Category Archives: Vehicle Manufacturers

The original car makers

Wossat? Its a DKW!

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of, the Author. Photo copyright as attributed.

Yesterday Paul West set us the challenge of identifying the model kit shown below

Photograph (c) Paul West

Two readers have quickly identified it as a 1931 DKW F1. Thanks to Harvey Goranson and Bent Danielsen for your swift responses.

F1 2-door ‘1931-1932© Audi AG

Bent has one made up in his collection and say that it is “a charming little model” . The photographs supplied shows that this is indeed a characterful item from the early days of collectors white metal models.

Photograph (c) Bent Danielsen
Photograph (c) Bent Danielsen
Photograph (c) Bent Danielsen

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

Top Marques 1:12 Scale

By Maz Woolley

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

Top Marques models are resin cast with photoetched details in China for the Netherlands. They produce models in 1:18 and 1:12 scale. Here we look at some of their 1:12 scale models to be issued in 2019. Some of the models feature removable bonnets and super detailed engines and engine bays.

Ferrari 275 GTB/4 with Alloy Wheels Black

Ferrari F40 Blue

Lancia Delta S4 1986 #7 Montecarlo Winner H.Toivonen/S.Cresto Dirty Version

Ferrerai 250 GT SWB Yellow

Ferrari 250 GT SWB #7 Black Race Version (RHD)

Ferrari 250 GT SWB #14 Silver

Lancia Delta 16V Integrale ‘Dirty Version’ Miki Biasion/Tiziano Siviero

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

Greenlight Ford Country Squire and Pop-up Trailer

By Maz Woolley

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

Greenlight‘s Hitch and Tow range is now at release 16. Most sets combine trailers and cars already seen before but in this case the model included is a new variation on the Ford LTD Country Squire as seen in the Estate Wagons series, but this time finished as a 1981 model whereas the ones in the Estate Series are 1979, 1985 and 1986. The previous models may be seen here and here. In reality they are all basically the same model but the front end has been designed so that it can be modelled with the grille unique to each facelift.

All these models are diecast in China for the US and are scaled to 1:64 with plastic parts, and in the case of the trailers resin cast elements.

The 1981 Ford LTD Country Squire was part of the 8th generation of the Country Squire which had been launched in 1979. 1981 would see 9,443 sold with wood effect sides and 10,554 without. The large US car ranges still sold well at this time.

Popup trailers are still a fairly common sight on US roads. Basically a tent on wheels they offer some fixed furniture like a caravan and a lot of space for sleeping in the tent extensions. They are made by many small US firms and the Greenlight model seems fairly generic, unless a reader can identify the prototype. Interestingly the trailer is painted and finished with ‘wood’ panels to match the Ford tow car.

Like most Greenlight trailer models the screw support at the front of the trailer was the difficult to fit with the hole needing clearing of paint before it would screw in at all. In the original series I seem to remember them being factory fitted but they quickly let the customer struggle instead.

The finish on car and trailer is not as crisp as it could be in some areas which is pretty typical of Greenlight standards on the other Estate Cars. Curiously the moving tailgate does not lower to horizontal as the tab on the rear base of the tailgate cannot move past the internal floor moulding a restriction which I have not seen on the other LTDs.

A silver dot is painted on the passenger side front wing which I can only assume is an attempt to portray an aerial in its closed position. And like the previous LTDs the glazing is flush fitted which looks excellent at the front but at the side the top of the glazing that attaches to the roof spoils the lines of the upper part of the windows.

The inside of the trailer is detailed though it would generally not be seen at all as it would either be packed up and covered or covered by the popped up section. Again the making and painting could be better with small paint faults visible in some parts.

Finally the popped up camper. The tent section between the roof and the base is cast in resin and fits well. This casting is nicely made and painted.

All in all like most Greenlight models it captures as sllce of life at a reasonable price for US collectors. The finish could be a little better, the front wheel axles on the Ford are too wide for example but this is a budget item so the compromises are acceptable.

Some Forthcoming Releases

By Maz Woolley

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

News of models to be released from August onwards across many ranges is now being circulated. This round up looks at some ranges which we may not cover regularly but which offer some interesting models, particularly for those who like models in larger scales.


The AUTOart models shown are moulded in resin and built with photoetched detailing in China for Japan.

Aston Martin DB11 Skyfall Silver

This moulding will also be available in green metallic paint.

Honda Civic Type R (FK8) Flame Red

This will also be available as Honda Civic Type R (FK8) Championship White and Honda Civic Type R (FK8) Brilliant Sporty Blue Metallic.

