Category Archives: Atlas Jaguar

Atlas Jaguar Collection – F type Cabriolet

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest issue in the Atlas Jaguar Collection has been released recently. It is an F type Cabriolet in metallic blue. This follows and earlier issue of the F type “R” Coupe reviewed elsewhere by MAR Online http://www.maronline.org.uk/atlas-jaguar-collection-jaguar-f-type-r/.

Checking images on the web this model appears to use the same casting as the Lunar Grey LHD model already issued by Ixo and an orange LHD model issued by Whitebox.

Here the model is in RHD form and in a blue metallic colour which is attractive but fades at all the panel gaps under any lighting as can be seen on the photograph below. As usual the wheels and tyres are good with brake calipers showing nicely, though one tyre on my model has a chunk out of it.

As can be seen the above the printed leaper logo at the rear is a little thin and one dimensional and as shown below the badging at the front is not as good as Ixo usually manage either. The inserted light clusters front and rear are good but the bonnet and wing inserts are a little basic and the wing ones are not neatly printed as the silver edges are “wavy”.  The grille is a little basic, not capturing the mesh detail particularly well, and the silver line round it is not properly printed on the driver’s side either.

The interior again disappoints. Although the seats and door cards are nicely done the dashboard has been crudely moulded with detail far from being crisp and only two instruments printed on. One wonders if a rush job was done to make a RHD format dash assembly. The picture below also shows how the front screen is not a good fit to the frame leaving an unrealistic gap.

So all in all this is a nice casting which has been let down by small details and the standard of finish. This perhaps indicates the cost pressures that are now being felt by Chinese producers.


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Atlas Jaguar Collection – X Type

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest model to arrive in this series is a Jaguar X Type. The car modelled is the 2.0 Diesel introduced in 2003. The X Type was built when Jaguar was owned by Ford. It was an attempt by Jaguar to compete with the BMW 3 Series,  Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C Class. To make such a car profitably Jaguar had to design a car based upon the chassis of the Ford Mondeo of the day and to build it in a Ford Factory. Its sales were held back by purists not regarding it as a “true Jaguar” whilst others quickly realised that the top line Mondeos were better equipped and cheaper.

This model is made by Ixo for Atlas and we have already seen this casting used in the Premium X range I believe, see John Quilter’s article about those models at  http://www.maronline.org.uk/premium-x-jaguar-x-type/. Here the casting does not have a sunroof but retains the leaper which is not entirely accurate for a UK market car, though many owners did fit them as an accessory. This casting lacks the sunroof fitted to the Premium X Car but otherwise looks very similar though the Atlas is RHD and not LHD.

The model looks good in solid blue though the metallic silver/blue which was very common here in the UK might have been a better choice.  The printed badging and boot trim is very good.

Inside the matt finish to the dashboard top, seats and door cards is excellent and the dashboard with its instruments printed and wood effect dash panel are good too. Looking at the steering wheel even the ancillary stalks are fitted to the steering column and the wheel itself is nicely modelled and has the Jaguar boss printed in the middle.

Outside good mirrors with printed glass and good, if perhaps over shiny, alloy wheels are fitted. The flush fitting “glass” is excellent employing the four separate inserted window sections: front, side and rear with printed black edges seen before in this series.

The Atlas Jaguar Collection may now be drawing towards its close as their Customer Service team recently stated that the series would probably finish after the 31st model is produced.

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Atlas Jaguar Collection – XJR-12

By Maz Woolley

 

Atlas Customer Services have informed me that the Jaguar collection is currently expected to finish after 30 parts. If this is the case this will be one of the last models in the collection. The Jaguar XJR has already appeared in this collection in the earlier XJR-9 form. We now get the later XJR-12.

The XJR-12 won the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1990 and then went on to win the Daytona 24 hours race in the same year. Despite qualifying poorly the cars finished first and second due to problems for other teams who had been early leaders. The model represents chassis #388 which won at Daytona driven by Davy Jones, Jan Lammers and Andy Wallace.

Chassis #388 started life as an XJR-9 and was raced at Daytona in 1988 where it did not finish due to mechanical problems. In 1989 it was in the top three at eight races still running as the conventional V12 XJR-9. For the 1990 season the car was rebuilt with a 7 Litre 730 BHP V12 engine. and give the XJR-12 model name. After winning Daytona it then finished in the top three at Sebring. By 1991 the new turbo cars from others were becoming reliable as well as very fast and the XJR-12 was an also ran. Chassis #388 was renovated in 2008 and was seen at various classic car events before being sold for $2,145,000 in 2015.

