Category Archives: Model Makers

Who made the model

Atlas Dinky Trucks – 32 AB Panhard SNCF

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest model from Atlas in this series is a replica of a French Dinky model 32 AB Tracteur Panhard et Semi-Remorque S.N.C.F.

This model was first introduced by Dinky in 1952 and the livery had an outline of France with a railway engine on it. This was deleted in 1953 and in 1954 a second type as modelled by Atlas appeared with an outline of France with SNCF across it. The second version was renumbered 575 in 1959 and was finally deleted from the catalogue in 1963. A very long run but the French Railways livery is very attractive and the model a neat one.

Dinky got their value from this tractor unit and trailer as it appeared in Kodak, Calberson, and Esso liveries as well. The tractor unit also appeared hauling an Esso fuel tanker.

The Atlas replica is generally well done though there is clearly some imperfections on the cab casting which have not been disguised by the paint. It is otherwise a rather nice replica with good printing of the SNCF livery and nice masked painting of the chrome.

Investigations show that the second release of this model had two different liveries over time. One which not only had SNCF over an outline of France surrounded by light blue but the initial letters S N C F printed in blue as well. This was used on vehicles with concave hubs. The second type with France surrounded in green and no contrast colouring on the leading letters was fitted to vehicles with convex hubs.  Atlas has chosen it to be printed in the second style which is appropriate as the vehicle has convex wheels.


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Corgi July to December 2017

By Maz Woolley

All pictures used to illustrate this article are from Corgi’s web site. Most are mock ups or 3D renderings rather than examples of the final models. 

Business Background

I make no apologies for starting this article with news about the Hornby Hobbies business as June is not only when they announce the second half models but it is also their financial year end.

Already this year we have seen the company drop its plans to build a visitor centre to replace the one lost when they sold their headquarters site. This was followed in April by a major shareholder,  New Pistoia Income Limited, calling for the removal of Roger Canham the Executive Chairman. Before the Annual Results New Pistoia decided to cut their losses and sold the 20% they held in Hornby hobbies for 32 pence a share to Phoenix Asset Management Partners the biggest shareholder who now have 55% and have now to offer to buy any other shareholders shares at 32 pence.

Whilst all this upheaval took place the annual results were announced and the CEO/Chairman Roger Canham’s resignation as well. A growing underlying pre-tax loss of over six million pounds was widely reported in the Financial columns. Whilst their cash situation has significantly improved this will still leave them little capital to invest in new products so only the fast selling products with the highest level of margin will get any investment. The shareholders have not had a dividend for several years now and the shares values have flat lined over the last year so they are all losing money on the shares which cannot go on for ever.

Why does this matter to collectors of model vehicles? Well Corgi is hardly mentioned in any discussions of Hornby at all and apart from the 1:48 Lightning model investments in new mouldings are non-existent apart from a single 1:50 truck not even listed in the second half release section of their web pages.  The company states that its turnround is well under way with a belief that all UK brands have been maintained despite all the cost cutting measures taken, lower sales, and restrictions in the sales channels they are servicing. I am not sure that that does not count as what are now known as “alternate facts”. Collectors are right to be uneasy when they see that the  Corgi brand is not mentioned once in the plans for the next stage of the turnround.

It is against this background that Corgi announced their July to December catalogue. Almost everything in it is a new version of a casting already used several times in the past. Some castings  like the Vanguards Morris Minors and Mini are now several generations old and simply not up to the standards of Oxford Diecast, or PCT made models for part works or ranges like Whitebox. Looking at the Corgi Forum the posts about the new releases are mostly negative which I know reflects several MAR Online readers views as well. Corgi have not even listed some models on their web site that Hattons has listed like the re-released Basil Fawlty Austin  or yet another Mr Bean Mini.

I believe that the situation is clear: Hornby has no intention of investing in any significant level of new tooling for the Corgi ranges. Their sole idea of keeping Corgi alive is to produce re-paints of old castings and hope that they sell enough to milk some contribution from the brand to their financial recovery. In my opinion Corgi is now a spent force and Hornby is deluding itself if they expect collectors to pay nearly thirty pounds for Vanguards models made from  ageing moulds when DeAgostini/Atlas and others offer more for less money.

