Category Archives: Ixo

Hachette Italy World Buses – Part 24

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Here we are at part 24 of this series covering the releases from ‘Autobus dal mondo’. Something of  record to reach two years of issues of models and history.  And there are still more to go!

Parts number 70 to 72

At last a Swedish bus and two more French buses: a gas-fed war-time Renault and a Saviem used in Morocco (former French protectorate). They are from the Italian Hachette partwork ‘Autobus dal mondo’”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French series ‘Autobus et autocars du monde’”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.


No. 70 (no. 93 in the French collection) Renault TN4 F (Gaz de ville) 1940 – This is the fifth Renault in the collection. Aside from those produced after mergers in the French bus and coach industry which combined Latil, Renault and Somua, into Saviem in 1955 . Later Isobloc and Chausson. were also absorbed. After the AGP Saharien (see part seven, no. 19), the TN6-C2 (see part twelve, no. 34), the R4192 (see part nineteen, no. 55 and part twenty one, no. 61) it is now the turn of another TN, a TN4 F modified to run on city gas, due to the scarcity of fuels during the Second World War. The STCRP (Société des Transport en Commun de la Région Parisienne) had already tested the use of a gasifier (tried on over 300 buses) and a mixture of alcohols (with poor results), and in 1940 decided to use uncompressed city gas (a mixture of methane and hydrogen). This choice needed each vehicle to have a very large storage tank (about 17-20 cubic metres) and it gave a very limited range on one fill (about 20 kilometres, just a round trip).

A container in rubberised canvas (from the stocks of balloons manufactured by Goodrich, in the outskirts of Paris) was placed on the roof, protected by a large fairing made of wood fibre panels. Over 500 buses were converted, TN4 F/H and TN6 only, but fuel wasn’t the sole problem; the scarcity of oil, tires and spare parts soon left many buses out of service and in June 1944 only 275 bus were still operative. Besides, the population preferred to move by the underground, the bus fleet being heavily affected by requisitions and evacuations. The result was a reorganisation of the Parisian transport system, with the STCRP and the Compagnie du chemin de fer Métropolitain de Paris (CMP) merging from 1942 to officially become the RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) in 1949. It is interesting to note that despite the exceptional height (4.10 metres) and the extreme flammability of the gas there were never any major incidents.

The original bus, the first TN4 (a bus with a length of 9.5 metres, more powerful engine and with a larger capacity of up to 50 passengers) was introduced in 1931 at the request of the STCRP. It was the first Renault bus with the radiator in front of the engine instead of behind as used on previous ones. The first TNs had an open platform and an inline four cylinder engine of 58 CV, while in 1932 the TN6 received an inline six cylinder engine of 68 CV. After the war, all the TNs in service were refurbished, even adopting a more enclosed cabin to protect the driver. They were then slowly phased out, the last in 1971.

The scale model is a faithful reproduction of thevehicle from the large “AMTUIR” collection (Association du Musée des Transports Urbains, Interurbains et Ruraux), its museum is now located in Chelles, Seine-et-Marne, part of the Parisian agglomeration (see www.amtuir.org). But TN4F No. 3158 is a replica. A false raised roof was placed on the vehicle and the vehicle is currently running on petrol (all roof fairings were eliminated during general revisions, completed in 1948).

As usual there is a plastic multi-part body with a metal chassis. Classic green and cream livery is well reproduced, and is lacking any advert. Like the chassis (where a printed name replaces the original one) and the interiors, the central part of the body is common with the previous TN6-C2 (no. 34), whilst the driver’s cab is now an open one. Many separate small items are fitted. Note the blacked-out headlight. It is a shame that there is a shiny metal support inside the rear platform. There are no apparent differences to the French release. A fair witness of past war times.


No. 71 (no. 94 in the French collection) Saviem SC1 1960 – We have already met the Saviem SC10 U (see part thirteen, no. 39), and how at the end of 1955 Renault, faced with strong competition from Berliet, and lacking factory capacity, decided to merge with Somua and Latil creating LRS Saviem, later incorporating Isobloc and Chausson. In 1949 Renault presented the R4000 series, the first “modern” Renault bus (previously they were based on a truck chassis, heavy and uncomfortable) with a unitary structure. The engine was now placed horizontally on the right hand side between the two axles, and the body had a rounded shape with a chromed grille. It was an instant success and was produced in many different versions (the R 4192 was a low roof version with a more powerful diesel engine). Following the mergers in 1955 it gained a Saviem logo, in 1957 it was restyied and renamed the Saviem ZR20. In 1960 a new engine was fitted and the SC1 name used. In 1964 the S45 name was used and it stayed in production up to 1993 with periodic updates.

Compared to the R4192 (see part nineteen, no. 55 and part twenty one, no. 61) the SC1 presented the same new front and rear “panoramic” screens already seen on the ZR20, a simplified front grille and improved wipers. But much more important were the new engine, the Fulgur diesel six with 150 CV (30 CV more than the previous one, which was aptly named “fainéant” or loafer), and the Grégoire suspension, the “aérostable”, a variable flexibility system, which gave a very comfortable ride.

The scale model is a faithful reproduction of an interesting vehicle, a bus exported to Morocco, which was up to 1955 a French protectorate. As usual there is a plastic body and a metal chassis, very likely partly recycled from the previous R4192. The name on the baseplate is now printed, but the front and rear of the body are entirely new. The white and blue livery shows the logo of CTM, the Compagnie de Transport au Maroc, the line Casablanca-Marrakech, is still active today. Since its creation in 1919, the history of CTM accompanied that of modern Morocco, contributing to its development. In 1969 CTM merged with Lignes Nationales and extended its services to the whole Morocco.

