BoS 1:87 Resin Models

By Maz Woolley

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

BoS (Best of Show) is one of the car brands owned by the owners of ModelCarWorld retail outfit in Germany. They have had BoS models made in many scales but this article looks at some of the 1:87 scale models moulded in resin in China for Germany and released over the last few months.

The BoS 1:87 range was introduced to replace the Neo 1:87 range, which was also owned by ModelCarWorld. The Neo range was beautifully made and finished but it proved to be too expensive for its target market and the BoS range was introduced at a lower price point with fewer details. However, these are still premium models being priced at twice the price of a Brekina Model in Germany for example.

The photographs below are supplied by the maker and show the models at greater than life size which may show up limitations not seen when looked at a normal distance.


Amphicar 770 Polizei 1961

The Amphicar was built with a Triumph Herald engine which drove either the road wheels or propellers. Production in West Germany ran from 1961 to 1968 and less than 4,000 were made.

They were seen in police livery in the 1962 film Le spie uccidono a Beirut and were actually used by the Hamburg Police.

The model is not painted to match Hamburg’s cars or those in the film and seems a little out of proportion with the real car.



Atkinson 8 Wheel Truck 1950 with cover

A famous British Truck producer and a favourite with diorama builders. These models will presumably appeal to those with OO (1:87) scale British outline railway layouts set in the 1950s. For HO collectors there are already a wide range of 1:76 Atkinson models selling much cheaper than this.

The model seems generally good but the starting handle looks very overscale, perhaps it is made larger as it is so vulnerable to breakage. The chassis seems to be very simplified and the headboard seems to have been bent!


Atkinson 8 Wheel Truck 1950

This is essentially the same truck but with an empty flat bed rather than with a sheeted load. The tampo printing is well done. Again a simplified chassis and oversized starting handle.


Aurus Senat 2018.jpg

The latest in Russian Presidential transport. A V8 powered armoured limousine to show off the power of the Russian State and its industry. Any resemblance to a Rolls-Royce or Bentley is, I am sure, entirely intentional.

The model does not seem to capture the complex curved panels on the side of the car and the front end seems too sloped from this photograph as the radiator on the real car is fairly upright. The chrome bumper elements either side of the radiator also seem to be rather heavier and to lack the multiple curves featured in the real car.

Still if you want a model of a Aurus then there don’t seem to be others available yet.


Cadillac Fleetwood 75 1941

A classic American car. And one available in 1:43 scale made by GLM.

The model has a lot of detail but some, like the window surrounds, does seem to be too large and flat in this scale. However this may not seem t be the case when seen from a normal viewing distance. The front grille, lights and badging all seem good.


Ferrari 512 BB 1976

Widely modelled in 1:43 scale from BBR to Mattel. Here it is in 1:87.

The wheels seem nicely replicated and the printed black side window framing is effective. However the bonnet seems to be curiously wavy with the light shutlines large and much too rounded. Again a feature than may look less obvious in the flesh.


Ferrari 308 GTS 1977

Another modelled by Italian makers like Best and BBR in 1:43 scale as well as Ixo and others. Here shrunk to a smaller size.

The photograph suggests that the model is not as long, or as low as the real car. Though the grille and wheels seem rather well done, the bonnet and light shutlines seem too rounded and large. The moulding also seems to lack the sophisticated lines of the original car which mixes smooth surfaces with slight ridges emphasising its sleek form.


Ford Transit Mark 1 German Fire Service 1965

A neat Mark One Transit here in twin wheel long wheelbase form. The Transit grille has been printed in quite fine detail a solution also adopted by Oxford Diecast for their slightly larger Mark One models.

The headlights have been well picked out with the cowling getting the correct highlighting and the vehicle has fine mirrors fitted that would need care when handling the model. The overall shape looks good as do the wheels .

A small ladder is fitted to the roof, though the original vehicle would I am sure have an extending ladder as the modelled one is not big enough to even get a cat down from a tree.


Lotus Esprit S1 1977

A car best remembered from the James Bond Film The spy who loved me. Models of car this abound in many scales. A Miber model was issued many years ago in 1:87 but that is now scarce and not up to modern standards.

Here the BoS follows the Oxford Diecast example of printing window frames on the body shell, and it is looks no better, with the body casting thickness immediately becoming obvious and spoiling the effect.

The over large bonnet and front pop up light panel lines do not seem as oversized as the Ferraris and the bonnet seems to have a less wavy surface. But maybe that is just the effect of the thick non metallic white paint.


Mercedes-Benz 770 (W150) Tourer 1938

The large parade car gets an outing in a small scale. Here the windows and the pillars look very effective and the body chrome seems very well applied. The Grille and lights seem to lack the shiny finish you might expect but a tiny Mercedes-Benz star sits on the top of the radiator.

