Category Archives: Model Makers

Who made the model

Matchbox Camaro in 1:43!

By Frank Koh

Believe it or not, this exquisite 1:43 scale 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Super Sport is a Matchbox product, specifically from the Matchbox Collectibles line from 18 years ago.

The Matchbox Collectibles 1968 Camaros were 1/43 scale miniatures of the ultra-desirable RS/SS cars. The Super Sport (SS) package was a performance option group which offered a choice of a 350 cubic inch Small Block V8 or a 396 cubic inch Big Block V8, plus performance-oriented suspension components.

The Rally Sport (RS) package was an appearance and luxury option group with special trim, upscale interior appointments, an all-red tail light and separate, under-the-bumper reverse light setup, and those famous hidden headlights. When a first generation Camaro had both RS and SS packages, it was the SS emblems that were used on the car.

Those faux hood louvers that looked like a quartet of square velocity stacks per side were exclusive to the 1968 Camaro SS equipped with the Big Block V8s, and all 1969 Camaro SS variants. For model year 1968, the hood louver trim on the Small Block 350 cubic inch V8 SS Camaros were different: they featured multiple lengthwise vents / vanes that were earlier used on all 1967 Camaro SS models.

A Vinyl Top, Hockey Stick Stripes and Rallye Rims were popular options on well-equipped first generation Camaros!

This exact same Camaro casting was shared with the Hot Wheels Classics series from that era, but because of the use of the signature Hot Wheels chrome-like “Spectraflame” colors, the Matchbox cars were a lot more realistic.  Several bright blue Hot Wheels versions are available online, even now nearly 20 years later…

Once upon a time, Matchbox and Hot Wheels were fierce competitors. For more than two decades now, however, both brands have Mattel as their mother company; hence they could be considered “complimentary” to each other. Such is the way of the corporate world. The baseplate says it all: this is a Matchbox model made by Mattel from 2000.

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Atlas Dinky #501 Citroën DS 19 Police

By Maz Woolley

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

Atlas continue to ship items in the Deluxe Dinky series to UK subscribers. Indeed a note with the latest shipments says “In order to meet repeated requests from our customers, we decided to increase the delivery frequency. From now on, you will receive a new delivery every two weeks“. Cynically, I take that to mean that they wish to shift the stock from their warehouse at a faster rate and collect money sooner.

The latest model shipped is French Dinky #501 Citroën DS 19 Police which replicates a model launched by Dinky in 1967 issued as 501 and also in a gift set with other vehicles. Though the body casting is different to #530, the plain DS19 introduced in 1964, the base casting on 501 still has 530 on it.

The box art features a Police unit ‘pulling up’ a car on a  mountain road. An unusual scene as the French Police Nationale generally only operate in large Towns and Cities whilst the Gendarmerie operates largely in smaller towns and across rural areas like the one shown on the box.

Whilst the replica is largely a good one I believe that they have used considerably smaller ‘jewels’ to form the front headlights on this model than were used on the original model. Compare the picture above with the ‘jewels’ recessed into the headlight socket with the picture of an original car below where the ‘jewel’ fills the gap and stands proud of the front wing by some distance.

Copyright acknowledged

The Police markings and strange brass metal light on the roof are neatly applied as can be seen below.

To the rear the lights are painted simply, if inaccurately, all red in typical Dinky style. The rear number plate is also printed in yellow whereas at the front it is not printed at all.

The reproduction catches the stance of the original car well and is fitted with suspension and French Dinky’s rather ineffective ‘finger tip touch’ steering front wheels. The tyres are marked Dunlop as they are on many French Dinky models.

Under the opening bonnet is a green painted engine, rather poorly masked when sprayed and consequentially featuring lots of feathered edges to the paint. A spare tyre is fitted too as on the real car.

The final opening feature is the boot where the mechanism has dictated that the boot is half full of metal and unrealistically small.

All in all a nice replica apart from the nagging feeling that the front lights are not replicated properly.

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Miniature Peel

By Maz Woolley

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

Peel P50 microcars were made from 1962 to 1965 on the Isle of Man, a location more famous for its Tourist Trophy motorcycle races than car production! It is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest production car ever made. It was powered by a 50cc DKW engine giving it a top speed of about 37MPH. It had no reverse gear so had to be reversed physically using a handle fitted on the rear. The original production run was of 50 vehicles, of which 27 are known to survive.

