Countryside 2016 – Part II

Preface by Karl Schnelle

For several years now, a group of 20 or so  1/43 model car collectors have gathered for a March weekend outside Chicago, IL, USA, in the Chicagoland area.  We all met at Forum43 due our love of detailed 1/43 model cars – mostly white metal and diecast, but now also resin.

 Randy provided his perspective on the March 2016 weekend in Part I; Harvey now does the same in Part II. (Click the photos to enlarge.)

By Harvey Goranson

I woke up early Saturday morning with a sore throat and thought “uh oh”, then ran out to the local Jewel grocery for cold medicine. But as it turns out, I was a tad hoarse from the Irish pub the night before, where 10-12 of us had dined Friday night – man, that place was loud on a day after St. Patrick’s! Still had green beer left too. Anyway, the Jewel allowed me to get gen-u-wine Chicago sport peppers, a request from my daughter.

I got to Continental Motorsports early, and got a good parking spot in the office lot next door. Sitting by its lonesome was this Ferrari FF “Shooting Brake”:


BTW, I found a pic online of a guy driving one of these with lumber hanging out the back.

Inside the garage were the usual tasty pits of exotica, including the 288s – GTO and GTO Evoluzione. This F12 caught my eye as what a proper Italian GT should look like these days. Pininfarina are still the masters:


Inside was the annual model car exhibit, dealers tables, and the Sebring race on TV. A beautiful replica of Pete DePaolo’s 1927 Miller was on display at a dealer booth, sadly in 1:24 and not our favorite scale. Wasn’t for sale anyway….


Am old frat brother of mine, Glenn Keller, plus Dick and Skip, joined me at a Downer’s Grove restaurant for lunch. Then off to Buzfest, where I bought a Conquest 1950 Buick woodie. Then Giordanos, where the deep dish pizza was as good as ever.

At Sunday breakfast Karl gave me a couple of old Vitesse Triumph TR roadsters, and at Countryside Frank gave me an old Precision Miniatures kit to make Borrani wire wheels. Thanks again guys!


My purchases from the weekend were:


The Motor City Buick wagon was one of my holy grails. Thanks again to Jeff for parting with it:


Two Buicks again – last year I also bought two. A trend perhaps?

On Saturday I had zeroed in on the EMC 1922 Mercedes 28/95 Mikhail was selling, and committed to buying it. Randy’s pic of me emptying my wallet was me shelling out for it on Sunday. The detail on this is outstanding (an LE of 100 in this color). There is a prior turquoise version (no sidemounts) and a forthcoming black version with raised top.


I tried to get the nails out to lift off the display case but they wouldn’t budge. BTW, the real car is at the Auto und Technik Museum. Know how the radiator shell on the model gets that bright appearance? Gold plating! The “wood” along the body sides has been very faintly brush painted. Neo makes a similar version but photos don’t show near as much detail, plus it has no sidemounts like the museum car.

Speaking of Mikhail and his B&G model line, soon to appear is #EL-5, this 1929 Mercedes SSK with Murphy boat-tail body, from the collection of Arturo and Deborah Keller. There will be 130 in maroon (as presently restored) and 70 in white (a prior color).

Jim Cowen had his new Automodello TVR Taimar and 3000Ms on display, in a wide range of colors, with edition sizes ranging from 15 to 79. Here is the white over metallic blue version, which was the subject of an interview with the actual owner in Model Auto Review:


Jim says this version is almost gone.

Last and definitely least is a Corgi Vanguards Ford Thames Singer van, purchased for the princely sum of $10. A wave of nostalgia must have hit me, since it reminded me of my old Matchbox:

My wife Kay sews and crochets a lot and has claimed this as hers!
On the way back, I took a picture of an historic building in Indy I’ve been meaning to get for some time now:


Can you imagine the days when Stutz automobiles rolled out of this plant? It is now known as the Stutz Business and Arts Center. Better to be preserved and re-purposed than torn down.  Bravo Indy!

We welcome your comments and questions.     Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Countryside 2016 – Part I

Preface by Karl Schnelle

For several years now, a group of 20 or so  1/43 model car collectors have gathered for a March weekend outside Chicago, IL, USA, in the Chicagoland area. This ‘convention’ grew out of the now-defunct Strictly 43rd Show and is now a series of events centered around Countryside, IL! Early arrivals gather for dinner on Friday night, then Saturday morning is the annual Ferrari Art and Literature Show at Continental AutoSports in Hinsdale (a Ferrari/Maserati dealer).  Following closely on Saturday afternoon is Buzfest, hosted by Route 66 Model Car Store in LaGrange Highlands.  After a group dinner, in a traditional Chicago style pizza place, we all wake up early to attend the Countryside Collectors Classic Show.

