Toy­lan­der Story

Adam Rix built his nephew the best Christ­mas present ever, a Series I Toy­lan­der

Land Rover Monthly - - Contents - Story and Pic­tures: Pa­trick Cruy­wa­gen

The story of how one joiner cre­ated the ul­ti­mate minia­ture replica Land Rover for his nephew

Each year thou­sands of Land Rover en­thu­si­asts at­tend the var­i­ous sum­mer Land Rover shows and watch the im­pres­sive per­for­mances in the arena. At the big­ger shows the Mini Me Driv­ers Club nor­mally make an arena appearance. These are kids driv­ing an ar­ray of minia­ture Land Rovers, some home­made by dad us­ing an old mo­bil­ity scooter mo­tor and a few bits of wood, while oth­ers drive per­fect repli­cas which are made from kits sup­plied by a com­pany called Toy­lan­der.

Once home some show at­ten­dees might Google Toy­lan­der, take a browse of their web­site and then order the build man­ual for £45. Who would not want to give the kid that they love a beau­ti­fully crafted mini Land Rover? Or are we all re­ally just big kids at heart? For most that is where the Toy­lan­der jour­ney ends due to the re­al­i­sa­tion that not only do the ac­tual Toy­lan­der kits cost a lot money, it also takes a fair amount of time to build one. Which is just like a any old Land Rover project I sup­pose. Plus you need spe­cialised wood­work skills to craft the Toy­lan­der’s wooden body shell.

One per­son who was def­i­nitely not per­turbed by the enor­mity of build­ing a Toy­lan­der was Adam Rix, a joiner from Dun­sta­ble, Bed­ford­shire, who re­cently built his nephew Ed­die Hill (4) a very smart-look­ing Series I Toy­lan­der. Why a Toy­lan­der? When Adam was a lit­tle boy his dad, also a joiner, would al­ways build him some­thing for Christ­mas, and he still has some of those hand­made gifts to­day. Con­tin­u­ing with tra­di­tion, for Christ­mas 2016 Adam built Ed­die a rather stun­ning wooden Rock­ing Horse. In 2017, he de­cided to go one bet­ter and built a Toy­lan­der from scratch.

De­spite his busy job in the fam­ily busi­ness (Dun­sta­ble Join­ery), Adam still some­how man­aged to fin­ish the job just in time, he takes up the story: “I must have spent about 100 hours on the build and it took me

roughly six months to com­plete.” While Adam might not own a Land Rover he is a mas­sive car en­thu­si­ast. His mum Eu­nice has al­ways owned Land Rovers and she cur­rently drives a Dis­cov­ery Sport.

After study­ing the build plan Adam spent an­other £1206 on the Toy­lan­der kit. I ask Adam what are the key el­e­ments for a stress-free and suc­cess­ful Toy­lan­der build? “You need pa­tience and the space to build it in. It also helps if you are a joiner like me!” Sis­ter Amy is quick to point out that her brother Adam is a lit­tle OCD when build­ing any­thing with wood. Thanks to their highly suc­cess­ful wood­craft busi­ness they have all the tools and gear needed to build a Toy­lan­der at the Dun­sta­ble ware­house, and judg­ing by some of the other things that they have built, they cer­tainly know their stuff. “After build­ing a Toy­lan­der I can see why some peo­ple would rather just buy one fin­ished. They take time and skills to build one, which is prob­a­bly why I have seen loads of un­fin­ished ones for sale on ebay.” Not so for Adam, who painstak­ingly cre­ated his ver­sion of the Toy­lan­der us­ing half-inch thick mois­ture re­sis­tant MDF for the body shell to help it stand up against wet Bri­tish win­ters.

They say that the devil is in the de­tail and de­spite the fact that he does not own a Series I, Adam has done his home­work with his nephew’s Toy­lan­der. He stud­ied pic­tures of real Series Is in mag­a­zines and on the in­ter­net, which is why his ver­sion has the cor­rect rearview mir­ror, tax discs and num­ber plates. It does not stop there as Adam cut and fit­ted mud flaps and rub­ber mats – he even went as far as mak­ing lit­tle rub­ber straps for the tail­gate.

After the wooden body was fin­ished he sent it away to a nearby paint shop who used lead paint, and a closer in­spec­tion re­veals they have done a fan­tas­tic job, in fact it is prob­a­bly bet­ter than the paint job my Defender re­ceived 20 years ago.

As the build went on Adam did al­low him­self the lux­ury of a cou­ple of up­grades. As the adults would also be join­ing Ed­die on his Toy­lan­der, a sec­ond mo­tor and bat­tery were neatly fit­ted.

“Build­ing a Toy­lan­der is not like buy­ing your kid a box of LEGO. I wanted to add a few per­sonal touches to it so when other peo­ple see it they recog­nise I have done an aboveav­er­age job of it,” ex­plains Adam.

I con­cur with Amy that her brother might be a lit­tle OCD. The fin­ish­ing, qual­ity of the work­man­ship and at­ten­tion to de­tail are sec­ond to none.

So after in­spect­ing Adam’s Series I Toy­lan­der in the work­shop of the Dun­sta­ble Join­ery I can con­fi­dently de­clare that Adam has in­deed done a top job and I bet most Land Rover lov­ing kids wish that they had an un­cle like Adam.

Bon­net clips that work and look just like the real thing

The ex­haust has a life­time guar­an­tee, which prob­a­bly makes it the green­est Land Rover in the world

De­spite the lack of low range, you can ac­tu­ally take a Toy­lan­der off-road

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.