The P50 was tiny at 54 inches (1,372 mm) long and 39 inches (991 mm) wide. The vehicle was intended to be used as a city car and to carry one adult and a shopping bag. It has one ‘suicide’ door on the left hand side, kerbside in the UK. It could be bought in Daytona White, Dragon Red, and Dark Blue. It sold for £199 in 1963 not cheap at a time when you could have bought a Hillman Imp for only just over £500.

Readers who watch Top Gear may remember Jeremy Clarkson squeezing into one and driving it round the BBC Television Centre in 2008.

The model shown in this article has been made to 1:87 scale by Jens Muller from Cologne in Germany. He has made the moulds and cast it in resin.  Jens’ models appeared in past MAR magazines but this is perhaps the first appearance in MAR Online.  Jens produces these models in very small numbers as a hobby as he has a full time job as a management consultant. The model consists of: Body shell, combined base and interior, vacform, steering wheel/column, and three wheels as well as rods for the axles.

The model is quite simple, and some details such as horn, rear and subsidiary lights, have to be painted on. But the shape of the original is caught well. The picture below with the model on a British Pound coin gives an idea of how tiny it is.

The pictures show the model at greater than life size and sadly also show the very average standard of painting carried out by the Author.

Jens has even modelled the exposed cylinder head and exhaust system running along the base of the car on the side without a door.

An unusual model and one that was fun to make. It provides something unusual for 1:87 scale displays and railway layouts.

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More Pocket Money Toys – Majorette

By Maz Woolley

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

Majorette were once regarded as the ‘French Matchbox‘ as they made small ‘fit in  a three inch box’ models sold at pocket money prices in French shops and supermarkets. Once part of a group with Solido they both ended up as part of the German Simba-Dickie group, owners of Schuco,  after they went bankrupt in 2009.

In a previous article I have looked at some of their limited editions but here are two models from their ‘Street Cars‘ series which are sold all around Europe on bubble cards like Matchbox or Hot Wheels. These models are diecast in Thailand to variable scales as they are designed to fit a standard blister pack which is used for all models in the range and doesn’t even have the make and model of the car on it..

Fiat 500

This model of the popular small Fiat is not based on the current version as the rear light printing has yet to be altered to create the body coloured panel in the middle. But it is a neat model of Fiat’s baby with the Fiat badges being neatly printed and small enough to need magnification before you can see how accurate they are. The baseplate states that it has been modelled to 1:55 scale.

The side profile is excellent and the standard fit ‘speed wheels’ even look like some of the more extreme alloys fitted to small cars. The painting even has a slight hint of the pearlescent sheen often used on these small Fiats.

At the front the 500 logo used in advertising is well printed as is the badge and front decorations. Lights are just printed areas of silver paint but they are quite effective.

To the rear the rear hatch, lights and number  plate areas are well modelled. Though the lights could be properly divided up to reflect the light clusters better.

The interior has no door cards but the seats are well represented and the moulded dash board is a good shape and the Fiat gear level mounted in the dash is well modelled.

Renault Twingo

Another popular car with the young, and the first saloon car in a long time with a rear mounted engine. Very much Renault‘s competitor to the Fiat 500 though its four doors make it the more practical and utilitarian of the two.  The detailing is pretty close to the current Twingo production model. The baseplate states that this has been modelled to 1:55 scale.

The side profile captures the car well. The ‘speed wheels’ again look like some aftermarket alloys fitted to small cars so do not look too out of place.

From the front the Twingo lights and grille are exceptionally well represented for a budget model. A dark plastic insert is used which is very effective. Painted small additional  lights and the black bumper panel complete a good front end.

Again the rear has been well captured with the badging nicely done. Printed rear lights are basic and again should be striped with amber and silver as well as red.

Inside again we get no door cards but a convincingly moulded set of seats, dashboard and steering wheel.

Pocket money toys they may be but they are also good, and reasonably detailed, models of every day cars that can be recognised from the streets.