This model is very similar to the XJR-9 in the collection, though Atlas has made changes where needed. The Silk Cut sponsorship on the XJR-9 has now been replaced by the Castrol livery it ran in in the US in 1990 and the rear wing has been altered to a new split shape supported by delicate plastic struts.   Strangely the aerial on the roof which was present on the XJR-9 has gone on the XJR-12 yet pictures which appear to be of the car at Daytona show an aerial though some other pictures of car do not. Does any reader know whether it had an aerial when it ran at Daytona?

There are a few criticisms. The detachable rear wheel covers are completely obscured by the decals which are also slightly crooked as they are folded over onto the rear of the car. But there are also some nice details like blue seat belts with painted buckles and a lovely fine black plastic wiper blade. The lights front and rear are good and the wheels are a highlight with gold and silver alloy effect rims and tyres with Goodyear Eagle printed on.

As I have commented before this series has generally been to a very high standard for a budget range and this particular model is one of the better ones. In fact the model looks almost identical to the Ixo model which is the Le Mans winning car in Silk Cut Livery, except for the changed livery and missing aerial.


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A review of Atlas offerings

By Maz Woolley

 

Atlas Editions trade in many countries across Europe but appear to be headquartered in Switzerland. It has a local operation in every country it trades in backed up by a website and call centre in the local language giving the impression that it is a local firm. Each operation only deals with customers in its own defined area. Each country offers localised offerings with France seeming to have the broadest offerings. The localised distribution of ranges has led to a large secondary market in these products on eBay where those who are not based where the collections are offered have to buy them from those who are. In addition a lot of models seconds and perfect find their way onto eBay sold by traders from China who offered boxed but uncertified models.

Whilst Atlas sells all sorts of products this article looks only at transport related items available. This article looks at the current offerings across Europe.

Starting in the UK the following ranges are currently available:

  • Great British Buses 1:76
  • Trams of the World 1:76
  • The Greatest Show on Earth 1:76
  • The World of Stobart 1:76 (Not all road vehicles)
  • Tractors of the World 1:32
  • Classic Coaches 1:76
  • Fire Engines 1:76
  • Dinky Toys Various scales
  • The Jaguar Collection 1:43
  • Dinky Trucks Various
  • Touring Cars 1:43
  • Superbikes 1:24
  • Bombers of WWII 1:144
  • Duelling Fighter Planes 1:72
  • Military Vehicles 1:43
  • Jet Age Military Aircraft 1:144
  • Legendary Ocean Liners 1:1250

The following series have been test marketed recently but have not yet been officially launched.

  • Dinky Cars with opening features – DB5 Convertible
  • Mercedes Collection – Mercedes Gullwing 300SL
  • Dinky Vans – Trojan Oxo

Looking at other countries where Atlas operates many, but not all of the UK series, are also offered in other countries.  But if you look at what is offered elsewhere there are many series on offer which we have not yet seen in the UK. In fact even where the same series is on offer in several countries the models offered may be different. Only the series we have not seen in the UK are listed below. In some cases series that have alreday finished in one country are still running elsewhere.

FRANCE

  • Ambulances 1:43 – Citroen DS/ID based ambulance, Cadillac Miller Ambulance and Mercedes-Benz Binz currently advertised. NB Binz looks to be the same one already seen in the James Bond series.
  • Small commercials “Les petits utilitaires des artisans et commerçants” 1:43
  • Porsche 911 collection 1:43
  • La Saga Gordini 1:43
  • Police Cars of the World “Voitures de police du monde” 1:43
  • Dinky Toys with opening parts – “Dinky™ Toys de mon enfance, la saga des ouvrants”
  • Mercedes-Benz Collection
  • Pilots of WWII “Pilotes de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale” 1:72

