Category Archives: BMW

More 1:18 scale Promotional Models

By Fabrizio Panico

All Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author,

Here are another couple of 1:18th scale promotional models, again from Kyosho and iScale.

The 2016 BMW M6 GT3 Sportstrophy by Kyosho (BMW no. 80 43 2 411 557) is the scale model of a racing car assembled from the basis of the M6 (F13) by BMW Motorsport, according to the FIA GT3 regulations. Usually I prefer touring car models, but its shape was so alluring that I was unable to resist buying it.

Since 2010 BMW GT3 customers had to be satisfied by the small Z4 GT3, but its short wheelbase and the limits of its six cylinder engine forced BMW to find a more suitable vehicle. Only the M6 had a V8 engine and being a large and heavy coupé needed extensive changes. A new transaxle allowed the gearbox to move to the rear for better weight distribution, likewise the driver’s seat moved backward, the outer skin of the steel body was made of carbon fibres, and the engine was modified to improve oil cooling and turbo charging was added.

Aerodynamics had to be adjusted to racing requirements and the total weight was reduced more than 600 kgs. Starting in January 2016 the M6 GT3 began competing around the world, with victories at Nurburgring and Francorchamps.

The Kyosho model has a metal diecast body with no opening parts. Lots of aerodynamics appendages are fitted and it carries the “official” livery of BMW Motorsport. As usual quality is very high, all the smallest details are present. The interior is very impressive: look at the roll cage, the racing seats and the steering wheel. The rear wing is another really impressive feature. A savage “small” racing car.


 

The 2016 Audi R8 V10 spyder by iScale (Audi no. 501 16 185 51, in Suzuka grey) is the natural companion to the 2015 R8 V10 coupé. Introduced in 2006 the real R8, always an Audi Sport GmbH product, has already reached its second iteration. It is based on the same structures as the Lamborghini Huracan (the first generation was based on the Gallardo) with a newer Audi SpaceFrame, new interior, and re-designed exterior.

Besides the V10 (397 kW) and the V10 Plus (449 kW), a full-electric eTron version is now available (335 kW). The convertible version was presented at the 2016 New York Motor Show, at first only with the standard V10 engine.

Also available in red as no. 501 16 185 52, the iScale model is indeed a nice reproduction of the original. It is diecast in metal with doors and bonnet opening, but alas the rear engine cover stays shut.

The previous model of the 2010 R8 5.2 FSI V10 quattro spyder by Kyosho (Audi no. 501 09 185 25, in teak brown) had a rear engine lid that could be opened by a button on the chassis underside and there was a second button near to it to operate the rear spoiler! Anyway the new 2016 Audi R8 V10 spyder is a worthwhile reproduction, ready to grace our collections.


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More iScale Models

By Fabrizio Panico

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

The models shown below were announced a long time ago but are only now widely available. These are the latest iScale models made for BMW and Mercedes Benz.

Mercedes Benz E-Class Estate (S213)

 

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class series represents the fifth-generation of this famous range of executive cars. The range includes the saloon (W213) and station wagon (S213). A high-performance E63 AMG version has also been available, while later there will be the coupé and the cabriolet. Sold from 2016 as a 2017 model, it replaces the successful W212/S212 E-Class models and according to Mercedes it is the most technologically advanced car Mercedes has ever produced. They claim to have produced more than 1,200 prototypes.

The 2017 E-Class has a design similar to that of the larger W222 S-Class and the smaller W205 C-Class, called the “Sensual Purity” design philosophy. While the W212 E-Class had a tighter surface and harder edges, the new model is curvier and more flowing. As on other recent models, the 2017 E-Class features two distinct front-end treatments : a traditional chrome grille and a more sporting blade grille.

The launch of the 2017 E-Class saw Mercedes-Benz move a step closer to autonomous driving, using many of the features already seen in the latest S-Class and taking them on to a new level.

The iScale model of the S213 was announced in August 2016 on the web site of the German MBMC (Mercedes-Benz Modellauto Club), but I was able to get it only last month.