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Atlas Dinky #011500 Citroën 2CV

By Maz Woolley

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

Atlas continue to fulfil the Deluxe Dinky series here in the UK. Complaints abound on Facebook pages about Atlas sending out the wrong goods. Some of those still subscribed to the Dinky Truck series have had models from the Showmans series sent to them and are having a lot of problems returning them and making sure they are not charged for them. Customer services which were already poor seem to have become even worse since Atlas started to close down.

As yet I have not heard that collectors of the Deluxe Dinky series are getting wrong models, just complaints that models advertised as forming part of the collection, like the Ford Galaxie 500 and Mercedes-Benz 230L ‘Pagoda’, have not turned up yet!

The latest model shipped to me is a replica of one of the final Dinky Toys from Dinky France made under contract for them in Spain. This is an updated version of the 2 CV with square headlamps introduced by Citroën in 1974. The spanish made model was introduced in 1974 replacing #500 introduced in 1967 in France and produced later in Spain. #11500 is largely the same as #500 apart from the interior, headlights, wheels, some printed details, and colours. In fact 11500 still uses the baseplate from #500 as that number is featured on it and not the new one.

The box illustration is similar to other Spanish produced models with a colour illustration of the real car in a colour that the models were produced in. However there is no artists signature and the attractive background used on Dinky France boxes is absent.

The Atlas model is a good reproduction of the original and includes the opening bonnet with the fan, drive, and twin air cooled engine represented. The soft suspension is fitting given the way that a 2CV being driven hard would roll when cornering.

The original model had some incorrect features which are  duplicated on this reproduction. The number plates are figureless and the front one is painted silver running into the grille, whereas in reality there was a clear area of paint between grille and number plate. In addition the grille lacks the pair of vertical bars, one each side of the central vertical bar, and the Citroën chevrons are also absent.

To the rear there is a raised area big enough for the full light cluster to be painted on but just a couple of bars of silver and red are painted on which does not capture the light cluster on the 1974 2CV. The rear number plate is just a yellow print which is not in the correct proportions for a number plate. And finally, the steering wheel is twin spoked whereas Citroën’s had single spokes.

All in all though a nice replica of a period model of a charismatic car.

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Models 56 by Armco and a Load of Cobras:  Part 1                                                 

By Mick Haven

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

Graeme Ogg’s recent article in MAR Online about his Ford Falcon Landau by Ace Models, and Falcon Cobras interested me, as I have a passion for Australian models. For quite some time now I’ve had seven models from a small Aussie company called Models 56 by Armco. Made in resin, they are Frank Gardner’s Boss Mustang 302 and Chevy Corvair, Jim Richard’s Sidchrome Boss Mustang 351, another Corvair, albeit the same car as above but as raced by Allan Grice, a 1967 Mustang GTA and a 1972 Falcon XYGT-HO, both raced by Ian ‘Pete’ Geoghegan, and a Falcon Landau.


I believe that at the time, Models 56 were the only model maker to produce models of these particular cars. Frank Gardner’s Mustang needs little introduction, as it was the ex-Bud Moore Kar Kraft Trans Am car with which he was runner up in the 1970 B.S.C.C. championship. I saw it race on numerous occasions. The Jim Richards car was one which he raced predominantly in the 1973/74 sports sedan championship in both his native New Zealand and Australia. ‘Pete’ Geoghegan raced Mustangs to win the Improved Production class in the 1966 Australian Touring Car Championship, which he would repeat in 1967, ’68 and ’69.

As for the Corvairs, they were hugely successful to put it mildly, so successful in fact they were surrounded by controversy, at least Frank Gardner’s original car was. Having spent a number of very successful years in Europe, including testing the very first Porsche 917, ‘Jack of all Trades’, Frank Gardner, returned home to Australia in 1975 to contest the Sports Sedan Championship. He acquired a Chevy Corvair, built a spaceframe chassis, carried out numerous modifications, wrapped the whole thing with the Corvair body, and installed a 5.0 motor from a Lola Formula 5000 single seater, a formula very popular in the U.K. and Europe in the 1960s and ‘70s. The car was outrageously powerful, so much in fact that other teams started to pay close attention to its legality, some even lodging complaints about it. In its first year it won almost every race, except when it rained. It was so dominant and Gardner so hacked off with the complaints, he offered to start from the back of the grid even if he had claimed pole position, which he did, frequently. He easily won the Sports Sedan Championship in 1977.  He sold the car to Allan Grice who would be champion with it in 1978 and ’79. It’s my understanding that the Corvair may well be inadvertently responsible for the demise of the championship.

