano Dinky Continuation Page 1:
  Dinky Meccano Aircraft Models (moved from Aviation cont. page 4 on 12 Feb 04)
  Hornby Trains (to follow).

On the Military Miniatures Page:   added (10 Aug 2016)
  Unindexed so far except for:
    Britains Models.
    AHM Special Modeler's Catalog [Minitanks, Minimen, Minimovers (and Minianimals)].
    Emperor Franz Josef at 54mm (07 Feb 2016).

On separate pages:

Erector Sets.

Although Dinky Toys were intended as just that, TOYS, they were scale models of great accuracy (in most cases) and I consider them models, not toys and will so refer to them herein.

Ca. 1950 Dinky Toys Catalogs

{British usage = Catalogue}

In the drawer that is featured after this section, under the models stored therein, I was a bit surprised to find two old Dinky Toys catalogs, both from the late '40s or early '50s.  Some analysis of when the prototypes for newer models appeared in real life will date these more accurately (when I get a round tuit, eh?) but the F60c Super "G" Constellation in the later one should also tie it down fairly tightly.

Both catalogs were printed for the American distributor of the day, one H. Hudson Dobson, whose firm, H. Hudson Dobson Inc., was headquartered at 627 Boulevard, Kenilworth, New Jersey, and whose showroom was at 200 Fifth Avenue in New York City.  Somewhere, I still have at least one box from Hudson Dobson, with several 38C Lagonda Sports Tourers in it, one of which I chopped up to make a custom model which (typically) never got finished, my having bitten off more than I could chew; similarly, I chopped up a 105 Jaguar Sports Car (actually an SS-90 or SS-100 Jaguar) to make an SS-1 Tourer and a 1957 XK-120 Jaguar fixed-head coupé to replicate my own 1954 XK-120M Jaguar drop-head coupé.

These two catalogs are undated, but Vectis, a toy collectors auction house in England, dates the later one as "ca. 1957".  I have scanned these two catalogs in their entireties, placing the older one above the newer one except for the last two folds, there are no pages 32-33 or 34-35 in the older catalog.  The older one is rubber stamped twice on the front cover and once on page 3:

BAldwin 3-9811

No ZIP codes then and word prefixes for telephone exchanges!  BAldwin 3- is now 223- and The Doll House is no longer listed in the telephone book.  Note also that the Dinky Toys slogan inside the front cover, page 2, is spelled in British English in the older copy and in American English in the newer:




Note also that there is a correction sticker pasted at the bottom of page 2 in the newer catalog and I, ever the perfectionist, marked the items on the pages noted; also, I checked off those models that I had (at the time) in that volume, at least the military ones.

The covers and pages 2-31 for both and 31-35 for the newer catalog:

Dinky Catalog Covers
(21 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images]

Dinky Catalog pp 2-3

Dinky Catalog pp 4-5

Dinky Catalog pp 6-7

Dinky Catalog pp 8-10

Dinky Catalog pp 10-11

Dinky Catalog pp 12-13

Dinky Catalog pp 14-15

Dinky Catalog pp 16-17

Dinky Catalog pp 18-19

Dinky Catalog pp 20-21

Dinky Catalog pp 22-23

Dinky Catalog pp 24-25

Dinky Catalog pp 26-27

Dinky Catalog pp 28-29

Dinky Catalog pp 30-31

(only the newer catalog has pp. 32-35:)

Dinky Catalog pp 32-33

Dinky Catalog pp 34-35
(21 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images]

Drawerful of Dinky Toys

I have an old highboy desk (it was my father's) and one of the drawers has been, since perhaps 1946 or so, lined with terry towelling, the abode of my "collection"* of Dinky Toys, mostly military vehicles.  Something got me going on this idea; I pulled the drawer, photographed it and its contents, and created this page for it all.  For starters, here's the drawer:

[* - I don't collect Dinky Toys, I HAVE them!]

