A Brooklin T-Bird Set, an Auction Lesson, and a Little Mystery

By Harvey Goranson

Recently I was browsing a traditional (i.e., non-ebay) auction site and spotted the BRK three-car Ford Thunderbird CTCI 40th Anniversary Set at an attractive opening bid price. I have not been looking for these but the all-pastel set appealed to me, so I threw in a bid at the minimum, not thinking I would win, but I did.

Now I knew there would be a buyer's premium, and mentally I had factored that in, along with a reasonable shipping charge. When I got the invoice it was a lot higher than I expected and included sales tax and a $38 shipping fee. I asked if they could look at that latter figure again and thankfully they admitted an error, and reduced it. Still, all fees amounted to about 60% of the hammer price. So the lessons are: look at the fine print about additional fees like taxes, and don't be afraid to question a charge that looks too high.

With UK auctions I mentally consider that the final cost will be the winning bid in pounds multiplied by 2.1 to give me a dollar estimate. I think I will prepare myself for a 50-60% domestic factor from now on, depending on the auction house. Too bad I don't live near one of these, so I can pick up in person. BTW, in the same auction there were a couple of Motor City models that went well above my limits. One ended at $800, but, ignoring postage, that meant it ended up costing the buyer around $1080. The hobbyDB website values for models sometimes list Vectis results, where the user should also include the buyer's premium.

Now that I have it in hand, it's a nice little set, and conditions of the models are perfect. Despite lacking the chrome details of newer BRKs, they look OK and proportionally are correct to my eye. Even Kay likes how they look together.

Now for a little mystery. Included with the set was a white metal figure of a photographer, similar to, if not identical, to that in the BRK 172X BCC Wedding Lincoln, except for paint. The hat is painted to look like he's a press photographer, with a little press card painted in the brim. He still has a bit of green material on his feet, used to steady him in a display cabinet. Gianluigi's book doesn't show this as part of the CTCI set.

Brooklin collector, Skip Johnson, came to the rescue and identified the photographer. He belongs with BRK 064A 1959 Ford Thunderbird convertible, done in light gold for the San Francisco Bay Brooklin Club back in 2002 (200 models produced). The model replicated a Chinese New Year Parade car.  Mystery solved!

photo: Brooklin archive at hobbyDB.com

Brooklin Collection Video 2

Where Brooklin is going is exciting. But where they've been is fascinating as well. This is #2 of a 3 video series by John Hammick and David Angel from 1992-1993.  These videos were distributed in limited quantities by Brooklin. They were all in VHS format and have been rarely seen on the secondary market.  With their permission we have converted their video format to digital, so all our NABCC members can learn about the history of Brooklin Models.  #1 was shown here.

John Kuvakas


Two Early Canadian Brooklins

By David Green

I still have two Canadian Brooklin Models from 1977.  First is the No. 6: the 1932 Packard Light 8. This one was the first model developed by Julian Stewart for John Hall in Brooklin, Ontario, Canada.  Julian's initials, JS, and the date, 77, are on the front of the base. Julian worked with John Hall until John left for England in 1979 to restart Brooklin Models in Bath.

Julian Stewart then started Durham Models in Oshawa, Ontario in 1980.  Seeing John create his Brooklin models inspired Julian, and he told John he would like to give it a try. So he bought some tools and carved a very hard block of Canadian maple into the Brooklin 1932 Packard Light 8. Collectors will note that the JS 77 initials cast into the baseplate were removed on later English editions.

These came in silver boxes. I need to find the Packard box as I have had this model in my display case for years.

Second is the No. 7, the 1934 Chrysler Airflow. This was also designed by Julian Stewart.  Following the issue of the 1932 Packard Light 8. Julian produced the master of the 1934 Chrysler 4 door Airflow. The year was 1979 and the Canadian government were not too friendly toward small business. So, John decided to pack up his toys and to return to England where the Thatcher government were much more encouraging to entrepreneurs.

I found my box for this one, and it is fairly worn.


Julian Stewart used this Airflow to create his first Durham Classic model made initially in a batch of 10 (Sold at the CTCS Show in 1980 for $55 each).  It was the Chrysler Airflow 2 door. I bought one but later sold it.  HobbyDB shows many variants of this 2 door.

In the 1980s, I kept up buying Brooklin Models produced in Bath, England.  For comparison with the Canadian version, here is a dark blue English production No. 7 1934 Chrysler 4 door Airflow.