The Landau is a model which I have long treasured having in my Aussie collection. The car first saw the light of day in 1973 and was based on the recently introduced XAGT. It was distinguished from the standard XAGT by its vinyl roof and all black full width grille behind which were hidden its foldaway headlamps, similar to those on a Mercury Cougar and the 1970 Ford Torino. The family resemblance between the Torino and XAGT is very evident. The ‘Enemy’ car seen in the ‘Mad Max 2’ film, also looks to have its origins in the Landau, certainly in respect of the grille and vinyl roof. This model is part of the two car set by Auto Art in both 1:43 and 1:18 scales. They also produce a ‘dirty’ version, which can be expensive, if you can find one!

If memory serves me correctly, the Models 56 model was originally offered with either polished ‘five slot’ alloy wheels, like mine, or with full width covers, or those shown on the gold car in Graeme’s pictures. There were various colours, black, with a black vinyl roof, metallic blue and yellow, each with a white roof, and one in a metallic blue/grey with a black roof. At the time I bought the Armco’s, I was receiving regular e mails from founder, John Pisani with updates about their models, many of which sold out very quickly. Communication ceased some while ago and their own web site no longer exists.

There is a web site, ceases for Armco Models/56, which states that production had ceased, dated May 23rd 2017. I’d bought my models long before that. There is also a picture of many of the models which they had produced. I used to have a brochure but this has long since disappeared. All of their models were superb examples of the type and many were very different from offerings by the ‘major’ Australian model manufacturers. Did anybody else produce a model of Bryan Thompson’s VW 1600 Fastback with its 5 litre Chevy engine, or the late great Peter Brock’s tiny A35 with its huge wing extensions covering very wide racing wheels. There was also a black road going version of this model. All of the above refers to models in 1: 43 scale, many of which sold out very quickly. The cruel irony is that for such a small company with limited resources, they produced superb models, easily as good as anything produced in the northern hemisphere.

For more than fifty years I’ve been an admirer of the Minilite brand of racing wheel. The Geoghegan XYGT-HO and Mustang models have a set of them, as does the Frank Gardner Mustang. The wheels on these models are excellent examples of the famous British race wheel, as are those on the Jim Richards Mustang, which were built ‘in house’ in New Zealand by the car’s builder Murray Nunn, a close pal of Jim Richards.

With the demise of Models 56 I was surprised to see what might ‘appear to be’ the resurrection of some of their moulds under the Ace banner, are these the self same models? I was surprised when what appeared to be former Models 56 models in Graeme’s ‘Ace’ article last year. They have got to be them, haven’t they? Especially bearing in mind that until I saw that article, in all my years of collecting Australian models, I had never heard of Ace Models. All of my Models 56 came direct from Armco. That Models 56 by Armco no longer exists, to me is a great shame.

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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 18

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Parts 52 to 54

This time we’ll look at one of the most popular British buses, a quite rare one from France and another “ethnic” one, from Colombia. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.


No. 52 (no. 41 in the French collection) Bedford OB 1947 – We have already seen the Bedford history and its TJ Rocket (see part 11, no. 33). And how, established as a subsidiary of Vauxhall in 1930 to manufacture commercial vehicles, it soon became a leading international brand, with substantial export sales throughout the world. Its success was due in large part to the smooth running in-line six cylinder engine with overhead-valves, of Chevrolet origin (the famous stove-bolt six). The semi-forward control “O” type lorry chassis was introduced in August 1939, with a coach-chassis version named “OB“. Duple Coachbuilders modified their Hendonian body to fit the chassis, which was longer than the previous WTB model. Only 73 OB buses were built before production stopped due to the outbreak of the Second World War, After the war it reappeared largely unchanged and was produced till 1951, with a total of almost 13,000 produced.

