Category Archives: Neo

Resin Roundup June 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs have been supplied by the manufacturers who hold the copyright for the images.

Here are a few of the recent announcements of resin models from Matrix and from Best of Show (BoS) and Neo. All these models are moulded in resin in China in various scales stated below.

Matrix

The models shown below are to 1:43 scale and are for release between June and August 2017.

MX50806-031 Hispano Suiza K6 Break de Chasse Franay #15121 green metallic 1937 expected June
MX50102-081 Alfa Romeo 2000 Praho Touring dark green 1960 expected June/July
MX51705-111 RR Phantom II Continental Figoni & Falaschi Berline #2MS black 1932 expected July
MX51608-011 Pegaso Z-102 Thrill Coupe red / black 1953 expected August

Neo

 

All the Neo models listed are to 1:43 scale and should now be available.

MG TD MkII, white, RHD, 1950
Chevrolet Special De Luxe Convertible, beige, 1941
Dodge Sportsman, San Diego Police Ambulance, 1973
Hudson Italia, silver, 1954

 

Best of Show (BoS)

1:18 scale

These models should all now be available.

Chevrolet Apache Pickup, light blue, 1959
Dodge Coronet Club Coupe, light blue/white, 1952
Rover P5B Coupe, Dark green and light grey, RHD, 1971

1:87 Scale

 

These models should now be available.

Mercedes 600 Pollmann, Black, 1969, hearse
Buick Century Caballero, red/white, 1958

 


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Neo’s Yank Tanks – a personal overview

By Graeme Ogg

Having apparently noted my occasional musings elsewhere about the merits (and otherwise) of Neo’s output of American cars, the Editor asked if I would care to post something here. Well, I don’t have any particularly original insights or behind-the-scenes revelations, but for anyone who hasn’t been following Neo’s offerings in great detail, here are a few personal thoughts about the good, bad and occasionally ugly aspects of some of the models I’ve acquired (with lots of helpful pictures for the hard of hearing).

After spending quite a few years trying to maintain a fairly representative 1:43 picture of the progress of car styling around the world, it finally dawned on me not so long ago that keeping up with it all was a hopeless and never-ending task, so I decided to gradually limit myself to filling long-standing gaps in my existing collection, of which Americana is a major element. That would ease the strain on the pocket.

Unfortunately, just around that time Neo started blitzing us with a series of Yank Tanks (as we disrespectful Brits call them) under the American Excellence label, which eventually just became the name of Model Car World’s U.S. sales outlet. So I wasn’t going to get off so lightly after all.

One of the first to reach me was this 1959 Dodge, a fine piece of baroque art, and for those of us who cut our teeth on Dinky Toys (my gums are still bleeding), the level of trim detail is pretty amazing. We used to have blobs of silver paint for headlights and smaller red blobs for tail-lights, and now we get full-colour photo-etched badging you need a magnifying glass to read. Well, that’s progress for you.

If a black and yellow rocketship is a bit too dazzling for your taste, they also did a nice, restrained police version, which against a suitable background could easily be passed off as the real thing.

I couldn’t wait for the next offering, a ’57 Imperial Southampton, and it turned out to be a real stunner. Also produced in black, ivory over powder blue and more recently as a Ghia Crown limo.

 

Yet another piece of wonderfully in-your-face aggressive styling was the 1960 Chrysler 300F, again well-executed, finely detailed and dramatic.

Hmm, getting tired of fins and chrome? Well, how about something more restrained, the Lincoln Continental-inspired ’64 Imperial.

Or even nicer, the ’69 Buick Riviera. I’d have preferred the original 1966/67 version, before they started fiddling with the clean styling, but it is still a handsome model.

Not all offerings were quite as subtle, but this 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix Hurst SSJ looks suitably striking and typical of its times.

Of course, if you produce models to this standard, you are going to attract the attention of seriously knowledgeable (and picky) collectors, ready to jump on any detail faults. Get a badge half a millimetre out of place and you are careless, guilty of poor research and treating collectors with contempt. So when Neo produced this 1958 Chevrolet Impala, there were loud protests that it might look handsome enough, but Impalas didn’t come with 2-tone paint.

