Category Archives: 1:43

1:43 scale

News from the Continent June/July/August 2018 – M4 Model Group

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text copyright of the Author. Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer.

This article covers releases from June to August by M4 modelcars of Italy. The models are diecast to 1:43 scale in Italy unless otherwise noted. M4 produce three different ranges:Art; Best; and Rio.

June 2018

ART Models

 

ART389 Ferrari 290 MM; Grand Prix of Portugal; Monsanto 1957 –A. de Changy #19 – 4th place

 

ART119/2 Ferrari 250 P – winner of the 12 hours of Sebring 1963 – Surtees/Scarfiotti #30

BEST models

 

BEST9709 Jaguar E-Type Spyder Electric -UK Royal Wedding 2018 – Harry and Meghan – Limited Edition

 

BEST 9710 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 – 24 hours of Daytona 1969 – S. Posey/R. Rodriguez #41

 

BEST9711 Jaguar E-Type Coupe – Rallye Monte Carlo 1965 – Pinder/Pollard #104

 

BEST9712 Ferrari 308 GTS – USA-version 1979 – black

 

BEST9713 Fiat-Abarth 750 “Record Monza SCCA National Cumberland 1959 – Duncan Black #81

RIO

 

RIO4569 Fiat 501 – 1919 – La Saetta del Re – black

RIO4226-E Bugatti 41 Royale Weyman – 1929 – black and yellow

This model has been released previously in a higher cost version with special packaging. This is the release of a slightly simpler version at a considerably lower price point.

RIO4227-E Bugatti 41 Royale Weyman – 1929 – black and red

Like the yellow and black version above this model has been released previously in a higher cost version with special packaging. This is the release of a slightly simpler version at a considerably lower price point.

July 2018

ART Models

 

ART390 Ferrari 860 Monza – 2nd in Grand of Venezuela – Caracas 1956 – Juan Manuel Fangio #602

ART391 Ferrari 250 California LWB; winner of the Nassau Memorial Trophy Race 1959 – Bob Grossman #18

BEST Models

 

BEST9196-2 LOLA T70 Mk III –  Le Mans 24 hours 1968 – J.Epstein/E.Nelson

BEST9714 Ferrari 330 GTS 1967 light blue metallic

BEST9715 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 – Le Mans Test 1968 – Grossman/Berney #15

 

BEST9716 Ferrari 308 GTB Group 4 – winner of Rally Piancavallo 1980 – ”Nico”/Barban #4

RIO Models

 

RIO4570 Fiat 238 hearse

August 2018

ART Models

ART026-2 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta – Dr. Giovanni Agnelli’s personal car

BEST Models

 

BEST9717 Ferrari 308 GTS – personal car of Gilles Villeneuve

 

BEST9718 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 “Safety Car Goodwood Revival 2013

 

BEST9719 Ferrari 512 BB LM – Silverstone 6 hours Relay 1981 – Salmon/Phillips

 

BEST9720 Porsche 356 B Carrera Abarth GTL – 12 hours of Sebring – Cassel/Sesslar

RIO Models

 

RIO4571 Fiat 1500 6C – Gasogeno 1935

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Maestro Model in 3D

By Maz Woolley

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

3D printed parts are widely used for prototyping work by model makers and artisan railway scenics producers have developed a lot of 3D printed items to sell over the last few years. Bollards, speed bumps, security fencing and items like that are being made by several established and growing scenics producers like Scale Model Scenery and Shedring Railway. Of late Shedring has started to make vehicle fitments like lifting equipment for lorries and even whole vehicles for use in dioramas like the site dumper shown below.

Photograph by, and copyright of, Shedring Railways

An alternative way for 3D designers to get their products to the public is a company called Shapeways who are commercial 3D printers who run a site where designers can upload their designs and if anyone buys the item Shapeways print it and send it to the customer and pay the designer a royalty. This company appears to run both a US and a European printing operation so the site attracts designs posted from both sides of the Atlantic and usefully an American design can be printed in Europe for European customers. Their site contains many items for diorama makers and has a few models in 1:43, but more in HO (1:87), OO (1:76) and even N (1:148 and 1:160) scales. Sometimes the same model is available in multiple scales. Designs include scenic items, railway engine bodies and fitments to use as transkits on commercial chassis. More importantly for car and vehicle model collectors there are also some lorries, vans and cars available. A selection of these are shown below. Please note that most illustrations on the Shapeways site have been generated from the digital data and are not photographs of the actual product that you will get.

Bedford TJ design by coasters120 on Shapeways

The Bedford TJ (thanks to Brendan Leach for correcting my error in calling it a TK) flatbed shown above is to 1:76 and looks like a one piece print. It is an interesting model as there are currently few TJ models.

Bedford OL by Transport Models on Shapeways

1:43 scale models are few and far between but provide interesting variants which can often be mixed with bodies and wheel sets off commercial models. The few 1:43 scale models seem to be made of a greater number of parts. The cost of the 1:43 scale models when additional parts needed to finish them off are taken into account are considerably dearer than Oxford Diecast trucks.

MIni Estate by Digitawn on Shapeways

This is a typical OO 1:76 scale model from the Shapeways site. It produced as a solid model with separate wheels. In addition to Minis there are also Transits and other Fords available on the site. The Mini model is certainly more accurate than many ready made models are.

Mercury Montego by Madaboutcars on Shapeways

The Mercury model shown is a digital generation of a 1:87 scale model. It is one of many US prototypes designed by Madaboutcars. All the US models I have seen are solid and  in either 1:43, 1:87 or Continental N scale of 1:160.