McLaren 675LT Napier Green

Lamborghini Centenario Roadster Argento Centenario

Motor Max

These releases are expected July/August. All are diecast to 1:24 scale in China.

Corvette ZR1 2019 Orange 1:24

This will also be available in yellow.

RAM 1500 Crew Cab Laramie 2019 Black

This will also be available in silver

RAM 1500 Crew Cab Rebel 2019 Red

This will be available in white as well.

BMW i8 Coupe 2018 Blue

This will be available in copper and white as well.

Cult 1:18

These models are moulded in resin in China for the Netherlands to 1:18 scale. Models announced for later this year include the following, though few pre-production images are yet available.

  • Jaguar 2.4 MK I Black 1955
  • Mercedes-Benz 600SEC C140 Red/Met 1992
  • Fiat Dino Spyder White 1966
  • Jaguar XJR-15 Blue Metallic 1990
  • Jaguar XJR-15 Orange Metallic 1990

TSM Model Scale Miniatures

This range is True Scale’s 1:64 offering which has caused a great deal of interest as it covers vehicles which are popular with followers of tuned and fast cars.

Toyota Supra (JZA80) Super White (LHD)

This will also be available in RHD.

Honda Civic Type R (FK8) Artcar Manga 2018 Paris Autoshow

BMW M3 (E30) Alpine White (LHD)

This will also be available in RHD.

Toyota Supra (JZA80) Renaissance Red (LHD)

Also to be shipped in RHD.

Nissan GT-R R35 Type 1 LB Works Rear Wing Version 2 (LHD)

Another that will also be available in RHD.

Pagani Huayra Roadster Rosso Monza (LHD)

RHD will also be available.

Honda NSX GT3 NO.30 24HR Spa 2018 Honda Racing (LHD)

Acura NSX GT3 NO.86 Uncle Sam 2017 IMSA Watkins Glen

Porsche 991 Turbo GT2RS GT Silver Metallic (LHD)

RHD also to be released.

Nissan GT-R35 LB Works Type 1 Rear Wing Version White (LHD)

RHD will also be made.

Honda Civic Type R (FK8) Championship White TE37 (LHD)


These Technomodels is an Italian firm producing resin models. All the models shown are made in small batches to a scale of 1:18 and are due for release in September 2019.

Ferrari 312 F1/68 French GP #26 1968 Jacky Ickx

Ferrari 312 F1/68 Dutch GP #10 1968 Jacky Ickx 1968

Ferrari 312 F1/68 Nurburgring GP #9 1968 Jacky Ickx 

Ferrari 312 F1/68 Watkins Glen GP #7 1968 Derek Bell 

Ferrari 312 B3 Winner Spain GP 1974 #12 Niki Lauda 

Ferrari 312 B3 German GP 1974 #11 Clay Regazzoni

Ferrari 312 B3 Test Monza GP Clay Regazzoni

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

Matrix Releases August/September 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

Matrix has announced its intended releases for August and September. These models are to 1:43 scale, cast in resin and with photo-etched detailing. They are made in China for the Netherlands. Again the releases feature rare or unique hand built vehicles. All are new models though some are new versions of existing mouldings.

In a few cases pictures of the real vehicle supplied by Matrix have been used to illustrate the nature of the model to come.

MX40604-051 Ferrari 500 Superfast Speziale 1965

This model is of the car owned by HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. It was painted a metallic green colour, Verde PInto, because green was the Prince’s favourite colour. Inside it was fitted with extensive beige leather trim.

Only 37 Ferrari Superfast cars were built and Prince Berhard’s was unique amongst these in being fitted with a 4.0 litre engine at the Prince’s request rather than the usual 5.0 litre unit. The bodywork was designed by Pininfarina.

I understand that the car is currently to be seen in the Louwman Museum which is in Den Hague in the Netherlands.

MX40604-052 Ferrari 500 Superfast metallic blue 1965

Using the same moulding a metallic blue car will also be released.

MX41001-131 Jaguar SS100 2,5-Litre Roadster Van den Plas black and red 1939

The car that this model is based upon sold for 1.4 million US Dollars in 2016. Based upon a Jaguar SS100 chassis it carries a body made by Carrosserie Van den Plas of Belgium, not the company of a similar name in England. Van den Plas were a leading Belgian Coachbuilder in the 1930s.

The bodywork was in a style pioneered by French coachbuilders, Figoni and Falashi in particular, with all the edges curved and wings and running boards in exaggerated rounded sweeping shapes.

Interestingly this 1939 chassis was exported to Belgium in 1939 but stored during the war years and the body was built when Van den Plas restarted business after the war using the only chassis they had to hand. It was shown at the Brussels show in 1948. At the time it was proposed that Jaguar‘s would be built for Europe in Van den Plas‘ Belgian factory.