In 2016, we had many people from the Midwest US (such as IL, IN, OH, MI) but also folks from NY and TN! Even our regular from England showed up again!  It’s a real tradition now but we hope new collector’s will join us in 2017.   Our common theme is detailed model cars in 1/43, but we all have other collecting habits from toy cars to models in other scales.

Randy is providing his perspective on the weekend in Part I; Harvey will do the same in Part II. (Click the photos to enlarge.)

By Randy Rusk

Well, after some very effective prodding from Karl Schnelle last year telling me that I really needed to extend my Countryside trip to more than 1 day, I relented and booked a room at the Holiday Inn this year. And boy am I glad I did! I had no idea what camaraderie I was missing out on. Let me fill you all in… While some start the weekend on Friday night, I drove the three hours from Fort Wayne to meet up with folks at the Ferrari Club get-together on Saturday afternoon. Karl’s face is the definition of sticker shock:


The Ferrari/Maserati dealership opened up floor space for dealers. Lots of European-centric models and paraphernalia to tempt the wallet:



And then on to the 1:1’s… These were all out back awaiting service and maintenance:


I’ve never walked into a garage like this!


Karl found an Alfa to his liking:


After getting our fill, it was on to Buz’s house for Buzfest! Funny that as soon as I introduced myself, the common response was “Hey, you’re the guy who collects that oddball stuff.  “Here, people debate who’s wallet is going to hurt the most:


The fun part! The time to buy is when you see something you have to have; Harvey eyes one of Buz’s newest releases, based on a car from Buz’s youth,  the1964 Buick Wildcat by Madison . Yep, that’s Buz waving in the old pic:


The big dilemma was hardtop, convertible or soft top up? Karl helpfully suggested one of each. Eventually, Skip zeroed in on the red convertible. Wise choice!


Special models just for the show, only 10 of each, based on the 1963 Ford Galaxie sedan by Conquest. The black police cruiser was modeled on the car driven by Officer JD Tippet, who was shot by Oswald shortly after the Kennedy assassination.


The only other thing we seemed to crave was food. Giordano’s pizza hit the spot. Thanks to Frank for coordinating the great pizza buffet.


Our fearless leader, Dick Browne (center) watched over some cherished (and rare) Motor City models.


First time I’ve ever seen the Town & Country in the flesh. Too rich for my blood, though. My “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell.” understanding with my wife would be destroyed if I came home with this…


Greg Gunn surrounded by his many Matrix, GLM, Whitebox, white metal and other 1/43 goodies:


Behind every good man is the woman ringing up the sales. There was quite a Buz around this display of premium models from Madison, Conquest and WMCE.IMG_1954_(800x600)

Bob Hooper of Dominion Models had a great selection – and some deals for those looking to fill in a few gaps in their collection.


For the first time ever, I paid the premium to get into the show 2 hours early and avoid the line and the crowds. It was money well spent. This was taken before the doors opened for general admission at 10 am.


Mikhail with his 1/43 jewels from EMC helping lighten someone’s wallet.


I had a blast catching up with Jim Cowen at Automodello. A real gentleman, he was full of stories about the origin of his amazing 1/24 and 1/43 models, many of which grace the shelves of my personal collection. You can see just a bit of the 1/24 Kaiser Darrin prototype in white. It should come with a magnetic door to pose in closed or slid open position.


So, that was my two day experience. What a great group of fellow collectors. Sign me up for next year!

We welcome your comments and questions.     Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Happy Easter

by Chris Sweetman

Matchbox O&K MH6 hydraulic excavator


Matchbox issued this wonderful working model in 1970 in their King Size range. Originally with red wheel hubs and plastic tyres. However, in 1971 this range was renamed Super King and the models were gradually given superfast wheels as in the case of the version pictured here.

The cab swivels on the wheeled base and the excavator arm has a range of realistic movements. These replicate the hydraulic action of the real vehicle.

Based on the Orenstein and Koppel (O&K) MH6 hydraulic excavator which came out in 1970. This suggests that Matchbox must have been working directly with O & K as there is usually an 18 month period from designing a toy model to bringing it onto the market.

