Mattel Fast and Furious Escort Mark I

By Maz Woolley

 

The Fast and Furious films have had model producers scrambling to obtain licences from Universal as they are sure fire winners with a buying public who may not by any other models. They are also crossover products appealing to both model car and film model collectors. Greenlight’s 1:43 scale Fast and Furious Escort model was featured in a MAR Online post some time ago, and Greenlight also have it in 1:18 scale as well.

Greenlight and Racing Champions have already been licensed to create 1:64 scale Fast and Furious merchandise but so has Mattel. Mattel’s Hot Wheels models are around 1:64 and widely collected especially in the USA. Here we look at Mattel’s Fast and Furious range, and in particular the Ford Escort.

Mattel has not branded this model as Hot Wheels but has put it in a premium blister pack with full Fast and Furious branding and a free download of “Fast and Furious Filmmaker” application. The model itself has been diecast in China for Mattel whereas Hot Wheels tend to come from other Far Eastern locations like Malaysia. It appears that they also sold Fast and Furious sets so you may race your models.

The model has rather more details than a typical Hot Wheels model with nice wheels,  rather than standard commodity items. The detailing is all printed and fairly basic with rear lights too narrow and only in red and the front indicators not painted at all. The grille and lights is again to a higher standard but all in silver where parts should be matt black. The blue paint is applied with an “orange peel” look when it reflects light.

The interior of the model is obscured by the dark windows but under lights one can see that it is a very basic interior indeed. Looking at the exterior the shape of the car is wrong with no curved line at the bottom of the rear window and the roof looking strangely pinched probably because the rear pillar is the wrong shape and not thick enough which means the rear window slopes at to extreme an angle. The striping is not the same as the film car either,at the front or the rear particularly at the front. The front extra lights are also moulded to sit too low as well.

Mattel has also released a Hot Wheels Escort RS1600 in their HW Workshop series with Fast and Furious branding. This is a completely different casting with a different shape, less detailing, four not two spotlights and the spotlights made in clear plastic. The wheels are ordinary “hot wheels” though with a gold foil finish. The overall shape of this casting seems to be closer to the original Escort than the more expensive Mattel model though the side stripes are utterly wrong here as they do not extend over the wheel arches.

The American market for Movie models must be a very substantial one to lead to so many firms offering models and Mattel offering it twice to two market sectors in two different castings to the same scale.


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Neo’s Yank Tanks – a personal overview

By Graeme Ogg

Having apparently noted my occasional musings elsewhere about the merits (and otherwise) of Neo’s output of American cars, the Editor asked if I would care to post something here. Well, I don’t have any particularly original insights or behind-the-scenes revelations, but for anyone who hasn’t been following Neo’s offerings in great detail, here are a few personal thoughts about the good, bad and occasionally ugly aspects of some of the models I’ve acquired (with lots of helpful pictures for the hard of hearing).

After spending quite a few years trying to maintain a fairly representative 1:43 picture of the progress of car styling around the world, it finally dawned on me not so long ago that keeping up with it all was a hopeless and never-ending task, so I decided to gradually limit myself to filling long-standing gaps in my existing collection, of which Americana is a major element. That would ease the strain on the pocket.

Unfortunately, just around that time Neo started blitzing us with a series of Yank Tanks (as we disrespectful Brits call them) under the American Excellence label, which eventually just became the name of Model Car World’s U.S. sales outlet. So I wasn’t going to get off so lightly after all.

One of the first to reach me was this 1959 Dodge, a fine piece of baroque art, and for those of us who cut our teeth on Dinky Toys (my gums are still bleeding), the level of trim detail is pretty amazing. We used to have blobs of silver paint for headlights and smaller red blobs for tail-lights, and now we get full-colour photo-etched badging you need a magnifying glass to read. Well, that’s progress for you.

If a black and yellow rocketship is a bit too dazzling for your taste, they also did a nice, restrained police version, which against a suitable background could easily be passed off as the real thing.

I couldn’t wait for the next offering, a ’57 Imperial Southampton, and it turned out to be a real stunner. Also produced in black, ivory over powder blue and more recently as a Ghia Crown limo.

