All posts by maronlineeditor

GFCC Models

By Graeme Ogg

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

I read that Mr Editor Woolley is hoping to report sometime soon on a model of a Jaguar SS1 made by a new toymaker calling themselves GFCC Toys. [Editor: as the model is coming from China a review may be some weeks away]. Their official registered name seems to be Tongbo Toys Co Ltd, based in Albany, New York. and I’ve read that they are a toy and sports equipment marketing outfit rather than a model manufacturer, but apart from that I don’t know anything about them or what their intentions are in the 1:43 field. The models are produced in – surprise – China.

I’m not into vintage Jags, but GFCC have also issued a 1:43 model of a 1959 Pontiac Parisienne, which is more up my street. I don’t know why they’ve chosen to do this particular car in isolation, you’d have imagined they might have produced a small series of U.S. cars from this period, but there you are. You take what you can get.

I’ve seen this model offered in the United States for about $15, but I think that may have been wholesale. The current retail price from  a Hong Kong dealer is about £25 but that is with free postage, so it can be considered relatively “cheap and cheerful”.

Mine has just arrived, and from some angles at least, it really looks pretty good, quite crisp and clean with a very smooth paint job. The windscreen frame (on my example at least) has no chrome or silver paint applied, it’s just clear plastic, and would benefit greatly from some Bare Metal Foil. The silver highlighting on the edges of the fins is a little weak in places and could also be improved with foil. The model lacks front vent windows, which could be made up easily enough from fine wire. But the overall impression isn’t bad at all. If the Neo versions of this car didn’t exist – and I don’t know if there are any other ’59 Pontiacs available in 1:43 apart from the rather expensive (and very hard-to-find Madison) versions from 2013 – it would certainly fill a gap in any collection of GM ’59s quite adequately.

From the side, it sits a little high, and has very narrow tyres, so you are almost expecting to find a clockwork motor or friction drive underneath. The clip-on top supplied with the model is very, VERY plastic-looking, so the car probably looks better open, even though it lacks a tonneau cover behind the rear seats.

Obviously at this price you wouldn’t expect the model to match the Neo for overall quality or detailing (although at least it doesn’t have the awful black front screen surround of the Neo convertible), but it isn’t disgraced either. It matches the Neo for scale, length is identical and I could almost suspect they might have pirated the Neo body, although there are small differences here and there when you look closer.

There is also a version in black with body flames, and a 2-tone version in not very authentic colours (it looks more like a contemporary Ford colour scheme to my eyes).

The model comes in a “distressed” box, with fake dampstains and scratchy lettering, which is an odd sort of gimmick. We can probably expect to see some cretins on eBay offering these models as “rare vintage barn finds” at silly prices.

It will be interesting (for me at least) to see if they do any more Yank Tanks, hopefully some that haven’t been done to death already.


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Editorial December 2017

We are pleased to say that 2017 has seen a continued growth in the number of MAR Online readers. We launched the current version of MAR Online in December 2015, and at that time we had around two thousand page hits per month. This has steadily grown and in October 2017 page hits had risen to over nine and a half thousand for the month. The number of subscribers to posts by email has also steadily increased and has grown to 122 subscribers, about 20% up on last year. The number of Facebook followers has also increased to around one hundred and thirty as I write this. Our site also seems to rank quite high in Google searches, which is a great way for new readers to discover us. I would like to thank my co-editors and all our writers who produce the content that people want to read.

We have re-introduced some features from the old printed MAR magazines this year. In particular brief news items when interesting events occur, and Club News. We run Club News every quarter and we urge clubs to let us know about what they are getting up to as entries on our club page and publicity for their events in MAR Online is completely free. If you have any ideas about things you think MAR Online should be covering, please get in touch, or even better why not write about new topics for us?

Here in the UK we were interested to see that Lyndon Davies, founder of Oxford Diecast, is now CEO of Hornby Hobbies. The controlling shareholders of Hornby were obviously impressed by Lyndon’s performance at Oxford, and needed his skills to turn round the struggling Hornby brands, including Corgi, Scalextric and Airfix, as well as the various model railway ranges. They were so impressed by Oxford that the majority shareholders in Hornby also acquired a minority shareholding in LCD Enterprises, the parent company of Oxford Diecast. The majority of LCD shares are still owned by the Davies family, and Lyndon’s daughter Eloise has taken over as CEO of Oxford Diecast. It will be fascinating to watch as the results of the current detailed reviews at Hornby start to emerge over the next few years. We at MAR Online wish Hornby Hobbies good fortune as the new team works towards building a new level of stability and profitability.