Corgi 2017 Second Half Catalogue

The models listed below are those listed by Corgi on their web site for the second half of 2017. Their January 2017 announcement was already reported here.  When checking a supplier website there are models available to order that are not in the catalogue such as five re-released James Bond vehicles, Mr Bean’s Mini, and Basil Fawlty’s 1100. There is also a single 1:50 scale lorry, Scania R (Face Lift) Flatbed Trailer & Brick Load “Ian Craig Haulage Ltd, Falkirk, Scotland”,  claimed to be new tooling. If these are new it seems strange that Corgi did not include them on their website listing.

My observations on the models offered are:

  1. The Royal Wedding Anniversary models are crude and horrid and quite expensive for the type of souvenir shop likely to want to stock them. I can’t see collectors wanting them at all.
  2. I hope the metallic models are not made with reflective flakes the size showing in pictures
  3. How many times are they going to release that Mini casting – it was not good when first released and looks even worse now compared to modern models?
  4. Who lined up all that awful thick silver detailing on the Minor Police Car windows?
  5. Why are they using the same moulds used already for re-paints recently so soon like the Sunbeam Alpine?
  6. Why is an “export” Rover 3500 fitted with UK number plates?
  7. Why keep on flogging the “New London Bus” to death when the new Mayor has cancelled buying any more of them?
  8. Why keep on releasing Land Rovers when Oxford will be doing them and charging significantly less?
  9. Why bother with the Captain Scarlett car? It has now slipped out of fashion again.
  10.   Many earlier releases of the re-used castings are available on eBay and at Toy Fairs for much less money why buy a new one?
  11. How can anybody at Corgi say they are “proud to introduce the July to December 2017 Corgi range, featuring a host of new introductions

Aviation Archive

English Electric Lightning F6 XR728/JS , RAF Binbrook

 

Albatros D.Va D.7327/17, Lt. Lothar Weiland, Jasta 5, Seefrontstaffel 1

 

Fokker DR.1 Triplane 213/17 ‘K’, Lt. Friedrich ‘Fritz’ Kempf, Jasta 2

 

Sopwith Camel F.1 B6313, Major William George ‘Billy’ Barker RAF

 

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 42-97880/DF-F ‘Little Miss Mischief’ USAAF

 

Panavia Tornado GR.4 ZA461, RAF No.15 Squadron, Special Scheme

 

Dornier Do17Z-2 U5-BH, 1./KG.2 ‘Holzhammer’ Operation Marita

 

Junkers Ju-88C-6 F8+BX, 13./KG40, Battle over the Biscay

 

Short Sunderland Mk.III W3999/ RB-Y No.10 Squadron RAAF, Early 1942

 

Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 XW538/S, RAF No.16 Squadron, RAF Gutersloh

 

Hawker Typhoon lB RB389/I8-P ‘Pulverizer IV’, No.440 Sqn RCAF

 

Messerschmitt Bf 110E-2 G9+LN, Oblt. Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer

 

Westland Puma HC.1 XW220/AC, RAF No.72 Squadron, Aldergrove, 1997

 

Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 N2359/YB-J, ‘Winged Popeye’, RAF No.17 Sqn

 

Gloster Sea Gladiator N5519/G6A, No,802 NAS, HMS Glorious, 1939

 

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 ‘Yellow 1’ Oblt. Gerhard Schopfel, Battle of Britain

 

Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2 P8127 ‘White 47’, Robert ‘R.T’ Smith, 3rd Sqn AVG

 

North American P-51D Mustang 44-13586/C5-T ‘Hurry Home Honey’, USAAF

Vanguards

 

Volkswagen Beetle, Type 1 Export Saloon Horizon Blue

 

Land Rover Series 1 80” RAC Road Service Vehicle

 

Ford Escort Mk3 XR3 Prairie Yellow

 

Austin Se7en Deluxe, Vanden Plas ‘Mini’ Lord Austin’s Daughter Irene Austin, Princess Blue-Grey Metallic

Morris Minor 1000 The Lothians and Peebles Constabulary

 

Ford Cortina Mk3 2000E Automatic Sahara Beige

 

Ford Cortina Mk2 Twin Cam (Lotus) Red II

 

Rover P6 3500S Scarab Blue, Export Specification, RHD

 

Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000 Modena Green

 