This would appear to be the same casting as the Canadian edition with an updated base plate.


Brooklin Collection Video 1

Where Brooklin is going is exciting. But where they've been is fascinating as well. This is #1 of a 3 video series by John Hammick and David Angel from 1992-1993.  With their permission we have converted their video format to digital, so all our NABCC members can learn about the history of Brooklin Models.

John Kuvakas



Pontiac Bonneville Enhanced

For  a long time now,  I have had in mind to repaint the BRK25 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible, I like this model a lot, and I thought it would be fun to do it with rewarding results. Therefore, I bought a couple of cheap BRK25 on eBay in the original black color.

Disassembling them was not so easy, since most parts were heavily glued together, but a long swim in warm water made the work a little simpler. Then the painted parts were soaked in a solvent to remove the original color, which came off easily. On the other hand, as happens a lot with old models, the primer was hard to remove so I had to use a wire brush and a drill.

The color I chose was blue, and I wanted to make them both a two-tone combination, light blue/dark blue, and then with inverted colors. Masking was quite challenging, but I think the final result is very good.

This model has a few chrome parts already, but I had to scrape several points to bring out more chrome, like the side flash, the two arrows on the bonnet, and front and rear script. I also added side mirrors, separate door handles and an aerial.  The interior has a two color scheme matching the exterior. The steering wheel is white with silver insert.

Finally, I wanted to give a background to the models, and so I made a couple of little dioramas. Very simple and easy to realize: I selected two photos I made when I was living in USA, country views of North Carolina, printed in the right size and glued to a piece of cardboard. Then I painted another piece of cardboard grey and used colored tape to make the road lines. The two pieces were fixed in place with little nails. I hope you like them!

Gianluigi Cappi

Darren at Brooklin

My name is Darren Mould and I have worked for Brooklin since July 1987 at the age of 20. There is an irony to me working at Brooklin. At school I had no interest in metal work or woodwork, though I enjoyed drawing. I am a left hander and I hear we’re meant to be creative. So I left school hoping to get a job in some kind of art and design but ended up working at a Jewellers, making jewellery, as you do. I did that for 4 years where I learnt the skills I use today. At the exact time that my boss decided to close the business, John Hall was looking for someone to train and replace him. Initially he approached my colleague, who trained me but he had other plans. My colleague pushed me to apply, though I was a bit hesitant. Over 35 years later, I’m still here and love it.

When I joined Brooklin in 1987 my colleagues had been at the current factory for a couple of years, having moved from a site a couple of miles down the road. The factory looks a lot different now to what it did back then. The factory has gone through many changes, from a new floor, to accommodate new staff, 33 at one point. Various room changes, the paint room moved so that the casting could expand. The front office where John and I worked became the reception. I didn’t start working with John straightaway. I started in the casting room, most probably the plating department. Then cleaning up the castings, fettling, sanding and finally assembly.

Typically, every four weeks or so there would be a schedule of models to build. Below is Schedule 22 where you can see repeat orders for existing models. As you can see, the Nomad was a big order. The BRK 26 Chevy Nomad was the first master I worked on and the first model John Hall showed me how to use the skills I learned from Jewellery making.  I didn’t actually make the mould, but I had to process it. Which means having to make alterations, which quite often meant remaking certain components, changing the way things would go together. From here it was a learning curve that became 35 years long!

I don’t make all the masters myself as it takes a long time. Though over the years I’ve made plenty of different things, from something as simple as a bumper or something completely different like a car carrier, even a lawnmower. My job mainly is too make sure the master looks like what it’s supposed to and make any alterations needed so that moulds can be made and the models can be built as easily and efficiently as possible. This can take anywhere from two to three weeks, depending on the model and what needs doing.

The very first model I made from scratch on my own was the BRK 128 1952 Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe. Nigel and I went to photograph and measure the car. We took a myriad of measurements from the wheel base, size of windows, to all the trim like headlights and taillights, etc. All these measurements are put onto a drawing of the car for reference. Also plenty of photos from all angles, inside and out. The middle photo shows some of the brass masters I made of the Cunningham. The car on the left is the working master. You can tell by the colour, which has years of oxidisation with the help of rubber and high heat. The one on the right is a spare one that hasn’t been cleaned up.

