Monday, 29 April 2013

Hey, Robert Messenger! Meet Kermit.

One or two of Rob's recent blogs sent me giggling to the keyboard.

Rob, Meet Kermit. Kermit, Meet Rob.

Kermit had been on loan to Baroness till recently, when it was at risk of being damaged during a home moving exercise. So for the time being, Kermit is hanging out at my place again. Can I say, I think Kermit is a wonderful typewriter, that has some beautiful curves and features. Thanks for stopping by, Kermit.

Mind you, I just can't type on Kermit in the say way that I can with one of my Hermes 3000 machines. I keep forgetting that I need to slap the keys - just a little harder. But he is a fine, and beautifully lightweight typewriter.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Round 2 (of 3) - Scott v's the Royal P

Round 2 - Scott v's the Royal P. The Royal strikes back. 

For those that missed round 1, it can be found - here.

Warning: This blog entry is rated MA - for mature audiences. 
*Occasional coarse language. Which has nominally been bleeped out for you protection.
*Low level violence.
*Frequent bad movie references.

The relative peace from my earlier days was now broken, and the fighting had become heavy and brutal. The battle of wills between the chrome Royal P and myself was now becoming intense. Tools and parts lay strewn across the battlefield. Blood and been shed numerous times from my fingers, and my battle-cry had become a single word that started with an 'F'.

I tried to asses if the escapement on the royal was repairable, but the Royal P clutched it firmly in its heart and I couldn't pry the thing from the grip of the rapidly deteriorating screws. It seemed hopeless.

I attempted to ease off the pressure on the draw band one afternoon, in the hope that it would allow the escapement to catch. But my attempt to do so ended in the bloodiest battle of this war. As I released the spring, the coil inside the drum erupted and shattered inside. I heard the spring implode with gusto, and then sound like a baby's rattle as the pieces flung about internally. The initial crackling sound it made as it gave out was as surprising as much as it was sickening.

It was like I had been punched in the chest. I sat back and caught my breath, before letting out a long and pained battle cry - that also happened to start with an 'F'. 

I gripped the platen tight and raised it above my head, and hollered: "You can take my Main-spring. But you will never take my FREEEDOOOOOOM". 

And then I dropped the platen onto myself, and further worsened my dignity injury.


So the decision was made to seek out a possible parts machine, or a machine for transplanting. I remember Robert Messenger talking about how Royal didn't make a lot of changes to their machines after the first Royal P, so I pulled out my old black Royal that I had restored back to working order some months before, and had a bit of a cursory look to see if there could possibly be a way of using parts from a later model. 

The Black Royal - repair in progress.

It was around this point that I observed that the frame on my Royal Arro, and the frame on my chrome Royal P were pretty much identical in their structure. I looked at the anchor points below the frame, around the ribbon covers, and leading out to the keyboard. Structurally it was very similar. Even the clearances on this segment shifted machine's carriage and basket appeared to be a good fit. 

I didn't want to destroy my black Royal, so I didn't pull it apart to see if I could do it. Instead, I powered up eBay and gumtree and had a good, hard look any kind of cheapish Royal portable typewriter of this era. 

28 days later......

I awoke one morning to see my iPhone screen blink with emails shooting along its face. Blue icons with blurry white text that I couldn't read flooded the black glass. I put my glasses on, and the white text came sharply into focus.

Ebay: You have won!
Ebay: Invoice for....
Ebay: Please pay for your item. 
Ebay: The seller has contacted you. 

"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" I said as I rolled back over and went back to sleep. It was a Saturday. Saturdays are not typewriters on eBay days. Well, not Saturday morning at any rate.

The typewriter in question was an identical machine to my Black Royal - right down to the "Made in the British Empire" decal being stuck on the front at a haphazard angle. The machine was rusty and crusty, and looked like it was looking forward to retirement, but I was sure I could rejuvenate the mechanical side of it and get it going again. 

On Sunday, the seller was contacted. Addresses and phone-numbers were exchanged, and I organized a time and a date to get to the sellers house. I didn't want to collect late evening, so they gave me a 30 minute window of opportunity to collect the typewriter from 4pm on the Monday. I finished work at 3:30pm that day, so it was going to be a little tight getting to their place in time. 

Enter Roxanne:

I chose my speediest traffic-dodging vehicle for the task: Roxanne the motorbike. I always have Occy-straps at the ready on the bike, so it wasn't going to be a problem transporting the machine on the luggage rack. I had a blissfully chilled ride to work in the morning, and everything seemed to be going to plan. But by the afternoon I was anxiously looking at the BOM site radar, as I could see something that looked like a storm coming across 'the range', near Toowoomba. 