The S213 model, available from Mercedes-Benz in cavansite metallic blue as # B6 696 0383, and in iridium metallic silver as # B6 696 0384, is indeed a very nice model. It is beautifully detailed right up to the microscopic “star” on the engine lid. The model’s body is diecast metal with the usual plastic components, all hand assembled. Quality is very high, as usual, engine and chassis are faithfully reproduced. The interiors are similarly excellently modelled and the paint is beyond reproach. All four doors can be opened, like the hood and the tailgate. It is interesting to note that to open the hood iScale choose to use a button on the chassis underneath. It reminded me of one of the first models I met with such a device: it was very likely in 1963 and it was an English Dinky Toys, the Ford Corsair (no. 130). Inside the box there was a paper slip saying “to open bonnet! press button between front wheels on underside of the car”. They say that the sands of time run like quicksilver, but somethings never change.


BMW 750 Li (G12) xDrive

 

The new BMW 7 series (G11) was launched in 2015 as a 2016 model to replace the previous 2008 sedan (F01). As usual the extended wheelbase versions carry their own series designation, G12 in this case, and are identified by an “L” for “lang” (long) in the model name, not to be confounded with the “L” of “leicht” (light) as used in the sports models.

The car looks slimmer than its predecessor, and it is also lighter thanks to the widespread use of CRFP (carbon fibre reinforced polymer), tensile steel and aluminium, the latter applied to doors, boot lid, brake system, wheel hubs and rear suspension arms.

Aerodynamics have been improved, for example the front grille has shutters that will only open when an increase of air flow to the engine bay is required, while self-levelling air suspensions are now completed by electronically-controlled shock absorbers. Active anti-roll system and four-wheel steering are optional. Advanced driver assistance systems are more “autonomous driving” oriented and touchscreens, radar sensors, stereo cameras, 3D scanners and a lot of “electronics” are present, as expected from a luxury car of this kind.

The powertrain line-up consists of a 4.4 litre V8, two 3.0 litre inline-sixes in petrol and diesel form, and a 2.0 litre inline-four, and includes also the hybrid model. Now a V12 is also available (760).

The 750 Li model from iScale is available from BMW in mineral white metallic as #80 43 2 405 587, in dark blue metallic as #80 43 2 405 586, and in dark grey metallic as #80 43 2 405 585. The model shows the high level of quality provided by iScale. As usual the model’s body is diecast metal with the usual plastic components, all hand assembled in China. Engine and chassis are faithfully reproduced, with rich interiors, enhanced by the transparent roof, and a deep paint finish. All four doors can be opened, like the hood and the trunk. The wheels are very nice with the correct BMW insignia in their centre. Another beautiful model to add to your collection.


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Replica Märklins spotted

By Robin Godwin, Hans-Georg Schmitt, and Maz Woolley

Others copyright to all images shown recognised.

Every now and again items show up on eBay that surprise us. So it is with these replica Märklin models spotted recently on eBay by Robin Godwin. He spotted two models on offer: a Ford Capri and an Opel Manta A as shown in the photographs below.

Märklin 18103-02 Ford Capri

This is claimed to be 1:43 and appears to be available in Grey and Sapphire Blue on eBay currently


Märklin 18103-01 Opel Manta A

This can be seen on eBay in yellow and red on eBay


The Märklin brand is now owned by Schuco-Dickie and Hans-Georg was aware of Schuco-Dickie’s plans to  issue a model of the obsolete Krupp forward control lorry with drawbar from the 8000 range, as shown below, using the original tools. However he has not heard of any plans to remake any cars.

After a bit more web searching it turned out that these replicas are not recent releases as we thought but were produced before Märklin were taken over by Schuco-Dickie. It appears that they were originally sold only in a “one-off” set of 12 models shown below from an old Märklin website image. The set comprised of four different castings each in three colours made using the original moulds and all packed in “period style” cardboard boxes to add to the nostalgic feel:

  • Audi 100 Coupe
  • BMW 2002
  • Ford Capri
  • Opel Manta A

So the models currently being sold on eBay are almost certainly from this set. Having found this out it was possible to find pictures of the Audi 100 and BMW 2002 from this series.