The model that I would like to look at in detail today is a 1:76 scale Austin Maestro designed by Alternative Model Railways which is available in 1:87, 1:76, and 1:148 scales. The 1:76 is available with the metal bumper or the plastic bumper, the plastic bumper version being shown here. A 1:76 scale van is also available. Shapeways can print with a wide range of plastics but model designers restrict the materials that can be used for the model and the Maestro can only be purchased made of a high quality plastic which makes the kit quite expensive, it costs nearly as much as four 1:76 Oxford Diecasts or two of the cheaper John Day Vehicle Scenics kits. The justification for the use of the expensive matte translucent plastic is that it shows fine and intricate details better.

The Austin Maestro was codenamed LM10 and was a five-door hatchback produced at Cowley from 1982 to 1987 by British Leyland, and from 1988 until 1994 by Rover Group. It went on to be produced in China until 2007 using a Toyota engine. It shared its platform with the MG derivatives as well as the Montego saloon.  It replaced both the Maxi and the Allegro and was fitted with engines from 1.3 to 2.0 litres.

Models of later Leyland, and Rover group, vehicles are scarce with the only other Maestro models known to me being the contemporary Scalextric and Corgi models. I know of no Montego model or models of the next generation Rover 200, 400, and 600 series cars. These once common cars have all but vanished from the roads now but there are many who remember driving them or as their parents or grandparents car. This generation of UK made vehicles are an opportunity for a small scale producer to fill if Oxford do not do so.

The model supplied is much like the digital illustration below though transluscent. Parts are printed and placed into protective plastic bags with different parts in different bags. As the illustration shows there is no glazing supplied.

Alternative Model Railways Maestro Kit as shown on Shapeways.

Unusually the designer also has a simple assembly diagram on the web site something that few others seem to both with.

Alternative Model Railways Maestro Assembly schematic on Shapeways

So what was it like making this kit? The first thing to note is that it all fits together quite snugly. The surface finish on the roof and in other areas does show the printing artifacts with the roof in particular having distinct contours. In 1:76 scale or smaller this is not too obvious but in 1:43 it may be a considerable disadvantage.  The kit was very crisply printed and I have few criticisms of the accuracy and quality. As my modelling skills are basic the defects in appearance are mainly from my poor finishing.

The side view of the car has been very well caught. The 3D printing of the side strips, wheels arches and the side ‘scallop’ are all very accurate. As are the window frames, door handles and fuel cap. The very finely printed detail presents a challenge to the average kit maker as many kit designers will make details slightly over scale to make the easier to pick out. This is not the case here so painting side strips and window surrounds proved challenging.

The front view is good though there were some artefacts in the grilles particularly below the bumper. But overall quite an accurate reflection of the fairly plain Maestro front end. No attempt is made to model screen wipers.

At the rear the modelling is simple and no attempt at wiper is made, It is however quite a good shape. The rear lights are supplied as transluscent plastic which has to be painted and fitted into slots. The shape and fit are good but painting them is difficult to this size and a decal to overlay or making them in coloured plastic might be a better solution.

The model’s stance is good and the overall shape excellent. It would have been better if a vacform had been supplied as glazing it is a real challenge. My thanks to Daryle at John Day Vehicle Scenics for giving me some vacforms for lorry cabs to cut down for the front and rear screens which has worked quite well. The side windows have been been glazed using Kristal Klear and because of the size of the gaps it has not created the nice flat surface I had hoped for though it is flush glazed which is the effect I wanted.

Another view of the car shows that the wheels are well finished with the wheel cover often seen on the Maestro in body colour. Again fine rims made painting difficult as a more pronounced rim makes it easier to paint the tyre correctly.

Another unusual model to add to the collection, and an introduction to making 3D printed models. My personal feeling is that, at present, the high cost of models on Shapeways means that it is only really worth considering for models of vehicles that you cannot get in any other way like this Maestro. Perhaps if Shapeways could find a way of making vacforms and reducing cost then they might become more popular.


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Ford LTD Landau 1975 – Ace Models

By Graeme Ogg

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

Ford (Australia) LTD Landau 1975

In July last year I posted about some forthcoming items from Ace Models in Australia, including a 1975 Ford Landau coupé which was then in final pre-release form. I checked their website recently and it said “All the Landaus are now on their way”. I wasn’t sure if that meant “they are on their way from China” or “they have all gone to people who pre-ordered them”. I e‑mailed to check on availability but got no reply, so I found my way to a well-known Australian dealer called Gateway Models, who turned out to be offering them for rather less than from Ace themselves, and with a shipping charge to the UK less than half what Trax routinely charge these days. My Ford Landau in Grecian Gold (No 28 of 75 made in that colour) duly arrived within a week and even managed to escape customs duty, so I was well pleased.

In photographs, from some angles the real car looks like a big, mean, long, low and wide full-size “muscle car”

Unattributed photo from the Web copyright acknowledged.

 

although other views show it is rather more compact, since it is actually an Australian Ford Falcon dressed up with the front end of the longer-wheelbase Fairlane and given a unique swoopy roofline for the 2-door version. So it is no relation to the US LTDs and Landaus (also assembled by Ford Brazil for the South American market) which were full-sized cars rather than compacts or intermediates.

Unattributed photograph from the Web. Copyright acknowledged

The model is a pretty good representation of the real thing, and finish and detailing are well up to the best Chinese standard.

 

The borders of the ”vinyl” roof are crisp, and details like the ribbed covers for the concealed headlights stand up to close inspection.

The model has also been issued in a dark Ivy Green, Port Wine and Cosmic Blue (again, 75 made of each colour).

It’s an interesting subject, more dramatic-looking than the standard LTD Town Car sedan that sold alongside it.