Duple developed the new “Vista” as the standard coachwork for the postwar OB with elegant curved roof and waistlines. Seating capacity was normally 29 with overhead luggage racks, whilst the rear luggage boot was also used to store the spare wheel. The OB is one of the most popular preserved coaches: more than 180 are still in existence, with nearly 70 in roadworthy condition. They regularly appear in period television programs and movies. Duple Coachbuilders was active from 1919 until 1989 : its name was intended to convey the principle of a single vehicle being suitable for a dual role. Ex-military Ford model Ts were converted to a small touring car body that could be transformed into a van by removing the decking at the rear and fitting a van top. This dual-purpose body was then built also on Morris Cowley and Oxford chassis, production ceasing around the end of the 1920s.

Coachwork had been built since the inception of the company, but in 1928 it was decided to make an effort to increase output of this body type. By the middle of the 1930s bus bodies were produced in quite large numbers with a busy export business. After the war there was a move towards metal-framed bodies, but the 1950s brought a difficult time for the coachbuilding industry as there was a rapid decline in orders and competition became intense. The 1980 deregulation of coach services for journeys of over 30 miles caused the market for light coach chassis to collapse. Duple’s output fell from 1,000 bodies in 1976, to 340 in 1983. In July 1989, the decision was made to close down the Duple operation, some parts of it sold to domestic rival Plaxton.

The scale model is based on one of the preserved buses, with the usual combination of a metal body and a plastic baseplate with minimal detail. It is in a bright livery in cream and green. The destination plate reads Dartmouth, and the operator is Southern National.

The registration was issued by Devon County Council. The model is quite heavy. It is true to the original shape and the livery and registration plate seem to be authentic, but why is the side indicator near the door gold instead of orange? Many small separate parts are fitted, lights, mirrors, and wipers for example. A very nicely modelled front grille is fitted with the Bedford logo and script. The Duple logo is printed on the bonnet sides.  A basic interior is fitted but the drivers area is well modelled. The tyres are nicely moulded but the wheels are ugly.  The identical coach has been reproduced in 1:24th scale by Sun Star (but in that case it is indicated as from 1949). There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice reproduction of a once familiar sight on British roads.


No. 53 (no. 42 in the French collection) Chausson ANG 1956 – We have already met Chausson, its history and its succesful APH bus from 1950 (see part 5, no. 14) and how, beside making components for the automotive industry, they started producing car and unitary bus bodies. During the post war boom Chausson supplied thousands of buses to many French cities, but in 1959 Saviem acquired all their buses activities and Chausson left that market. In 1954 Chausson developed the AN type, a bus family based on the concept of the monocoque body, an assembly of tubes and ribbed and bent steel plates, welded together, assuring an high rigidity. According to the builder, it was the one that would be able to impose itself in all continents, even intended to be delivered in spare parts to be assembled as a “Meccano”, with easy completion with left or right hand drive, and with identical rear and front faces, pneumatic doors and large side luggage compartments. But the initial version, the ANH, suffered from many early defects: a poor visibility towards the front, an engine with too little power, and poor cooling.

Chausson reacted very quickly, and introduced a new version from 1957: the ANG. The small split windscreen was replaced by a single panoramic one, while an Hispano-Suiza engine, lying under the floor with 150 hp, replaced the previous Hercules engine. The clients were still doubtful and when Chausson sold its bus operation to Saviem the ANG production was stopped, to reappear in 1960 in the form of a new Saviem bus, the SC-5 of 36 seats, using many elements of its previous bodywork but with an engine placed in the front. Less than 300 ANG versions were produced.

The scale model is quite heavy, with a plastic body and metal baseplate. The registration plate is from the Seine-et-Marne department (Île-de-France) and the destination plate says Fontainebleau, famous for its royal castle.

The model is accurately shaped and the red and cream livery is correct, but its symmetrical body is quite ugly. A nice interior is fitted with a well detailed drivers cockpit. Good side windows and wheels are fitted. There are the usual added parts like bumpers, lights, mirrors and wipers (three of them). No apparent differences to the French edition. A correct reproduction of an unsuccessful French bus.


No. 54 (no. 43 in the French collection) Ford F600 “Chiva” rural bus 1990 – The mountainous geography of the Andean regions, like Colombia and Ecuador, requires the use of very strong vehicles for their rural public transport network. These are usually built on a truck or bus chassis with an artisan built open wood body with basic fitments and bench like seats. They are characterised by the use of bright colours (usually the yellow, blue, and red colours of the national flags) and elaborate ornamental paint work.