Expecting the worst, I shuffled through the cupboards at work for a plastic bag that would be big enough to cover the typewriter. Much to my dismay the biggest I had, that didn't have holes in it or would dissolve in water was a big yellow clinical waste bag that had several huge bio-hazard symbols on it. Not to worry... It was only there as a 'just in case'. I was pretty sure I had plenty of time before the storm hit.

I stuffed my earbuds into my ears, put my helmet on, and Ilet Karen - the voice on my TOMTOM app, direct me to the address. Unfortunately some of the roads leading to the seller's house were still being reconstructed after the 2011 floods, and as such I had to sort of find my own detour. Time was starting to look very tight, but eventually I got there.

I was given several tips by the seller about how to use a typewriter (Really? You turn the knob which turns the big rubber roller to put paper in? Who knew! The lever is the return key? Fancy that!) before long money was exchanged, and the sale was done. I had mere minutes left of the allotted time, and I was pretty happy to have got the transaction done. Meanwhile, what apperred to be an army of children had surrounded me to check out this typewriter.

I strapped the Royal onto the back of my bike... Took a photo for blogging purposes, and then took off, with Karen again in my ears - telling me how to get home. 

Rev it up, Rev it up, little boy and ride.... Or write. Your choice.

 I sped and weaved through traffic with the greatest of ease. Over my left shoulder I could see the storm clouds closing in, but I sighed with relief as soon as I when back on a familiar road, and ever so close to home. There was a traffic jam at some roadworks, but no matter... I just darted around them. I was stopped at a set of lights, looking down the length of a very busy main road - unaware that tragedy was about to strike. 

As always, it is something small and unexpected that starts the tragedy. In this case, it was an itch on my neck. As I took off from the lights, I accelerated hard ahead of the traffic. I felt my engine sputter a little, but it still accelerated just fine - until I took my hand off the accelerator to scratch that itch. 

The engine just simply shut down, dead. Deader than a dead parrot. Deader than the main-spring on my Royal P. Deader than the sales of the HIghlander 2 DVD. (gosh, that really was a sh*t movie). 

I coasted to the side of the road, put the kickstand down and told myself 'don't panic'. Just then a Vogon starship..... oh wait..... 

I tried to start it again a few times, let the engine dry out from being flooded and then tried to start it again. No good. I popped off the seat, checked the fuses and found they were fine. I wiggled them a bit, tried to start the engine, and still didn't get any life.

So, I popped out the tools from the little caddy on the side of the bike, and pulled out the spark plugs to see if I was getting any spark. No spark... nothing. I checked the spark  making box thingy (how's that for a technical term) and all connections were fine. I resolved that the magic little black box itself must be shot. 

A guy on a Triumph Boneville, suavely parked his bike next to mine. Small drops of rain started to gently patter down around to us, and he asked me if he could help. He was a member of the 59 club, and was on his way to a meet. We both stood there looking at my motorbike, talking dirty finger-nails and trying to look as manly as possible without scratching our balls. 

"I don't actually know anything about the mechanics of a motorbike. I hope you know what you're doing" he eventually said. "But I can offer you a lift". I politely declined, he gave me a card for the club and suggested that I should look them up "when you get it (Roxanne) working again", and then took off into the slightly spitting weather. 

My bike was going to need to be towed. I didn't have the number for the tow guy in my phone, so I called up Ms Jane - who just happened to also be riding today, and had used the guys towing services a couple of times in the past. "You'll need cash", she reminded me on the phone. "About $100. He only takes cash. I'll message his number to you. Are you near an ATM"? Jane was always aware that I never carried much cash, and usually used EFTPOS for most transactions. 

The spitting rain started to turn into random fat drops of rain, and I could see that I was mere minutes away from a tropical down-pour. I reached into my bag and pulled out the big yellow Clinical Waste bag, and dropped the typewriter into it for protection from the elements, before strapping it back onto my bike. As I did so, I noticed the heavy traffic on the road near me started to slow even further. It seems that a big yellow bio-hazard symbol with bold lettering saying "Clinical waste" under it, is a bit of a head-turner. "Oh well" I thought, "at least no one was going to steal it".

