Hachette Italy – World Buses Part 8

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

This months issues brings us one more French bus, an Italian one, and a German one, but “made in Spain” : as usual an interesting mix from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 22 (no. 15 in the French collection) Berliet Crusair 3 1969 – Like Renault, Berliet is one of the oldest automobile manufacturer : founded in 1899 by Marius Berliet, it was in private ownership until 1967 when it became part of Citroën, then acquired by Renault in 1974 and merged with Saviem into the new Renault Trucks company (RVI) in 1978. Its name was phased out by 1980. Based in Vénissieux, near Lyon, Berliet contributed highly to the motorsport and economic development of France. After a first small vis-à-vis (1895) the first real Berliet was the 22 CV in 1902, and the success was at the door. Already in 1905 Berliet could sell to the American company ALCO (American Locomotive Corporation) the rights for the overseas production of models 22, 40 and 60 CV. That’s the origin of the locomotive in the Berliet logo. At the outbreak of the First World War its production was converted to military purposes. Its trucks were well thought of, and it assembled the famous Renault tanks.

After the war 4 and 6 cylinders models were produced, as wel as trucks and autocars. But the appearance of the Citroën Traction put rivals several years behind in technological terms. As money to innovate was lacking at Berliet an agreement with Peugeot allowed them to use the 402 body, a modern line to conceal their old fashioned technology. It was the last Berliet car, after World War Two only commercial vehicle production was resumed. During the fifties Berliet was highly successful, but in the sixties the competition with Magirus, Mercedes, Scania, Volvo and Fiat was very tough. It was necessary to innovate continuously. Once again resources were lacking and in 1967 it was acquired by Citroen. The Cruisair range, developed from 1966, offered innovative technical solutions and a new aesthetic.

The Cruisair 2 and 3 were 10 and 11 metres long, and were marketed in 1968 equipped with a 2-stroke V-6 GM Detroit Diesel engine, fragile if not correctly used, and, starting from 1970, with the V-8 Berliet, less powerful, but more reliable. Comfortable, reliable and profitable the Crusair was built on a straight frame with two U-rails, braced by central X-riveted cross-rails. Airlam suspensions, consisting of pneumatic cushions and leaf springs associated with double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers, assured comfort and stability. But it was not free of defects, such as corrosion, poor driving position or poor technical solutions for belts and brakes. The Crusair was replaced by the PR14 in 1975, in effect an evolution of a 12 meters long Crusair 4 never produced, equipped with a turbo engine and sold, under the Renault brand, until 1989.

The scale model has a plastic body and a metal chassis with the rear exhaust highlighted by silver paint. The bright livery is yellow with a lower green stripe, a silver stripe below the windows and a black roof. The registration plate is from Toulouse in Haute Garonne, in the South of France. Nice modelling of the engine ventilation grilles and the front itself as well as the driver’s “cab”. The front and rear bumper separate fixings like the wipers. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. This is a nice model of a bus that boldly showed the image of the French coach in the last twenty years of the twentieth century.


No. 23 (no. 67 in the French collection) FIAT 309/1 SDM Menarini 1966 – Fiat is another of the oldest automobile manufacturers. Founded in 1899 its first truck was the 24 HP in 1903. Like many other companies Fiat commercial vehicles had a strong growth during the war years, starting in 1911 with the Libyan war (type 15 and then type 18). In 1925 Fiat bought SPA (Società Piemontese Automobili) and in 1929 created Fiat Veicoli Industriali, a consortium grouping Fiat V.I., SPA and Scat-Ceirano that in 1933 integrated OM (Officine Meccaniche ex Züst). In 1966 Fiat V.I. absorbed its French subsidiary UNIC (bought in 1949 by Fiat-Simca), in 1966 Lancia Industrial Vehicles, and in 1973 part of FNM (Fàbrica Nacional de Motores), the Brazilian subsidiary of Alfa Romeo. From 1975 all the activities were grouped with Magirus in a new company (IVECO), and from now on it started the slow disappearance of the specific products of each brand. In 1915, Gianni Agnelli, founder of Fiat, created the S.I.T.A. (Società Italiana Trasporti Automobilistici) to ensure the transport of people and goods, and clearly to develop its commercial vehicles production (S.I.T.A. was part of Fiat up to 1987).

We have already seen (see 5th part, no. 13) that Menarini was established in Bologna in 1919 building horse drawn carriages, car components and later buses and trucks bodies for Fiat chassis. After the Second World War there was a great growth, but in the 1980s an excess of prudence by the ownership made the company weaker in the face of competition, leading to its acquisition by Breda, later to be integrated in Finmeccanica in 2001, and to be sold in 2015 to the new company IAA (Industria Italiana Autobus), owner of Menarini and Padane brands.

The Fiat 309 was a bus produced by Fiat V.I. from 1958 to replace the 642RN, which had been derived from a truck. This vehicle was designed from the beginning as a bus. Its production ceased in 1970, when replaced by the 308. It was available in the 9-metre version, with line and Gran Turismo versions, designed by Cansa of Cameri but it was also available as a chassis destined for external body builders, especially Carrozzeria Orlandi, Dalla Via, Portese, Bianchi and above all Menarini. The first 309’s mechanics, placed in the middle of the chassis, derived from the truck 642, but in 1963 they derived from the 643 and the denomination became 309/1 (a flat 6 in line, delivering 153 hp  with a 5-speed gearbox). The 309 saw widespread operation in Italy but also sold well in export markets, both in the long-distance version and in the Gran Turismo version. The SDM in the name is typical of Menarini products, it stands for “Sintesi Del Meglio” (Summary of the Best), the name given to their new projects, aiming at optimising construction techniques.



