Category Archives: Fiat

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.

AUTOart

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)

Technomodel

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

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A BKL PANTECHNICON

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

               Exchange

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.


References

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


Acknowledgements

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.


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DeAgostini Italian Dinky Collection is complete.

By Fabrizio Panico

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

After seventy issues DeAgostini has brought it’s Dinky Collection issued in Italy to an end.

58 Peugeot 203 (3rd Type) grey (Dinky Toys France 533/24 R copy)
59 Studebaker Commander (project) blue/grey (Dinky Toys France 540/24 Y copy)
60 Fiat 600 D red (Dinky Toys France 520 copy)

61 Simca 8 Sport grey (Dinky Toys France 24 S copy)
62 Peugeot 402 taxi brown/cream (DT 24 L copy)
63 Aston Martin DB3S green (DT 110 copy)

64 Willys Jeep US Army green (Dinky Toys France 153 A copy)
65 Fiat 1800 station wagon (South Africa issue colours metallic green (Dinky Toys South Africa 548 copy)
66 Renault R8 police black/white (Dinky Toys France 25 BR prototype copy)

67 Citroen 2 CV model 61 yellow/brown (Dinky Toys France 558 copy)
68 Porsche 356A coupé purple red (Dinky Toys France182 copy)

69 Lincoln Premiere violet/white (DT 532 copy prototype colour)
70 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia green/cream (Dinky Toys UK 187 copy)


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News from the Continent June 2019 – Busch Group

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

Here are images of the releases made by Busch Group in their ranges in March and April 2019. All the vehicles are moulded in plastic in China for Germany unless otherwise stated.


Busch Releases March 2019

41711 Pontiac TransAm muscle car – orange

42720 Volkswagen Beetle 1200 with oval rear window – beige

42724 Volkswagen Beetle 1200 with oval rear window – blue

42891 Weimar Mobile Excavator T174-2 with funnel

45239 Ford Thunderbird Cabriolet – closed hood – blue

46220 Smart Fortwo 2012 City cleaning

Fighter against dust and dirt in the city of Dresden


46723 Volkswagen Hebmüller Cabriolet – open – red

46733 Volkswagen Hebmüller Cabriolet – closed – green

50050 Allgaier A 111L tractor

In 1906 Georg Allgaier founded Allgaier Werke GmbH in Hattenhofen in Württemberg. The A 111 Bauernschlepper was developed specially for motorising small farms and launched in 1952. It was later to form the basis of the short-lived Porsche Tractor.


50051 Hofherr-Schrantz Austro Junior 108 tractor

The Austrian company worked closely with Allgaier and later with Porsche. Porsche tractors were manufactured in Austria by Hofherr-Schrantz under licence.


51114 Mercedes-Benz Vito Halstenbeck Fire brigade

51125 Mercedes-Benz Vito Hessian Police, Germany

51259 Framo V901/2 bus Blue Postal vehicle – noise suppression service

Usually Public Service Vehicles of the DDR postal service were painted in yellow or grey. An exception to this were ones used by radio and television service.


51570 IFA G5 1956 box body – sahara beige

A prototype created to compete for an order from the Egyptian army.


51704 Nagetusch caravan – lilac and silver

51816 Robur Garant K30 box van “Circus Aeros”

51912 Land Rover Discovery “Federal Police of Germany” – mint green

51918 Land Rover Discovery “Bavarian Police”

52010 Framo V901/2 box van “Milk transport in the city of Dresden”

52011 Framo 901/2 box van HO food transporter

52200 Mercedes-Benz VF 123 Miesen ambulance Bavarian Red Cross

52201 Mercedes-Benz VF 123 Miesen Fire brigade ambulance

52202 Mercedes-Benz VF 123 Miesen ambulance, green

52203 Mercedes-Benz VF 123 Miesen hearse

54905 Transport trailer of the DDR Red Cross

59943 Trailer with steel masts

EsPeWe automobile models to 1:87 scale

95029 HW 80.11 trailer “NVA”

The trailer was manufactured from 1969 onwards in the VEB Kraftfahrzeugwerk Ernst Grube plant in Werdau.


