Monday, June 27, 2011

Mobaco

Hurrah! I made the additional slotted blocks for my sparse sampler of Mobaco, as I mentioned in my last post, and I am quite pleased with how Mobaco works, with cardboard wall pieces & such sliding into grooved wooden posts.

Cardboard & wood. Great fun.

The baseboard should be cardboard as well, apparently in an olive-green color, or tan in earlier editions. My substitute for the time being is 6mm craft foam (Foamies), of which the local craft store gave me a choice of red or black. An early project will be cutting a piece of green paper to go on top of the foam. Or painting the foam, if that works.

That Mobaco link is to a fan site with much good information, including scans of older manuals. The prewar sets were much more extensive & built bigger buildings. Those sets seem to be rare & presumably expensive.

But Mobaco pieces aren't cast in stone (or injected in plastic), they are made of materials that can be manipulated by a mildly clumsy person with home tools. One can even go with simpler substitutes, as my foam base - which may actually have an advantage over the factory bases, in that it grips the posts.

I'm going to make some trial wall pieces from thin foam core, perhaps the self-adhesive, with stiffening card behind, the latter not necessarily with all the detail cuts.

If one had one of the computer driven craft die cutters, such as a Cricut Expression, but preferably a more versatile competitor, one could go to town and make the largest sets ever. Plus variations in color, window shapes, "brick" or "stone" walls, etc. I'm not sure that the Cricut itself can actually do what I want, having had brain fog from trying to figure out how to do it. There are a bunch of competitors, and looking at them gave me more brain fog.

So for the time being, I'd just as soon do what I can with craft knives & paper cutters, which means easier-to-cut materials & small quantities.

My first step is accomplished - I made enough posts & the base, so I could actually build. Next I make the missing wall panels, and extras so I don't have to match the originals too precisely, and can have adjacent pieces similar.

There have been a bunch of different versions of the wall-pieces-in-slotted-posts genre (eg K√ľnstler-Baukasten Architekt, Fox Blox, etc).

With the potential for homemade parts, one could use the others for inspiration and stay with Mobaco dimensional compatibility.

Good fun. Good block play.

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