The scale model is a faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle, part of the “Il Capolinea” fleet (The Terminal), a private Italian association (see www.associazioneilcapolinea.it). The registration plate, from Benevento, is the original one when it was part of the Autolinee Lisella. As usual there is a plastic body and a metal chassis, the rear exhaust highlighted by silver paint. Many items are small separate parts like the front and rear lights, wipers and the rear compartment doors. A nice front grille is provided complete with the Menarini and Fiat logos. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


No. 24 (no. 31 in the French collection) Setra-Seida S14 1966 – The Setra brand was born in 1951, but its origins are from the Wagenfabrik Kässbohrer, founded in 1893 in Ulm, and whose products were buses, coaches, vehicle transporters, trailers and special vehicles like snow groomers. After the destruction of World War Two they had to start from scratch and it was decided to create a new company dedicated only to buses. It was named Setra, short for “selbsttragend” (self supporting), referring to the integral nature of the construction, when competitor vehicles still featured a separate chassis and body. Until 1995 the firm operated under the name Kässbohrer-Setra, but in that year economic difficulties forced its sale to Daimler Benz, and to operate as a division of EvoBus GmbH, one of its subsidiaries. The first Setra buses were named according to the number of the rows of seats, like S8, S10, S14. To locate the engine behind the rear axle was another innovation, which subsequently became mainstream. The modular system (same structure’s elements and same cockpit) allowed to change only the wheelbase, the engine power and the interior fittings. Usually the engine was a diesel six by Henschel, delivering 170 CV.


The model is a bus born of an agreement between Setra and Seida (Sociedad Española de Importación y Distribución de Automóviles) a Spanish car and truck dealer and coachbuilder that later evolved into makers of integral chassisless motorcoaches, and  in 1998 merged into EvoBus. Seida was incorporated in 1925, and began as the dealer for Spain of all the brands of Chrysler Corporation, starting to assemble Dodge trucks in 1935. In the 1940s, after the Spanish Civil War, Seida switched to coachbuilding, soon leading the Spanish market of coach bodies, having patented, as Metalbloc, an all-metal body structure. By then Seida became the preferred bodybuilder for Pegaso buses and trucks, Hispano-Suiza trolleybuses, double-deck Guy and Dodge coaches. In 1963 an agreement with Kässbohrer allowed to license-build Setra chassisless coaches. These were equipped with Pegaso engines and were marketed with simultaneous double badge as Setra Seida and Pegaso. The S14, a full-length 12-meter 55 seat vehicle, was the most in demand. Despite being rather expensive, these coaches were very successful in the Spanish market. In the 1970s MAN, Mercedes-Benz or Cummins engines were offered as alternative power units to the Pegaso ones, and the Setra Seida and Pegaso badging was replaced by just Setra.

The scale model is again a faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle, owned by the “La Pamplonesa”, a Spanish family business dedicated to renting coaches and minibuses in Pamplona (Navarra) (see www.lapamplonesa.com). As usual there is a plastic body and a metal chassis, the body is quite bright, helped by the blue and light blue livery and plenty of windows. The windows on the roof would have meant that during summer it would be very hot inside. Perhaps because of its length the model seems to be a bit flimsy, too flexible. The registration plate is from Donostia-San Sebastián, a coastal city located in the Basque Autonomous Community.

The small “SP” plate doesn’t mean “Spain” but “Servicio Públicos”. it is a compulsory plate to indicates that the vehicle is dedicated to providing public services: taxis, buses, etc. There are two plates one at the front and the other in the rear of the vehicle, this last one should incorporate a light that complies with the same conditions as for the rear registration plate. The interior is quite basic and is in a strange purple-pink colour. There are many small added items such as front and rear bumpers, wipers and rear view mirrors. The Pegaso logo is modelled correctly on the front grille and on the hubcaps. There is no apparent differences to the French edition.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Le Mans Miniatures Q4 2017

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs provided by Le Mans Miniatures.

Le Mans Miniatures are a French firm famous for making accessories and slot cars in a  variety of scales. Here we look at some of their releases expected before the end of the year.

1:18 scale

A range of motor racing personalities have been produced by Le Mans Miniatures to 1:18 scale. These are detailed painted miniatures. This Autumn sees the release of Mauro Forghieiri the celebrated Ferrari designer and engineer.

1:32 Scale

The latest release of team mechanics is for Team Matra in 1974. These will liven up slot car circuits. All three mechanics are named and captured in a pit lane task.

A new slot car is the R5 Alpine Gr2 which appeared for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in 1976.  It was a heavily tuned and developed sports version of Renault 5. The racing car had the body altered to fit additional lights, wider wheels and the racing fuel fillers. Inside the car was stripped out and fitted with a roll cage and spare wheels in the back. The model shown is as raced by Guy Fréquelin and Jacques Delaval at Monte Carlo in 1978. Unlike the team on car number 19, the two drivers have a “rallye” helmet. They finished 3rd, just behind Renault 5 car number 19 of Ragnotti and Andrié, and only three minutes after the winning Porsche.

This model is also available with no race number so you can add your own.