Mehlhose automobile models in scale 1:87

210007701 Trailer for Multicar ‘Circus Busch’

210007800 Long timber trailer “Circus Busch”

210008300 Multicar M21 “Circus Busch”

210009901 Tractor Famulus with trailer ‘Circus Busch’
210010299 Trailer T4 ‘Circus Busch’

Busch Releases April 2019

41009 Mercedes-Benz O 3500 coach ‘Köhne´s travel service’

41010 Mercedes-Benz O 3500 coach ‘Our home country’

42740 Volkswagen Beetle, with rear split window, German Federal Post

46657 Plymouth Fury “Sheriff staff car”

46735 Volkswagen Hebmüller Cabriolet – closed – two tone green metallic

48727 Fiat 500 “on Tour”

48728 Fiat 500 “Carabinieri”

In Italy the Carabinieri are one of the main law enforcement agencies and like the French Gendarmerie it is under the control of the Military rather than civil authorities.


50557 Lada 1600 saloon – red with black roof

51138 Mercedes-Benz Vito “drain cleaning”

51139 Mercedes-Benz Vito “Heavy duty transport guiding”

51210 Framo V901 box van Potsdam Fire brigade

51211 Framo V901/2 box van Berlin Waterworks

51462 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2008 German Government Police unit

51571 IFA G5 1956 box truck – mobile workshop for the passenger transport organisation of Karl-Marx-Stadt (today Chemnitz again)

51754 Nagetusch mobile shop for Merz and Pilini

51756 Nagetusch mobile shop “Circus Busch”

51813 Robur Garant K30 box van – Minol

51815 Robur Garant K30 box van – snow white dry cleaning

51913 Land Rover Discovery “THW”

59957 Trailer with motorboat – Bavarian Red Cross water rescue service”

59962 Trailer with high mesh siding

EsPeWe automodels to 1:87 scale

95243 IFA W50 LA with tank “German Red Cross (DDR) “

95244 IFA W50 LA/PV flatbed truck – driving school

Mehlhose automodels to 1:87 scale

210009614 Multicar M21 – grey – Exquisit

210009616 Multicar M21 – Black – Exquisit

210010005 Balkancar E-Karre – grey

210010224 Trailer T4- blue with red frame

This agricultural trailer was manufactured from 1956 to 1966 in the former DDR.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 27

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Parts 79 and 80

Here is the 27th and last part of my summary of the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo. Here we’ll see two more French buses, a Berliet and a Chausson, but on the other hand we must remember that it is basically a collection of French origins. As an add-on we’ll also see a Fiat 418 Cameri, a model Italian Hachette offered only to the subscribers to the whole Italian collection, but which was available as a standard issue in the French collection.


No. 79 (no. 102 in the French collection) Berliet PCS 10 RATP 1960 – We have already seen the Berliet Crusair 3 (see part 8, no. 22), the PHL 10 (see part 10, no. 30), the PR100 range (Jelcz version, see part 14, no. 40), the PLR 10 (see part sixteen, no. 47), the original 1969 Crusair (see part twenty-one, no. 62) and the 1956 PLR 8 MU (see part twenty-three, no. 69). Berliet is one of the oldest automobile manufacturer, part of Citroën from 1967, then acquired by Renault in 1974 and merged with Saviem into the new RVI in 1978. Berliet produced many different vehicles, but after the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, and Berliet had to face strong competition from Chausson and Renault. Indeed Berliet had no experience outside the field of heavy commercial vehicles, and choose then to buy Rochet-Schneider for its capacity and it’s ‘know-how’. In 1951 it launched the PLR 8, a very powerful bus, but already dated. It was only in 1955 with the PCP 10 that Berliet was able to enter the profitable Parisian transport fleet, until then dominated by Renault. After the Second World War the RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) had expanded its suppliers list, and from 1950 started to use the Somua OP5 (see part seven, no. 20), an innovative bus with an almost all-steel closed body by Million-Guiet-Tubauto (MGT), which was more comfortable for driver and passengers. A very reliable bus, the OP5 modernised the Parisian fleet, slowly replacing the old open platform buses, which had been a real Parisian trademark. In 1955 the RATP choose to try the Berliet PCP10, using the same body of the OP5-3 by MGT (only the front grille was different), and ordered 100 buses, with a diesel Berliet six-in-line engine developing 145 CV placed longitudinally in the front of the chassis, and fitted with a Wilson pre-selector gearbox. In 1960 a further 50 buses were supplied by Berliet, named PCS10 and using a Somua chassis, easily identified by a more prominent front grille, a reduced front overhang and some minor details. More liked than the Somua, the Berliets were phased out in 1972.

