Category Archives: Greenlight

Going on Vacation with Greenlight

By Maz Woolley

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

Greenlight have expanded very quickly. US headquartered with all production in China they span multiple scales from 1:18 to 1:64 with a number of themed ranges. Much of their output is licensed products to tie-in with TV or Films but others are more general themes like ‘Blue Collar‘, Club V-Dub, Hitch and Tow, and Holiday Homes. Greenlight are now pushing to sell more products around the world with a strong presence at the Nuremberg Toyfair, their stand at the Nuremberg Toyfair this year is shown below.

Provided by Greenlight on Facebook

This article takes a look at a couple more new castings in the Hitched Homes range, and a new Volkswagen and teardrop trailer in the Hitch and Tow range.

1959 Holiday House 1:64

Holiday House trailer production started in 1959 in Oregon and was based on the standard US practice of aluminium panels fitted to a wooden frame. But although the build was conventional the appearance was space-age and very different to the other US trailers. By February 1960 production was in full swing. Though stylish and well made Holiday Homes were more expensive than most competitors and by 1962 production ceased.

Today the Holiday House styling has many followers and they are often re-built to preserve them as there is a strong classic trailer following in the US.

The Greenlight model shown is from the Hitched Homes Series 4 and is in the usual format with no interior or opening parts. Given the very detailed modelling and tampo printing the lack of an interior is not a major issue.

The trailer is in aluminium and white with a red accent line. In series five it turns up in aluminium and pink , and in series six it is the same as in series four but with a blue accent. Greenlight make sure every casting gets many re-colours.

The wheels are good as is the rear bumper which is a separate plastic part. The usual hitch arrangement is on the front with same gas bottles as well as the screw fitting you fit yourself to hold up the caravan when it is not hitched. As is now the usual case the screw is in a slot in the bubble pack and you have to fit it yourself.

The casting has lots of good surface mouldings to represent lights, extractors, utility panels and other features. All of this is complemented with neat printing. The door looks like it should open, but it doesn’t.


1971 Airstream Land Yacht Safari

Airstream Caravans are an iconic US brand. The polished aluminium streamlined shape dates back to the 1930s when the first were based on designs created by Hawley Bowlus, who had earlier overseen construction of Charles Lindbergh’s aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis. Construction again followed the aluminium panel on a wooden frame format common in the US. A few models have been specially made for Europe where they have to be made much smaller to fit our narrower roads.

There is another aircraft connection as Airstream travel trailers are apparently commonly used to transport American officials around the world. The trailers are strapped down inside military cargo planes. The trailers feature leather seats, air conditioning and climate control, wood panelling, porcelain toilet, LED televisions, surround sound, and Blu-ray players.

Airstream travel trailers have many followers and for those who cannot afford a new one there is a thriving business in renovating older trailers and putting them back into service. The Land Yacht Safari modelled was the development of a model which had been around from at least the late 1950s.

The model is lower, and wider, than the Holiday House but longer. The shape is classic Americana like the Zippo lighter. Greenlight have caught the shape well and the separately fitted detailed extractors, the moulded access panels, riveting and other features are neat. The printed on lighting is good too . Tiny Land Yacht scripts appear on the side and the larger Airstream on the front and rear.

The rear bumper is an extension of the metal base plate and the hitch unit at the front extends for the front of this plate. Again the customer is left to fit the screw in the hitch unit. The Airstream Land Yacht features again in Hitched Homes series five where it is finished as an unrestored trailer.

My only quibble, and one quite easily fixed with a tub of enamel paint, is that the gas tanks are white. On the examples I have seen they are polished metal like the trailer itself. Looking at the base the pressures of turning out the product are obvious as one of the spun over rivets is scarcely there and part of the base is cut away where the device doing the spinning over clearly slipped. But as this is not seen I am not too concerned by it.


1961 Volkswagen Type 3 Squareback and Teardrop Trailer.

The Typ 3 Volkswagen saloon car arrived in 1961 with a 1500cc engine in the rear and was supposed to replace the Beetle. IN 1962 the Variant was launched. It later gained a 1600cc engine and a fast back TL version .

It seems that Greenlight may have mislabelled the model as a 1961 car as production in Europe only started in 1962 and Wikipedia suggests that the US did not start importing the Squareback until 1966. We know the model as the Variant in europe but in US it was called a Squareback and never used Variant Badging.