Changes are also happening at another UK model producer, Brooklin Models, where new ownership is dictating a new direction for the company with an “aspirational” website, products with added detail, and with expensive packaging under discussion. All this means that their models sell for very much higher prices, and there are rumours that the prices may increase again next year. In the meantime stocks of deleted models have been sold at heavily discounted prices, rather  like an end of season sale in the jewellery trade, and they even sold CSV models online at a heavy discount on Black Friday. We know that some Brooklin collectors have expressed unhappiness with the changes, but we hope that the management can address some of their concerns.

We at MAR Online would like to thank all our readers for their support as 2017 draws to a close and as is traditional here in the UK we wish you a “Merry Christmas”.


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Matrix September/October 2016

Matrix has announced some new models for September and October. These are all resin moulded in China to 1:43 scale for the Netherlands. Matrix offer another concept car as well as two more inter-war American coachbuilt cars.

mx50108-101-bertone-am-jet-22-concept-grey-metallic-2013

MX50108-101 Bertone AM Jet 2+2 Concept grey metallic 2013

Expected September.

This concept car was based upon an Aston Martin Rapide and may have gone into small scale production had Bertone not gone into liquidation just as it was being shown.


mx50303-061-chrysler-imperial-c15-town-car-walter-p-chrysler-black-1937

MX50303-061 Chrysler Imperial C15 Town Car Walter P. Chrysler black 1937

Expected October

This 1937 Chrysler Imperial C-15 seven-passenger limousine was fitted with town car coachwork by LeBaron. It is absolutely one of a kind and believed to be the first automobile ever built with spring-loaded power windows and door locks. Ordered by Chrysler himself some say it was used by his wife, others that it was his personal car.


mx51206-031-lincoln-model-k-sport-sedan-derham-black-1937

MX51206-031 Lincoln Model K Sport Sedan Derham black 1937

Expected October

This Derham sedan shows how streamlining developed in the 1930’s.  In 1937, the Derham Coach Company risked building one car to attract buyers but the depression meant that it remained unsold until 1938 when Mr. Thomas Morris of New York City purchased this unique model.


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Four Door Ford Cortina Models

By Dave Turner

Dave read the article by Mick Haven recently published on this web site. Mick asked what other four door Ford Cortina Mark I models existed apart from the Apex Cortina pictured below. Dave has kindly answered the question.

1963-bathurst-winning-cortina-by-apex

Apex Bathurst winner


Dave’s response.

In response to the query from Mick Haven regarding the existence of model Mark I Cortinas in Four Door form. In fifty odd years of collecting Fords I have only come across five such models, and most of them were relatively recent.

lincoln-1-18-plastic-and-tinplate-mark-i-cortine-pre-airflow

The oldest I think must be the 1:18 remote control toy from Lincoln, it has a plastic one-piece body and tinplate base, electric motor on rear axle and the front end is carried on a steerable central jockey wheel. The wheels are of a rather unrealistic wire pattern while there are bulbs in the lights. As far scan be seen, there are no markings in order to identify the maker, but the rear licence plate reads ‘LIL 526’ a sure sign that it came from Lincoln Industries, made in Hong Kong.

frog-1-16-kit-mark-i-cortina-pre-airflow

Next came the 1:16 scale plastic kit from Frog and this makes into a very nice model, unfortunately it takes up so much room! The same tooling, along with many other Frog kits found its way to Russia, and an example was found in the UK in the 1980s, In view of the high space consumption once made, the kit was moved on before building.

pathfinder-1-43-mark-i-pre-airflow

More recently a small number (300) of metal 1:43 models were made by Pathfinder exclusively for Minicar 43 in Oslo.

baset-toys-1-75-mark-i-cortina

Base Toys produced some 1:75 scale four door saloons although for some reason they mixed the pre-airflow grille with the airflow vents on the ‘C’ post.

trax-ford-cortina-mark-i

Trax models from Australia more recently produced some four door GT saloons to 1:43 scale and these feature all the correct for Australia details -‘Cortina’ in capitals across the front of the bonnet, front quarter bumpers and Minilite type wheels. Excellent detail inside and out.


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Oxford Diecast’s Latest Walls Ice Cream Van

By Maz Woolley

Oxford Diecast have produced a number of ice cream vans in scales from 1:43 to 1:144. This article looks at the Bedford CA in Walls livery recently released to 1:76 scale.

Walls were a major player in the ice cream market place in the UK. Originally known for their sausages, it is said that they diversified into ice cream to keep the factories busy across the summer months when sausage sales traditionally declined.  Walls is now part of Unilever which has bought up local ice cream companies across Europe. Their livery will be familiar to many collectors since it was featured on the Corgi Ford Thames Ice Cream Van which sold huge numbers in the 1960s.