The wheels and tyres seem to be very well done, and the huge folded roof is nicely matte and wrinkled. Just visible is a finely modelled steering wheel.


Morris Minor Van Royal Mail 1960

This model seems ‘dumpy’ from all angles. Like the Oxford Diecast it is not the best model of this car. If I am truthful the moulding seems to be vague with pressed in shapes blurred by a lack of definition. If it were diecast one might think the mould was wearing out, here it is clear that the master was far from crisp.

The front end is much poorer than the Brekina Morris Minor car in this scale and the wheels look almost like Hornby Dublo ones.


Reliant Regal Supervan III 1969

At first sight I thought that this was another Royal Mail vehicle but in this case it is liveried for Jim’s Toy Store. Sadly the address is unconvincing as here in the UK we put the street number before the name and not after.

The model seems to be similar in construction to the Oxford, and the bigger Vanguards, with button lights painted silver and a one piece body. Again the moulded body seem very blurred and rounded. In addition the rear wheels seem to be mounted too low and too far way from the body.

It would seem to me the only reason to buy this is if you are modelling a 1:87 scale UK railway scene as there are better 1:76 alternatives at a much cheaper price.


Renault Fuego 1980

The French answer to the Ford Capri. A car very much of its time and now the real ones are becoming very collectable. Solido do a very nice 1:43 model, as did Ixo in the James Bond Collection.

This model again suffers from externally printed black window frames and would have been much better with flush glazing and the frames printed directly on the window fitting.

The shape of the real car seems to be well caught in this case and body shut lines crisper than on some of the others.


Zil 111 1958

The Zil 111 was nicely modelled by Ixo for Ist, and the various partworks of Russian cars, as well as the James Bond Collection. But these were all 1:43 scale models.

The Zil 111 was introduced in 1958 and was clearly influenced by US cars of the early 1950s, Packard is often claimed as the primary influence. A large six litre V8 powered the heavy limousine and it was only provided for use by key party figures.

The model captures the car pretty well though the front grille has been simplified from the very ornate one used on the real car. The large printed chrome areas seem slightly dull in the photograph from the makers, but perhaps this is not the case when the model is held in the hand.


Atlas Dinky Deluxe 011455 Citroën CX Pallas

By Maz Woolley

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

Well, Atlas subscribers have had letters informing them that the Atlas Dinky Deluxe Collection, which has been run in the UK, is now being terminated. In the meantime there are two more models that I have not reviewed, and here is the first of them.

The penultimate model in the collection is 011455 Citroën CX Pallas which was made in Spain by Pilen for French Dinky. Like all late models the box lacks the illustrations seen in the Sixties and the drawing is unattributed. The colour of the car on the box matches the only colour that this model was made in. Sources do not agree on the date that it went on sale with 1/77 being engraved into the mould and Atlas saying it was sold from 1977 whilst all the other sources I have say It was first sold in 1978.

The model was also sold as a Auto Pilen model in their typical plastic box and it has been seen in a metallic bronze finish with Pilen style cast wheels which are not accurate for a Citroën.

The CX was launched to replace the long running DS and ran from 1974 to 1991 and was replaced by the XM. It was European Car of the Year in 1975. For the first time a large front wheel drive Citroën had the engine was mounted transversely which allowed for a shorter bonnet than the DS and even greater interior space. Although it looks like a hatchback it isn’t with a separate boot and fixed rear window. The Pallas name was inherited from the DS range and the Pallas model was a higher specification car with leather upholstery, trim embellishments, and more sound insulation.

The Atlas model is to 1:43 scale and captures the original Pilen made model well. Pilen had caught the cars shape very well so this is a nice model as well as toy The base is diecast and painted black and curves up to meet the body part giving the effect of the black sills on the original car. This diecast base also makes the model heavy for its size. The car also shows the typical parked Citroën stance with the car sitting low on the hydraulic suspension that then lifts as the car starts.

Sadly this model was developed in the era of heavy cost-cutting as there is no suspension or turning wheels fitted, and the opening parts are restricted to the front doors.

As can be seen the opening doors have no window frames or glazing fitted, nor any plastic door cards. The door retaining spring is also a weak one and I have been told of one model’s door falling off as it was taken from the box. I have no idea if the originals were similarly marred by poor springs.

The model shows signs of 1970s cost cutting as Dinky had provided suspension and turning wheels, full frame doors all opening, sliding windows in the doors, bonnets and boots opening, separate parts for lights and grilles, and interior details on some of their mid-Sixties models. Two half opening doors and inserted lights front and back is a lot fewer features than children had come to expect. It should be noted that the front lights are clear rather than the yellow shown on the box.

