Oxford Diecast Pontiac Bonneville Coupe 1959

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Oxford Diecast has issued a re-coloured version of their 1:87 scale diecast in China for the United Kingdom 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Coupe.

The re-colour is in sunrise coral with a white roof which is a very period look.  Our review of the original issue can be found here. The model itself is excellent with a lot of very fine printing of chrome embellishments and very neatly printed wipers and window surrounds.

The wheels are excellent and the printed badges and side chrome fine.

To the rear the rear lights, badging and chrome strips are very delicately done, remember that this model is only 1:87 scale!

Inside nothing is picked out but there is a nicely moulded interior with neat door cards and dashboard.

All in all a lovely model and a well chosen colour which is enough to persuade this collector to buy another model from the same casting.

What I cannot understand is that this lovely Pontiac model which is up to the highest standards of 1:87 metal casting and finishing is made by the same company that produced the crude Isetta shown below which we recently reviewed. How can this be? Does Oxford have multiple teams responsible for models and the resultant model is good if the A-Team do it and poor if not?

After being disappointed by the model above I went back to the London Toyfair pictures and I note that the Heinkel Trojan casting on show appears to rely on the same large central shaft to hold the base on which is a very considerable disappointment. Most 1960s toymakers didn’t resort to such crude engineering.

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

Hot Wheels Cadillac Elmiraj

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise acknowledged.

The Cadillac Elmiraj  is a concept car from General Motors. They say that the Elmiraj Concept “re-imagines 2-door design for the next generation of luxury drivers”.  And that it is “Driving forward with a beautiful look back. The stunning Elmiraj exterior is based on the classic El Dorado design” and GM say that “An elongated wheelbase, clean body lines, and wide swinging doors emphasise luxury and elevate status.  It was unveiled at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and It continues the development begun by the Cadillac Ciel concept car. It was named for the El Mirage dry lake bed that was used for high speed runs.

The car is a two door, four seat US full-size luxury coupe. It is powered by a 4.5 litre twin turbocharged V8 driving the rear wheels and delivering an estimated 500 hp. It features a pillar less hardtop , a body style abandoned by U.S. car makers since the late 1970s.  It is obviously an attempt to show that GM can complete with cars like the Audi A8BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Though to the Author it looks like an overgrown Lexus.

The model is diecast in Malaysia for Mattel and features in their Hot Wheels Factory Fresh range. It also appears in blue and red in HW City and Black in HW Exotic ranges as well as on blister cards with no range stated. All appear to be made to a similar standard which is to quite a high level of finish compared to some other Hot Wheels.

The front end has had a fair amount of detail with blackened grill, Cadillac symbol and chrome work round grille and along bonnet printed silver as well as the front lights.

The front and rear windows have the edges picked out in black and the side windows are left open to emphasise the fact it is an open coupe.

However that is pretty much the end of the detailing applied by Mattel and rear lights, window surrounds and rear Cadillac symbol are all just left unpainted. However, I could not resist the temptation to add silver and red to the rear lights, and silver paint for the rear crest, as well as painting the side window surrounds. NB the somewhat messy appearance was because I handled the car and spread the clear red lacquer whilst photographing it – the paintwork has been tidied up since!

Though the wheels are very much plastic “Hot Wheels” the general shape actually apes the huge alloys on the concept car well.

The interior of the car is a creamy brown moulding with a little detail which doesn’t attempt to capture the complex seat shapes but does try to echo in a basic form the cars dashboard.

As far as I can determine this is the only model of this car whose design cues clearly influenced the development of the smaller Cadillac ATS  Coupe even if that is not a pillar less hardtop. And it is great that as a pocket money toy I don’t have to worry about detailing the model  as it cost little in the first place.

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

Budgie #12 Volkswagen MIcrobus

By Maz Woolley

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

Robin Godwin recently wrote about the Budgie #8 Volkswagen Sedan made by Autocraft using the original moulds, for more on that click here.  My article looks at another model from a former Modern Products mould made by Autocraft: #12 Volkswagen Microbus.