Ah, so it must be a lesser Bel Air? No, the Bel Air had a different rear roof pillar treatment, and 4 tail lamps instead of 6. So the cognoscenti wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole. Me? I just thought it was a pretty nice ’58 Chevy. However, I wouldn’t let Neo off so easily with their ’61 Dodge, which was handsome in many ways but had a seriously sagging roofline (I bought one anyway, but that roof does annoy me).

Grumpy old man? No, I just treat each arrival on its merits, and this ’58 Rambler certainly has many. The real thing may have been a strapped-for-cash re-skin of an ageing platform, but Neo’s cool, clean rendering deserves a place in any Old Yank collection.

Another fine item delivered by my overworked postman was a 1959 Pontiac Bonneville. I always remember this car being advertised in dazzling white or yellow, so the gunmetal seemed a little drab at first, but it’s very subtle and the finish and detail are pretty much flawless. It’s another model you could easily pass off in a photo as a 1:1.

So then they heard my complaint and did a convertible in a more suitable yellow, but spoiled it with an ugly black windscreen surround. I suspect it’s because they had to glue the screen to the slim pillars and wanted to hide the glue. Personally I think the odd trace of clear adhesive would have been much less obtrusive. But if you can divert your eyes from that detail, the rest of it is a thing of beauty inside and out.

Oddly enough, they can do convertible screens with that black border when they want to, as shown on their ’57 Ford Fairlane, but this unsightly feature re-appears on several other convertibles.

Having done a ’59 Pontiac, they turned their attention to the ’59 Oldsmobile, which was essentially the same body. So how did they manage to make it look like the Sydney Harbour Bridge? It makes the old Franklin Mint ’58 Edsel (the famous “Pink Banana”) look pretty good by comparison.

Mine was so bad I e-mailed them in the hope they would be doing a product recall, but received a terse little reply saying that “Due to the fact that this model was made by hand and not machined, it may result in small inaccuracies.” So that’s OK.  It is a lovingly flawed artisanal product and I should display it with pride. (It’s in a box under the bed in the spare room).

More recently they had a touch of the same problem with the ’57 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser. Not nearly as bad, and it’s harder to see quite where it goes wrong, but it certainly isn’t entirely straight.

One of the latest arrivals is a 1961 Dodge Dart. A slightly odd bit of styling, and an interesting choice. So interesting, in fact, that Neo apparently went to the trouble of scouring the entire planet to find the only car in existence (presumably a restored specimen) with a non-standard side spear, and promptly modelled it as a BoS in 1:18 scale in the identical metallic grey colour, followed by a maroon Neo version in 1:43. Overall it’s actually quite a nice model, but why ….?

They redeemed themselves with this 1960 Buick Flxible ambulance, which looks accurate in every respect and with plenty of the kind of detail we oldies could once have hardly dreamed possible.

But all that fine detail comes at a cost, not just in the price but in terms of fragility. I’ve photographed some of these models on their plinth because removing the model then trying to re‑mount it on those spring-loaded screws is almost guaranteed to detach a photo-etch strip, wing mirror, badge, aerial or whatever. Even without touching them, P/E parts applied to curves can spring free over time, and even careless dusting can detach a part. There’s obviously a very delicate balance between unsightly excess adhesive and parts coming loose because of too little glue. It also looks as if the P/E parts come pre-backed with “instant grab” adhesive, and if the final assembly operative (political correctness forbids I should say “the little Chinese lady”) doesn’t get a part perfectly lined up first time, any attempt at adjustment can lead to buckled or semi-detached trim strips.  If as a buyer you’re nervous about getting to work with the white glue, cotton buds and masking tape, you may have to put up with a few loose dangly bits on the model shelf.

Maybe this partly explains why Neo seem to be moving away from using so many vulnerable P/E parts where a less vulnerable form of trim will suffice – which brings me to the fact that there is a strange state of flux developing between Neo and their BoS “budget brand”. BoS recently brought out a ’61 Lincoln Continental where the trim detail wasn’t that far off what you’d expect from Neo. Then we get a convertible version, obviously based on the same mould, and pretty much the same trim level, but badged as a Neo. Lovely colour, which may be enough to tempt some people – but at twice the price? Hmm.

