All posts by maronlineeditor

More on Mercury Partwork

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Questions have been asked about the baseplates on the reproduction Mercury Models being sold as partworks in Italy by Hachette.

The first model in the series is the Alfa Romeo Giulietta shown above and its baseplate is as shown below. NB the axle retainers replicated from the original. The base cannot be confused with one on the original model as the copyright has been altered, Hachette’s name added, and ‘Made in China’ stated clearly.

The attached magazine shows a clear picture of the original baseplate on a ‘real’ Mercury model. which lacks the A.P. next to the logo, Hachette’s name, and has ‘Made in Italy’ included.

Collectors often wonder about these replicas being passed off as originals. Here any collector with any interest in Mercury models would quickly see that this is a replica and not the original model.


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Editorial January 2019

Happy New Year to all our readers, writers, and to the manufacturers who produce the models we collect. Soon we will be supplied with many more product listings for next year and I am sure that there will be plenty of choice of models to buy. I do hope that prices rise less quickly in 2019 than they did in 2018, but that may be a vain hope with the political turmoil we are currently experiencing.

The London Toy Fair will take place later this month and that will give us a chance to meet with Oxford Diecast and Hornby representatives, as well as with representatives of some of the major importers of models to the UK. It will be interesting to see pre-production castings and to hear of the models we can expect to see this year. I wonder if the fruits of Hornby’s turnround exercise will begin to be seen, and the future of some of the Corgi ranges become clearer?

Next month the annual mega-tradefair at Nuremberg takes place and a wide range of manufacturers products will be shown. I wonder if the trend towards large scale models will continue and whether we will see yet more new Chinese brands selling direct to the west rather than supplying Western firms?

If you are thinking of making a New Years resolution why not consider writing for MAR Online as we need more writers to help keep the site vibrant and worth returning to on a frequent basis?

Happy New Year

News from the Continent December 2018 – Conrad


By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

Here we look at the releases from Conrad during the second half of 2018. Conrad are a German maker of construction related vehicles. These are diecast to 1:50 scale in Germany. 


Art.No. 2515/01 DELMAG RH 18/200

Rotary drilling rig on the SR 25 E base unit.



Art.No. 2114/02 GROVE GMK 6300L

This large all terrain crane is fitted with a working jib extension; It is in Wiesbauer livery. Weisbauer have ordered many of these units from Terex.



Art.No. 2114/05 GROVE GMK 6300L

Here is the same all terrain crane unit with a working jib extension; here liveried for SARENS a Belgian provider of cranes from mobile units like this to huge tower cranes.



Art.No. 5516/0 BUCHER Municipal City Cat 5006

This compact vehicle for street cleaning is made by German firm specialising in supplying equipment to local authorities. Other divisions supply snow ploughs, airport maintenance equipment and the like. The City Cat range is designed to be very low emissions. 

This is the first release in plain manufacturer’s livery. I expect future releases to be in various city and town liveries.



ZOELLER X2 Garbage truck

Zoeller are a German company specialise in waste disposal units of varying types. Here Conrad models the Zoeller equipment on a MAN TGS M Euro 6 chassis.

This is a first release in the manufacturers livery.


Art.No. 2210/01 KOBELCO SK500LC-10 tracked excavator

Here we have a US version of the Kobelko crawler excavator. This is built in Hiroshima in Japan and exported to US and Europe in considerable numbers.


Art.No. 2767/0 SANDVIK TH663 Dumper

This is a large dumper from Sandvik which is a Swedish firm which specialises in huge mining equipment. 

Again this is a first release of this model and will I am sure also appear in operator’s liveries at some point. 



Art.No. 2441/02  SANDVIK LH621 Tunnel loader 2016

Another model in Sandvik livery.  This model is a 21-metric-ton loader and hauler designed to allow operation underground. 


Art.No. 2115/0 TEREX RT90 Rough terrain crane

 
This Terex crane is designed to operate on rough terrain and has a five section boom. The model also has a extending boom. It is in Terex livery and is the first release of this model which will appear later in operator liveries.


Art.No. 2115/01 TEREX RT100 US Rough terrain crane

 Here is the US version of the crane designated RT100. 