1:43 Scale

Four new figure sets are to be released:

Set One – Racing Drivers

Jim Clark, Fangio, Pedro Rodriguez & Jo Siffert

Set Two – Team Leaders

John Wyer, Alfred Neubauer, Enzo Ferrari & Norbert Singer

Set Three – Various Figures

Robert, the photographer, Léon Swen race director and  Manfred, the mechanic

Set Four – Hawaiian Tropic Girls

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Club News Autumn 2017

By Maz Woolley

MAR magazine often included a short item on Club News written by Rod Ward. Since going online we have had a page of fixed information about clubs but have never had the same regular round up of news. In a  recent email exchange Barry Lloyd the editor of Wessex Smalltalk and Vice Chairman at Wessex Model and Toy Collectors  suggested that we really ought to revive the regular club roundup. So here at MAR Online we will create our Club News slot and will update our readers from time to time with news of what clubs are getting up to. If you belong to a club that is not mentioned on our club page then get in touch and we will add your information, and clubs who pass on their own news letters may be mentioned in the club news posts we make.

Starting with Wessex (WMTC) as Barry Lloyd got the ball rolling again. An excellent club magazine, Wessex Smalltalk, keeps everyone updated with what is going on at the club even if they cannot always attend meetings. Like many clubs they adopt a charity each year and collect money for them through auctions and other events. Recently they have auctioned off surplus club special models which had remained unsold to benefit Bath Cancer Unit Support Group. For many years the club had special Brooklin models made but  that ended last year when Brooklin adopted a minimum order policy that is too high for most clubs. A 2017 club model has been sourced elsewhere and should be with the members soon, but like other clubs they are wondering whether they will commission a club model for 2018. Their monthly meetings attract members with a  wide variety of interests and the August meeting had everything from a nice pair of Victory MG TFs  to an OO scale garage and Tinplate Railway items.

Further along the British south coast you come to South Hants Model Auto Club (SHMAC) who attend many events showing their models and publicising the hobby. Their most recent club magazine Wheel Nuts describes their attendance at the Andover Modellex show where the club showed six cabinets of models with everything from NASCAR to Traction Engines. There were also trips to display Ford Models at the Ford Fair at Silverstone, and at Breamore House Classic Car Show. Club nights see the Model of the Month competition which attracts a wide variety of entries from tanks to racing cars. Chris Derbyshire produces an excellent club magazine which always have excellent articles from members, often covering real vehicles with modelling and collecting connections.  In October’s edition there was a great article about Ecurie Ecosse at Le Mans in 1957.  I can vouch for the friendliness of the monthly meetings having attended one earlier in the year.

I will have to watch what I say about Coventry Diecast and Model Club (CDMC) as I am a member!  Monthly meetings at the Midland Air Museum are usually in a show and tell format with members sharing their models. And there is a good range of models in a variety of scales, materials and ages on display.  This month it will be “battery versus clockwork” which will undoubtedly bring out some interesting models. The quarterly magazine Wheelspin is edited by Will Roe and includes articles by members as well as news and interesting looks at the clubs past.  The cover this month shows one of Will’s drawings of a Coventry Corporation Number 2 bus just like the one that this editor used to catch into town in his childhood.

Maidenhead Static Model Club (MSMC) is Britain’s oldest club having been founded in 1969. Regular monthly meetings are held and a they produce a club newsletter called Wheelbearings. The newsletter is produced by Adrian Levanto whose book on Blue Light Models was reviewed recently in MAR Online. Members enjoy club nights with talks, quizzes, competitions, and a social event in the lead up to Christmas too.  The club raises money for charities from auctions and events. The Windsor International Toy & Train Collectors Fair is organised by the club and is a big effort for all involved.

West Australia Collectors Club (WAMAC) hold regular meetings and publish a club newsletter Showcase.  This is another club whose members are looking forward to a pre-Christmas lunch together. Meetings include competitions and show and tell sessions. The club news covers a wide range of subjects: Trax code threes, search and rescue vehicles, and Matchbox Lesney models for example. Members of course also show road train models celebrating that unique Australian transport system.

Natal Diecast Model Collectors (NDMC) is another club founded may years ago which still publishes a regular newsletter as well as holding Club Nights. The Latest newsletter shows the variety of models members brought along for the Mini themed evening in July as well as an interesting article about Jaguars that has been published across three newsletters. September will have seen their annual diorama competition and in October a member is showing models at the Hobby-X exhibition in Durban. They even find time to keep up a club website at http://www.ndmc.co.za/index.html.

The Canadian Toy Collectors Society (CTCS) is a well established club covering a wider range of toys than many. The newsletter edited by Des Barnes is produced ten times a year and the club has monthly meetings in Toronto. It sponsors toy fairs which cover a wide range of collectibles. Club nights are a mix of competitions and members displays. The October theme was Dioramas and the wining member had built a wonderful display based on the real-life Lucky Lott Hell Driver Show  from the 1930s to 50s showing cars stunting and the transporters that got them to site.

Nederlandse Algemene Miniatuur Auto Club  (NAMAC) has local groups meeting in various regions: West; Brabant; Veluwe,; Utrecht; Noord and Noord-Holland. Local groups seem to be active in visiting transport museums, having meetings to display their models and the usual club nights we have here in the UK.  The monthly magazine is a full professional production auto in miniatuur. It features reviews of new models as well as news of trips made by members.  Slot Cars are also covered which is outside the scope of many UK model magazines. There is a fabulous article in the latest edition on creating dioramas for photographing with both 1:43 and 1:18 models set ups shown. The club also holds a very influential collectors poll to vote for the best models in a wide range of categories.

Brooklin Collectors Club

This club has an annual meeting but has worldwide members and its newsletter is the main way of bringing collectors together. Unfortunately MAR Online cannot comment on the newsletter as it is one of the few that we do not see.

