All posts by Maz Woolley

Majorette Limited Edition

By Maz Woolley

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

Majorette are part of the SImba-Dickie group makers of Schuco and many other brands. Majorette toys are made to fit in the box like Matchbox or Hot Wheels and are aimed at the same customers. The current limited edition range caught my eye recently and it contains some nice models of cars in a mildy custom form.

Both models shown below are from Series 2 of the Limited Edition range which includes:

  • Audi R8
  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Citroën DS4
  • Ford Mustang
  • Lamborghini Aventador
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS
  • Mini Cooper
  • Porsche GT3 911
  • VW Golf VII GTI
#3 Citroën DS4 1:64

The DS range was created by Citroën to use its existing chassis to create distinctive premium cars to compete with Mini, Alfa Romeo and BMW. The DS4 was based on the C4 its competitor to the Focus and Golf.

The slightly wild colours on this model complement the DS which is often painted in strong colours and has a range of eye catching features. Here the rims are fitted with a nice reflective line echoing the paint work which is a matt type finish.

The model has neatly printed details, and unusual for a budget range separate clear light lenses on the front. A simple black interior has some details moulded in and the DS badging is neatly printed.

 

#7 Mini Cooper 1:57

Again we have a matt effect paint and some eye catching orange graphics including “Go faster” orange stripes. The Mini and Cooper badging is nicely printed albeit a bit over scale.

The front lights are again separate plastic items though blacked out to fit the theme as are the windows making the car far from street legal in the UK. The wheels with orange rim are again nice wild alloy replicas.

 

Although clearly made as toys both these cars have an appeal and look good on the shelf.


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: Wayne Moyer

We have recently heard that Wayne Moyer passed away on April 1st 2018 after suffering from esophageal cancer . Our thoughts are with his family.

Wayne made models, collected models, wrote about them, shared his love of them with others, and was a person whose opinion was valued by model collectors around the globe. It was not just cars that interested him, aviation models were part of his collecting interests from an early age and he even build his own light plane from a kit! Wayne was there at the start of the modern collectors scene in 1:43 scale, building kits from early pioneers like John Day and reviewing them for fellow collectors. Many well known figures in the world of collecting have been quick to acknowledge the support, help, and inspiration that he gave them with over the years, and their happiness of having shared his company.

Wayne was born in a small town in Ohio in 1941 and spent his working life as an Engineer in the US Aerospace Industry. His first modelling article was published in 1972 and he wrote articles for many journals. Between 1983 and 1994 he was a weekend photojournalist to be seen at tracks around the US recording the racing scene and feeding details back to model makers to help improve their models of racing cars.

Rod Ward who edited Model Auto Review here in the UK says   “Wayne was with us from the beginning – he supported MAR from the start in 1982. One of those people which seemed to always be around – a very keen and knowledgeable collector“.


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

Hachette Italy World Buses Part 13

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Parts 37 to 39

Three more buses 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. This time one from each decade : an almost Russian from the 1940s, a mighty German from the 1950s and an urban French from the 1960s.

No. 37 (no. 35 in the French collection) ZIS 154 1946 – I wrote “almost Russian” because the ZIS 154 was in fact a near copy of the GM‘s model TDH-3610 built under license, like most of the ZIS products. The factory started in 1916 as the Moscow Automotive Company (Avtomobilnoe Moskovskoe Obshchestvo or AMO), just before the October Revolution, with the latest in American equipment to produce Fiat 15 Ter trucks, under license. But the subsequent Russian Civil War postponed to 1924 the production of the first vehicle, the AMO F-15, by which time it was obsolete. In 1931 the factory changed its name to Automotive Factory No. 2 Zavod Imeni Stalina (ZIS) to become Zavod Imeni Likhachova (ZIL) in 1956, after Nikita Kruschev denounced the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin, this time taking its name from its former director Ivan Alekseevich Likhachov.

During the 1930s and 1940s ZIS produced trucks and buses based on American standards, and after the Second World War obtained a license from General Motors to produce the TDH-3610, a rear engined transit bus introduced in 1940 by Yellow Coach (purchased by GM in 1943 and incorporated into the GM Truck & Coach Division).

Nowadays ZIL has stopped truck production and the company has been liquidated. The Soviet version of the TDH-3610 was diesel-electric powered using a locally manufactured Yaroslavl YAZ-204 diesel, but supply problems forced ZIS to switch to the Detroit Diesel 6-71, also built under license. After only just over four years of production the ZIS-154 was discontinued because of issues with the reliability of the drive-train components and the structure of the body itself, which was not suited to the rough Russian roads. It was replaced by the less-technically-advanced front engined ZIS-155, derived from some prototypes designed by the Moscow’s Central Auto Repair Workshop using a shortened ZIS-154 body mounted on a modified ZIS-150 truck chassis. The 155 became the standard city bus in the Soviet Union in the 1950s, and a large quantity were exported to other Eastern Bloc countries.