Art.No. 2106/07 LIEBHERR MK88 mobile building site cran

Another livery on this mobile crane which opens up to create a mounted tower crane capable of reaching multi-storey buildings.


22319


Art.No. 2209/01 LIEBHERR R920 Compact tracked excavator with movable jib

This model has a working two part boom and is in operator Wörmann’s livery.



Art.No. 76213/0  FAYMONVILLE Variomax articulated Deep-bed lowloader on MAN TGX SLT 4axle

Faymonville trailer building spreads across Europe with operations in Luxembourg, Belgium, Poland, Italy and even assembly from kits in Russia. This model is a low bed semi-trailer with pendle axle chassis between the gooseneck and the low bed.

Here it is in its first release using the MAN tractor unit already in the Conrad range. 



Art.No. 78179/0 DOLL long timber truck with Mercedes-Benz Arocs

Here is another new release with the timber truck modelled in its “outward bound” configuration. Liveried for Doll a specialist German trailer maker. It seems to be based on their M2K -10 timber unit.


Art.No. 78183/0 Doll short timber transport with Mercedes-Benz Arocs

Here we have timber lorry with trailers from Doll. These appear to be based upon their Logo range.  Again this appears to be a new release.



Art.No. 78227/01 PUTZMEISTER PUMI 25-4 Concrete mixer on Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4 axle

A second version on this casting. Here in the livery of Putzmeister the manufacturer. Putzmeister are a large maker of concrete pumps producing in Europe and with a division in the US.


Art.No. 1616/01 MAN TGE flat bed truck

Here we have a second livery on this truck which is a recent introduction by MAN which is part of the Volkswagen group and which is based upon the Crafter van. 


Art.No. 2449/07 TORION 1914 wheel loader

The Torion 1914 is the low end model in CLAAS’s medium to heavy loader range. It has been seen already in Conrad range many times.


Art.No. 2737/11 LIEBHERR LG 1750 lattice mast crane

Here this huge mast crane model is seen in MEDIACO livery.


Art.No. 5517/0 GOLDHOFER AST-2 airfield tractor

Another new model, here in the makers livery.  This is the new towbarless aircraft moving unit from that maker. 


Art.No. 76238/0 MAN TGX XLX Euro 6 3-axle truck with Palfinger loading crane

WÖRMANN livery on this MAN truck makes it an impressive unit with its large loading crane. Again this is a new version and is likely to appear in many liveries.


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Another Dinky Garage

By John F. Quilter

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

Terry Hardgrave wrote about some very early Dinky Toy garages in  November for MAR Online. Here is a later version that has been in my collection since the early 1960s. It’s a French Dinky model and is moulded in plastic. It has an operating feature, when the chimney is pressed down the door opens and the car rolls back into the garage on a tilted driveway. Mine is so old I must figure out how the rubber bands that controlled the door work and fit new ones as the originals have long since perished. It is French Dinky number 502. I even have the box but it is showing some considerable attic storage wear and tear but the $1.25 price tag is still showing! The car is a French Dinky Renault Dauphine number 24E.


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Final Matrix Models of 2018

By Maz Woolley

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

Matrix has recently announced some new models to be issued in December. These are all 1:43 scale resin cast models made in China for the Netherlands.


MX20301-212 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 Limousine Black 1970

This is the second version made from this mould. This time it appears in black. A colour often to be seen for formal cars.


MX20303-022 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton LeBaron gold 1941

This is the second version of this car, originally released in cream. Here it has been made with a gold paint finish. 


MX40307-012 Cord L-29 Phaeton Sedan creme closed 1931

The Cord Phaeton has already been seen in the range with its hood down. Here we have the hood and rear windows erected.


MX41302-142 Mercedes-Benz 500K Tourer Mayfair #123689 red closed 1934
 
Another model where the basic casting has already been released in a hood down form. Here the second version in the same red colour but with the hood up.


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Corgi Morris 1800 World Cup Rally

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

One of Corgi’s latest releases in the Vanguards range shows that they can still turn out a really nicely made model even if only an adaptation of an existing casting. One wonders about the future of Vanguards range in the new Hornby as it is clearly now a minor sideline as it has had no investment in new castings for about four years.