This car was subsequently shipped to the US where it was restored in 1991 and where it is today. It has been seen at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

MX41001-132 Jaguar SS100 2,5-Litre Roadster Vanden Plas white 1939

The same model painted white which presumably Matrix has identified that it has been at some point in its life.

MX40108-071 Aston Martin DB3S FHC metallic green 1956

The Aston Martin DB3S was a sports racing car to replace the unsuccessful heavy DB3. Only two works Aston Martin DB3S fixed head coupés were built in an attempt to improve aerodynamics over the open cars. Sadly they were unstable at speed and both crashed in the 1954 Le Mans race later being re-bodied as open cars.

Later three customer road cars were built as fixed head coupes as modelled by Matrix.

MX40108-072 Aston Martin DB3S FHC metallic black 1956

Using the same moulding a version of the car in black will be available from Matrix and its dealers.

MX50108-111 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage DHC green 1952 open

This car was sold for over 250,000 UK Pounds in 2012. It will certainly looks different to the DB2 models we usually see with factory bodies. This car was one of three built on a DB2 chassis by the Swiss bodybuilder Graber. After years out of sight it was bought in ‘barnfind’ condition. It was eventually completely renovated in the 1990s and then upgraded in 2011.

MX50108-112 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage DHC green 1952 closed

The same car modelled with its hood up.

MX41302-181 Mercedes-Benz 680S W06 Torpedo Roadster Saoutchik #35949 grey 1928 open

This car sold for in the US in 2013 for over eight million dollars. It is one of only three short windscreen models made, and the only one known to survive. The body was made by Carrosserie J. Saoutchik of Paris in 1928 although the original order was never collected by Charles Levine of Columbia Aircraft Company and the car was then sold to a director of the Standard Oil Company.

The car was totally re-built in 2010 and was 2012 Pebble Beach best of show winner.

MX41302-182 Mercedes-Benz 680S W06 Torpedo Roadster Saoutchik #35949 grey 1928 closed

The same car as above but with its hood up.

MX51705-091 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Shooting Brake #67XJ green 1930

A relative bargain when sold in the US in 2015 for just under 182,000 US Dollars. The Phantom II was introduced in 1929 and had a 7.9 litre six cylinder engine and servo assisted brakes on all four wheels. It used a lower chassis and looked sleeker than previous Rolls-Royce models.

This car was originally fitted with a Weymann fabric body as a saloon car. However the body proved to be less satisfactory than the engine and chassis so it was re-bodied as a Shooting Brake. In 1962 the Scottish car collector and sportsman, a descendant of King James V of Scotland, the Earl of Moray purchased it for his collection where it stayed until Charles Bickley of Florida acquired the car. It was then shipped to the United States where it was restored and repainted in its current dark green finish. It then joined other notable cars in his Woodie World museum.

MXR51001-021 RACE VERSION Jaguar XJ-S Coupe Group 44 Bob Tullius 1978

Bob Tullius won the 1978 Trans-Am Driver’s Championship giving Jaguar the Manufacturers Championship. It was sold in 2013 in the US for about 150,000 US Dollars. It’s five litre V12 Jaguar engine produced an estimated 500 bhp .

Jaguar US were aware of the muted response to the XJS as a replacement for the E Type Jaguar and supplied a stock XJS to the Group 44 racing team in 1977 which they modified and Bob Tulius won the Driver’s Championship. For 1978 it was decided that the car had to be even better to compete at the highest level so an acid dipped body shell was sent from the Jaguar factory in the UK and the car was hand built using lightweight components and a heavily tuned Jaguar V12 engine.

When last sold the car had been left cosmetically untouched since its outing at Daytona in late 1978.

MX41302-151 Mercedes-Benz 500K DHC by Corsica red 1935 open

Corsica were an English firm of coachbuilders despite their Italian sounding name. Their works were in King’s Cross in London from 1920 onwards. The early 1930’s were highlights in the firm’s history with a stunning Daimler Double Six roadster and lots of bodies on the Bugatti 57 and 57C chassis. One of the Bugattis was even made for Sir Malcolm Campbell. Sadly the death of the companies founders in the Second World War meant that Corsica was closed never to re-open.

Here is one of the few cars that they built on a Mercedes-Benz chassis. It was purchased new in 1935 by Sir Max Aitken, a newspaper proprietor, before being sold on to the German Ambassador to Great Britain by 1938. In 1939 it was shipped to the US where it has been restored several times over the years. and even exhibited in the late 1990s at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum, in Auburn, Indiana.