The scale model is very likely based on one of the preserved buses, with a nice livery in cream and red, a quite heavy metal body with the usual plastic baseplate, where the exhaust is painted in silver. Many separately moulded items are fitted, like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers. A basic interior is fitted with a separate compartment for the driver.

Very nicely modelled wheels (double at the rear) are matched by a good horn on the roof. It seems to have a correct black front registration plate, while at the rear it is correctly painted directly on the body in extra large characters. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A good model of a time when the USA helped the Soviet Union restart its industry.

 

No. 38 (no. 33 in the French collection) Krupp SW 080 Titan 1951 – The Krupp family from Essen was for over four centuries one of the most powerful dynasties in European history, famous for their production of steel, artillery, ammunition, and other armaments. At the beginning of the 20th century their company, known as Friedrich Krupp AG, was the largest in Europe and from 1999, after merging with Thyssen AG, it became ThyssenKrupp AG. The Krupp Krawa (short for Friedrich Krupp Motoren und Kraftwagenfabriken) was one of its subsidiary companies and it produced commercial vehicles from 1919, like trucks, dump trucks and buses, with the brand Krupp (Südwerke from 1946 to 1954).

In 1950 Krupp launched the Titan heavy truck with 190 hp (210hp later), the most powerful German truck of its time. Because the occupying Allied powers didn’t allowed such a powerful six cylinder engine to be manufactured Krupp installed two individually-actuated three-cylinder two-stroke diesel engines in series, connected to a pinion, a very complicated and expensive solution.

It was superseded in 1955 by the Tiger, but already in 1968 the Krupp Krawa was dissolved and the commercial organisation was taken over by Daimler-Benz. For a short time Krupp also made buses, mainly distributed in West Germany, but the production was always very limited and abandoned in 1963.

The Titan SW 080 intercity bus was based on a standard truck chassis, with a 6.4 metres wheelbase and a total length of 12 metres. Only 158 were produced, bodied by the Hubertia Karosseria or the Emil H. von Lienen Werks, but they were bulky, heavy and with a very high oil and fuel consumption.

The scale model is very likely based on a picture of an Hubertia bus, a few trucks have survived, but no buses are recorded. It is an imposing model, with a black liveried plastic body and a metal chassis that adds “substance” to the model. The registration plate is from Vienna (Wien), and the destination board says “Wien Praterstern” a Vienna railways station (near the famous Prater Wheel). Lots of details are included: from the long radio antenna to the small mirrors at the end of the protruding nose, the baggage rails over the roof and a nice long ladder. The wipers and the inox wands on the body are well modelled. The seats are fitted with headrests and are well reproduced, as is the dashboard. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice companion to the prewar Mercedes Benz O10000 (no. 2 of the collection).

 

No. 34 (no. 47 in the French collection) Saviem SC 10 U 1965 – At the end of 1955 Renault was increasing its car production, needed to face the Berliet predominance and the Billancourt works were becoming unsuitable to build cars and commercial vehicles at the same time. Somua and Latil, other manufacturers, had  lots of space available in St Ouen and Suresnes and their output was decreasing. The solution was to unify their forces and create LRS Saviem (Latil-Renault-Somua Société Anonyme de Véhicules Industriels et d’Equipments Mécaniques).

In the following years Saviem incorporated Isobloc and Chausson (in 1959 Renault took full control) and later became number one in France. During the fifties the Paris Autonomous Board of Transport (RATP) had a very mixed fleet : Somua, Chausson, Berliet, Renault and Panhard. The difficulties of maintaining such a varied fleet and the many problems experienced by passengers pushed the RATP and the Union of Urban and Regional Public Transport (UPTUR) to join forces and develop the specifications for a new unified urban bus which would be known as the bus “Standard”. It was specified as a bus with a length of 11 metres, a closed body, a low floor level, different types of doors, large windows and a curved windscreen, a 150hp diesel engine and an expected working life of 15 years.

Prototypes were presented in 1961 by Saviem and Berliet (later tested by the RATP) and by Verney, soon abandoned.   The Saviem SC10 became the archetype of the “standard” bus : a self supporting structure where the chassis was replaced by a substructure with beams formed by square steel pipes, welded and crossed, on which were fixed the mechanical and electrical parts.

The prototype engine was a Renault Fulgur, replaced by a MAN in production. Produced in different versions from 1965 to 1989 it was a large commercial success, with more than 11,000 units produced. The Saviem SC10 became the Renault SC10 following the merge of Saviem and Berliet and the creation of Renault Véhicules Industriels (RVI).

The scale model is very likely a faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle. As usual there is a plastic body and a metal chassis, but the model is quite lacking in weight. The classic green and cream RATP livery is well reproduced, with adverts for Leroux and the Renault Cinq. The route number is 72, Hotel de Ville – Boulogne Saint Cloud. A  basic interior incorporates a very nice driver’s cockpit. Many separate parts are used  reproduced the opening windows and the folding doors well. Again there are no apparent differences to the French edition. A worthy reproduction of a “classic” Parisian bus.