Ford Sierra XR4i Strato Silver

 

Ford Capri 2300GT Mk1 1969 Tour de France Automobile

 

Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800 1979 Lombard RAC Rally of Great Britain

 

Sunbeam Alpine Series 2 Quartz Blue Metallic

 

Morris Minor 1000 Traveller Bermuda Blue

Original Omnibus

 

New Routemaster, Go-Ahead London, 88 Camden Town

 

New Routemaster, Go Ahead London, 88 Clapham Common

 

Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Shuttle Bus

Others

 

Paddington Bear New Routemaster

 

Captain Scarlet Classic Spectrum Saloon Car

 

70th Anniversary of The Royal Wedding – Classic Mini

 

70th Anniversary of The Royal Wedding – Classic Routemaster

Bloodhound SSC Super Hauler

 

Corgi Christmas Super Hauler

Closing thoughts

Long time MAR readers will know that I have been a collector of Corgi models in the past and have been getting more and more restive with each underwhelming release announcement. I know many of you feel the same. I think that the thing I find most insulting to collectors is the pretence that the Corgi range is active and vibrant. Some honesty and openness about the role Hornby think Corgi has going forward would be welcome. Some of us have been Corgi Collectors since our childhood.

What do you the reader think?

Last thought. If  Hornby can’t make anything of the range, it would surely be better to sell it to someone else who can?


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Atlas Dinky – 80b Hotchkiss Jeep

By Maz Woolley

As we have come to expect the latest in this series from Atlas is another French Dinky replica seen already in the Continental Dinky collection. The Hotchkiss Willys Jeep 80b.

For once the Postman had no problems delivering this through the letter box. The box seems tiny compared to other vehicles in this series at only just over 7cm in length and under 4cm in height. The Atlas replica box may convey the spirit of the original but the end flap is re-arranged as some text has been removed, “C’EST UNE FABRICATION MECCANO” the lowest line on the original box is absent. In addition French Dinky credited the artist who created the box art but on the reproduction the signature of J. Massé is absent.

Hotchkiss made about 32,000 Jeeps under licence from Willys in France until the mid 1960s. Production was originally at a factory in St. Denis in Paris but was later moved out to Stains which is a suburb to the north of Paris. It would appear that these were largely assembled from parts taken from Jeeps left in Europe when the US forces went home after the Second World War.

French Dinky had already sold a WiIlys Jeep as number 25 J in the early 1950s but I believe that this was the same casting as the Dinky UK Jeep which is considered to be less accurate than 80b. 80b was introduced in 1958 and was short lived being re-numbered as 816 in 1959. Some models were fitted with a driver but this replica is not and there is no hole in the casting for one to fit in either.

This replica has lovely even matt paint and the lights are neatly coloured. The tinplate screen is well replicated and the three spoke steering wheel is on a delicate shaft. The scale of this model is said to be 1:48.


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News from the Continent – Herpa June 2017

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs are by the Author, except where otherwise acknowledged.

Here is a selection of models from releases made by Herpa between January and May 2017.  All are to 1:87 scale except where otherwise stated.

1:43 Scale

The Porsche 911 miniatures announced in 2016 have now arrived on the general market. The three 911 models shown below are also sold in Porsche shops which perhaps explains why the quality and finish is first class. These are all to 1:43 scale.

071024/071031 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet 991 II

The Cabriolet is modelled open with the body painted a choice of racing yellow or deep metallic black. The accurate body shape is complemented by the fault free paint. The Porsche emblem on the bonnet is a small insert as are many other details.

Lettering below the engine cover are exact replicas of the real car and are printed in silver. The Interior has a detailed dashboard and steering wheel, as well as a well moulded centre console, seats and door cards. All in all this gives an excellent impression of the real car. The 5 star alloy wheels are well moulded and reveal the excellent brake discs and calipers. A fairly detailed baseplate is fitted and the exhaust system is executed well and includes the two chromed end pipes.

 

070980/070997 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet 991 II

The Cabriolet in “S” version has a more powerful engine. This is also modelled open. This time in a white or metallic sapphire blue. The general level of finish is the same as the black and yellow Carrera models seen above. Note that the exhaust system is different on this model replicating the differences to be seen on the real cars.