I began to walk towards the Warner shopping center, which was about 1.5km back up the road. I HATE the Warner shopping center, but there was no avoiding it. You will never find a more wrenched hive of scum and villany. But I needed folding money. Just as I started to walk, the sky opened up with the fury of as much rain as it could possibly drop, and I was soaked to my toes within minutes. 

It took me 45 minutes to walk to the Warner shopping center and back, all the while I walked along a muddy roadside strip (because no one uses footpaths in Warner, as no one walks) and I was as miserable as I could possibly be. People - stunned at seeing someone 'walking' were yelling abuse at me from their cars. The traffic had slowed right down now (mostly because of the roadworks, partly because of my bio-hazard typewriter), and had a prolonged period of having to cop sh*t from lengthy row of Warner bogans in rust-bucket racers with big stereos, big exhausts, and a big complex about their small penises.

Somewhere... there was an in-bred kid playing a banjo. Or, knowing Warner, a plastic guitar and guitar hero.

I got the cash, walked back, and was surprised to not have received the number from Jane on my phone yet. So I called her.

"Where are you"? she asked.
"I'm about a K or so past Warner Tavern".
"Ohhhh" I could hear a whince in her voice "Funny the message didn't go through. I'll be there soon. Could you have picked a better spot?".
I could hear traffic noises around her, and I could tell that she was talking on her head-set while she was on her motorbike.

The rain started to ease a little as I waited, and then just stopped. Jane, on her big and shiny Yamaha V-Star pulled up next to me - virtually dry, and briefly looked at the Clinical waste bag with a confused look, before asking me what had happened.

"Show me it starting again" She said. So I did. I had put the bike back together, so I just sat on it, put the key in and gave it an attempted rev. Jane twiddled the accelerator for a bit, and then looked at the kill switch to the left of it.

"When did you turn this off" she asked while pointing to the switch. I looked, and saw that the switch was indeed to the 'off' position - which typically kills the engine dead.
"Eeeerm... I didn't switch that off" I replied. I turned the switch to on, gave the engine a bit of a squirt, and the bike again roared back to life. When I had lifted my hand to scratch that itch earlier, I must have accidentally knocked the switch. 

I again let out my Battle-cry starting an 'f', while Jane looked at me with a little bit of frustration. I on the other hand felt like an utter dickhead. We rode home, and I could see Jane shaking her head from time to time as I looked at her in the mirrors. 

I got home and sat the Royal out on the back deck of the house to inspect it. 

The machine had seen much better days. A fair bit of the chrome had flaked off, and parts of the typewriter were pretty dirt filled. But it wasn't horribly rusty, and the machine actually worked really well. This would have to be my first ever Royal portable that arrived in fully operating condition. 

A few days later I pulled the shell off the machine, and attempted to put the shell from the chrome Royal onto it. As I had estimated, the frame was almost a perfect fit - except of course for one very crucial difference. As I wrapped the shell around the frame, it seemed to end about 5mm to short. As it turns out, Royal were still using the same identical frame as the Royal P, but had welded an extra piece of metal onto the back of the typewriter, to give the shell at the rear a little more clearance - in order to keep it looking flush with the shell that was bolted onto the carriage. 

I was so... very, very close! I could just cut the metal off. The frame structure for the Royal P was still there, located behind a tack-welded piece of sheet-metal!. All I had to do was grind off the extra pieces, drill 4 holes and tap them, and I could have my chrome Royal working! With nicer, smoother black keys!

But I couldn't do it. I couldn't just 'chop' up a machine that still had plenty to offer. I knew I could use parts from both the original machine, and the newer one, and get a pretty awesome typewriter out of it. But I couldn't just kill off a great working Royal.

And it IS a great Royal. I bolted the shell back on, cleaned and serviced it and scrubbed up the metal a little while getting rid of the dirty bits and the corrosion. I now have two identical Royal typewriters, and I have no idea what to do with either of them. Does anyone want a Royal? No, seriously.

The chrome Royal was going to have to wait. I packed it up into a box, and dropped it down with a few other project machines. 

But it wasn't a long wait. About a month later I eyed off a Royal P on ebay with a shell in shockingly bad condition. If there ever was a machine that was born to be a donor. It was this one. I tapped in a figure into and hit enter and waited for the auction to finish.... Hoping no one else would bid.

But that's another story. 

Coming up in Round 3 - Scott v's the Royal P:

I fight with eBay buyers and sellers. 

Then do some rather painful work getting my chrome Royal back together.

And I add a special tool to my typewriter repair kit.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Hey now, hey now, my noiseless is back.