The number plate is a Parisian one which is appropriate. And the moulded intake on the bonnet is well captured. The bonnet itself has neatly moulded edges and almost looks as if it could open but sadly it doesn’t. The glazing fits very well, front and rear, and incorporates a clear moulding of the large single wiper used by Citroën as well as rear blinds.

Inside the model has some limited dashboard features and good basic seats, though the steering wheel is utterly wrong as the car had the characteristic Citroën single spoke steering wheel.

Many collectors will already have this model as it was readily available at a bargain price shipped directly from China some time ago and it is also currently available on the UK DeAgostini Model Space website. The last model in the collection will be an ‘Alfa Romeo 1600′ which has already been shipped.


Merit 1:24 Scale Racing Car Kits

By Aldo Zana

All text, photographs and models by, and copyright of, Aldo Zana.
Reprinted with permission of VeloceToday.com on-line magazine
.

When the editor of Veloce Today was collecting Merit kits in the late
1950s, he could not have known that another writer-to-be was doing
exactly the same thing, at the same time, but in faraway Italy. His
Italian counterpart, Aldo Zana tells us all about these British models.

The whole range of the Merit 1:24-scale plastic kits assembled and painted in period liveries: mid-Fifties. Front line: British F1 and the Jaguar D-Type. Mid row: Italian F1 and Grand Prix racers and the Lotus 11. Rear row: French racers, Mercedes W196, Cooper 500 MkIX and Aston Martin DB3S.

It was hard times in the second half of the Fifties for European kids in love with Formula One and longing to become part of its world by collecting and playing with model racers. We Italians faced especially limited choices: the hard-to-find die-cast Nigam, the elusive Zax, or the old Mercury racers of the Forties: oddly scaled, with questionable faithfulness and tires fit for an all-terrain army truck. The rise of globalisation brought from the UK to the best Italian toy shops the die-cast Dinky Toys and the first Corgi Toys. The former listed obsolete F1/F2 single seaters of the early Fifties in its catalogue. Corgi featured more updated models of British production: however, merely two, already non-competitive in real life against our all-conquering Ferraris and Maseratis after Mercedes-Benz’ withdrawal in 1955. And they looked too small alongside the Dinkies and Mercuries. And then, out of the blue, cameMerit, although quite difficult to locate among the contemporary fast-growing and highly visible offerings of plastic (polystyrene) kits dominated by the leading US brands of Monogram, Revell, and Aurora.

Italian racers of the Forties and Fifties. From the left: Maserati 250F, Maserati 4CLT/48, Lancia Ferrari, Alfa Romeo 158.

In 1957 Merit produced precise 1:24 scale models of current Formula One protagonists: Lancia-Ferrari V8, Maserati 250F, Gordini T-16, as well as milestones of the pre-1952 F1 seasons: Alfa Romeo 158, Talbot-Lago T26, Maserati 4CLT/48 San Remo”. And thanks to a flurry of new offers in a few months’ span, we could also buy and build the emerging British single-seaters striving for the limelight after a decade of playing second fiddle to the Italians in the form of the Connaught B-Type “Syracuse” 1956, BRM P25 1956, and the Vanwall VW4 1956.

It became easier for Italian kids to become loyal to Merit’s growing offer of racing cars. The company enlarged its range with three sports car icons, all made in the UK: the well-known multiple winner
Jaguar D-Type, the lesser known Aston Martin DB3S and the as yet unknown Lotus Mk XI, a name on the verge of becoming a leader.

All British: the three sports cars in the series. From the left: Aston Martin DB3S, Lotus 11, and Jaguar D in Ecurie Ecosse livery.

The Merit kits came from a company called J & L Randall Ltd., based in the town of Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, north of London. They were all sold in a standard, nondescript box, the same for every model: small and unappealing at a time when competing US brands already showcased their products on box-lids with colourful and attractive art to win the prime spots in shop windows . The only way to select the right Merit kit was a small label glued on one of the narrower sides.

The Alfa Romeo 158 with the standard box in the background. The box was the same for every kit.

They were quite expensive for the period, too: 1,100 Liras, when
the average monthly salary of a worker was about 45,000 Liras.
By comparison, a Mercury die-cast model racer cost 180 Liras and a Dinky 230-250 Liras.

The kits were moulded in flawless plastic; the surface was so clean and regular that it was possible to skip painting the body. It wasn’t a simple task for a kid to smoothly hand brush the Humbrol enamels; airbrushes for modellers were still a long way into the future. The solvent used at that time by Humbrol allowed, nevertheless, a clean and uniform finish even when working with the brush.

The instruction sheet of the 4CLT/48 Maserati. The front side tells in short the history and the races of the real car, the back side presents a clear illustration of the easy assembly procedure.