The car is well modelled with a large plastic roof rack with simulated wooden slats. Most glazing is flush with door windows open on bothe passnger and drivers sides. The interior is moulded black plastic with quite a bit of moulded in detail on the dashboard and door cards.

The wheels have neat domed caps with VW logo embedded but erratic silver finishing. Good fine plated bumpers are fitted and there are nicely printed rear lights with coloured paint over silver. An opening rear door is not too badly fitted and shows how much carrying space these cars had even with a rear mounted engine..

A ice number plate is printed on the rear with a lot of Volkswagen badging but the number plate is missing from the front where the clear plastic headlight lenses do not stand out and need some silver trim on side to look the part. The moulded and printed amber indicators are good as is the VW badge printed on the bonnet.sidelights

The teardrop trailer included in the set is new and has yet to appear in the Hitched Homes series perhaps because it is so small that it would seem poor value on its own. It first appeared in this set in Hitch and Tow series 14, and appears again towed by a Jeep CJ-5 in series 16 though with differently painted sides in green and white.

This type of trailer was often made by home builders and from kits in the past and there are many different types still available today. Basically it is a mix of plywood sides and aluminium panels on a steel chassis. The more deluxe models like this have a rear opening door which gives access to a storage space, or in this case storage a fitted ‘grille’. Inside the trailer is a flat floor with bedding entirely filling the space. Basically a tent you didn’t need to erect at each stop!

The Greenlight trailer has wood effect printed sides with an alloy effect roof and rear door panel. The lower section looks like painted wood panels and the wings and chassis are a single part metal unit.

Doors and windows are just printed on and the standard hitch screw fiiting seems huge on this model. The hub caps on the trailer have VW embossed on their centre.


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Breaking Bad Chevy

By Maz Woolley

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

Greenlight have a large number of TV and Film related vehicles in their ranges in scales from 1:18 to 1:64.  A few also make it into 1:43 scale like the licensed vehicles from the Fast and Furious franchise. Here we look at the 1982 Chevrolet Monte Carlo which is Jesse Pinkman’s car in the TV series Breaking Bad which was a phenomenal success a few years ago. This has been released in 1:64 scale previously when the mobile home from the series was also released. Later it was released as a 1:43 scale model diecast in China. In some cases Greenlight then go on to release a standard car using the same casting as they have with the Lincoln Continental amongst others. but haven’t done so with this one yet.

The 1982 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was the second year of the fourth generation of this car which is a two door coupe based on the same chassis as the Buick Regal, Pontiac Grand Prix and the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. In 1982 the Monte Carlo was not at its best, the turbo had been withdrawn and two diesels introduced. Interior options no longer included a bucket seat sports pack. The car was losing its previous muscle car image.

Later the car became popular with customisers as it was cheap and mechanically simple with a front engine and rear wheel drive unlike the GM cars that followed it which introduced the FWD engine/drive units in the Monte Carlo and its ‘siblings’.  In Breaking Bad the car is customised as a low rider but the model doesn’t really reflect this although the wheels are spaced out further than standard.

The Greenlight model is about the same standard as the models made by Universal Hobbies for the James Bond Partwork. Interestingly the Greenlight details on the base are all printed on but ‘1/43 made in china’ is moulded in. This suggests to me that the car will be available to other brands as a standard model later.

The wide track is achieved by fitting spacers in between the wheel and the base which again suggests that the car will be made later with a standard track width.  The wheels are a reasonable match to the car in the TV series but the whitewall is an entirely different place from that on the TV car.

Whilst many of the details are good. The grille is nice, as are headlights and the emblem on the bonnet. However the inserted rear window has a slightly crude surround and the plating is inconsistent and does not colour match the printed chrome round the front door and screen.

The rear lights are nicely made inserted parts with the chrome rims and the motif on the lights well done. The wipers are fine plastic items which look much more convincing than thin one dimensional  PE items fitted to many resin models.

The quality of the paint finish is excellent and the number plates are as used in the programme. The door mounted mirrors are nicely made and even have reflective ‘glass’ fitted.

Looking inside the car there is a lot of moulded details but apart from the steering mounted gear lever in silver it is all in black. Interestingly the back window and rear side windows are privacy glass but pictures of the TV car show them as clear glass.

Models of American cars of the 1980’s are not that common so even though GM sold only just over 90,000 of the 1982 Monte Carlo it is a welcome addition to the shelf.


