Category Archives: 1:43

1:43 scale

Corgi July to December 2017

By Maz Woolley

All pictures used to illustrate this article are from Corgi’s web site. Most are mock ups or 3D renderings rather than examples of the final models. 

Business Background

I make no apologies for starting this article with news about the Hornby Hobbies business as June is not only when they announce the second half models but it is also their financial year end.

Already this year we have seen the company drop its plans to build a visitor centre to replace the one lost when they sold their headquarters site. This was followed in April by a major shareholder,  New Pistoia Income Limited, calling for the removal of Roger Canham the Executive Chairman. Before the Annual Results New Pistoia decided to cut their losses and sold the 20% they held in Hornby hobbies for 32 pence a share to Phoenix Asset Management Partners the biggest shareholder who now have 55% and have now to offer to buy any other shareholders shares at 32 pence.

Whilst all this upheaval took place the annual results were announced and the CEO/Chairman Roger Canham’s resignation as well. A growing underlying pre-tax loss of over six million pounds was widely reported in the Financial columns. Whilst their cash situation has significantly improved this will still leave them little capital to invest in new products so only the fast selling products with the highest level of margin will get any investment. The shareholders have not had a dividend for several years now and the shares values have flat lined over the last year so they are all losing money on the shares which cannot go on for ever.

Why does this matter to collectors of model vehicles? Well Corgi is hardly mentioned in any discussions of Hornby at all and apart from the 1:48 Lightning model investments in new mouldings are non-existent apart from a single 1:50 truck not even listed in the second half release section of their web pages.  The company states that its turnround is well under way with a belief that all UK brands have been maintained despite all the cost cutting measures taken, lower sales, and restrictions in the sales channels they are servicing. I am not sure that that does not count as what are now known as “alternate facts”. Collectors are right to be uneasy when they see that the  Corgi brand is not mentioned once in the plans for the next stage of the turnround.

It is against this background that Corgi announced their July to December catalogue. Almost everything in it is a new version of a casting already used several times in the past. Some castings  like the Vanguards Morris Minors and Mini are now several generations old and simply not up to the standards of Oxford Diecast, or PCT made models for part works or ranges like Whitebox. Looking at the Corgi Forum the posts about the new releases are mostly negative which I know reflects several MAR Online readers views as well. Corgi have not even listed some models on their web site that Hattons has listed like the re-released Basil Fawlty Austin  or yet another Mr Bean Mini.

I believe that the situation is clear: Hornby has no intention of investing in any significant level of new tooling for the Corgi ranges. Their sole idea of keeping Corgi alive is to produce re-paints of old castings and hope that they sell enough to milk some contribution from the brand to their financial recovery. In my opinion Corgi is now a spent force and Hornby is deluding itself if they expect collectors to pay nearly thirty pounds for Vanguards models made from  ageing moulds when DeAgostini/Atlas and others offer more for less money.

Corgi 2017 Second Half Catalogue

The models listed below are those listed by Corgi on their web site for the second half of 2017. Their January 2017 announcement was already reported here.  When checking a supplier website there are models available to order that are not in the catalogue such as five re-released James Bond vehicles, Mr Bean’s Mini, and Basil Fawlty’s 1100. There is also a single 1:50 scale lorry, Scania R (Face Lift) Flatbed Trailer & Brick Load “Ian Craig Haulage Ltd, Falkirk, Scotland”,  claimed to be new tooling. If these are new it seems strange that Corgi did not include them on their website listing.

My observations on the models offered are:

  1. The Royal Wedding Anniversary models are crude and horrid and quite expensive for the type of souvenir shop likely to want to stock them. I can’t see collectors wanting them at all.
  2. I hope the metallic models are not made with reflective flakes the size showing in pictures
  3. How many times are they going to release that Mini casting – it was not good when first released and looks even worse now compared to modern models?
  4. Who lined up all that awful thick silver detailing on the Minor Police Car windows?
  5. Why are they using the same moulds used already for re-paints recently so soon like the Sunbeam Alpine?
  6. Why is an “export” Rover 3500 fitted with UK number plates?
  7. Why keep on flogging the “New London Bus” to death when the new Mayor has cancelled buying any more of them?
  8. Why keep on releasing Land Rovers when Oxford will be doing them and charging significantly less?
  9. Why bother with the Captain Scarlett car? It has now slipped out of fashion again.
  10.   Many earlier releases of the re-used castings are available on eBay and at Toy Fairs for much less money why buy a new one?
  11. How can anybody at Corgi say they are “proud to introduce the July to December 2017 Corgi range, featuring a host of new introductions