 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 BMMO D9 Bus

By Maz Woolley

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

Midland Red were a major bus group here in the UK serving the Midlands from 1905 until 1981. It was one of the largest groups in the UK covering a territory from Gloucester in the south-west to Derby to its North West and encompassing the industrial west and east midlands. It’s buses and coaches were a well known sight even in the cities where municipal operators dominated local services as Midland Red provided almost all the inter-urban routes and most of the local routes in smaller towns in the area.

One curious feature of Midland Red is that it made its own buses between 1923 and 1969 when it was swallowed by the National Bus Company. The combination of the solid red livery and its uniquely styled BMMO buses made Midland Red services stand out.

The BMMO D9 was introduced in the late 1950s and served the company well with the final examples leaving the works in the mid 1960s and being in service until the wholesale replacement with Leyland Nationals during the ownership of MIdland Red by the National Bus Company.  It was early to provide electric closing doors and disk brakes all round, though later models had drums fitted and these were also retro fitted to the earlier buses. This was because though the disks worked well the pads wore out extremely quickly and were worn before the standard service interval was completed. In other ways the D9 was the end of an era with its half cab for the driver and conductor operation at a time when municipal fleets were introducing one man operation and rear engined Leyland Atlantians and Daimler Fleetlines.

The model shown in this article is a model from the Atlas Great British Buses series sold in the UK which has now ended and surplus stock has now ended up in the hands of wholesalers. The base has Corgi printed on it which shows that Atlas had it made for them from Corgi dies. Corgi produced this model in their Original Omnibus range in Midland Red and West Midlands Public Transport Executive colours, WMPTE took over many Midland Red routes in the Black Country to the west of Birmingham  when the new West Midlands county was formed.  The Corgi Midland Red buses were on service D9 to Dudley, X35 Hereford to Ludlow, and the WMPTE one on service 130 Stourbridge to Halesowen.  When Atlas had their model made made they moved over to the over side of the MIdland Red operation with the 658 service to Leicester via Nuneaton which started its journey in Coventry at Pool Meadow Bus Station.

The Atlas model is fundamentally the same as the Corgi one and includes all the wing mirrors , blind winding handles, and grab handles  that were used on the OOC versions. It is a good model though the plastic front panel insert used to portray the BMMO radiator is not a complete colour match and tends to slide in its setting more than it should. The alloy framed windows are nicely printed and the rear sliding doors well made. The printed adverts are nice period touches too. All in all it captures well the buses that I saw when young sitting at Pool Meadow ready for the journey to Leicester surrounded by Coventry Transport Daimler Fleetlines doing the local journeys.


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

 

The Ford Car in Miniature – 5th Generation Mustang Part One Concept cars

By Dave Turner

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

“Freedom To Soar” – Fifth Generation Mustang

Part One Concept cars

In production for ten years from 2005, the fifth incarnation of the Mustang can be divided into pre and post 2010 as a subtle re-skin took place for the second half of the run. The basic concept for this generation of the long running Mustang story was settled by 1999 on the theme of re-creating numerous cues from past Mustangs in an up to date flavour. As an appetiser Ford unveiled pre-production show cars in 2003 in both hardtop and convertible form, the nose of which was said to reflect that of the 1967/8 cars while the rear quarter window was meant to suggest that on the 1966 Shelby.

Some thought that these 2003 prototypes looked a bit too retro but generally they were greeted with enthusiasm. They were the first series of Mustang to be based on an exclusive floorpan – the first cars were Falcon based, the Mustang 11 had Pinto underpinnings while both the third and fourth generations employed Fairmont origins and that brought us to 2004. When production started for 2005 some subtle changes from the 2003 concept cars included moving the front wheels six inches forward to give the car a more balanced look, with the result that the front end became a tad flatter while the air slots on the forward end of the hood were deleted. The rear got smaller tail lights that were separated by a painted panel while the exhaust tailpipes emerged below the rear valance rather than through it.

So impressive were those two prototypes that quite a number of contemporary models of them were inspired. Beanstalk for example produced both the silver coupe and red convertible in 1:18 scale and these are simply superb. Opening features reveal masses of detail – they share the front part of the interior, although the coupes rear roof section lifts, beneath which is the spare wheel. These were remarkable inexpensive when new but apparently Beanstalk no longer produces model cars. Maisto did their 1:24 concept convertible as a pre-painted diecast kit that was extremely quick and easy to build. MotoMax also did a red diecast convertible in 1:24.

Mattel is invariably associated with the small diecast Hot Wheels toys but at the other end of the scale they produced a 1:10 scale plastic convertible in 2003 that depicts the open concept car extremely well – albeit in a very simple way. Apart from the wheels, only the exterior mirrors can be moved – and they fall off easily! while some extremely over scale seat belts begs the question – who should be occupying the seats? A glance at the front licence plate shows the script “Barbie” – another example of an unlikely source of an appealing miniature.