The history of these castings in interesting. Morris and Stone were a Stoke Newington based toy distributor for many small firms in the post-war period who made toys but were not large enough to market and distribute them themselves. One of their competitors was Moko who distributed Lesney products including the then new Matchbox range. Morris and Stone mutated into Morestone and they set up in partnership with Rodney Smith who had left Lesney despite helping found it.  After making a Noddy car and some Dinky size vehicles, such as the Wolseley Police Car as well as one of the earliest TV related models in the UK – Supercar – from the shot-lived Gerry Anderson TV programme of the same name,  they then focused on the Esso Series which was sold in a small box which could be made petrol pump like and was aimed at Lesney Matchbox buyers.  These castings were made for them by Modern Products.

The firm was bought by S. Guiterman and Co. and the company name changed to “Budgie” and the same toys went on being sold under this new brand until Guiterman went into liquidation in 1966 and many of the dies were lost at that time in a factory fire.  Modern Products went on making its own toys and eventually took over the Budgie assets in 1966 and went on making them until Hot Wheels made them old fashioned and unsaleable.

A company called Seerol had the larger ex-Budgie Taxi, London Bus, and Rolls Royce made by contractors in South Wales for tourist shops in London into the 1980s.

In 1988 Dave Gilbert‘s Autocraft company purchased the Budgie Company including what remained of both ‘Morestone’ and ‘Modern Products’. This included old dies, tooling, machines, various part finished dies, and quantities of assorted castings. They have over the last 30 years adapted several of the original 1950s dies for use on modern die-casting equipment – the original hand operated machines are no longer legal.  The restored dies for both Volkswagen’s currently on sale can be seen here.

The Volkswagen Microbus was the 12th model in the original Esso Series being renamed as a Budgie later. The original model was sold in light brown, light blue or metallic blue. Autocraft sell it in a much wider range of colours and I have settled for a utilitarian grey which looks a colour it could have been made in originally even if it wasn’t.

The model is said like many Budgies to be close to 1:76 scale and I am sure it was used on many railway layouts in the days before Oxford and their competitors started to make properly modelled and finished 1:76 scale models.

The reproduction has its lights highlighted but not the VW Badge which was painted on many of the original models. The lights themselves are a curious half moon shape rather than the full dome of the real vehicle.

To the rear there is very little detail indeed as if the maker of the master hadn’t got a real vehicle to look at and was guessing from photographs!

All in all nowhere near as good a model as the Volkswagen Beetle but still a pleasant and inexpensive return to childhood. Autocrafts’ Budgie site can be found here for those who wish to learn more.

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

Obituary – George Maxwell 1938 to 2018

This obituary was issued by Mini Grid this week. We reproduce it for our readers as George played a significant role in growing the model collecting fraternity from its early days in the late 1970s.

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Mini Grid founder George Maxwell has passed away in his 80th year.   George left us peacefully with family at his side in the early hours of Thursday, May 24th after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s.

A note from the Maxwell Family:

George’s journey thru life was fulfilling and immensely rewarding, much in part to his vision and creation of Mini Grid, which allowed him to share his enthusiasm for motorsports and the model car hobby with others of similar interests.   His profession was a school teacher, but his passion was cars and car racing.     From being a track marshall at Mosport and Harewood Acres in the 1960’s and moving on to become the Chief Course Marshall and Clerk of the Course positions at international races at Mosport;  then racing himself in a Datsun 510 from 1970 until 1974.