We welcome your comments and questions.  Please go to our Model AutoReview Facebook page


Oxford Diecast Latest Releases March 2016

By Maz Woolley

Several new castings to 1:43 scale have just been released by Oxford Diecast. All are diecast to 1:43 scale in Oxford’s Chinese factory.

VA001 Volvo Amazon Light Green

The Volvo Amazon was made from 1956 to 1970 and was known in many countries as the 120 series. It sold well and was exported to the US from 1959 onwards. Volvo’s advertising at the time made the most of the fact that the car included many safety features and towards the end of the 1960s Volvo’s longer than average life span featured strongly in all Volvo advertising here in the UK.

This model from Oxford is based on a 1967 car which has been shown at Car Shows in the UK. The model is well made with chrome work neatly printed, good wheels and lights though mainly printed very convincingly done.  The wipers are rather thinner than many partworks ones which is good. The interior is neatly moulded with the “padded” dash top and linear speedometer housing nicely moulded in. The seats and door panels are in mid green.   An excellent model from Oxford which will form the basis of many more releases.

AMDB2001 Aston Martin DB2 Mark III Saloon

The first model to appear in the new Oxford Aston Martin packaging. The original car was a beautifully styled with every panel hand beaten so no two are actually identical. The Oxford model captures the lovely lines of the original very well and the printed chrome widow surrounds and lights are excellent. The grille moulding is very finely done.  The wire wheels are very fine in the usual Oxford manner with a clear disk behind to form the actual wheel structure. The interior is moulded in tan and there is a painted wooden steering wheel, instruments picked out on the dash and a separate gear lever. This will all be seen to more effect when the convertible version of this car is released by Oxford. I do hope that Oxford produces the DB4, DB5, and DB6 to a similar standard and even ventures into the DBS era.

The car that the model is based upon has featured in a book about its restoration. From being stored for many years in a lock up garage in Weybridge to its recommissioning by  Aston Works Service at Newport Pagnell in 2009.

VF001 Vauxhall Firenza Sport SL Bluebird

Vauxhall’s answer to the Ford Capri was a pretty car even though it did not prove to be anywhere near as big a seller. Based upon the Viva HC floor pan, mechanicals, and seating it was a more stylish vehicle than the base HC Viva. This Firenza was fitted with a 2.3 Litre engine which was more than adequate power for this light vehicle. The vehicle has been made in white metal before but the only contemporary diecast was a Lone Star Flyer which has been much sought after.  The oxford model is excellent capturing the shape very well and featuring nicely finished front grille and lights. The rear lights are printed and are acceptable even if separate moulded lights would have been nice.  The printed chrome trim and body stripe are well done too. The interior is all black which was pretty typical of the period and the dash has instruments picked out in silver.

The car that the model is based upon was first registered in 1972 and pictures on the web show that the car has been modified and has a small spoiler fitted below the bumper and non-standard wheels. Oxford have chosen to model the car as it would have left the assembly line which will allow them to make a range of authentic versions including versions with the vinyl roof.


We welcome your comments and questions.  Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page

News from the Continent – Cars to dream of

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Announcements of models first shown at Nuremberg are now being sent out as prototypes turn into finished models. Some of these are models of cars only seen at motor shows and others few will ever own but which everyone will see in magazines and on television.


These beautiful resin  models are made to 1:43 scale by an Italian company who specialise in models of the latest vehicles from a range of up market car makers. Here are pictures from the company of their latest models.

LSAUDITTSB Audi TT Sportback Concept Scale 1 43 b

The Audi TT Sportback Concept car was shown at the Paris Motor Show in 2014. It is a rather practical sports car with 4 doors and seats for 5 people. and a show car which looks likely to influence what Audi may produce in the future.

LSAUDITTSB Audi TT Sportback Concept Scale 1 43 c

The next model is of the Bugatti Chiron announced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016. This car made by the Volkswagen group replaces the Veyron.

LS459I Brown Carbon Scale 1 43

The Chiron is capable of huge speeds and will only ever be owned by a few.

LS459E Red Carbon Glacier Scale 1 43 LS459A Le Patron Bugatti Light Blue Sport Scale 1 43

This model will be available in multiple paint finishes from the end of April.

MR Collection

This is another small Italian firm making high quality resin models and their Bugatti Chiron model in 1:18 scale is due for release in June. Some pictures from MR Collection below, again publicity shots for the real car rather than pictures of prototype models.