It was the first Moroccan company privatised in 1993, at the same time as it was introduced on the stock exchange of Casablanca. Very nice white-wall tires and driver’s cab feature. The usual luggage rack is fitted to the roof and a large ladder provided for access. Many separate parts are used and the headlights pods are particularly notable. The characteristic long bars are fitted along the roof which are used to fix the canvas to protect the baggage. No apparent differences to the French series. Nice to have something from another continent.


No. 72 (no. 95 in the French collection) Volvo B375 1957 – Nice to see a Swedish bus at last. Today the Volvo Group (Aktiebolaget Volvo, shortened to AB Volvo) is a Swedish multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Gothenburg, and its main activity is the production, distribution and sale of trucks, buses and construction equipment. Automobile manufacturer Volvo Cars was part of AB Volvo until 1999, when it was sold to the Ford Motor Company, and then re-sold in 2010 to the Chinese Geely Holding Group. The brand name Volvo means “I roll” in Latin, conjugated from “volvere”. Volvo was established in 1915 as a subsidiary of SKF, a ball bearing manufacturer however both Volvo Group and Volvo Cars regard their founding to be in 1927, when the first Volvo car left the assembly line. The first truck debuted in 1928, an immediate success soon exported in Europe, while the first bus, named B1, was launched in 1934. After a very complicated (and too tedious to report here) sequence of partnerships, purchases and sales, the Volvo Group is focused on heavy vehicles and its operations include among other things Volvo Trucks, Volvo Buses, Mack Trucks, and Renault Trucks.

The Volvo Brage/Starke/Raske was a series of medium size trucks produced between 1954 and 1972 : the L370 Brage was named after the Norse god Bragi and sported an overhead valve petrol engine, in parallel with the Brage Volvo offered a diesel version called L375 Starke (Strong), likewise with a payload of 4.5 tonnes, to be replaced in 1961 by the sturdier L475 Raske (Swift) with a payload of 5 tonnes. From the L375 (L as in Lastbil, Swedish for truck) Volvo derived the B375 (B as in Buss, for bus), with the same chassis and mechanics of the truck. The engine was a diesel six in-line, with 95 CV. Early trucks had a non-synchronised four-speed gearbox, soon replaced by a synchronised five-speed transmission by ZF. The body was usually built by local coachbuilders, in this case a Danish one, V. Frandsen Karosserifabrikk. This long distance bus had a very long body, far outweighing the rear overhang and could carry 31 passengers. The spare wheel was hung at the rear externally, freeing more space for luggage compartments. A bus not avant-garde, not specially original, and lacking modernity, but very suitable for difficult Scandinavian roads.

The scale model has the usual plastic body and metal chassis, with an added exhaust, in front of a rear wheel, it is not very well connected either. The red and white livery is well applied, but there is no indication of the transport company. The destination board reads “Ystad (Rønne)”. Ystad is a town in Skåne County, in the south of Sweden, dating back to the 11th century, nowadays more famous for being the primary set for the detective series “Wallander”. Rønne is the largest town on the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, just in front of Ystad and connected to it by ferry.

The registration plate seems to be Danish, the yellow one for buses and trucks. A very nice radiator grille is fitted with the Volvo logo on show. The headlights and indicators are well modelled too. There is a well reproduced interior though the steering wheel seems to be a bit oversize. There is no apparent difference to the French edition. A similar bus, with a different livery, was produced in 1:72 scale by Editions Atlas. This is a nice reproduction of a classic bus, worthy of the long wait.


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Modelling my Father’s Fairlane

By Luciano J. Pavloski

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

My Dad’s 1955 Fairlane in 1:43 scale

Until the early 1950s Brazil did not make its own cars, buses and trucks. There were already some factories, like VW, Ford and General Motors, but they only assembled imported models in Brazil.

This began to change in 1956, when the newly installed President, Juscelino Kubitscheck , strengthened plans for the manufacture of automobiles and trucks in the country. Earlier that year the first Mercedes-Benz truck was manufactured in the country (a L-312), and the first car, the Romi-Isetta, a version of ISO / BMW Isetta, too.

From 1957 national production grew quickly with the production of the Volkswagen Transporter Bus (Kombi), Ford and General Motors trucks, Willys-Overland Jeeps and FNM trucks (a local brand that produced under license trucks from Isotta Fraschini and cars from Fiat). Since then the range of models and brands produced in Brazil has grown significantly. We have American, European, and Japanese manufacturers based here in addition to the small local manufacturers. But before that happened Brazil imported cars and trucks of various origins, a large part of them American.

My father owned a 1955 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan, which I did not get to know but is present in dozens of old family photos. It is also a car that my father fondly remembers. For those reasons I wanted one as part of my 1:43 model collection. However, there is simply no such model in 1:43 scale. What I found was the 1956 Fairlane made by Ixo, which has almost the same body as the 1955 model, and a Crown Victoria 1955 made by Yat Ming, from which I could take advantage of the grille and other pieces. And so I started my project!

This was my father’s Fairlane. Next to the car, my brother in the late 60’s.

The 1956 from Ixo is the closest to my Father’s car, but the grille, side trim and hood trim differ.

So I used a 1955 Crown Victoria from Yatming (right above) to donate pieces

After a few cuts and some adjustments and the grille was fitted into the Ixo model.

The 1955 model needed new trim on the sides, this involved modifications using a “Dremel”, hobby files and epoxy filler.

I used the Yat Ming instrument panel but it needed some adjustments

The panel after considerable work. Tools used are shown with it on the bench

The original car with extra features added by the Author’s Father.

I decided to model the car at a time when my father had “upgraded” it a little more. I discovered that he used the wheels caps from a Simca Jangada (Brazilian version of Simca Marly). Luckily, this model car exists in the Brazilian car collection (Ixo). So I bought one just to use the wheels!