Märklin 18103-03 Audi 100 Coupe

The Audi shows that all the original working features like bonnet, doors and boot are all reproduced on these models.

Märklin 18103-04 BMW 2002

 

The BMW box shown above suggests that only four boxes were made, one for each casting, with each having the colour of the model within manually marked.


 

Hans-Georg has made a detailed comparison of the photographs of the Ford Capri against an original model from his collection and he confirms that the replica matches the original casting though the wheels, which are said to be plastic on the re-issues, are different.

So Schuco-Dickie are not issuing replicas of the Märklin models but there seem to be plenty being made available from the sets made some time ago. Since they seem to be so freely available on eBay it may be that some unsold stock has been found in storage recently. If you collect Märklin cars, or just one of the four cars in the series, now would seem to be a good time to get the replicas if you do not already have them.


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BMW Hommage models from Norev – Part Two

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The third item in the “Hommage Collection” is the BMW 2015 3.0 CSL Hommage concept car. This is presented by Norev in its striking “acid” yellow livery (BMW part no. 80 43 2 413 753).

The concept car was unveiled at the event Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2015 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the E9 CSL. It clearly reflected the later version of the CSL coupe, better known as the Batmobile,  which is a real cult car for every BMW fan.

It is a working and driveable car. It is an hybrid with a 3 litre twin-turbo straight-six up front plus an e-motor in the rear, developing 500 bhp which is delivered through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels. It is fitted with vast 21 inch tyres (265/35 and 325/30). Aluminium and carbon fibre are almost everywhere in order to keep the weight to a minimum.

The minimalist interior is DTM inspired. It is a very race-oriented cockpit, with a few retro touches, but many details are clearly inspired by avionics and competition cars. The exterior is a constant reminder of the original CSL, from the imposing rear wing to the black longitudinal splitters riding the front wings.  From the front low set air dam to the double rear spoilers, from the wildly flared wheel arches to the full-length black rallye stripes. It’s all there, lovingly re-created.

 

But much more than a rolling celebration of the wide-bodied menace that scared Capris and Carreras in the 1970s, it wants to be an elegant and dynamic image of one of BMW’s finest hours. Suffice to say that later in 2015, at Pebble Beach, BMW presented the 3.0 CSL Hommage R, a white monster much more akin to the original Batmobile, indeed a competition version of the 3.0 CSL Hommage. Will we ever see it in 1:18th scale? Norev, please ….

Needless to say the Norev model faithfully reproduces the real one: every small detail is present, from the central single-arm wiper resting in an upright position to the two tiny cameras doing the job of wing mirrors, and the wrap-over wings. A real gem, the doors open on a beautifully detailed interior, but lot of details are almost lost in the dark interior, indeed to do it justice you need to look with a torch.

The model is diecast in metal as usual with only the doors opening. The only criticism that could be made is of the box graphics which are, let’s say, a bit “wild”. This is the same as the other boxes already released, (See photograph below). The graphics are quite untypical of BMW, but that’s my personal opinion.

The BMW E9 was a coupé built by Karmann from 1968 to 1975 and developed from the 2000 CS, enlarged to hold the straight-six engine used in the E3 saloon and with the front restyled to resemble the same E3.

There were three different iterations : the carburettor-fed 180 hp MkI (1971-72), the fuel-injected 200 hp MkII (1972-73) and the 206 hp “Batmobile” (1973-75). Developed from the E9 in conjunction with Alpina, the “Batmobile” attained almost instant cult status thanks to its outrageous aero kit and full dominance of the European Touring Car championship through the 1970s, with drivers of the standard of Dieter Quester, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Niki Lauda.

The 3.0 CSL was indeed a homologation special : initially using the same engine as the 3.0 CS, was then given a very small increase in displacement to 3,003cc to allow the CSL to be raced in the “over three litre” racing category.