Unattributed photograph from Web. Copyright acknowledged.

Unfortunately the real car didn’t sell very well. Only about 1300, I think I read somewhere. Although aimed at people wanting a “personal luxury” sports coupé its compact interior dimensions and low roofline and seating position meant that although it was well-appointed and a fine open road car, it felt somewhat cramped and claustrophobic for the luxury buyer. It was also perceived as a dressed-up and heavier Falcon, with less performance and a relatively sloppy ride, and a higher price. If you wanted a sporty ride to go with the sporty looks you could buy the GT version of the XB Falcon it was based on (as modelled by Trax in their “Opal” series)

Unattributed photograph from the web. Copyright acknowledged
Manufacturer’s photograph

or if you were more serious you could have gone for the Ford GT (as modelled here by AutoArt).

Unattributed photograph from the web. Copyright acknowledged
Photograph by Manufacturer

And if you really wanted to drive a serious sports coupe there was also the GT Cobra (again modelled here by AutoArt)

Unattributed photograph from the web. Copyright acknowledged
Photograph by Manufacturer

In 1976 the “P5” Australian LTD/Landau was replaced by the P6, which was essentially the same car but with delusions of Rolls Royce/Lincoln Continental grandeur about the front end.

Unattributed photograph from the web. Copyright acknowledged

and given the poor sales of the previous coupé, there was no Landau version.

Anyway, whatever the fate of the real car, I’m pleased to have it as an unusual addition to the Australian fleet.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 17

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Here we look at Autobus from the world – part seventeen (nos. 4951).

After Brossel (see part 12, no. 36), now it is time to explore another Belgian manufacturer, the famous Van Hool, then we have one more Citroën bus and another previously seen German manufacturer  Neoplan. 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. 49 (no. 38 in the French collection) Van Hool VHF 306 Vistadome 1961 – We have already seen how the Belgian automotive industry is often overlooked, but is a thriving and dynamic one. Bernard Van Hool was born in Koningshooikt (near Anversa) and as a young boy he took a great interest in mechanics, construction and electrics. An active entrepreneur, he started a diamond cutting factory, then a company making other machinery, but the Second World War destroyed everything and he found a new challenge in the transport sector. His ambition was to build bridges and roads, and he needed a vehicle to transport his men to the works, and he decided to rebuilt an old bus with a whole new body. That was the birth of a new challenge: building coach bodies and running a coach tour operating company. He was successful and in 1957 a commercial agreement with Fiat was signed. Van Hool would use Fiat engines and other mechanical components in its vehicles. Van Hool developed from being a small coachbuilder to a manufacturer of integral buses and coaches, known as Van Hool-Fiat (VHF), whilst continuing to also be a renowned coachbuilder. This cooperation was a great success, introducing series production (over 500 coaches by July 1961) and they were exported all over Europe and Africa. In 1981 the cooperation with Fiat was terminated, and Van Hool started to use engines and axles sourced from Caterpillar, Cummins, Mercedes, DAF and MAN and gearboxes from ZF or Voith, or using whole chassis from Volvo and Scania. Since the mid-1980s, Van Hool has also been active on the North American market. In 1990 Van Hool purchased the coachbuilding business of LAG Manufacturing, a Belgian company founded in 1947 by two Geusens brothers that had achieved some success in the United States. Under the new management the product line was expanded. In recent years, Van Hool has been focusing on new propulsion technologies, introducing fuel-cell hybrid buses as well as diesel-electric hybrids.

The VHF 306 is part of the first generation of buses born from the agreement with Fiat : a fast and well made design allowing an early success and the subsequent expansion of the company. The first bus was the VHF 682, the chassis had bent sheet metal beams and the body was welded to it, with a single piece windshield and a very low horizontal radiator grille. The engine was a straight six diesel of 10.7 litres and 150 CV (the same used by the Fiat 682 RN bus), placed horizontally between the axles. Some countries didn’t allow its 12 metres body length, so a new 11 metres bus was developed in 1959 and named VHF 309, while the 682 was renamed 306. Later on they developed an extra-luxury version of the 306, the Vistadome, with an elevated floor for the passengers and a second windshield over the main one.

The scale model is based on the Vistadome version, with the usual combination of a plastic body and a well detailed metal baseplate, sporting a dark red livery.

The registration plate is correct for Belgium (red characters on white background) and very likely also for the year: Belgian plates are owner specific, giving no reliable information about the original registration year of the car to which they are fixed.

The body shape is well reproduced, with nice side windows and tinted ones on the roof, and a separate antenna. As usual there are many separate plastic parts, like side exhaust, lights, mirrors and wipers. The interior is quite basic, with the steering wheel being perhaps a bit too large.

The rear wheels rub on the body though this could be specific to my model). There is no apparent difference to the French edition. A really big model of a large tourist bus typical of the 1960s.