This release is of a Morris 1800 VA08913 which ran in the 1970 London to Mexico, Daily Mirror, sponsored World Cup Rally. This was driven by Jean Denton, Pat Wright, and Liz Crellin and sponsored by Woman Magazine. The car came in in 18th position just behind the Moskvitch 412 entered by Avtoexport and ahead of a male crew in an Austin Maxi. 

The rally team was sponsored by Motorwoman – a section of then-popular Woman magazine. It was widely reported in Woman magazine and in contemporary motorsport titles.  Prepared by British Leyland Special Tuning on behalf of the privateer team, the car has been active in motorsport circles since, and has been fully restored. The photograph below shows it when recently auctioned.

Photograph Copyright of Anglia Car Auctions

The colour of the restored car is a different shade of blue to the Corgi model but some old pictures suggest the car might have originally been in the lighter blue – but old photographs from the internet make it difficult to judge.

The model is impressive and includes the full set of bull bars used on the World Cup rally which have been removed since. The model deviates from the real car in a few respects: the side indicators are still moulded in even if painted over and the grille may also be incorrect as all the photographs on the internet of period rallying 1800s have a simpler grille with less silver coloured parts. 

A large number of small separate parts have been used to replicate the rally kit including bullet shaped mirrors, handholds, additional lights, and spare wheels on roof.

To the rear the extra lights and handholds are continued. And a large rally fuel filler cap is fitted at the top of the wing. As the photograph below shows the pink painted corners used on the original rally car are all there to be seen. Sponsors adverts are neatly printed on the boot lid.

The wheels are also nice replicas of the alloy wheels used. The back standing plate is also well modelled as is all the badging.

The sponsorship adverts are all neatly printed on the sides. The driver’s window is in a partially opened position which gives a limited view of the interior which sadly has detail moulded in but none picked out at all. A dashboard of instruments would have been nice but the moulding does not seem to have been modified to include all the fittings and extra instruments a rally car would have had fitted. 

More surprising is the lack of any extra internal roll cage. Looking at pictures of the original car that is entirely correct and shows how much more dangerous Rally driving must have been at the time.

On last view of the front end shows how much effort has gone in to adapting this base casting and turning it into a rally car. One wonders if this model sells out whether  Vanguards Cortinas will be turned into Rally cars as they featured in many Rallies of the period.

All in all a decent effort by Hornby to use one of the Vanguards moulds in a creative way. If only Hornby would invest in some new moulds for this range.


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Atlas Dinky 1428 Peugeot 304

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest model that I have received from Atlas is a replica of French Dinky 1428 Peugeot 304.   This model was originally made in France from 1969 to 1971, then in Spain from 1974 to 1978. It was made to 1:43 scale as was generally used for all French Dinky cars. It was launched not long after the real car reached the market and was made in white and metallic green. Atlas has chosen to replicate the model in white. The box is a copy of the original which was the later style of box with a graphic image of the vehicle but unsigned and lacking any of the nice period backgrounds used earlier in the 1960s. The model shows French Dinky trying to control costs and the special features are limited to opening front doors and yellow plastic headlights. The model is of the Berline (Saloon) rather than the cabriolet or coupe which were also made. Its main competitor was the more radical Citröen GS. 

The Peugeot 304 was sold from 1969 to 1979. It was introduced to fill the gap between the 204 and the 504, though it actually used the mid section of the 204. It was usually powered by a petrol 1,288cc engine driving the car through the front wheels, though a 1,357cc Diesel engine became available during its production. Over a million of this type of car were made. 

The front end is dominated by the large headlights which are perhaps exaggerated on this model. The yellow lenses were compulsory in France at the time the model was originally made.

The rear end shows that the Dinky is modelled on the early 304 as the rear lights were updated in 1972. The 93 licence plate originates Bobigny in Seine St. Denis in the Paris suburbs where the Dinky Factory was located.

The photograph above shows the car’s opening features. Just the front doors. The 304 badging on the bonnet and at the rear is modelled rather larger than life. The interior is in red with a black steering wheel.

A road sign is included with this model, as it was with the original. Other signs were included in other French Dinky models of the time.

The next model expected from Atlas is another Peugeot, a 404 Police Car.


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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”.


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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.


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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.