GERMANY

  • DDR car collection “DDR Auto Kollektion” 1:43
  • DDR  commercial vehicles “DDR Nutzfahrzeuge” 1:43
  • DDR Motorcycles “DDR-Motorrad Kollektion” 1:24
  • DDR Army vehicles – cancelled part way through series 1:43
  • Ambulance Collection 1:43
  • Porsche 911 Collection 1:43
  • Ferrari F1 Collection 1:43
  • Legendar Tractors “Traktor Legenden” 1:32
  • Mercedes-Benz 1:43
  • Saab Car Museum Collection 1:43
  • Police Cars 1:43
  • Street Cars “Legendäre Straßenbahnen” 1:87
  • Volvo Collection 1:43
  • Bus Collection 1:72
  • Fire Appliances “Feuerwehr Fahrzeuge” 1:72
  • Air Aces “Jagdflieger” 1:72
  • U-Boat Legends “U-BOOT Legenden” 1:350

OTHER COUNTRIES

Here most of the series are local versions of series already listed with the exception of:

  • Presidential Cars  – Czech Republic
  • Ikarus Models (scale not stated but believe 1:72) – Poland
  • Bus collection (again not stated but probably 1:72) – Poland
  • Legendary Motorcycle 1:24 (closely related to the DDR Motorcycles series) – Poland
  • Silver Cars – Finland
  • Titanic – Finland
  • Silver aircraft  – Netherlands
  • Monte Carlo Rally – Norway

For Atlas to be profitable they must have to sell thousands of each casting, a level out of the reach of most model ranges .sold through conventional retail outlets. When you remember that they are actually just part of the DeAgostini group  who are also having models made in large numbers it becomes clear that the subscription and part works vendors must now be responsible for a very large proportion of the diecast models from China.

Their influence spreads even wider as they do not have an exclusive right to the moulds of the models they sell so the Chinese producers now sell the same models for use in model ranges like White Box which are the same models made in short runs for European distributors.

I sometimes wonder what the impact would be if these direct marketers experienced a fall in the sales of transport models. We have recently seen the German Dinky and DDR Military vehicle ranges close “early” and despite test marketing over a year ago the opening parts Dinky range has still yet to launch in the UK. Is this a sign that the market for such models is slowing down? If the direct marketers think so they will launch more series catering to other interests and fewer vehicles which may have a direct impact of the profitability of Chinese diecast producers which could in turn lead to higher costs as they shed capacity.

What do you think? It would be interesting to find out what readers think about the future direction of mass market diecast models.


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Atlas Jaguar Collection – Jaguar Mk II, Jaguar E Type, and XK140

By Maz Woolley

This article was originally written for the first MAR Online site in June 2015. It is one of the items which we have collected from the old site before it is eventually turned off. It has been adapted to the new site. 

The first three issues in the Atlas Jaguar collection have now reached subscribers. All the models issued so far have already appeared in other partworks and it is questionable whether these models are worth the price Atlas are charging for them. The rather low prices that they are reaching on eBay tends to suggest that collectors are not overly excited by them.

#1 Jaguar Mark II

This model appears to be based on the elderly Corgi Classics model as was the Police car in the Atlas Police series.

It has the same shortcomings such as an over large leaper and poor wheels.

Finished in red so that they can hint at a Morse connection without actually licensing it as a replica of the car used in the Television series.


#2 Jaguar E Type

Close inspection shows this to be identical, other than the colour, with the model used in the Atlas Sports Car collection.

A rather better model in this case made by Ixo.


#3 Jaguar XK140

Another casting seen before in DeAgostini sports car range to a lower standard of detail and widely available through secondary sellers for a much lower price.

Again Ixo are believed to be the source for this model and the model supplied to Atlas has good paint work and nice detailing though whether this seems enough to justify the Atlas price is debatable.


It is to be hoped that some of the more attractive models included in the publicity for the range arrive shortly. I suspect that many initial subscribers will fall away unless the collection starts to offer better value for money soon.


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Atlas Jaguar Collection – D Type, SS1, Mark VII, C Type

By Maz Woolley

This article was originally written for the first MAR Online site in September 2015. It is one of the items which we have collected from the old site before it is eventually turned off. It has been adapted to the new site. 

Jaguar D Type

I think that this has been sourced from PCT and has already appeared in several part work ranges. Here it has been finished to quite a high level of detail. It is a 1957 car finished in Ecurie Ecosse team colours and I believe that it is intended to replicate the winner at Le Mans that year driven by Ron Flockhart and Ivor Beub which did carry the #3 racing number and the 376 SG license plate.