Dinky Drawer
(21 Jan 2004 photo by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image]

Repeated in full from the HOBBY Page, here's one of my first eforts at ruining two perfectly good, collectible (eventually) Dinky Toys, normally kept in the noted drawer:

I modified a Meccano Dinky British 6-wheel Command Car by enlarging the axle holes into vertical slots, slotting the base plate to allow vertical axle travel, and putting a rubber band above the axles for springing:

Command Car - left side

This gave it independent wheel travel (paper clip climbing ability, for example, if you will):

Command Car - sprung

{That car is the 152b according to Keith Harvie}.

Here's how it works:

Command Car - underside

Then, with a little guidance from my father, I modified a Meccano Dinky tipper (dump truck); it may be a Bedford or a Scammel (anyone know?), using scraps of wire, hand-wound springs, and brass and alumin(i)um tubing:

Tipper - left side

Here it is as modified, with the bed up:

Tipper - bed up

Note the grooving of the underside of the bed and chassis to accomodate the lift cylinder:

Tipper - bed up - 3/4

and a detail of the latching mechanism, showing the vertical groove in the chassis to hold the trip wire and the spring loading on the far side to keep it latched.

Tipper - bed up - 3/4

Now, to the contents.  Except for that O-scale (1:48) Märklin Mercedes 300 sedan, up in front (light gray - right, above, and shown in detail on the HOBBY page), all the models are Dinkys.  Three are definitely pre-war; six appear to be immediate post-war replacements for those I destroyed in my earlier childhood; and the rest are from the '50s and '60s.

Two are civilian vehicles, one is George Eyston's Thunderbolt and the other the 38d Alvis sports tourer:

Dinky Eyston Thunderbolt

Dinky Alvis tourer
(21 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images]

Next, there are two hand-painted motorcycles with sidecars, Dinky #87, BUT - they are hardly original; I was a Marine Corps fan(atic) as a child and I redecorated these two, former British police vehicles, as I recall, to resemble what I (ca. 1943-44) thought a Marine cycle duo should look like:

Dinky 87

The unquestioned oldest Dinky military model I still have has got to be the 151b 6-wheel Transport Lorry/Wagon:

Dinky 151b

Dinky 151b open

What a surprise to find two spare tires inside; they and the mounted ones are as hard as glass!  Happily, the heavier tires in and on other vehicles are still resilient.  Note in the rear view that I had fabricated a wire pintle (drawhook), fitted through a hole I somehow managed to drill horizontally through the dummy pintle.

Note that there are two Royal Armo(u)red Corpsmen, the driver, with spread arms, and the center one, with folded arms, both in their typical black berets.  But what of the Royal Artillery Corpsman sitting in the offside (left) position?  Aha!  That will follow.

Another oldie, but definitely post-war, is the U. S. Army Jeep; I couldn't figure out for the world why I cut the bumper off (unless I broke it and wanted to even it out and even repair it some day):

Dinky 672 Jeep

Dinky 672 Jeep under

Talk about surprises!  Turning it over to see if it had a number, I discovered that it had a steel spring suspension I'd concocted, which still works perfectly!  Note also that I had fabricated a wire pintle (drawhook) for the Jeep as I had on the 151b.  That was to allow the Jeep to tow the 162b ammo trailer and 162c 18-pounder gun (instead of the 162a artillery tractor):

Dinky 162b Ammo Trailer

Dinky 162c 18-pdr. Gun

Dinky 162a Artillery Tractor

My all-time favorite, and the reason I (or my Mom) had to go out and buy a second generation of these military Dinkies, is the towed antiaircraft gun, the 161b:

Dinky 161b AA Gun - travel

Dinky 161b AA Gun - firing
(21 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images]

I normally used the 151b lorry or the 162a tractor to pull that one.  You'll note that there is one seating position unoccupied, the left rear in the first (towed) view and right front in the second (emplaced) view; THAT's where the RAC man went, the one who mysteriously sits in the 151b!

note-rt.gif - many of these models came with no holes for crewmen or with less holes than would appear from these pictures; I did a lot of drilling and bought a bunch of crewmen.