Assembly was quite straightforward too: the body was split in two halves, top and bottom. Axles and driver seat had to be glued to the bottom half, other details (exhaust pipes, windscreen, dashboard, steering wheel) to the top section, before joining these two sub-assemblies. Each wheel/tire was moulded in two halves and the tire had to be carefully painted matte black. The spokes were a decal (transfer, in British parlance) to be applied on a little transparent celluloid disc, subsequently set onto the outside of the wheel prior to gluing the hub cap. The quality of the decals was only fair and I preferred to avoid them.

The racing number decals were usually quite hard and dry, prone to
cracking. Yet, it was possible to soften them using highly diluted vinyl glue, given the lack of softening liquids on the market. The instruction sheet had a pedantic list of building steps on the front, ending with the painting scheme, but a clear assembly drawing on the back. More interesting was, at the top of the first page, a short presentation of the real car, a summary of its main successes as well as a basic description of its technical characteristics and performance.

Talbot-Lago T26, 1949, one of the two “super” kits featuring engine detail. The body was left unpainted. Note the smoothness of the plastic injection.

Two kits were super-detailed to include the engine and a removable engine bay cover: the 1950 Alfa Romeo 158 and the 1949 Talbot-Lago T-26 4.5 litre. Both were probably made so detailed because the moulds were already available when pressure to launch new models forced the company to simplify and shorten the production cycle.

The whole range of 1956 F1 and Sports cars went on sale in 1957,
a remarkably short time to market: Lancia-Ferrari, Maserati 250F,
BRM P25, Connaught B-Type “Syracuse”, Gordini T16, Vanwall VW4. A very British choice was the addition of the Cooper 500 Mk IX, 1956.

A tribute to the former German dominance was the kit of the Mercedes-Benz W196, the 1954 road-racing version mistakenly presented as the 1955 model. The Maserati 4CLT/48 was another obsolete racer in the series. The kit didn’t have the inner details of the Alfa Romeo and the Talbot-Lago. It was an unusual selection of a car that wasn’t a winner, yet it was well-known being driven by Thailand’s Prince Bira and Brit Reg Parnell.

A real piece of history outside F1 and sports cars, the Cooper 500 Mk IX, 1956, recalls a glorious period of British racing. Body unpainted.

A final touch of class was the colour of the ink used for the instruction sheets: dark red for the Italians, British Racing Green for the British, blue for the French. The Mercedes sheet fell outside the paradigm, printed in dark blue as the historically correct white or silver would have been impossible to read.

The boxes of the later kits contained a small multi-page
educational leaflet on Motor Racing, a more detailed description of the prototype, and a promotional bottom line advertising the brand of motor oil used in races by the car. The leaflet on the Vanwall doubled to eight pages and ended with a tribute to Tony Vanderwell who “raised the prestige of British Automobile Engineering throughout the world”.

The four-page leaflet in the Jaguar D-Type box. A good recap of the car’s history. Britain still ruled. And the following year it also became true in F1.
Below, all fourteen of the Merit models in individual photos. You won’t see this often!
Vanwall VW4, 1956, when the Brits knocked at the forefront of F1. Decals are original.
1956 Lancia Ferrari. The Merit kits was on sale early 1957, a remarkably short time-to-market.
Gordini six-cylinder F2, 1952. Humbrol paint (“Enamel” on the original British tin) to cover the body.
Alfa Romeo 158 with engine cover removed to show the inner details. The other “super” kit together with the Talbot-Lago
Alfa Romeo 158, 1950, hood in place.
Talbot-Lago T26, 1949. A good representation of the engine.
Mercedes W 196, 1954, open wheel version. Decals are original including the chequered cover of the driver’s seat
The diminutive Cooper Mk IX, 1956. The silver exhaust was easier to paint.
Maserati 4CLT/48 in Argentinian livery, as raced by Fangio in Europe.
Aston Martin DB3S, 1956. The yellow trim is an addition of the kit builder.
Connaught B-Type “Syracuse”, 1956. Quite a rare bird in real and scale model worlds.
Lotus 11, 1956. Airbrush repainted after 60 years when the plastic suffered signs of shrinking.
Jaguar D-Type, 1954. The gap at the rear end of the front section of the body is due to having modified the part to make it tilting forward like the real thing.
Maserati 250F, 1956 version.
BRM P25, 1956. To use the brush for the semi-metallic finish was quite a brave endeavour over- sixty years ago.

1937 Bugatti Atalante, a New Model from B&G

By Mikhail Bashmashnikov

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

I would like to introduce a new project that B & G / EUROLINE has just created together with EMC:

1:43 EUROLINE (EL-11) Bugatti Type 57S Coupe Atalante 1937

Chassis # 57511, engine # 17S. Carrosserie E. Bugatti, Molsheim, France

The official world presentation (preview) of this scale model took place at the 10th US Bugatti GP at Lime Rock, CT and at the International Bugatti Tour in Saratoga Springs, in the Fall of 2018.