Then in 1973 it was given another, more substantial increase in displacement to 3,153cc (192.4 cu in). This final version of the 3.0 CSL was homologated in July 1973 along with an aerodynamic package including a large air dam, short fins running along the front fenders, a spoiler above and behind the trailing edge of the roof, and a tall rear wing (not installed at the factory, but left in the boot for installation after purchase, because the wings were illegal for use on German roads). The full aero package earned the racing CSL the nickname “Batmobile”.

The Minichamps model (BMW no. 80 43 2 411 550) is another beautiful gem: diecast in metal with many opening parts and a very detailed chassis.

Engine, gearbox, suspension and exhaust system are all faithfully reproduced, only the screw fixing points spoiling them.

The livery is the standard white (the real one was available only in white or in silver), but if you want a close comparison to the Hommage edition, you can find it in the same yellow in a limited edition model from MInichamps which is not features in BMW stores (Minichamps no. 180 029028).


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News from the Continent – Herpa June/July 2017

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Photographs are by, and copyright of the Author.

In this post I take a look at a selection of models released by Herpa between January and July 2017 with comments on each release.

1:43 Scale

The models are diecast for Herpa.

Herpa’s new Porsche models were first announced earlier this year but were only recently released to collectors. Perhaps Porsche took all the first batch of models and Herpa had to make a further batch for its own collectors.  As these models are also sold in Porsche boxes the quality of these models has to be right.

 

071086 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe racing yellow

The body shape is faithful to the original and the paint is fault free and captures Porsche racing yellow very well.  A number of small parts are separately inserted to give a good level of detail. The interior is black: dashboard, steering wheel and centre console capture the full size cars features very well.  At the rear end the two exhaust pipes are finished in chrome. The baseplate is quite well detailed. Through the finely cast “alloy” wheel rims the brake discs and calipers are clearly visible.

 

071093 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe dark blue metallic

The model is made to the same quality as the yellow version. The body is well painted in dark blue metallic. The interior is in medium brown. All other features are to the same standard as the yellow car.

Take a look at the photograph below showing the fine detail at the rear of the car including the printed lettering, exhausts and the finely etched panel lines and the well integrated lights.

 

1:87 Scale Models

Here are descriptions of some of the 1:87 models made in plastic.

In January Herpa announced the following Military items. We can now look at them in more detail.

745673 Soviet Tank T34/85

This model is based upon a tank captured by the German Wehrmacht and then marked with German Army markings. It was used 1945 in the battle for East Prussia. Much detail is moulded into the body but the tanks tracks and wheels are nicely captured.

 

745697 Opel Blitz Tanker

The original for this well detailed miniature was used by the German Wehrmacht in 1944 in Belgium. It is fitted with the metal pre-war drivers cab and not the wartime utility one.


 

Moving on to civilian vehicles released recently we have three to look at including a set with a trailer.

028790 Trabant 601 Universal with roof rack and Quek Junior Caravan

The citizens of the DDR went on holidays just like the citizens of the Federal Republic on the other side of the border. Loading their Trabants and Wartburgs with goods and people and towing a small caravan many headed to the coastline of the Baltic sea, Hungarian Lakes, or Polish Mountains.  The journey must have been slow with the 900 cc two stroke engine struggling gamely up any uphill stretches.

Here Herpa give us their 601 Universal again with a  roof rack and luggage as well as a tow hook. They also give us a Quek Junior Caravan which was made in the DDR and had a lifting roof section which is suggested by the moulding on the roof of the model. This caravan was fitted with overrun brakes which must have been essential to allow the lightweight Trabants and Wartburgs to tow the caravan downhill.

093033 BMW X1 “Bavarian Police”

In September 2016, the Bavarian Police too, officially adopted blue colour-sections on their vehicles. To achieve the complicated multi-colour markings the model has to be printed several times.