George in action at Mosport 1971 in his Datsun 510

In 1975 George’s teaching career took him overseas to work at the Canadian Armed Forces base in Lahr, West Germany.   This is where the Mini Grid story really begins.   In Europe the model car kit industry was in full swing and George quickly embraced the hobby, with model car shops existing in almost every town and village throughout the Continent.  Taking advantage of his time in Europe he established relationships with most of the cottage industry sized kit manufacturers (John Day; FDS: Speilwaren Danhausen: AMR: Tron: Grand Prix Models; Western Models etc., etc.,) and upon returning to Canada in late 1977, he launched his new mail order business; Mini Grid Scale Models;  in the basement of his Scarborough home.   With wife Julia running the administration side; and with the help of friends like Bob Brockington, John Hall and George Webster promoting the hobby and the business; Mini Grid thrived and for the next 8 years the basement on Pebble Hill Square was a hive of activity as the business grew, with not only the mail order business (pre internet of course); but an increasing stream of ‘visitors’ knocking on the back door coming over for a visit to see the latest arrivals from Europe.    Mini Grid had now outgrown “the basement on Pebble Hill”.

George and Julia in “The basement on Pebble Hill”.   The original Mini Grid.

Therefore, in 1986, Mini Grid opened their first retail store on Hwy. #7 in Unionville, and for the next 17 years George and Julia ran the shop; along with help from equally enthusiastic staff; which now had expanded its selection and expertise to include all the latest in motoring books, videos, art, slot cars and; at the time; the then flourishing die-cast model industry.  Supported by an amazing and appreciative customer base (of which George would know virtually everyone by name) they all shared the same interests and passions, and George was in his element.   Good times and great memories.

George with one of his more well known customers – Sir Stirling Moss

By the early millennium health issues meant George had to take a step back and in 2003 he decided to retire from the business and sell his ‘retirement fund’; the building on Hwy. #7.   It was at that time Mini Grid moved to its current location on Mt. Pleasant Road.   His interest in the business never wavered however, and he would often offer advice, lend a hand, or just hang out in the store or at the Mini Grid booth up at Mosport greeting old friends and customers (same thing to him) and sharing stories.  And that was what George was all about – friends.  He loved people, always saw the good in them.   He had a heart the size of a lion, and just wanted to make everyone happy.
Outside of Mini Grid not much changed for George post retirement.   He continued to be active and involved with family, always with wife Julia at his side; always a very proud father of three; and a dotting grandfather of five. His favourite place in the world was at a racing track, and it didn’t matter where, even though Mosport would always be top of the list.   Fitting then that; with his health deteriorating; his final trip out was last fall to Goodwood Kartways to watch his 8 year old grandson Ryan compete in his Championship deciding race.   Ryan won, and the embrace after between Grandpa George and his Grandson was, well, unforgettable.  Life had gone full circle as they say.

George’s (here with daughter Robyn) last visit to his beloved Mosport was in the summer of 2016

The last couple of years have not been kind to George as Alzheimer’s invaded his body; and for those who remember the always smiling, laughing and jovial man you will understand that he is in a now much, much better place.

Nothing would have made him happier than saying goodbye to all his long-time friends and associates he met over the years thru Mini Grid, but speaking on behalf of the Maxwell Family we know he would want us to say thank-you to all of you who touched and enriched George’s life and made it a better place for him.

Gone but never forgotten.

RIP George.

For those who may be interested:

Ogden Funeral Home
4164 Sheppard Ave East
Monday visitation 6-9pm
Tuesday service at 1pm

In lieu of flowers and memorial donations can be made to Alzheimer’s Society of Canada


News from the Continent April 2018 – Wiking Releases

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer.

As usual Wiking have released a number of new releases which are supplemented by re-colours of previous issues. To look at the new releases first. All models are plastic mouldings made in Europe for Germany unless otherwise noted.

New Items

1:32 Scale

0778 37 John Deere 7310R tractor


1:87 Scale


0315 02 Volkswagen T2 camper van


0102 02 Land Rover Defender 110


0311 49 Volkswagen Amarok GP Highline



0363 98 Claas Xerion 5000 tractor with twin tyres


0610 02 Magirus S 3500 fire engine


0420 02 Magirus S 3500 flat-bed truck with loading crane


0520 03 Refrigerated articulated truck with Magirus tractor


1:160 Scale

0946 07 THW mini-excavator HR 18


And now to look at the upgraded models. All familiar mouldings but either enhanced or re-coloured.