The scale model sports the classic dark green and cream livery of the RATP. It is quite a large model with a plastic body, a metal chassis and the usual plastic added parts. Underside details are present, the exhaust is silver painted and there is a rear tow hitch. On both sides there are “Conord” ads, while in the rear there is a “Chantelle” one, all very agreeable.

The destination plate reads “#73 – Puteaux – Louis Blanc”, the route starting at the Paris Hotel de Ville and ending at Puteaux, a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, located in the heart of the Hauts-de-Seine department. It is host to La Défense, Paris’ business district with the tallest buildings in the metropolitan area. There isn’t a standard registration plate, because until March 2003 RATP buses used special registration plates with their own serial number. The interior is fairly detailed and it is fitted with nice four-leaf doors and large windows. No apparent differences to the French edition exist. Indeed another beautiful model, very likely a smart re-use of a previous mould (no. 20, Somua OP5).


No. 80 (no. 103 in the French collection) Saviem E7 1970 – We have already seen the 1965 Saviem SC10 U (see part thirteen, no. 39) and the 1960 SC1 (see part twenty-four, no. 71), and how at the end of 1955 Renault, facing strong competition from Berliet and lacking factory capacity decided to unify its forces with Somua and Latil creating LRS Saviem (Latil-Renault-Somua Société Anonyme de Véhicules Industriels et d’Equipments Mécaniques), later incorporating Isobloc and Chausson. But during the 1960s the competition was changing, and the ‘battlefield’ was now the whole of Europe. The innovative products from Setra and Van Hool were international successes and both Berliet and Saviem soon realised the urgent need for a rear engined vehicle, with sufficient power, large luggage spaces beneath the floor, large windows and, very important, a higher level of passenger comfort. Berliet’s prompt answer was the Crusair range (see part eight, no. 22, and part twenty-one, no. 62), but Saviem was seriously disadvantaged : it was lacking the ‘know-how’ (Isoblocs were its last rear engined buses), had to build a new assembly line and was forced to launch the new bus if possible at the same time as Berliet. The result was the E7, presented in May 1969, a bus with a modern angular shape, a modular body for different versions, large windows and symmetrical front and rear sides, excellent comfort, a powerful longitudinal rear engine by MAN, but …. the vehicle suffered from the hasty development. Problems quickly appeared in service: with the electrical system, the heating system, and even the body structure itself. Disappointed users’ complaints soon became public and, despite making changes to resolve the problems, market confidence evaporated. Less than 3,500 units were produced, with many exported to Africa.

The quite large scale model shows faithfully the E7L‘s angular shape. As usual there is a plastic body and metal chassis, and it is finished in a cream and gold livery. The interior is basic though there is a nicely detailed driver’s cockpit. There are very detailed side windows and roof lights. Many separate small plastic parts are used, and excellent decoration, even the small details between the side windows are captured.

However, the Saviem logo is difficult to read (silver print on gold paint). It is a replica of a bus of the Société des Transports Allauzen, based in Joyeuse, a commune in the Ardèche department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southern France. Voyages Sotra are now part of Voyages Ginhoux, a family business founded in 1830 to transport goods and passengers in the Ardèche region. It is fitted with a correct “07” registration plate. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. It is a worthy reproduction of an “unlucky” bus.