The other three favorites were those with chains simulating (very badly) tracks, the 162a artillery tractor (above), the 151a Medium Tank and the 152a Light Tank; none ran well, but the 162a tractor was far and away better than the tanks, bad as they all were (still true today, as proven by quick tests - you don't really think I could resist, do you?).

Dinky 151a Med Tank

Dinky 152a Lt Tank

Another oddity - checking for a model number under the light tank, I found a cavity instead; the bottom plate is missing and I had very lightly scratched "Mk. VI Light Tank" on the underside of the top deck - I wonder what that was all about.

Æsthetically, one of my favorite military vehicles of all time is the Daimler Armo(u)red Car (the Dingo); the Dinky 670 certainly does it justice:

Dinky 670 Daimler AC

Another Jeep is the French Meccano 80b; I did not drill the dummy pintle (nor crew seating holes) on that one:

French Dinky 80b Jeep

A British equivalent was the 674 Austin Champ, also without a working pintle:

Dinky 674 Austin Champ

Another tractor for artillery was the 688, which drew the 687 ammo trailer and 686 25-pounder gun:

Dinky 688 Artillery Tractor

Dinky 687 Ammo Trailer

Dinky 686 25-pdr. Gun

With all the vehicles with working pintles, there was other artillery to draw, starting with the 692 5.5" Medium Gun and the French Meccano 80e Gun:

Dinky 692 5.5

French Dinky 80e Gun

Imagine my shock when I picked up the 80e and the left bogie (wheel assembly) fell off!  If you look VERY carefully at the lower right corner of the photo of the drawer, above, you can easily make it out, lying on its side between the 80e and the 672 Jeep.  The chassis hole for the splined bogie stub axle apparently opened up over the years.

There were two other armo(u)red cars, the 673 Scout Car and the 676 Armoured Personnel Carrier (the Saracen, NOT Saladin as I had recalled):

Dinky 673 Scout Car

Dinky 676 Saracen

Getting the two RAC men into their positions in the scout car without using tweezers was one step from impossible!

A cross between an armo(u)red car and a tank was the French Panhard E. B. R., an odd duck with normal rubber-tired road wheels on outboard axles and steel traction wheels on inboard axles (which could be raised and lowered on the prototype); the French Dinky 80a:

French Dinky 80a Panhard EBR

French Meccano also made the Char (tank) A.M.X., another oddity; the gun did not elevate normally, the entire turret rocked up and down (on the prototype, not the 80c model!):

French Dinky 80c AMX Tank

That leaves me with two more armo(u)red vehicles, the 651 Centurion Tank and the 677 Armoured Command Vehicle (a far cry from the 152b Recon Car!):

Dinky 651 Centurion

Dinky 677 Command
(21 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images]

There's something very odd about that Centurion; the 2nd, 4th, and 5th wheelsets are missing!  Looking closely, I see that I enlarged the axle slots and drilled out and tapped the bottom cover mounting studs, replacing the staking with round-head screws.  Aha!  That project was intended to give the tank a working suspension; another bright idea that never came to fruition.  I wonder where the wheelsets went.

If the Centurion is damaged, how about men?  For the wounded, French Meccano made this Dinky 80F ambulance and British Dinky made this 626 Army Ambulance:

French Dinky 80F Amb

French Dinky 80F Amb - rear

Dinky 626 Amb

Dinky 626 Amb - rear

The little 641 1-ton Army truck always struck me as kinda neat:

Dinky 641 1t truck

Dinky 641 1t truck - open
(21 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images]

For some reason I can't fathom, I have two of them!  Trade, anyone?  I don't have a 642 Pressure Refueler (hint, hint).