 

 

No. 50 (no. 39 in the French collection) Citroen U 23 Besset 1947 – We have already seen the history of André Citroën and its type 46 (see part nine, no. 25), and how in 1953 the type 55 (part three, no. 9) replaced the type 45 (part two, no. 6). Before the Second World War Citroën developed a homogeneous range of commercial vehicles formed by the types 29 (later 32) and 45, based on truck derived chassis and designed to be bodied as long distance buses, plus a little brother, the light truck type 23 (see part five, no. 15), based on the type 11 and powered by the Traction Avant engine, obviously flipped around in order to drive the rear wheels through a specific gearbox and with an inverted direction of rotation to maintain the direction of rotation of the crank. But its power was quite poor, it gave a maximum speed of only 65 km/h and allowed only 14-20 seats. Presented at the 1935 Paris Motor Show as a light truck, quite basic but very reliable. Many coachbuilders showed their proposals for the 23, like Surirey of Flers (Orne) still active in the field of commercial vehicles, or Besset of Annonay (Ardèche), author of our model. Joseph Besset started as a wooden wheel maker and in 1920 founded an industrial body shop adding coachwork to chassis from Berliet, Bugatti, De Dion Bouton, Delage, Hispano-Suiza, Renault, Rochet-Schneider and Rolland-Pilain. In 1927 he decided to build coaches on truck chassis by Panhard, Citroën and Renault. In 1934 he swapped building wood framed bodywork for lighter and more resistant closed tubular metal structures using electrical welding and patenting the procedure. In 1938, at the International Fair of Lyon, Joseph Besset presented the first European coach with an integral structure with engine at the rear located in a cantilever : the Isobloc (see part 6, no. 17). But in 1951 competition forced Besset to cease his activities. The company changed names several times and became Floirat, then SACA, Saviem, Renault Industrial Vehicles, Irisbus-Iveco and since 2013 Iveco Bus.

This is a weighty but small model compared to the Van Hool. It captures the line well with sympathy for the exaggerated lines of the dark green and light green livery. It is based on a coach preserved by the Orain company of Messac (Ille-et-Villaine), while another one is in the Annonay museum.

Metal body and plastic chassis, with a simulated spare wheel under the chassis. The driver area is well reproduced, with nice passenger seats.

The registration plate is from Ille-et-Villaine, a department located in Brittany, in the northwest of France. A very nice radiator grille is fitted and the front lights are quite fine. As usual there are many added parts, like lights, mirrors, wipers and a large rear ladder to reach the baggage area over the black roof.

There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A very nice model, but perhaps a lighter livery would improve its appearance.

 

No. 51 (no. 40 in the French collection) Neoplan NH 9L 1964 – When we met the 1983 Neoplan NH 22 Skyliner (part nine, no. 27) we saw the Neoplan founder’s eldest son, Albrecht Auwärter, and the Swiss Bob Lee, developed a new coach as part of their dissertation at the Hamburg University. The “Hamburg” bus was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1961. Both Albrecht and Lee joined Neoplan after graduating from the university : Albrecht took over management of the company, and Bob Lee later became head of Engineering and Design. The NH range (Neoplan Hamburg) was characterised by clear-cut lines with straight edges and large windows, curved over the roof. From the beginning the NH was produced in four different lengths (from 8.16 to 12 metres) named NH 8, NH 9, NH 12 and NH 14 according to the number of rows of seats. All models had rear pneumatic springs and Henschel straight six diesel engines with 115-180 CV. The NH 9 was the most successful, but at the end of the 60s competition forced Neoplan to substitute it with the NH 10, which was able to carry more passengers. The NB range replaced the NH range in 1971 and the Henschel engines were replaced by Daimler Benz ones. Henschel was founded in 1810 in Kassel, producing locomotives among other things, then developed trucks and buses, both before and after the second world war, and diesel engines following the issuing of a  Lanova license, but at the end of the 60s it was absorbed bit by bit by Daimler Benz.

The scale model is shaped accurately and the cream and green livery appears authentic and neatly printed.

 

It is a faithful reproduction of a bus preserved by Will-Reisen, a travel company from Haßfurt, a town in Bavaria, Germany, capital of the Haßberge district.

The body is plastic, as usual, with a metal baseplate with limited details. The silver roof is a separate part. Many more small plastic separate parts are fitted, like exhaust, wipers, mirrors, lights and bumpers, plus a very large antenna in front. The Henschel scripts over the front and rear grilles are rather crude..

A basic interior is fitted and the steering wheel seems to be a bit too large. Nice wheel covers are fitted. There is an accurate German registration plate for the Haßberge district. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model, quite representative of 1960s technology.


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Catching up on Autocult and others

By Maz Woolley

All text copyright of the Author and photographs provided by Autocult.

It is some time since we last looked at Autocult whose releases have continued through the year. Here we look at some of the curious vehicles from releases 6 and 7. All the models shown are resin cast to 1:43 scale in China for Germany.

#04017 Arzens La Baleine

Paul Arzens (1903–1990) was a Paris born French industrial designer of railway locomotives and motor cars. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and was able to live reasonably well on the sales of his paintings. This gave him time to pursue an interest in engineering and design.

In 1935 Arzens became involved in the production of cars. He designed and constructed a six-speed automatic transmission which he installed in an old Chrysler and proved to work. Robert Peugeot tried the car and was impressed, although hopes that the system might be adopted for the Peugeot 402 came to nothing, possibly because Peugeot had recently signed a deal with Cotal involving their pre-selector transmission.

Two years later Arzens came up with an eye-catching and streamlined two seater cabriolet prototype built on the chassis of an old Buick. The car was christened “La Baleine” (the whale). With its integrated headlights, panoramic curved windscreen (of ‘plexiglas’) and ‘ponton’ format styling the design anticipated sports cars of the 1950s and 1960s. The car subsequently joined the Bugattis of the Schlumpf Collection at what has become the National Motor Museum in Mulhouse.

#05021 Fiat 2100 Berlina Speciale

The Fiat 1800 and 2100 were six-cylinder saloons produced by Fiat between 1959 and 1968. Both six-cylinder models appeared in 1959 and in 1963, a four-cylinder 1500 cc version was added to the range. The 1800/2100 were designed in-house by Dante Giacosa famous for designing the Cisitalia as well as many cars produced during his time as Lead Engineer for Fiat.