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Greenlight accessing new markets

By Maz Woolley

Text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise attributed.

To continue to grow firms producing diecast models need to extend their market to a wider group than existing collectors. To do this they not only need to create models that appeal to a wider audience they also need reach that audience who doesn’t read the diecast press or visit toyfairs. Greenlight has been working hard to produce models appealing to custom car, TV and Film fans as well as general model collectors. In addition specials have been made for Walmart and Hobbystores to access the general market. The latest tie-in deal that I have come across is with Lootcrate. Lootcrate is a US based venture which allows people to subscribe a monthly amount and to receive a box of “goodies” on the theme of their choice.   It styles itself as “fan commerce” and you can subscribe to various popular culture and gaming themes. This posting shows two Greenlight 1:64 models which have been produced to tie into the Movie theme with a simple card window box with movie theme printing and a large Lootcrate exclusive panel and smaller Greenlight Hollywood  logos. These models are very similar to models which have already been released in Greenlight’s own Hollywood series.

“Gone in 60 Seconds” “Eleanor” 1967 Ford Mustang

This car is from the Disney re-make of this film starring Nicolas Cage which used this customised 1967 Mustang rather than the 1971 Mustang that featured in the original cult film

A neat casting with rather nice wheels even they are somewhat simpler than pictures of the film car but they do have lovely rubber tyres of a reasonable width fitted. All the extra lights are moulded into the front with some picked out in white. The rear lights are very well captured. Badging is tampo printed as are the “go faster stripes”.  The opening bonnet reveals a simple moulding of a V8 engine.

“Supernatural – Join the Hunt” 1967 Chevrolet Impala Sport Sedan

Supernatural is a TV series featuring two brothers who hunt demons, ghosts, monsters, and other supernatural beings. The 1967 Chevy is their means of transport.

Again  a good basic 1:64 casting of a 1967 Chevrolet with all lights printed with colour highlights and trim printed in silver.  The interior is basic but the dashboard and door cards are in tan whilst the seating is in black.  The only criticism I have is off the wheels where we have Johnny Lightning style hugely over wide tyres fitted which is a bit of a letdown for a good model.

I hope that some of the Lootcrate subscribers decide to buy other Greenlight Hollywood models for their collections and get  drawn into the world of model collecting.


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A Greenlight Grumman

By Maz Woolley

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

Postal services round the world often use distinctive vehicles built specially, or mainly for them. The Volkswagen Fridolin and the Bedford HA van are examples of this. This article looks at a uniquely North American vehicle the Grumman Long Life Vehicle (LLV) produced mainly for the United States Postal Services (USPS) and to a much smaller extent for Canada Post.

 

The Grumman LLV is designed for a long operating life and is based on an 1982 Chevrolet Blazer chassis and has engine and other parts from the GM range. The last van made was in 1994 by which time the USPS had 140,000 of these vehicles in service. One peculiarity of the design is that like the Jeep DJ-5 it replaced it has right hand drive in order to allow the postal workers to get in and out at the kerb saving time on every drop and pickup.  The USPS is about to embark replacing these vehicles and manufacturers have submitted designs in a competition to supply the next generation of vans.

The Greenlight model shown is metal diecast to 1:64 scale in China for the US. and is supplied in a bubble pack with full USPS livery markings and some facts about US Postal Services on the rear including a claim that USPS processes and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.

The model is good with the large number of external mirrors all added as small separate parts, windscreen wipers are moulded in much more deeply than usual and then black printed. The front lights are inserted plastic lenses and the grille a plastic moulded insert that looks a bit crude but looking at the real vehicle the model looks much smoother because there has been no attempt to replicate the huge number of rivets used to hold the panels and lights in place.

One unusual feature is that there are no licence plates as postal vehicles do not need them, they just need a service number which is painted front and rear. The model has an opening rear door which folds out giving a view of the internal arrangements with quite a lot of effort being made to show key internal walls and an internal work surface next to the drivers seat.  Instrument panel, steering wheel and drivers seat are all in black plastic to contrast with all the other white internal fitments.

The USPS livery is very well printed and the rear lights, front indicators, and side light fittings are all printed on. The wheels are suitably utilitarian with the wheels a nice slightly shiny black and tyres a nice matt black. The narrower front track has been correctly modelled and the chassis has some moulded in details showing chassis frame, drive and exhaust.