MX41302-152 Mercedes-Benz 500K DHC by Corsica red 1935 closed

This is a model of the same car with its hood raised.

MX41804-071 Stutz DV32 Super Bearcat green 1932 open

Sold in 2011 for over half a million US Dollars this car was created in the early 1930s a time of intense competition amongst US car makers to make the best cars. Less than ten of the Super Bearcat are thought to have been produced and the car was a swansong for Stutz as by 1936 the company was closed, indeed no more cars seem to have been assembled from about 1934 and the cars sold later seem to have been sold from stock.

In May 1931, the new DV-32 engine (DV for “Dual Valve,” “32” for “four valves per cylinder”) updated the old Vertical Eight and power output increased by 40 percent to about 150 bhp. Performance and efficiency which was only bettered by the Duesenberg Model J. This engine powered the new Bearcat, a name associated with Stutz from its early days. The Super Bearcat was fitted with an ultra-light Weymann fabric bodywork and a short 116-inch wheelbase and had a tight convertible top, roll-up windows and an advanced integral luggage trunk.

This car has been in several well known US car collections over the years, the Harrah collection for example.

MX41804-072 Stutz DV32 Super Bearcat green 1932 closed

This is a model of the same car with its hood raised.

MX50406-031 Duesenberg J SWB French True Speedster by Figoni #J-465-2509 black / red 1931

Figoni built three bodies for Duesenberg chassis. The car modelled represents one which was built as a true speedster with no side windows. The cars designer was Gordon Buerig also famous for Cord and Auburn designs in subsequent years.

This car took part in the Nice to Paris rally and shown in the 1932 Cannes Concours D’Elegance.

MX50406-032 Duesenberg J SWB French True Speedster by Figoni #J-465-2509 black / blue 1931

The same car as above but in a different colour scheme.

MX50108-011 Aston Martin DB2-4 Allemano Coupe #LML/761 maroon 1953

This chassis fitted with a DB3 engine was bought by Mr J. O’Hara and shipped to the Italian coachbuilders Carrozzeria Allemano based in Turin in Italy. It was fitted with a unique Berlinetta body designed by Giovanni Savonuzzi .

The car was shipped to the US in the late 1970s after which it was restored and shown at Pebble Beach and placed on display at the Blackhawk Collection, Danville, California.

MX11302-192 Crayford Mercedes-Benz W116 450SE Estate red 1977

This is a new version of a previously used moulding. An estate car conversion carried out by the UK bodybuilder Crayford on the Mercedes W116 Saloon.

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


By David Wright with contributions from Maz Woolley

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

David Wright tells us a bit about the first international swapmeet event in the UK and the shows us a Barry Lester model which was the first show special model in the UK.  Maz Woolley looks at his own model of the same subject made from a Barry Lester white metal kit.  

The International Swapmeet

Way back in the 1970s the collecting scene was in its infancy. There  were no swapmeets or toy fairs and clubs were small enough to meet in members homes. By the mid-1970s interest had grown and swapmeets were being held regularly across Europe. Those collecting specialists who had turned their hobby into a  way of life, also took to white metal casting and trading internationally. Mike Richardson, Adrian Swain, Barry Lester, Trevor Wright and Brian Garfield Jones have all told their stories of regular trips across Europe to trade in models.

Adrian Swain, pattern maker and  white metal caster, recalls travelling with Barry Lester of Auto Replicas,  and his wife to most of the new annual events in mainland Europe, organised by an informal group of white metal makers. He recalls that France was the first, in Poitiers in 1972. This was followed by  their attendance at similar events across Europe over the next few years.

Eventually Adrian and Barry decided that what was good for Europe was good for England, and the idea of a UK based International weekend swapmeet was born! Being from the central South Coast they settled on Bournemouth as the location, and the Heathlands Hotel as the venue. They followed much the same pattern as the European ones that they had already visited, with a swapmeet/show on the Saturday, followed by a dinner organised by Adrian and Barry in the evening. A day out followed for the regular visitor group on the Sunday before everyone went home. On this occasion, an open-top bus, hired from Bournemouth Corporation,  took twenty-five visitors to Beaulieu National Motor Museum, but alas the weather at that time was not in their favour, and only a few brave souls remained upstairs.