And there’s my dad’s Fairlane in 1:43! I put his name on the base as a tribute.

Inside the car was a “baby pacifier” (a fashion in the 60s) hanging from the mirror…

… which I reproduced in the model.

The model has the same yellow Brazilian plates, typical of that time

The rear end of the model

And side view of the completed model

Before and after. The Ixo base car and the finished modified one.

It is great to have this special miniature in my collection, but it was also lovely to see the joy on my 87 years old Father’s face when he saw the model.

And what was the end of the real Fairlane?

Well, in the 1970s Brazilian industry had become self-sufficient to the point where the government banned the importation of vehicles. This, added to the greater difficulty of obtaining parts, made imported cars unpopular even though many were superior to those produced in the country. The cars imported up to this point were seen as a “problem”… And so my father traded the beautiful Fairlane 1955 for a small field and acquired a 1974 Ford Corcel, a genuinely Brazilian model. But that’s another story, for the day I reproduce this car too in 1:43…

Editor: Luciano is a 1:43 scale model collector from Brazil and this is his first article for MAR Online. We hope that he writes more articles about model collecting from a Brazilian viewpoint in the future.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 23

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Parts number 67 to 69

This time we’ll look at another scarce Belgian bus (almost unknown outside France and Belgium), a recycled German giant (up to the Second World War it was one of the largest buses ever produced) and an innovative French one, alas a missed bestseller. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”. The models are produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 67 (no. 90 in the French collection) Brossel BL55 1966 – With the 1962 Brossel A92 DARL (see part twelve, no. 36) we have already seen a short review of the Belgian automotive industry and the Brossel history. The A92 DARL fully respected the specifications of the Compagnie Générale Industrielle de Transports (CGIT) of Lille: a modern 100-seater urban vehicle with one man operation. The body was from Jonckheere, a coachbuilder founded in 1881 and still active today after a fusion with the VDL group.

In 1966 an improved version of the A92 DARL was produced, called BL55 : the differences were limited to the spherical cylindrical windshield (already seen on the last A92 produced), the transmission system was now based on a Voith-Diwabus electric gearbox and the Leyland engine now delivered 135 CV. The BL55 was well received by many municipalities, especially its high roof version, and soon it could be also found in Liège, Charleroi, Arles, Brest, Nice and Montpellier. But the BL55 was never replaced as in 1968 Brossel was bought by British Leyland and its name disappeared the following year.

Like the real bus the scale model has very few differences when compared to the previous A92 DARL. The shape of the windshield is now a spherical cylinder, and the front and rear sides are slightly modified. Very likely the plastic body’s mould is partly re-used from the A92 DARL. At the front a new panel with a grille is fitted and “Leyland” has replaced “Jonckheere”, whist at the rear a new pattern of rear lights are fitted. The livery is the usual olive green and cream, the metal baseplate has been modified and the new version name printed. Usual small plastic parts have been added: lights, mirrors, bumpers, etc. However, the wipers are now engraved on the windshield.

The bus is from the town of Valenciennes, in the Nord department in northern France, about 50 km from Lille, and sports the CEN (Compagnie des Chemins de fer économiques du Nord) logo. The automotive industry was a key source of support for the local transport services, both Peugeot Citroën (PSA) and Toyota have manufacturing plants in the area.

The destination board reads “Saint Amand”, a city located about 10 km north-west of Valenciennes, almost in the heart of the Scarpe-Scheldt regional Natural Park. The registration plate is from Lille. As usual the red spot designates a regular scheduled service. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A fair reproduction of a bus well known in northern France.


No. 68 (no. 91 in the French collection) Mercedes Benz O 10000 Osterreichische postbus 1938 – We have already met many times the “star” of Stuttgart: the gargantuan 1938 O 10000 (see part one, no. 2), the midget 1936 Lo 3100 (see part four, no. 11), the bright 1972 O 302 (see part eleven, no. 31), and the urban 1979 O 305 (see part twentytwo, no. 65). This time we’ll return to the giant O 10000 and one of its variants, the 1938 Osterreichische postbus. As already seen, the O 10000 chassis was derived from that of the
L10000 truck, modified for use as a passenger vehicle. All chassis had three axles, with single wheels, better for handling and a relatively high speed (max 75 km/h). The bus had lower side rails lowered and a longer rear overhang making it up to twelve metres in length.

When production began in 1937 the engine was a 12.5 litre diesel straight six, but as early as 1938 it was replaced by a “fast” 11.2 litre one. The body was by Kassbohrer, better known as Setra after the war. This bus was designed mainly for long distance routes. It was seriously handicapped by both its length and its high fuel consumption, and a total of less than 400 units was produced, of which 160 ordered by the Reichpost, to use for its mixed postal and passenger services on the new “autobahns”. After the Second World War some of them were sold to the Postamt, the new Austrian Postal service, to be used for mail sorting whilst en-route and to carry out subsequent distribution.

Like the previous red and black passenger bus model, the miniature is really imposing with the protruding nose adding to the impression of brute power. The model consists of a plastic body and metal chassis as usual, with many added plastic parts. Hachette operated a very smart ‘recycling’ operation, using the chassis and some parts of the previous model and adding a new body to create a new model.

It is indeed a faithful reproduction of a real post bus that served the Austrian Postal Service as a parcel truck after the Second World War, plying the Salzburg-Vienna route. Later on it was converted into a mobile post office which was used at events like the Salzburg Festival or as a temporary post office. Saved from scrapping, it was restored in 1987 and exhibited in the Mercedes Benz Museum (see https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/classic/museum/mercedes-benz-o-10000-mobile-post-office/).