It is a nice touch from Greenlight to have a moulded USPS mailbox included with the model.  All in all a rather good budget model of an unique vehicle.


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Two 1950’s Cadillacs in Photos

By  Mike DeTorrice

1955 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60

This is the 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60 sedan, as done by Greenlight, in the 1/43 “Elvis” series of vehicles.  All snaps are taken in the suburbs of Chicago.

It’s really well done and certainly is a bargain at generally less than US$20.

This is the blue version, and a pink one is available as well.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado

This is a beautiful 1/43 Solido ’57 Cadillac that I got a great deal on at the Countryside show.  The snaps of the ’57 start in the suburbs of Chicago again, but after a long road trip, we ended up in San Diego!

These were made in both Seville and Biarritz forms.


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Readers Letter – Greenlight Window fixings

Greenlight Window Fixings

What is your verdict on the way Greenlight has attempted to engineer flush side windows on the 1939 Chevrolet vans?

I don’t care for the engineering solution. Flush glazing yes, but not at the cost of overall appearance. Thinner wall castings getting windows closer to where they should be like Matchbox did some 55 years ago is still better in my mind!

Robin Godwin
Canada
via eMail

Editor: I didn’t mention this in the article on these models, to be found here, as I only looked closely at it when Robin drew it to my attention. But he is right the fixing is extremely clumsy and when the model is in a light colour it is also very obvious as shown in photographs below where arrows point to new fixings intruding visually. The flush fittings being increasingly used by PCT/Sonic and Oxford with the side glazing being fitted into side from inside with all frames printed on is vastly superior. Or as Robin says if the casting is fine enough then the gap is scarcely noticeable anyway. I hope GL find a better solution for future castings. What do you think?


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Greenlight 1939 Chevrolet Panel Van

By Maz Woolley

Text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. 

Greenlight have released the Chevrolet Panel van from 1939 in 1:24 and 1:64 scale across a number of their ranges all with attractive liveries. Like Models of Yesteryear there is no discernible differences between them other than their liveries. In 1:24 there are some opening parts but there are none in 1:64 scale which improves accuracy even if it reduces play value. The models are diecast in China for the USA.

In 1:64 scale there are liveries for Goodyear Tyres and Shell Petrol in series four of  “Running on Empty“.  In the “Blue Collar Collection” series three they sell Chevrolet Parts and Krispy Kreme liveried vehicles, there is a picture on the web of a Krispy Kreme van looking very like a 1939 Chevy but in a different livery to the one used by Greenlight. Like all Greenlight 1:64 scale models these are more expensive than Mattel Hot Wheels but cheaper than Auto World or M2.

The 1939 Chevrolet Panel Van was a functional vehicle with a car like look and was replaced in 1941 by a van with a waterfall front end only seen on vans. This van, new for 1939, was sold under the strap lines “The Nation’s Largest Builder of Trucks” and  “Quality Makes Volume – Volume Makes Price”.

Chevrolet Parts Model 1:64 Blue Collar Series release 3

The van has a good shape and captures most of the features of the original quite well though the way the lights are inset in silver blocks to the side of the radiator is an inelegant solution. The Tampo printing of the areas of blue is not as thick as it might be and there are small gaps in the paint here and there betraying the fact that these are made to a strict budget. On the plus side the livery is nicely printed and seems to match printed material of the time.

The light lenses being picked out in white is a nice touch and the grille is good enough though some black wash would be nice. Number plates are printed. The windshield is a bit of a let down. All the glazing is flush but the printed chrome surround at the base of the window is much too high and large.

The wheels and tyres are well modelled though the tyres seem slightly too wide and square shouldered for the period.

To the rear the curved panels are very evident and the rear light, number plate and livery is all well done. The rear door handle is picked out, though the photograph doesn’t show it. Sadly the paint splits at all the panel lines on the vehicle, again showing that these are painted quickly and with minimal materials in the factory to meet the selling price.

Goodyear Model 1:64 Running on Empty Series release 4

Great colours reflect the corporate colours of the period. Sadly the blue overspray does not wrap round wheel arches underneath and there are a few dots of yellow where the blue paint has not covered the yellow.

The blue wheels are neatly painted and show off the contrast with the hub cap well though they are a bit shiny for a working van.