It appears that their idea of a promotional model for the show may have been the first in the UK, and Adrian believes in Europe, (Unless any readers know different!), and Adrian has confirmed that Barry made the master. The concept of being ‘on the move’ forwards resulted in a removal van being the subject, and as Barry Lester was very fond of Fiats, the grille and front end was intended to represent a Fiat  van. At the time, in 1975, Adrian was heavily involved in making patterns for 00 scale white metal model buses, and he thinks Barry may have used his 00 bus wheels to save making patterns for them. Adrian cast the white metal components and Barry was in charge of painting and assembly of finished ones. About 50 were made specially for the event and painted in the yellow of Bournemouth buses, but some were also sold as kits for collectors to assemble.  They were nominally to HO scale. 

The unusual etched panel used for the sign-writing on the side was found to be cheaper than creating waterslide transfers, there was no additional labour to put them on the van sides, and they could not rub off.  

The BKL Fiat Pantechnicon

The show model is an engaging little truck, built to about 00 (1:76) scale, with a one piece cast white metal body, and white metal baseplate, with Barry‘s initials, BKL cast into it.

The base gives the origins away, with Barry Lester’s initials Photo: John Wakley

The radiator grille is a separate casting, polished to represent chrome, and the wheels, indeed probably 00 scale model bus wheels, with doubles at the rear, are free rolling.

The Fiat origins are reasonably clear at the front . Photo: John Wakley

Hinges, door handles and locker box are all scribed on the body, and the overall paint finish is by hand.

BKL Model Pantechnicon – displaying its engraved signwriting Photo: John Wakley

The interesting part is the advertising panel on the sides. The engraving is very clearly worked, and is finished by hand, and reads –

Bournemouth International


heathlands hotel  oct. 11-12 1975

This one shown here was purchased by John Wakley, long time collector in Surrey,  when he visited the Fair back in 1975. He bought a kit, as he had hand painted many Dinky Toys in his early years, to a very high level of skill. While he has hand painted the main body grey with a black roof and side panel line, the advertising panel is pale blue.

In all, a neat, clearly presented, and solid model that would be equally at home on a 00 gauge model railway layout as in a display cabinet. This must be the fore-runner of all those Code 3 models produced for Modelex, and Toy Fairs around the country during the 1980s and 1990s.

The Editor’s example – Without Lettering

Sometime in the late 1980s I came across a number of Barry Lester Auto Replica models being remaindered in a model shop that was closing down. I bought all that I could afford and went away and made them up. Indeed one of the first items of mine seen in the printed MAR magazine showed made up and converted Auto Replica Models.

Front view with Martini decals from a rally car kit Photo: Maz Woolley

Included in the group was the rather curious Fiat truck that was rather out of place amongst all the ex-Waldorf Miniature castings made by Barry Lester of Ford Taunus, Porsche, and Triumph TR6. It did however have a simple period charm and was relatively easy to make up. For general release the side panels had been roughly filled in and the original inscription shown on the model above covered up.

Rear view and more Martini decals. Photo: Maz Woolley

The kit was very simple, containing few components. From memory I think that the body was in two parts but it glued together easily and being boxy was easy to line up. I chose to make mine up in a Martini livery over mid blue enamel paintwork which I thought caught the “swinging sixties” Italian feel. Indeed one would not have been surprised to see a truck like it stuck in the traffic in the film The Italian Job!

BKL inscribed in the base exactly the same on both versions of the model Photo: Maz Woolley

Since this time regular readers will be aware that I have collected and made up many 1:76 scale white metal models from later producers like John Day Vehicle Scenics and Rod Parker’s models but I still have a fondness for the BKL models which helped define and create the market for these small model kits of relatively modern vehicles. Not only under his own Auto Replicas brand in the UK but also through the sales of his models boxed as Walldorf MIniatures in Germany.


A History of White Metal Transport Modelling – Ray Strutt and David Wright


David Wright: Sadly, Barry Lester died in July 2010, so we were privileged to have obtained this history both from the History of White Metal Transport Modelling book, and also from his longtime friend Adrian Swain, and his encyclopedic memory!

Thanks also to John Wakley for the use of his model for this article, and his memories of visiting the Show.

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

Oxford Diecast Bedford CF Mr. Whippy

By Maz Woolley

Oxford Diecast has begun to catch up with models originally scheduled for release last year. One model which has been keenly awaited is the 1:43 scale Bedford CF Ice Cream van 43CF001. This has been launched in the striking pink and white Mr. Whippy livery and will be available at some point later this year in their rival Mr. Softee‘s blue and white colours.

Mr. Whippy was started in the UK in 1958 serving soft ice creams made onboard their vans using Italian soft whip machines which created characteristically shaped ice creams by pumping air into a rapidly chilled UHT mix. The brand was franchised to other countries, Australia and New Zealand for example, and was sold to Walls famous for their sausages and pies as well as ice cream in 1964.