It is a nicely finished model with nicely printed detailing. Whilst it lacks some of the finer detail that would be had on a resin model it is much more robust and would look well on a model of the Ecurie Ecosse car transporter.


 

SS1 Airline

Another model from PCT that has featured in many part work ranges and as an Ixo already.

It even featured in their horrid chrome effect range. It is nicely finished version though it arrived rattling and had to be taken apart to refit a seat.

Finished here in bright red it features quite a high standard of detailing.


Jaguar Mark VII 1956

This casting appears to be from Ixo who have already made this model in a number of guises from racing car to sophisticated saloon in a lovely champagne finish with white wall tyres.

Here Atlas have had it made in an attractive two tone finish and it is a nice model if not as good in some respects as the Mark VII made by Oxford Diecast.


Jaguar C Type 1951

This model is very similar to the Ixo casting used for their 1951 Le Mans winner. Here is as MDU 212 which is said to be the first C Type fitted with disk brakes. It has been restored and is often seen at classic races in its unusual mid-green colour.

This car was a winner Reims Grand Prix in 1951 and in 1951 it won at Boreham and Turnberry and finished second at Goodwood.

The model has nice wire wheels, though sadly no disc brakes visible behind them. That is too much to expect of a budget model, as is a separate exhaust system rather than a moulded in one. The fly screens are neatly done as is the lovely grille with the light positioned behind it. The interior has a printed dashboard rather than just moulded one and the front lights are lovely with covers over lights underneath.

If I have a criticism it is that the leather bonnet straps have been printed rather heavy-handedly.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Atlas Jaguar Collection – XJR-9

By Maz Woolley

 

This article was originally written for the first MAR Online site in December 2015. It is one of the items which we have collected from the old site before it is eventually turned off. It has been adapted to the new site. 

Jaguar XJR-9

This appears to have been made for Atlas by Ixo and is very similar to a model previously available from Ixo under their own brand.

A nicely printed model with lots of sponsors details including tobacco brand details which are sadly often left unprinted due to concerns over infringing tobacco advertising rules.

The fine details are well done with the front lights being particularly finely made and the wheels and tyres being excellent.

The rear wing and diffusers are nicely realised. This is a model worthy of inclusion in this series.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Atlas Jaguar Collection – XJ6 Saloon

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest model in the Atlas Jaguar collection has just been issued. Again a model to 1:43 scale diecast by Ixo for Atlas in China.

The Series I XJ6 was the culmination of years of steady development of Jaguar cars and when it was launched the motor press was full of articles claiming that this was the best car in the world with its excellent ride, handling and performance. It was available at the launch with 2.8 and 4.2 Litre engines and of the nearly 80,000 sold only about a quarter were fitted with the 2.8. The 4.2 was capable of 120 MPH and of cruising comfortably at over 100.

Atlas has decided to have this model made in pale primrose with a black interior which was one of the colour schemes available in the UK.  Unusually they have chosen to model the car with a vinyl roof and fabric sunroof which is a  genuine set of options. The primrose yellow paint is well applied. Yellow is normally a very difficult paint to apply but it is not too heavily sprayed and the panel gaps are clear  without too much thinning at the edges.

The Corgi Vanguards model of the XJ6 is one of Corgi’s better ones and sets the standard which this Atlas needs to be judged against. Like the Corgi the Atlas has captured the shape well.  Like Corgi door handles are moulded in and picked out by printing and both have separate mirrors fitted into the door. The wipers fitted to the Atlas are overscale plastic ones unlike the Vanguards which has underscale photo-etch ones so neither are as good as they could be.

The Atlas wheels are different to the Vanguards’ but both styles can be seen on cars pictured on the web. The Atlas wheel finish is a little “plasticky” and the fuel caps are a strange shape and not as clearly defined as the Vanguards model.  Unlike the Vanguards the Atlas model has a printed side trim line, but I believe that this should be a fine black coachline and not a wider silver one. Overall grille and lights are all very acceptable on the Atlas but are slightly finer on the Vanguards model.  The side window chrome on the Atlas is well replicated by printing on plastic flush fitting windows which are moulded in sections and tightly fitted into the casting. Atlas interior has a nice wooden effect dash with instruments printed on but there is no wood effect door cappings leaving it in yellow metal colour which is wrong. The Atlas has  heating element in the rear window and the optional sunroof.  Overall I think that the Vanguards model is slightly better that the Atlas but it is nice to have both.