 

038423-003 Volkswagen Passat Variant (estate)

The Variant is the most popular body type of the Passat range in Germany.  Herpa has now released it with a body moulded in deep black and fitted with a contrasting light grey moulded interior. The silver fittings are neatly printed on, except for the grille which is silver plated. The model has some parts moulded separately and then inserted to add detail.


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BMW Hommage Collection by Norev Part One

By Fabrizio Panico

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

When I presented pictures of the 2016 BMW Vision Next 100 last February I wrote “models of BMW concept cars to 1:18 scale are unusual …….”, I was wrong indeed ! In a very short time BMW and Norev have produced not one more concept car, but three of them.

The group is called “Hommage Collection” and it is composed of (for the moment) the 2008 M1 Hommage, the 2011 328 Hommage, and the 2015 CSL Hommage. Three great show cars, and three missed opportunities according to BMW fans, who asked vainly for production versions. According to Karim Habib (ex-BMW Chief Designer, now at Infiniti): ‘There is so much else that needs addressing right now – autonomous driving, CO2, connectivity..The Hommage cars make sure that old-fashioned excitement is alive and kicking. And don’t worry : we have more than enough ideas for the next three or four iterations…’. So BMW fans must be satisfied by scale models!

The 328 Hommage (BMW no. 80 43 2 413 751), is based upon the Vision Connected Drive Concept revealed in Geneva. It is a modern interpretation of the classic sports car from the 1930s and was produced to mark its 75th Anniversary. It shares the 1936 philosophy: “low weight = high performance”.

Here magnesium and aluminium are replaced by CRFP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic), for aestethic and functional elements. Fine hides, satin or polished aluminium are all cleverly blended into a recipe that expresses the essence of the sport roadster just as the original 328 did. The two part alloy wheels of the Hommage reinterpret the characteristic perforated design of the original ones.

Instrumentation is minimalist like the original: a single circular tachometer, with indicators of oil temperature, oil pressure, and water temperature built in. And to the right a few control lights. The car is equipped with 4-point seat belts and ergonomically designed shell seats. Under the bonnet the Hommage sports a three litre six cylinder engine.

The 328 Hommage is reproduced well by Norev. It is diecast metal and has no opening parts. The car is finished in carbon black paintwork with a tan interior. Alas, all the characteristic “belts” over the engine cover are simply “painted”, well done, but only painted.


 

 

 

The M1 Hommage (BMW no. 80 43 2 413 752) was unveiled at the event Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2008 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the M1. The concept vehicle uses a mid-engine layout and borrows styling cues from both the original M1 and the BMW Turbo show car.

The design was created by Giorgio Giugiaro who got his idea from the BMW Turbo designed by Paul Bracq which was rich in advanced technical innovations. The front sports double head lights (not the pop-up type that are on the original M1) and the usual trademark kidney grille.

Like the original M1 there are double badges on the back of the car. No photographs of the interior, or its technical specifications, have been released to the public. The BMW i8, which is based on the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics concept, is perhaps influenced by the M1 Hommage. Maybe BMW was using the Hommage concept to test the waters of the styling of the, then, upcoming i8. It is no coincidence that the Hommage concept was followed by the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept which then became the i8.

The M1 Hommage is well reproduced by Norev in a striking orange metallic paint. The windows are obscured as no-one but BMW know what the interiors look like.  The model is made of diecast Metal and has no opening parts.

 


My next article will look at the CSL Hommage (BMW no. 80 43 2 413 753). I will compare it to its famous ancestor which was nicknamed “the Batmobile”.


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New Neo and Model Car Garage May 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs provided by Model Car World.

Model Car Group 

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

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

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

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

 

MCG #209974 Saab 96 V4, blue 1971

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

MCG #209973 Saab 96 V4, beige 1971

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

Neo

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

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

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

Neo #169249 Glas 1700 GT, silver 1965

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

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


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Oxford Diecast March 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

A number of models have just been released by Oxford Diecast in 1:76 and 1:87 scales. Many were originally announced for the final quarter of 2016 but have been slightly delayed. These are all  diecast and plastic and made in Oxford’s own  Chinese production centre.