 

Yet another piece of wonderfully in-your-face aggressive styling was the 1960 Chrysler 300F, again well-executed, finely detailed and dramatic.

Hmm, getting tired of fins and chrome? Well, how about something more restrained, the Lincoln Continental-inspired ’64 Imperial.

Or even nicer, the ’69 Buick Riviera. I’d have preferred the original 1966/67 version, before they started fiddling with the clean styling, but it is still a handsome model.

Not all offerings were quite as subtle, but this 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix Hurst SSJ looks suitably striking and typical of its times.

Of course, if you produce models to this standard, you are going to attract the attention of seriously knowledgeable (and picky) collectors, ready to jump on any detail faults. Get a badge half a millimetre out of place and you are careless, guilty of poor research and treating collectors with contempt. So when Neo produced this 1958 Chevrolet Impala, there were loud protests that it might look handsome enough, but Impalas didn’t come with 2-tone paint.

Ah, so it must be a lesser Bel Air? No, the Bel Air had a different rear roof pillar treatment, and 4 tail lamps instead of 6. So the cognoscenti wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole. Me? I just thought it was a pretty nice ’58 Chevy. However, I wouldn’t let Neo off so easily with their ’61 Dodge, which was handsome in many ways but had a seriously sagging roofline (I bought one anyway, but that roof does annoy me).

Grumpy old man? No, I just treat each arrival on its merits, and this ’58 Rambler certainly has many. The real thing may have been a strapped-for-cash re-skin of an ageing platform, but Neo’s cool, clean rendering deserves a place in any Old Yank collection.

Another fine item delivered by my overworked postman was a 1959 Pontiac Bonneville. I always remember this car being advertised in dazzling white or yellow, so the gunmetal seemed a little drab at first, but it’s very subtle and the finish and detail are pretty much flawless. It’s another model you could easily pass off in a photo as a 1:1.

So then they heard my complaint and did a convertible in a more suitable yellow, but spoiled it with an ugly black windscreen surround. I suspect it’s because they had to glue the screen to the slim pillars and wanted to hide the glue. Personally I think the odd trace of clear adhesive would have been much less obtrusive. But if you can divert your eyes from that detail, the rest of it is a thing of beauty inside and out.

Oddly enough, they can do convertible screens with that black border when they want to, as shown on their ’57 Ford Fairlane, but this unsightly feature re-appears on several other convertibles.

Having done a ’59 Pontiac, they turned their attention to the ’59 Oldsmobile, which was essentially the same body. So how did they manage to make it look like the Sydney Harbour Bridge? It makes the old Franklin Mint ’58 Edsel (the famous “Pink Banana”) look pretty good by comparison.

Mine was so bad I e-mailed them in the hope they would be doing a product recall, but received a terse little reply saying that “Due to the fact that this model was made by hand and not machined, it may result in small inaccuracies.” So that’s OK.  It is a lovingly flawed artisanal product and I should display it with pride. (It’s in a box under the bed in the spare room).

More recently they had a touch of the same problem with the ’57 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser. Not nearly as bad, and it’s harder to see quite where it goes wrong, but it certainly isn’t entirely straight.

One of the latest arrivals is a 1961 Dodge Dart. A slightly odd bit of styling, and an interesting choice. So interesting, in fact, that Neo apparently went to the trouble of scouring the entire planet to find the only car in existence (presumably a restored specimen) with a non-standard side spear, and promptly modelled it as a BoS in 1:18 scale in the identical metallic grey colour, followed by a maroon Neo version in 1:43. Overall it’s actually quite a nice model, but why ….?

They redeemed themselves with this 1960 Buick Flxible ambulance, which looks accurate in every respect and with plenty of the kind of detail we oldies could once have hardly dreamed possible.

