All posts by maronlineeditor

News from the Continent September 2018 – M4 Model Cars Italy

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer.

Here is a look at the September and October releases from M4 Model car group. These models are made in Italy and are diecast to 1:43 scale unless otherwise noted.

September2018

ART Models

 

ART392 Ferrari 860 Monza

3rd at 1000 km of Nurburgring 1956 – drivers Hill / De Portago / Gendebien


 

ART393 Ferrari 500 TR

3rd in Grand Prix of Rome 1956 – Paul Frere


Best Models

 

BEST9721 Ferrari 308 GTB – American Version 1976

Red standard road car finish


 

BEST9722 Porsche 550 RS – 12 hours of Sebring 1957

8th overall and 1st in Class S1.5 – Bunker /Wallace


 

BEST9723 Ferrari 512 BB 1976

Bi-colour yellow and black


 

BEST9724 Ferrari 512 BB LM

1000 km of Fuji 1981 – drivers Griswold/Bond


Rio Models

 

RIO4572 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Police 1961

From the collection of the Museum of Rome


 

RIO4573 Volkswagen Beetle 1953 “Police”

Another strangely inaccurate model from Rio. There is an oval rear window but no triangular ventilators in the front doors and the bumpers and tail lights are from a 1948 car.


 

RIO4574 Citroen DS 21 saloon 1969

In Paris Taxi livery.


October 2018

ART Models

 

ART394 Ferrari 290 S

15th at Watkins Glen 1964 – J. Flynn


 

ART256/2 Ferrari 860 MONZA

Winner of 12 hours race at Sebring 1956 – Drivers Fangio /Castellotti


Best Models

 

BEST9725 Ferrari 250 GTL

Here modelled as the car of Jay Kay in blue


 

BEST9726 Porsche 908/02 Flunder

10th at Nurburgring 1000 km 1971 – drivers Wicky / Cabral


 

BEST9727 Porsche 550RS

Winner of 10 hours race at Messina – drivers Heinz / Strahle


Rio Models

 

RIO4575/P Mercedes-Benz 770

In German Wehrmacht Africa Corps camouflage markings from 1941. Figures of Field Marshall Rommel and driver.  The authenticity of this model is questionable as no photo exists of the large Mercedes-Benz 770 in khaki camouflage, In the many photographs of Rommel he is in a captured British armoured vehicle or a KdF Kubelwagen.


 

RIO4576 Fiat 18 BL

Here this early Fiat truck is in the livery of the Peroni beer company.


 

RIO4577 Citroen DS 19 Break

Here the DS Break has been fitted with the trappings of a hearse.


 

RIO4578 Fiat 238 1972

Here the 238 van with a high roof extension has been fitted with a roof mounted loudspeaker  and liveried for the “Italian Police”.


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

Atlas Dinky Deluxe 523 Simca 1500

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest instalment of the DInky Deluxe Series arrived from Atlas recently. It is a reproduction of French Dinky 523 Simca 1500 painted in light blue one of the two colours seen on this casting, the other was metallic grey. The original Dinky was launched in 1963 the same year that the car was launched with a choice of 1300 and 1500cc engines and was withdrawn in 1969.  It was later re-numbered as 1523. The box with its full period artwork and features list is well reproduced though it struggles to hold the car in its tray and wrapping and mine has come unglued. The period artwork is delightful featuring the car and a very empty Parisian roundabout.

The car features the French Dinky baggage set  to put in the boot which is the only opening feature, and which sadly refused to pose in an open position for the photographs!

The interior is typical red one part tub with seats moulded in and it includes featureless door cards and a simple moulded dashboard. A large steering wheel in white is fitted.

A photograph of the side of the car shows that the overall shape is good and the minimal detail reflects the fact that the original car was devoid of fussy side strips or decorations other than the strip below the doors which has been moulded and painted as it was on the original Dinky.

The front is neatly modelled with the headlight jewels at the full expected size unlike the recent Police Citroen DS. Bumpers are neatly picked out. The indicators are moulded in below the headlights but are not painted.

From the rear the original shape rear end which was altered when the model became the 1301 and 1501 later is neatly cast. Its round light cluster is well captured and the small red jewel makes a nice rear light. The rear number plate is picked out in black when the front one is left in body colour, again a true replica of the original model.

My Atlas accounts shows the next car due as the Opel Rekord II.


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

Goldvarg September 2018

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs have all been provided by the Manufacturer.

It is amazing to think that Sergio Goldvarg only returned to producing 1:43 scale models just over a year ago. Since then licences have been obtained from Ford and General Motors and once the first cars were released a steady stream of new ones has been announced. The cars are resin moulded to 1:43 scale and finished in China to Sergio’s specification. Lots of attention is paid to having pre-production tryouts made and shown to knowledgeable collectors to help get them absolutely right before production. These pre-production samples also help Sergio to get a good idea of the colours that will sell strongly and builds up a direct relation between the maker and the collectors.