Development of the Type 57S

The final version of this Type 57 was dated September 11, 1933. A month later, this new car was presented at the October Paris Motor Show. Let us not forget the financial crisis of 1929. With the economic situation in the world and in the automotive industry in particular, the success of Type 57 project is remarkable.

Later in October 1935 at the Paris Motor Show, Jean Bugatti presented two prototypes of the “Competition Model” (Sport model) which was the basis of the new Type 57S (Sport) with a new chassis in the shape of a gondola, as well as in the early Type 35. The chassis for the T.57S was shorter- 2980 mm (from the standard T.57 – 3300 mm).

In the Spring of 1936 on the track Mothlhery, Robert Benoit reached an average speed of 91.217 km/h with the Aerolithe (prototype Atlantic) and on one of the loops reached a maximum speed of 193.537 km/h. On this day, the Bugatti 57S Coupe received the title “The fastest private car in the world without a compressor!”

The 57S Atalante Coupe this way set the standard for all GT (Grand Touring) cars. From August 1936 to March 1938, the Bugatti factory produced 17 Type 57S Atalante Coupes, 15 of which have survived today!

Provenance of this Type 57

The Bugatti Type 57S Coupe Atalante chassis # 57511 with factory body # 8 (painted in 2 tones of blue and with interior of “cuir porc”) was delivered on February 25, 1937 to Bayard Garage for 90.000 francs – for the 24-year-old Robert Eonnet, the son of a stock exchange broker in Paris, who owned it only 8 months.

The car changed owners several times and in 1957 was purchased by “The Bugatti Hunter”, Jean de Dobbeleer from Brussels. The car was restored, got a compressor (# 18), was repainted black, and was for the personal use of his wife.

Then in 1961 the car was sold to the American Captain Charles S. Hascall, who was serving in Japan at this time. The car was repainted in red. After returning home to California, he carried out another complete restoration, and the Atalante was repainted again in two shades of green from the Rolls-Royce catalog.

Copyright acknowledged. Photo from internet.

In 1974 the car was sold to Peter Williamson from Greenwich, Connecticut – President of the ABC (American Bugatti Club). He participated with the Atalante in various club events. After his death, the Atalante was sold at Pebble Beach in 2008 at the Gooding auction (lot # 27). It was again restored and shown at Retromobile 2017 in Paris. The car currently in a private collection in the USA.

Availability of the model

The 1:43 model is handbuilt and produced by limited edition in 150 pieces. Additional questions should be send to msbash@gmail.com .


Why does everybody criticise Corgi?

By Robin Godwin

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

The simple answer is that they ask for it, by way of compromise and cost cutting. As an example, take the latest issue of an old casting that originated with Lledo in the Vanguards lineup – the split window Volkswagen – model VA01209, Royal Military Police. Corgi went to great lengths to research the actual vehicle, print its provenance on a limited edition (1000) card, and then used an old unmodified casting for the model.

Here is the main problem – the real vehicle is shown below – a 1952 Volkswagen Beetle. Volkswagen introduced the vent window late in the production year so that, for some applications, a 1952 split-window with vent windows can be correct. Unfortunately, the vehicle in question is an earlier 1952 product, so has no vent windows. The Lledo/Corgi split-window Volkswagen has always had vent windows cast in, and Corgi did not see fit to remove them for this issue. There are other niggly problems with this model as follows:

It’s an old casting, so taillights and door handles are cast in rather than being separately moulded insertions,

Headlights are chrome buttons and have no clear lenses, and the light surrounds on this model are chrome and should be body colour,

The windshield wipers are nicely detailed, but they are oversize – they would reach higher than the roof at the apex of their arc. They are not mounted to the front cowling below the windscreen as they should be, but Corgi has painted a strip at the bottom of the windscreen in body colour to give the impression of cowling mounted wipers. Almost convincing, but not. Interestingly, the original Lledo model had cast wipers mounted on the cowl, along with the blades, but the blades should rest on the windscreen to be correct,

The canvas roll back sunroof is just a tampo print,  

The model lacks the circular VW logo on the hood (bonnet), along with the small vents below the headlights.  (In fairness, this logo may be missing on the actual car, but more likely is just painted body colour. Also, the logo was never cast on the original Lledo, but was always represented by tampo printing, so a bit of a conundrum for this model).

So I believe that the criticism here is warranted. If Corgi sells these Vanguards as collectors’ models, then more effort is required to make them true collectors’ models. That said, it is still a reasonable model, all metal in this age of resin, and it displays nicely.

Here is the real vehicle upon which the model is based. No vent windows are present (photo from Internet site)

And here is the Corgi with vent windows. The colour appears to be too dark [Editor I don’t know if this car has had a respray at some point or the colour just looks different in different photos. But the photograph inserted below seems to show it darker but still not the shade used for the model.]

