BAYKO Nerd's - Questions and Answers

I don't know whether you accept the 'BAYKO Nerd' label, or were just attracted by the name - either way, you're welcome!
For the record, I graciously accept full 'BAYKO Nerd' status!
The contents, in no particular order, are intended to answer those questions you never bothered to ask. I hope you enjoy them - please don't hesitate to help add more to the list......

I freely confess that many of my answers are opinions rather than absolute facts - would you accept "beyond reasonable doubt"?

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why are the '2nd ends' of End and Side Bricks a flat plate not a standard rod groove?
Side and End Bricks showing how the '2nd end' flat plate could be used
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer One possible answer is to enable the brick to form the end of 2 walls by allowing bricks to be aligned at right angles to both ends. However, I believe the answer is simpler.
Apart from generating a small material saving, the design Plimpton adopted allowed the mould to be made in 2 parts, not 3 - a significant cost saving - and which would also allow the brick to fall out of the mould more easily.

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why are Long and Side Bricks only available in Half Brick height?
Side and Long Bricks
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer I think the answer to this one is quite simple. The volume Plimpton produced of these bricks was relatively small.
Producing a full height version of these bricks would have required Plimpton to produce and maintain 2 moulds, and manage 4 stock lines instead of 2...
...and all for no extra revenue!

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why did Plimpton change the style of bases when they launched the 'New Series' sets?
2 Pre-War Bases with a Brick positioned to highlight the missing row of rod holes
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer Again I believe the answer is quite simple. Having gained some experience of the new parts in the 20s series sets, Plimpton will have learned that the Curved Bricks, when used around a corner or with a Bay Window Cover, and the [then] proposed Long Bricks create a problem at the junction between two bases where there is a missing row of rod holes.
This didn't matter earlier, when every BAYKO part was either 1 brick or 3 bricks wide, but could cause major complications with the new parts which are 1½ bricks long - and no holes to put the rod in!

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why do the early, pre-war Bases have an odd number of holes in each direction?
2 joined large Bases 7 Bricks wide with a Brick spanning the join
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer The answer to this is that you need an odd number of holes to cater for a full number of bricks.
As the gap between bases has a missing row of rod holes and is thus 1 brick wide, you always had a full number of brick slots available, no matter how many bases you joined together...
...remember Long and Curved Bricks were things of the future, so only the use of the 'reverse brick' could knock you off the full brick orientation. Of course, Roofs measured in full bricks, so that would bring you back to a 'full brick' count..

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why do the later BAYKO Bases have an even number of holes in each direction?
2 joined small Bases with a Bricks highlighting the join and a half brick width gap at the right
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer This is slightly more problematic. However, each single base could accommodate 4½ or 6½ bricks, depending on which way you build. When you add another Base, you add the capability for a further 5 or 7 bricks, because the 'wasted' quarter brick gap at the edges of the Bases comes back into play.
This means that there is always a ½ brick width left over, no matter how many bases, in whatever combination you join them together. Well, at least it's consistent!

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why did Plimpton introduce ½-Brick Rods, without reducing the number of 1-Brick Rods?
Seaside Pierrot Stage, on Page 6 of the 1947 Manual, showing 1-Brick Rods controlling half brick high structure at the front of the stage area though the diagram below says 1-Brick Rods
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer I suppose I could try and be clever and say that they might otherwise have increased the number of 1-Brick Rods in the sets - but I could never prove that, even if I believed it.
However, if you look at the 2 versions of the first post-war manuals, you will see ½-Brick Rod confusion. Both versions had photos of models showing only ½-Brick Rods but both had plans showing only 1-Brick Rods, however, they had different parts list, with only the later version mentioning ½-Brick Rods.
The photo [left] shows ½-Brick Rods in the model, yet the diagram below clearly specifies 1-Brick Rods for the half brick high Curved Bricks across the bottom of the diagram - you work it out!
The answer as to why they added ½-Brick Rods, without reducing the number of 1-Brick Rods seems to be - to make sure there were enough 1-Brick Rods to build all the published models - probably!
You could also argue that at least it would give Plimpton minor savings in the larger sets #3 and #4, which had not been launched at that point.

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why were Left and Right Steps and Platforms dropped in favour of Straight Steps in 1939?
The original parts, left and right steps and platform, on the left and straight steps on the right
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer Conjecture again, I'm afraid, but, a cursory examination of architectural styles would show that the use of external steps hanging off the exterior walls was really a throwback to the 19th century. Modern buildings tended not to do that and Plimpton would certainly wanted to keep BAYKO up to date...
...especially if it meant you could reduce, by 67%, the number of moulds you needed and the number of stock lines, to say nothing of the significant material savings generated!

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why are Bay Window Covers the thickness they are?
The Sunshine Shelter as illustrated on Page 5 of the 20s series sets launched in 1938
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer One of the earliest models using Bay Window Covers was the Sunshine Shelter, shown [left] in the 20s series set manuals. This shows Bay Window Covers and Curved Windows running horizontally on top of the model, providing a fully glazed roof.
The thickness had to fit into the gap which is normally left to allow the BWC to fit snugly against a BAYKO brick wall. This gap is half a brick's width, so the BWC thickness had to be designed to fit into this gap!