But all that fine detail comes at a cost, not just in the price but in terms of fragility. I’ve photographed some of these models on their plinth because removing the model then trying to re‑mount it on those spring-loaded screws is almost guaranteed to detach a photo-etch strip, wing mirror, badge, aerial or whatever. Even without touching them, P/E parts applied to curves can spring free over time, and even careless dusting can detach a part. There’s obviously a very delicate balance between unsightly excess adhesive and parts coming loose because of too little glue. It also looks as if the P/E parts come pre-backed with “instant grab” adhesive, and if the final assembly operative (political correctness forbids I should say “the little Chinese lady”) doesn’t get a part perfectly lined up first time, any attempt at adjustment can lead to buckled or semi-detached trim strips.  If as a buyer you’re nervous about getting to work with the white glue, cotton buds and masking tape, you may have to put up with a few loose dangly bits on the model shelf.

Maybe this partly explains why Neo seem to be moving away from using so many vulnerable P/E parts where a less vulnerable form of trim will suffice – which brings me to the fact that there is a strange state of flux developing between Neo and their BoS “budget brand”. BoS recently brought out a ’61 Lincoln Continental where the trim detail wasn’t that far off what you’d expect from Neo. Then we get a convertible version, obviously based on the same mould, and pretty much the same trim level, but badged as a Neo. Lovely colour, which may be enough to tempt some people – but at twice the price? Hmm.

And then they do it again. BoS issues a decent enough Chrysler Valiant with mainly painted brightwork but P/E side window frames. Then out comes a Neo version, in a stunningly bland colour and with the P/E frames apparently replaced by silver paint – which is arguably tidier, but once again, twice the price for a near-identical model from the same outfit?

What sort of marketing strategy is that? Maybe they are testing the waters in terms of pricing and trim levels (while collectors can only watch in confusion) and we may end up with Neo and BoS being “averaged out”, which might mean leaving the high-end detail market to deadly rivals Matrix/GLM.

We shall see. Meanwhile, with just a few specimens from my own Neo collection I hope I’ve shown you – if you didn’t know it already – that despite some flaws and detail blunders, Neo at their best have given us some stunning 1:43 models which can take pride of place on any display shelf.

Just don’t take them to bed and hug them at night, because they’ll break.


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DeAgostini Fire Appliances

By Maz Woolley

Apart from one credited DeAgostini picture the photographs are by the author.

We have had several partworks featuring fire appliances in the last few years. The Del Prado series was a considerable disappointment to collectors as it was a complete mixture of scales. When excess stocks were sold off later collectors tended to buy the models that fitted with the scale that they collected. But many models though interesting were not in an established European collectors scale.

DeAgostini on the other hand has kept to a consistent scale for their Faszination Feuerwehr collection. However, yet again it is unlikely to please established collectors as it is to 1:72 which is a commonly used aircraft scale. It is close to the 1:76 scale which is popular in the UK but almost all the vehicles in the series are of Continental origin so are of less appeal here.  It is considerably larger than the 1:87 scale so popular on the Continent which means that if the DeAgostini series is successful it must be selling to new or intermittent collectors for whom exact scale is less important. The picture below shows a selection of the models advertised by DeAgostini on their web site.

 

DeAgostini Advertising

 

Taking advantage of some excess stock from this partwork being remaindered in the UK I bought three models to have a look at how good they are. They are all diecast in China for DeAgostini Germany to 1:72 scale some websites say that they are made by Ixo for DeAgostini but no markings confirm this.

LF 8-STA Robur LO 1800-A

 

This forward control vehicle was built from 1960 to 1967. The LO standing for Luftgekühlt Ottomotor, the 1800 for its payload in kilograms, and A for Allradantrieb (all wheel drive). It was powered by a four cylinder, four stroke engine delivering 70 hp.

In the version modelled it is fitted with wooden benches and a pump on the flatbed covered by a canvas tilt and is fire brigade livery. Many of these vehicles were supplied to the NVA – the pre-unification East German Army as well as to the Fire Brigades.

The model has a very high level of detailing which can be seen in the photographs. Light beacons are not only in translucent blue plastic but have the bases picked out in silver. Many small additional mouldings are used such as mirrors, lights, step bars, steps to rear, towing points and even spades to rear of the cab. A fine black washed grill is accompanied by neatly printed badging and livery. At the rear are fitted benches for the firemen a water tank area as well as a pump engine and points to attach hoses. The base has quite a bit of moulded detail.