There is a very nice little fire extinguisher on the right side, but the interior is quite difficult to appreciate, due to the small dimension of the side windows. On the left side there are three “fernsprechzelle”, phone booths. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. Thanks to Hachette for a nice reproduction of an emblematic version of this rare German bus.


No. 69 (no. 92 in the French collection) Berliet PLR 8 MU 1956 – Another Berliet, but on the other hand we must remember that it is basically a collection of French origins. After the Crusair 3 (see part 8, no. 22), the PHL 10 (see part 10, no. 30), the PR100 range (Jelcz version, see part 14, no. 40), the PLR 10 (see part sixteen, no. 47) and the original 1969 Crusair (see part twenty one, no. 62), it is now time to go back to the PLR 8 MU.

As you’ll remember Berliet was one of the first automobile makers, and was part of Citroën from 1967, and was then acquired by Renault in 1974 and merged with Saviem into the new RVI in 1978. After the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, and Berliet had to Face intense competition from Chausson and Renault both of whom had a new self supporting bodies. Indeed Berliet didn’t had any experience outside the field of heavy commercial vehicles, and choose to buy the whole company and know-how of Rochet-Schneider.

In 1951 it launched the PLR 8, a very powerful bus, but already out of date: its heavy welded box frame, its dual rear wheels and horizontal engine meant high costs, both to buy, to operate and to maintain. The PLR 8, a 90-seater urban bus, was equipped with a 125CV five cylinder horizontal MDUH diesel engine fitted slightly on the right side of the vehicle, while the PLR 10, an intercity bus, had a 150CV six cylinder MDZH diesel, which was later also used on the urban version. Produced from 1952 to 1963, this vehicle was the first model of the brand equipped with a horizontal motor under floor. In 1958 a new generation of very low consumption engines was developed thanks to the MAN injection system, called “Magic” by Berliet. But this evolution did not save the bus from its fate, and it missed the commercial success it deserved.

The scale model represents an urban bus from Nice, department of Alpes Maritimes, in the south of France. The destination board reads “Trinité”, a town a few kilometers from the center of Nice and reached by climbing the first hills that surround the city,. Within is located the sanctuary of Notre Dame de Laghet, whose Baroque church, a famous destination for pilgrimages, dates back to 1656. The model has a plastic body, very likely derived from no. 47 and slightly modified, and a metal baseplate. The plate is still engraved “PLR 10”.

Dark green and white livery, with the Nice crest on the sides, together with the route board “Madeleine Massena Trinité”. A very nice front grille is fitted, suitably pierced. Good wheels are fitted. A neatly reproduced driver’s cab area is included though the rest of the interior is basic. It is at least different internally to the PLR 10. There are the usual added parts like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers. Again there is no apparent difference to the French edition. A bit disappointing, the livery is the only significant change.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 22

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Numbers 64 to 66.

This article features three more European buses, and two of them have already been seen in another form. As predicted we see more mould re-use. It’s logical, and thankfully Hachette has made an effort so that the models are not differentiated by the livery alone. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 64 (no. 87 in the French collection) AEC Regent III RT London Country 1947 – We have already seen the AEC history and its Regent III RT (see part one, no. 3) and Regal III (see part six, no. 16). Its origins can be traced to the LGOC (London General Omnibus Company) which started producing its own motor omnibuses in 1909, and in 1912 was reorganised and set up as a separate concern for bus manufacturing, named Associated Equipment Company. The AEC Regent III was a double-decker bus chassis, introduced in 1938, and usually fitted with AEC’s 9.6-litre diesel engine at the front delivering 115HP. It was fitted with ‘Wilson‘ preselective gearbox and air-pressure operated brakes, with bodies from Park Royal (this model), Metro Cammell Weymann and so on.

Better known in the classic red Central London livery, the RT started a second life in the dark green colours of Green Lines when the new Routemaster started its service in Central London. After a first positive test with eight lines, in 1930 LGOC started a regular service in the London suburbs with a separate company, Green Line Coaches, identified by the green livery. Its fleet was composed mainly of single decker buses, but after the Second World War many Regent III RT changed colours due to their replacement with the new Routemaster. In 1970 the Green Line Coaches came under the control of the London Country Bus Services until 1986 when the transport sector was privatised across UK.

The scale model is quite heavy, as already seen in the previous red London version, with a metal diecast body and a well detailed plastic chassis fitted with a separate silver exhaust. Aside from the livery and the lettering, the only significant difference seems to be the addition of two small turn signals under the front destination board, listing a few borough and small towns in the London commuter belt.

The front grille also appears slightly different. As usual many small separate parts are fitted like lights, rear mirrors, a single wiper, front grille, and a fuel cap. The interior is quite basic, and the presence of three metal supports doesn’t help at all. Their presence is not fully justified, the metal body should be strong enough without them. A few small ads on the rear side help to liven up the sober livery. No apparent differences to the French edition. A good reproduction, but a bit disappointing, many would have preferred a more common Green Lines single-decker bus.


No. 65 (no. 88 in the French collection) Mercedes Benz O 305 Frankfurt 1979 – We have met the German giant many times : the gargantuan 1938 O 10000 (see part one, no. 2), the midget 1936 Lo 3100 (see part four, no. 11) and the bright 1972 O 302 (see part eleven, no. 31), all of them more touring coaches than urban buses. But we have already met also the O 305, even if in the “French edition” by Heuliez (see part fifteen, no. 45), when the always very strong French nationalistic spirit pragmatically preferred the Mercedes O 305 to the Berliet and Saviem offers, but required that “all the buses exported to France to be bodied by Heuliez”. The Mercedes Benz O 305 was the product of the standardisation requested by the VoV (Verband Offentlicher Verkehrsbetriebe), the Association of German Public Transports, looking for a low floor 11 metres bus. Designed for use as a single-decker bus, it was later redesigned to accommodate double-decker bodies.