Copyright of Coventry Evening Telegraph recognised.

Tampo printing of canvas top is an inexpensive solution, but unsatisfactory on a “collectors’ model.” Tampo makes the roof fit too perfectly and fails to capture the texture of the fabric.

Does anybody even remember Lledo these days? Curiously, there is no Corgi logo on the model, and no Lledo logo on the box.

A painted simulated cowl is visible on the bottom of the windscreen. No VW logo is present on raised circle on hood (Bonnet). Enormous wipers could clean a ‘59 Chevy windshield. Quality control lapse allowed badly glued rear view mirror to leave.


A Special 1956 Imperial

By Tom Dirnberger

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

Until now, the two door 1956 Imperial has not been available in any scale. Recently released, a 1:43 scale resin model of the Southampton two door hardtop is now available from GLM.  [Editor’s Note: Imperial was the flagship model of Chrysler Corporation, priced higher than Cadillac.]

The models are available in three factory correct color combinations: West Point Gray Metallic over Desert Rose, Satin Gray over Mediterranean Blue Metallic (each limited to 80 numbered pieces), and Surf Green Metallic over Mint Green ( limited to 60 numbered pieces) All are mounted on the familiar GLM leather look base with serial placard.

The Story of This Model

Back in about 1989, I was the founder of True Dimensions, Ltd. Our first model was a 1:43 example of the 1954 Kaiser Darrin. I did a great amount of research to determine what colors were produced by the factory. There were 435 Darrins produced by Kaiser. It was decided to offer each of the four standard colors in 435 numbered models. We never produced all of those models. Those colors were Red Sail, Pine Tint, Yellow Satin, and Champagne (white). In addition I learned that two were specially painted Cerulean Blue for family members. As these were offered for sale I also learned that Dutch Darrin had one specially painted Dunes Tan for himself.

During this process I was offered parts and a brass master of the 1956 Imperial by Gene Parrill of Precision Miniatures. I bought out the company, and he subsequently went to Motor City USA to work with Alan Novak where the Precision Miniatures name was reborn.

As a company, True Dimensions also produced some other models: a parade phaeton Darrin that had been hinted at in the book chronicling the history of Kaiser-Frazer, The Last Onslaught on Detroit.

We also converted the 1954 Dodge by Brooklin into a top down pace car long before Brooklin released theirs. In addition we refinished the 1953 Kaiser from Brooklin in a variety of correct factory colors.

We also did some contract work in 1:25th scale. My regular job demands were too great to continue this work, and we ceased operation sometime in the 90s. I was lucky enough to get a work assignment in Germany from 2008 to 2011, and while I was there I began to think about my desire to own a collector car upon my return to the States. I studied a variety of makes, but primarily looked at Mopars. After all, Chevys were a dime a dozen. Well not really, but they were plentiful. After much study and asking my brothers who were stateside to look at some vehicles, I decided that Imperial would be my choice: but which year? I liked the full wheel openings of the ’55, but the ’56 had push button drive and 12 volt electrical system’ Also, the ’56 seemed a bit more refined.

At the end of 2011, when I was about to retire I found a ’56 in California on-line, and decided it was the right project for my retired year(s). During the restoration process, I found a four door sans engine, transmission and interior. I bought it for the great amount of good chrome it had. I found it locally, but it was a New Mexico car.

At this time also, an untouched 1956 Southampton two door showed up in a local yard. I bought it to have a pattern for my project. With the restoration of the two door Southampton complete, friends began to ask what I was going to do with the pattern car. Too good to part out, it needed to be saved. A local body man had helped finish the first restoration, and he assured that it would be “easy” to make a convertible out of it. I pulled the engine after getting it loose and sent it to a mechanic to determine if it should be rebuilt.

Another local junk yard had a ’56 Chrysler New Yorker convertible that was a true basket case available. It had virtually everything needed for the conversion: top bows, tub, x-frame. Cabin sizes are the same on Imperial and New Yorker, so no crazy adjustment was needed there.

I had also rekindled my interest in model cars, and after speaking with my good friend Dale Dannefer, we decided to look into making a model of the ’56 Southampton 2 door. Although the limousine and parade phaeton had been modeled, the 2 door had not.

After a number of moves to Germany and back, I still had the Imperial brass master that I had purchased from Precision Miniatures. After evaluating it, I determined it was not accurate enough for today’s collector, actually not even good enough back in the 90s. So we needed to find a company that would produce the model for us. Many emails were sent trying to find such a company. Finally, we worked out an arrangement for the GLM model given their excellent work with the Imperial limousine, and the result is the three colors that we have available.