TLF 16IFA W50

 

Introduced in 1969 by IFA in the former East Germany these fire appliances were based on the W50 L chassis.  A steel double cab  had seats for five plus the driver. Respirators are stored in the cab to fit whilst on the way to the fire. There is even a “self protection” system to spray under the cab to protect the appliance where there are surface fires or other surface contaminants.

The crew cabin is topped with horns and a nozzle to direct forward to fires. The roof is fitted with ladders and the rear with the steps to get on the roof.

To the side the vehicle was fitted with doors giving access to tools and pump controls. the piping to connect to is modelled in detail under the rear of the body.

As the photographs show this model has a lot of small additional parts fitted to bring it to life. The badging, grille and livery are printed very well. Mirrors, bumper position fitments, lights, spotlights, step and piping are all finely modelled. Take a look at the wing mirror assemblies. A metal cage is modelled and the separate mirror and its fitments moulded very neatly as if attached to it.

TLF 16 Magirus-Deutz Mercur 125 A

 

Here we have a vehicle from the former West Germany to contrast to the last two appliances.  Again a crew cabbed appliance with ladders fitted to the roof. The distinctive rounded bonnet unit was current from the late 1950s and was popular with many municipal brigades.

As the photographs show the model is to the same high standard as the others with the hose reels beautifully painted. The billhook, boards, and hose on the roof are finely modelled and painted. Position markers, lights, mirrors, and beacons are all fine parts. The printing including the lovely Magirus symbol on the radiator and the Feuerwehr Sölingen logo is very neatly done. The photograph above shows the high quality of the wheels and tyres fitted with the matt greyish tyre finish contrasting well with the gloss steel wheels.

The only discordant element is the overscale and crude steering wheel and steering column but that is a minor comment.


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Recent Announcements 5/17

By Maz Woolley

All photographs have been supplied by the manufacturers.

Here are few models recently announced that have caught the eye.

LS Collectibles

These models have been recently announced. They are moulded in resin to 1:18 scale for France.  As is so often the case with detailed 1:18 resin models there are no opening parts.

The Porsche models are not of 911 or Boxster variations for a change and look to capture the real cars very well. The Mitsubishi GTO is a car seldom seen on the road now but certainly looks a nice model in black. Finally we get another Dodge Viper a model that may sell better outside the UK where we saw few of them.

LS016A Dodge Viper GTS 1996

LS019B Mitsubishi 3000 GTO 1992

LS021A/B Porsche 944 Turbo S

LS022A Porsche 928 S4

Minichamps

A mixed group of releases here. Racing cars again dominating the release. Models are diecast in China for Germany unless otherwise stated.

Porsche 906K Vögele and Siffert – Sebring 12 hours 1966.

A classic late 60s shape with sloping front and Kamm tail. A lot of detail like sun strip and lights seems to be included.

Porsche 917/10 Kauhsen and Dr, Heinemann “Farewell in the snow” Nürburgring 1973,

This model is to 1:18 scale and shows how much advertising has grown over the years with a minimal sponsorship livery.

 

 

Renault Sport Formula One team R.S.16 – Kevin Magnussen – 2016 1:43 resin

Renault team cars from the end of 2016 modelled to 1:43 scale in resin.  Models for someone who has to have the whole grid or for fans of Renault or the individual drivers.

Renault Sport Formula One team R.S.16 – Jolyon Palmer – 2016 1:43 resin

 

McLaren Honda MP4/5 Ayrton Senna 1989

This model is to 1:18 scale and is bound to be popular with Senna fans. Sadly McLaren’s current form makes one wonders if their drivers will ever be seen on the podium again.

McLaren Ford MP4/8 Ayrton Senna 1993 

This model is to 1:43 scale and even MInichamps web site does not state what material it is made of.

 

MaxiChamps

BMW 520 – 1972 – Silver or Yellow

These budget re-releases from the Minichamps back catalogue are nice models capturing the BMW 5 Series of the early 1970s which was a very popular car.