They are fitted with a ladder to a large and strong rack on the roof which is used for carrying people, livestock and merchandise. Locally they are called “chiva” (Spanish for goat) or “escalera” (Spanish for ladder). Chivas were first introduced in the Medellin region in the early 20th century, soon becoming a natural solution to the need of moving both cargo and passengers simultaneously. Through the years their aesthetic approach became a cultural trademark of rural Colombia, evolving into works of folk art. Others regard them as a symbol of underdevelopment. A similar approach, but based on a Willys Jeep, is called “jeepao”.

Sometime you could find these unique buses also in New York, were the “chiva” has developed into a customised bus, carrying party goers around the city. The “chiva” modelled in this collection is based on a Ford “F600” truck chassis, usually with a V8 diesel engine, famous for its endurance and longevity. The first-generation Ford F-Series (light trucks and pickups) was introduced in late 1947 and assembled at sixteen different Ford factories. All F-series were available with optional “Marmon-Herrington All Wheel Drive” until 1959.


Their design evolved steadily and successive generations followed each other constantly. According to the year indicated by Hachette this “chiva” should be based on the eighth generation of the Ford F-Series produced from 1986 to 1991, their engine lineup was updated with both the inline-6 and the V8 converted to fuel injection, while the the diesel V8 from International (Navistar) was enlarged from 420 to 444 cubic inches.

The scale model sports the red, light blue and yellow colours of the Colombian flag, and is made with the usual combination of plastic body and metal baseplate. It is a large and fairly heavy model. Near the engine cover an oil bath air filter is correctly reproduced (compulsory because of the dusty tracks), with a vertical silver exhaust at the rear which leads up to the roof, in order to avoid smoke being drawn in to the passenger area. Correctly, it is a very basic bus, but it is enriched by the details: printed artwork, ladder, roof rack, mirrors, and grille. Nice front wheels are fitted. A correct Colombian registration plate is fitted, with the municipality of issuance “Andes” embossed at the bottom of the plate itself.  Again there are no apparent differences to the French edition. A colourful choice, adding a “Spanish American touch” to the collection.

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Tober kit models, 3 wheelers – and yours truly

By Will Roe

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

Reading through another well known model collectors journal recently I came across a letter from a reader complete with photo regarding the Tober kit model Bond Minicar, but misspelling it ‘Tobers’.

Why this was of particular interest to myself was because in my pursuit for 3 wheeler models of all types, way back in 1989, I had several of these Tober Models kits by mail order via Rod Ward’s MODELAUTO shop in Leeds. I used to take Model Auto Review on a regular basis and scanning the plethora of photos meant I could easily pick out models that suited my theme, hence that’s how these particular ones came to light.

All that I know about this particular make is that they were produced by Bill Barnes of Peterborough, if they came in a box at all it was a simple affair with a simple label, an easy to follow plan was included and although I haven’t measured them, I presume them all to be 1:43rd scale in white metal. It’s only in the case of the 1931 Raleigh ‘Karryall’ van that Bill also gives a little history and explanation about the vehicle on the plan and coincidentally, that’s the only one I have a box for. [Editor: Bill Barnes made various models under his Tober Models brand and cast models for Rod Ward and for a few other small ranges as well. The name Tober comes from showman’s  parlance and means the site of a fair or circus. Many of Bill’s earlier models were in fact of Fairground vehicles].

So let’s have a look at what I have in my collection. I’ll kick off first of all with the Bond Minicar, which according to MY list of parts included (written to the left of the plan), provided either a hood up or hood down choice. I probably opted for a ‘hood-up, to cover any of my mistakes! [Editor: There was the option of open or closed to see it open see article showing my build of this kit here].


Front and rear views of my Bond Minicar model shown above.

Above – the plan complete with my listing of parts on the left hand side. If there was a box with this, it has long since gone the way of such things!

Next is Bill’s 1932 BSA Twin three wheeler. Once again, at the time I carefully noted down on the plan the 21 parts that made of the complete model. On a personal note, I’m not so sure that I would now have the patience or dexterity to handle all the small parts let along complete the painting and build.