There have been at least seven issues of the concept coupe from Matchbox one of which was in the correct silver colour while the others came in an assortment of shades that varied in realism. This was usually of less importance with the Mattel Hot Wheels models and they did a version of the coupe, and again a silver example was offered along with at least fifteen others, most of which were in police livery of one sort or another.

A rather dubious looking 1:87 scale plastic object loosely resembles the 2003 Concept although its base reads simply – “Safari Ltd Sports Car China” so it has been included here.

2003 Mustang Concept models.

Beanstalk China 2003 10018/10035 Coupe 255mm 1:18 diecast
Beanstalk China 2003 10016/10030 Convertible 255mm 1:18 diecast
Maisto 2004-8 31970 Convertible 1:24 pre-painted diecast kit
Matchbox Thailand 2003-6 609 Coupe 7 versions 74mm 1:62 diecast
Mattel China 2003 B6283 Convertible 445mm 1:10 plastic
Mattel Hot Wheels 2004-15 Coupe 16 versions 1:64 diecast
MotoMax 73299D Convertible 1:24 diecast
Safari China Coupe 31mm 1:87 plastic

Illustrations:

Mattel 1: 10 plastic from China: B6283, 2003 Concept convertible “Barbie”
Beanstalk 1:18 diecast from China: 10016/10030, 2003 Concept convertible.
Beanstalk 1:18 diecast from China: 10018/10035, 2003 Concept Coupe.
Matchbox 1:62 diecast from Thailand: 609, Two of the 7 versions of the 2003 Concept Coupe.
Safari 1:87 plastic from China: 2003 Concept Coupe.

 

In the next article we will  look at the models of the early years of production of the 5th Generation Mustang.


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

Heat Moulded Model Glazing

By Graeme Ogg

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

NOTE: This may look like a long, complicated story, but rather than giving a very basic set of instructions (“1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – all done, easy peasy!”) and leaving people to struggle with unexpected little problems, I thought I should spell things out in more detail and mention various points to look out for. If you’re still interested, read on …]


I’ve done my share of trying to make new model windows from bits of thin, flat scrap plastic, which works fine if the curvature is slight, but if you get into restorations or conversions involving more heavily-curved glazing (including wraparound front or rear screens) that method can be inadequate. Trying to force flat plastic into a 3-dimensional shape can be a nightmare, and next morning you find the springiness in the plastic has gradually popped it loose from the adhesive. Some people resort to cutting suitably-curved sections from old plastic soft drink bottles, but if the rest of your model is looking pretty good, chances are that those makeshift windows will spoil the overall effect.

So eventually I bit the bullet and had a go at heat-moulding. Contrary to what serious modelling handbooks may tell you, a fancy vacuum-forming rig complete with hinges and clamps and an air pump isn’t really required for this kind of job. Just a hot-air blower, some balsa, scraps of old plywood and some suitable clear plastic. However it does take a bit of time, and trial and error, and in early attempts there were a lot of scraps of warped, over-cooked plastic in the waste bin before I got a decent result. So it’s not something that everyone would want to bother with. But for any enterprising soul who wants to give it a try, the following instructions may be useful. And if your eyes start glazing over (so to speak) just take a short break.

(Fig.1) Rough-cut a piece of balsa slightly too big to fit inside the model body. A useful first move is to cut the front face to roughly the angle the window makes with the car body (use one of those cheap see-through plastic protractors). It also helps if you trace the top and bottom edges of the screen opening on to tracing paper, cut out the tracings and mark them on to the top/bottom of the balsa block as a rough guide to shaping.

(Fig. 2) File and sand the balsa, test-fitting regularly, until it can be slipped up into the body and makes good contact all round the edges of the screen opening. (My rough sketch shows the top and sides of the balsa as flat, but of course you may need to curve the top surface, or round off the corners, or slope the sides inwards towards the top, to fit the inner body contour). Go very slowly in the final stages, continually checking the fit all round, because when the mould is “almost fitting in but not quite”, it is very easy to misjudge where it is binding and to sand away a little too much in the wrong place.. If that happens, and you end up with a visible a gap at along one edge or at a corner, cellulose stopping putty (knifing putty) is a useful remedy. Apply it where you’ve removed too much material. When hard, blend it to shape with 400/800 grade wet-and-dry. And if you have a particularly coarse-grained piece of balsa with cracks you think might show up in the moulding, thin down some cellulose putty with cellulose thinners to the consistency of thick primer and paint it over the entire face of your carved window.. When dry it will sand to a very fine smooth finish, and incidentally it can also reduce the problem of stray bits of balsa dust producing dimples on your cast screen.

(Fig.3) When you’re happy with the shape, hold it firmly in place inside the model and trace the window opening onto it with a fine-tip pigment marker pen, otherwise at a later stage it can sometimes be hard to see exactly where the actual window area is on the balsa. Take care not to dent the balsa by pressing too hard with a sharp pen point.

