ANOTHER FINE MESS
'Diorama' with a difference
by Kelvin Barber
"They are enjoying a new surge of popularity, have had a 40-year-old recorded ditty riding high in the popular music charts, are loved by millions, and they are, of course, Laurel and Hardy. Oliver died in 1957 and Stan in 1965 but their appeal has lived on transcending barriers of age, class and race, and, they are rarely absent any weekend from small or large screens around the world."
So started an article in the magazine Scale Models of March 1976 in which was described a model scene featuring the Boys and an Airfix Model T' Ford. 'To merely paint these figures," the article continued, is simply not enough. They deserve a more appropriate setting, for the standard of casting and detail is superb.
An item that I thought may be of interest for the Club Magazine is a small diorama I constructed several years ago, featuring the Cameo Personalities pewter L&H figures. These excellent 54mm scale figures, I think the same ones as illustrated in the recent "Memorabilia" issue of the Laurel and Hardy Magazine. I obtained my set from the States in the mid 70's, after getting my inspiration from the article that appeared in Scale Models magazine mentioned above. Incidentally, I know this magazine quite well since I have been its editor since 1984!
L&H are driving down 'Main Street when a stray dog darts between the wheels of their Model T Ford causing them to swerve and collide with a sign post and garden fence. The diorama shows the aftermath of this crash with L&H looking on as a pair of geese make the most of the situation while the dog approaches wondering what all the fuss is about!
The Cameo figures were painted with acrylic poster paints. The Model T' Ford was assembled from a 1:32 Airfix kit and, rather breaking with Henry Ford's black' maxim, is painted in red and yellow to brighten the scene a bit! Accessory items, such as the fence, sign post, lamp post and animals came from Tamiya' 1:35 scale Road Sign and Livestock sets. The wooden base was covered with a piece of vac-formed cobbled street section, cut to a suitable size, whilst the garden grass' is represented by green flock-covered paper. Since the photo's were taken the base has had a nameplate added which, predictably.says "Another Fine Mess!" together with a clear acrylic dust case that screws to the base edge.
During the 1970's AMT released two kits of 'Laurel and Hardy' cars. The Roadster is illustrated above. These were 1:25 scale and were superb models. Keep a look out as they do crop up from time to time. In fact we have had several on our sales stall at Memorabilia shows.
The good news is that you can now buy these metal figures from us:
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