Most of the releases to date have sold out at Goldvarg Collectibles, though some can still be found on the inventories of retail sellers. What is also amazing is that the US price of some of the cars to pre-order today are still at the bargain $99 launch price, and even a few that are not are only $109. This seems to be a bargain price at a time when prices from  European companies like Matrix and Brooklin have increased very significantly over the same period and other competitors are much dearer anyway.

So lets look at some of the models announced but not yet shipped.

1961 PONTIAC CATALINA Twilight Mist

 

The 1961 Catalina sold for less than a Chevrolet Impala yet was fitted with a better automatic box and was kitted out to the standards of a Oldsmobile and was cheaper than that too. The new squarer, straight through, wing styling front and back heralded the start of the much more conservative styling of the early 1960s.

The Goldvarg model captures the complex curves and pressed surfaces very well.

GC-007 B 1970 FORD Galaxie Caramel Bronze

The 1970 Ford Galaxie was a full-sized car. The name was used for the top models in Ford’s full-size range competing with the Chevrolet Impala. Here the Goldvarg model has captured the typical early 1970s shape well and the intricately finished rear chrome panel and badging are worthy of note.

This car is also to be available in metallic silver with a black vinyl roof.

GC-008 A 1965 MERCURY PARK LANE MARAUDER Ocean Turquoise

 

In 1965 the chassis of full-size Ford and Mercury cars was redesigned and the Mercury line was given much flatter sides. a much more slab-sided appearance. Europeans will see the influence of the front end on both the German Ford Taunus 17M and the British Mark III Cortina.

The Goldvarg model again has very fine grille work as well as badging. The car is also available in a nice metallic gold finish.

GC-009 A 1969 FORD TORINO Calypso coral

 

The Ford Torino modelled by Goldvarg is an early car from the second year of production. It is nice to see an earlier Torino as the Starsky and Hutch car has meant that most Torinos produced have been 1973 cars. The Torino filled the mid-range segment and was named after the Italian city of Turin, perhaps to add some suggestion of Italian style to what was only a Ford Fairlane in disguise.

The Goldvarg model looks good even in this early pre-production form with the wheels still not ready to show. The front grille seems to be very neatly replicated and the badging too.It is also to be available in a yellow which is undoubtedly period correct but much less attractive to my eye.

GC010 A 1963 FORD FALCON SPRINT Rangoon Red

 

The Falcon was the small platform in the Ford line up from 1961 onwards. By 1963, there were two and four door sedans, convertibles, wagons and hardtops. In mid-year a V8 was offered for the first time in the Sprint line only. The Sprint acted as a test bed for the soon to be launched Ford Mustang which may have looked very different but was pure Falcon underneath!

The pre-production model has a few parts that are not yet finely finished as I expect that they will be when the model is launched. But  it captures the lights and grille very well as well as side spear and badging.

This model will also be available in Polar White.

1963 Chevy Nova Laurel Green

 

The Chevrolet Chevy II/Nova was the smallest platform for Chevrolet cars and went through five generations after being introduced in 1962. Its influence on GMs former European Opel division is clear to see. Powered by four or six cylinder engines the Chevy II/Nova started out intending to be a thrifty purchase but as time went on more expensive variants rapidly emerged. By 1963 the Nova option for the Chevy II was available in a convertible body style, and a two-door hardtop was available from 1962 to 1965. All Chevy two-door hardtops in the range were marketed as the Sport Coupe .For 1963, the Chevy II Nova Super Sport was released and it featured special emblems, an instrument package, wheel covers, special side mouldings, bucket seats, and floor gear change.

The Goldvarg is still at the prototype phase but  seems to me to capture the original car exceptionally well with excellent fine detailing to finish the relatively simple shape of the car well.

1956 MERCURY MONTEREY Station Wagon

 

The Marquis-Monterey range had a longer wheelbase and longer body than the Ford LTD, Ford Galaxie, and Ford Custom. The 1956 model had a new engine, the 235 hp (175 kW) 312 cu. in. This year, along with the rest of Ford, Mercury cars started to sport the ‘Lifeguard’ safety equipment. The deep-dish steering wheel and safety door locks were standard.

Here the Goldvarg is in very early prototype form and we can expect to see more prototypes as the details are developed and the colours are tested. Here we can see that the shape seems well developed and the side mouldings are being readied for the woodie treatment.

1962 Buick Electra

 

The Buick Electra was a full-size luxury car included in the Buick range from 1959 to 1990.  Famed for its extreme rear wings when first introduced it was offered in many forms over the years and here it is in two door coupe form.  The 1962 model had four VentiPorts per front wing and was restyled from 1961 version. The car was fitted with many luxury fitments as standard but came with a lot of options too.