And then they do it again. BoS issues a decent enough Chrysler Valiant with mainly painted brightwork but P/E side window frames. Then out comes a Neo version, in a stunningly bland colour and with the P/E frames apparently replaced by silver paint – which is arguably tidier, but once again, twice the price for a near-identical model from the same outfit?

What sort of marketing strategy is that? Maybe they are testing the waters in terms of pricing and trim levels (while collectors can only watch in confusion) and we may end up with Neo and BoS being “averaged out”, which might mean leaving the high-end detail market to deadly rivals Matrix/GLM.

We shall see. Meanwhile, with just a few specimens from my own Neo collection I hope I’ve shown you – if you didn’t know it already – that despite some flaws and detail blunders, Neo at their best have given us some stunning 1:43 models which can take pride of place on any display shelf.

Just don’t take them to bed and hug them at night, because they’ll break.


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New Neo and Model Car Garage May 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs provided by Model Car World.

Model Car Group 

This brand is one of the many owned by Model Car World in Germany. It produces diecast and plastic models to 1:18 scale which are diecast in China for Germany. They are very competitively priced  in Europe offering a 1:18 scale diecast for only a little more than many mainstream 1:43 diecasts.

MCG #209972 Rover 3500 V8, Dark Yellow, RHD 1974

This casting has already been seen in police car livery but here it is in civilian form in a typical period “mustard” colour and with the optional boot fitting for the spare wheel which then allowed you to get your golf clubs in the boot.

The photographs suggest that key features like the “egg crate” grille, the wheel covers, and badging are all nicely captured.

 

MCG #209974 Saab 96 V4, blue 1971

Another seventies car and one that looks like an excellent model in the manufacturers photographs. The grille looks very good and the light lenses seem excellent too. The Saab logo on the mudflaps is a nice touch.

MCG #209973 Saab 96 V4, beige 1971

The beige version looks to be identical to its blue companion. Both colours are accurate for the period and I would not be surprised to see the car in the deep red which was often seen on seventies Saabs at a later date.

Neo

Neo is another Model Car World brand. In this case the models are made in resin in China for Germany and the cars shown below are to 1:43 scale. This range is more expensive than the MCG cars shown above.

Neo #176744 Ford Ranchero GT, white and orange, 1972

This complements the version of an earlier model of the Ranchero Neo did in black, and the Torino cars that it introduced some time ago. Photographs suggest that this model captures the original well with its car front end and truck like rear.

Neo #169249 Glas 1700 GT, silver 1965

Neo has already made the earlier Glas Isar T700 and here is the later 1700 GT. The Glas GT was a sports coupé produced by Hans Glas GmbH at Dingolfing. It was launched in September 1963 with a 1300cc engine at the Frankfurt Motor Show and production started in March 1964. The larger engined 1700 GT was launched  in May 1965.

In 1967 BMW acquired Glas and a number of cars were built with BMW engines and badges before BMW ceased production of the inherited Glas models in 1968.


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Reader’s Review – Neo Lagonda Rapide

By John Quilter

 

From time to time Aston Martin, using their Lagonda brand, launched four door saloons. In 1961 they brought back the Lagonda name again with the Rapide saloon which was based on the then current Aston Martin DB4 but was the first car to use the new dual overhead camshaft 4 litre inline six which produced 236 bhp, at 5500 RPM and 288 foot pounds of torque at a relatively high 3,850 RPM. With this power unit the car was reported to reach 60 miles an hour from a standing start in 9.0 seconds, quite fast for the era. It then went on to an impressive top speed of 130MPH.

This was the last Lagonda to use a six cylinder engine although this engine was also standard fitment in the DB5. The Rapide used a De Dion rear end and unlike many Aston Martins of the era, used disc wheels. Most came with a three speed Borg Warner automatic gearbox and all had quite advanced for the time, dual circuit brakes. Side and rear end styling was similar to the DB4 but the front styling differed substantially and was quite controversial with its four head lamps, two large 7 inch ones and two smaller 5 inch inner ones. Some with less reverence even saw a similarity to the discontinued Edsel.