Unnumbered (no. 53 in the French collection) Fiat 418 AC Cameri 1972 – As already stated in part five, Italian Hachette offered its subscribers a model of a Fiat 418, a 1972 Cameri from the AMT of Genova, (no. 53 in the French collection). I did not qualify to receive one as I prefer to buy collections at a news stand in order to avoid delays, or problem with the mail. Luckily it was quite easy to find the 418 Cameri on eBay to complete the collection.

We have already met the Fiat products and in particular the 418 (see part five, no. 13), a typical urban bus adopted in all the large cities of Italy to replace the ageing 409 and 410. It was of the same general design, a separate chassis fitted with a longitudinal engine placed centrally under the floor. The usual body was by Cameri, already absorbed into Fiat Group in 1936 and operating under the CANSA name (see part 10, no. 28), but the chassis was also made available to outside specialised bodywork manufacturers like Portesi, Pistoiesi, Breda, Dalla Via, Padane and Menarini. The 418 was equipped with the Fiat 8200.12 diesel engine, a flat straight six, of 9,819CC developing 143 kw of power. Some versions had an automatic gearbox, but a manual gearbox was also available.

The scale model, based on a preserved vehicle, has a plastic body and a metal baseplate with little detail. It is finished in an orange and grey livery, typical of Genoa (Genova) in the North of Italy, one of the most important ports on the Mediterranean. The shape is well reproduced, with nice details, but inside the seats are poorly coloured (it could be specific to this example). It has very nice front and rear ends, and the rear lights are excellent.

The destination plate reads “Brignole – San Nicolò”, where Brignole is the main railway station and San Nicolò is a village belonging to the municipality of Genova, on its west side. A correct registration plate is featured. A good choice, a bus warmly remembered.

Conclusions

The collection has now ended and it is time to draw some conclusions. The choice of subjects was quite interesting and rightly included all the Italian buses from the French collection and a selection of all the others. Though it must be said that after the decision to extend the partwork from sixty to eighty models, it then copied the French one, offering the same models issued in France a couple of weeks later. It is very likely that Italian collectors might have preferred some of the previous models from the larger French collection whichdid not appeared in the first 60 of the Italian collection, like the Hispano Suiza or the Floirat.

It is possible to see the whole French collection on the web on a very interesting site. All the models have been of really high quality and have been excellent value for money. Packaging was quite basic, but was effective at avoiding any damage, but due to the wildly different sizes and shapes no clear plastic box was provided. If the collection had one problem it is the sheer size of the collection’s models. You need a very large space to display or even just to store them! A problem well known to a lot of collectors. Happy collecting!


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 25

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Parts 73 to 75

After a short delay (sorry), here is the 25th part of my summary of the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo. Here we’ll see another GM “New Look”, an interesting (but not very successful) Italian Fiat and an iconic Chausson.


No. 73 (no. 96 in the French collection) General Motors “New Look” TDH-5303 1965 – We have already seen the GM history and how the New Look bus (see part 20, no. 59) was introduced in 1959 to replace the previous transit buses, soon becoming an iconic North American sight, and gaining the “fishbowl” nickname after its six-piece rounded windscreen. The huge window surfaces, the higher and longer body and the more “dynamic” styling (a bit reminiscent of the Scenicruiser) made the New Look very welcome to the public, especially when compared to the slightly clumsy “Old Look”. The denomination (TDH-5303) says it all: a transit bus (T), diesel engined (D) and with a hydraulic transmission (H), a long chassis (53 for 12,20 metres), third series (03). Indeed the four series are all aesthetically very similar, only the GM monogram and the interior design underwent modifications.

This scale model sports the dark green and grey livery of the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, with a plastic body and metal baseplate, it is well detailed and has an added silver exhaust. It is a very large model, with a correct interior and driver’s area. Based on the previous model of the New Look TDH-5301 (no. 59) the only difference seems to be the addition of a box on the roof, very likely an air conditioning system, plus new rear lights and engine panel. A few reflectors have been added on the sides, but the chassis still indicates TDH 5301. The route is 41, from White Plains Road (Bronx) to 142nd Street (Upper Manhattan). There are no apparent differences to the French edition. Another smart re-use of a previous mould, but we would have preferred something new!