Again this is an early prototype but it clearly has the correct shape and stance and we can look forward to seeing more developed prototypes in the near future.

1964 Pontiac Grand Prix

 

The 1962-1964 Pontiac Grand Prix achieved strong sales for General Motors during its run,  It set to win over the buyers of Ford Thunderbirds, amongst others. Based on the Catalina hardtop coupe it had unique styling touches and was fitted with T-Bird style bucket seats and a large central console. The name, Grand Prix, was used to add associations to speed and daring. The car could be fitted out with one of five versions of Pontiac’s superb Trophy 389 V-8, from a 230-horsepower economy special to a high-compression Tri-Power version (three two-barrel carburetors) with 348 hp. This, and its lower weight, made the GP faster than the T-Bird. A three-speed manual gearbox was standard, but most GPs were ordered with the new “Roto” Hydra-Matic, a new three-speed torque-converter box. An alternative option taken by enthusiasts was a four-speed manual floorshift.

Again the Goldvarg is in its early stages and much fine detail is yet to be added. The shape appears to be caught very well which is important as the GP is a relatively plain car with limited chrome adornments.

Our look at what is on the way from Goldvarg ends here but I am sure that there are yet other drawings, and work in hand, on yet more models. The current trend for Goldvarg to produce cars from the 1960s seems to be popular with many collectors as there are a lot of cars from that era yet to be modelled well. If you are interested in Goldvarg models their website is https://www.goldvargcollection.com/


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

Editorial October 2018

October marks the beginning of the final quarter of 2018. Announcements from Oxford Diecast and other manufacturers of their next set of releases, reaching into 2019 are imminent. As ever, it will be interesting to see what the model makers propose, and whether neglected eras and companies come to the fore at last. In the USA Goldvarg has already announced models of US sedans from the early 1960s, which have been hard to find in the past.

My impression is that during 2018 prices of models have generally continued to rise, in all scales, at a faster rate than general inflation, with a particularly rapid escalation in prices for some smaller scale resin makers and the largest remaining white metal producer. Many 1:43 scale resin ranges have crossed the psychological barrier of 100 Euros, which at current consumer exchange rates equates to around 100 GB Pounds. In the US the hundred-dollar barrier has been well and truly passed by many ranges, indeed Brooklin are now breaking the two hundred dollar mark for some products. As ever, we wonder whether this will lead to collectors buying fewer models? Maybe at these new higher prices the product is more difficult to sell, which reduces the income level, and thus makes it necessary to raise the price of the next model?

We congratulate those makers who have tried to keep price rises to a minimum, such as many of the industrial diecast producers like Oxford Diecast, Welly, Burago, Greenlight, and a few others. But even there prices have risen somewhat, due to increased production and shipping costs in China.

We hear of some companies looking for other countries in which to produce models in future, as costs for Chinese production continue to rise, and as other potential political difficulties loom on the horizon. One country which has been suggested to us as a potential manufacturing partner in future is Vietnam.

One wonders what the future impact will be of impending tariff wars between the USA and other countries (China in particular of course), and also the possible impact of ‘Brexit’ here in the UK.

Many thanks to the two generous readers who have made contributions towards next year’s hosting. Their names have been added to the charter subscribers page. If you would like to add a donation as well, then please email maronlineeditor@gmail.com for details of how to participate.

Some preview samples from Corgi and Oxford Diecast

By Maz Woolley

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

John Ayrey is a major UK wholeseller and hosts open days for its trade buyers several times a year. I was lucky enough to get a press invite to their July session featuring Oxford and Corgi models. I even got to walk round their impressive warehouse which was full of models I wish I could afford!

All the models photographed are pre-production prototypes and may feature combinations of fittings which will not all appear in the same combination on the released models. Some of the models shown are just becoming available whilst others will ship over the rest of 2018.

We were lucky enough to have Lyndon Davies (Taff) at the event. It was fascinating to find out more about the development of Oxford’s models and how a lot of effort has to be expended at the CAD phase to make sure the engineers in China understand the need for certain body features to be created in a particular way to facilitate printing later.

Oxford are finalising models for two years ahead and if I interpreted Taff correctly we will begin to see the results of all the work going on at Hornby soon too.

Lyndon Davies (Taff) CEO/Chairman Hornby Hobbies, and Director at, and founder of, Oxford Diecast

N Gauge 1:148 scale

 

Oxford showed a small number of models at this scale. All the models shown are due in Q3/2018.

NMA002 Mercedes Ambulance London

NLR002 Land Rover LIghtweight Military Police

NCOR3003 Cortina Mark III Sebring Red

HO Gauge 1:87 scale

Samples were shown of the forthcoming new releases in the range of small US cars. The first two are recolours due soon.