From the front all my comments about the Chevrolet liveried van apply but here the front bumper, which is straight and level on the parts model shown above, is bent like a banana which shows that QC is not very strict.

The front windscreen differs as well. Here there is no chrome print at the base and the window looks all the better for it. Sometimes less is best.

Finally to the rear the finish is as good as the Parts van and the yellow has split less round panel lines too. One other difference between the vans is the silver coach line which is nicely printed along the side of the Goodyear liveried van.

I am sure that we will see many more of these vans in different liveries. Some like the Texaco one that I am sure will come, they already do it in 1:24, I will welcome. Whilst others will inevitably be printed in pretty but inaccurate liveries which I will not .


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Ford Transit Connect Conversion

By John Quilter

Photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author except for one clearly marked publicity Photograph from Greenlight.

In the last few years Ford has completely revamped its commercial vehicle range moving away from the long running Econoline  in the USA and adopting the international design vans and mini buses,  a more European type range of commercial vehicles.  These compete with the Mercedes Benz Metris, and Dodge Ram Promaster City, Chevrolet City Express offerings as well as some from Nissan such as the NV200.    There are two basic Ford models  but lots of variations.  The smaller of the two current offerings is a Transit Connect and the larger,  just known as a Transit.    In the USA the Connect is actually the second generation of this vehicle, the first being smaller still and imported from Ford’s Turkey operation.    The second generation was launched in 2012 and sold in the US from 2014.   It is produced in both Turkey and Valencia Spain.   It comes in two lengths,  174 inches or 190 inches.    The passenger version is known as the Titanium edition with side windows and additions rows of seats,  two behind the driving compartment on the shorter version.

 

Greenlight Collectibles, who do a number of 1:43 scale replicas of modern vehicles, produce a white Transit Connect van with a black interior.  These are quite accurate diecast models probably used by Ford as promos since they replicate current production Ford products.   The Connect measure 4.37 inches which is virtually dead on accurate 1:43 scale for the longer version.  Greenlights are good value for money so for an inveterate modifier such as myself, they make great donor models to create something a bit different and not currently in an model range.  Therefore I set about making one of the cargo versions into a passenger van known as the Titanium edition which features  more features and fancier interiors.

To do this required disassembly, quite easy with two Philips screws holding the plastic base plate in place.  Grinding off the spun pegs  releases the fascia unit and this gives access to the front side windows which also need to be removed and set aside for protection.   Then comes the harder work.   After covering most of the model with masking tape for protection, drill a number of small holes in the inset areas of the side panels.   A Google search for photos of the real vehicle, often internet advertising websites, will give good views of the shape of the windows and in many cases the design of the rear rows of seats plus representative colours.    Many of the Titanium editions will be in various colours but in order to preserve the logos and badging and black mouldings I chose to keep my model in the very typical commercial vehicle white.    To open up the windows it will be necessary to drill multiple holes in the body sides.  Be advised this Mazak material is hard stuff, use sharp bits.   Then much filing with various square, triangular, and round files will open up the window areas to the proper shapes.  Once the windows are to the correct shape I cut out of clear 1/16th inch thick clear plastic windows to fit the apertures.   The modern vehicle practice these days is to have a wide black boarder around windows so some flat back paint surround is painted in as well.

For additional rows of seats I scratch made reasonable facsimiles from pieces of styrene plastic shaped and glued together then painted grey and black and fitted to the base plate.   The  on line images I found showed seats in duotone grey and black so these additional details were added to the stock Greenlight front ”captain’s chair”  seats.


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A look at some US 1:64 models

By Maz Woolley

Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

My collection of US 1:64 scale models has grown recently. As these are generally not imported into the UK I have to rely on my collecting buddy to obtain them for me in the US and Canada. All the models shown are from “premium” 1:64 makers and cost considerably more than models from Mattel and Matchbox. In return there is much more detail and some excellent subjects.

All the models shown have been diecast to 1:64 scale in China for the USA.

Greenlight 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood 60

I am told that this model is becoming scarce, particularly in black. It is based upon a car seen briefly in The Godfather a gangster film from 1972.  It is made to 1:64 scale and was sold in a blister pack with a Godfather film theme.

The rear number plate shows the same number as the car in the film, but the front number plate is much too small to match the car in the film whatever is printed.

It was only looking at an advert online for this model that made me realise that the bonnet actually opens. The fit of the bonnet is so fine that one really has to congratulate Greenlight.