The 2100 was Fiat’s flagship car much used by officials and industrialists. It introduced the crisp three box formula that was to serve Fiat well when used for the smaller Fiat 1500 and then 124/125 and 128 saloons. The 2100 had a 2054 cc six-cylinder engine and a simple but stylish interior with the instruments clustered on the then fashionable single panel in front of the steering wheel with a ribbon speedometer. In autumn 1959, the 2100 Speciale, as modelled here by Autocult, was introduced. It had a lengthened wheelbase and different front grille. The Speciale was used by diplomats and officials. The 2100 was discontinued in Italy during 1961, when the Fiat 2300 became available.

 

#06027 Monteverdi Palm Beach

The Monteverdi Palm Beach was a concept car built by Swiss manufacturer Monteverdi in 1975. It was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1975.  The car never went into production and remained a one-off.  It was built on a shortened Monteverdi High Speed 375C chassis and was painted copper with an interior made of cream-coloured leather. The purchase price of the Palm Beach was given as 124,000 Swiss francs.

The outside of the Palm Beach was influenced by the Montiverdi Berlinetta coupe particularly its low front end with the striking narrow radiator grille and the square twin headlamps. To the rear the tail lights were from a Triumph TR6 were used. Underneath the Palm Beach used the 375C chassis and drive train as well as the conventional 7.2 litre Chrysler V8 .

 

#07010 Moskvich G2

Every now and then the Soviet Union allowed its designers to develop something which was ‘fun’ rather than solely utilitarian. Though often, as here, the underpinnings were fairly basic. The Moskvitch G2 was a sports car derived from the earlier Moskvitch G1. Instead of an open wheel car it was now fitted with an aerodynamic body (spider or hard-top) and was capable of a top speed of 139 mph. This was a very credible speed given that the mid-mounted 70 hp 1,074 cc inline 4-cylinder flathead engine was derived from an engine developed for the pre-war Opel Kadett.

The G2 broke several speed records in the USSR in 1956. In 1959, the engine was replaced with a unit based on the engine from the Moskvitch 407 and a rollbar was installed above the driver’s seat. The G2 was decommissioned in late 1963.

#09006 Mercedes-Benz G bimobil Husky 235

The bimobile is a German demountable camper system similar to those commonly fitted to US pickups though in this case it is designed to directly attach to the host vehicles chassis.  Obviously the key sales point is that you may use the host vehicle for other uses when not going camping and you may replace the host vehicle and fit it to the new one in turn. You may even by a small crane to help you take the unit off the chassis and to re-attach it. The unit is fitted with jacks so can even be lived in when it is not mounted on the chassis.

The bimobil started with a unit fitted to a Peugeot 504 but has been fitted to a wide range of chassis since including the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen as modelled by Autocult which gave it a real ‘go anywhere’ capability.

#10003 Opel Blitz Ludewig Aero

Germany in the 1930s was the home to a wide range of new vehicles and a strong trend towards aerodynamic solutions inspired by the new Autobahn network.  The small bodybuilders Ludewig Brothers of Essen bagan a fruitful collaboration with Opel from the early 1930s.  After the launch of the Opel Blitz three ton truck the Ludewig Brothers workshop developed some prototype bodies for this vehicle, one of them was a bus with a new body of streamlined and rounded form.

The style of the radiator grille was unusual – the Ludewig studio designers deviated from the traditional Opel shape, as generally seen on trucks and other buses, and created a new, rounded form for the front of the body. The engine cowling was rather elegantly combined with the rounded-off wings over the front wheels. To the rear of the body there was an aerodynamic crest reminiscent of the fin of a huge fish.  Two interior styles were seen: in the first the passenger seats were arranged at an angle of 45 degrees to the windows for the optimum view; and in the second the passengers sat on sofa-like chairs.

This bus was coachbuilt by the Ludewig Brothers in very small numbers to order because a mass produced version would have cost more than the market would pay. About seven or eight are known to have been built and many were used to ferry foreign visitors to the 1936 Olympics around as part of the Nazi propaganda effort. They were briefly in service with OBI, an Essen based tour operator after the Olympics. The fate of these vehicles was to be commandeered for use as military transport at the onset of the Second World War.

 

 

Avenue 43

 

Autocult act as distributors for this range of vehicles.

 

#60012 Dodge Charger III

This was a concept car widely shown in the late 1960s but never turned into a road going car. Indeed the shape seems to owe much to the Chevrolet Corvette. The prototype was created for the US national auto show circuit in 1968 and was designed by the staff at Chrysler’s advanced styling studios. The construction of the show car was sub-contracted to the Detroit based fabrication team of Vince Gardner and Paul Shedlik. An automotive prodigy, Gardner was barely out of his teens when he helped Gordon Buehrig craft the original clay model for the Cord 810, while his own designs included the Ford Vega sports car and the Studebaker Gardner Special. The Charger III was one of many projects Gardner and Shedlik tackled for the bigger car makers. The two-man team personally crafted the fibreglass body shell for the Chrysler show car, which was 74 inches wide, only 42 inches tall, and had a 100-inch wheelbase.

The prototype had no engine or drivetrain installed. However, the automaker’s press materials suggested that a Dodge 426 Street Hemi could be installed under the low-profile hood. As there was no engine fitted the power required to operate the Charger III’s numerous display functions, including the clamshell-style cockpit canopy, was actually provided by a 120-volt electrical cable. Photos indicate that the Charger III had at least two different paint finishes: the gold featured at the Chicago Auto Show, and the brilliant Candy Apple Red as shown on the Avenue 43 model.

Like so many show cars it is thought the original was broken up at some point though some more fibreglass bodies found their way into the world of drag racing so the shape lived on.