Availability

The model is available from three sources: Robert Budig (modellautos-budig.de) in Berlin, Germany (sole source in Europe), Dominion Models (dominionmodels.com) and Dale Dannefer Automobilia (Dannefer @att.net).


Berliet 6×4 Mixer – Updated

By Mick ‘Mixxy’ Russell

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

Editors Note: This article has been revised and re-issued as the Editor had introduced issues into the article during the editing process. Our apologies.

The last of the Berliet Site Trucks

Hachette produced a series of Berliet trucks to 1:43 scale with at least 30 parts issued to date. The model shown below was issued as #24 in the series in late 2018.

Berliet GRH 230 6×4 MIXER

This model was the first 6×4 lightweight Berliet with a tilting cab. It was a useful size, economical, and one of the last Berliet trucks made from 100% Berliet parts. The next series marketed by owners Renault V.I. will have a Berliet driveline, but will be fitted with a Saviem cab.

To counter the competition of Daf 2205 trucks in France and the Mercedes 2624B in Germany, Paul Berliet launched a truck targeted at the construction industry in 1976. This was the GRH 230 6×4. It was aimed at providing a truck that could cope with difficult sites. This mid-range truck was intended to operate on construction sites in urban or suburban areas. The chassis was equipped with various types of bodies: a light tipper; a tanker, or a concrete mixer of 6 to 7 cubic meters.

In 1974 Michelin owners of Citröen and Berliet sold Berliet to the State so that it merged with State owned Renault‘s truck division. An injection of resources allowed Berliet to design a new engine which would last in Berliet derived vehicles for over twenty years. This was the engine, the MIDS 06.20.30 equipped with a turbocharger, that was fitted to the GRH 230 6×4 when it was launched at the Expomat Show in May 1976. The GRH 230 x4 was the first vehicle to benefit from this new high-performance, economical and lower emissions engine.

The engine is coupled to a ZF S.6.90 gearbox plus a gearbox giving twelve “forward” and two “rear” gears to give a maximum road speed of 92 km/h. The two rear wheels feature double reduction (gearbox in the hubs), and they transmit only half of the final effort to the wheels. A total payload of up to 19 tons is possible.

The new truck is equipped with the KB 2 200 Berliet- Citroën tilting cab designed by Louis Lucien Lepoix (Form Technic International in Neuilly) in 1968. Built from sheet metal, the cabin can be tilted 55%, enabling easy access to the engine. For day-to-day checks, the front panel has two stacked doors behind which you find all the tank fillers: hydraulic circuits, wiper motor, windshield wiper, heating, dipstick, etc.

The model is a nice representation of the real thing in 1:43 scale. It has some cast-in under chassis details such as the prop-shaft, engine and air cleaner. The mixer unit is also a good representation of a drum of that period.


Wossat? plastic Models – solved!

By Maz Woolley

Author and contributor text copyright. Images obtained from the Internet based on images of manufacturer’s art work, and photographs of models on website.

Reader Sergio Lois Dos Santos has tracked down the models shown in the recent Wossat? article where your Editor had failed. And contrary to my speculation that they were too large to be cereal premiums they have turned out to be just that! Sergio found the answer on the fascinating cerealoffers.com website.

In 1961 Kellogs UK used six plastic sportscars as premiums. They were inserted into special Coco Pops, Frosties and Sugar Smacks boxes. Advertising for this promotion can be seen below.

A set of six large plastic cars was used with clip together parts and moveable wheels were made in six colours: grey, white, green, dark blue, red and light blue. The name of vehicle was to be found on the underside: MGA 1600, Jaguar XK150, Austin Healey 3000, Bristol 406, Sunbeam Alpine and Triumph TR3.

So that sets the Editor a challenge as there are two models that are missing from his collection. These are shown below.

Triumph TR3

Cerealoffers.com copyright recognised.

Cerealoffers.com copyright recognised.

Austin-Healey 3000


Cerealoffers.com copyright recognised.

Cerealoffers.com copyright recognised.

Wossat? Plastic Models

By Maz Woolley

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

I recently acquired some plastic models. All approximately three inches (7.5cm) in length. The upper portion is moulded in a soft plastic whilst the lower section is in a harder grey plastic. The upper part has four small lugs moulded in that fit through holes in the chassis and the lug is then moulded into a cap to retain it. The wheels are plastic mouldings and they attach to four lugs extending out of the chassis which are again moulded into a cap shape to retain them. The name of the vehicle is moulded into the base, in some cases it is part of the mould and in others the lettering has been pressed in by a hot tool. There is no manufacturer’s markings of any kind that I can see.

I have no idea who made these toys and having exhausted my reference works I am asking you, our readers, to identify the maker and tell me when they were made, and where if you can!