Aviation Archive

English Electric Lightning F6 XR728/JS , RAF Binbrook

 

Albatros D.Va D.7327/17, Lt. Lothar Weiland, Jasta 5, Seefrontstaffel 1

 

Fokker DR.1 Triplane 213/17 ‘K’, Lt. Friedrich ‘Fritz’ Kempf, Jasta 2

 

Sopwith Camel F.1 B6313, Major William George ‘Billy’ Barker RAF

 

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 42-97880/DF-F ‘Little Miss Mischief’ USAAF

 

Panavia Tornado GR.4 ZA461, RAF No.15 Squadron, Special Scheme

 

Dornier Do17Z-2 U5-BH, 1./KG.2 ‘Holzhammer’ Operation Marita

 

Junkers Ju-88C-6 F8+BX, 13./KG40, Battle over the Biscay

 

Short Sunderland Mk.III W3999/ RB-Y No.10 Squadron RAAF, Early 1942

 

Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 XW538/S, RAF No.16 Squadron, RAF Gutersloh

 

Hawker Typhoon lB RB389/I8-P ‘Pulverizer IV’, No.440 Sqn RCAF

 

Messerschmitt Bf 110E-2 G9+LN, Oblt. Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer

 

Westland Puma HC.1 XW220/AC, RAF No.72 Squadron, Aldergrove, 1997

 

Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 N2359/YB-J, ‘Winged Popeye’, RAF No.17 Sqn

 

Gloster Sea Gladiator N5519/G6A, No,802 NAS, HMS Glorious, 1939

 

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 ‘Yellow 1’ Oblt. Gerhard Schopfel, Battle of Britain

 

Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2 P8127 ‘White 47’, Robert ‘R.T’ Smith, 3rd Sqn AVG

 

North American P-51D Mustang 44-13586/C5-T ‘Hurry Home Honey’, USAAF

Vanguards

 

Volkswagen Beetle, Type 1 Export Saloon Horizon Blue

 

Land Rover Series 1 80” RAC Road Service Vehicle

 

Ford Escort Mk3 XR3 Prairie Yellow

 

Austin Se7en Deluxe, Vanden Plas ‘Mini’ Lord Austin’s Daughter Irene Austin, Princess Blue-Grey Metallic

Morris Minor 1000 The Lothians and Peebles Constabulary

 

Ford Cortina Mk3 2000E Automatic Sahara Beige

 

Ford Cortina Mk2 Twin Cam (Lotus) Red II

 

Rover P6 3500S Scarab Blue, Export Specification, RHD

 

Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000 Modena Green

 

Ford Sierra XR4i Strato Silver

 

Ford Capri 2300GT Mk1 1969 Tour de France Automobile

 

Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800 1979 Lombard RAC Rally of Great Britain

 

Sunbeam Alpine Series 2 Quartz Blue Metallic

 

Morris Minor 1000 Traveller Bermuda Blue

Original Omnibus

 

New Routemaster, Go-Ahead London, 88 Camden Town

 

New Routemaster, Go Ahead London, 88 Clapham Common

 

Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Shuttle Bus

Others

 

Paddington Bear New Routemaster

 

Captain Scarlet Classic Spectrum Saloon Car

 

70th Anniversary of The Royal Wedding – Classic Mini

 

70th Anniversary of The Royal Wedding – Classic Routemaster

Bloodhound SSC Super Hauler

 

Corgi Christmas Super Hauler

Closing thoughts

Long time MAR readers will know that I have been a collector of Corgi models in the past and have been getting more and more restive with each underwhelming release announcement. I know many of you feel the same. I think that the thing I find most insulting to collectors is the pretence that the Corgi range is active and vibrant. Some honesty and openness about the role Hornby think Corgi has going forward would be welcome. Some of us have been Corgi Collectors since our childhood.