I started with a block of resin that was the rough shape of the car and sculpted it. Grinding, filing and sanding. Once that’s done, it’s sent off to be cast into brass. Then it’s cleaned up and polished. All the other components such as dashboard, bumpers, things like headlights and other trim are made out of brass. Though this process can be lengthy, 4 to 8 weeks, possibly longer, depending on the model.

I also work on resin parts of models, such as this front wheel arch for LDM 84a 1937 MG VA. I made a mould of the profile of the arch. Cast some resin into it. Then I cut it down the middle, and I then have a left and right identical set of arches to be shaped and finessed.


With the vastly improved 3D printing, a lot of work can be taken out of master making, but it does come with its own set of problems. There is no formula to making model cars. Every model is unique and has its own set of problems to overcome.

Even now, 35 years on, I’m still learning and finding new ways to do things, though sometime the old ways are best.

Photo credits: the author and the Brooklin archive at hobbyDB.

We Have a Winner!

Greetings, NABCCistas!

The winner of the NABCC #2 LE #1 Contest is…

By John Kuvakas

Orders for NABCC #2, a ’54 Packard Caribbean in Packard Ivory over Bikini Blue have been brisk. You still have another month or so to get yours in! Don't forget, each model will come with our unique NABCC flag and stand. The order bank is scheduled to close on May 31. Keep your email eyes peeled for more news coming in the next few days.

Our March promotion was for all those who ordered prior to March 31 to be eligible for their model to be #1 of this Limited Edition series. It took us awhile to come up with a way to make a random choice. With Karl Schnelle’s help we were able. Karl says, "To select the winner, a random number macro was written in MS Excel and all the names who ordered NABCC #2 through Mar 31 were entered; thus, the winner was determined."

So, now for the big moment! The Winner is…   John Merritt

Congratulations, John! The model you receive will be #1 in the series. Enjoy!

Meanwhile, we have some exciting plans for May including an online meeting for all our club members! We’ll have more details in a few days!


1952 Cadillac Series 62 4-Door Sedan

By Keko Romero

Editor's Note:  This is the first installment of Keko's blog translated into English from the original Spanish for the NABCC.  Keko reviews his different 1/43 purchases on his blog, Facebook, and Forum 43.  If any other members would like to review their own Brooklin purchase, please send in a few words and photos to NABrooklinCC@gmail.com!

During the big 1950's automobile boom in the United States, where pomposity was rampant, manufacturers introduced small variants every year in their models to differentiate them. The prestigious 1952 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan was one of these and also the model for the golden anniversary of this Detroit firm since the founding of the house in 1902.

One of the sedan's most visible distinctive features with respect to the '52 model were the gold emblems. It also featured taillights integrated into the tail and a new chrome line running from the headlights to the middle of the car. In the mechanical area, the brand resorted to the great V8 engine with a 331 cubic inch / 190 hp and a four-barrel Rochester carburetor.

Even back in 2008 when this model was introduced, Brooklin was improving in detail and losing simplicity, thus giving a much more eye-catching appearance to the cars they represent. New additions to this Cadillac include independent windshield wipers, chrome side trim lines, and gold emblems. However, the interior and the door and windshield frames have been left painted in the color of the bodywork. Despite that, it is a good reproduction of the 62 Series Sedan.  This black version was replaced in 2010 for a few years with the grey version and the Series 62 lives on today at Brooklin as a pink Coupe de Ville!


Photos of NABCC #1, the Buick Century

Here are some submitted photos from two club members of the first NABCC club model from 2021, the 1956 Buick Century Convertible.  Recently, Julie showed us how it was made. so we thought more photos of the finished product would be helpful.  Thanks to Joe Nahhas and Harvey Goranson!

  • BRK237x
  • Dover White over Seminole Red
  • With both red roof & tonneau cover
  • Limited edition of 130

First from Harvey:

Then from Joe:


The Making of the First NABCC Club Car, the 1956 Buick Century

By Julie Evans

More insight into the making of the first NABCC club car

The first castings have been made.

Here you can see the beginning of the soft top roof piece that Darren is making from brass.

Front grills and bumpers waiting to be sent to the platers.

The bodies are on the benches, all the small parts have come back from the platers and are ready to be glued onto the bodies.

The interiors are checked for size against the body.

The windshields and tonneau covers are being tried for size.

Any hand painting, i.e. sun visors on windshields, black wash on grilles, licence plates and taillights are done on the benches.

And the final 1956 Buick Century, top up and top down!