87CI61003 1961 Chevrolet Impala White/Roman Red Q3/2018

87CSD61002 1961 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Aspen Gold Metallic

Test castings of new models were also shown

1961 Chrysler 300 Convertible (Closed)  – no production date for this version yet

87CC61001 Chrysler 300 Convertible (Open)  Mardi Gras Red Q3/2018

87DC68001 Dodge Charger Bright Red Q3/2018

87DD69001 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona black Q3/2018

87DS46001 DeSoto Suburban Noel Green Q3/2018 – NB Catalogue does not show luggage fitted.

De Soto Taxi not shown in catalogue yet.

87DP57001 1957 Dodge D100 Sweptside Pick up Tropical Coral/Glacier White Q3/2018

OO Gauge 1:76 Scale

 

76TCAB010 Scania T Cab short Curtainside Stuart Nichol Transport Q3/2018

76DAF004 DAF 85 Short Fridge Trailer Trevor Pye Q3/2018

76TPU002 Ford Transit Dropside Network Rail Q3/2018

76BR001 Burrell 8nhp DCC showman’s Locomotive and Caravan The Masterpiece (Dorset) Q3/2018

76JCX001 JCB 3CX Q3/2018

Combine Harvester – not shown in latest catalogue

763CX002 JCB 3CX Eco Backhoe Loader Union Jack Livery Q3/2018

76P38002 Range Rover P38 Monte Carlo Blue Q3/2018

76TR6002 Triumph TR6 Signal Red Q3/2018

76JSS006 SS Jaguar DArk Blue Q3/2018

76MGBGT003 MGB GT Glacier White Q3/2018

76CAP008 Ford Capri Signal Orange Q3/2018

76SOM001 Austin Somerset Black Q3/2018

76SOM002 Austin Somerset Buckingham Green Q4/2018

76BMO02003 BMW 2002 Taiga Green Q3/2018

76VW Could possibly be the pastel blue but very different shade to catalogue.

76FCC001 Ford Consul Capri Lime Green/Ermine White Q3/2018

76FDE010 Ford 400E Cargo Grey Q3/2018

76FT1008 Ford Transit Mark I Castrol Q3/2018

76RCL002 Range Rover Classic Darien Gap Q3/2018

Another sample I could not find in the catalogue of one of the later defenders with roof rack etc.

76LR2S004 Land Rover Short Wheelbase Post Office Telephones (Yellow) Q3/208

Land Rover not shown in Catalogue.

76LR2S005 Land Rover Series II SWB Civil Defense. NB Catalogue does not show luggage fitting on roof.

76LR3002 Land Rover Series III Hard Top AA Q3/2018

76LRFCS001 Land Rover FC Signals NATO Q3/2018

76CHT004 Churchill Tank 6th Guards Brigade 1943 Q4/2018

76TIL011 Austin Tilly No.1 MTTC Camberley 1945 (Subaltern Princess Elizabeth) Q3/2018

76WFA007 Weymann Fanfare North Western Q3/2018

76SB002 Saro Bus Maidstone and District

76PAN007 Plaxton Panorama Ribble Q3/2018

76IR6004 Irizar i6 Galleon Travel Q3/2018. Foreground is 1:148 Actros truck which I cannot find in the catalogue.

1:72 Scale Aircraft

72DV005 DH104 Devon WB534 RAF Transport Command

AC083 Henschel 123A Unit 3/SFGr 50 Lt. Hamann Q3/2018

1:43 Scale

 

43TX5001 LEVC TX Electric Taxi Black. Q3/2018

43LR3S002 Land Rover Series III SWB Hardtop AA Q3/2018

43R25002 Rolls Royce 25/30 Thrupp and Maberley Q3/2018

1:18 Scale

 

18MBC006 Messerschmitt KR200 Convertible Q3/2018

18HE003 Heinkel Kabine Yellow Q3/2018

Corgi Vanguards

Fewer samples to show here unsurprisingly. But we do get to see the two Minis to come this year.

 

VA13507 Mini 1275GT Special Tuning Press Launch Car

VA02541 Austin Mini Cooper S MK 1 1275cc Almond Green


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 100 – The World’s Greatest Postage Stamp Car Collection

By Jerry J. Broz

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

The Editor recently wrote about the die-cast model of the US Postal Service Delivery Truck.

Auto 100′ the Postage Stamp Car Collection is a valuable addition to any scale die-cast model car collection and can serve as an essential list of manufacturers and models of the available die-cast model cars produced.

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Automobile, a group of six English-speaking nations (Grenada, Nevis,Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Bequia & Union Island, and Tuvalu) assembled a collection of official postage stamps featuring cars. This collection is the most comprehensive collection of car stamps ever issued. It commemorates the most important and historic road and race cars ever built, the designers, the racers, and manufacturers from around the world, an was entitled ‘The World’s Greatest Car Collection’.