The Bedford CA was launched in 1952 and was made with a split screen until 1956 making the Oxford model with its split screen one of the earlier CAs. The CA was sold as a chassis with a bonnet and precious little else to Coachbuilders who added bodies. The CA was very popular with ice cream sellers since it was cheaper to buy and maintain than larger vans.

Oxford already have a range of Walls liveries vehicles in 1:76 scale including  a Ford Thames van with three different body styles.

The Oxford model shown below is diecast to 1:76 scale in Oxford’s Chinese factory. The quality of the printing is exceptionally good given the small scale. Though again the Quality Control gremlins have struck:  the silver printed hubcaps are decidedly off-centre on my model. I am sure that this model will re-appear in other ice cream firms liveries.


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M2 Auto-Trucks Ford Econoline Camper 1965

By Maz Woolley

M2 Ford Econoline Camper 1965
M2 Ford Econoline Camper 1965

This is an unusual model from M2. Absolutely nothing opens which means that it will appeal strongly to collectors who up till now have had no choice of campers in 1:64 scale other than which Type of VW Transporter Camper they should buy!

A simple model with a few quality issues like bits broken off the wheel edges. However it is otherwise very good with a nice air conditioning unit on the roof as well as the extended roof to allow people to stand in side. The interior is basic but shows the table and panelling to reasonable effect.

All in all a really nice budget model. Hopefully M2 will  also give us vans and passenger carriers in 2016 based on this casting?

Powell Pickup

By John Quilter

Powell Pickup Bucks the Trend in Fancier Pickups

In the 1950s in the USA pickup trucks were slo1956 Powell RH frontwly moving from being very utilitarian vehicles for work only to a more dual purpose of personal transportation and utility.   Perhaps this started in Australia where “utes”, a pickup version of a passenger car, had long been popular.    By the mid-50s in the USA pickups were getting more car like and featured such things as V8 engines, automatic gearboxes, power steering and plusher interiors.  Some even went really over the top such as the Chevrolet Cameo and Dodge Sweptside which used a tail finned quarter panel off a two door station wagon.  Then there was the launch of the 1957 Ford Ranchero, a car based pickup which was followed by the 1959 Chevrolet El Camino.   All this upscaling of pickups made them inevitably more expensive if not more desirable to some and offsetting the stigma of trucks being solely for tradesmen.  See photo of a selection of pickups from 1953 to 1959.

Then bucking this trend along comes the Powell pickup in 1955.   This was made by the Powell Manufacturing of Compton California.   In order to keep costs very low, Powell designed a body of very simple stampings virtually eliminating compound curves.  The front grill panel was a fiberglass molding and the rear panel and lift out (not hinged) tail gate panel was of diamond plate sheet.   The bed floor was a plywood sheet with a metal floor optional.    There were no roll down door windows but sliding panels were used for ventilation.   The most amazing cost saving feature of these vehicles was the fact that they used a chassis and drive train bought from wrecking yards and refurbished and rebuilt.   They searched and located for all useable 1941 Plymouths that had reached the scrapyard state due to being 12 to 15 years old and were likely simply worn out.

Early development work starting in 1952 considered using Chevrolet or Ford used componentry but it was found the 117 inch wheelbase Plymouth with its open drive line and simple side valve six cylinder engine was more suitable plus there was exceptional interchangeability with other Chrysler products.    Powell rebuilt the mechanicals and created the body themselves in their Compton facility.   The first production trucks used what appeared to be a wooden 2X6 for a bumper, however, later versions went to a square section metal bumper painted white.

One unique optional feature of these trucks was one or two long pull out storage compartments with a round cover.  They pulled out from the rear of the bed sides and could be used for storage of pipes, fishing poles, etc.   Some information on the internet seems to indicate the overall length of these truck was 168 inches but my research and scaling photographs down to create model seems to indicate the length closer to 188 inches, at least with the larger bumpers.  This could be determined using the know figure of the 1941 Plymouth wheel base of 117 inches.  This length gave the Powell a 6 foot load bed which agrees with published information.

Homely or just functional, the Powell did have an integrated look from cab to bed and there were no wheel wells inside the bed to interfere with load carrying.   The hood opened from each side with a central hinge strip.  Hubcaps were often reused 1940s Plymouth items.   This very basic pickup sold for $999 ultimately increasing to $1198 for a “deluxe” version, still  a big discount to the offerings from the Big Three.

