Category Archives: Atlas

Atlas British Touring Cars – Triumph Dolomite Sprint

By Maz Woolley

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

It would seem that whilst Atlas has been passing models that form part of the current British Touring Car Championship series to wholesalers on the continent as they are now appearing in at least one retailers publicity material and are now appearing quite widely on eBay. This suggests that the series has not been as popular as Atlas hoped. Atlas has yet again been quite “Loose” in its range description as many of the cars featured won the British Saloon Car Championship which preceded the Touring Car Championship.

This article looks at one of the models from this series Triumph Dolomite Sprint driven by Andy Rouse to win the championship in 1975.  The car came first equal in the manufacturers table with the Chevrolet Camaro.

The Atlas model is is interesting with quite a fine casting and quite a lot of separate parts and extensive printing. At the front the headlight rims could perhaps be a little narrower but all the lights are there and tape replicated on the headlights. When the photograph is enlarged the badging shows fine detail.

The sides are covered in the promotional material that seems to replicate the car as raced well. The complicated multiple coach lines are also well printed.  The side windows are excellent, the fit flush and are plastic inserts used with the door frames printed on. Comparing this model to the Corgi Vanguards model in my collection this casting is not a re-cycled Corgi. It is newer and rather more delicate. Indeed Corgi did model the same car as VA5303 and this Atlas model seems to be a step up in a number of areas.

The wheels are modelled well  capturing the alloy wheels becoming popular at the time.

The rear of the car is again pretty good with the lights moulded in plastic and coloured to match the lenses used. The badging is again excellent.

Inside the car the interior is stripped out to the rear and fitted with a neatly moulded roll cage. The steering wheel and dashboard are neatly moulded but no detailing has been added.

The only fault that I can see is the trailing edge of the roof where the casting is rough and looks almost as if it has been filed off.


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Atlas Germany – Ambulance Collection Part Five

By Hans-Georg  Schmitt

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Here are the latest three issues in the Ambulance series from Atlas Editions Germany. These are diecast to 1:43 scale in China for Atlas.

7 495 009  Citroen CX Heuliez Ambulance

The new Citroën CX saloon was introduced in October 1974, and the estate followed in September 1975. Heuliez developed an ambulance based upon the CX , which became very common in France. The CX was built up to 1990, and its successor was the XM.

The miniature is an accurate shape and the decorations are authentic. The front doors have the blue “Star of Life” used in France printed. This shows that the ambulance the model is based upon is a rescue vehicle. A number of parts are moulded and inserted such as the air vents, beacon, aerial and lights. The baseplate has only limited detail moulded in.

7 495 010  Simca Marly

When the Ford Motor Company left France, Simca took over the plant in Poissy near Paris and launched the new Vedette with pontoon body, but with an old fashioned V8 engine. Besides the saloon, an estate was also manufactured, named “Marly”. Its body had a long wheelbase and was therefore suitable for use as an ambulance car. Most of them were used as “Ambulance Municipale” , i.e. for the local transport of patients in a stable condition.

The model is authentic in shape and has excellently printed livery. Lots of small separate parts are used to make it a well detailed replica. Again the baseplate has minimal detail moulded in.

7 495 011  RAF 2203 Latvija

When the RAF company (Rigas Autobusu Fabrika) was founded in 1949, Latvia and their capital Riga belonged still to the Soviet Union. In 1976, production of the 2203 started in the plant. One version was an ambulance, which was upgraded by Tamro in Helsinki, Finland, into an RTW, emergency doctor´s car, in small numbers.

Tamro added a high roof, so that the emergency team could stand upright to work on the patient(s). The vehicle was fully equipped to allow the treatment of heavily injured patients. It formed a rolling intensive care unit. The model is authentic in shape and markings. Lots of small separate parts are used for all the lights, spotlights, light bars and so on.