The club meeting this year was held in Bath and was combined with meeting with Brooklin staff and talking about the many changes which are going on at Brooklin. Members seem to generally accept a need for higher prices to cover the increased level of detail being included but there seem to be reservation amongst Brooklin collectors in general about proposed new, more complicated, and more expensive packaging  which was discussed with Brooklin over the period of their visit.

Reading all the club newsletters I see is encouraging. The clubs seem to be very welcoming to new members and give you an opportunity to learn more about collecting from other enthusiasts which is always a great experience.

I hope to visit many clubs over the next couple of years as I find it a great way to meet and learn from other collectors.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

News from the Continent September/October 2017 – Herpa.

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author.

Here are some thoughts on two releases Herpa made in July 2017. These are moulded in plastic to 1:87 in Germany.

307574 IFA G5 Dumper – orange

After the recent fire brigade version, the IFA G5 is now released as a bright yellow dumper. This vehicle was developed for the National Peoples Army of the former DDR and the 6×6 G5 was also used for civil purposes, especially when The Warsaw Pact forces standardised on Soviet trucks. The new  tipper has working action as shown in the photographs below where it can be seen next to the earlier dark orange and Military versions from the DDR Modelcars range.

700665 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 13 double-cab with flat bed and Tilt German Army – “Bundeswehr”.

It seems hard to believe but today German Army vehicles can be seen painted in white or silver in use on the roads. This approach is designed to make it easier to sell secondhand vehicles in these colours, rather than the traditional matt green, when the army no longer want them.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Atlas Dinky Trucks – 425 Bedford TK Coal Lorry

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The Atlas Dinky Trucks series continues with another release based on the Bedford TK cab already seen in the series  as 434 Bedford TK Crash Truck. Dinky made good use of this cab as it also appeared as 450 Castrol Box Van, 435 Tipper, 978 Refuse Truck and 402 Coca Cola delivery Lorry.

Atlas have reproduced the toy box well with the period drawings capturing a world swept away in the UK by the discovery of North Sea Gas reserves.

On the side panel, shown below ,details of the accreditation of approved coal merchants were described which provides an explanation of the logo on the cab door.


This TK version was in production between 1964 and 1968, or 1969 as sources disagree. Liveried for Hall and Sons it is the type of vehicle that delivered coal, coke and anthracite to people’s homes. In the early 1960’s houses still had open fires and many had solid fuel boilers to heat the water and house. Coal deliveries were a common sight on urban streets. By the end of the 1970s the clean air act and the cheap new gas coming in from the North Sea meant that houses had boarded up fireplaces , fitted central heating and an old trade was in decline.

Although the Dinky toy is a slight caricature of the TK cab it made a nice strong looking toy. With its hefty chassis and nice solid wheels and tyres it looked up to the job of moving heavy loads around.

On the back Atlas have reproduced the extras which came with the original model. 6 sacks modelled full of coal and a set of scales to check the weight before delivery, though like the original Dinky there was no weight to put on scales to balance the bag.

As side on shot emphasises the heavy nature of this model and many must have survived well in the toy box, though without the sacks and scales in most cases, and many without the board on the cab too.

The Atlas replica of this Dinky Toy is well executed and captures well a feature of life within the memories of many who will collect the model. A way of life which has long slipped into history like Whites ,and Alpine, Lemonade deliveries and Mothers Pride bread deliveries. All delivered to the  doorstep.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

News from the Continent September/October 2017- Schuco

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Photographs provided by, and copyright of Schuco.

Schuco models are diecast in China for Germany in various ranges to various scales.

Recent Relelases

Piccolo (1:90 Scale)

450574400 Mercedes-Benz O319 “Edelweiss Klassik 2017”

Edition 1:43 (1:43 Scale)

450389300 Volkswagen Brezel-Beetle “Wintersport” – grey

This is another strange model from Schuco. It is a split-window Beetle yet it is fitted incorrectly with small ventilator windows in the doors. The original vehicle appeared in 1952 and was also without the “rheumatism flaps” by the A-pillars. Faults on Schuco VWs are repeated again and again in spite of information being supplied to the product manager. Schuco clearly let the Chinese manufacturers do what they want.

PRO.R43 (1:43 Scale)

450893500 Magirus Deutz O6500 “German Federal Post”

PRO.R32 (1:32 Scale)


450901700 Famulus RS 14-36 tractor – green

450901800 Tracked tractor T100 M3 – grey

Edition 1:87 (1:87 Scale)


452626700 Volkswagen Golf Mk.I GTI – silver

452627700 Porsche 356 A Speedster – red

452628300 Opel Manta A “Black Magic”

452630100 Mercedes-Benz LP608 box truck “Märklin”

452620700 Mercedes-Benz L1113 flatbed truck with tank “ARAL”

Releases expected in October 2017

EDITION PRO.R43 (1:43 Scale)


450891700 Porsche 911 (993) Turbo Cabriolet – blue

450891800 Porsche 911 (993) Speedster – silver

450891300 Porsche 911 Targa – Grand Prix white

450891400 Porsche 911 Targa “Rijkspolitie”

Edition PRO.R32 (1:32 Scale)


450896700 Coffee plantation tractor

Edition 1:18 (1:18 Scale)


450040200 Porsche Cayman GT4 – blue

Edition PRO.R18 (1:18 Scale)


450007300 Brütsch Mopetta scooter – red and white


450007400 Brütsch Mopetta scooter – blue and white


450010800 BMW 502 “Hearse”

Edition 1:87


452627200 Fiat 500 Rally – red

452627300 Fiat 500 Giardiniera “Sport” – white and red

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Miniversum Budapest

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Once in a while MAR Online covers a visit to a car or model related exhibition. This article looks at Miniversum a permanent exhibition of model railways, vehicles and buildings to 1:87 scale in Hungary’s capital city Budapest. The model vehicles shown are largely from the main German makers of 1:87 scale models.  This article cannot do justice to the scale of the displays, it  just provides an overview.