What do you the reader think?

Last thought. If  Hornby can’t make anything of the range, it would surely be better to sell it to someone else who can?


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor @ gmail.com.

TSM Jaguar F Pace

By John Quilter

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

True Scale Models, also known as TSM, have recently launched a 1:43 scale replica of the new Jaguar F Pace, Jaguar’s first entry into the cross over market. The TSM model reviewed is in Rodium silver with a black interior although they also offer a white version.

This version is in left hand drive and is fitted with the silver 20” “Venom” wheels. Other photos of this model show it with black “Venom” wheels. For a period the official Jaguar UK website showed a bright blue version in the scale models section of their accessories listings.

Jaguar North America’s website does show some 1:43 scale models but no F Pace currently. There is no model brand shown on these websites but it is assumed that TSM makes these available to Jaguar UK for marketing as promotional items much as BMW, Mercedes, VW, and others have done for a number of years. Inspecting the underside of this model shows no chassis detail except for two silver rear silencers and there is no indication it is a TSM product.

The model comes on an elegant white display plinth inside a clear plastic cover and that in turn is inside of a clear Perspex cover.


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News from the Continent – Herpa June 2017

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs are by the Author, except where otherwise acknowledged.

Here is a selection of models from releases made by Herpa between January and May 2017.  All are to 1:87 scale except where otherwise stated.

1:43 Scale

The Porsche 911 miniatures announced in 2016 have now arrived on the general market. The three 911 models shown below are also sold in Porsche shops which perhaps explains why the quality and finish is first class. These are all to 1:43 scale.

071024/071031 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet 991 II

The Cabriolet is modelled open with the body painted a choice of racing yellow or deep metallic black. The accurate body shape is complemented by the fault free paint. The Porsche emblem on the bonnet is a small insert as are many other details.

Lettering below the engine cover are exact replicas of the real car and are printed in silver. The Interior has a detailed dashboard and steering wheel, as well as a well moulded centre console, seats and door cards. All in all this gives an excellent impression of the real car. The 5 star alloy wheels are well moulded and reveal the excellent brake discs and calipers. A fairly detailed baseplate is fitted and the exhaust system is executed well and includes the two chromed end pipes.

 

070980/070997 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet 991 II

The Cabriolet in “S” version has a more powerful engine. This is also modelled open. This time in a white or metallic sapphire blue. The general level of finish is the same as the black and yellow Carrera models seen above. Note that the exhaust system is different on this model replicating the differences to be seen on the real cars.

 

071048/071055 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

Here the body in available in white or metallic rhodium silver. The body is true to the prototype shape and immaculately painted. Many small separate parts are used for lights and other features. The interior is in a brownish red shade. Dashboard, steering wheel and centre console are excellent replicas  of the original car as are the seats.

At the rear end, the four exhaust pipes of the 4S show the correct features unique to this version of the Carrera. Again lovely replica alloy wheels reveal the neatly modelled brake discs and calipers.

1:87 scale models

 

745475 Ford FK 3000 Cologne lorry with flatbed and canvas cover “German Army”

The Cologne was produced by Ford between 1951 and 1955. The newly founded West-German Bundeswehr (Army) ordered a batch of them as basic transport. The accurately shaped miniature is not painted in the correct shade of matt olive green for the Bundeswehr, the accurate colour would be more of a Silk matt olive.

 

092760 Volkswagen T6 with trailer, loaded with Vespa motorscooter

For short inner city work the Brunswick based haulier Wandt had a restored Vespa painted in the shade of green used in its livery. This Vespa will be released as part of the one-off set with a Volkswagen T6 box body van and trailer also in Wandt livery.

 

Copyright in the image above belongs to dreamstime.com

306713 Volvo FH Gl. XL Eurocombi “Ristimaa Apache”

As can be seen from the photographs above Herpa has re-created this flamboyant show truck faithfully. Juha Ristimaas create custom trucks to the highest standard. This impressive “Giga-Liner” is in the livery of Kuljetus Ristimaa a Finish Haulier. It was first displayed at the annual trucking event “Power Truck Show 2016” in Alaharma, Finland. The four axle Volvo FH16 650 pulls a five axle trailer.