The Ice Cream van modelled was built by Morrisons a major supplier of this type of van. It was a purpose built fibreglass body fitted to a Bedford CF chassis and scuttle unit. The original vehicle was fitted with a two litre diesel engine and was made in 1975.

The Oxford model is very nicely printed and is a very convincing replica of a period van. However, current pictures of the real NDS 749N show that it is not an exact replica of the van as it is today. The current van does not have the cones fitted to the front for example and the cream painted area does not go far enough down the bonnet or the sides. The wheels are white with cream hubcaps and the external mirrors are black and not white. To the rear the compressor grille is not mesh but slatted. Even the wording on the side is different as it reads ‘Freshly made just for you‘ on the current van. At the rear the script is also incorrect as it should say ‘Watch for that Child‘, and should be on the cream panel below the rear window and not just above the bumper. Perhaps the van has been repainted and changed at some point and Oxford are using pictures of it before the repaint?

Putting aside questions of possible inaccuracy the model does look right and I am sure will prove to be a good seller as it will be when it appears in 1:76 scale.

The painting is excellent and there is no sign of feathering along the lines where pink, cream and white meet. The printed lettering and livery items are excellent as is the advertising material printed on the glazing. Inside the drivers cab is fairly basic, but the real thing was too. The dash unit has some moulded detail but no printed instruments. The door lacks cards but is nicely detailed outside with the door handle and its recess being well captured.

The interior of the rear of the model is pretty similar to the fridges and ice cream unit in the real vehicle. It might have been nice to have some nozzles and tubes on the soft ice making machine I can understand that these would have added cost and complication and would not have even been noticed by many.

The glazing is made in units that allow it to be flush fitted which works very well and although the window surrounds are printed ion the metal body they are reasonably convincing, though they might have been even better printed on the glazing unit as the silver ones are on the driver’s door glazing.

The head and tail lights are inserted small units which are well up to the standard expected. The window wipers are not bad matches to the original ones though one does not lie quite flat on the screen.

This model is in Oxford‘s lower price range for 1:43 scale models and costs no more than an inexpensive part work model in the UK. You certainly get a lot of model for your money and whilst it may not be a 100% accurate replica of the van as it is today it is nicely produced to a good standard and captures the period look extremely well. There are few models of the Bedford CF available today but it was once a common sight on UK roads. I hope that Oxford can be encouraged to make some vans, and even an Ambulance as the CF was widely operated by the NHS in a number of roles from patient transport to full emergency services.

I look forward to the forthcoming Mr. Softee van joining it in my collection later in the year.

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

A rather different VW1500

By Maz Woolley

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

In a recent article on Argentinian Dodge cars based upon the Hillman Avenger platform I speculated about whether the final Avenger based car produced in South America, the Volkswagen 1500, would be produced in the series. Thank you to two MAR Online readers, Lisandro Garcia and Juan Pablo Arrighi, who quickly informed me that it had already been released! So that set me the target of finding one and luckily a Chinese eBay trader had one at a reasonable price.

So how did a car based upon a Hillman Avenger platform end up badged as a VW1500? That happened because Volkswagen bought Chrysler‘s Brazilian and Argentinian operations in 1980, a year after Chrysler has sold off its European operations to PSA Peugeot Citroën.

PSA brought production of the Avenger to an end in 1981, but the Avenger platform remained in production in Argentina as a VW1500  until 1990/1. Initially some modest restyling took place of the exterior and significant changes were made to the interior to bring it up to date.  The car was called ‘Dodge 1500, made by Volkswagen Argentina’. The last four words were shown on a sticker on the back window but later on a metal plate on the front. Mechanically, nothing changed the 1500 and 1800cc engines remained in use.

In 1982 a significant restyling of the exterior took place with new back lights, plastic energy absorbing bumpers and other components to make it more like a VW group product. The car was also badged the Volkswagen 1500 and it was the first non-German designed car to carry a VW badge in Argentina.

From 1982 on the car was available as a saloon and rural (estate car) with 1500 or 1800cc engines. Air conditioning became an option on the 1800cc versions. To encourage sales a basic economy 1500 model was introduced in 1987 at a lower price. The final changes came in 1988 when air conditioning was more widely offered across the range and a five speed gearbox was fitted.   

These cars had a reputation for strong mechanics and this explains why a relatively old fashioned vehicle went on selling. There was even an advertising slogan “It runs, it runs and it runs…”  Production in the twenty plus years versions of this platform were made in Argentine is said to have exceeded a quarter of a million units. 

Copyright of World Cars 1985 acknowledged

So to the model. This is based on the 1982 version of the car with the final external restyling. Comparing it to press photographs of the time, see above, shows that the revised casting is an excellent replica of the car. It is painted silver, a colour which became very popular in the 1980s. Sadly the paintwork on the model I received is scratched in some places, though it would otherwise be a good paint job.