#60013 Porsche 645 Spyder “Mickymaus”

Developed from the 550 A and 1500 RS Porsche this 1956 prototype nicknamed “Mickey Mouse” had a wheelbase of 2,000 mm and a reduced track width. This change allowed a smaller front profile and higher top speed. The central tail section was raised to house a cooling fan as well as housing two rear facing openings for the air intakes for carburettor and cooling system. The vehicle was powered by an air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine with four camshafts (two on each side), which were powered by vertical shafts. It had dual ignition with two separate ignition manifolds, two ignition coils and two twin choke Weber 40 DCM carbs.

At a race on the AVUS course on September 16, 1956, Richard von Frankenberg had an accident with the Mickey Mouse. The car crashed over the north curve’s steep slope into the paddock, about fifteen feet below, and burned; Frankenberg, who had been thrown out, remained almost unhurt. The 645 project ceased and work was devoted to the Porsche 718 1500 RSK Spyder which appeared in the middle of 1957.

Matrix new Announcement

This Matrix model is resin cast in China for the Netherlands to 1:43 scale.

MX20301-183 Cadillac Superior Funeral car 1970

Matrix has just announced a ‘surprise model’ which had not been previously announced but which will ship soon. This Cadillac Funeral Car looks to be a nice model of a classic Cadillac.


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Atlas Dinky #1410 Moskvitch

By Maz Woolley

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

Recently a small number of the Atlas Dinky 1410 Moskvitch have been sold on eBay by sellers based in China. I have always wanted one of the French Dinky Toys Moskvitch models to go with my USSR/Russian made Moskvitch models so I bought one. Of course it is possible that one will also turn up in the Atlas UK Deluxe Dinky series in which case I will have two!

The model was launched by French Dinky in 1968 and was based on a Moskvitch 408 with a 1360cc engine. The model was withdrawn in 1971. The Moskvitch 408 car was launched in 1964 and replaced by the 412 in 1967 so the French Dinky was already out of date when launched.

The Model is in a reproduction of one of the later style of picture boxes with the car drawn but none of the nice backgrounds shown on earlier models.

The French Dinky came in three different colours: metallic bronze, metallic blue, and red. Here Atlas has chosen to reproduce the deep red colour.

The quad headlights and grille are very nicely reproduced and with some effort the front hinged bonnet can be made to sit properly.

Interestingly for a model sold in France the number plates look to be Soviet ones in the format used from 1960 onwards with the area code last. I can find no listing of where ‘MML’ was issued, which is what the Cyrillic letters say, but Moscow would be my guess.

The rear of the car is very nicely modelled with the upright lights of the 408 well captured and the additional lights on the rear panel too.

The opening bonnet shows quite a bit of detail and has a slightly complicated front hinge. Inside the car there is a basic white plastic interior with a black plastic steering wheel and unusually no recess for the footwell in front of the front seats.

Here in the UK the Moskvitch sold modestly but it was cheap, came with a complete tool kit and was a tough car. It was also sucessfully campaigned in saloon car racing by the importer. In that period saloon car classes were based on sales price putting a Moskvitch with a strong OHC 1500cc engine in the same class as basic MIni and Imps.

Behind the Iron Curtain.

The French Dinky model may have gone out of production in 1971 but the casting went on to live a second life. In the Soviet Union the French Dinky spawned copies and new versions such as estates, vans and pickups.

When you compare a Saratov made Moskvitch model like the estate car shown below you can see the similarities. Though chrome here, and black in the French Dinky, the engine casting looks identical. Look inside and the funny interior with no cutouts for the floor wells and the bulge where the steering column would be looks identical to the French Dinky. Even the seats look the same, albeit with a rear extension in the estate car.

 

The USSR made model shown has a slightly different means of attaching the bonnet, the indicators on the front wings are slightly less pronounced, and the grille is from a rectangular headlight second series car.  The ventilator window frames are also a little larger on the USSR made model. So the conclusion is that the Saratov model is derived from the Dinky without being a straight copy.

The Soviet model has nicer wheels than the Dinky as the wheel embellishers are etched in to the concave section and the wheels are smaller and tyres more finely moulded.

As the photographs show the French Dinky makes a nice companion to the Soviet made model which was bought from a Berioshka (Foreign Tourist only) shop in a hotel in Leningrad in the Gorbachev era.


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DeAgostini Dinky 268 Renault Minicab

By Maz Woolley

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

The model discussed in this article is the sixteenth release in the DeAgostini Classic Dinky Toys collection and one that has a strong appeal as it did not appear in the Atlas Dinky series. It has been made for them by Norev in China. It is #268 Renault Dauphine MInicab. It is unusual for this series by being a UK Dinky release, though based on a well established Dinky France casting #524 from 1959 with fitted windows which replaced the same car without windows sold as 24E from 1957. So why did Dinky UK adopt this French model?

In the early 1960s a small firm called Carline realised that the Black Cab (mainly Austin FX3s and FX4s) monopoly in London was based on them being the only service allowed to ply for hire but that if people ordered a car over the phone to a central office who dispatched the cars the service could be provided outside the Hackney Carriage regulations. Starting with a small fleet of Ford Anglias Carline’s minicabs began to hit the streets of London in early 1961.

Shortly after that Michael Gotla a young, and publicity conscious, entrepreneur started Welbeck Motors who went on to be the public face of the early Minicab. He ordered a large number of red Renault Dauphines and also gained further income by applying adverts to them, something that only happened to Black Cabs in the 1980s.  Dialling WELbeck 0561 would summon a car for one shilling per mile, considerably cheaper than a Black Cab. At this time Black Cabs were not keen to leave Central London as it made picking up the next fare more difficult so calling a minicab was often quicker as well as cheaper particularly in Outer London suburbs.