Made up BSA model

Above, the plan for the BSA Twin.

Above, is the first delivery note from MODELAUTO order which shows that I had three more kits to be delivered.

The first of Bill Barnes two commercial three wheelers, a 1931 BSA ‘V’ Twin van which this time consisted of 25 parts. Not sure how I chose my colour scheme and apologise for the sloppy roof painting!

Above is the second delivery note from ModelAuto although none of this proves in what order or with what speed I constructed these kits!

Above, plan for the 1931 BSA V Twin van which yet again sees me listing the parts, maybe to make sure that I didn’t lose any.

Shown below is my Tober Models Messerschmitt KR200 Kabrio in distinctive red and black finish with the soft top rather than the ‘perspex’ cockpit style side-tilt roof as fitted to many models of this machine.

The plan sheet for the Kr200 Tober Models Messerschmitt is A5 size compared to the previously shown plans which were all A4 size. It’s interesting to note that there were 23 parts to this model against the Bond being only 13 parts, the least of any of the kits mentioned in this article.

Which brings me to the final Tober Models kit of this article. A 1931 Raleigh ‘Karryall’ van. With this model, I somehow ended up with a lopsided completed model, possibly as I was having difficulty with the rear suspension although I followed the plan to the letter. My finished model has my own logo on one side while I left the opposite plain. If my memory serves me after all these years, I did my logo with letterset with a clear light varnish over the top.


My final two views are from the front end with a close up of the somewhat complicated forks and headlight arrangement.


Bill’s plan on an A5 sheet again, as I have previously said, give a little detail about the real vehicle and is the only plan that gives list of suggested colour finish. Finally, the one and only box that I have.

[Editor: It would appear that some of these models may still be available as kits from KIngfisher/Mabex as they are in the KIngfisher 2018 catalogue which may be seen on the Kingfisher/Mabex Facebook page].

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

The Ford in Miniature – 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra Concept

By Dave Turner

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

When Ford celebrated their Centenary in 2003 a whole series of concepts were unleashed, along with the many other related events. Most, if not all, these special productions were conceived to recall one of the memorable and significant vehicles of Ford’s past.

Among these was the Shelby Cobra that resulted when Carroll Shelby inserted a big US Ford V8, first a 4.2 and for production a 4.7, into the front of an unsuspecting AC Ace. This had previously been the home of the old 6 cylinder 2 litre AC engine that dated back to the 1920s and from April 1956 there was the option of a straight 6 Bristol 2 litre. For just over a couple of years from March 1961 the 2,553cc Ford straight 6 was employed.

Since the production of the first Cobras ended in Jan 1969 there have been many copies and kit cars replicating the Cobra, in fact Carroll Shelby produced a very limited number of 2 seater roadsters in the late 1990s that had a degree of GM content and called simply Shelby Cobra.

The 2004 Concept car was produced by Ford and featured an all-aluminium 6.4 litre V10 engine that was claimed to be able to propel the car to 267mph – although it was actually electronically limited to 100mph. Its chassis was based on that of a Ford GT, modified to be front engined but with the transmission in the rear. It was not registered for road use but was subsequently purchased by one of its designers, Chris Theodore, at auction for $825,000, the proceeds going towards the restoration of Henry Fords Fairlane Estate.

Models of the Shelby Concept as might be expected appeared in the few years following the real cars appearance. Auto Art gave us no less than three quite different models, a big 1:17 scale diecast and much smaller one in 1:64 and in between a plastic slot car in 1:32. Mattel also produced the model in two sizes, their Hot Wheels examples came in at least eleven versions and in many cases almost being little models rather than pure toys. Their larger 1:18 diecast were excellent despite coming in a variety of colours, the real car was only ever silver.

Matchbox also issued a small diecast Shelby that looks very like the Hot Wheels version and it came in at least six versions. Minichamps issued their 1:43 Shelby in a three part “The Ford Power Trilogy” set in 2005 along with 2005 Mustang and 2005 GT, all finished in the silver/white stripe colour scheme. The Shelby was then issued separately for a couple of years.

