Category Archives: Book Review

Modelling Book Reviews December 2018

The Revell Story – Assembling instruction to success by Ulli Taubert and Andreas A. Berse, German and English text. 176 pages, With 467 colour and black and white pictures. Hardbound with dust jacket. Size 220mm x 245mm.  German version: ISBN 978-3-667-11399.3. English version: ISBN 978-3-667-11393-1. This book is available from the publisher Delius Klasing Verlag, GmbH and other suppliers.

Revell – What about them? Virtually every boy, and also many a girl,  in the years since 1960 have glued together at least one plane, ship,  automobile, or truck model made by this company. High time for a book about this craft legend.

The richly illustrated volume tells the story of the German Revell subsidiary, founded in 1956 and now headquarters of the global kit giant, from an unusual perspective. Ulli Taubert, co-author of the book, has been associated with the company for 50 years and, as head of the development department, has shaped the model program for decades.

The second author of this work on the kit giant from Bünde in Westphalia is Andreas A. Berse, editor-in-chief of Modell Fahrzeug. In co-operation, the story of Revell is told with its ups and downs. With many exclusive photos, the development and production of new kits and ready-made models is shown.

Reading this book is a must for all model builders, who grew up assembling their favourite kits.

Hans-Georg Schmitt

Lieblingsautos (My favourite cars) – the most beautiful models in the box of toy cars. Written by Ulrich Biene, Text in German. 160 pages with 322 colour and black and white pictures. Size 218mm x 288mm. Hardcover. ISBN 978-3-667-11400-6. This book is available from the bookseller  Delius Klasing Verlag, GmbH and other suppliers.

Who doesn’t remember their favourite model cars in their own toy box?  Models which you longed for pressing your nose flat on shop windows to get a better look at. Models you eagerly took in your hand when you were given  them for Christmas or on your birthday? They were still called toy cars, the term “model car” was not yet invented, and were also used to play not just admire.

Author Ulrich Biene looks back to the period between the 1960s and 1980s, when children were not yet obsessed with computers and smartphones.

In Germany, the models of Wiking, Siku, GAMA, Märklin and Schuco originally dominated the toy shops. Later the stock was slowly expanded with models from French companies such as Solido and Norev, and by English Dinky and Corgi-Toys.

The Author randomly reaches into the toy box and looks at each  model in detail. The writing is knowledgeable and includes background information about the manufacturer.

The book looks at the full range of models available at the time, from models made in HO scale primarily to go  with model railways, to the off-road vehicles for Ken and Barbie dolls.

Wistful memories are stirred by reading this book and browsing the photographs of the models, There are many models described that would be valuable in mint condition today but which usually fell victim to the enthusiastic play of youth.

This is worth reading for lovers of old toy cars.

Hans-Georg Schmitt

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Book Review – Blue Light Models

Blue Light Models A History and Collector’s Guide by Adrian Levano. English Text. 96 pages. Many colour pictures, Softbound, 235x165mm. Published by Amberley Books and available from good specialist booksellers, Amazon, and direct from

The Author makes it clear that this is not a definitive reference book. And at less than 100 pages it could not hope to catalogue everything that is available to collectors.  Instead it provides an interesting look at Emergency Services models from around the world with a lot of background on model makers, how the models came about, and why you might collect them.

The book is nicely laid out with easily readable text accompanied by many well chosen photographs which have been reproduced to a high standard. The Author has made sure that the photographs are well integrated with the text which is not always the case.

The book starts by talking about models and then moves on to showing a sample of models from many countries around the world. Pictures of old and new models illustrate this. The Author then looks at some more specialist emergency areas like military vehicles and after that looks at models in a range of  scales. Finally, Film and TV “tie-in” emergency vehicles are looked at and the book drawn to a close with a look at how to go about collecting.

Those new to collecting, but wanting more substance than most articles in the monthly model press, will find this an interesting book even if their primary focus is not “blue light” models.  For those starting to collect emergency vehicles I am sure it will provide inspiration and practical guidance. Even those with a wider experience of the hobby will find it a good read and will, like me, greatly enjoy seeing the excellent photographs of some of the rarities shown.


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Book Reviews June/July 2017

By Hans-Georg Schmitt


Veloce Publishing has just re-released two books of interest to the die cast and tin toy collector.


Diecast toy cars of the 1950s and 1960s by Andrew Ralston. English Text. 128 pages. 250 pictures, Softbound, 225x225mm. Published by Veloce Publishing and available from good specialist booksellers and direct from or

ISBN 978-1-787111-17-2  19.95 GB Pounds or 30 US Dollars

This book provides a comprehensive overview of diecast toy cars made during these two very productive decades. Many companies shown may be generally forgotten today but their products are still sought after. The pages feature models from firms like Dinky Toys, Corgi Toys, Matchbox, Märklin, GAMA, Solido, Tekno and Tootsietoy. This book brings back memories of the toys of these eras.



Tinplate Toy Cars of the 1950s and 1960s from Japan by Andrew Ralston. English Text. 160 pages. 173 colour pictures, Softbound, 225x225mm. Published by Veloce Publishing and available from good specialist booksellers and direct from or

ISBN 978-1-787111-20-2 19.95 GB Pounds or 30 US Dollars

The book showcases postwar Japanese-built tinplate cars absed on protypes from all around the world. The book features some of the rarest models from a private collection. The book gives history and background for all these toys. This is a  book for specialist collectors and all of those with an interest in vintage toys.

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