Best of Show

ModelCarWorld originally produced some Neo models to 1:87 with photo-etching and a lot of detail. These appear to have been regarded as much too expensive by 1:87 scale collectors and so MCW is releasing its 1:87 models at a lower level of detail and at a lower price point as Best of Show. Many of the models presented have already been seen in BoS or Neo 1:43 ranges. When compared to the detail and accuracy of Herpa, Wiking, and Brekina I think that BOS models leave a lot to be desired. Oversized window frames and rather crude wheels seem to be common. However, they do focus on models that the main German 1:87 producers would not release. Some of their latest releases are shown below.

All models are moulded in resin in China to 1:87 scale for Germany.

Mercedes 180 (W120) Bakkie, BoS-Models, 1:87

Aston Martin DB5, BoS-Models, 1:87

Opel Manta B Mattig, BoS-Models, 1:87

 

Jaguar XJ-S, BoS-Models, 1:87


 

 

Amalgam Collection

By Maz Woolley

All photographs are by the manufacturers.

I recently stumbled over a company that I had never heard of before whose sales are targeted only at the richest model collectors. Amalgam models based in Bristol in the United Kingdom create large scale exhibition standard models to the orders of racing teams and wealthy car owners as well as a few batches of models of classic subjects for more general sale. These models are all to large scales between 1:18 and 1:8 and often include fine scale opening features and a very high standard of finish. The models are targeted at the wealthy who buy  luxury brand chronometers and fine and classic cars as you can see on their website  http://www.amalgamcollection.com/

The company was created in 1985 by four model makers making scale buildings for Architects practices, They still work in that field and for Naval Architects as well as making the Amalgam Collection of model cars.  They focused on supplying the leading F1 teams and Europe’s luxury car manufacturers.  It is now owned by a US media company, Motorsport Network. In recent years cars from Ralph Lauren’s collection  have been modelled and sold in his flagship stores. They offer a bespoke service building a model of your car to order.

As might be expected these are very expensive models. A 1:8 scale racing Aston Martin costs about the same as a small new car in the UK. Their standard 1:18 scale models such as the one shown below are slightly more expensive than an equivalent hand built model model from BBR.

 

I have selected two cars they have modelled from different ends of the collection to look at. The first one has been modelled many times to different standards and is from their 1:18 collection. The Ferrari 250 LM #21 which was the overall winner of the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1965 driven by Jochen Rindt, and Masten Gregory. This model is to 1:18 scale.

The model appears from the photographs to be well moulded  and detailed as one would expect.  A lot of attention has been lavished on the box and all the luxury add-ons and presentation.

The interior appears to be detailed to the same standard as the exterior. The tiny Ferrari badge in the centre of the steering wheel is present and the wood effect wheel rim nicely modelled.

Perspex sliding windows are well modelled and the fuel filler and air inlets are nicely captured and convincing.

Front and rear detailing is well done and wheels and tyres are excellent as well.

Finally by way of comparison is a picture of the BBR model of the 250 from 1967. To my eye the Amalgam model is roughly on a par with BBR ones in standards as well as price though not marketed to collectors in the same way.

At the other end of the offerings from Amalgam are hand made 1:8 scale models such as this of the Aston Martin DBR9 which raced at Sebring in 2005. which is currently out of stock.

There are no opening or moving parts on this model which is made to be displayed. The model is finished to an extremely high standard with the wheels and brakes being particularly beautifully executed.

All the logos are incredibly well reproduced and details like the town point are captured well. The fine modelling of the rear wing is excellent though it looks fragile even in this large scale.

The overhead view on a plinth is the only view where it looks like a model rather than a real car.

 

All in all a wonderful scale model but then it needs to be one could buy a new Hyundai i10 for less money than such a model would cost!

Few collectors could afford these models or will see them unless they attend manufacturers exhibitions. However they are interesting as they show a corner of the model making industry not generally seen in the general press.