 Why just write at home?

Sometimes my projects can get a little beyond my skill and ability. I pride myself on my lateral thinking and problem solving capacity. But like everyone, I sometimes can get locked into an intellectual box that I just can't find my way out of. In times like this, it is best to just stop what you are doing and pack it up. Coming back to a problem with a fresh attitude and set of eyes can often help. Forcing things in situations like this, can often just see you doing further damage and while increasing your stress.

One of these 'boxed up'  projects has been slumbering in my cupboard since last year. That is, until just recently when I awoke to an email from the 3D printer, Shapeways, telling me that someone had ordered one of my carriage levers.

It was Mike over at Clickthing, who had just purchased a beautiful Remington Noiseless - as seen here.

The trouble was that while I had designed this part with considerable effort, and even installed it into my own machine, I had yet to actually get the typewriter working. A couple of big issues had stood in my way last year, and I more or less had relegated the machine to the back of the cupboard.

Mike has also had to confront some of the these same problems as well. Not only did he have a broken lever, but he also discovered that the drawband for the mainspring was also shot - and very difficult to replace.

With Michael Clemens rapidly making progress on his machine, I thought I had better get off my arse and  perhaps finish my own. So I busted it out of the cupboard, slapped it on my desk, and tried to ignore the collective half dozen or so hours I had burned trying to get it going in the past.

And, within an hour or so I had the machine mostly working. Much to my surprise.

 Let's talk about the lever.

For those who haven't seen my previous blog about producing this part, here it is.

I wish I had my own 3D printer - even just one that does plastic, so I could have done a couple of cheap prototypes before I printed the main product. Instead, while the lever was quite cheap to print, posting to Australia turned out to be hideously expensive, so I just did the best I could with the design and produced the main.

As such there were a few things about the design that I only learned were wrong when I had it bolted into the machine. There's no fatal errors in my design that makes it unusable, but the design could still do with a revision.

Firstly, as mentioned before the part needs to be drilled out to be usable. No big deal, and it gives the hole a better fit anyway. But it is something that I can fix with a re-design.

Secondly, the angle of the lever is a fraction out. Coupled with a curve that the original didn't have, it means that the lever can knock on the side of the paper when you use it. It wouldn't have been a problem if this machine wasn't designed in a way - that it had the paper sticking up and out of the typewriter at an absurd angle. This was easily rectified by just shifting the paper locator across to the right a bit. No big deal, but I could have done better. Then again, so could have Remington. In the next version of this machine they put in a proper paper table that didn't have the paper jutting out into the air stupidly, and in the way of the lever.

My understanding is that even with the original lever, this posed something of a problem.

Third: I needed to put a chamfer onto the edge of the tiny square knob that slots into the machine. This can be easily filed into it, as it only needs to be small. But without it, when you unfold the lever for use, it occasionally catches on a small metal piece that it should just slide over. All you need to do is push the lever a little bit towards the back of the machine (don't worry, it is made to do this) and just move it past the obstruction.

No big deal, but Michael may need to be mindful about this when his turns up. Eventually I'll revise the design.

Let's talk about mainsprings.

Like Michael, I had a broken drawband.

Michael, for the record, you cannot.... I repeat, cannot... Simply tie a new string to a piece of the old one. Why? Because the lumpy knob brushes and catches on parts in the typewriter. Cut your loses, and cut that string and get rid of as much of it as you can.

And while you're cutting - on the side of the drum with that biggest lip, cut yourself an angled grove like the one in the photo above. This is similar to how the drum on the portable Royal typewriter of this era is set up, and it works perfectly.

Just knot your line, and slip the string into the grove. Have the knot facing outwards of the drum on the flat side, and wrap your string onto it. Be careful when winding the spring though, as you might catch your finger on this grove if you accidentally let the drum slip while winding. I made sure that I had enough string on the line to wrap around the drum at least once, with the carriage fully extended along its tracks.

Now. Let's talk about Rollers.

One of the biggest problems that stopped me in my tracks last time, were the crystallized rollers. These were fossilized to the point that the hardened rubber inside of the cracks sparkled in the light. They had flats-pots, cavernous cracks and hardness that was almost diamond like. Suffice to say, they were pretty freakin' useless. The platen was also as slippery as a cockney con-man.

The platen was easy to resolve as it hadn't cracked, and it at least still sort of felt like rubber. I just rubbed horizontally across it once with a piece of course sandpaper, which gave it plenty of traction.