Scale 1:87


0018 20 Accessory pack – Cargo II – loading goods


0029 03 Volkswagen New Beetle


0205 03 Ford Mustang Coupe


0882 03 John Deere 2016 tractor


0899 38 Fendt equipment carrier


0371 07 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U411


0678 04 Three-way tipper trailer


0678 48 Three-way tipper truck Mercedes-Benz Arocs


0749 01 Tram carriage


0750 01 Tramcar


0990 93 Set “Büssing 12000”

Scale 1:160


0922 09 Two passenger cars with caravan

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

Atlas Deluxe Dinky 537 Renault 16

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Despite the Atlas UK company being wound up some collections continue to be supplied by Atlas in Switzerland. DeAgostini also seem to be using Atlas stored email addresses for mail shots of DeAgostini goods which may be a dubious practice under the new European Data regulations.

The Deluxe Dinky collection continues, though with substantial gaps between the dispatch of each model.

The latest model to arrive with me is the recreation of French Dinky 537 Renault 16 in mid-blue first sold in France in 1965. It was also sold in a light blue and metallic grey. Interestingly the blue shown on the box was never issued by Dinky France but when Dinky UK re-used the mould for #166 in 1967  they issued it in a dark metallic blue even though the box illustration showed the car in gold which it was never released in as a model!

The mould was used further for a Spanish made French model #538 of the R16 TX which was coloured metallic purple though the box art showed it in dark red.

As usual the French Dinky box features a nicely painted scene with the car making its way round a Parisian roundabout with fountains and classic buildings in view. Pretty, but the complete lack of other vehicles make it unlikely event!

The box lets us know that Renault gave special permission for French Dinky to create this model whilst the real car was being prepared and to launch it on the same day that the real car was launched.

The French Dinky model is excellent in many ways far superior to contemporary UK made Corgi or Dinky models as it is made to 1:43 scale and although it includes opening features they do not intrude too much upon the shape.  It even has clear plastic inserts for headlamps which was far from common on other toys in 1965.

Dinky included Renault lettering to the rear which is rather over scale but this was a toy! The rear lights are also just a quick dab of red paint which doesn’t cover the whole light unit.

Under the bonnet we find the spare wheel cast in. Fitting wheels under the bonnet was done in many Citroëns and even the Mark IV Zephyr and Zodiac. Only minimal details are moulded in and little picked out.

The rear door opens to reveal the luggage area which can be enlarged by sliding the rear seat using the red button underneath, as shown below.

Along the side at the rear the moulding is cast in though not highlighted. It does not look the same as the moulding on the cars shown on the Internet which had a Renault script to the rear and then a sharply pointed line in front of it. The one cast in looks like it has a a chrome line with a  circular badge cast in half way along. Did Renault change the badging when developing the car too late for Dinky to re-do the master?

The wheels and tyres are standard French Dinky items with no attempt to replicate those of the real car. The car has the usual French Dinky steering mechanism which works as well as it does on other vehicles, i.e. not very well due to the design.

Some collectors are a model ahead of me and they have recently received the Simca 1100 which I look forward to soon. I also hope that some of the Ford Galaxie 500, Mercedes 230SL, and Alfa Romeos being sold on DeAgostini ModelSpace have been reserved for Deluxe Dinky Collectors as the first two appeared in all the series marketing!

As the Dinky collection models are not being dumped I assume that licensing contracts prevent that happening and that Atlas will continue to send subscribers models stockpiled from the French collection as long as they stay subscribers and stock is large enough. I expect they will then dispose of surplus using the DeAgostini website or even an Italian partwork.

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

Danbury Mint Pewter Car Collections

By Jerry Broz

Text and Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise acknowledged.