Dinky 641 1t truck - both
(22 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image]

Getting to the bigger trucks (lorries) - the next in size are the 621 3-ton Army Wagon and the 623 Army Covered Wagon (hardly a Conestoga!):

Dinky 621 3t Wagon
(21 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images]

Dinky 621 3t Wagon - open

Dinky 623 Covered Wagon

Dinky 623 Covered Wagon

Even bigger are the 622 10-ton Army Truck and the 689 Medium Artillery Tractor (looks pretty big to me):

Dinky 622 10t truck

Dinky 622 10t truck - open

Dinky 689 Med Art Tractor

Dinky 689 Med Art Tractor - open

The underside of the 689 tractor labels it as a "Dinky Supertoy".

Before we get to the biggest Dinky military truck of all, here's the 661 Recovery Tractor (wrecker), pretty big in it's own right:

Dinky 661 Recovery Tractor

Finally, the pièce de résistance, a military version of the Mighty Antar tractor with a tank recovery trailer, the 660 Tank Transporter:

Dinky 660 Tank Recov Tractor

Dinky 660  loading Centurion
(21 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images]

That seems to be all of them.

While I was at it, before returning the drawer to the desk, I took two close-ups of the hitches I devised for the 672 Jeep and 151b lorry; that on the Jeep is more ingenious and better done.  My guess is that the 151b had a cast-on pintle that snapped off after heavy use and the wire hook was a stop-gap repair:   new.gif (23 Jan 04)

Dinky 672/151b Hitch 1

Dinky 672/151b Hitch 2
(24 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The 672 is shown with a 162b ammo trailer and the 151b with a larger 687 (the color variations are actually wider than shows here).

I had a Dinky 1939 Chrysler Royal taxi which I doctored into a reasonably-exact replica of my own 1939 Chrysler Royal sedan (my first car) that also lived in the drawer but it's gone missing.

There were also a large number of lead vehicles in my arsenal, perhaps half-again larger than the Dinky's, probably from Britains, Ltd.; I particularly remember an ambulance with two litter bearers, a stretcher, and a prone wounded soldier.  Looking for some 60-year-old remains that I KNOW I still have in a J&J Band-Aid® tin but couldn't find, I ran across instead another Band-Aid® tin with the remains of my Meccano (not Dinky) airplane building kit and, for sad comparison, a Hubley #401 Lincoln Continental:

Meccano Plane Parts

Hubley 401 Linc Cont
(22 Jan 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images]

Those parts strewn about are the nuts and bolts from the biplane kit that I treasured and (apparently) traded off for something or other; the absolutely-unmistakeable tail skid shows in the lower left.  The double curtain rod sheave on the right was my rolling substitute for the skid and there are also a lot of other extraneous bits and pieces, including some brass safety pins (for holding rigging) and a split fastener (?).  That 6" Lincoln (which I had always thought was a Tootsie-Toy) is too new to have been my own; it was my daughters', but I include it here as representative of the many other miniature vehicles which were truly only toys, not scale models.  It has been sitting on my workbench as a sort of mascot for some 40 years (and looks it)!,

Speaking of Tootsie-Toy, I treasured a Plymouth woodie station wagon when I was little; looking at pictures of the crude Tootsie-Toy version and then at the Meccano Dinky 344 Plymouth Estate Wagon, I am now convinced that what I loved so was, in fact, the Dinky.  I've asked my sister to dig out and scan our old photos showing me with the car.

Erector Sets - moved to its own page on 22 Jan 2004.

However, in my old Erector set, which I dug out on 22 Jan 2003, I found in my parts box not only the Erector wrench but my Meccano wrench (far superior, with a spinner and an offset end); it's in the upper left:

Meccano Wrench
(22 Jan 2004 photo by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Look what else is in there!  At the left are some olive drab wheels with white rubber t(i)(y)res; those were from old Britains vehicles, bored out to fit the Erector set axles!


Keith Harvie's MECCANO DINKY TOYS & HORNBY TRAINS site, especially his DINKY TOYS IDENTIFICATION INDEX - MILITARY.  Keith also has a For Sale Index which shows many cars, trucks, planes, and such, but that is dependent on what he has available at the moment.  Harvie also sells spare tires, tracks, and some parts.

See also Meccano Dinky Continuation Page 1.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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