 

071048/071055 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

Here the body in available in white or metallic rhodium silver. The body is true to the prototype shape and immaculately painted. Many small separate parts are used for lights and other features. The interior is in a brownish red shade. Dashboard, steering wheel and centre console are excellent replicas  of the original car as are the seats.

At the rear end, the four exhaust pipes of the 4S show the correct features unique to this version of the Carrera. Again lovely replica alloy wheels reveal the neatly modelled brake discs and calipers.

1:87 scale models

 

745475 Ford FK 3000 Cologne lorry with flatbed and canvas cover “German Army”

The Cologne was produced by Ford between 1951 and 1955. The newly founded West-German Bundeswehr (Army) ordered a batch of them as basic transport. The accurately shaped miniature is not painted in the correct shade of matt olive green for the Bundeswehr, the accurate colour would be more of a Silk matt olive.

 

092760 Volkswagen T6 with trailer, loaded with Vespa motorscooter

For short inner city work the Brunswick based haulier Wandt had a restored Vespa painted in the shade of green used in its livery. This Vespa will be released as part of the one-off set with a Volkswagen T6 box body van and trailer also in Wandt livery.

 

Copyright in the image above belongs to dreamstime.com

306713 Volvo FH Gl. XL Eurocombi “Ristimaa Apache”

As can be seen from the photographs above Herpa has re-created this flamboyant show truck faithfully. Juha Ristimaas create custom trucks to the highest standard. This impressive “Giga-Liner” is in the livery of Kuljetus Ristimaa a Finish Haulier. It was first displayed at the annual trucking event “Power Truck Show 2016” in Alaharma, Finland. The four axle Volvo FH16 650 pulls a five axle trailer.

 

307062 Scania 142 articulated concrete mixer

The classic Scania bonnetted trucks are always a highlight in the Herpa program. Here the model is of a 6×4 tractor with a day cab and trailer with a concrete mixer mounted on it. It adds to the Herpa construction models.

 

307024 Volvo FH16 Gl. XL Eurocombi “Tynjälä Oy” Finland

Another oversized drawbar outfit from Finland. Over 50 print processes were needed to reproduce the livery.

 

159173-006 Mercedes-Benz Actros Gigaspace rigid tractor, traffic-yellow

 

158299-004 Mercedes-Benz Actros M 08 all wheel drive 3-axle rigid tractor

Power to all three axles for best traction. Cabin in white which allows modellers to apply their own decals.

 

307161 Iveco with Interchargable Boxes and drawbar trailer “Deutrans”

In the end of the 1980s, the German Democratic Republic haulier Deutrans simplified its truck design and sent their trucks on the road in white with blue and orange stripes. The carefully selected drivers of all vehicles carrying traffic to the West had to prove a certain loyalty to the party line and fulfilled spying orders during their tours.

 

307352 Volvo FH Gi Lowliner curtain canvas articulated truck “Willi Betz”

The haulage group Willi Betz operates multiple companies across Europe serving many customers and has an annual turnover of around 250 million Euros a year.

The founder Willi Betz recently escaped jail due to a serious illness after a lawsuit was taken against the family for bribery, social security fraud and tax evasion. His son was not so lucky and had to pay a 2.1 Million Euros fine and must go into prison for five years.


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Yugo 45A Three-Door Hatchback in 1/43

By John-William Greenbaum

As the progenitor of arguably the most pathetic series of automobiles ever to be imported into the United States, I’d say a Yugo 45 deserves to be featured here. However, this one, the Yugo 45A, was more of an offshoot of the vehicle Americans were used to seeing (the Yugo 45). Built by Zastava in Kragujevac (which is now part of Serbia) as a possible replacement for the aging Zastava 750, the original Yugo 45 was itself supplemented by the short-lived Yugo 45A in 1987.

Still, it wasn’t much of an upgrade; aside from weighing about 100 pounds more due to a higher level of interior trim and having steel door handles, there was virtually no difference. The first Yugo 45’s of any kind were built in 1978, and they were exported not to the US, where they gained infamy, but rather to East Bloc countries such as Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and, most famously, Poland. It was here that they were first called “Yugo,” with Czechoslovakia and Poland both buying the cars in tremendous quantities.