It was built as a complete bus or as a chassis only and more than 16,000 were made from 1969 to 1987, of which almost 4,800 were chassis only units. The engine was an horizontal six in-line diesel producing 210HP. This was positioned at the rear of the bus and was very reliable and almost noiseless. The body had a squared shape with large windows, round headlamps and only two doors, tickets being issued by the driver. Two interior platforms existed in the centre and to the rear. This allowed more than 100 passengers to be carried, of which 41 were seated. The O 305 was replaced in 1983 by the new O 405 to be followed in 1997 by the O 530 (Citaro), a real revolution.

The model is shaped accurately and the orange and light brown livery appears authentic and neatly printed. The body is plastic, as usual, with a metal baseplate with limited detail. A comparison with the Heuliez version identifies a different roof as well as different front and rear sections, though the sides are almost identical. Many small plastic separate parts are fitted, like wipers, mirrors, lights, and bumpers. It is fitted with accurate Frankfurt registration plates, while the destination board reads Monchhofstrasse. Monchhhof is a business park near the Frankfurt airport. There is only a basic interior, but a very detailed dashboard is fitted. On the sides ther are two large adverts for the “Deutscher Herold”, an insurance group whose origins can be traced to the 1922 German Burial Insurance Association of Berlin, an association of mutual insurance to allow the cost of burial as insurance benefits (useful, but a bit lugubrious). There is an added rear panel, simulating the access to the engine which is not reproduced. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice reproduction of an emblematic German bus.


No. 66 (no. 89 in the French collection) Chausson APU/53 1953 – Obviously we have already met Chausson and its products : the 1950 APH (see part five, no. 14) and the 1956 ANG coach (see part eighteen, no. 53). Based in the Paris region from 1907, supplier of components for the automotive industry. In the 1930s Chausson started producing car and unitary bus bodies too. During the post war boom Chausson supplied thousands of buses to French cities, but in 1959 Saviem acquired all their buses activities and Chausson left that market. After the Second World War the RATP needed to replenish its fleet in a hurry and Chausson was among its main suppliers. Its APH, with unitary metal bodywork instead of the traditional use of a separate chassis, allowed a light and more efficient vehicle. Chausson developed from its first 1942 prototype the APE (petrol Panhard engine), followed by the APH (diesel Panhard engine) and the AH (petrol Hotchkiss engine). To accommodate the longer Hotchkiss engine it was necessary to extend its front cover, and to standardise it : so was born the ‘nez de cochon’ or ‘pig’s nose’. It was a success, but by 1952 the AP52 was updated with a new body style featuring a flat front, and windows added to the curved part of the roof to improve the brightness of the vehicle (the high floor limited the height of the roof).

The following APU/53 addressed another problem : the reduced size of the doors hindered the entry and exit of the passengers. A third central door was added, and the rear one enlarged. The engine was now a seven litres straight six diesel by Hispano-Hercules, developing 121HP. The roof height was improved in 1956 with the APVU, developed in five successive series, employed by the RATP mainly on suburban lines.

A plastic body and metal baseplate are used for the model sporting the classic RATP livery: dark green and cream. Unusually the baseplate doesn’t have any detail, only an added black exhaust. The nice side windows are well detailed. There is a basic interior, but the conductor and driver areas are well modelled. The added front lights, rear mirrors and the three wipers are all well done. Also well reproduced are the doors and the front Chausson logo. There are no registration plates which is normal for RATP vehicles. The destination board reads “Place du Pantheon”, which is near the Sorbonne University and the Luxembourg Gardens. The 84 line connects Place du Pantheon to the Porte de Champerret, on the north side of the Boulevard Périphérique. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A model of a well known, and loved, Parisian bus.


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Do It Yourself!

The Easy, Medium and Hard Way…

By Sergio Luis dos Santos

All text and photographs are copyright of the author.

How many times do we want to have “that special version” from a specific car or racing event?  Sometimes we wait for years until it surfaces but what about those that never show up?  The only way to go is to customize an available model.

Some projects need only a few decals and some fine touches to be finished. More elaborate work might need a complete set of new decals for the entire car, but the most complicated ones need a complete repaint as well.

Here are the easy ones from my 1:43 collection.

1 – Minichamps released this Porsche 911 GT3 from the Porsche Michelin Supercup 2006 in a “neutral” livery without a driver’s name. This was the easiest one: no decals to be removed.  I added a set of white names for the side windows plus the smaller ones with the Brazilian flag above the doors provided by Jbot Decals. I left the rear window without the Senna name, since I could not locate any image to confirm this.

2 – Best Model released this Alfa Romeo 33.2 as the car driven by José Carlos Pace and Marivaldo Fernandes at 3 Hours of Rio de Janeiro in 1969. In reality, the model as it was released matches the car raced by Pace and Marivaldo at 500 Km. de Salvador.  For a correct Rio race car, a large Alfa Romeo badge was applied in the front white panel under the number 33. I also replaced the  small Alfa badge for a new one, both provided by Jbot Decals.

3 – In 1996 the International Touring Car Championship had a round at Interlagos, São Paulo on 27 October. This Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI was the mount of British driver Jason Watt. Japanese driver Naoki Hattori drove it in the Japanese round, so HPI released it in Hattori markings. In the Interlagos race the car was driven by Max Wilson in the same livery, so a new set of Wilson in white for the side windows did the trick.

4 – Also in the ITC Championship in 1996, Ricardo Zonta drove this Mercedes Benz C Class in Germany at Nurbürgring on 1 September. This car was released by Minichamps as raced by Jan Magnussen from Denmark. A set of white large Zonta for the side windows and the smaller ones with the Brazilian flag for the hood provided by Jbot Decals were used. The real car is preserved as raced by the  Colombian Juan Carlos Montoya in Silverstone!