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Tin Tin Mark 10 makeover

By John Sharpe

John is a retired mechanic who spends quite a lot of his time running and restoring real cars and who has a love of Saabs and Jaguars. Running a Saab and a Citroen Ambulance and having an E Type awaiting restoration. After an email discussion with the editor about the relative accuracy of Atlas, Norev, and Atlas Tin Tin models he decided to have a go at turning the Tin Tin car pictured below into a standard saloon.

  

Little did I know when I set out on this conversion that it would turn out to be so problematic. I painted and polished and it looked lovely, but then the troubles started. When I tried to apply the centre bonnet line it bled through the masking tape, so I finished up re-spraying the bonnet. Then to cap it all the new masking tape that I was using round the windows pulled off most of the window silver surround I had painted so I had to do it all again without masking. After that all I had to do was to touch in around the roof with the colour used.

When I looked at the Tin Tin models interior I found that the build quality was atrocious The seats had been glued down askew and epoxy glue had been used as if it was going out of fashion!

Although you can’t see it in the pictures I got carried away with the interior two tone seats, wooden door capping, dashboard and steering wheel and the final touch, a privacy partition, The seats were covered in a plastic tissue type of material the lighter colour first, then the darker panels spaced to look like duo tone seats.

Editors tip – I find that standing the model on its end well supported is necessary to get front lights to set symmetrically when using Krystal Klear and I think that the same technique would work gluing on jewels with white glue.

I managed to find some self adhesive clear jewels for the front lamps of varying sizes, but they keep slipping down.This is my first foray into customising any model this small. On any future ones I may leave the window frames unpainted as trying to emulate Oxford or MInichamps is difficult.

Comparing the converted model with the Atlas Mark 10 shown above it rides lower but I think that helps it  has more presence. And with the square axles fitted to the Tin Tin Jaguar it won’t roll off the shelf!

Anyway here is my first attempt at making a small conversion. It nearly went in the bin twice, but I kept persevering, I may even buy another and try again!

Editor: We would like to thank John for sharing the story of his conversion and encourage other readers to do the same. 


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M2 Chevrolet 150 Handyman Wagon

By Maz Woolley

 

This M2 release 39 Autothentics model is diecast to 1:64 scale in China for the US. Unusually M2 has chosen to model the bottom of the station wagon range for 1957 the Handyman which had only two doors and a lot less chrome trim than the four door 1957 Chevrolet 210 Beauville Station Wagon already produced in release 35. The 150 was also the basis for the Sedan Delivery  so I wonder if M2 will also do that at some point with the livery possibilities that will offer.

The 1957 model year 150 kicked off with a straight six but that was dropped in favour of the 235 V8 Blue-Flame engine as standard. Lift the bonnet of the model and the engine shown is a V8. A manual gearbox was standard but Powerglide or Turboglide automatics were available. Performance was good by contemporary standards. Although the 57 Chevy is a classic released time and time again for model collectors it was actually Ford that sold more 57 cars.

The M2 model is to their usual standards and the doors, though opening, are properly full framed and have acceptable shut lines. All the lights, grille and badging are well represented and the simple wheels and hub caps capture the bottom line trim well. The Handyman logo is printed on so small I had to get a magnifying glass out to confirm it was there under the flags on the rear wing.


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Atlas Sports Cars – AC Aceca

By Maz Woolley

 

Some time ago Atlas sold a series entitled “Sports Cars”. The models were often ones already seen elsewhere like the Jaguar E Type and Aston Martin DB5. Others like the Fiat Dino and Peugeot sports had also appeared elsewhere but were rather cheaper in this series than when produced by Norev. The entire series was diecast to 1:43 scale in China. This is an obsolete series and models are now only available on the secondary market and not from Atlas themselves.

Two models in the series stood out for me the Daimler SP250 and the AC Aceca. Both were based on Norev originals and good models of models that had not appeared in a modern diecast at that point. Of course this meant that prices on the secondary market rocketed and reached levels that I would not pay. In fact in some cases the Atlas models were being priced more highly than the more detailed Norev models that they were based upon. Oxford‘s SP250 has been launched since then and I live in hope that the Atlas price will gradually reduce due to that. No-one else has made an Aceca yet and I was surprised to be able to pick one up for no more than Atlas would charge for it.