The Czechoslovakians lacked a subcompact car whilst the Poles relied on the tiny, uncomfortable Polski Fiat 126P “Maluch.” However, while it may have looked more modern and gotten better gas mileage, the Yugo was a death trap if it ever got into an accident involving a larger vehicle. The chronically problematic front axle also made steering the car difficult, prompting one critic to call it “the perfect car for driving in a straight line”. Also, it had severe aerodynamic issues; although designed to employ many Fiat 127 parts, it didn’t borrow directly from the far-superior Fiat 127.  A Yugo was once blown off the Mackinac Bridge in the United States by a gust of wind, for example.

In the US, the Yugo 45 didn’t sell well or even last long in the market. When most Americans think of a Yugo, they’re thinking of the Yugo 55, which had a slightly higher trim level. Regardless, the Yugo 45 had most of the characteristics of its successor. It was powered by an engine that delivered about 45 horsepower with a top speed of around 70 mph (ditto the Yugo 45A). Interestingly, the Yugo could maintain its fuel efficiency at top speed, getting about 40 miles per gallon of gas. When it was doing the speed limit, it could get around 45-50 mpg.

However, it was plagued by other problems. For example, in a high-speed turn, the wheels would infamously scrape against the wheel wells. Quality control problems also plagued the car in both the west and the East Bloc markets. As such, the car didn’t sell well in many East Bloc markets. Why, for example, should a Polish citizen buy the Yugo when he already had access to the Polski Fiat 126P? Even though this car too was pretty lousy, it was at least Polish-made, less expensive, and parts were more readily available. The Yugo’s needing near-constant maintenance was another problem.

Of the 794,428 Yugos of all types produced, a whopping 141,115 of these were sold in the United States; nearly 18% of total sales. Many more were sold in Yugoslavia (and the former Yugoslavia) itself, as well, and it was models like the Yugo 45A that were sold domestically. Even though the Yugo 45 was still being produced, the Yugo 45A did at least offer a modernized interior as well as better door handles.

Ultimately, outside of Yugoslavia, the Yugo was essentially a failure in the East Bloc. With less expensive cars of equal or even better quality on the market with a larger supply of parts available, the Yugo didn’t really have a market niche other than being just another communist-manufactured product.  The Yugo’s slightly larger 4-door cousin , the Zastava 101 or 1100, did sell well in Czechoslovakia and Poland, and its five-door hatchback “big brother”, the Yugo Florida, also sold well.

In Yugoslavia itself, the Yugo 45 was made right up until the bitter end. The same, however, could not be said of the Yugo 45A. It was discontinued due to the Balkan Wars, with the steel door handles and higher level of interior trim not being possible to maintain while Zastava was also churning out rifles and ammunition.

Model by Ixo for Croatian DeAgostini “Legendarni Automobili”
Figure by Lionel, painted by the author's Father
Years Built: 1987-1994 (Produced in Serbia after the breakup of Yugoslavia)
Engine: 45 HP 4-cylinder four-stroke
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Top Speed: 70 mph

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News from the Continent – Busch June 2017

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Photographs provided by the Manufacturer

Recent releases from Busch and its associated companies in May 2017 are shown below. All are plastic models to 1:87 scale unless otherwise stated.

 

40705 Mercedes-Benz LP809 Mobile First-Aid Station

41847 Ford E-350 Wyoming rescue vehicle no. 7 “Moose”

41848 Ford E-350 Wyoming rescue vehicle no.8 “Bison”

41849 Ford E-350 Wyoming rescue vehicle no.9 “Mountain-Lion”

47847 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter “BP” (British Petroleum)

50610 Mercedes-Benz Citan delivery van “Medic one” (Blood and organ- transport)

50921 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U430 tracked “Road service”

51171 Mercedes-Benz V-Class “Police of Baden-Württemberg”

51207 Framo V901/2 box van “Golden Ear of Corn”

51208 Framo V901/2 box van “Beer transporter”

51252 Framo V901/2 Bus

51255 Framo V901/2 DDR Ambulance

51271 Framo V901/2 Half-bus “DDR Konsum” new mould

51272 Framo V901/2 half-bus “Mitropa” – already sold out !

59912 Irus Universal single-axle U300K with mount-trailer

59942 Small trailer for passenger cars

EsPeWe Models in 1:87 scale

 

