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.
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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