 

307062 Scania 142 articulated concrete mixer

The classic Scania bonnetted trucks are always a highlight in the Herpa program. Here the model is of a 6×4 tractor with a day cab and trailer with a concrete mixer mounted on it. It adds to the Herpa construction models.

 

307024 Volvo FH16 Gl. XL Eurocombi “Tynjälä Oy” Finland

Another oversized drawbar outfit from Finland. Over 50 print processes were needed to reproduce the livery.

 

159173-006 Mercedes-Benz Actros Gigaspace rigid tractor, traffic-yellow

 

158299-004 Mercedes-Benz Actros M 08 all wheel drive 3-axle rigid tractor

Power to all three axles for best traction. Cabin in white which allows modellers to apply their own decals.

 

307161 Iveco with Interchargable Boxes and drawbar trailer “Deutrans”

In the end of the 1980s, the German Democratic Republic haulier Deutrans simplified its truck design and sent their trucks on the road in white with blue and orange stripes. The carefully selected drivers of all vehicles carrying traffic to the West had to prove a certain loyalty to the party line and fulfilled spying orders during their tours.

 

307352 Volvo FH Gi Lowliner curtain canvas articulated truck “Willi Betz”

The haulage group Willi Betz operates multiple companies across Europe serving many customers and has an annual turnover of around 250 million Euros a year.

The founder Willi Betz recently escaped jail due to a serious illness after a lawsuit was taken against the family for bribery, social security fraud and tax evasion. His son was not so lucky and had to pay a 2.1 Million Euros fine and must go into prison for five years.


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1966 (67) Ford Galaxie

By John Quilter

A website shows a rather lengthy series of 1:43 scale Mexican cars produced for the Grandes Automobile Memorables  partwork by Premium & Collectibles Trading Co of China (PCT) who are the makers of many other models  for  Atlas and DeAgostini as well as their own brands such as  Ixo, IST and PremiumX.

http://coleccionescheveres.blogspot.com/2016/05/coleccion-grandes-autos-memorables-143.html

I was able to find the 1967 Ford Galaxie 500 sedan, shown above, on sale from a  Spanish vendor on eBay. Inquiries to him indicate that he does not have others in this series which is unfortunate as some would be of interest to me.

This subject Galaxie is labelled as a 1967 but in the USA this exact same car was a 1966 model. The model has some issues, the major one being the white roof is moulded with a section of the front scuttle and rear scuttle in a non-matching white colour, the rest of the car being a pale yellow as shown in the photograph above.

I believe Ford did two tone cars in this era but more likely the roof was a vinyl roof, often in black.

When I got my model I wanted to correct the scuttle issue so was able to find a Krylon yellow what was a very close match to the body of the car. With a small brush, I used this to cover the louvred front scuttle, see photograph above.

As luck would have it, a pad of yellow notebook paper was an exact match for the yellow so I cut out a rectangle and using double backed tape stuck it to the mismatched rear scuttle ( I think Post-it-Note yellow is the same). This can be seen in the photograph above.

The next improvement was to add a black wash to the grill and finally since virtually all Fords of this era came with thin whitewall tires, I needed to replicate these as well for the final touch. There are decals out there for adding white walls to black wall tires but they are all too wide, more like one would see from the 1930s to the early to mid-1950s. So how to make a representation of a thin white wall? I found that in the past I have made wheel trim rings (rim embellishers) out of silver coloured wire of various gauges. I thought if I could do this why not some whitewalls. Using 24 gauge wire I wound it around the handle of a small screwdriver and cut it to length. Then laid four of them out, sprayed with white paint and with just a touch of epoxy glue laid them on the tires. Not exactly three dimensionally correct but a fair representation of the period style white wall.

Since I like the basic model, I have ordered another one which will be converted into an LTD four door hard top which Ford had just launched to compete with the, new for 1965 Chevrolet Caprice. Both of these cars were top of the line full sized cars for their respective makes and almost always had black vinyl tops and ultra-fancy seat and interior trim. I hope to replicate one of these in the future.

Now if someone will make available the others in this Grandes Autos Memorables series I can add some more models which have never been made before to my ever growing collection.