95015 HW 80.11 agricultural trailer – grey

95165 IFA W50L BTP “DDR Post building group transporter”

Mehlhose Modelcars in 1:87 scale

210007600 Trailer for Multicar transporter “MINOL”

210008100 Multicar M21 transporter with trailer “Coal merchant”

210008500 Multicar M21 transporter “MINOL”

210010202 Agricultural trailer T4 with load, green with grey wheel rims

DreiKa Automodelle in 1:87 scale

DreiKa started production some years ago, disappeared and have been revived. Models now will be distributed by Busch

The Goliath van was produced by the Goliath company, a member of the Borgward Group

94000 Goliath Express 1100 box van – light blue

94001 Goliath Express 1100 box van – wine red

94002 Goliath Express 1100 box van – light green

94020 Goliath Express 1100 box van “Edition Goliath Werke”


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News from the Continent – Norev June 2017

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs supplied by the manufacturer.

Norev releases from April and May are shown here. These are diecast in China for France.

April Releases

1:18 Scale

 

183267 BMW M535i saloon 1987 – blue metallic

 

181499 Citroen 2CV AZL Malle Bombee 1957 – grey

181498 Citroen 2CV 6 1976 “Basket”

 

181496 Citroen 2CV 6 Club 1979 – Mimosa yellow

 

 

185174 Renault Estafette 1965 – beige

 

 

185717 Simca Aronde Monthlery Speciale saloon 1962 – grey metallic

188488 Volkswagen Golf V GTI 2009 – tornado red

 

Scale 1:43

 

150011 Citroen 2CV 4×4 Sahara 1961 – Panama yellow

 

511621 Renault 16 TX 1976 – Elysee grey metallic

 

517853 Box set Alpine Celebration 2015 – Limited Edition 

 

Scale 1:43 Classics

 

CL4511 Panhard 24 CT 1964 – plum body/grey roof

 

CL5112 Renault R8 Major saloon 1964 – Galapagos beige metallic

 May 2017

1:18 Scale

 

181565 Citroen DS19 Saloon – Champagne & Aubergine – Salon de Paris 1955

 

183417 Mercedes-Benz L319 Van “German Post” grey

 

183588 Mercedes-Benz 280CE 1980 – silverblue metallic

 

185151 Renault Caravelle 1964 – Finland blue metallic

 

185168 Renault Estafette 1972 “Assistance Renault”

 

182070A Gitane Motorcycle Test Champion Super 1973 – blue

 

182048A Peugeot motorcycle 103L 1972 – beige

 

1:43 Scale

 

473883 Peugeot 3008 GT 2016 – pearl white

 

517742 Renault Talisman saloon 2015 – Vison brown

 

517743 Renault Talisman Estate 2016 – Dune beige

 

351334 Mercedes-Benz G-Class – brown metallic

 

870068 Volvo V90 Cross Country 2017 – bright silver


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Resin Roundup June 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs have been supplied by the manufacturers who hold the copyright for the images.

Here are a few of the recent announcements of resin models from Matrix and from Best of Show (BoS) and Neo. All these models are moulded in resin in China in various scales stated below.

Matrix

The models shown below are to 1:43 scale and are for release between June and August 2017.

MX50806-031 Hispano Suiza K6 Break de Chasse Franay #15121 green metallic 1937 expected June
MX50102-081 Alfa Romeo 2000 Praho Touring dark green 1960 expected June/July
MX51705-111 RR Phantom II Continental Figoni & Falaschi Berline #2MS black 1932 expected July
MX51608-011 Pegaso Z-102 Thrill Coupe red / black 1953 expected August

Neo

 

All the Neo models listed are to 1:43 scale and should now be available.

MG TD MkII, white, RHD, 1950
Chevrolet Special De Luxe Convertible, beige, 1941
Dodge Sportsman, San Diego Police Ambulance, 1973
Hudson Italia, silver, 1954

 

Best of Show (BoS)

1:18 scale

These models should all now be available.

Chevrolet Apache Pickup, light blue, 1959
Dodge Coronet Club Coupe, light blue/white, 1952
Rover P5B Coupe, Dark green and light grey, RHD, 1971

1:87 Scale

 

These models should now be available.