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Atlas Jaguar Collection – Jaguar S Type

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest issue from Atlas in this collection is the original S Type which was launched in 1963 and produced until 1968. It had the front end from the Mark II Jaguar but a larger boot modelled along the lines of the Mark X and a new rear axle modelled along the lines of the Mark X axle too. Originally intended to replace the Mark II it actually sold alongside it as the Mark II lived on. It was replaced by the 420 with a restyled front end.  It was available fitted with either 3.4 or 3.8 litre engines.

The S Type was one of the best Spot On models made when the car was sold. Recently Neo have produced a nice resin model of this car. But this Ixo made diecast is a nice addition to the options for Jaguar Collectors and I expect that Ixo will make it available in another range at a later date.

The model captures the shape of the car very well. I am particularly impressed with the flush fitted side windows with all the chrome work replicated really well. No complex photo etched parts just neatly printed lines and flush fitting nicely too.

Small fitted parts like the wing mirrors, windscreen wipers, aerial and leaper are all neatly realised. The lights and grill at the front are good although the large amber indicators are not fitted quite straight on either side.

The wheels have accurate body coloured steel centres with a chrome rim embellisher and hub caps. The green section is a little plastic looking but acceptable for a budget model. It would be nice to have the Jaguar symbol printed on the centre of the hub caps but its absence is only a minor loss.

To the rear the “JAGUAR 3.8 S” badging is nicely printed and the number plate surround well made. The rear lights are nice separate parts but are not fitted quite straight on one side.

Inside the seats, flooring, and door cards are pale blue. The door cappings and dashboard are wood coloured and the instrument panel and dials are printed too.

All in all a rather good budget model of a car that fits into the collection well.


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Atlas Jaguar Collection – Jaguar XK120 FHC

By Maz Woolley

 

It would appear from comments on the Atlas website that 31 models are planned in this series which is a curious number, but which probably reflects the number of Jaguar castings available from PCT Industries owner of Ixo. With this model came a flier for the DeAgostini Mercedes Benz Collection which underlines the gradual convergence between the brands owned by DeAgostini which includes Atlas Editions. Maybe they hope that as the Jaguar collection ends people will switch to the Mercedes Collection?

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The latest model in the collection is a Jaguar XK120 Fixed Head Coupe. The XK120 FHC is a very beautiful car, perhaps the purest shape Jaguar made in this series of cars. The FHC was introduced in 1951 three years after the XK120 roadster was launched and it was superseded by the XK140 in 1954.

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In 1952 a FHC ran for seven days and seven nights at Montlhéry at an average speed of just over 100mph. The appeal of the FHC to the buyer would have been the more civilised noise levels, the prospect of warmer winter motoring and the addition of wind-up windows and wood veneers on the dashboard and interior door caps.

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The model is finished in a metallic silver grey colour which shows off the curvaceous lines of the car well. The standard wheels are also nicely reproduced as is the original narrow grille.  The interior has wood coloured dashboard and printed instruments. A reasonable red leather effect for seats and door cars is set off by a gear lever and handbrake in black. The flush glazing used with the chrome surrounds printed onto raised mouldings is extremely effective and substantially less fragile than the application of photo-etched parts to form the frames which is seen on resin models.

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Whilst a good model there are a number of issues with the model, most notably with Quality Control. As the picture below shows the model came out of the packaging with a rear over-rider missing. Minor quibbles are that the final clear coat reflects unevenly under some lights and there is a small mark on the bonnet of the car. I am not a fan of the unauthentic number plate at the rear either which only highlights the lack of a front number plate!

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As the model is faulty I have contacted Atlas to get a replacement sent to me. I would like to make some observations on Atlas billing and customer service. This has deteriorated considerably over the last year. Phone calls have recently taken around 30 minutes to connect to an agent and they are failing to respond to emails within the target of two days. In fact they are failing to respond to some emails at all. They were featured on the BBC Watchdog television programme recently with complaints about poor customer service and billing. I think that Atlas needs to make a significant investment in improving its fulfilment activities or they will be in danger of gaining a reputation which will  deter people from subscribing to their collections. Have other readers had similar issues with subscription and partworks suppliers?


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