You might already know that Danbury Mint – the company known for its quality, highly detailed, 1:24 scale replica, die-cast, classic model cars – has discontinued the die-cast line of model cars due to rising production cost and retail prices, along with the closing the main factory in China, that produced the die-cast cars. Unfortunately, this led to the decision to discontinue the die-cast model cars business.

Danbury Mint was founded in 1969 and began producing the die-cast and pewter model cars in late 1970s. During the next 40 years the Danbury Mint produced hundreds of different vehicles in both 1:43 and 1:24 scale.

Back in late 70s and early 80s, the Danbury Mint introduced a few
PEWTER* Car Collections of Classic Sports, Rolls-Royce, Famous and Greatest Motor Cars of the World. The cars were hand-cast in fine pewter, hand-crafted, and hand-assembled for Danbury Mint in England by British craftsmen. The cars in collections are approximately 1:43 scale, ranging from about 3 inches to 5 inches in length, allowing the craftsmen to duplicate authentically all details of each car, wheel spokes, hood straps, tire threads, levers, radiators, unique ornamentation, etc. The cars are true replicas of the original cars and are highly regarded by collectors for their elegance and sculptural authenticity.

Issuance and cost of the cars in each collection were different – the cars of the Classic Sports cars were issued once every two months and payable in two monthly payments of $24.50. The cars of the Classic Rolls-Royce collection were issued once every two months, and payable in two monthly payments of $19.50. The cars of the 25 Scale Replicas of World Famous Cars were issued once every month and payable in one payment of $38.00. The cars of The 50 Greatest Motor Cars were issued once every month and payable in one payment of $31.50. This was an exceptional value when you considered that these were hand-crafted replicas of famous cars. The hardwood display cabinet was available for each collection either at no additional cost or for a reasonable price.

Sadly, the Collections are no longer available by subscribing directly to Danbury Mint; however, the individual cars and incomplete collections can often be found on eBay, or similar sites.

Each car in the Collections came with a card describing the history of the car. Introduction of each collection was announced with a colour photo brochure with Reservation Application form. The Collections were issued only by advance reservation. Subscribers to any or to all collections received the Certificate of Registration.

The Classic American Motor Cars, the first collection of Danbury
Mint pewter model cars, issued in the late 70s,was described in
Danbury Mint Promotional Brochure/Reservation Application as:

“Authentic Scale replicas of twelve American Classics Cars hand-crafted in fine Pewter”.

The model cars included in this collection are:

  • 1907 Thomas Flyer Convertible
  • 1909 Stanley Steamer
  • 1909 Ford Model T
  • 1914 Stutz Bearcat
  • 1928 Lincoln Convertible Silver Arrow
  • 1930 Packard
  • 1931 – Cadillac Phaeton
  • 1932 Chevrolet
  • 1933 Pierce
  • 1934 Duesenberg SJ
  • 1935 Auburn 851 Speedster
  • 1937 Cord 812.

The Classic Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, a pewter collection of the twelve greatest  Rolls-Royce cars, The collection was the first ever to be authorised by Rolls-Royce Motors Limited. The Danbury Mint Promotional Brochure/Reservation Application describes the collection as:

“Authentic scale replicas – crafted in fine pewter – of twelve of the greatest cars the world has ever seen”.

The collection consists of the following cars:

  • 1905 Rolls-Royce 10 HP
  • 1907 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
  • 1907 Chauffeur driven Silver Ghost
  • 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
  • 1913 Rolls-Royce Alpine Eagle
  • 1916 Rolls-Royce Alpine Eagle Cabriolet
  • 1923 Rolls-Royce Springfield
  • 1928 Rolls-Royce Doctor’s Coupe
  • 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II
  • 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedan De Ville
  • 1936  Park Ward Baby Rolls-Royce
  • 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn

The Classic Sports Cars of the World, a collection of eighteen internationally famous sports cars. The Danbury Mint Promotional Brochure describes collection as:

“A collection of authentic, meticulously detailed hand-crafted pewter
replicas of world famous sports cars”.