The printed chrome is neatly done as is the bonnet mounted emblem and Cadillac scripts.

Looked at from the side one of the models shortcomings becomes apparent. The very slim door posts should all be chromed. The wheels are good with wheel centres correctly printed in red with the Cadillac emblem included.

The base is in unpainted metal and includes quite a bit of engine and powertrain details as well as the ladder chassis.

The front also shows a few issues with the “dagmars” being too large and the black tips not extending back far enough. The Cadillac crest is also printed off centre as shown by its position to the side of the bonnet ornament.

However, this is a budget model and is generally very good so is a nice item to add to my collection. Greenlight also make this model to 1:43 scale.


 

Greenlight Volkswagen Typ2 Camper

Greenlight have produced several different camper configurations on the VW T2 US Bus. Here it is in “Campground Host” trim with the folding high roof and raised luggage area but with no camping fittings inside just seating for about 10 people.

It is another model in their Club V-DUB range which has no opening parts. It is thought that Greenlight uses a different maker for this range of VW models, probably one making VW models for the European market.

The roof is nicely constructed but the windows in the folding part of the roof are just printed on., though quite effective.

Elsewhere the printed grilles, window slats and lighting are very well done. The wheels are particularly nice with the domed hub caps and VW logo impressed in the middle.

Number plates have not been printed on which is a shame as it makes the rear look a little unfinished. But the US regulation lights on the vehicle sides front and rear are printed on.

The logo for the probably fictitious “River Valley Gorge, Camping and Entertainment” is neatly printed.

The only slight let down is the VW emblem on the front which is just printed and lacks the depth it should have.


 

1958 GMC Suburban Carrier 4×4

Here we go to M2 Machines Auto-Trucks range. This model is from Release 36. It is of the upmarket 4×4 version of this truck whereas previous appearances in Series 21 were of the plainer Fleet and Small Window versions.

The rear bed is a separate part allowing different types of rear section to be fitted. In series 21 the bodies were step sides and not  the panelled in version used with this model.

The printed GMC badgework on the bonnet is excellent as is the badging on the side of the wings. The grille and lights are impressive especially as the sidelights are actually a separately made and inserted plastic lens. The wheels are neatly painted with chrome centres and large as would be the case for a 4×4.

M2 models generally have many opening parts and here the bonnet and doors all open. The panel gaps are a bit large but better than many 1:64 models.

From the side view we can see the 4×4’s higher ride height.

As can be seen the rear lights are transluscent red and solid white paint on plastic chromed units. These are effective at this scale.  The complicated rear bumpers have been nicely made and the number plate shows the model year.


M2 1959 VW Double Cab Truck USA Model – Camper.

This special model is not part of a normal Auto-thentics VW release. Using the VW T1 double cab seen in release VW004 it has a camper body mounted on the rear of the chassis and a deluxe two-tone paintwork.

The Camper rear is fitted out inside in brown plastic with tables and cupboards visible. The front bumper has the higher export bumpers needed to comply with US bumper height rules. Unfortunately the front bumper droops a little as can be seen above.

Whilst the rear is a custom build it has incorporated the standard VW engine access panel. The lights are a simple printed circle. The whole rear section has been made in plastic whilst the double cab is in metal.

The rear window has “Industrial Speed Shop” printed on to replicate the type of sticker that might have been fitted to the original vehicle.

The large camper body must have been quite a weight to haul for a Type 1 Transporter which only had a 1200cc engine at this point. Indeed in 1959 the engine was uprated with more power but was so troublesome 1959 Volkswagen T1s in the US were recalled and fitted with modified engines.


 

M2 1959 VW Double Cab Truck USA Model

Making use of the same casting this model is a Walmart special and is a limited edition of over 7,000 models. It has been kept simple and built down to a price as Walmart insist on being able to sell the models for low prices.

The blue colour is that associated with Volkswagen and is neatly painted.

The double cab and pick up bed are separate parts but in this case they are both diecast. Although the drop down panels of the pickup bed are all plastic.

Unlike the Greenlight the M2 Volkswagens have the VW badge moulded into the cab and then overprinted in white. This gives a very realistic finish. The white bumpers are US edition and have rubber strips printed on.