The Communist Era

Some set pieces have been modelled to show some typical scenes under communism. Be sure to pick up a leaflet on the Communist era displays as you may not spot them all without the guide.

The Coal depot features a Russian built heavy tipper as well as the rail infrastructure.

An industrial complex is also modelled with a Barkas B1000 pickup approaching the exit. Whilst an Ikarus bus awaits outside the factory.

Another view showing the fine modelling of a working heavy industrial site.

Out in the countryside an IFA W50 with trailer brings in the hay.

A Soviet Barracks scene is modelled with a variety of military vehicles including UAZ minibuses, a Volga car, a variety of military lorries, and even a couple of tanks.

A clean Volga is parked in the Farmyard. Perhaps the son is a big shot in the Communist Party? The rather more homely Zetor tractor  looks like it is keeping company with a Belarus.

No vehicles here. Maybe there should be Ikarus Coach waiting nearby to transport the young communists home from their camp.

Other Scenes

The main body of the scenes starts with some Budapest scenes and then countryside scenes leading into scenes from Germany and Austria.

Heroes Square one of Budapest’s main tourist sites but with many fewer people than you will usually find there. Nicely modelled with Coaches waiting round the outside tough again to be realistic the coaches should be parked all the way round and double parked in places!

There are a lot of engines hauling trains of coaches or wagons. Local Services mix with more luxurious Express trains and the freight trains scurry around between them.

There are quite a few coaches running round the network powered by the Faller Car system.

A mixed farm has a wide range of animals.

A Porsche Dealer features some cars for sale on the forecourt whilst a Fair is in the field opposite.

Working street cars mix with Lorries and Coaches fitted with Faller fittings.

Lots of small scenes have been created to bring the scenery to life.

Emergency scenes can be found in several places with the Fire Brigade or Emergency Medical Services in attendance.

Whilst the world goes by the customers at the Hotel are settling in to the Beer Garden for Bratwurst and Sauerkraut with a Stein of Bier.

The Fire Services did not arrive in time to stop some damage taking place. The escape ladder is in use.

If you want to know more about Miniversum then their website is at https://www.miniversum.hu/en/. If you are visiting Budapest the Author recommends a visit.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Oxford Diecast – Small scale Rolls-Royce Phantom V and Rover SD1

By Maz Woolley

Oxford Diecast are quickly catching up with the models for Release 2 of 2017. The models shown have been diecast to 1:76 scale in Oxford’s Chinese facility for the UK.

76SDV001 Rover SD1 Targa Red

This is the first use of this casting in the Oxford range and I am sure that it will be around for a long time. The car was used by many UK police forces and there are many liveries it could be made in for just the Metropolitan Police let alone all the other forces who used them as motorway patrol cars.

It has been made initially in the Vitesse trim as is shown by the printed side marking. This was fitted with the Rover V8 engine and was the top of the range sporty model.

The SD1 replaced the Rover P6 series. Surprisingly the SD1 was only in production for 10 years from 1976 to 1986 from which date all large BL cars were based on Hondas. It even won European Car of the Year in 1977. Sadly though the car was not well made with even the press cars at the Launch having build issues. It also had issues with paint flaking and even rusting and tarnished Rover’s reputation for well made cars. The lack of a booted model also caused issues in the Executive Market which was more used to traditional booted vehicles like the Jaguar XJ or Ford Granada.

As is often the case from mid life onwards many of the early issues with the car were resolved and the build quality steadily improved. Had it been well built and finished from the start the car may well have sold better across the world and its eventual sale of about 300,000 cars might have been larger. Perhaps if an estate version had been introduced as well it would have taken a lot of the market that Mercedes and Volvo satisfied.

The model captures the SD1 shape well. It is long and low and the wheels examined closely are an excellent reproduction of the alloys fitted to the VItesse and the wheels are fitted with nice rubber tyres.

From the rear the huge rear window is well modelled and includes a wiper blade. The silver plastic in black plastic door handles are well represented as are the black rubber bumpers with silver embellishers. On thing to be careful of is the fragility of the door mounted mirrors. They are well scaled and look good but on my car one was so loose it fell out and was lucky not to be lost.

Looking at the front a few issues show up when examined closely. There is a strange silver strip over the passenger side light at a curious angle. The black grille area is not printed properly in the middle and the number plate is not fully printed. In addition the orange indicators have not been printed/painted on properly to the divider mark. On the positive side the Rover badge has been nicely printed and from a normal distance the faults on the front end are not so obvious.

The rear end is rather better than the front with the spoiler perhaps a little too large but acceptable at this scale. The printed badging is excellent and the lights though slightly exaggerated close up look good from a normal distance.

Although a lot of effort has been made to create a nice grey period moulded interior I was surprised whilst looking at it carefully for this review to find that the driver’s seatback was totally missing. Not just loose inside which I could correct but completely absent.  At the moment there is just the seat cushion fitted  whilst the passenger side has a full seat back. This shows poor quality control is still their even for the launch of a new casting.