However the rollers were quite different.... but.... have a look at this!

That's one sexy recovered roller.

I've been experimenting with producing my own rubber parts of late, and it nicely payed off with this typewriter. I'll blog on this in the near future.

The machine now works. It still has some problems to resolve, but it is now a largely working example of a Remington Noiseless. When I showed it operating to the long-suffering Ms Jane, she exclaimed "Wow! It's silent. Feel free to type with this one anytime". 

I suspect she was hinting that my typewriters are noisy.

I think I have hit the boundaries  of what I fix on this typewriter at this stage. But it has shown me that I have learned quite a bit since I started toying with these machines, and I am learning quite quickly - while coming up with some great solutions to problems I'm often facing.

I also hope that Michael finds something here that can help him. Best of luck Michael!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Opening the box...

*Sigh* I wish that I could just get 1 machine in the mail that didn't need repair! 
See the rather crucial saw piece hanging down? It's supposed to be straight across the typewriter.

 My SG1, stepping in when my computer fails.

I really want to get this machine working. I have wanted a push-rod Alder for some time, and this machine seems to fit the Art Deco direction of my collection. Which typewriter gods do I need to make a sacrifice to, to get this machine working again?

Schrödingers Typewriter

Disambiguation: This is not a typewriter that belonged to Schrödinger. But it might have been. It may have belonged to or not belong to Schrödinger simultaneously.

Okay, this blog might hurt your brain a little.

The cat is out of the bag. Or moreover, the box, and is now being looked after by Anna Strad. Cats are her thing, after all.

So now we have Schrödinger's cat out of the way, we have a box. A box with a typewriter now in it.

Here is the box. 

 A box... a very taped up box. 

Now, if you're not familiar with Schrödinger's cat, you're probably already finding this blog confusing. The premise is a simple theoretical experiment in Quantum Mechanics that implies that a cat in a box potentially exposed to circumstances that are toxic to it, can be witnessed to be alive or dead independently simultaneously by different people, but a single individual will not see both.

Sorry guys, that was just a really, really quick and dirty explanation which leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyway, here the toxic circumstances are - the efforts of Australia post and Deutsche post to handle and transport this typewriter over the last 23 days to me. Being that Munk and Richard Polt have both received pulped typewriters lately, it is clear that posting these machines poses a fatal risk.

I collected this machine from the local post office this afternoon. It feels light, and particularly well taped, but not padded.

So, peeking into the box from the comfort of your chair... Is the typewriter alive, or dead?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

My marvellous indulgence in Dr Blake.

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) TV occasionally comes up with some absolute rippers when it comes to crime shows. They have history of making some of the best, and often most unwatched crime dramas on Australian television.

I guess that's the nature of being a government broadcaster; you get to make the kind of television that commercial networks would find too risky. If you're over the tripe of forensic investigators with magical pieces of equipment, gangsters that spend half the time posing in fashion, and episodes that are too short to really draw you in, I suggest you grab hold of a series called 'Phoenix' on DVD. If you want real a Melbourne crime drama, skip 'Underbelly' and head to this series first.

Phoenix, now, is almost a couple of decades old now, but as it was a re-telling of a story that happened a decade prior to when it was filmed, it will always be watchable. It's a semi fictional re-telling of the events surrounding the Russell Street bombing.

Phoenix cast - in all their 90's fashion glory.
Keep looking serious boys....

Once you're done with that, I suggest you grab the two episodes of Jack Irish which have been filmed so far, and then get hold of a more Sydney centric series called 'Blue murder'. But don't mistake the latter with the British or Canadian series by the same name.

With the exception of Underbelly, all of the series above a so gritty, that you'll almost feel the dirt growing under your fingernails. In the case of Underbelly, the dirt is oddly sugar-coated.

There's something about Melbourne and the state of Victoria that seems to lend it self to crime shows such as these. The real-life organized crime in Victoria is a sloppy and ineffective mess. I used to work at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, and there was a substantial amount of Russian mafia in the place. But ask any trader if it was dangerous working there with the Russian mafia, and they'd laugh at you.

Melbourne's gangland war, so awfully depicted in the first Underbelly series cost the lives of three people that worked in the market - including a kid that I knew by the name of Benji, which used to have pizza with us every so often for Sunday lunch, while we worked our stalls. But that's how the Vic market was - it had more community than mobsters.

But there's so much dark brutality in Melbourne's history, that it always makes compelling television.