In addition to the pickup Powell offered a sort of early SUV or station wagon based on the pickup.  This had a very flat tailgate and also offered the optional pull out storage compartments and a flat roof included a luggage rack.

By late 1956 the supply of rebuildable 1941 Plymouth chassis and engines was drying up and Powell ceased production even though there was  a reported backlog of orders remaining.  Why they did not update the chassis to a later Plymouth chassis is unknown.  By 1957 Powell had declared bankruptcy for lack of paying excise taxes.  The owners and brothers, Hayward and Channing later restarted their firm but returned to making motor scooters which was their original work.    Most Powell pickups were sold west of the Rockies and some were marketed to Plymouth/Desoto dealers as a shop truck since Desoto had no in house truck.  In total there were about 1200 pickups and 300 station wagon versions built.   The reorganized Powell company survived until 1979 and during the 60s it built the Powell Challenger trail bike.

Now to the model.   This was scratch built using sheets of styrene plastic sometimes laminated together to get enough thickness to create a rounded edge.  The rear panel was styrene plastic diamond plate stock.  Headlamps were glass jewels (available at craft stores) surrounded by a wire formed headlamp rim.   Wheels were from my stock of resin cast simple automobile wheels with domed hubcaps suitably painted and bare metal foiled.   I had good internet photos to go by for the details and a friend who actually has about 3 real Powells on his property was able to provide me some useful dimensions and other details.  Good photos are critical and it is best if one can find a 90 degree side shot to enable scaling the model from this by reducing or enlarging the photo on a copy machine to exactly the right size.

Chassis details were approximated using a chassis photograph of a similar 1950 Plymouth from a brochure.   I was inspired to do this project, which took about three weeks, by a posting on the Legacy 43rd forum.   After completion and posting photos some were impressed expressing they wanted one too, but I only do one offs and no one has stepped forward wanting to do a resin casting using this as a pattern.  I guess Powells are just a bit too esoteric or obscure.


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Brooklin and Lansdowne future releases

Brooklin have announced their next set of releases extending into 2016. These are all white metal models cast to 1:43 scale in the UK. The Brooklin range will be split into two ranges one for earlier US vehicles and one for later ones. This means some models which previously had BRK numbers will now be renamed BML. Models in the previously announced sidewalk series should also start to appear.

  • BRK. 215 1967 Buick Wildcat 2-dr HT NEW
  • BRK. 176x 1954 DeSoto Firedome HT Yellow/Black SPECIAL
  • BRK. 139x 1967 Corvair “Yenko” & Trailer
  • BRK. 213x 1962 Corvair Greenbrier
  • BRK. 216 1965 Chevrolet Impala 2-dr Hardtop NEW
  • BRK. 217 1954 Willys Aero Ace 2-dr Sedan NEW
  • BRK. 218 1970 Buick GS 455 Convertible NEW
  • BRK. 222b 1948 Tucker Torpedo Met Green – LTD SPECIAL
  • BRK. 219 1954 Cadillac 60 Special Fleetwood (Black) NEW
  • BRK. 220 1955 Studebaker Champion 4-dr Sedan NEW
  • BRK. 155a 1958 Buick Roadmaster 75 Colour Change COLOUR
    BML 01 1942 Oldsmobile 98 B-44 Sedanette (two-tone) Moved & Colour
  • BML 02 1941 Pontiac Streamliner “Torpedo” 4-dr Sedan (Black) Moved & Colour
  • BML 03 1941 Pontiac Deluxe Custom Torpedo Station Wagon NEW
  • BML 04 1938 Cadillac V-16 Series 90 Fleetwood Town Car (Black/Black) Moved & Colour
  • BML 05 1938 Chrysler Imperial Coupe (Beige) Moved & Colour
  • BML 06 1937 Studebaker Dictator Coupe (Maroon) NEW
  • BML 07 1947 Cadillac 62 4-dr Sedan (Dk Grey/Grey) Moved & Colour
  • BML 08 1934 Studebaker Commander Landcrusier (Pale Blue) Moved
  • BML 09 1933 Graham M64 Bluestreak 4-dr Sedan (Bronze) NEW
  • BML 10 1940 Buick M59 Station Wagon (Met Maroon) Moved
  • BML 11 1940 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe (Met Maroon) NEW
  • BML 12 1935 Nash Ambassador 8 Sedan (Light Brown) Moved
  • BML 13 1941 Pontiac Streamliner “Torpedo” Sedan Coupe Moved
  • BML 14 1947 Chrysler Town & Country 4-dr Sedan (Black) NEW
  • BML 15 1937 Graham Supercharged 116 4-dr Sedan (Blue) Moved BML 16 1936 Terraplane Custom Six Convertible Coupe (top down) (Blue) Moved
  • BML 17 1937 Chrysler Imperial C-14 2-dr Convertible (Dk Met Green) NEW
  • BML 18 1939 Nash Ambassador Eight 4-dr Sedan (Dk Blue) Moved
  • BML 19 1930 GMC Model 6 Taxi Cab (Yellow & Black) NEW
  • BML 19a 1930 GMC Model 6 Taxi Cab (Wonderful Life) Additional Version
  • BML 20 1947 Packard Super Clipper Limousine (Black) NEW
  • BML 21 1941 Buick M-71c Roadmaster Convertible Phaeton (Met Grey) NEW