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Yugo 45A Three-Door Hatchback in 1/43

By John-William Greenbaum

As the progenitor of arguably the most pathetic series of automobiles ever to be imported into the United States, I’d say a Yugo 45 deserves to be featured here. However, this one, the Yugo 45A, was more of an offshoot of the vehicle Americans were used to seeing (the Yugo 45). Built by Zastava in Kragujevac (which is now part of Serbia) as a possible replacement for the aging Zastava 750, the original Yugo 45 was itself supplemented by the short-lived Yugo 45A in 1987.

Still, it wasn’t much of an upgrade; aside from weighing about 100 pounds more due to a higher level of interior trim and having steel door handles, there was virtually no difference. The first Yugo 45’s of any kind were built in 1978, and they were exported not to the US, where they gained infamy, but rather to East Bloc countries such as Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and, most famously, Poland. It was here that they were first called “Yugo,” with Czechoslovakia and Poland both buying the cars in tremendous quantities.

The Czechoslovakians lacked a subcompact car whilst the Poles relied on the tiny, uncomfortable Polski Fiat 126P “Maluch.” However, while it may have looked more modern and gotten better gas mileage, the Yugo was a death trap if it ever got into an accident involving a larger vehicle. The chronically problematic front axle also made steering the car difficult, prompting one critic to call it “the perfect car for driving in a straight line”. Also, it had severe aerodynamic issues; although designed to employ many Fiat 127 parts, it didn’t borrow directly from the far-superior Fiat 127.  A Yugo was once blown off the Mackinac Bridge in the United States by a gust of wind, for example.

In the US, the Yugo 45 didn’t sell well or even last long in the market. When most Americans think of a Yugo, they’re thinking of the Yugo 55, which had a slightly higher trim level. Regardless, the Yugo 45 had most of the characteristics of its successor. It was powered by an engine that delivered about 45 horsepower with a top speed of around 70 mph (ditto the Yugo 45A). Interestingly, the Yugo could maintain its fuel efficiency at top speed, getting about 40 miles per gallon of gas. When it was doing the speed limit, it could get around 45-50 mpg.

However, it was plagued by other problems. For example, in a high-speed turn, the wheels would infamously scrape against the wheel wells. Quality control problems also plagued the car in both the west and the East Bloc markets. As such, the car didn’t sell well in many East Bloc markets. Why, for example, should a Polish citizen buy the Yugo when he already had access to the Polski Fiat 126P? Even though this car too was pretty lousy, it was at least Polish-made, less expensive, and parts were more readily available. The Yugo’s needing near-constant maintenance was another problem.

Of the 794,428 Yugos of all types produced, a whopping 141,115 of these were sold in the United States; nearly 18% of total sales. Many more were sold in Yugoslavia (and the former Yugoslavia) itself, as well, and it was models like the Yugo 45A that were sold domestically. Even though the Yugo 45 was still being produced, the Yugo 45A did at least offer a modernized interior as well as better door handles.

Ultimately, outside of Yugoslavia, the Yugo was essentially a failure in the East Bloc. With less expensive cars of equal or even better quality on the market with a larger supply of parts available, the Yugo didn’t really have a market niche other than being just another communist-manufactured product.  The Yugo’s slightly larger 4-door cousin , the Zastava 101 or 1100, did sell well in Czechoslovakia and Poland, and its five-door hatchback “big brother”, the Yugo Florida, also sold well.

In Yugoslavia itself, the Yugo 45 was made right up until the bitter end. The same, however, could not be said of the Yugo 45A. It was discontinued due to the Balkan Wars, with the steel door handles and higher level of interior trim not being possible to maintain while Zastava was also churning out rifles and ammunition.

Model by Ixo for Croatian DeAgostini “Legendarni Automobili”
Figure by Lionel, painted by the author's Father
Years Built: 1987-1994 (Produced in Serbia after the breakup of Yugoslavia)
Engine: 45 HP 4-cylinder four-stroke
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Top Speed: 70 mph

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News from the Continent – Norev June 2017

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs supplied by the manufacturer.

Norev releases from April and May are shown here. These are diecast in China for France.