(Fig. 4) Slice off the back of the balsa roughly parallel with the front face of the screen. This helps to ensure you will be pushing the face of the screen flat into the heated plastic, rather than at an angle which could lead to one edge being forced too deep and maybe breaking through.

(Fig. 5). Glue the balsa block to a backing piece of plywood (half an inch or so bigger all round than the balsa) and add a block of wood or a piece of dowel for a handle

(Fig. 6) Use a scrap of plywood or similar for the female mould. In theory the opening should be the shape of the front face of your balsa moulding plus the thickness of the plastic all round. In practice you need to leave a little bit more clearance to avoid scuff marks or stress marks on the plastic. But if you are doing a fairly deep wrap-around shape, too big an opening may mean the sides don’t get wrapped round tight enough, so start with the minimum opening and increase the clearance a bit more if you find the heated plastic is getting scuffed as it is pushed in. It’s easiest to use some kind of coping saw to cut the opening, but failing that you can drill holes all round the outline, “join the dots” with a blade, remove the shape and sand the edges of the opening. At the hot-moulding stage there needs to be enough spare plastic around the opening to be drawn in smoothly during the push, so make your plywood big enough to allow you to pin down a piece of plastic with a border of about an inch all round the opening. Sand the top edges of the opening to a smooth curve to prevent marking the plastic on a sharp edge. When moulding, you can either hold the female mould in a vice, or make a couple of feet from scrap material, as illustrated, so it will sit on the workbench.

(Fig. 7) Test the two halves of the mould together. The male mould only needs to go in just far enough to ensure the shape is properly formed. To avoid the risk of pushing too far (which could over-stretch the glazing) you might need to fit spacers of scrap material to the underside of the backing piece as shown. That then allows you to push firmly down “on to the bump stops”, which helps to avoid any wobbling before the plastic has hardened, which could distort the screen.

You can use various types of clear plastic, but some clear packaging material has a ”scoured” finish which can look bad in close-up on a small windscreen. And some kinds of plastic sheet that looks quite promising will crinkle and curl at the merest touch of heat. (Hard to tell the good from the bad till you experiment!) Too thin and you can easily break though when pushing a deep shape. Too thick and the result can look clumsy, and sharp curves may come out somewhat blunted. I use 20 thou clear polystyrene sheet and simply fix it to the female mould with 4 drawing pins at the corners. You may need a pliers or small hammer to get them into the wood the first time. For repeat attempts just push them into the same holes each time.

Having once burned out a domestic hair drier I now use a hot air stripper on its low setting at a distance of 5-6 inches. Don’t go too close or the plastic can “fry” or bubble. Play the heat back and forth over the whole piece of plastic, not just the central area. That way the surrounding material will also be softened and will pull in smoothly. After maybe 20-30 seconds it will sag, then start to bulge up again. Press the male mould in gently. If there is too much resistance, don’t force it or you’ll get scuffing or stretch marks. Apply a bit more heat and try again. When the mould sinks in nicely, hold it steady for 20-30 seconds to let it cool. Prise up the drawing pins with a small screwdriver and remove the glazing piece. If there are scuff marks/stress marks in the plastic, ease the female mould a bit more before trying again. A smear of mould release (liquid vaseline) over everything can also help avoid this problem. If the casting looks OK, slip it back onto the male mould and trace the window outline from the balsa to the glazing so that you can see exactly where the window starts and ends on the plastic “blister”. Also mark any tabs or borders required for concealed gluing inside the body shell. Remove the pigment ink with methylated spirits. Trim carefully. A small craft scissors is recommended. NIbble carefully around any sharp corners to prevent the thinned plastic tearing or stressing.

Fig. 8) For a relatively simple curved screen (or for curved side glazing on flush-glazed vehicles) just shape a single piece of balsa to the required curve, fix one end of a strip of glazing to it using double-sided sticky tape, apply heat (keeping it away from the sticky tape as far as possible) and use a scrap of smooth wood to press the glazing down on to the curve and hold till it cools. Use white spirit on a cotton bud to remove the sticky tape afterwards. NOTE: If you don’t apply the heat for long enough, the glazing will soften enough to bend but won’t be heated right through, so the residual elasticity will tend to unbend it a little as it cools. Give it a bit longer. If you keep getting an inadequate bend, try exaggerating the curve of the mould just a little to compensate for this.

(Fig. 9) You can also use the heat-and-press technique to form tail-light or headlamp units with a more severe wraparound. Once again, if you don’t get the heat right through the plastic, it will tend to uncurl. Give it another dose of heat and press it down again (decent plastic can be re-heated and re-bent a few times before it starts to permanently distort).

Even if you aren’t into making your own models or doing conversions,, you can also use this technique to replace cracked or discoloured glazing on precious older models, or add it to models which didn’t have any in the first place but would look the better for it. You are bound to have quite a few experiments that don’t turn out quite right, but eventually (with any luck) you should get a decent result.