Mercedes 600 Pollmann, Black, 1969, hearse
Buick Century Caballero, red/white, 1958

 


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Oxford Diecast 1:43 scale June 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford are now starting to catch up with models remaining from release 1/2017. The two featured in this post are new Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin castings. These models have been diecast in Oxford’s Chinese factory to 1:43 scale.

43EMP001 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Hooper Empress

 

The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud was available to coach-builders as a long wheelbase chassis. In this case that car was built by Hooper on a 1957 chassis fitted with the final version of the straight six designed by W O Bentley. It was in the Empress style that they had used on Silver Wraiths and Daimlers previously. This time the front wings came to a peak to give the body a more up to date look than the earlier models.

Only 18 Cars were built by Hooper in this style on the Silver Cloud LWB chassis. It is one of the last creations made by the Hooper Coachbuilding Company before they ceased coach building in 1959.

This style of bodywork was captured by Quaralu, a French company in the 1960s in a diecast mode that has since been reproduced as a replica. Until now I believe that only ATC have produced it to modern standards in a rather more expensive resin model.

The Oxford model just shows how well they make this type of car. The flush fit windows are excellent as is the grille and all the separately fitted light lenses.

The wheels are good as are all the lovely tampo printed coachlines, badging and number plates. there is even a modest level of detail; on the baseplate. Inside there are wood effect dash and door cappings, a good steering wheel, and printed instrumentation and door fittings. The chrome fittings are excellent too. Bumpers, interior and exterior mirrors, number plate surrounds, grille and even the Spirit of Ecstacy are all neatly moulded and “plated”. The mascot may be a little overscale but this is common on models as otherwise it becomes vulnerable to breakage.

The colours it is painted are accurate for the car as it can be seen on the Internet, but for those who  do not like brown this car will be part of Release 2017/2 in two tone blue.

In summary an excellent model from Oxford at a very competitive price.


AMZ001 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato 2 VEV

 

The only way most of us will ever be able to own a DB4GT Zagato will be to buy a model. The last one sold at auction sold for over nine million UK pounds. An excellent return on investment as the car cost  £5,470 when new.

The DB4/GT was originally built to allow Aston Martin to take on Ferrari in the World Sports Car Championship, but with its Italian rival having a competitive edge Aston sent its car to Carrozzeria Zagato, with the instruction to maximise its performance. Ercole Spada at Zagato lead the work to lighten and streamline the car.  In search of weight reduction many steel components were replaced by aluminium parts and all non-essential elements like bumpers were removed. It was 100 pounds lighter, more aerodynamic and was fitted with a highly tuned engine and could reach around 153mph. 19 DB4/GTs were created by Zagato. The best known DB4 GT Zagatos are affectionately known by the registration plates they share, of ‘1 VEV’ and ‘2 VEV’. These were raced under the John Ogier’s Essex Racing Stable with assistance from the Aston Martin factory. Both the Zagatos raced in the 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans. However a repeat of the 1959 Le Mans victory was not to be, with both cars retiring. In July 1961 at a British Grand Prix Support race the Zagato had its first victory. With ‘2 VEV’ taking the last lap lead from a Jaguar E Type. ‘2 VEV’, which is modelled here by Oxford, crashed heavily at Spa in 1962 and had to be rebuilt and was modified in the process however that process was reversed when after a road accident in 1993 it was returned to 1962 specification.

Examining pictures on the Internet Oxford seem to have captured the profile of the car extremely well. I am particularly impressed by the lovely windows again flush fitted and with printed frames. The lights are all separate plastic inserts other than some small printed reflectors at the rear and are all nicely done. The grille and the tiny printed badging again deserves praise.

However, I have to point out three areas where I think that the model is not as good as it could be which lets down the otherwise lovely model. The first is the printed chrome surround for the headlights. As can be seen in the photograph below the printed line is actually quite some way from the plastic lens that the chrome is supposed to surround on the lower inner section and it is overscale as well which merely brings attention to the issue. Some Oxford publicity pictures showed the model without the printed chrome and that looks much better.

The second is that the model sits too high at the rear giving a “jacked up” stance as can be seen in the photograph below.

The third is the wheel rims which have bits of silver finish missing on one wheel which really needs to be resolved as this is not the first time I have seen this on an Oxford model.