The cars in this collection are:

  • 1912 Isotta Franchini KM
  • 1913 Iotta Franchini Tipo M
  • 1914 Ford Model T
  • 1931 Alfa Romeo C1750 Zagato Spider
  • 1935 Mercedes Benz 500-K Special Roadster
  • 1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta
  • 1952 MG
  • 1952 Allard J2X
  • 1957 Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing
  • 1957 BMW 507
  • 1960 Austin Healey
  • 1963 Corvette Sting Ray
  • 1962 Ferrari 259 GT
  • 1964 Aston Martin DB5
  • 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
  • 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto
  • 1969 Ferrari Dino 246 GT
  • 1969 Maserati Ghilbi 4.7

The Classic British Motor Car Collection, a collection of twelve classic cars, the best cars in the world. The Danbury Mint Promotional Brochure/Reservation Application describes the collection as:

“A collection of authentic scale replicas of Classic British Cars hand-
crafted in fine pewter”

The collection is made-up of the following cars:

  • 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
  • 1912 Isotta Franchini KM
  • 1913 Isota Franchini Tipo M
  • 1930 Bentley Barnato Coupe
  • 1936 Jaguar SS100
  • 1937 Lagoda Rapide
  • 1948 MG-TC
  • 1948 Jaguar XK-120
  • 1958 Austin Healey Sprite
  • 1961 Jaguar E-Type
  • 1962 Lotus Elan
  • 1969 Triumph TR6.



The Classic World Famous Motor Cars, a collection of twenty-five
handcrafted pewter replicas of world famous motorcars. Issued in early 1980s, the Danbury Mint Promotional Brochure/Reservation Application introduces the collection as:

“An outstanding collection of the cars from around the world”

The collection includes the following cars:

  • 1906 Itala Targa Florio
  • 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
  • 1912 Hispano-Suiza
  • 1912 Packard
  • 1912 Simplex
  • 1913 Cadillac Roadster
  • 1924 Vauxhall
  • 1926 Fiat
  • 1926 Isota Fraschini
  • 1927 Bugatti Royale
  • 1929 Lancia Dilambda
  • 1930 Bentley Barnato Coupe
  • 1931 Daimler Double-Six
  • 1932 Alpha Romeo
  • 1932 Chevrolet Phantom
  • 1932 Chrysler LeBaron
  • 1932 Delage Cabriolet
  • 1934 Voisin 17 C V –
  • 1936 Jaguar SS100
  • 1937 Lagoda Rapide
  • 1938 Delahaye
  • 1939 Mercedes-Benz
  • 1941 Lincoln Continental
  • 1948 MG-TC.

The 50 Greatest Motor Cars of All Time, a collection of pewter
scale replicas of outstanding cars from around the world. The Danbury Promotional Brochure describes the collection as:

“The 50 Greatest Motor Cars of All Time”

The complete list of the cars in collection follows:

  • 1898 Mercedes-Benz
  • 1903 Oldsmobile Runabout
  • 1903 Panhard
  • 1906 Renault
  • 1907 Itala
  • 1907 Napier
  • 1908 Lanchester
  • 1909 Thomas K6-70
  • 1910 Stanley Steamer
  • 1912 Isotta Franchini KM
  • 1914 Ford Model T
  • 1914 Rolls-Royce Alpine Eagle
  • 1914 Stutz Bearcat
  • 1914 Vauxhall Prince Henry
  • 1915 Pierce-Arrow Model 48
  • 1922  Peugeout Quadralite
  • 1923 Austin Seven
  • 1925 Austro Daimler ADM/BK
  • 1926 Chrysler Imperial 80
  • 1928 Bugatti Type 43
  • 1928 Lancia Lambda
  • 1929 Daimler Double Six
  • 1929 Hispano-Suiza H6B
  • 1929 Packard 640
  • 1930 Bentley 4-1/2 litre supercharged
  • 1931 Cadillac V-12
  • 1932 Lincoln KB
  • 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300
  • 1934 Aston Martin 1-1/2 litre Mk II
  • 1934 Duesenberg/Phaeton
  • 1934 Talbot 105 Sports Saloon
  • 1935 Auburn 851 Speedster
  • 1935 Fiat 508S
  • 1935 Tatra 77
  • 1937 BMW 328
  • 1937 Cord 812
  • 1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe
  • 1946 MG-TC
  • 1947 Delahaye 135 MS
  • 1949 Jaguar XK120
  • 1953 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 1953 Citroen 15-6
  • 1954 Porsche 356
  • 1954 Triumph TR2
  • 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
  • 1959 Maserati 3500GT
  • 1961 Facel Vega HK 500
  • 1965 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III
  • 1968 Ferarri Daytona
  • 1983 Lamborghini Countach.