Male and female moulds for a couple of models. In the left-hand one the balsa was left “raw”. The one on the right got a thin smoothing coat of cellulose putty, hence the dark appearance.

A selection of successful attempts at window moulding are show below

 

Wrap-round/wrap-over front screen of ’59 Edsel (conversion from Brooklin ’58)

Replacement for disintegrated front screen of Kager Edsel kit

Rear screen for ’60 Ford Galaxie Starliner (modified Brooklin convertible)

Panoramic rear screen for 1960 Chevrolet (modified Brooklin convertible)

Side glazing panels for Pontiac Type K ( conversion from Yat Ming Firebird)

Compound-curvature rear window for 1960 Edsel (modified Brooklin ’60 Ford)

Or maybe something a little more outrageous

Rolls Silver Seraph glass-top Ceremonial limo (fictitious)

Compound-curved side and rear glasses for Bentley K2 SUV (fictitious)


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

Editorial April 2018

Here in the Northern Hemisphere spring is arriving, along with a few unexpected, and unwanted, snow showers. Those of us who can only spray-paint our models outside can now look at the pile of unmade kits to decide which will get done first this year. Your Editor is starting the year with two kits: a Riley 2.5 DHC, one of John Day’s earliest 1:76 kits which has been upgraded recently, and a 1:76 3D-printed kit of an Austin Maestro. I am sure that some other readers still build kits; why not send us news of what you are making, along with some pictures of your work?

Readers may already have caught up with Robin Godwin’s recent comments on Greenlight’s approach to flush-fitting windows on their Chevrolet van, with our pictures. Have readers seen other examples where manufacturers have affected their models by obvious and unnecessary design compromises?

The Atlas saga continues. Models made for Atlas series are now reaching the retail market before their subscription collections are completed. In addition to these models arriving at wholesalers in the UK, DeAgostini is selling a selection of them direct to the public from their ‘Model Space’ site. At the same time as these models are being sold off, I hear of more and more problems from Atlas collectors. Atlas seem to regard it as fair practice to go on advertising series that have already been completed for the initial collectors, and then issuing only part of the series to new collectors – just leaving out any items that have sold out. In addition, many series have been terminated before promised models have arrived. In some cases faulty models have not been replaced, as there is no stock left,  and no intention of getting any more made. Interestingly DeAgostini are still selling models from their version of the  Dinky Collection through supermarkets in the UK at part 7, when usually they go to order-only after about part two or three. We have speculated in the past about whether partworks/subscriptions series were saturating the market place. All the signs are that this has now happened, and that there will be a significant reduction in the number of series launched over the forthcoming year.

Our articles and features have covered an interesting range of topics over the last few months, from the History of Dinky Toys sales organisation in the USA to coverage of the Geneva Motor show, as well as pages on models new and old. But we always need more contributions; go on, it could be you! All we need are photographs of models or other items of interest to model collectors, and some description of them. We are happy to turn your words  into captions or an article, so you don’t need to worry if English is not your first language.

As it is Easter Sundayin the UK as I post this; a happy Easter to all our readers that celebrate it.


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

Suddenly it’s 1960 (A little later then planned)

By Graeme Ogg

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

Upper Photograph is from an Anonymous source on the Internet. Lower is the Author’s Handiwork

A few years ago I got hold of a Brooklin Models 1960 Edsel convertible and in one of those moments of rash enthusiasm decided to scratchbuild an estate roof on to it to make a Villager wagon, which would fill a gap in my Edsel collection. This was a rare bird (only 275 built before Ford finally pulled the plug on Edsel production) which essentially shared the 1960 Ford body, and I found the wagon roofline particularly attractive. Unfortunately I ran into problems with the build and chickened out (it’s a long, sad story) and set the whole thing aside. For about 5 years.

Meanwhile, fellow chopper John Quilter took the sensible approach to building his own Villager by making resin castings of the Brooklin bumpers and grille and fitting them into the Ixo body. I could have done the same, but clung to the idea I could make my Brooklin conversion work. Then along came the Ixo 1960 Ford wagon. I bought a couple of them and found that the roof was a remarkable good fit for the half-demolished Brooklin body.

 

After carefully sawing it off the Ixo body I glued it in place and it only needed a touch of filler here and there to blend it into the lower body. The rear fins on the wagon, curving their way around the tail-lights, differ from both the Edsel sedan and the Ford wagon, so those had to be fabricated. After that it was only (hah!) a matter of tidying and detailing.

I had kept the Brooklin seats but the Ixo seating unit sat better in the “blended” body so I used that, but tarted up the seats a little to make them look more like the Edsel upholstery pattern.  I replaced the Ford wheels with the Brooklins.

The Edsel wasn’t exactly lacking in brightwork, so a fair bit of work was needed with the Bare Metal Foil. I was going to foil the grille and bumpers but they looked bright enough to match the BMF so I left them alone, although I did drill out the metal headlamps and front sidelights and fitted plastic lenses, which brightened up the front quite nicely.