There were several pubic conflicts between Black Cabs and Minicabs, as there have been recently between Taxis and Uber drivers in a number of Cities. This generated a lot of publicity and press coverage which encouraged Dinky to show themselves as up to date by modelling the minicabs which were being regularly pictured in the press and seen on TV. After all all they had to do was get raw castings and glazing sent to them from France, create a new baseplate and box,  apply some red paint, and add transfers.

Following an unfavourable court case the first generation of minicabs faded away in London only to return later when regulations became more favourable. The short period of operation  of Wellbeck Motors didn’t matter to Dinky who sold the model from 1962 to 1967.

The model from DeAgostini differs from the original Dinky in one key way. Unable to get a license from Meccano to reproduce their advert on the model DeAgostini had Kenwood printed on both sides which reduces the accuracy of the replica though sets of transfers are available if anyone wanted to add a Meccano advert over one of the Kenwood adverts.

The Dinky France Renault Dauphine was a good casting though already over five years old when used as a minicab. It captures the real car well and it is 1:43 scale unlike most UK Dinkys of the time, though this is not stated on the UK made baseplate.  The printing of the adverts is well done on the replica with some depth to it replicating the bulk of a transfer, though of course the absolute accuracy and well aligned prints are perhaps ‘better than new’.

Certainly an interesting model for DeAgostini to offer and one that it is worth seeking out by those who are not collecting the series because they already have the Atlas Dinky Collection.


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Premium X Land Rover Discovery Sport 2017

By John. F. Quilter

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

Chinese model makers are fast at work producing replicas of past and present model vehicles. Some are now done as manufacturers launch new product, much as AMT and Johan did in the 1950s and 1960s with 1:24 scale replicas for each year’s American cars. You may have played with and collected these. Hopefully, today’s models will stay in good shape better than the early plastic “promos” that sadly tended to become grossly warped with age.

 

 

The model shown in this article is one of the the latest from Premium X a brand name of Premium Collectibles Trading Company based in Macau, China. This model reviewed is the 2017 version of the Land Rover Discovery Sport. It is available in red as shown under item number PRD402 and in black as PRD401. Land Rover and Range Rover seem to be spinning out new models at a record pace. I’m having some difficulty keeping all these LR and RR products straight and trying to figure out what market niche they fit into.

In the interests of fuel economy the Discovery Sport features a 2.0 litre inline four cylinder engine with turbocharging and 9 speed automatic transmission and, for the technically savvy the bore is 3.44 and the stroke 3.27. All this provides for a 0-60 time of 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 124 MPH in case you are in a hurry to get to your favourite off road adventure.

There is a plethora of features such as All Terrain Process Control, Terrain Response, Hill Decent Control, Start Stop technology, (I’m not so sure about this feature as one who has spent a lifetime trying to make sure the engine does NOT stall at intersections) Electronic Power Assisted Steering, Hill Start Assist, Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Park Brake, Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Roll Stability Control, Emergency Brake Assist. All this should keep you busy testing and demonstrating these features but of course only after you have read the owner’s handbook which is likely upwards of 300 pages. Heavens, the sales brochure is 96 pages! I can understand heated leather steering wheel, partial leather seats, 8 way front seats. Front and rear premium carpet mats but the other high tech features…. not so much.

Land Rover offers 17 exterior colours and 6 interior upholstery colours. Maybe you would like Ebony with Pimento stitching or perhaps Ebony with Cirrus stitching? We’ve come a long way from a Series 2 Land Rover. And for wheels there are 13 shown as available, some black, some silver and pick your diameter.

Now to the scale model, this one is done in Firenze red with Ebony seats, but aw shucks I cannot tell what the piping is, Pimento or Cirrus? The wheels appear to be 20” Split Spoke in gloss black. My camera seems to turn red into orange but trust me the model really is red. There is reasonable details on the undercarriage, the most prominent being the exhaust system that splits at the rear to two chrome tailpipes.

A very large tinted glass roof gives good visibility to the interior revealing some silver details to the centre stack, steering wheel and instruments. And this model is done in left hand drive just suitable for the USA. Proper green Land Rover oval badges appear on the grill and C posts.

So, if like me, you are an inveterate Land Rover model collector here is one more for the shelf. No fuel, insurance, registration, or a larger garage required. Now I eagerly await the Velar.


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More on Bathurst models

By Mick Haven

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

As an avid collector of Australian models, I currently have around 210 across three scales, I read the contribution from Frank Koh/Karl Schnelle about the Trax Holden Commodore with interest. Although I’ve got a reasonable number of Trax models, this is one I haven’t got. I first started collecting them because of a number of trips ‘down under’.

The floodgates opened with 1:43 scales when I started collecting road cars, the first one in 2002. This was Biante’s Holden VT Concept car in blue/black. Its stablemate, the mustard gold example would follow sometime later. These were a real eye opener. They had a fully detailed interior and chassis, and steerable front wheels! At just $55 Australian Dollars they cost me about 25 UK Pounds. Astonishing! I’d never seen anything like them. The real car, a two door coupe based on Holden’s popular Commodore four door saloon, was shown at the 1998 Sydney Motor Show for no other reason than to test public reaction for a production consideration. Reaction was positive to say the least. Production began and it would be released in 2001. It would be known by the resurrected name, Monaro, although Holden‘s designation was CV-8, appertaining to Coupé V8. VT was the designation for the range of Commodore models in production at the time.