1:76 Scale Models

 

76 MW6001 Bristol MW6G Royal Blue

Oxford’s clever use of diecast lower sections combined with a plastic upper body not only allows for multiple versions of the vehicle to be made it also allows the windows, roof and other upper body details to be finely modelled. As the windows are part of the moulding, there are no issues with fitting gaps at all and the vents are very convincing too. Some collectors may question the lack of mirrors and the use of printed wipers, but they do make the model more robust and the small round mirrors of the real thing would be scarcely noticeable and very fragile if done to scale.

The Oxford is based upon a preserved coach, and looking at photographs of the original it has been very well captured by Oxford.

My only criticism is that the rear wheel sets are slightly crooked on my model, something that I have found on other Oxford coaches, but this can presumably be corrected with a  little persuasion. Looking at the quality and detail of this model, it is difficult to believe that some of their competitors similar models are about twice the price.


 

76TS001 Triumph Stag

The Triumph Stag was made between 1970 and 1977. Designed to meet the needs of an American market where pure convertibles were set to be banned, it incorporated a permanent roll cage. Designed by Giovanni Michelotti it was fitted with a Triumph-made 3 Litre V8 engine created from two of their four cylinder engines as fitted to the Dolomite. This proved to be the cars weakest point as it turned out to be fragile, and it was a symbol of how ineffective British Leyland Group management was that they did not insist part way through the development that Triumph used the proven ex-Buick Rover V8 to cut costs and build up economies of scale.

The Oxford model has quite a lot of detail incorporated with badging, lights and grille well printed. However the wheels really need the gaps and centre marked out in black paint as they look very flat and plastic. I have marked mine since shooting the photographs, and I think it it makes a great improvement. The moulded interior is adequate in this scale without a great deal of effort to detail the dashboard. When I received the car, the rear of the T bar did no fit into the lower body section properly, and others have commented on Facebook about this. I found that with a gentle press the upper section clicked into the body and was then a  good flush fit.  But unfortunately the windscreen shows a thick line of clear plastic underneath the chrome surround at its base.  I think that quality control may be being limited to help them meet the ambitious production targets Oxford set themselves.

It is a model of the car as sold in the first year of production and features a Coventry registration plate, so it is presumably based on a press car.

 


76BM02001 BMW 2002 Colorado Orange

The BMW 2002s of 1977 were based upon the 02 series chassis introduced with the 1600 in 1966.  The car modelled by Oxford is a 1971 model registered in East Sussex. The bold orange colour was a popular colour in the 1970s and is even stronger than my pictures show. It was this generation of BMW that finally rescued the country from being close to bankruptcy and created their reputation for making sporting saloon cars.

The 2002 was introduced after both Helmut Werner Bönsch, BMW’s director of product planning, and Alex von Falkenhausen, designer of the M10 engine, both had a two litre engine installed in a 1600-2 for their own use.

The Oxford model captured the shape well, and the printed chrome features are well done with the exception of the window surrounds which are printed in such a way that they emphasis the thick body shell of these models. I have said elsewhere that I think it better that Oxford either move over to flush fit glazing or drop the printing round the lower edge of the windows altogether.  The tiny badges and scripts on the boot are incredibly fine, and Oxford seem to have suddenly started to print more realistic number plates onto the models. The tiny rubber fittings on the bumpers are printed on and the side rubber mouldings too, though they are a little too glossy.  I suspect that the indicators which should be on the corner of the car above the front lights have been printed on and as this is an orange car have “vanished” perhaps when later colours appear so will they.  Finally the wheels like the Stags seem just too solid and would benefit from a black wash.

All in all a nice model and one that would be nice to see in 1:43 scale as well.


 

76AMDB2002 Aston Martin DB2 MkIII Drop Head Coupe

This series of cars was made by Aston Martin from 1957 to 1959. It was an evolution of the DB2/4 Mark II model it replaced. It was powered by Tadek Marek’s upgraded engine based upon the W.O. Bentley-designed Lagonda 2.9  litre 6 cylinder engine. the front grille introduced on this model set the shape that would be seen in some form on future Aston Martins.