Body panels were pressed aluminium over what was known as a Superleggera tubular steel frame yet the car weighed in at just under 3,700 US pounds. Production lasted for four years but surprisingly only 55 were built perhaps due to the £4,950 starting price which equates to about $140,000 in today’s dollars. All were hand built to order. Forty eight survive today making this a very rare Aston Martin product indeed. And for the really, really rare a one off shooting brake, (station wagon) version was made by the Carrosserie Company Ltd. of Barnard Castle, England on a bespoke basis for some lucky owner. Buyers of these cars wanted something more exclusive and perhaps, sporty, than the much more common contemporary Jaguar Mark II or even the more stately V8 powered Bentley S3.

Now in spite of the prototype car’s rarity, NEO a prolific maker of 1:43rd scale models of American and foreign automobiles is producing a model of this Rapide in silver metallic. NEO is based in the Netherlands but with production in the toy and model centre of China about 60 miles north of Hong Kong.

This replica measures 4.62 inches long with a wheelbase of 2.68 inches it a pretty accurate 1:43 scale. It is finished in a glossy silver colour with a bright red interior and right hand drive. Detailed observation will show a wooden steering wheel and a beautifully done burled wood fascia and instrument decals. As is typical of NEO’s resin replicas, there is no chassis detail with the exception of the twin chrome tail pipes exiting on the left hand side. There are even two Superleggera photo etched badges beside the hood opening. And there are Lagonda winged badges on the nose and rear license plate plinth.

The Author’s photographs show a Vitesse model green Aston Martin DB4 coupe to illustrate the Rapide’s heritage. So if you are into collecting miniatures of elegant and rare British cars here’s one for your display case. Grab one while you can as NEO’s production will be decidedly more than the production of the real car but still pretty limited in number.


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Five Recently Acquired Classics

by  Harvey Goranson

These recent 1/43 resin models are by Neo, Matrix, and TrueScale (TSM).  Five of them showed up recently on my front porch!

Above and below, Matrix MX40201-111 is this 1932 Bentley Mayfair Close Coupled Saloon, on 8-liter Chassis No. YX5124. It is a beautiful model of a beautiful car, so typically Bentley. The real one fetched almost $1M at Amelia Island in 2007.

Similar to the above is this Neo NEO46680 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Windovers Coupe is shown below. I don’t believe it has been pictured often anywhere online.

Windovers clothed Chassis No. 81JS for Robert McAlpine, who took delivery at the Waldorf Astoria in October 1933 and then embarked on a tour of the US, ending up on the west coast. This included a stop at Pebble Beach, and the car returned there in 2011. Both the Neo and the Matrix Bentley have skillfully modeled the drizzle deflectors along the side windows, so that occupants could crack the side windows during muggy weather.

Another Matrix is No. MX41705-141, 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Continental Freestone & Webb Sports Coupe (below).

This is Chassis No. 42PY, built for Sir John Leigh, a Conservative MP (member of parliament). Note the razor-edge styling and absence of running boards.

Neo’s 1929 Packard 640 Custom Eight Roadster (No. NEO46520) is a great addition.

I can’t find info on the precise car this represents, but the burgundy-gray tones look great.

Finally, there is TrueScale TSMCE154315, the 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK of Count Trossi.

About 42 SSKs were made (per Hemmings), and Chassis 36038 ended up with Count Carlo Felice Trossi, who gave it a streamlined body in 1934 for competition, including entry in the Mille Miglia. It ended up in the Ralph Lauren collection, painted black like most of his cars, and won top honors at Pebble in 1993.


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Neo US Trucks

By Maz Woolley

Please note that all photographs shown have been provided by, and are copyright of the manufacturer. 

Neo has recently had a series of US trucks made in resin in China to 1:43 scale. These trucks are classic Americana and will appeal to truck collectors on both sides of the Atlantic. These models have a lot of small added details and will need careful handling to avoid breakages.

Will ModelCarWorld eventually provide trailers to fit to these tractor units, or are there already any plastic kits that could be used? Although dearer than the usual Neo models they are not expensive when compared to the higher prices for 1:43 resin models we have seen lately.

 

Dodge CNT 950 1974


International Harvester RDF 405 1955


White Road Boss 1977


Diamond Reo Truck 1971


Diamond Reo Tow Truck 1971


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