Introduced in 1984 by Stamp Collectors Society of America this collection includes 694 stamps, 61 full-page, full-colour photographs, 60 ‘profiles’ of drivers, designers and manufacturers, a history of the automobile, and a detailed description and specification of every car on the stamps, along with seven pages of Index and six pages of preface, introduction, and history of every car. All 306 pages are stored in a loose leaf, six-ring, black and gold decorated album, provided exclusively to subscribers.

 

The total value of the complete collection, as detailed above, was $563.00 in the 1980s.

The car stamps were available from the Stamp Collectors Society of America until their discontinuation in 1990 and are still available in sets of eight to sixteen stamps or in collections of 130 stamps or less from eBay.

 

Each month the subscribers to the original collection received 24 Stamps, one or two photographs, and one or two profiles with an invoice for $19.50 and with a “Stamp Collectors Society of America” letter announcing the next set of 24 stamps. Each shipment featured additional information about cars, designers,racers, manufacturers, etc. The accompanying letter was addressed to the subscriber and signed by Prescott V. Kelly, President of Stamp Collectors Society of America.


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

Another passing – John Martin

I have been informed that John Martin, the JM in JM Toys has recently passed away. John was trained as an engineer and after working for large companies like GEC Marconi and Plessey he left to form small companies of his own and one, J Martin Toolmakers was his introduction to model making as it made tools for Airfix, Palitoys and others. From there he developed a bigger involvement with modelling by buying a company making railway controllers and then acquiring Fleetline Model Company that made N Gauge white metal models for railway scenes.

John opened Cowplan models in 1979 and expanded buy buying another business. The emphasis at this time was railway modelling. But after he started trading at toy fairs in the mid-1980s his interest was taken by Brooklins as well as Pathfinder Models, Kenna Models, and Somerville models.  At this time he amassed one of the largest collections of Brooklins in the world. As his model trading expanded his engineering firms were wound down with the final one closing in 1992. By this time JM Toys had become one of the biggest distributors of white metal models.

John suffered from Diabetes and created a number of special models to raise funds for the British Diabetic Association  (now Diabetes UK). In recent years the business has been passed over to his son Russell to run and has become heavily Internet based. Whilst John found more time to ‘go fishing’ which was a hobby that allowed him to leave behind the stresses of the model business.


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 16

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Nos. 46  to 48

This time we visit fabulous India with a Tata bus, France again with another Berliet and step behind the Iron Curtain with a postwar Skoda. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork ‘Autobus dal mondo’, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French partwork ‘Autobus et autocars du monde’, produced in Bangladesh by Ixo. At the time of writing Italian Hachette has announced that the partwork will be extended to eighty models (the French one is marching towards 120), but the first two models (nos. 61 and 62) are nothing more than new liveries on old castings: not a good start, let’s hope we see something new.

No. 46 (no. 45 in the French collection) Tata LPO 1512 1990 – The origins of Tata can be traced to a company founded in 1868 by Jamshedji Tata : today Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate holding company, headquartered in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), and owned by Tata Sons, a registered charity. One of its members is Tata Motors Limited (formerly TELCO, short for Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) a multinational automotive manufacturing company producing passenger cars, trucks, vans, coaches, buses, sports cars, construction equipment and military vehicles,. The group includes Jaguar Land Rover, with manufacturing and assembly plants in India, as well as in Argentina, South Africa, Great Britain and Thailand.

Founded in 1945 to produce locomotives, the company manufactured its first commercial vehicle in 1954 in a collaboration with Daimler-Benz AG (which ended in 1969): the chassis was a copy of the Mercedes L 3500, and from it was derived a whole series of bus and truck chassis, like the Tata 1210 and then the 1510, and its more modern variant the 1512. The Tata 1510/1512 was the largest selling bus in India and neighbouring countries, combining good features and low ownership cost. Built on a sturdy frame with parallel side members, suited to the difficult local conditions, and equipped from 1993 with a Cummins straight six diesel engine (previously with a Tata-Mercedes Benz 697 engine), the 1512 was usually bodied by contracted suppliers to customer requirements. Alas in later years its reliability was often hindered by poor maintenance causing frequent accidents, notwithstanding a legal maximum speed of 40 km/h.

The scale model represents a 1990 large capacity long distance bus where, lacking any air conditioning, the side doors (obviously on the left side) have been deleted, at the expense of safety. There is the usual combination of a plastic body and a metal baseplate, which is well detailed. It is painted in a bright livery in white, yellow and light green. On the sides there is the “Stage Carriage” writing, meaning it is a vehicle stopping at designated places, plus others printed in Indian characters, which the Author cannot decipher. The registration plate is one from the Delhi Regional Transport Office, correctly printed in black over yellow, as required for a public use. The prefix DL-1P is specifically allocated to Delhi commercial buses.