Aston Martin built 84 drophead coupé models so they were always rare and expensive cars. Indeed a DBIII, as Ian Fleming called it, appeared in the Goldfinger book.  These cars were capable of 120 mph, or more if one of the more highly tuned versions of the engine were fitted.

The Oxford model with the hood up is nice with a beautifully fine grille and tiny printed doors and boot handles. Lights and number plates are excellent too and the interior is simple but adequate. The only areas that are a little disappointing are the whheels and the paintwork. The wheels are solid plastic with a few raised lines to represent the wire wheels and they are really not as good as the rest of the model. The paintwork is a nice racing green but it is thin over the gaps round the panel lines.


1:87 Scale Models

This is the latest series of 1:87 models from Oxford aimed squarely at the US market where the collapse of suppliers like Malibu, Fresh Cherries and others has created a gap in the market for Oxford to fill. My first impression looking at these models is that a lot of effort has gone into them, and that the level of detailing is very high for such small diecasts.

87BS36001 Buick Special Convertible Coupe 1936

The Buick Special was Buick’s entry level full size car for many years. In 1936 this was powered by a 3.8 Litre inline 8 cylinder engine. It was a good year for Buick and sales of the special were good.

The model by Oxford has caught the looks of the car very well and the glossy black paint is a typical period colour, a white version is to be offered later in the year. The Buick badge on the grille and the number plates and rear lights are all nicely printed. The grille could perhaps benefit from a black wash but is tall and impressive like the real thing.

I think that the headlights have been printed much too small. All the picture references I have seen show the headlights surrounded by a chrome ring and not a  body colour one. The sidelights too are printed in silver over their whole area but on the real car they weer body colour on the top. Another curiosity is that the wheel rims seem to be in yellow plastic when picture references suggest that the steel wheels are painted often in colours which contrast with the body colour and the rims are either that colour or fitted with chrome embellishers. Despite these criticisms I think it a nice model .


 

87CN57001 Chevrolet Nomad 1957

The Nomad was a glamorous model in its 1955 to 57 heyday.  It was a two door sports sedan powered by a powerful V8 engine and fitted with an extended station wagon rear. The Nomad was dropped for the 1958 model year and though it re-appeared in later years it was as a more conventional top of the line station wagon.

Oxford have modelled it in Dusk Pearl and Imperial Ivory and have announced one in Rio Red and Arctic White for later in the year. The model has some excellent features with neat white sidewalls and lots of small badges, number plates and vents printed on. However the bonnet ornaments should have chromed ends and don’t and the headlights are again tiny little dots surrounded by body colour when the real Nomad had large chrome light surrounds. Finally there are no painted rear lights and the “dagmars” are not painted black.

For all my criticism this is a nice model and one that a dab or two of paint would finish off nicely.


 

87CP65001 Chevrolet Stepside Pick Up 1965

This series of Chevy trucks was introduced in 1960 and replaced in 1967. So the 1965 was a well developed vehicle. A 5.3 Litre V8 was on offer for the first time in that model year and for drivers in search of comfort air conditioning arrived too. The Light Blue and White colour scheme appears to be authentic with lots to see on the Web. Later in the year it will be released in orange.

Oxford’s printed grille and printed vents are excellent as are the number plates.  The printed white Chevrolet on the rear of the pickup is very nicely done. The roof section has nicely printed black lines where the trim was rubber or black painted and has finely produced vents. This is another model with a plastic upper section and again it fits so well that you would never guess until you test it.

I have fewer criticisms to make of this model. One is of the wheels which I believe are one piece mouldings with the rims, wheels and hubcaps printed. On half the wheels this has been printed squarely and this looks good on two it is not printed quite centrally which is a little disappointing. The steering wheel is a nice moulded item with the column lever included but it is fitted much too low with its lower edge below the level of the seat cushion.   But overall this is a nice model and I can see it making its way onto US Railroaders layouts.