*PEWTER – is an easy to cast metal alloy. It has a low melting point
and is adaptable to a mold’s very small details. A typical casting alloy
is composed of tin, copper, and antimony. Pewter was used since the
Bronze Age, throughout the ancient world, and as mugs and other
dishes in 17th and 18th centuries. In the late 19th century, pewter
became a popular material for decorative and collectible objects
including the model cars.

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

Budget Models from Maisto/Bburago

By Maz Woolley

Text by, and copyright of, the Author as well as photographs from the London Toy Fair. All other images supplied by the Manufacturer.

As the price of models made specifically for collectors spiral ever higher it is unlikely that they will draw many into the hobby. At the same time the future of subscription series and part works is very much in the air with the effective closure of Atlas by DeAgostini. which may limit another way collectors might start. So what is left to inspire new collectors in 1:43 and above? We have looked at Oxford Diecast and Greenlight recently who are obvious firms to turn to in the UK and US. Another option traded internationally is Maisto and Bburago whose models are made by the May Cheong Group in China.

These models are produced in a wide range of scales and the quality has been improving over the last few years. Although some classic vehicles are offered there is a strong emphasis on current and recent models that new collectors may want to own as well as lots of Grand Prix and other sporting vehicles. For new collectors for whom 1:18 scale OttO or GT Spirit are much too expensive there are models on offer for less than even the budget Solido 1:18 range.

At the London Toy Fair earlier this year their UK distributor had a substantial number of the models on show and they were surprisingly detailed and well finished for the price they were intended to sell at.


Some Maisto on Display
Bburago Display

The  remainder of this article looks at some of the cars and motorbikes that they have announced as available over the last two months. There is a regular flow of models from these firms although re-colours do form a good part of the output.

1:18 Scale Bburago


B18-11040BK 1:18 Bugatti Chiron 42


B18-11042Y 1:18 Lamborghini Urus

1:24 Scale Bburago


B18-21083 1:24 Fiat 124 Spider

1:24 Scale Maisto



M32509 1:24 Bugatti Chiron “Design Collection”



M31256 1:24 Dodge Charger R/T “Harley Davidson Custom range”

M32527 1:24 Datsun 510 1971 “Design Collection”

Bburago 1:43 Scale Models


B18-36031/BC 1:43 Laferrari Aperta


B18-36032/BC 1:43 Ferrari 812 Superfast


B18-31018 1:43 Mercedes Benz230 GE Papamobile

Bburago 1:50 Scale Construction


B18-32085 1:50 A25G Articulated Hauler

B18-32086 1:50 EC220E Excavator

Maisto 1:18 Scale Motorcycles


M34007-07024 Ducati 1098S

M34007-08011 Ducati 848
M34007-11092 Ducati 1199
M34007-17040 Ducati Supersport S
M34007-321 Yamaha YZF-R1