The angular shape of the bus is well reproduced, with large windows and many separate plastic parts, like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers, plus a chromed side exhaust. Very nice wheels and driver’s ‘cab’ area. The seats are only basic. Note the shadows on the windows representing the safety bars on their lower side. No apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model of an almost unknown bus, at least in Europe.


 

No. 47 (no. 36 in the French collection) Berliet PLR 10 1955 – We have already seen the Berliet history and its Crusair (see part 8, no. 22), PHL 10 (see part 10, no. 30) and PR100 ranges (Jelcz version, see part 14, no. 40) and how after the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, but that Chausson, Isobloc and Renault buses were much more innovative. In 1951 Berliet launched the PLR 8, a very powerful bus, but old fashioned even before it was launched: its heavy welded box frame, its dual rear wheels and horizontal engine meant high costs, both to buy, to use and to maintain. The PLR 8, an urban bus, was equipped with a 125 CV five cylinders MDUH diesel engine, while the PLR 10, an intercity bus, had a 150 CV six cylinders MDZH diesel, later used also on the urban version of the PLR 10. In 1958 a new generation of very low consumption engines was developed thanks to the MAN injection system, but this evolution did not save the model from its fate, as it was not the commercial success the new engine deserved.

With the cooperation of Vétra for the electric systems, Berliet produced a trolleybus version of the PLR 10, named ELR, a variant appreciated in Nice and Marseille.

The scale model represents an urban version (the correct name should be PLR 10 U) of the Monegasque CAM (Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco) with only 20 seated places and large central and rear platform for 70 standing places. The model is in a very elegant white livery with the coat of arms of the Principality on the roof. There is the usual plastic body with metal baseplate, and the exhaust is enhanced in silver.

The red circle on the front means that the vehicle runs a regular service, but it is in contrast with the “Special” in the destination board. The registration plate is not correct for the year, it should be white on blue, the blue on white was released only from 1978. Very likely it is a copy of a preserved and re-registered bus.

A nice front grille is provided, suitably pierced, and good wheels. A well reproduced driver’s cockpit is present as well as a basic interior. Usual added parts like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers are fitted. No apparent differences to the French edition. A good choice, fifties buses are the most loved.


 

No. 48 (no. 37 in the French collection) Skoda 706 RO 1947 – In 1859, Count Wallenstein-Vartenberk, owner of an already established foundry and engineering work, set up a branch in Pilsen, then in the Kingdom of Bohemia, part of the Austrian Empire. In 1869, the plant was taken over by Emil Škoda, who soon expanded the firm, and in the 1880s founded what was then a very modern steelwork, which was a leader in arms manufacturing. Exports included heavy castings, such as parts for the Niagara Falls power plant and for the Suez Canal sluices. In 1924, Škoda Works acquired the Laurin-Klement car manufacturer, later known as Škoda Auto.

The companies were separated after 1945, when the whole Czechoslovak economy came under government control : the car works in Mladá Boleslav became AZNP (Automobilové závody národní podnik or National Automobile Manufacturing Industry) today’s Škoda Auto, while the truck plant became part of a conglomerate of nine truck producers headquartered in Liberec as LIAZ (Liberecké automobilové závody), although the trucks and buses were still marketed as Škodas. Later, Škoda became well known in the USSR and other countries as a trolleybus manufacturer, but when in late 1989 the company was privatised very soon mismanagement, and the loss of guaranteed access to the East-European market, led to a collapse. In 1991 the Czech government sought a foreign partner for the passenger car works, choosing Volkswagen with a 30% initial stake, rising to 100% ownership by 1999.

The Škoda 706 RO is an urban bus produced from 1947 on the frame of the 706 R truck, and bodied by Sodomka (from 1948 named Karosa). In 1896 Josef Sodomka founded a manufacturing plant for coaches, and producing automobile bodywork of its own design from 1925, designed to be mounted on automobile chassis produced by Praga. In 1948, the company was nationalised and incorporated into a ‘National Enterprise’, which was then given the name Karosa (acronym for “Factory for carriages, cars, rotors, machine tools, cutting machines and buses”). Karosa become the sole manufacturer of buses in Czechoslovakia, but in 1989, after the fall of the communist regime, Karosa had to reduce its production. Help came from Renault, Karosa later becoming part of Irisbus and then of Iveco Bus. At the time the RO was a modern high capacity bus and was exported to many countries within the communist block, China included. The engine, a Skoda straight six diesel engine with 145 CV, was placed in front next to driver, and the rear axle was propelled by a long driveshaft. The body presented a very long rear overhang. Its heir, the RTO (quite similar, but much more comfortable with a lowered frame), was presented in 1958 and continued serial production until 1972, while it was produced under licence until 1977 by Jelcz (see part 14, no. 40) in Poland.