BUG06A Le Patron Bugatti Light Blue Sport Scale 1 18 BUG06B Nocturne Italian Red Scale 1 18 BUG06G Brown Carbon Silk Scale 1 18

Le Mans Miniatures

Celebrating 25 years in the business Le Mans Miniatures continue to develop figurines suitable for display with Le Mans cars.  Their latest was first shown at Nuremberg in 2014 and represents a running driver from the 1950s suitable for Le Mans or Sebring displays. It is 200mm high which makes it to about 1:9 scale. Publicity images supplied by the manufacturer are shown below.

LE Mans Miniatures 1950s driver

Le Mans Miniatures 1950s driver rear

We welcome your comments and questions.  Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page



DeAgostini Dinky Collection

By Maz Woolley

Those collecting the Dinky reproductions made by Norev for subscription collections in various countries now have another variation to look out for. DeAgostini have just launched their own Dinky Collection using the same castings as Atlas but with DeAgostini markings on the base. Each model is shipped with a partwork magazine and the “free gifts” are largely the same as Atlas offered such as a reproduction Dinky Cub Keyring and the French Petrol Pump set. Subscribers can also sign up for a Dinky Garage model which comes with your final delivery if you pay 75p extra for each issue after the first one.

It seems a strange policy for DeAgostini to launch this series when the Atlas series is still running in the UK since Atlas is actually a DeAgostini group company. Even stranger is the fact that the DeAgostini models are actually cheaper since their price includes postage and packing. The DeAgostini collection is being produced in different colours to the Atlas collection and is planned to run for 80 issues.

The models publicised so far are shown below in images produced by DeAgostini for the series. Every one of these castings has already appeared in the UK Atlas Dinky Collection but in each case in different finishes.

Triumph TR2 competition model in pale blue – pink in the UK Atlas series

DeAgostini TR2

Bedford CA Kodak livery – Dinky Toys livery in the UK Atlas series

DeAgostini Bedford Kodak

Ford Thunderbird in red – South African blue finish in the UK Atlas series

DeAgostini Ford Thunderbird

Mini Traveller in white – green in the UK Atlas series

DeAgostini Mini Traveller

Jaguar XK120 Coupe green – Two tone yellow and white in the UK Atlas series

DeAgostini Jaguar XK120

We welcome your comments and questions.  Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.


Atlas Dinky Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

By Maz Woolley

Meccano Magazine announcement November 1959

The latest model released in the Atlas Dinky series is a French Dinky Toy launched in 1959 as 24 M, then re-numbered as 530, finally being deleted fro the range in 1962. In France the toy was always made in red with a black roof.  The model was also sold in the UK as 187 from 1959 in green with a white roof or red with a black one as sold in France and lasted until 1964.

The Atlas model comes with a replica of the 24 M box as shown below.

Atlas Dinky 24 M box


The Atlas model is a nice reproduction though the mask printing of the front air intakes falls short of the whole width of the intake unlike the original shown on various pictures on the web. The photographs below show the model as made by Norev for Atlas in China.

Atlas Dinky 24 M Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Atlas Dinky 24 M Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Atlas Dinky 24 M Volkswagen Karmann Ghia  Atlas Dinky 24 M Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

We welcome your comments and questions.  Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.


When is a Solido not a Solido?

By Robin Godwin

I recall reading an interview in one of the UK print model magazines about the re-launch of the Solido brand by OTTO of France. There was an air of excitement and enthusiasm. As soon as I learned that one of the new Solidos was to be a Volkswagen Beetle 1302 LS from 1972, I also caught the wave of excitement.

Photo #1 Whitebox, left, with visible passenger side mirror. Solido, right.
Photo #1 WhiteBox, left, with visible passenger side mirror. Solido, right.

Well folks, I’m here to tell you that, now that I have the Solido VW in hand, it is sourced from IXO/PCT (Premium & Collectibles Trading Company) and/or one of their numerous partworks, and is in no way an original casting from Solido. One of the great things about Beetles from the model manufacturing perspective is that, externally, they changed little over the years. One can sell a 1972 1302 LS Beetle or a 1983 Beetle both cast from the same mould, without egregious errors, and only minor tampo printing alterations to reflect differences. Accordingly, my point of comparison here is the WhiteBox 1983 Beetle, which is the same casting as the “new” 1972 Solido.  Whitebox is a house brand of and this range consists of IXO/PCT/partworks reissues. In fact, the WhiteBox VW has IXO cast into the plastic base. At least Solido had the producers grind that off the mould and replace it with their own name and logo in white tampo. The only other difference is that Solido only has a driver’s side mirror, whereas WhiteBox also includes a passenger side mirror.