April Releases

1:18 Scale

 

183267 BMW M535i saloon 1987 – blue metallic

 

181499 Citroen 2CV AZL Malle Bombee 1957 – grey

181498 Citroen 2CV 6 1976 “Basket”

 

181496 Citroen 2CV 6 Club 1979 – Mimosa yellow

 

 

185174 Renault Estafette 1965 – beige

 

 

185717 Simca Aronde Monthlery Speciale saloon 1962 – grey metallic

188488 Volkswagen Golf V GTI 2009 – tornado red

 

Scale 1:43

 

150011 Citroen 2CV 4×4 Sahara 1961 – Panama yellow

 

511621 Renault 16 TX 1976 – Elysee grey metallic

 

517853 Box set Alpine Celebration 2015 – Limited Edition 

 

Scale 1:43 Classics

 

CL4511 Panhard 24 CT 1964 – plum body/grey roof

 

CL5112 Renault R8 Major saloon 1964 – Galapagos beige metallic

 May 2017

1:18 Scale

 

181565 Citroen DS19 Saloon – Champagne & Aubergine – Salon de Paris 1955

 

183417 Mercedes-Benz L319 Van “German Post” grey

 

183588 Mercedes-Benz 280CE 1980 – silverblue metallic

 

185151 Renault Caravelle 1964 – Finland blue metallic

 

185168 Renault Estafette 1972 “Assistance Renault”

 

182070A Gitane Motorcycle Test Champion Super 1973 – blue

 

182048A Peugeot motorcycle 103L 1972 – beige

 

1:43 Scale

 

473883 Peugeot 3008 GT 2016 – pearl white

 

517742 Renault Talisman saloon 2015 – Vison brown

 

517743 Renault Talisman Estate 2016 – Dune beige

 

351334 Mercedes-Benz G-Class – brown metallic

 

870068 Volvo V90 Cross Country 2017 – bright silver


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Oxford Diecast 1:43 scale June 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford are now starting to catch up with models remaining from release 1/2017. The two featured in this post are new Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin castings. These models have been diecast in Oxford’s Chinese factory to 1:43 scale.

43EMP001 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Hooper Empress

 

The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud was available to coach-builders as a long wheelbase chassis. In this case that car was built by Hooper on a 1957 chassis fitted with the final version of the straight six designed by W O Bentley. It was in the Empress style that they had used on Silver Wraiths and Daimlers previously. This time the front wings came to a peak to give the body a more up to date look than the earlier models.

Only 18 Cars were built by Hooper in this style on the Silver Cloud LWB chassis. It is one of the last creations made by the Hooper Coachbuilding Company before they ceased coach building in 1959.

This style of bodywork was captured by Quaralu, a French company in the 1960s in a diecast mode that has since been reproduced as a replica. Until now I believe that only ATC have produced it to modern standards in a rather more expensive resin model.

The Oxford model just shows how well they make this type of car. The flush fit windows are excellent as is the grille and all the separately fitted light lenses.

The wheels are good as are all the lovely tampo printed coachlines, badging and number plates. there is even a modest level of detail; on the baseplate. Inside there are wood effect dash and door cappings, a good steering wheel, and printed instrumentation and door fittings. The chrome fittings are excellent too. Bumpers, interior and exterior mirrors, number plate surrounds, grille and even the Spirit of Ecstacy are all neatly moulded and “plated”. The mascot may be a little overscale but this is common on models as otherwise it becomes vulnerable to breakage.

The colours it is painted are accurate for the car as it can be seen on the Internet, but for those who  do not like brown this car will be part of Release 2017/2 in two tone blue.

In summary an excellent model from Oxford at a very competitive price.


AMZ001 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato 2 VEV

 

The only way most of us will ever be able to own a DB4GT Zagato will be to buy a model. The last one sold at auction sold for over nine million UK pounds. An excellent return on investment as the car cost  £5,470 when new.