The scale model represents quite accurately a bus exported to China, with a red and white livery, and a dark grey roof. The Author apologises but he is unable to translate the Chinese characters. At the time China encouraged the workforce to live close to work to limit need for transport to work. Nowadays their cities are blocked by traffic like ours, and worse.

The bus has the usual form of construction with a plastic body and metal baseplate, which is well detailed. A side exhaust is added, as are front and rear tow hooks. Very nice doors and the wheels are fitted. Among the added plastic parts are the usual lights, bumpers, mirrors (five of them) and wipers. On the roof a triangle is fitted, very likely to be used to indicate the presence of a trailer. Another nice reproduction of a bus almost unknown in Western Europe.


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 Four 2010-2013

By Dave Turner

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

“Freedom To Soar” – Fifth Generation Mustang

Part Four 2010 to 2013

Halfway through the fifth series of Mustang and there were many very subtle changes during a bit of a re-skin. They are in the main hard to determine in the real car, so in miniature form it is almost impossible. For a start the front end got a wider grille – echoing that of the previous Shelby pattern with the amber lights now inboard of the outer headlights, except for the new Shelby where they are outboard of them as that grille is now wider. The previous quite flat hood has now a ‘Powerdome’ with a slightly raised central section. The lower body sides now have a very slight recess below the door handle line while the previously flat tail is now very gently angled at each side. The tail lights are now angled up along their lower edge with much larger vertical back up lights rather than the tiny rectangular pattern in the lower inner corners.

Engines continued more or less the same as before but for 2011 the V6 became a Duratec while the V8 became all aluminium and the car sported the “5.0” legend on the front fender. For 2012 a Boss 302 was added to the range reviving a 1967-70 name and featuring the 5.0 V8 with quad pipe exhaust plus side pipes and the option of the Trackey – for selecting specific ignition settings. A Leguna Seca Package added enough tune-up items to make the cars almost racetrack ready.

A new front facia arrived for 2013 with a larger grille and a black panel across the rear accommodating the tail lights. The rear licence plate was now accommodated in a wider recess that featured a black coloured ‘grille’ at each end. Despite the pending arrival of the sixth generation cars for 2015 quite a few changes came with the 2014 Mustangs. Some of them anticipated features on the next cars like certain things about the front panel.

2010 Models

Models of the second half of the fifth incarnation of Mustang include some superb 1:18 diecasts and a variety of 1:64 toys. Auto Art continued their interest in these cars and in 2012 offered a nice straightforward GT in 1:18 along with the more dramatic Shelby GT, both in Coupe form. Greenlight were actually in front of Auto Art, issuing their similar choice of subjects early in 2010. Features from Greenlight include scale hood hinges and a hood prop, a ‘Premium’ interior package, cloth seat belts and appropriate engine detail. A small illustration was included in MAR 241 (April 2010).

Mattel came along with their usual vast assortment of the subject in the Hot Wheels stable, some quite attractive and a realistic likeness to the real thing while others are at the other end of the spectrum. Subjects covered include GT, Shelby GT500 and Shelby Super Snake.

Shelby Collectibles offered 1:24 and 1:18 models of GT500s and Super Snakes at least one example was featured in MAR 244 (August 2010). Quite a variety of models came from MaistoGT and Roush 427R Convertibles in 1:18 and a 1:41 GT Convertible aimed at the toy end of the market with opening doors and pull-back motor on the rear axle.

Revell represented the plastic kit department with 1:25 GT kits for both Coupe and Convertible as well as a bigger 1:12 Shelby GT 500 Coupe. The smallest 2010 recorded so far was the little GT Coupe from Tomy at 1:67 and they managed to incorporate opening doors.

 

2010

Auto Art 72911 GT Coupe various colours 1:18 diecast
Auto Art 72913 Shelby GT 500 various colours 1:18 diecast
Greenlight 12870 GT Coupe various colours 1:18 diecast
Greenlight 12824 Shelby GT 500 Coupe various colours 1:18 diecast
Hot Wheels 9988 Malaysia GT Coupe various colours 74mm 1:65 diecast
Hot Wheels CFH 35 Malaysia Shelby GT500 Coupe various colours 74mm 1:65 diecast
Hot Wheels 9673 Malaysia Shelby GT500 Super Snake 74mm 1:65 diecast
Shelby Collectibles 09074 Shelby GT 500 Coupe 1:18 diecast
Shelby Collectibles SC344 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1:18 diecast
Shelby Collectibles 2035 Shelby GT 500 coupe 1:24 diecast
Maisto 31158 China GT Convertible 1:18 diecast
Maisto 31669 China Roush 427R Convertible 1:18 diecast
Maisto China GT Convertible 117mm 1:41 diecast
Maisto China GT Coupe 76mm 1:63 diecast
Revell 85-1963 GT Convertible 1:25 plastic kit
Revell 85-4272 GT Coupe 1:25 plastic kit
Revell 85-2623 Shelby GT500 coupe 1:12 plastic kit
Tomy 60 Vietnam GT Coupe 71mm 1:67 diecast
2011 Models

Greenlight produced a plethora of small diecast 2011 Mustangs in a variety of different series but at least they offered a very nice Shelby GT500 in 1:18. This is immediately noticeably different to their 2010 version by having narrower stripes.