The year before, i.e. 2001, in a model shop in a Melbourne suburb I had bought for the measly sum of 59 Australian Dollars a ‘Classic Carlectables‘, 1:18 scale Ford Falcon V8 Supercar. “Classic Carlectables”, I asked myself, “who the devil are they”? I’d never heard of them, neither had I heard of Biante, Trax, Dinkum Classics or any other home grown brands. Although basic by comparison to today’s excellent offerings from Carlectables, they were superb and like nothing I had seen before. They were easily on a par with or better than, the popular brands we were more used to here in the UK at that time. V8 Supercars was something else I knew little about back then. That would change. I kept in touch with the shop, who put by two more for me, at a very reasonable, ‘two for $100’ due to my impending return in 2002. With the exchange rate at around two to the pound, they represented astonishing value. From then onwards, I was trawling the ‘net almost daily for them, getting them from model shops down there, and also from car dealerships, either by visiting them while on holiday or from their web site. many car dealers had a stock of model cars equal to many a hobby shop, although as you would expect they were only relevant to the brand of car, i.e Ford or Holden. To offer models from ‘the opposition’ is treason, a hanging offence, well almost. They would also stock a superb range of clothing and other memorabilia, none of which were or are available here.

In 2011, it was suggested to me that I collect models of all the winners from the Bathurst 500 (miles) as it was from 1963 until 1973, when it would become the ‘1000‘, as in kilometres, which it still is. After my initial reticence had subsided, I set about the task in hand, as I already had some, along with models of cars from the A.T.C.C., the Australian Touring Car Championship. I currently need seven models to complete the set from 1963 to 2017. Unfortunately, the set is unlikely to ever be completed, either because a certain car has not been made, or if one has, because they are rare and consequently too expensive for me to buy even if found. Those wanted are Holden Commodores from 1993 and 1995, the 1997 B.M.W. 320i, Holden Commodores from 2001,2003,2004 and 2017. The 1993 and 1995 winners were produced by Classic Carlectables but only in 1:18 scale. Although they did release a model similar to the winning car, it is not, the winner. The B.M.W. raced to victory by David and Geoff Brabham, sons of the great, Sir Jack, is unlikely to be released, due, apparently, to no manufacturer wanting to take a gamble on the possibility of poor sales. The BMW won at the time of the European touring car invasion in the 1990s, which didn’t sit well with die hard Ford and Holden fans. The winners from 2001, 2003 and 2004 have been released, but are hard to find, are very expensive if they are found, and the seller, usually in Australia, quite often won’t post to the UK. The 2003 car can be found in 1:64 scale but like the 1:18 models, would be out of context in a cabinet full of 1:43 scale models.

I’m not aware of the 2017 winning Holden being released thus far, and I haven’t heard as yet if one will be. I hope so because 2018 is final year in the epic battles between the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore, dating back to 1967, the year which was a victory for ‘The Blue Oval’ with the first ever win for a car with a V8 engine. It will be a tad ironic if the last ever race between the two protagonists is also won by a Falcon, which currently heads the V8 Supercars championship.

 

This year I have added three more winners, all of which were must haves. The first two, which arrived back in May, are the late great Peter Brock‘s 1972 Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1, and Dick Johnson’s fearsome Sierra RS 500 from 1989.

The third model is another Peter Brock car, his 1982 Holden Commodore VH. This would be his third win out of a record nine times.

The model is the ACE Commodore referred to.

 

The Torana and the Sierra are by the former Apex Models and the Commodore is from Ace Models, a brand written about in a previous MAR by Graeme Ogg. Apex have recently been taken over by Biante, so I expect some interesting models forthcoming from that amalgamation. A word of thanks to Graeme Ogg for introducing me to Ace Models, a name I wasn’t aware of until he wrote about them in MAR. I subsequently ordered one of their superb Falcon BA Utes from Gateway, my favourite Australian dealer.

 

One other Aussie which came this year is a model of Dick Johnson’s 1985 Greens Tuf Bathurst Mustang. Although the car wasn’t a winner, it’s an excellent example of the type. The model was professionally built for me from an Automodelli kit, sourced here in the UK from Grand Prix Models. At the time of writing, I’m waiting on the release of another Automodelli Dick Johnson Mustang, his J.P.S. liveried car from the Wellington 500 in 1986, although no doubt it will be the Greens Tuf casting, with J.P.S. decals added. Can’t wait. So, as for the remaining Bathurst winners, I don’t hold out much hope of ever completing the set. Fortunately, those I have got, along with the A.T.C.C. cars, make a fine collection and have given hours of satisfaction finding and collecting them.


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Bathurst Holden Commodore

By Frank Koh

Here’s an Australian racing legend that looked a lot like an Opel Rekord, but this Holden was capable of doing great things that four and six cylinder Opels could never have dreamed of. The Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon were domestic-engineered, locally-built high performance V8 muscle cars that dominated the road racing scene in Australia (and neighboring New Zealand).

While at present there are no more Australian-built V8 muscle cars, Australian diecast brand Trax Models immortalizes these iconic vehicles in 1/43 scale.  Along with competitors Biante Models and Classic Carlectables, the Australian model car scene is bustling with activity, and there are many exclusive-to-Australia-and-New-Zealand diecast and resin miniatures that embody the unbridled passion for performance that the cars from that part of the world possess.

This 1984 Holden VH Commodore was a formidable, if not exceptionally colorful, competitor at the Bathurst racing circuit in Australia. Trax Models released this beautiful car as part of its line of 1/43 scale cars that raced at Bathurst. Today the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) remains one of the most popular racing series, but with the closure of the Holden factory last year, the era of the Australian-Built V8 Powered Muscle Car has come to an end.


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