Photo #2 Whitebox top, with IXO logo visible. Solido tampo on bottom.
Photo #2 Whitebox top, with IXO logo visible. Solido tampo on bottom.

So I’m hugely disappointed, having anticipated a new die cast from Solido, only to have purchased an old mould that has been issued who knows how many times before. Perhaps, as I alluded to earlier in discussion about the external shape, none of the earlier issues were actually 1972 VW 1302 LS models, but if so, it is only tampo printing that has given us this unique version. This discovery must cast doubt on all the other “new” Solido models.

In the same interview, the new brand owners were also excited about reintroducing the old Solido military range in “1:43” scale (they were 1:50). Don’t get me wrong, I love the old Solido tanks with working metal tracks – they were largely responsible for me becoming an adult collector. But there are still lots of originals for sale on eBay, mostly at prices similar to what I paid 20 to 30 years ago. I’m sceptical that these reissues with “improved details” will entice many buyers unless the prices are very competitive. Even though 1:50 is a great scale for military vehicles, the market may be saturated by the many superb 1:72 and 1:43 scale military partworks which can now be had for $10 to $20 US. I wish them luck, but I hope that we get some fresh models, reasonably priced.

Back to VWs and next time I will talk about the recent/current 1:43 Greenlight 1967 VW “Gremlins” Beetle issue. It looks suspiciously like a partwork as well, but, because of a stripped Phillips screw, I can’t get my model off the plastic plinth without damage. Greenlight has used both High Speed and Yatming castings before, so it would be no surprise if this VW was sourced from another manufacturer, but I hope to be able to prove it.

We welcome your comments and questions.  Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Trip Report to a Toy Show in Gent, Belgium

by  Marcel Colijn

I have been to the very old city of Ghent in the south west of Belgium on 12 March to visit a model car exposition in the library in the nearby village Destelbergen. This was organised by the Belgium model car club MCCH and runs from March 3rd till March 30th.
When I visited the model car swapmeet of the Belgium Beverse Modelautofanaten on Jan 24th, one of the visitors told me about the exposition. He is one of the exhibitors.

On Saturday the library was only open to the public from 10.00 till 12.00 so I had to leave Amersfoort by the 1st train to Amsterdam at 4.51 in the morning, to catch the 5.52 train to Antwerpen. This is the magnificent Central Station of Antwerp at 8.15 on early Saturday morning!


From there, the train to Ghent…  I managed to get in the village of Destelbergen a quarter after 10.00 o’clock by local bus from Ghent St Pieters Station!

There were 15 cabinets full of toy cars at the library, each with a different theme and each from a different collector.


Etienne Haaze, the secretary of the club, was there for the day, and he told me a lot about the contents of the cabinets. Etiienne collects Renault and had a cabinet with French police cars and vans (the French police are called the Gendarmerie).


More cabinets in the exhibition:


There was much more to see, old Dinky Toys, old Solido etc etc.

The other cabinets and more detailed pictures can be viewed here.
Under each photo there is a >. You can click on the v or > for the next photo.

It was a very nice sunny day, so I visited the city of Ghent afterwards and went to the nice museum of fine arts for an exhibition. A visit to a close girl friend in late afternoon, and I was back in Amersfoort just after midnight, so a long day.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. The exhibition is open until March 30th.

Address of the venue:
Bibliotheek (Library) Destelbergen
Dendermondesteenweg 420
9070 Destelbergen, Belgium
(Near Ghent)

We welcome your comments and questions.  Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Atlas Jaguar Collection: Monte Carlo 1965 E Type

By Maz Woolley

The latest model in this collection has now shipped and it is another sporting vehicle. In this case an E Type rally car. The car modelled was a private entry driven by Roy Pinder and Charles Pollard.  It failed to finish the race but came to fame because it was filmed by  British Pathe during the race. The race video can be seen at  

The model appears to be a good replica of the rally car with nicely modelled steel wheels as well as the extra lights at the front end and the roof rack holding a spare wheel. It looks very similar to a model already produced by Arena Models as a 1:43 scale kit but that shows the car with two spare wheels rather than one on the roof rack. Looking at the Pathe film it clearly shows the car with only one spare so the Atlas is correctly modelled for that point in the rally. The paint is a nice grey-silver metallic which seems to be accurate and does not suffer from over large reflective flakes.

I am sure that the basic casting is one that has been used before in this, and many other partwork series, but this is a nice variation.

We welcome your comments and questions.  Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.