A name new to this column is Toy City, produced in China to 1:43 a 2012 Shelby GT 500 ticks all the boxes in a clinical kind of way, even the wheels depict the 19” painted forged aluminium of the real car to a reasonable degree.

Naturally the arrival of the re-incarnated Boss 302 for 2012 inspired more models. One model 302 came from Auto World in 1:64 who managed a neat opening hood with some engine detail included in the casting effectively highlighted by paint detail. This model also sported what was painted to represent the glass roof option.

The ever present Hot Wheels line included various 2012 Mustangs including a Laguna Seca version of the Boss 302.

Identifying some of these small Mustangs gets a trifle uncertain as some makers mix and match some of the real cars features. For example the real Boss 302 had its striping changed for 2013 to design in which the vertical stripe on the front fender continued over the hood as illustrated in MAR 274 (Oct 2013) in which the Schuco Pro R 1:43 resin Boss 302 is featured. For 2013 the rear licence plate had a black ‘grille’ at either end in a longer depression in the back panel and this is also featured on the little 1:62 Maisto. Majorette on the other hand produced at least seventeen versions of their 1:61 Boss but produced the striping in a mix of the 2012 and 2013 pattern.

2011
Greenlight 12825 Shelby GT500 Coupe 1:18 diecast
Greenlight 13100 Shelby GT500 Coupe 1:64 diecast
Greenlight 29770 GT Coupe 1:64 diecast
2012
Toy City 00315 04333B China Shelby GT500 Coupe 111mm 1:43 diecast
Auto World 164-011 China Boss 302 75mm 1:64 diecast
Hot Wheels 5570 Malaysia Boss 302 Laguna Seca 75mm 1:64 diecast
2013
Maisto China 11530 Boss 302 77mm 1:62 diecast
Majorette Thailand 204A Boss 302 79mm 1:61 diecast
Schuco 450883100 Boss 302 1:43 resin

Illustrations Fifth Generation Mustang 2010-2013

 

Tomy 1:67 diecast from Vietnam: 60, 2010 GT Coupe.

 

Maisto 1:63 diecast from China: 2010 GT Coupe

 

Hot Wheels 1:65 diecast from Malaysia: 9988, 2010 GT Coupe.

 

Hot Wheels 1:65 diecast from Malaysia: CFH 35, 2010 Shelby GT500 Coupe.

 

Hot Wheels 1:65 diecast from Malaysia: 9673, 2010 Shelby GT500 Super Snake Coupe,

 

Auto World 1:64 diecast from China: 164-011, 2012 Boss 302.

 

Hot Wheels 1:64 diecast from Malaysia: 5570, 2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca

 

Maisto 1:64 diecast from China: 11530, 2013 Boss 302.

 

Majorette 1:61 diecast from Thailand: 204A, 2013 Boss 302.

 

Toy City 1:43 diecast from China: 00315 04333B, 2012 Shelby GT 500


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

DeAgostini Dinky 518 Renault 4L

By Maz Woolley

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

DeAgostini Dinky Models seem to continue to be being sold by Tesco supermarkets here in the UK. This is very unusual as these cover mount publications usually become available by order only after part three. I would speculate that DeAgostini has a lot of the Italian Dinky collection left over and is trying very hard to sell them here in the UK. NB this is not overstocked Atlas product as the base plate does not have Atlas on it. This is part thirteen of the DeAgostini part work.

The Renault 4L from Atlas was covered on our old site and an article was brought over to this site and can be read here.  Atlas had the car painted in pale blue, a colour which never appeared on the UK market. Here DeAgostini has had it painted in brown in a colour that did appear briefly on the Dinky UK price list.

The Renault 4 was an important car for Renault to offer an option to  move to front wheel drive and the latest 5 door style. With a little more power than a Citroen 2CV or Ami, and a little more room, it is clear what the target was! At this time Renault and French Dinky cooperated on several models so that the model could be launched simultaneously with the car and this was the case with this model which was released in 1961 in several colours. Later it was used as the basis of a fire car and a post car.

The casting appears identical to the Atlas one and is a good replica of what was a fine casting.  French Dinky definitely set the standard for Dinky toys in the early sixties with quick releases of fine castings to a constant 1:43 in most cases. Sadly Dinky UK didn’t seem to see a need to produce in constant scale or to cover a wide range of new releases.

A nice period colour to add to the collection.


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