 

87BC55001 Buick Century 1955

Another classic American car. Released in Turquoise and Polo White it will be available later in the year in Coral and Polo White. Century was a model name used for performance versions of their cars from 1954 to 1958. The Century used the smallest and lightest body shells in their range from the entry point Buick Special and combined them with their most powerful V8 engine. Available in several body styles Oxford have chosen to model it as a two door coupe.

This model again has really good number plates, grille printed in black and silver, and this time it has lovely wheels with white side walls and body colour wheels. The side spears and “bullet holes” are all printed neatly on as is the Century script on the rear wing. Rear lights are printed in and the bumper are all neatly moulded and printed silver. Again fitted with a  basic but adequate interior. The bonnet ornament is simple but represents the real one quite well if not as delicate as a true scale one would be.

There is one area which I feel lets this model down a little and that is the front lights which are just a flat silver printed circle where the real car has slightly domed headlights with  a small chrome peak according to my picture sources. Some Kristal Klear dripped on is a quick fix for the headlight lenses but the lack of the small peal is a shame.


Whilst I have been slightly critical of these models I think that they are all good value for the price point that Oxford Diecast sells them at and it is nice to have the models available in this smaller scale. Many will be used by railway modellers and will look excellent on a  layout perhaps weathered a bit to make them a little more realistic. The US cars to 1:87 scale are particularly finely detailed for small diecast models.


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1:18 Scale BMW promotional models by Norev

By Fabrizio Panico

Photographs by the Author.

A few weeks ago I received two new 1:18 scale BMW promotional models made for them in China by Norev.

The first one is a 2016 BMW M3 (F80) Competition Package (BMW no. 80 43 2 411 553) – The M3 is a powerful and light four door car with 431 HP, and a dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission from DKG. It is fitted with many aluminium parts and a carbon fibre roof. Add to that the new “Competition Package” developed by BMW M GmbH and you get a 450 HP monster with adaptive suspension and exterior trim in “Shadow Line” option in gloss black and with exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels. The interior sports M branded seats and seat belts with the “tricolor” flag of BMW M.

The model, in a beautiful “Sakhir orange metallic”, is really accurate and faithful to every detail of the real car. Diecast in metal, all four doors open as do the bonnet and the boot. Dashboard and interiors are well reproduced, as are the carbon fibre roof, engine and chassis.


 

 

 

The second one is a 2016 BMW Vision Next 100 (BMW no. 80 43 2 406 146) – This concept car is a prototype summarising the thought of the German group about the mobility of the future.

Presented at the Centenary Event in Munich, it aims to represent the coexistence of autonomous driving and the self driving pleasure typical of any BMW. Electric and hybrid powertrains are already transforming the way we think about cars, the premium products of the future will rely on the highest levels of connectivity, cutting edge technologies and tailoring to the taste of each client.

The futuristic design of the body is well reproduced by Norev, in an elegant “light brown metallic”,

The model is diecast with no opening parts. The minimalist interior is well reproduced. Models of BMW concept cars to 1:18 scale are unusual so this one is noteworthy as it perhaps gives us a glimpse of the future.


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Atlas Dinky Collection – 534 BMW 1500

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest Dinky model from the UK Atlas Dinky collection has arrived. Again a replica of a French Dinky model previously seen in the collection issued by Atlas France. The BMW 1500 was produced by Dinky France between 1963 and 1968.

Atlas UK has chosen to have this modelled in pale green with a red interior. It was also originally produced in dark red as well by Dinky as shown by the box art.

The replica made by Norev in China is finished to a high standard capturing the original toy very well. As always the baseplate is clearly marked as made by Atlas and Mattel.

Nice though this model is I am sure that more collectors may cancel their subscriptions. Atlas advertising for this series focused on Binns Road and its products yet there have been no new UK Dinky castings for some months. One wonders if the current Dinky Vans range which has just launched with an Oxo liveried Trojan van  was launched in an attempt to get some of the collectors who have abandoned this collection back.


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