But putting that aside, the ABC in the last 12 months aired a couple of great crime series of a very different nature. While the ABC are no strangers to costume drama, they don't often indulge in mixing it with the crime genre. However they did, and the results have been... interesting.

Firstly, they produced a series called 'Miss Fisher's Mysteries', which is based on the Kerry Greenwood Phryne Fisher books. By the standards of the ABC, this series is utter fluff. And largely fun fluff at that. Ms Jane was a huge fan of the books, and naturally it became compulsory viewing in our house.

Set in the 1920's, again, the series is all about Melbourne. And like so much of Melbourne, it is rather all about fashion, dark alleys and dodgy operators. The series was fun, and nicely skims a few facts of Melbourne's history. This series was largely targeted at a women.

It had nothing of the grit and complexity of previous efforts by the ABC, and I'm guessing that's exactly what they were aiming for.

Enter Dr Blake.

Now... Dr Blake isn't exactly gritty television, but he does have a couple of great things going for him. Firstly, he has a damn beautiful Rheinmetall typewriter. In fact, the whole show is a typewriter spotter's delight.

And yes, he does often use this Rheinmetall during the series.

It is embarrassing to admit this, but I've found Craig McLachlan's acting to be excellent in this series. Craig has in the past been a beacon for everything rubbish. He's been a soap star who has transitioned across several teenage soaps, and a god-awful musician. This time around he seems to have eschewed his boyishness and grown a beard. Previously Craig's efforts have been something of a focal point of derision - often quite unwarranted. 

Then again, he's being supported by a very talented actor by the name of Nadine Garner.

Looking at Dr Blake's desk, I can see the Art Deco desk set that I was out-bid on last year. BASTARDS!

Anyway..... It's 1959. Dr Blake is a private GP that often advises the police surgeon on cases.

While Dr Blake has made me want to have a Rheinmetall of my own on my desk, there's other parts of this series that makes it fit nicely into the ABC's crime drama lot: Here's the rules, and how Dr Blake stacks up to them.

Melbourne Location: Okay, it's not set in Melbourne, but about an hour and bit outside of it in the former gold-rush town of Ballarat.

Alcohol: Yep, Blake drinks like a fish. He drinks to cope, think, forget and remember. He even gets himself so sh*tfaced, that he turns up at major high end social events and abuses visiting British officials, before punching his cop mate in the face.

Odd relationship with cop mates:  You're never sure if Blake is a friend or an annoyance to the local constabulary that he advises, until the head cop rocks up to his house with a bottle of something, and they proceed to get sh*tfaced. Something that was a bit of a theme in the 'Phoenix' series.

Hangs out at the pub: Jack Irish, Phoenix, Blue murder, Janus, all these series managed a bit of pub love, and Dr Blake is no exception. He's either at the pub, or the gentleman's club. The very first episode even references the controversy surrounding 'Chloe', a painting that now hangs on the wall in the Young and Jacksons pub in Melbourne.

Swearing: This is the 50's ol' son. There's no swearing here! 

Central character with a tormented past: Jack Irish saw his girlfriend gunned down by one of his clients in his series, while Dr Blake has a family missing in Singapore - where he was located when the Japanese invaded during WW2. He spends parts of the series going through private artifacts of his life with his family that he fears are lost. His anguish provides much of his motivation through the series, as he occasionally lashes out at people in frustration.

Police brutality: It wouldn't be proper to have a series set in Victoria that doesn't have the cops thumping the crap out of the crims. Although this series tends to see the cops being regretful afterwards. 

*   *   *

As far as costume dramas are concerned, the ABC have gone a long, long way towards accuracy with this one. The phones, the cars, the badges on the taxis. The upholstery on the furniture. And even the typewriters, have been meticulously researched and picked - and have all been the sort of things you'd expect to find in the sets that depict the era.

And that's what I really love about this series. The hospital looks like a hospital in the 50's. The Doctor's surgery is a very typical home adapted into a surgery of the era. Ballarat looks 50's. The cops look 50's. The nurses look 50's. The factories look 50's. The research and setting has been extraordinary.

So anyway.. Here's a couple more screen grabs for you typewriter perverts out there. Have a good perve, chaps.

I'll eventually grab a snap of Nadine using the Olivetti Studio 44, that is on her desk. But it is often very fleeting. Other machines to pop up here and there, is an old Remington and a couple of Royal desktops and portables.

Now, I feel motivated to write some nasty Melbourne crime.... Or find myself a Rheinmetall on ebay. 

Or maybe both.