Model Listing

Auto Art  China 20541 1:64 diecast
Auto Art  China 13101 slot car 1:32 plastic
Auto Art China 73031 228mm 1:17 diecast
Mattel  Malaysia G6687 67mm 1:60 diecast
Mattel  Malaysia H3051 215mm 1:18 diecast
Matchbox 42 1:60 diecast
Minichamps  China 146430 93mm  1:43 diecast

Illustrations 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra Concept


Mattel Hot Wheels 1:60 diecast from Malaysia: G6687, in authentic colour scheme.
Minichamps 1:43 diecast from China: 146430, also came in set 402 058000 “The Ford Power Trilogy”
Rear of Minichamps


Interior of Minichamps

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

Supercars UK Partwork

Edited by Maz Woolley with contributions from Mike Allen and Jeffrey Stevenson.

Text by, and copyright of, the respective Authors. Photographs as credited. If no credit stated photograph by, and copyright of, the Editor. 

Just as my editorials had questioning the future of part works here in the UK both Mike Allen and Jeffrey Stevenson drew my attention to a new partwork being sold in the UK. This is currently being advertised on UK TV where Jeffrey saw the advert and was tempted to buy one, Supercars: The world’s greatest cars in miniature. The first part is in the shops now and I’ll let Mike take over the story:  “The format is similar to previous partworks – a huge piece of cardboard with a model car, a magazine about the car and information on future models. As usual the first one is sold at a very low price: 2.99 GB Pounds. After that the next one is 5.99 and then the remainder 10.99.

Photo Credit: Mike Allen

Mike says of the model: “The first model, a 1:43 scale Ferrari LaFerrari 2013 (most models have the year date in the description, a good idea), is in a hard plastic display box. Good features for me are the deep rich red colour, engine details, highlighted disc pads and the Ferrari logo on the centre of the steering wheel. The magazine is informative, but I wish it had some photos of real cars on roads as well as artwork and studio shots. For an additional £1.50 an issue subscribers get three 1:24 scale models, which look to have opening parts. The full collection is 60 models.”

Jeffrey says of the model: “It’s a nicely finished model with no opening features, but with glazed front lights, very good wheels, windscreen wipers and mirrors. The interior is clearly visible and looks good and there is a representation of the engine visible behind the passenger cabin. The base plate has a blank space where a maker’s name might appear on a different issue of the model.”

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Stevenson

Of the magazine Jeffrey says: “Each car comes with a magazine. This isn’t bad – a bit of a ‘showroom glossy’ type of magazine, but not bad.

With reviews like that, and the bargain price, I went to a newsagent and bought myself the La Ferrari to see what it was like and dissembled it to see if I could find any clue as to its maker. But no part had any markings other than a code number . If asked to guess I would say that this was made by either Universal Hobbies or PCT Industries (Ixo‘s parent)and is finished to a good standard for a budget model.

To find out more I initially went to the UK Panini site and there is absolutely no mention of the collection there.  However ‘Googling‘ quickly lead me to which is the dedicated site for the collection. Browsing the site soon made it clear that the collection is distributed in the UK by Panini but is actually originated by Centauria whose logo appears on the cover of the magazine that comes with the model. Further investigation suggest that they, like DeAgostini, are substantial players on the Italian partwork market. In fact they are running both a Supercars series and Ferrari series  currently in Italy.

If any reader decides to collect this series we at MAR Online would  love to see a photograph or two of each model and to have your comments on how good they are. The models advertised as coming in the future are:

  • McLaren P1 2013
  • Ferrai Panamerica 2018
  • Bugatti Chiron 2016
  • Aston Martin DB11 2016
  • Lamborghini Aventador 2103
  • Ferrari 812 Superfast 2017

For subscribers only  the following additional models will be sent:

  • Maserati Bora Gruppo 4 1973
  • Lamborghini  400 GT Flying Star II
  • Aston Martin DB7 Zagato
  • Ferrari F60 America 2015
  • Ferrari Portofino 2018

With a standard subscription there are additional free gifts: A binder for your magazines and a book called Living the Supercar Dream. If you take out a premium subscription, which adds £90 to the cost of your collection if there are 60 parts, you also get three 1:24 scale cars which are all Ferraris with some opening parts.

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