5 – Flávio “Nonô” Figueiredo drove this Vauxhall Vectra for the Vauxhall Sport team at the 1998 British Touring Car  Championship.  Onyx released both cars from this team, the number 88 of Derek Warwick and number 98 of John Cleland. Again Jbot Decals produced a set of Figueiredo names plus the new number 99 with a white background in a perfect matching size to cover the older ones.

Now let’s see the ones I call the medium category. In this category,  we must remove all decoration, decals, etc, and keep the original colors, sometimes with small color touch-ups.

6 – This Aston Martin DBR9 from IXO had all decoration removed with a new set of decals from Race Track Decals to finish it. Brazilian Fernando Rees had his debut in GT car racing at Mil Milhas Brasileiras 2007 at Interlagos with Gregor Finsken, Steve Zacchia and Roland Berville. A pair of small front wings were added to match period photos.

7 – Augusto Farfus, Gregor Finsken, Steve Zacchia and Roland Berville raced this BMW 320d at 24 Hours of Nurbürgring 2008 obtaining a 1st place in the S1 Class.  A Minichamps BMW 320si had all new decorations put on, then a new set of decals from Race Track Decals were used. Only color change was the external rear view mirrors in black.

Next are the hard ones… These models had all paint removed to add new colors plus custom made decals. Both models are based on real cars down to the license plates.

8 – Volkswagen Beetle, or as Mexicans say, Escarabajo. Using a Mexican taxi from an Altaya partworks collection, the old green and cream livery was changed to white and blue from Acapulco using automotive paint.

9 – This Volkswagen Santana is a taxi from Curitiba City, in Paraná, Brasil. In truth this is the Chinese VW version but a close match to the Brazilian one. This model belongs to a Del Prado partworks collection. The silver color was removed and replaced
by actual reddish-orange automotive paint obtained from an auto workshop through a friend doing a trip to Curitiba, who also provided some photos of the real taxi!

It’s worth mentioning here that the models in the medium and hard categories were made possible due the skills and hard work of my friend Afonso Giordano Netto.  He sadly passed way in December 2017.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 21

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Number 61 to 63.

Three more European buses : a German, and two French. A strange mix as we have already met all of them in this collection, in one form or another. They are from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 61 (no. 84 in the French collection) Renault R 4192 1952 – We have already met Renault and the AGP Saharien (see part seven, no. 19), the TN6-C2 (see part twelve, no. 34) and the R4192 (see part nineteen, no. 55). Renault is one of the oldest automobile manufacturers, always facing strong competition and, thanks to its many successes, able to slowly incorporate many of its commercial vehicle making competitors after the Second World War.

The R4000 series was the first “modern” Renault bus, previously based on truck chassis, heavy and uncomfortable. Facing the Isobloc challenge (use of a self-supporting structure) in 1949 Renault presented the R4190 with a chassisless structure and the engine placed horizontally under the floor on the right side between the two axles. It was an instant success and was produced in many different versions (the R 4192 was a low roof version with a more powerful diesel engine), and it went on until 1993, with periodic updates.

The model is shaped accurately. The body is plastic whilst the chassis is metal with lot of detail. It has single rear wheels. Many additional small parts are fitted as usual: lights, front bumper, mirror (one only) and registration plates, plus a large ladder to reach the luggage area on the roof.

As already noted the mould was used on no. 55 (see part nineteen), no changes are apparent, only the livery is new, this time from Ets. Gonthier & Nouhaud, an urban and suburban passenger transport company from Periguex, a small town located in the Dordogne department in the New Aquitaine region (capital Bordeaux), south west of France.

It seems that the company was active from 1959 to 2012, when it was absorbed in the larger Régie Péribus, the transit network serving Périgueux and its wider community.

On the internet it is possible to find pictures of the real vehicle, with the same green and cream livery, the same strange advert on the front bumper and the same registration plate (24), correct for the Dordogne. No apparent differences to the French edition. A faithful reproduction of an once quite common sight on French roads.

 

 

No. 62 (no. 85 in the French collection) Berliet Crusair 3 1969 – We have already seen the Berliet history and its Crusair (see part eight, no. 22), the PHL 10 (see part ten, no. 30), the PR100 ranges (Jelcz version, see part fourteen, no. 40) and the PLR 10 (see part sixteen, no. 47). Founded in 1899, like Renault, Berliet is one of the oldest automobile manufacturer, part of Citroën from 1967, then acquired by Renault in 1974 and merged with Saviem into the new RVI in 1978.

After the Second World War only the commercial vehicle production was resumed, at first it was highly successful, but in the sixties the competition was very tough and resources to innovate were lacking, leading to the loss of its independence. The Cruisair range, developed from 1966, offered innovative technical solutions (rear engine) and a new aesthetic (straight lines and large windows), fixing new standards for the European buses.

 

Comfortable, reliable and profitable, but not free from defects, the Crusair was limited by its max length (11 metres), but achieved widespread success, and was assembled by Porto in Portugal, Heuliez in France and also in Algeria. Produced, under the Renault badge, until 1989, the Cruisair underwent few aesthetic changes: you could date the models only on the basis of updates to the front panels with a major modernisation made in 1972.

The scale model has a plastic body and a metal chassis. As usual there are small additional parts, like the front grille, bumpers, mirrors and wipers. As previously noted the mould was already used for no. 22 and no differences can be seen, only the front grille and light assembly is new, while the wheels are lacking chromed hubcaps.

According to Hachette no. 22 and no. 62 are both from 1969, but the different front grille and lights assembly dates no. 22 as a post 1972 version, while no. 62 is the original one. Also the livery is new, no. 62 sports the white and blue colours of Air France, in this case a shuttle service between the Orly and Le Bourget airports. The registration plate is coded 75, correctly from Paris (Île-de-France). Also for the Cruisair it is possible to find on internet some pictures of the very same real vehicle. No apparent differences to the French edition. A nice souvenir for lots of tourists of the Concorde years.