M34007-07081 Yamaha YZF-R6

M34007-04049 Yamaha YZ450F

M34007-311 Yamaha TT-R 250

M34007-07082 Honda CBR1000RR

M34007-10021 Honda CRF450R

M34007-336 Honda CR250R

M39300-335 Honda XR400R


M34007-03138 Kawasaki Z1000

M34007-04045 Kawasaki KX250F

M34007-06187 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R

M39300 Kawasaki KLX250SR

M34007-359 Suzuki GSX-R600

M34007-04047 Suzuki RM-Z250

M34007-05232 Suzuki GSX-R1000

M34007-349 Suzuki RM250

M34007-08010 BMW HP2 Sport

M34007-351 BMW F650 GS

M34007-06186 Triumph Daytona 675

M34007-342 Triumph Speed Triple

M34007-346 Triumph Thunderbird

M34007-16909 Husqvarna FC450

M34007-04043 KTM 525SX

M34007-09266 KTM 690 Duke

M34007-353 KTM 640 Duke

Bburago 1:18 Scale Motorcycle


B18-51039 Triumph Rocket

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BMW Hommage Models from Norev – Part Three

By Fabrizio Panico

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

This is the third article in a series covering the 1:18 scale models made by Norev forming the BMW Hommage Collection. The other articles may be seen elsewhere, part one is here, and part two here.

In part two I wondered if Norev would ever produce the racing version of the CSL 3.0 Hommage, the R, presented at the Pebble Beach Elegance Contest in August 2015. And, surprise! Here it is.

The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R concept is the fourth item in the BMW “Hommage Collection” by Norev (BMW part no. 80 43 2 454 782). BMW Motorsport was founded in 1975, and 40 years later BMW was paying homage to the 3.0 CSL race car, so successful on track and winner of the constructor championship in its rookie year.

Much of the aesthetics of the car reproduced the appearance of the concept car presented at the event Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Lake Como, in May 2015, but the designers created a new front grille and decorated the 21-inch alloy wheels with a gold and black finish, both faithfully reproduced by Norev.

The livery was a special white paint with blue and red stripes that emulated the colours of the Motorsport department referring to the original BMW 3.0 CSL of which the Hommage R also uses the iconic number “25”.

The interior includes new racing seats in carbon fibre covered with leather and equipped with safety belts with six points, and an extended roll cage in composite material. Every detail is present on the new Norev model, and comparing the two models you can check for them, but as usual you would need a strong light to see inside the dark interior. Other differences related to the driver, missing here, with a head-up display projected on the helmet visor and a racing suit specially designed by Puma for a perfect fusion between driver and car.

The model is diecast in metal as usual with only the doors opening. The only criticism we had in part two has been corrected: the box’s graphics are now much more typical of BMW (and elegant), showing the blue and red stripes and the number “25”. Well done, worthy of the Ultimate Driving Machine.

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Norev Peugeot J7 Service Autoroutes

By Maz Woolley

Text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The Peugeot J7 was a front wheel drive van produced from 1965 until 1980 with a total production of 336,220 vehicles. It was a common sight on French roads in the same way Bedford Vans were in the UK and were widely used by utilities. A contemporary Dinky model as made of the Autoroutes Service Van with opening rear and side doors and traffic cones and speed limit signs as well as a couple of yellow jacketed workers.

Here we see a Norev 1:87 scale model of this vehicle. This has lots of moulded in detail but no opening doors.

The Autoroutes livery including red and white warning markings has been printed neatly. A small orange beacon is fitted to the roof, and all the lights front and rear are small separate plastic lenses.  The wheels are very effective with fitted rubber tyres and they capture the functional finish sprayed onto the wheels.

The J7’s shape has been really well captured and the tiny Peugeot script is nicely printed. A wash on the grille might have made the front look even better but it is pretty impressive as it is.

Sadly this model is extremely fragile and the photograph above shows the broken bumper which shows the challenge that manufacturers have. Mould plastic finely as they have here and it captures the real model well but also leaves it vulnerable to damage.

The amount of fine detail moulded in and the thin walls of the casting make this look very real when placed alongside some rather thicker diecast models.

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