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A pair of Atlas Imps

By Maz Woolley

Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Atlas Editions often source different series from different contractors. Here we have two Imps which are clearly from different sources.  One is obviously derived from the Vanguards model as it still has Lledo engraved on the base. The other when looked at carefully has many features which differ from the Vanguards model.

Atlas Best of British Police Cars – Hillman Imp

Lledo and Corgi have made several versions of Imp Police cars: the Dumbarton twin set, a Renfrew and Bute car, and also a car in a  set with a Triumph Herald.

Here Atlas have modelled a Kent car though the picture below shows that they have not matched it completely.  In particular the spotlights should be closer to the main lights and there should be no over riders on the bumpers and the number plate should be moved up to the front panel.

Image result for XKN 618J

The wheels are the same as the original Lledo and could do with being updated as they are a little clumsy by today’s standards. They could also do with white paint on the wheel to match the original car.

Atlas quality control is erratic and this is manifest in the roof box being slightly crooked.

In addition as the picture above shows tho old casting holes for the wipers are much too large for the photo etch wipers fitted for Atlas.

Overall this is a pleasant if not entirely accurate model. The Author wishes that someone had modelled a Coventry Police Force Panda car as they were significant Imp users.

Atlas British Touring Car Champions – Sunbeam Imp

Bill McGovern won the BTCC in 1972 in an Imp prepared by George Bevan shown below chasing a Ford Escort Mark One.

Bill McGovern, Bevan Imp 1972

Bill McGovern at the 1972 British GP meeting
source: David Lawson @ forums.autosport.com,

This casting is significantly different to the one used from the Police Car with a plastic base and not a metal one. If it is compared to the Vanguards Super Imp it is clear that the heavily flared wheel arches and loss of overiders and number plate holder are not the only difference. The bonnet line lacks the clear indentation separating bonnet from body on the Vanguards model and the lights are plastic and not “diamonds”. The front panel with the Sunbeam Logo is simulated by printing. When the photograph is enlarged the Sunbeam script on red plate is perfectly clear.

As the views above show the windows are flush fit and have chrome surround trim printed on them front and rear. The front widow vent is printed on rather than being part of the casting as it was on the Lledo. . The B Pillar is much finer on the BTCC car too. Inside the roll cage and racing seat are well modelled. The alloy wheels with wide racing tyres have been very nicely made. The tampo printed advertising and racing numbers are very impressive.

At the rear the extra vents on the bonnet are modelled and painted matt black. Lights have been painted on and would have benefited from being printed in translucent colours over silver.

The picture above shows both the excellent flush fit windscreen and the neat plastic wipers used. Atlas would have been better using these wiper mouldings on the ex-Vanguards shell of the Police Imp to fill the large holes.

This is a rather more accurate model than the Panda Car and well done for a budget model.


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Tin Tin Triumph Herald

By Maz Woolley

All photographs of the model by, and copyright of, the Author. Pictures from The Black Island copyright of Hergé and his publishers.

The Atlas models of vehicles from Tin Tin books are attractively modelled and in many cases are around 1:43 scale. They are diecast in China for Atlas.  Comic books like Tin Tin are regarded highly on the Continent and there is even a museum devoted to Comic Book figures in Brussels.

Here we have a Triumph Herald Convertible from around 1960 towing a caravan in the book L’Île Noire [Black Island].  Tin Tin asks a couple to help him chase the bandits and they tell him to get in the caravan a curious act as the Herald is a four seater!

They then rush off at speed up a slope a Herald could never climb even without a caravan.

The Atlas model is finished in the usual matt finish used for this series making it look like it has been plucked from a cartoon. I find this finish quite attractive especially when combined with the well modelled occupants.

The sculptors of these models have spent a considerable time getting the models right as well as matched to the cartoon. With a few tweeks here and there Atlas could produce this as a standard Herald convertible something we are still waiting for in mainstream diecast form as Corgi made the later 13/60 convertible but not an earlier one.

As ever my model was supplied by an eBay seller from China as we have never had these models sold by Atlas officially in the UK.


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