 

No. 63 (no. 86 in the French collection) Setra S14 1961 – We have already met the Setra company and its S215 HD, and the S14 by the Spanish Seida licensee. In 1951 the Wagenfabrik Kässbohrer in Ulm decided to create a new company dedicated only to buses. It was named Setra, short for “selbsttragend” (self supporting), referring to the integral nature of the construction. The modular system (same structure’s elements and same cockpit) allowed to change only the wheelbase, the engine power and the interior fittings.

The S14, presented in 1961, is considered one of the first modern European buses. Featuring a high windshield, with a thin central pillar, and a longitudinal rear engine by Henschel, a straight six diesel delivering 170 CV, the S14 was the mould for the whole range of Setra buses in the 60s. The S14 was a full-length 12-metre 55 seats vehicle, and despite being rather expensive it was very successful. In 1963 an agreement with Seida allowed to license-build chassisless coaches in Spain. They were equipped with Pegaso engines and marketed with simultaneous double badge as Setra Seida and Pegaso.

The model is accurately shaped and the livery seems to be authentic, on internet you could find many pictures of similar real vehicles. Anker Reisen is a travel company from Lüneburg, a “Hanseatic” town in the German state of Lower Saxony, located about 50 km southeast of the more famous Hamburg, and belongs to that city’s wider metropolitan region. The registration plates are correctly coded LG. As usual there is a plastic body and a metal chassis, The body is quite bright, helped by the red and light grey livery and plenty of windows, which are also fitted to the roof. Many small separate parts are fitted: front and rear bumpers, lights, front grille, wipers and rear view mirrors.

Hachette has created the original Setra version and partly modified the mould used for no. 24. The original details were erased from the baseplate and and new ones printed on. The body has been slightly changed with lights amended. The Kassbohrer logo has replaced the Pegaso one on the front grille and on the hubcaps. All the Seida logos have been replaced by the Setra ones. The side windows have been changed to show a different split design. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. After the integral (and a bit disappointing) re-use of the Renault R 4192 mould, it is heartening to see the effort made by Hachette to differentiate between the two S14s. We’ll see more mould re-use, it’s logical, but thankfully in some original and interesting ways. Altogether a nice and welcome model.


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BMC outside the UK

By John F. Quilter

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

Editors Note: John wrote this in response to the recent article posted on the Siam Di Tella which was a BMC hybrid made in Argentina. The article can be found here.

Here’s a little info on two BL products not made in the UK.

British Leyland and its predecessor BMC had many overseas operations over the decades. Here are two products of their overseas affiliates. The BMC J4 van, which was also badged as a Morris and Austin in the UK, was made in Spain by their operation there known as Sava.

This operation also made many of Leyland larger trucks as well. The J4 van, and there was a pickup and mini bus versions as well came after the J2 and before the Sherpa. Much of the sheet metal on the Sherpa was carried over but the engine was moved forward under a short bonnet rather than being between the seats as it was in the J4. The engine was BMC’s 1622cc petrol engine or a 1500cc diesel. Both part of BMC’s “B” series four cylinder engine range. This van is apparently made by Ixo and mine is done in a BMC service livery from a dealer in France. There are other liveries showing up on eBay as well. The J4 makes a good shelf item along with my Sherpa van (plus pickup and mini bus custom creations) and J2 by Oxford Diecast.

The second vehicle is from TRAX in Australia, a Morris Major Elite. This unique to Australia car, was essentially the centre section of a Riley 1.5 or Wolseley 1500 but Leyland Australia added a longer boot for more capacity and a longer front clip perhaps to balance off the look. It also used the 1622cc engine which was a step up from the UK produced Riley and Wolseley. The model is in TRAX’s limited range and is in resin. Available in two colours, the blue and white being one often seen back when the cars were new. The photo below shows the Elite along with its cousins the Wolseley and Riley both done in Brooklin’s Lansdowne range.


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1966 Cadillac Variations

By John F. Quilter

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

The Mexican partworks series offers a gold 1966 Cadillac Coupe De Ville which is, I believe, an Ixo production. This diecast is quite well shaped, of correct 1:43 scale and accurate in most details although most of these would have had white wall tires, at least when new. Since the partworks series cannot be subscribed to by USA residents I was able to find some enterprising vendors on eBay who were selling these and some others in the series. So I got three, one to leave stock, one to convert into a Sedan De Ville (which is actually a pillarless four door hardtop) and one to convert into a top of the line Eldorado convertible.

 

The sedan conversion was relatively easy as the roof length is the same on the coupe as the sedan but I still needed to break it down, strip off the gold paint and scribe in the four door configurations. Then it was just picking a colour for the exterior and interior and using my technique of making thin white walls using flattened thin gauge wire painted white. All these models benefit from a black wash to the egg crate grill.

 

The second conversion was the convertible and I chose to do the top of the line Eldorado which has its own side chrome trim and some badge differences. A jeweller’s saw is used to cut the roof off the coupe and a piece of sheet lead is used to form the convertible top boot. The side moulding is a piece of silver coloured wire laid on with some glue then painted with the model to ensure good attachment and finally scraped back to the chrome colour.

A coat of Testors Model Master gloss clear enamel adds the final touch of high gloss to the Krylon Fusion red base colour picked from Google images of period Cadillac colours for the Eldorado.

 


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The Piquet Racing Dynasty

By Sergio Luis dos Santos

All text and photographs copyright of the Author.

A few weeks ago, my previous post on racing dynasties was about the famous Brazilian family Negrão.  Perhaps more well known outside Brazil will be the Nelson Piquet family!