NOTE: “Moved” means – model relocated to BML Range from Brooklin Range

Landsdowne UK car makers

  • LDM. 119 1960 Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire NEW
  • LDM. 120 1936 Talbot 105 Airline Saloon NEW
  • LDM. 121 1954 Ford Zodiac Farnham Estate NEW
  • LDM. 122 1954 Austin FX3 Taxi NEW
  • LDM. 123 1935 Rover Speed 14 Streamline Coupe NEW
  • LDM. 124 1958 Austin A95 Westminster Countryman Estate NEW
  • LDM. 47a 1936 Railton Fairmile D.H.C. (top-down) Colour Change COLOUR
  • LDM. 74a 1937 Riley Continental 4-dr Saloon Colour Change COLOUR
  • LDM. 96a 1956 Aston Martin DB 2-4 MKII Colour Change COLOUR

CSV Community Service Vehicles

  • CSV. 26 1937 Superior-Pontiac Provident Ambulance 2nd Version
  • CSV. 27 1954 Henney-Packard Flower Car NEW

International Police Vehicles

  • IPV. 45 1948 Ford V8 Woody Wagon Chicago Police IPV
  • IPV. 46 1939 Railton Cobham Saloon (Flying Squad) IPV

Buick Collection

  • BC 20x 1934 Buick M-61 4-dr Sedan Nationals SPECIAL
  • BC-008 1934 Buick Phaeton M-98c Revised Detail Revised

Pontiac Collection

  • P.C. 06 1936 Pontiac Six Convertible Coupe NEW
  • P.C. 07 1939 Pontiac Six 4-dr Sedan NEW

Brooklin Sidewalks

  • B.S.W. 12 1950’s Taxi Sign NEW
  • B.S.W. 13 1950’s Bench Seat NEW
  • B.S.W. 14 1950’s Trash Can NEW
  • B.S.W. 15 1950’s Mail Box for Motorist NEW
  • B.S.W. 16 1950’s Sidewalk with “Grating Detail” NEW
  • B.S.W. 17 1950’s Sidewalk with “Manhole” Detail NEW

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Paragon 1:18 Scale BMW Models

By Fabrizio Panico

BMW have had some more models made for them by Paragon which are sold through their dealer network. The dealer part number is listed below. These models are diecast in China to 1:18 scale and the Author’s photographs can be seen in the gallery below.

BMW X4 (type F26)  BMW part # 80 43 2 352 457

BMW M4 (type F82)  BMW part # 80 43 2 339 607

These models are quite well built with all doors opening. However, the seats are a bit poor, they have a very “plastic” look.

The latest Series 7 models should be released soon and it is interesting to see how well that flagship vehicle is modelled.


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New EKO models

By Robin Godwin

Readers will be familiar with the Spanish firm EKO which took over most Anguplas moulds and went on to produce plastic models in roughly 1:87 scale for many years. EKO is still trading and a visit to their website at www.toyeko.com shows new models and some interesting re-use of the old EKO moulds.

Military vehicles were always part of the old EKO range but now they have launched a new range of Military kits:

Pegaso 3046 Carga ref:1001 con un PVP de 15,97€
Pegaso 3046 Aljibe ref:1002 con un PVP de 13,98€
Pegaso 3046 Grua ref:1003 con un PVP de 17,97€
The Pegaso truck is used to make some ready made models which feature Anguplas style multicoloured vehicles.
Other new vehicles include
2101 Transparent moulding of the MG 1600
2151 Seat 1500 Policia
2152 Pegaso Comet Cisterna Campsa
2149-FS Seat 1400 furgoneta fabrica de automoviles seat
2150 Citröen 2cv Correos

A model which I believe to be entirely new in the EKO range is:

2153 Biscuter
los3biscuters
There are also a variety of hearses based upon the Fiat Estate Car shown on their website.
Finally they are also selling some very basic Piper Pa-18 “Super Cub” made to 1:150 scale.

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