Apart fro the completely missed seat back which is not acceptable I would other wise have said that despite a few issues with this car I would emphasise that looked at from a normal distance and handled carefully this is a good replica of the Rover SD1 which will I am sure go on to be seen in lots of liveries.

Rolls-Royce Phantom V

Already seen in the 1:43 range we now have this car “shrunk” to fit the 1:76 range. For many the first impression of this model is to remember the Matchbox model of the same car from their childhood.

The Phantom V makes a stunning model even in a small scale. The original car was in production from 1959 to 1968 retaining Silver Cloud underpinnings and a chassis at a time when the mainstream Rolls-Royce cars were built on the new monocoque Silver Shadow body. Only just over 500 of such cars were built and many went to heads of state apart from John Lennon’s spectacular “pop art” car.

The photograph above shows how well Oxford have masked the painting to give an excellent edge between the black and silver paint. Unlike their Phantom III which did not include the black circles on the wheel covers Oxford has printed them this time. Those on the side photographed are nearly centred correctly but one on the other side is printed well off centre ruining the effect.

One curious feature I did not notice on the larger car is that when looked at at an angle only part of the radiator grille darkens on each side causing a curious effect. I am not sure of the cause of this as the grille looks excellent otherwise.

Inside there is a nicely moulded cabin with the seats in blue leather effect and a wooden effect dashboard  though not door cappings. The painted on rear lights are crisp, correct and lined up correctly and the boot of the car with its GB markings and boot fittings is excellent.

The photograph above shows how much detail has been included on the front end with all the lights and ancilliary lights present on the full size car nicely reproduced.

The spirit of Ecstacy is nicely moulded if slightly large: forgiveable because this is probably to make it strong enough not to break when handled. And the RR marking on the radiator shell is there if so tiny the eye struggles to see it.

Again the bumper has the tiny RR log fitted and it is so small that without magnification you cannot see how well printed it is.

Other than the misprinted black circles on one wheel this model is excellent and I am sure that like the larger version it will now appear in a range of colours.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.


Neo and BoS September/October 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by, and copyright of, ModelCarWorld.

Market Positioning

Over the last year we have seen prices steadily rising from many suppliers. ModelCarWorld who own Neo, MCG, BoS and other ranges appear to be trying to contain their price rises in the same way that Oxford Diecast are. For example Neo models are now about 25% cheaper than Matrix models and MCG 1:18 scale models are about the same price as a 1:43 MaxiChamp. In contrast their BoS 1:87 scale models have crept up in price and now look rather expensive though their only competition is German made and is quite expensive too.

Many of the models shown are re-colours of previously released castings.

1:18 Scale

ModelCarWorld have models made for them in China to 1:18 scale. BoS models are resin cast and Model Car Group are diecast. Neither range has opening parts.



213751 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, Black 1949


213725 Triumph TR 7 DHC, Metallic Beige, RHD 1976


215128 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75, Black 1967


214628 Jaguar XJ 4.2C, Yellow/Black, RHD 1974


214633 Maserati 5000 GT Allemano, Red 1960


Model Car Group (MCG)


220257 Barkas B 1000 Halbbus, Volkspolizei 1970


209979 Tatra 87, Silver and Dark Red 1937


220256 Wolga M24-10, Red 1985

1:43 Scale


All these models are moulded in resin in China for Germany.

There have been few 1:43 BoS releases lately and some recent Neo models have been regarded as BoS finish for Neo prices. Comments have been made suggesting the red shade shown in the pictures of the second issue of the Humber Sceptre is too bright and is also incorrectly sprayed at the rear where the red colour should go into the “V” round the rear lights and does not.

ModelCarWorld are certainly getting the most out of their S & S 1966 Ambulance moulding producing it in a variety of colours and equipment. The Buick Flxible Premier has recently been seen modelled by Ixo in the German Atlas series of Ambulances which may limit the sales of the Neo.


186011 Humber Sceptre MK I, Red and White, RHD 1963


186015 Morgan Plus 4 Plus, Red, RHD


180791 Cadillac S&S Ambulance Fire Rescue


156253 Cadillac S&S Ambulance, White 1966


215306 Dodge Sportsman, Metallic Green and White 1973


213737 Mercedes C111-IID, Metallic dark Orange 1976


156314 Cadillac S & S Ambulance, Red/White 1966


167757 Cadillac S&S Landau Hearse, Black


215577 Buick Flxible Premier,Red/White 1960 Ambulance


192388 Maybach SW35 Stromlinie Spohn, Black and Brown  1935

1:87 Scale

BoS Models

These resin models made in China for Germany replaced the previous Neo 1:87 range which was expensive and sold slowly with ModelCarWorld still having some available for bargain prices long after the range was stopped. The BoS 1:87 Range was supposed to offer similar interesting subjects but with less expensive finishing. Even so some models still feature p-e parts and some fine details.

For me the most interesting of this months releases are the tractor units from Pegaso and Bernard, though these are quite a bit more expensive than the cars. They certainly add options for 1:87 collectors and if they stick to cab units that the mainstream 1:87 producers are unlikely to release they could sell well.

215516 Mercedes AMG G 63 6×6, Metallic-Beige 2013


215124 Pegaso Comet, Beige and Brown 1964


218690 Horch 853 Special Coupe, Black 1937


214786 Studebaker Commander Starliner, red/white 1953

215122 Bernard TD 150, Light Blue 1955

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Ruxton by Roberts

By John Roberts

Editor: This article has been posted as a result of the interest in a model conversion by John Roberts shown on Forum 43. It shows the amazing work needed to make a model of the unusual Ruxton car. The text is a record John kept of the build of this model in 2014 and all photographs are from John. We would like to thank Richard Noskar for supplying John’s build record to share with you all, and John’s permission for us to post it to our website.