The DB4/GT was originally built to allow Aston Martin to take on Ferrari in the World Sports Car Championship, but with its Italian rival having a competitive edge Aston sent its car to Carrozzeria Zagato, with the instruction to maximise its performance. Ercole Spada at Zagato lead the work to lighten and streamline the car.  In search of weight reduction many steel components were replaced by aluminium parts and all non-essential elements like bumpers were removed. It was 100 pounds lighter, more aerodynamic and was fitted with a highly tuned engine and could reach around 153mph. 19 DB4/GTs were created by Zagato. The best known DB4 GT Zagatos are affectionately known by the registration plates they share, of ‘1 VEV’ and ‘2 VEV’. These were raced under the John Ogier’s Essex Racing Stable with assistance from the Aston Martin factory. Both the Zagatos raced in the 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans. However a repeat of the 1959 Le Mans victory was not to be, with both cars retiring. In July 1961 at a British Grand Prix Support race the Zagato had its first victory. With ‘2 VEV’ taking the last lap lead from a Jaguar E Type. ‘2 VEV’, which is modelled here by Oxford, crashed heavily at Spa in 1962 and had to be rebuilt and was modified in the process however that process was reversed when after a road accident in 1993 it was returned to 1962 specification.

Examining pictures on the Internet Oxford seem to have captured the profile of the car extremely well. I am particularly impressed by the lovely windows again flush fitted and with printed frames. The lights are all separate plastic inserts other than some small printed reflectors at the rear and are all nicely done. The grille and the tiny printed badging again deserves praise.

However, I have to point out three areas where I think that the model is not as good as it could be which lets down the otherwise lovely model. The first is the printed chrome surround for the headlights. As can be seen in the photograph below the printed line is actually quite some way from the plastic lens that the chrome is supposed to surround on the lower inner section and it is overscale as well which merely brings attention to the issue. Some Oxford publicity pictures showed the model without the printed chrome and that looks much better.

The second is that the model sits too high at the rear giving a “jacked up” stance as can be seen in the photograph below.

The third is the wheel rims which have bits of silver finish missing on one wheel which really needs to be resolved as this is not the first time I have seen this on an Oxford model.

My conclusion is that the faults mean that this model though still value for money is not as good as it could have been. It could have been as good as the Rolls-Royce with a little more care and attention.


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Auto Cult June 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

Auto Cult continue in their quest to cover unusual subjects. Their models are moulded in resin in China for Germany. Unless otherwise stated the models are to 1:43 scale. As usual each model released is to a different theme.

Small Cars

#03011 Nissan Tama E4S-47

After the  Second World War Tachikawa were not allowed to manufacture aircraft. So like other such concerns it looked for something to build. As there was increasing demand for vehicles, but a shortage of fuel, so they decided to “Go Electric”.

The E4S-47 was the result of this choice, built in a new factory Tokyo Denki Jidoosha. A 16 volt – 120 ampere electric motor was front-mounted and produced 3.3 kW. Its power was supplied by exchangeable batteries. Fitted with a two-speed gearbox the Tama reached a top speed of 35 km/h.

Introduced in May 1947 the model had “Tama” added to its name which was the name of the production site. However, production only lasted a year and the vehicle was replaced in 1948.

 

Streamliners

#04009 Gomolzig Taifun streamliner

Built in 1949 this car caught the public attention as it was fitted with gull wing doors. It was built by Herbert Gomolzig who was an engineer with an eye to the future at a time when Germany was still just starting to re-build after the Second World War.

 

The gull-wing doors were covered to the top by simple hooked in cloth tarpaulins. Once rolled up these adjustable tarpaulins conveyed a sense of driving a convertible. Whilst technically innovative the doors meant that the rest of the car had to be made stronger to compensate. Given the materials available at that time this may not have been fully achievable and may explain why the car never went into production. Little more is known about the car other than it was based on a BMW chassis and probably had a four cylinder BMW engine.

In 1952, after the Taifun did not go into production, Gomolzig founded an own engineering office, turned his back on the automobile industry and working for the aviation industry and in general engineering.

 

Camping Vehicles

#09004 Saab 92H Motorhome

This vehicle is a precursor to the modern all -in-one Motorhome so popular in the US, though rather smaller in size.

Based on the Saab 92 with its DKW like water cooled two stroke two cylinder engine it was built in 1963 by Torsten Johannesson who wanted a car with integrated sleeping facilities so that he didn’t have to tow a trailer.

