C.B. Plimpton, without whose efforts you wouldn't be reading this and I would have a much smaller overdraft, was a true innovator. He didn't just stick to the early BAKELITE bricks he made on day one in 1933, but he kept his operation at the forefront of plastic technology developments until his untimely death in December, 1948.
His innovation wasn't just restricted to the materials he used. Through the 1930s he continued to expand and refine the range of BAYKO parts and within 5 years had established most of the range with which we are so familiar. After the hiatus of the early 1940s he didn't just consolidate but continued to innovate and the range underwent its most stable phase after his death. A few parts emerged not long after his death, but the way the innovation stream dried up within a year or so seems to confirm that he was the innovator. His successors introduced just 3 new parts before the MECCANO take-over eleven years later. This neglect meant that the MECCANO axe had to be quite ruthless as they dragged the range kicking and screaming from the 1930s to the 1960s, even delivering further innovation themselves with the new parts in 1962.
Unfortunately BAYKO had passed its commercial sell-by date and survived only another 18 months. Personally I think the people responsible for this lingering death of C.B.'s life's work should be lined up against a wall and shot - slowly - very slowly. However…
…fortunately that's not the end of the story : -
Firstly, along came Leo Janssen who is an unashamed BAYKO fan. Like the inventor of BAKELITE itself, Leo hails from Belgium. From small beginnings, casting a limited range of parts in resin for his own projects, his range blossomed in terms of the range of new parts and particularly in terms of massively expanding the range of colours available.
Secondly, along came Brian Salter. Although you have to do a bit more work to add your own colour, there can be no doubt that Brian's range of parts produces some stunning models with his mix of plastic and cast metal parts. The good news is that there is even more to come - watch this space!!
If you add the availability of sheets of replica flooring and 2-metre long, correct gauge, replica rods, to what is now the widest range of BAYKO parts in history, there's no limit to what you can build - or is there? We've all had to fiddle something to make it fit and possibly compromise the authenticity of the model. Perhaps you've been travelling and been inspired by a particular piece of architecture that was crying out to be modelled only to find your enthusiasm frustrated by BAYKO's limited range. Perhaps you have always yearned to build a replica of your own home in BAYKO, if only…
…well, let's do something about it. Remember the current range restricts us all, so there's a real likelihood that somebody else has had a similar problem that's crying out for a particular part or range to be developed. I've had a number of chats with both Leo and Brian and know that they respond positively to constructive suggestions. Why not give it a go. Bring your problems [or, even better, your solutions] along to the next club meeting and test the water with your fellow enthusiasts. Don't forget, things have to be practical and likely to sell a reasonable number of pieces - a single piece roof large enough to cover 15 pre-war bases might be very desirable - but!
What tickles your fancy : -
Bigger or smaller bay windows?
Bricks and windows set at 45 or 60 degrees?
Lintels, sills, or uprights in “stone” or “timber” for window and door framing?
Different shapes, sizes and styles of windows?
Gable roofs to match MECCANO era roofs?
Greater range of attic level widows and projecting roofs?
Brick/window replacements for roof ends including single slope roof options?
Projecting “mini bases” to build out beyond ground level walls?
Square pillars?
Lets get the architectural juices flowing and support Leo and Brian as they try to support our excellent hobby.
Below here are links to related info : -
Click on any of the links below for related information.
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Latest update - August 10, 2022
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