Sunbeam Alpine

Rather a caricature here with the front end being pretty inaccurate it obviously represents and earlier series Alpine with the larger rear fins and split window top. The Series One Alpine was made from 1959 to 1960.


Bristol 406

Again not very accurate as a model, lacking the characteristic front air intake. And sadly it has lost the ends of the front bumper as well. But apart from Spot On who else made a Bristol model.? The 406 was introduced in 1958.


MGA 1600

May 1959 the MGA 1600 was introduced to replace the previous 1500cc version. Here there has been a little more effort at capturing features of the real car with quite a good representation of the MGA Grille moulded in. The wrap around rear screen of the coupe is also included although being unglazed it looks a little strange.


Jaguar XK150

Recognisably an XK 150 Coupe even with the hugely over high side windows. Another vehicle introduced in the late 1950s, 1957 to be precise. Like the MG there is some detail captured such as the 150s chrome strip to the number plate area on the boot and a moulded in Jaguar radiator on the front.

I am sure someone must know who made these. I suspect they would have been produced at the start of the 1960s reflecting vehicles current when the model maker made the master for the moulds. They look too large and finished for cereal premiums and rather smaller than many of the cheap plastic models of the time. Were they sold as a set or with some other model? I will be fascinated to hear from readers.


Readers Letter – More on Atlas Models

Thanks for the update on the Atlas Dinky Deluxe series. I agree with the points Stewart Gorman made in his recent letter and would like to add a few thoughts of my own.

I did not subscribe to the Dinky Deluxe series but I have subscribed to other Atlas/De Agostini series, notably the Dinky Trucks series.
My experiences with that collection were very similar to those outlined by Stewart and yourself:

1. The range of models delivered was slightly disappointing compared to the pre-publicity, and included more “duplication” than I expected:

  • The 24 models received included 3 * Leyland 8-wheelers, 3 * Foden 8-wheelers, 2 of the first type of Guy Van (Spratts and Lyons Cakes) – In my case I did not receive the Guy Slumberland Van
  • So my 24 comprised 13 different truck cab castings – Leyland (3), Foden (3), early Guy (3), later Guy (2), Bedford TK (3), Austin (2), Ford Poissy (2), Panhard (1), Citroen Van (1), Berliet (1), Berliet Fire Truck (1), Chevrolet (1), and Autocar ISOBLOC Coach (1).

2. Some of the models were very disappointing. The Autocar Isobloc coach, for example.

3. It is impossible to know (without forums like MAR Online) if you have the “Full set”. – And that is IMPORTANT to collectors.

4. The mailing frequency was erratic. – Nothing for eight  weeks and then 2 models in one week?

However, on the PLUS side:

  • The quality and finish of the models is as good as, or better than the originals
  • The range issued included some true “gems” for me. – The Bedford TK Coal Wagon, the Citroen Philips Mobile Showroom, and the Ford Refuse Truck are truly excellent – And I was never going to have a Leyland 8 wheeler with chains without Atlas
  • The models are good value for money.
  • The Dinky style packaging is very good. And all the products were well packed for delivery. – I had no problems with damage

As for Customer Service. – In my case I had only a couple of calls, and I got through quickly. One “missing” model was replaced quickly. But when I checked on the Guy Slumberland Van my experience was like Stewart’s. One person says it WILL come “later”, and another told me the series was closed. So I never got that one.

In conclusion, then, for me Atlas scores 7 / 10. But with a bit of thought and effort they COULD make 9.5 / 10……

  • They should take more care with the sales literature. Maybe they don’t know at day one what the final range will be – but if an item is SHOWN in the publicity then it MUST be issued (the Deluxe Ford Galaxie is an example of that)
  • Atlas should send the same model to all subscribers (irrespective of joining date) in each mailing “wave”. (I understand why Atlas do not want to show the full list and sequence up front, because they want to reduce the risk of early opt-outs.)
  • So late joiners should be receiving the same models as early joiners at the same time. – If you join when the range is at issue #6, then your first model should be number 6, and then you get numbers 1 to 5 in 2 years when the early joiners have already got the full set. (Should also ensure the early issues in the sequence include some of the more desirable models!)
  • And when it comes to “selling off” the excess pieces to the trade – Atlas should wait at least a year before flooding the market, or maybe offer individual models direct to collectors at slightly higher price – say £25 each rather that £19.99 for the Dinky Trucks? For information, there is a Spratts Guy Van on e-Bay now for £29.95 plus £5 p+p. Same seller wants £35 plus p+p for the Slumberland Guy Van.

So overall I am not unhappy with the Atlas package. As I have written previously, I have no problem with the principle of reproduction models, because I could not justify paying hundreds of pounds for the original models. With Atlas and the like I can get a decent range of good quality models at a good price, and I can live with the shortcomings in the wider business model.

Brendan Leach via Email