My conclusion is that the faults mean that this model though still value for money is not as good as it could have been. It could have been as good as the Rolls-Royce with a little more care and attention.


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Auto Cult June 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

Auto Cult continue in their quest to cover unusual subjects. Their models are moulded in resin in China for Germany. Unless otherwise stated the models are to 1:43 scale. As usual each model released is to a different theme.

Small Cars

#03011 Nissan Tama E4S-47

After the  Second World War Tachikawa were not allowed to manufacture aircraft. So like other such concerns it looked for something to build. As there was increasing demand for vehicles, but a shortage of fuel, so they decided to “Go Electric”.

The E4S-47 was the result of this choice, built in a new factory Tokyo Denki Jidoosha. A 16 volt – 120 ampere electric motor was front-mounted and produced 3.3 kW. Its power was supplied by exchangeable batteries. Fitted with a two-speed gearbox the Tama reached a top speed of 35 km/h.

Introduced in May 1947 the model had “Tama” added to its name which was the name of the production site. However, production only lasted a year and the vehicle was replaced in 1948.

 

Streamliners

#04009 Gomolzig Taifun streamliner

Built in 1949 this car caught the public attention as it was fitted with gull wing doors. It was built by Herbert Gomolzig who was an engineer with an eye to the future at a time when Germany was still just starting to re-build after the Second World War.

 

The gull-wing doors were covered to the top by simple hooked in cloth tarpaulins. Once rolled up these adjustable tarpaulins conveyed a sense of driving a convertible. Whilst technically innovative the doors meant that the rest of the car had to be made stronger to compensate. Given the materials available at that time this may not have been fully achievable and may explain why the car never went into production. Little more is known about the car other than it was based on a BMW chassis and probably had a four cylinder BMW engine.

In 1952, after the Taifun did not go into production, Gomolzig founded an own engineering office, turned his back on the automobile industry and working for the aviation industry and in general engineering.

 

Camping Vehicles

#09004 Saab 92H Motorhome

This vehicle is a precursor to the modern all -in-one Motorhome so popular in the US, though rather smaller in size.

Based on the Saab 92 with its DKW like water cooled two stroke two cylinder engine it was built in 1963 by Torsten Johannesson who wanted a car with integrated sleeping facilities so that he didn’t have to tow a trailer.

Torsten’s bulbous design created the maximum interior space but the vehicle is said to have been unbalanced with a great deal of the weight at the front. It was also twice the weight of the Saab 92 so it was very underpowered. Perhaps unsurprisingly Johannesson did not get the road approval for his 92H motorhome from the Swedish authorities, so the prototype is unique.

Buses

#10001 VW Beetle “Wolfsburger Bähnle”

This vehicle offered sightseeing with a difference. Bähnle is a German vernacular term for “little train”.  This vehicle was run by a community company in Wolfsburg until 1976 providing users with a tour through the City.

Built by the Berlin bodybuilder Friedrich Rometsch based upon a Volkswagen Beetle it had only six seats which proved to be insufficient to meet demand and it was fitted with a matching trailer made by Hermann Harmening.

From 1958 the 14 metre long train towed by the VW Beetle carried up to 48 passengers at a maximum speed of 50 KPH on its regular tours. After 15 years in storage the City of Wolfsburg passed the vehicle to Volkswagen in 2003 for them to restore and use in the new Autostadt theme park at the Volkswagen factory.

 

Sculptures

#80004 Mercedes-Benz SL-X

This model is to 1:18 scale and is based upon a car that never ran. The wooden design study is as far as the development went and is on display at the Mercedes Museum.

In the mid-1960s a mid-engine sports car, internally designated SL-X, was worked on at Mercedes-Benz. Its design was based on an idea from the Italian Giorgio Battistella. Giorgio Battistella and the former head of the Mercedes-Benz design department, Paul Bracq, sat down together and pondered about the design of a new sports car with the three-pointed star emblem on the hood. They sought to produce a radical design.

The design was for an extremely low car with the engine behind the seats to allow this. A wooden mock up without an engine and any interior was produced. The design was never signed off to progress beyond the mock-up stage though it perhaps influenced Bruno Sacco when he produced the C-111 which also had gull-wing doors and the seamlessly flushed pop-up headlamps.


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