The single door mirror, matt black wipers, VW grille, heavy bumpers, and blocky rear lights are all reproduced. All lights are separate plastic lenses. Inside a black tub has been moulded with quite a bit of detail but with no printing or painting. The front seats have headrests fitted bringing them up to date.

The wheels are reasonable replicas of the pressed steel wheels on the real car, though they are perhaps a little too shiny. The windows are excellent flush fit units and the B pillar is neatly incorporated in the window unit in a convincing manner.

Door handles and boot button and trim are all incorporated, and the door handles have the matt black inner section replicated. It is a pity the the silver outer and door lock are not highlighted with silver printing. The heavy impact absorbing bumpers are well replicated with the chrome inserts neatly printed, however on the model I obtained the bumpers are crooked.

The front grille is a neat replica, and has a neatly printed VW badge. Sadly the unit on my car is not fitted correctly and has large gap at one side by the indicators. The number plates are neat units but the front one has the lettering printed slightly crookedly and the rear one is fitted crookedly. Finally the black window trim outlining at the back is printed on the body and is far from crisp which shows up more strongly on the photographs.

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

KIM 10-50

By Maz Woolley

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

The KIM 10-50 was one of the earliest attempts at designing a smaller car for mass manufacturing in the USSR. The Ford A based GAZ had been manufactured in large numbers but was too large for most of the would be private owners and for many state organisations too.

Earlier attempts to build a cycle car called the NAMI were failures as each unit produced was more costly than the Ford A based GAZ. In December 1930 the Moscow State Automotive Assembly Plant No. 2 started to assemble Ford cars from knock down kits. It was shortly after called Kommunisticheskiy Internatsional Molodyozhi – KIM after the international young communists organisation. In 1939 a Soviet engineer A. N. Ostrovtsev, who had worked on the earlier NAMI, was tasked to create a saloon and convertible coded KIM 10.

The party bureaucrats mindful of the problems of the NAMI, and the need to develop the car quickly, dictated that the car was to be based on the UK produced Ford Prefect E93A shown below. Though I understand no licence fees were paid! The move was an obvious one as the Soviets had already considerable experience of building larger Ford products. The chassis and power unit were reverse engineered and everything converted into metric units for manufacture.

By JasonVogel – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The body was designed by a GAZ designer Valentin Brodskiy and featured a nose section based on the prestigious ZIS-101. Budd in the US was engaged to develop press tools and to produce 500 primed shells which was done. In the meantime the party bureaucrats were unhappy as the designers had ignored parts of their brief and they demanded changes such as the removal of running boards, faired in lights, a cloth roof, and removal of chrome body strips, and foor doors. Some of this was done for the first production cars but a cloth roof insert never appeared. What went into production may have been based on Ford underpinnings but strongly resembled the contemporary Opel Kadett shown in the photograph below. A foor door prototype was developed but never put into production due to the onset of war.

From website others copyright acknowledged.

By the time of the entry of the Soviet Union into the Second World War just over 300 saloons had been made using the bodies supplied by Budd and a few soft tops may also have been made. What could be evacuated from the KIM plant was taken to the Urals but no more cars were produced. During the siege of Moscow the former No 2 car plant was destroyed.

The resemblance to the Opel Kadett is ironical as the cars successor was the Moskvitch 400 made using the Opel tooling seized as war reparations and shipped back to the USSR.

So to the model. This is diecast to 1:43 scale in China, by PCT Industries, I believe and was sold in a Cars of the USSR part work series produced by DeAgostini and distributed in Russia and the Ukraine, models from which are now widely available on eBay and from traders.

Comparing the model to pictures of the original car it seems to capture the simple shape and utilitarian finish very well. The grey paint is excellent. Small separate parts are used for the front lights, bumpers, wipers, boot handle, fuel cap, and number plates. The plates simply say KIM in Cyrillic letters.

The front grille has been cast neatly into the body and has the chrome strips neatly tampo printed. A black wash might be a nice finishing touch but as this is a budget model it is absent. Above the grille the cars badge and small embellisher are nicely printed onto a moulded shape. As is usual for a budget model the wipers are over large and over shiny, and the front windscreen has a moulded in centre divider but this is not picked out in body colour as it was on production cars.

The wheels are excellent representations of painted pressed steel fitted with correctly narrow tyres.