I also remembered to add the “gunsights” on the front corners that weren’t originally fitted to the Brooklin.

And that would have been it, really, except that when it came to the knee-trembling stage of final detailing and re-assembly, my nerve went again, and the model just sat there unfinished. However, in the past few weeks I finally got my whatsit back into gear and completed the job.

Of course (as a country barmaid once confessed to me) when you start fooling around with the country squire[*] it can be hard to stop. Pretty soon I was attacking another Ixo wagon. I’ve always admired the styling of the 1960 big Fords but only have a very warped plastic Galaxie (Anguplas) and a Starliner coupé (Motorhead Miniatures) in my collection, so I launched into a sedan conversion. For some reason I found the particular variation of the “Thunderbird” roofline used on the 1960 Galaxie less convincing than on some other Fords of that era, so switched my attention to the Fairlane 500 Town Sedan, with its slimmer rear pillars and huge back window (interesting that in 1960 Ford, GM and Chrysler all featured outsize “bubble” rear windows on some models).

While Ixo kindly provided a suitable lower body and roof structure, the whole back end had to be changed, with a new rear deck and the cropped fins of the wagon extended forwards and inwards, and the boot lid that sits lower than the rear wings, with the centre of the rear window dropping down into the valley. After more than 5 years without laying hands on an X‑Acto blade or a needle file, it was an interesting exercise in reviving old skills. (Skills? Surely you jest.)

I did at least successfully revive the old trick of carving the rear window in balsa and push-moulding it into heated plastic, with only minor charring of some domestic furnishings, although I did have to take the batteries out of the smoke detectors. And the moulding came out pretty well in the end.

The distinctive chevrons on the rear flanks were snipped from small staples. Fairlane 500s had a crest on the nose rather than “Ford” script, so that was done with a tiny colour photocopy. I put “Fairlane” on the boot lid in proper 1:43 lettering and it was pretty much invisible, so I went for over-scale lettering which may have been a bad idea (not helped by the elderly decal sheet having yellowed somewhat) but I wasn’t going to scrape it all off. Since I can’t print badges in chrome or white, I put “Fairlane 500” script on the front wings in black, which sounds like another daft move but if you look at photos of real cars the script is often half in shade and could almost be black …. OK, don’t believe me. At least it gives the impression that there’s a badge there.

The grossly over-scale chrome gunsights used by Ixo were replaced by something a little more delicate.

Building working steering into a model that will just sit on a shelf was a spectacularly pointless exercise and I don’t know what possessed me. (In retrospect, I think it was a bit of displacement activity at a tricky moment in the build.)

The Ford was done at the same time as the Edsel, and sat around unfinished for just as long, so I am just glad to get these models completed at last. It has to be said that doing a decent paint job, applying BMF tidily and putting small pieces of trim back neatly are all things that benefit from regular practice, so after the long lay-off this was not my finest hour in those areas. Close up, there are too many raggedy details, and after spending so long trying to get things right, it’s a little discouraging (said he, apparently calm but inwardly fuming). Of course I don’t plan on letting you get that close. Just stand back and enjoy the general impression. No, a bit further.  Further.  That’s it.  Nice, eh?

And here it is alongside an original Ford brochure photo.

Upper Photograph from period Ford Brochure, lower the Authors Handiwork.

[*] OK, so the Ixo is officially a Ranch Wagon, not a Country Squire. Listen, if you’re going to be difficult ….


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

Auto World Plymouth 1:64 Models

By Maz Woolley

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

Auto World is both a US store and a manufacturer producing models under Auto World, Johnny Lightning, and Racing Champions brands. Models cover multiple scales and even include HO scale slot cars. In 1:64 there is a difference between Johnny Lightning and Racing Champions models (made under licence from Tomy who no longer make them) and Auto World ones. Johnny Lightning continue as they have always done with models of American vehicles with fat speed wheels and some custom finishes to give them on the peg appeal at a pocket money price. Racing Champions seem to have a less clear cut identity with prices similar to AW and some features like wing mirrors that AW models lack but slightly less detailed models in some cases. Auto World was created with the collector of classic American vehicles in mind and is a series stated to be to strictly to 1:64 scale and which is finished in realistic colours, with realistic wheels and fitments, and well printed detailing. Its main competitor is probably Castline’s M2 ranges. In my eyes Auto World tend to look rather more realistic than M2 because they do not include the opening doors which detract from many M2 models.

Here I look at two new AutoWorld models which are recolours on existing castings and which I think show how collectable US 1:64 models have become.

AutoWorld 1964 Plymouth Barracuda                  Vintage Muscle Series release 4b #3

Aware that Ford intended to use its compact Falcon as the basis for a sporty car other manufacturers started to design their own. Chrysler created a fastback design based on their new compact Plymouth Valiant. The large rear window was the largest producer for a production car at that time.  Engine and gearbox options were the same as the Valiant’s, including two versions of Chrysler’s slant-6 engine. The highest power option for 1964 was Chrysler’s all-new 4.5 Litre V8.