The Aceca is a coupé version of the AC Ace the car that was turned into a Cobra in the States. The car originally had a two litre AC engine but the similar two litre Bristol-engined Aceca-Bristol was also available alongside the original from 1956 to 1963. A few cars were built from 1961 to 1963 with a tuned 2553 cc Ford Zephyr engine and these were sold as the Aceca 2.6.

The Atlas model’s number plate is correct for one of the final cars in 1963 and browsing pictures of the car on the web the mid blue colour Atlas have had it painted is shown on several cars.

The model has lots of good features like the wood effect steering wheel rim and silver metal effect spokes. Neat separate grille and light lenses and door and hatch handles are all used. I also like the four piece glazing which allows for excellent flush glazing with silver printing which will not “pop” like so many P-E windows parts are doing. Less good are the the windscreen wipers which are a bit heavy as is the interior mirror. The wire wheels are good without being exceptional.


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Atlas Dinky 24B Peugeot 403 Berline

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest Atlas Dinky to ship in the UK is a casting already seen several times in the Continental series. That series appears to have included both the original unglazed release and the later glazed one. For the UK Atlas has presented the earliest form of the casting in black with white tyres and numbered 24B. The casting was later re-numbered 521 and glazed. The model first appeared in 1956 and was re-numbered in 1959 lasting in the range until 1961.

This model is a nice replica of the original which was a good likeness of the real Peugeot 403 Berline. Many readers will be aware that the Tin Tin comic books featured many cars, and the 403 was one of them. I am convinced that Hergé often drew the pictures from toys rather than pictures of the real car, the picture below illustrates what I mean.

(c) Tin Tin copyright owners

The model certainly has a period charm that Dinky Toys on both sides of the channel had in the mid-fifties. It is an excellent reproduction of a toy that captured the real car, albeit in a stylised way. It was a good seller in France at a time when children wanted models of the cars they saw around them.

I can find no record of this model ever being listed by Dinky in the UK so it would have been a very unusual model for a child in the UK to have.

Atlas has given an estimate of 45 issues to be made in this series and it would appear likely that most or all of the rest will already have been seen in the French series already.


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Hitch and Tow Series 8 Pop-Up Trailer

By Maz Woolley

 

The Greenlight 1:64 scale Hitch and Tow series made in China for the US is well established with Series Ten being launched this month. Most series have few new trailers now with the same trailer appearing in new colours and with a different tow car. Here we look at the pop-up camping trailer first seen in series eight with a Ford F-150 pickup towing it. This trailer appears again in series 10 pulled by a 1970 Ford F-100 pickup as the tow car.

The camper can be displayed in open form as seen at the top of this posting or closed as shown immediately above. Please note that it normally has a white gas cylinder mounted on the body just above the tow bar however this has broken off mine.

Inside the camper is a simplified interior which is superfluous as it cannot be seen when the camper is displayed either open or closed.

As the photograph above shows the folding fabric has been well modelled on the tent section. This section is made out of plastic and locates with a lugs into the base and the metal cover/roof locates into the top of the plastic section with the small lugs it also uses to locate into the metal base section when shown closed.

The Ford F-150 is well modelled with the complicated front lights neatly inserted as separate items. The interior with its second row of seats has been modelled in some detail though it has no printed details. The tyres even have the Goodyear details printed on them and the Ford logo is printed on the grille centre. The F-150 is a best selling vehicle in the US despite a combined cycle fuel usage of 18-20 miles to a US Gallon.

Given that it is being used to go camping a cover or top fitted on the truck bed to cover the luggage and camping gear might have been nice but one can hardly complain about its absence given Greenlight’s pricing of this range.

The US 1:64 scale marketplace seems to be thriving with new series planned for the near future.  Some early castings of M2s forthcoming Datsun range have been shown, the 240Z and Bluebird, and they look very good as shown with no opening doors. I am sure that a lot of collectors are looking forward to the models.


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