Ruxton – American rarity

Although front wheel drive began to appear in Europe in the mid 1930s, notably from Citroen, the concept in America was alien. In the early 1920s, former racing mechanic William J Muller  joined the Budd Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia. He set about persuading Budd that a front wheel drive layout was a superior way of powering a motor car. In addition the centre of gravity could be lowered and road-holding improved.  He proposed building a prototype and Budd advanced $15,000 for the project.  Such foresight was not unknown among coachbuilders in those days because if a new idea was taken up the larger manufacturers might conceivably offer a lucrative contract. After two years and another injection of finance the Muller-Budd car was completed.  With a 130 inch wheelbase the low-slung car looked like no other. The bodywork was designed by Joseph Ledwinka, a distant cousin of Hans Ledwinka of Tatra fame. The new car used a Studebaker engine with reworked Warner transmission.

Much interest was aroused in this new car, but nobody wanted to invest. At this point, a wheeler-dealer named Archie M Andrews appeared on the scene. Andrews had made a fortune on Wall St. and was involved with both the board at Budd and fellow maker Hupp. He arranged to buy the prototype and took it over to Hupp, much to Budd’s annoyance. Andrews arranged everything with Hupp and just as work was about to start, Hupp pulled out.

Undeterred, Andrews announced he would build the car himself and set up a new company, New Era Motors, in New York city. He took the car to the Dyas-Hollywood  Store where he gave rooftop demonstration drives to prospective investors, one of which was New York stockbroker William Ruxton.

Andrews took the sudden decision to name the car Ruxton, hoping that this would persuade the stockbroker to invest. He didn’t, nor was he ever involved in any way.  The newly named Ruxton was developed with a Continental engine in place of the Studebaker unit. The most striking aspect of the car was its appearance. Standing just under 64 inches tall it was billed as ‘The car you can look over, but you can’t overlook‘.  With 19 inch wheels and a 10 inch ground clearance the car bore a striking resemblance to the chopped and channelled hot-rods that would appear in the 1950s.

To emphasise the car’s low profile, New York stage designer Joseph Urban created bizarre paint schemes consisting of  horizontal bands in graduated colours. The theme was continued inside with striped seat and door panels. Only a few showcars sported this look although it was originally intended that all Ruxtons would be like this.

Despite these bold moves problems continued for Andrews and he faced a continual struggle to find a company to build his new car. The saloon used bodies shipped from Britain and made originally for Wolseley by Pressed Steel. These were modified to suit. Other home-based makers produced tourers and roadsters. After a succession of false starts, Kissel agreed to make Ruxtons alongside their own cars in exchange for a promised of $250,000 in new loans. As Kissel was in financial trouble this seemed a good idea. By mid 1930 things were beginning to go wrong. Kissel had only received a fraction of the funds promised and went into receivership, and New Era Motors followed at the end of the same year.

Thus  Ruxton enjoyed a short but eventful life, killed off not only by innovation which the American public didn’t fully trust, but also by the Depression which finished off many small automobile makers. Less than 500 examples were built and those remaining are much prized today.

John Roberts on building a model Ruxton sedan

The model is being created using a Robeddie Volvo 704 body and a Brooklin Packard Light 8 chassis and wheels. I found that the Packard wheelbase is identical to the Ruxton which was a bonus as I’d originally thought of using the Packard for its wheels only. I’ve modified the chassis by severely reworking the front wings and lowering the ride height. The Volvo has donated its body which is a close match to the original Wolseley body that was used by Ruxton. Just like the real one, I’ve had to modify it by recutting the rear wheel arches, chopping the roof down and cutting the body in half to widen it. I’ve also reprofiled the sides to give the tumble-home on the doors. Having tried the body on the chassis with the wheels in place I’ve achieved the correct height exactly in 1/43 scale. The real car is 64 inches high!

After working on proportions today I realised that the body is 1/10th of an inch too long – about 4” in real terms. I thought I could get away with it but realised I would wish I’d changed things, so the body has now been cut in half and I’ve taken 1/10th out. I’m currently fixing the bits back together. I’ll make new ‘B’ posts and recut the door shutlines. I’ve already made the windscreen upright rather than raked. After the body is together, gaps filled and the whole thing sanded I’ll scatchbuild the bonnet and radiator shell.

Photographs below show some of the work….before I cut the body in half to shorten it.

1937 Volvo TR704, Robeddie 014


Packard chassis & wheels, with Volvo body, with modifications already  (Nov. 1, 2014)


Another view  (Nov. 1, 2014)


Since I took the photos I’ve shortened the body shell by 1/10th of an inch. The proportions are now correct. Currently I’m making the bonnet and have made a sub-structure which is glued to the body. This gives me the chance to see if everything is aligned. I’m now looking for some louvres to go on the bonnet sides. I could make them from wire if I have to, but some taken from another model will be quicker. I will then let them in as panels on the bonnet sides. Currently I have an old Norev Peugeot that would do, or failing that a Lansdowne Bentley 8 litre. I’d rather use the Norev if I can. I’m still going through my bits and pieces. Most louvre sets are angled whereas the Ruxton and others of this period are vertical. The radiator grille will be fashioned from plasticard then foiled. The bonnet sides will be plasticard, and the top probably filler. The Woodlites…probably going to be the hardest thing to do. I have several ways here but I want to use metal so they can be polished. Foiling won’t work. I may make one and then make a mould and cast them to ensure they’re both the same size. I may modify a 1936 Pontiac light as I have a few spare.