Nelson Piquet Souto Maior (his full name) is a well known name in motorsports with three Formula One championships. He has 5 sons and 2 daughters, surprisingly all them with connections with car or
motorbike racing! The sons Geraldo Piquet, Nelson Angelo Tamsma Piquet Souto Maior (better know as Nelson Piquet Jr. or Nelsinho Piquet), Pedro Estácio Piquet, Marco Piquet and Laszlo Piquet are active in racing. Julia Piquet did some kart races when young, and Kelly Piquet has worked in Formula E.

For sure, this looks like another dynasty that will have its name in car racing for a long time to come.  Some information about their career can be seen here in Portuguese: https://www.piquetsports.com/ . Also a search through the web will bring many more details.

Here are some “Piquet” models from my collection in 1:43 scale with no open wheels!

1 – BMW M1 Procar Series 1979 season. Nelson Piquet. Minichamps.

2 – BMW M1 Procar Series 1980 season. Nelson Piquet. Minichamps.

3 – BMW M1 Gr5 1.000 Km Nurbürgring 1981. Nelson Piquet and Hans Stuck. Spark.

4 -BMW M1 “Presentation”. Nelson Piquet and Hans Stuck. Very hard to find any info on this car. Maybe sponsored by H.I.S. Jeans? The box gives the year 1985. Model by Saphire using a resin kit from Baymo.

5- BMW M3 GTR. Mil Milhas de Interlagos 1995. Nelson Piquet with Paulo Carcasci and Sopper. Minichamps.

6- McLaren F1 GTR. 24 Hours Le Mans 1996. Nelson Piquet with Johnny Cecotto and Sullivan. Minichamps.

7- McLaren F1 GTR. 24 Hours Le Mans 1996. Nelson Piquet with Johnny Cecotto and Sullivan. HPI Racing.

8- McLaren F1 GTR. 2 Horas de Curitiba 1996. Nelson Piquet with Johnny Cecotto. Spark.

9- McLaren F1 GTR. 24 Hours Le Mans 1997. Nelson Piquet with J.J. Letho and S. Sopper. IXO.

10- McLaren F1 GTR. 24 Hours Le Mans 1997. Nelson Piquet with J.J. Letho and S. Sopper. HPI Racing.

11- Aston Martin DBR9. Mil Milhas Brasileiras 2006. Nelson Piquet, Nelsinho Piquet, Hélio Castro-Neves, and C.Bouchut. IXO.

12- Aston Martin DBR9. 24 Hours Le Mans 2006. Nelsinho Piquet with David Brabham and Antonio Garcia. IXO.

13- Aston Martin DBR9. 24 Hours Le Mans 2006. Nelsinho Piquet with David Brabham and Antonio Garcia. Altaya/IXO for partworks collection 24 Heures du Mans.

14- BMW Z-4. Blancpain Series 2014. Nelsinho Piquet and Matheus Stumpf. Spark.

15- Rebellion R-One AER. 24 Hours Le Mans 2016. Nelsinho Piquet with N. Prost and N. Heidfeld. Spark.

16- Oreca 07 Gibson. 24 Hours Le Mans 2017. Nelsinho Piquet with D-H. Hansson and M. Beche. Spark.

If anyone would like the rear view of any car, please let us know on Facebook!


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Siam Di Tella 1500

By Maz Woolley

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

BMC (British Motor Corporation) made their cars at plants around the world, particularly in the English speaking countries with close ties like Australia. They also licensed makers in other countries to produce vehicles using their body shells and components.

We are all familiar with Australian cars like the Morris Major that were based on BMC vehicles sold in the UK but heavily changed to suit local tastes.  Less familiar are the cars made by  Siam Di Tella in the Argentine.  A pickup based upon the Austin A50 (Pre-Farina) called the Argenta seems to have been made initially and was followed by the 1500 series which include a car, traveller and pickup (again called the Argenta) which combined a Farina Riley 4/72 front end with an Austin A55 rear and was fitted with a 1500cc B series engine later uprated to 1600cc in line with UK production.

Initially cars were made from knocked down kits but local production soon replaced that.  In the later years of production a Magnette was offered with an MG style front and rear end, a unique bonnet ornament. A stylised ‘S’ badge was fitted where an MG badge would have been  on the radiator but in later years an MG badge was used.

Given that we have yet to see a budget diecast Riley 4/72 it is amazing that Ixo/DeAgostini has created a Siam Di Tella 1500 Saloon and Taxi in their partworks series. We have of course had a lovely 4/72 from Silas Models but this is rather more fragile and expensive.

I read a review of the model that suggested that the Austin A55 mould used by Altaya may have been the basis for this model but a close examination shows that this casting is different in particular it is correctly narrower than the A55 which was too wide.

Group shots of the Altaya A55 [right], Silas 4/72 [left] and Siam Di Tella [middle] cars show the differences between the models.

The model of the Siam Di Tella looks good when compared to photographs which can be viewed on the web. The shape is convincing as are the front and back ends with all their inserted parts. Unique Siam Di Tella badging is printed neatly.

Inside the black moulding has full door car details and a really nice moulded dashboard and the large steering wheel is excellently modelled with the chrome horn ring included. No details are picked out which is a shame as this means most people will never appreciate the detail which is there.

The model leads me to musing on what might be. The 1:43 Vanguards range included excellent Austin Cambridge A60 saloon and its equivalent Morris Oxford. And since then Oxford Diecast has produced an Austin A60 to 1:76 scale. This leaves an opportunity for Oxford Diecast or Corgi to make the Riley, MG, and Traveller versions which would be very popular in 1:43 as well as 1:76. Or do we have to wait for someone to commission PCT Industries to create them?


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