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why did Plimpton [and MECCANO] change the letters which identified conversion sets.
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer We are definitely in the realms of educated guesses here, rather than absolute certainty, but that's never stopped me before!
However, from 1934 to 1938, Plimpton labelled their BAYKO conversion sets 1A, 2A, etc., almost certainly because the earliest sets were initially referred to as Accessory sets.
A for Accessory?
When the 'New Series' sets emerged in 1939, the conversion sets were completely different from those above and so had to be distinguishable and were called 1C,2C, etc.
C for Conversion?
Post-war sets changed again, so a further distinction was needed. Plimpton went to the back end of the alphabet and the conversion sets were called 0X, 1X, etc.
X for eXtra, eXpand or eXtend?
Finally MECCANO simply slipped back into their own familiar terminology and named their conversion sets 11C, 12C, etc. -
C for Conversion?

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Which MECCANO era, set #14 model was impossible to build with a set #15?
Heliport model on Page 17 of the MECCANO era Manuals
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer The answer is simple - the Heliport - shown on page 17 of the standard MECCANO era sets #11 to #14 manual. The reason, however, is slightly more obscure...
...MECCANO provided a pair of the largest size Roofs ['D'] in set #14, but, in set #15, they only provided one, which was partnered by a Dormer Roof piece...
...the one with the hole...
...and I'm sure health and safety would have had something to say about the hole!
There are plenty of other models requiring two 'D' Roofs, but these could all have been modified slightly by using the Dormer Roof and Dormer Window Unit.
Thanks to Chris Boutal for spotting this one.

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question What scale were BAYKO Building Sets?
Helmeted policeman alongside BAYKO Doors
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for AnswerFirstly, there was never an official scale for BAYKO..., can we estimate one?
BAYKO was linked for many years with o-gauge model trains [1:43.5 in the U.K.] and DINKY TOYS [1:43], and it never looked out of place - far from it.
Probably the most logical component to refer to when calculating BAYKO's scale is the Door. If you take the Door as representing a standard 6 feet 6 inches the scale emerges as 1:41.6, though, if you base it on a standard of 2 metres, the scale is 1:42...
...for the record, I do know that I've sidestepped the question of the door frame!
Thanks to Jean-Paul Cammaerts, from Belgium, for prompting this one.

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why did MECCANO retool the BAYKO roofing system?
Models showing the contrasting roof styles
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer Well, there are several possible explanations, all of which tend to support the decision.
Firstly, and probably the initial trigger, was modernisation. The Plimpton era one-piece roof was firmly rooted in the 1930s and the new MECCANO era four-piece unit was much more 1960s style - if you can use the word style about 1960s architecture!
Secondly, was the reduction in raw materials achieved. E.g. the complete MECCANO era 'D' unit weighs only 86 grams [3 ounces], the equivalent Plimpton era Large Roof weighed in at 223 grams [8½ ounces], a 60% saving.
Lastly, the new roofs facilitated a complete packaging revamp. A MECCANO era set #14 took up 58% less volume than a Plimpton set #3, a substantial transport saving - yet the 67% larger top surface, had a far greater visual impact in the toy shop.

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Why is the BAYKO Span Five Bricks Long?
Small model tower, on Spans, set at an angle to the Bases
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer The simple answer is, I've no idea - but there are occasional examples in BAYKO manuals of bricks being used diagonally, creating an interesting design detail within a larger model.
Think back to your maths lessons and the rightangle triangles so beloved by Pythagoras. You may remember the 'smallest' such triangle, with whole number sides, was a 3 x 4 x 5 triangle...
...5 being the hypotenuse...
...was this 5 [brick] long hypotenuse BAYKO's next venture into angled building...
...was this why the Span's length was settled at five bricks?
If you look at the model [left], a small structure supported on Spans, you'll see what I mean in terms of building at an angle - the difference in angles of the three Steps shows it particularly well.
I suppose you could also ask the same question about the MECCANO era Shop Window, so...

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question Who started calling me the 'BAYKO MAN'?
My in my trademark jumper
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for AnswerThis is easy - I don't know specifically who started it - but I know how it started.
Several millenia ago, I became a regular punter on the toy fair / swapmeet circuit, travelling as far north as Tyneside, as far south as Reading and Sandown Park.
At that date, I'd already been working for KELLOGGS for some years, and, if you learn nothing else working for a company like that, you learn that - "It pays to advertise."
So I invested in my trademark jumper [left] - actually, at some of the summer shows, sweater would be more appropriate - after all, I had a large, portable billboard available, free!!!
The jumper was knitted for me by a contact made through the wool shop in Hazel Grove.
Anyway, I digress! Stall holders [most of whom still didn't know my name] who came across BAYKO items  would think to themselves - "I know, I'll take it to such and such swapmeet for... for... for the BAYKO man...
...and it just seemed to stick.
n.b. You should know, that this photo was taken well into the future...
...I'm still much younger!!!

BAYKO logo style Letter Q for Question What on earth is this‽
BAYKO Logo style Letter A for Answer It's called an 'interrobang', though I actually prefer the [equally correct] 'interabang'.
It's simply a combination of '?', a standard questionmark, giving the "intera" bit...

...and an exclamation mark '!', which is widely known among printers as a "bang"...

...and I like it!
I'd love to be able to add more to this page, so...
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Click on any of the links below for related information.
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