Photos below show the Omen lady in the background, included for height/scale really – painted in a hurry yesterday. Side view shows the shortened body which now needs detail work round the windows and B posts, plus the drip rails, etc. The white plastic substructure is glued to the body and will form the basis for the bonnet – plastic sides and filler top which I can sand to the right profile. The front shots show the heavily modified front wings – the inners have been cut away and replaced with thin section plastic and the wing profiles have been altered to make them flatter rather than curved as they were originally. Also I’ve cut away the lump of metal in the front to leave the locating arms for the front bumper. These have to be shaped now. The body is just loosely placed on the chassis and it’s slightly off centre – this was me not the model.

Alignment frame for bonnet   (Nov. 2, 2014)


Front section to fit in chassis   (Nov. 2, 2014)


I’m going to be working on the bonnet next and then refining the detail and the fit. There are gaps between the body and the rear wings and these have to be sorted. I’ll make the basic shape of the radiator and when I’m happy with the fit I’ll try a guide coat of primer to highlight blemishes.

Joining the starting pieces   (Nov. 2, 2014)


I’ve found that the Peugeot louvres are a good match so that’s a relief. I didn’t really want to cut a Bentley 8 litre apart.

Side panels for the bonnet before filling in the tiny gaps, bonnet sub-assembly in place, and filler waiting to be filed to shape…plus my bloody fingerprint on the roof after I cut myself! Risky business this model creation!!


The side panels   (Nov. 2, 2014)


Bonnet form taking shape   (Nov. 2, 2014)

Filler curing   (Nov. 2, 2014)


I’m working on the body now – final detailing and cleaning up. All the wire trim has been done – roof, bonnet sides, drip rails. The holes for door handles and bonnet (hood) clips are drilled and the radiator shell is underway – the flash takes the detail out. I made it from plastic with a wire frame with a thin filler coat to blend in the wire. As you know Ruxtons are all different – some have chrome grilles, other black mesh. I’ve also noticed detail differences in the paint finishes and some have uncovered sidemounts, some have fabric and others have chrome. I’m going for the uncovered. The sidemounts sit higher than the bonnet on the real cars and I’ve realised that they do on the model too. I’m concentrating on the painting today and the making of the Woodlites. I have a dozen or so Pontiac headlights in a heap on the bench so hopefully I’ll get two correct Woodlites before I run out. The interior will have the full striped treatment – I’ve thought of a way of doing this.

Parts getting there—see the radiator  (Nov 3, 2014)


And together   (Nov. 3, 2014)


Looking about right   (Nov. 3, 2014)


I am pretty confident the Woodlites will work using the Pontiac ones as a base. I’ve filed two into the basic shape…actually I filed four but two pinged off into the far corners of the workshop and I couldn’t find them!

The body now has its top painted white and I’ve just painted the lilac stripe round the sides. I’ll have to wait until all is dry before masking for the third time.

The aim is to get the body painted and then I’ll leave everything to dry properly. The striping on the wings will be hand painted – free hand on the edges and masked for the central stripes. The stripes on the rear wings should disappear under the body then appear again at the lower ends. I’m not sure if this will happen but I hope it will.

My second attempt at masking and spraying has worked. Still some bits to refine and tidy and the white and lilac will be redone but it’s beginning to look the part now. The masking tape ripped a section of bonnet top off so it’s one step forward, and one back!


Tomorrow I’m masking up and respraying the white. The black roof has taken ages today – several attempts. You can see the striping on this pic. The lilac is being redone tomorrow and will continue along the bonnet sides. On top will be dark blue pinstriping and the blue stripes will go on the door pillars. The drip moulding will also be dark blue and I’ll add hinges for the doors and a bright metal strip along the bottom of the body. The sunvisor will be made and fitted, sprayed dark blue. Tomorrow I’ll detail the striping on the wings, hoping I can get the central white stripe to disappear under the body as per the original. But here’s what it looks like today:


The radiator grille has been made and fitted and the wheels given caps. The lower body sides have wire trim.

The seats are from the donor Volvo. I filled all the pleats to make smooth seats then cut the striped pattern to fit. The same pattern will be used vertically on the inner door panels. The seat ‘material’ was made by spraying small pieces of thin plasticard with the various colours. I then cut these into strips and glued them onto a backing. After this I photocopied the pattern, doubling up each time until I had enough. Then the sheet of panels was reduced to 56% on the copier and printed. I’ll use these to cover the seats and door trims.


The Woodlite headlights were made using 1936 Pontiac headlights, filed down to a Woodlite profile and I’ve just glued very thin wire round the body of each lamp to replicate the raised rib that goes round the upper half. The mountings have been slimmed down from the originals. I think I’ll drill the front wings and fit the lights. I have to line up the lights tomorrow to see how they look. If they’re not mounted in the right place the front will look wrong.


I paid a visit to Frome Model Centre on Thursday (Dec. 11, 2014) as I needed some black decal sheet to finish the Ruxton Sedan. I found a plain black sheet and also a sheet of printed grilles and grids which have many applications for model cars. The company is BECCs self adhesive vinyl Custom Decals – website www.becc.co.uk.


I’ve managed to fit the dreaded Woodlite headlights! They look just right. I now have to detail the lights and refine the shapes slightly.

All I need to do now is make and fit the front and rear bumpers and detail the trunk then it’s done.

Finished!  Dec. 19, 2014


With the 1:1,  Dec. 19, 2014

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.