Torsten’s bulbous design created the maximum interior space but the vehicle is said to have been unbalanced with a great deal of the weight at the front. It was also twice the weight of the Saab 92 so it was very underpowered. Perhaps unsurprisingly Johannesson did not get the road approval for his 92H motorhome from the Swedish authorities, so the prototype is unique.

Buses

#10001 VW Beetle “Wolfsburger Bähnle”

This vehicle offered sightseeing with a difference. Bähnle is a German vernacular term for “little train”.  This vehicle was run by a community company in Wolfsburg until 1976 providing users with a tour through the City.

Built by the Berlin bodybuilder Friedrich Rometsch based upon a Volkswagen Beetle it had only six seats which proved to be insufficient to meet demand and it was fitted with a matching trailer made by Hermann Harmening.

From 1958 the 14 metre long train towed by the VW Beetle carried up to 48 passengers at a maximum speed of 50 KPH on its regular tours. After 15 years in storage the City of Wolfsburg passed the vehicle to Volkswagen in 2003 for them to restore and use in the new Autostadt theme park at the Volkswagen factory.

 

Sculptures

#80004 Mercedes-Benz SL-X

This model is to 1:18 scale and is based upon a car that never ran. The wooden design study is as far as the development went and is on display at the Mercedes Museum.

In the mid-1960s a mid-engine sports car, internally designated SL-X, was worked on at Mercedes-Benz. Its design was based on an idea from the Italian Giorgio Battistella. Giorgio Battistella and the former head of the Mercedes-Benz design department, Paul Bracq, sat down together and pondered about the design of a new sports car with the three-pointed star emblem on the hood. They sought to produce a radical design.

The design was for an extremely low car with the engine behind the seats to allow this. A wooden mock up without an engine and any interior was produced. The design was never signed off to progress beyond the mock-up stage though it perhaps influenced Bruno Sacco when he produced the C-111 which also had gull-wing doors and the seamlessly flushed pop-up headlamps.


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News from the Continent – M4 Modelcars June 2017

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs supplied by and  copyright of M4 group.

Here are the models that the M4 group expect to issue during May 2017. All are Italian made diecasts to 1:43 scale.

Art Models

 

ART365 Ferrari 860 Monza – Nassau Trophy Race 1956 – 3rd Alfonso De Portago


 

ART366 Ferrari 750 Monza – Carrera Panamericana Mexico 1954 – Alfonso De Portago – retired


 

Best Models

 

BEST9660 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1,3 HF – Targa Florio 1966 – 1st in class GT 1.3 Cella/Marzi


 

BEST3661 Ferrari 250 LM – Surfers Paradise 12 hours 1966 – J.Stewart


 

BEST9662 Porsche 550 RS – 24 hours of Le Mans 1959 – Kerguen/Lacaze

Rio Models

 

RIO4531 Fiat 1100/103 TV – Mille Miglia 1955 – Mandrini/Bertossi


 

RIO4532 KdF-Wagen (Volkswagen Beetle) Gestapo 1945


 

RIO4533 Mercedes-Benz SSK (super-sport-kurz) 1928 – red

RIO4534 Mercedes-Benz SSK – 24 hours of Le Mans 1931 – 2nd Boris Ivanoski/Henri Stoffel


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Some recent Brooklin’s June 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs based upon originals supplied by, and copyright of, Brooklin.

From time to time Brooklin share photographs of their recent models. The latest releases are shown below. The photographs show the very much higher level of detailing now being carried out by Brooklin. This has created a need for a new variable pricing policy with all models significantly more expensive than they were last year, and some more detailed ones about 50% more expensive than the more basic ones.

Whilst many of the models are of obvious subjects which will be very popular Brooklin has also given us a rare four door sedan. This Studebaker Champion model complements their previous 1953 Commander Starliner Coupe and 1954 Conestoga Wagon.

Brooklin Limited

 

1947 Chrysler Windsor Town & Country 4 Door Sedan Maroon Poly BML14

 

1937 Chrysler Imperial C-14 2 Door Convertible Brewster Green Poly BML17


 

Brooklin Collection

 

1970 Buick GS 455 Convertible Emerald Mist Poly BRK218


 

1955 Studebaker Champion 4-Door Sedan Windsor Blue/Alpena Blue BRK220


 

1954 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special Black BRK219


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