The rear is simple but the drop down panels have been finelly modelled and moulded in plastic. The lights are neat red on silver prints. Looking in the pickup bed one can see that it was designed to be fitted with something and the holes have not even been blanked off – another sign that Walmart model is built down to a price. I expect that this casting will appear with a towing boom, or items fitted into the rear at some point.


These models are just a small cross section of the up-market 1:64 models sold in the US and many more can be seen on the websites of M2 and Greenlight.


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Greenlight – Hitched Homes

By Maz Woolley

The photographs included are by, and copyright of, the Author. Advertising Illustration is copyright of Greenlight.

Over the years many collectors have asked manufacturers to make Caravans (Trailers) to go with their cars and trucks. A few manufacturers have done so with variable results.  In one case a smaller maker of 1:43 models put a lot of effort into making some classic Caravans only to see cheap models of exactly the same subjects flooding out of China in various scales and even being adopted into some German diecast ranges. The suspicion was that the UK made models had been copied and that is unfair on the original maker. At one point a series of resin Caravans was proposed to cover popular UK brands such as Sprite but this did not “take-off”.

The success of the Caravans already issued in the Greenlight Hitch and Tow series like the Shasta Airflyte and Airstream Bambi no doubt encouraged them to make a new series of Caravans without any towing vehicle called Hitched Homes. Greenlight make Caravans in 1:24 but make more in 1:64 scale. Sadly there appears to be no prospect that they will be made in 1:43 scale too. In this article we look at the three caravans on the top row in the Hitched Homes publicity illustration above. All of which are new castings not seen in the Hitch and Tow range so far.

1958 Catolac DeVille Travel Trailer

British Caravaners in the 1950s would have been shocked by the bright colours of this caravan.  UK Caravans were generally painted in subdued colour schemes and awning would have been of green or brown canvas and not like an awning at an Ice Cream parlour.

DeVille trailers were manufactured by Catolac Corporation of California. and they made trailers from 1927 to 1970. The company slogan was “It’s not how many you make, But how well you make them” – That’s the Catolac way”.

 

The model reproduced by Greenlight is was a compact trailer, for the US, with all the usual features though it had no toilet fitted. The woodwork in the interior was of very good quality, birch panelling  whilst the outside was  made from 1 inch thick Mesa Deluxe sheets.

Whilst the windows are all painted on and whilst there is no interior the caravan does have an awning that clips into the main body and a blind for the front window to protect it when travelling and from the sun.  The usual screw is supplied to fit to the front of the trailer to allow it to stand or to be lifted for towing. These are now supplied as a separate part to fit yourself and great care needs to be taken when opening pack as they are  prone to dropping out.


1959 Siesta Travel Trailer

 

No awning supplied with this one and it looks a little plainer with only the red detailing and the fact it has a large fridge in it making it look different to European caravans of a similar age. No fold down flap to cover the front window on this one.

 

Sadly I cannot find any history of the makers of this caravan but from the number of pictures of renovations it must have been a popular one in its day.

1964 Winnebago 216 Travel Trailer

The name Winnebago to the British mind is synonymous with the huge RV vehicles the size of a British Luxury Coach but the company was only formed in 1959 and the first self powered RV was not launched until 1966.

Winnebago is the name of a native American tribe, and Forest City where Winnebago started is in Winnebago County, Iowa. John K Hanson a local funeral home manager liked camping and managed to convince Californian supplier Modernistic Industries, to open a manufacturing facility near the banks of the Winnebago River.  Unfortunately things didn’t prosper and in 1959 when Modernistic’s prospects were slim a group of local businessmen, led by Hanson, bought out the operation. He changed the company name to Winnebago Industries in 1960 and established the manufacture of dedicated components right down to furniture designed and built especially for the trailers. One Winnebago innovation was the “Thermo-Panel,” with insulating foam between an aluminum exterior sheet and inner paneling. It kept weight down and made the vehicle more like a home away from home.

The Greenlight model has the “W” logo nicely printed to the side, rear and front. Again the windows are printed black and there is no interior. The movable blind at the front was apparently an extra cost optional extra.


The remaining caravans in this release include a current Winnebago trailer which is new casting and one that will appeal to collectors of more modern US vehicles. The Shasta Airflyte that has already been seen in several colours in the Hitch and Tow series and the Airstream Bambi has also been seen in that series several times previously. Though the Bambi in the series does come with a new awning not seen before.

Greenlight are to be congratulated on these models which though basic in some ways do look good when hitched to a period US car.


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