Inside the interior is a black plastic unit with moulded in detail on the door cards and dashboard and appropriately basic seating. The dash has a basic instrument panel moulded in but no printed instruments. The steering wheel is neatly moulded too, with the large centre boss and three spokes well captured and looking very like steering wheels in pre-war Fords. Looking at pictures of the real car in the museum it would have been nice if the interior moulding had been done in a tan colour to better match the original.

To the rear a boot the single central rear light is moulded in and painted red. Although the body was designed in the USSR the rear end resembles the Prefect in many ways with the fuel filler in exactly the same place and with a similar rear profile. The boot handle is located in a different place which suggests that the boot lid opens upwards on the KIM rather than down as it does on the Ford.

All in all this is a good model with a few compromises and is excellent value given its budget price. The very rare original vehicle may be seen in the Moscow Museum of Transport.

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

Creating a Kyosho Ouisa Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition

By Matt Beaumont

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

A bit of background

Manufacturer’s Publicity Photograph – Copyright acknowledged.

Land Rover introduced a special edition version of the Range Rover Evoque, the Landmark Edition, which was announced on the 8th of  May 2017. It celebrated 6 years of production of the Evoque. By that date more than 600,000 units had been produced solely in the U.K. An Evoque rolled off the Halewood production line every 170 seconds, Eighty percent of which were exported to 130 markets around the world.

The Evoque had more awards than any other vehicle in the Range Rover family at this time with more than 200 awards.

To celebrate this the Evoque Landmark Edition was produced In three colours: Yulong White and Corris Grey both standard Land Rover colours, and Moraine Blue, a colour that was solely available on the Evoque Landmark Edition. All came with the dynamic trim level body kit and grey exterior design details including a Carpathian Grey contrast panoramic roof, 19-inch Gloss Dark Grey alloy wheels and Graphite Atlas lettering on the bonnet and tailgate. The lettering coordinated with Graphite Atlas coloured grille, fender vent, bonnet and bumper inserts. Dark grey accents continue on the interior in the form of brushed satin centre console trim finishers surrounded by grained Ebony leather seats with contrasting Light Lunar stitching and a perforated mid-section. The car cost about £39,000 when new in the UK without any options.

The Model

Sadly no model of the Evoque Landmark edition was produced, I always thought what a lovely colour Moraine Blue was, so when I managed to obtain a Kyosho Ousia 1:18 Scale Evoque, a sealed diecast model, for the ‘right money’ my next stop was my local automotive bodyshop supplier where I had an aerosol made up to the correct colour code “JHL”

I started by dismantled the model. The base and shell are held together by 6 small Philips headed screws.  The construction of the model is not unlike a 1:43 scale model, or indeed a 1:18 scale resin model.

The glass, lights and grille assemblies were all gently unclipped and removed. The roof features a panoramic glass insert which turned out the be stuck on with 4 double sided sticky pads. All went well until I started to remove the rear most section of the roof when disaster struck and the roof cracked.

My first action was to contact Kyosho themselves to see if I could buy a new roof, sadly Kyosho do not stock spares. My next stop was to see if there were any suitable spares on eBay, or a damaged model that might lend its self to sort the issue out but I had no luck there either.

Thinking laterally I then went online to see if any of the Landmarks had solid roofs without the glass insert but research showed that they were all fitted with glass roofs.

Blocked at every turn I had to come up with an alternative. Finally I had an Idea, window tinting film could be used to cover the broken transparent section and conceal the crack. I masked the clear section and whilst doing this created a template for the window tint film when it arrived. Whilst waiting for this I sprayed the bare body with Moraine Blue paint, and then retouched the detailing on the repaired roof, wing vents, bonnet vents and wheels with a suitable grey metallic. This was done with an Aston Martin paint which I had left over from a previous project.

Once dry the car was reassembled and I waited for the tinted film. Once this arrived a few days later the crack was covered up. I placed the tinted film over the rearmost section only, covering the area over the rear seats. This isn’t correct as the car has a uniform tint across the whole roof but I wanted to retain the ability to see the interior through the roof.

I have taken a few liberties as the car is fitted with some parts which were not generally fitted to the Landmark Edition. For example the wheels are of the wrong style and size as they represent the upgraded 20” wheel. In addition the Landmark Edition cars do not have a two tone seat trim as fitted to the Kyosho Model I started with but I retained it as I preferred it that way.

There are a few areas that need to be revisited. The badge painting could be significantly improved for example. But other than these I am pretty happy with the way it turned out as I am no master model maker.

I have include some pictures with the base model as I already had one of them and wished to keep that one factory “fresh”.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. If you have, you may be pleased to know that I will soon do a review of the standard Kyosho Evoque model and some other 1:18 scale diecast models that have recently been added to my collection.

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