Though the Barracuda was launched two weeks before the Mustang it only sold 23,443 units in 1964 compared to Ford’s 126,538 Mustangs.

The styling influence lived on with the large rear window being a key feature of the Chrysler owned Sunbeam Rapier and Alpine 1750 Arrow cars.

The casting captures the shape of the car well. The printed chrome round the windows is well done as is the rear window surround and fuel filler.

Good wheels have the smaller white sidewalls that emerged in the early 1960s.

From the front the grille is neatly moulded in and then black washed and all the chrome printed. The lights are printed in white which is quite effective and seems to be becoming popular on US 1:64 scale models. Even the moulded in wiper arms are neatly over printed in silver.

That huge rear window and all its fittings are nicely caught. Rear lights are printed on with silver base over printed with light lenses. An effect which is acceptable in this scale.

The rear scripts and boot fittings are all printed very finely and all is topped off by a registration plate though there is none fitted on the front.

Some attention has been paid to the engine bay which appears to house the optional V8.

AutoWorld 1958 Plymouth Belvedere                    Classic Chrome series release 4b #2

This casting has been seen before in several colours and in the special movie related “Christine” model from the film based upon Stephen King’s book.

The Belvedere modelled here is the version sold from 1957 to 1959 at the height of the era of Fins as styling statements. The design was so forceful Chrysler advertising was under the strap line  “Suddenly, it’s 1960!” In 1958 the Belvedere was the top trim level and was available with a large V8 engine called the Golden Commando.

The profile of the car with its jet fins has been nicely captured and the side ornamentation printed well right down to the door handles and the Belvedere badging which can only read clearly if you enlarge photographs of the model.

The wheels and tyres are modelled well though a black wash on wheels might make them look more realistic.

The front grill and huge bumper are well modelled and this time a number plate is included though it only carries the legend Belvedere. In the centre of the grille the V sign is picked out in gold. The bonnet emblem is printed over a raised moulding and even has a tiny Plymouth script printed on it much too small for the naked eyes to read clearly.

From the rear the excellent printing on the lights, huge bumper, and even the tiny Plymouth script along the lip of the boot, are all clearly visible.

Finally we get the view under the bonnet which clearly houses a large V8 engine painted gold as one imagines that the Golden Commando would have been.

Two nice models of classic American 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.

Model Auto Review 1988 Part Two

By Maz Woolley

We are sorry for the long gap in this series of articles this was caused by the fact that the way that we had been preparing them was very time intensive and was starting to squeeze out other content we felt needed to be posted. So from this posting on we will be posting colour pages and contents details but minimising the analysis of the content. 

This is the eighth in a series of articles looking at each year’s output of the original Model Auto Review magazine.   In October 2017 we reviewed the first half of 1988 so this month we look at the second half from the Summer Extra through to the Christmas Edition.  We show you the Cover and Contents pages of the magazines and some colour pages to give a flavour of what the magazine looked like. (Click on the images to get a larger copy.)

What was happening at MAR in 1988?

1988 saw an increase in the number of pages in MAR including the inclusion of colour centre pages which would be an ongoing feature. Expert contributors were now contributing regularly and the magazine was now established and developing a worldwide circulation.

What a year 1988 was!

The summer hits of the US and UK were as usual completely different. Over in the US “Roll With It” by Steve Winwood was the biggest summer seller whilst in the UK it was Yazz and the Plastic Population’s “The only way is up”.

In cinema a few classics hit the screen in 1988. That included the award winning Rain Man and the first of the Die Hard films which were to become a profitable series for 20th Century Fox. In the US it would have cost you about 3.5 Dollars to see the films and just over 90 cents a gallon to put fuel in the car to drive there.

In the computer world the IBM PC was a popular choice and one with a  30 Megabyte Hard Disk, Mono Monitor and 512K Memory would have cost 1,249 US Dollars.  If you fancied a new car instead a Ford Taurus started at around 9,996 US Dollars or you could go compact and buy a Volkswagen Rabbit (Golf) for 7,104. 

Around the world:

  • the Iraq-Iran war ended after 1.5 million people had died
  • A BA Jumbo Jet was blown up over Lockerbie in Scotland by terrorists
  • In England the pound note was replaced by a coin
  • In Poland Solidarity were starting their strikes.
  • In Afganistan the Soviet government withdrew their troops

#33 Extra 88 August/September

Front Cover

Inside Front Cover
Contents

Sample of Middle Pages

Inside Rear Cover

Rear Cover

#34 Autumn 88 October/November

Front Cover

Inside Front Cover

Content

Sample from Middle Pages

Inside Rear Cover

#35 Christmas 88 December/January

Front Cover

Inside Front Cover

 

Contents Page

Inside Back Cover

Back Cover


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