No. 74 (no. 97 in the French collection) FIAT 412 Aerfer 1961 – A double decker in Rome? Why not! In 1905 a Thornycroft 24 HP double decker bus was seen on Roman roads used bySocietà Romana Tramways Omnibus (SRTO), and in 1930 the Lancia Omicron Duplex was seen in Campidoglio Square, only to be surpassed in 1932 by a gargantuan “two deckers and a half” on the road from Rome to Tivoli. Beautiful pictures of them all can be found at the following web page. Established in 1909 as AATM, the Roman transport company changed its name almost immediately to ATM (Municipal Tramways Company) and started its commercial service in 1911. It then gradually absorbed SRTO‘s lines and rolling stock, which ran most of the urban tramways network. In 1926 the City of Rome was replaced by the Governorship of Rome, ATM changed its name to ATG, and two years later to ATAG (Bus and Tramways Company of the Governorship). In 1944, the city returned to its original status, so the ATAG became ATAC.

In the 1960s, following the withdrawal of the tramways network there was a drastic reduction of transport capacity, ATAC decided to try double deckers again, which had not been very successful in the 1930s. Two prototypes were tested in 1964, built on a Fiat 412 chassis, derived from the contemporary 410 and improved through a double skeleton of longitudinal and cross beams (for the Fiat history see part 8 no. 23). The bodywork was of aeronautical type, developed by AERFER of Naples using a stiffened shell structure in light aluminium alloy (Costruzioni Aeronautiche e Ferroviarie, Aeronautical and Railway Constructions, later merged in Aeritalia). The engine was a six cylinder diesel developing 176 HP, installed in a semi-horizontal position and placed transversely at the rear. The floor was partially lowered between the two axles, with three quadruple doors and two inside staircases to the upper floor, the front one for the ascent and the rear for the descent. But the 412 had been designed for characteristics entirely different from the Italian ones (a South American order, later cancelled), and soon the 412 revealed itself to be unsuitable for the road network of Rome. The people, fearful of being unable to get off at the desired stop, preferred to crowd the lower floor (which could contain 12 persons seated and 80 standing), leaving the 45 seats of the upper deck unused. Only 58 of these buses were used by ATAC, out of the ten years production total of only 127 units. Many large Italian towns tested the 412 (Bari, Bologna, Florence, Naples, Verona), but with poor results.

The scale model is based on a bus from Florence, route 17 from Viale Duse to Piazza Puccini (roughly from Coverciano to the Cascine park). The model is superb: made with a metal lower body and plastic upper body and chassis. It is well detailed and quite heavy. Livery is the typical green bicolour of Italian buses of the era, enhanced by an aluminium fascia, and the printed lettering is accurate. However, the interior is poor, spoiled by metal supports, and the staircases are only partially modelled. Good value for money despite this. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. Hachette must be congratulated for the choice of such a rare vehicle.


No. 75 (no. 98 in the French collection) Chausson APH 47 1947 – Nice to meet Chausson and its products again. After the 1950 APH (see part five, no. 14), the 1956 ANG coach (see part eighteen, no. 53) and the 1953 APU/53 (see part twenty two, no. 66), it is now the turn of the 1947 APH 47 to appear in the collection. Based in the Paris region from 1907, and a initially a supplier of components to the automotive industry, after the 1930s Chausson started producing car and unitary bus bodies. During the post war boom Chausson supplied thousands of buses to many French cities, but in 1959 Saviem acquired all their bus related activities and Chausson left that market. After the Second World War the first Panhard engined buses were soon joined by a petrol Hotchkiss engined one, this choice needed to extend the bus front cover to accommodate it. So was born the “nez de cochon” or “pig’s nose”, which later became the standard design. In 1947, APH 47 was the new name of the previous APH2, powered by a four-in-line Panhard diesel engine, developing 100 HP. A light and efficient vehicle, it was constantly improved in the following years leading to strong sales. It was employed by the RATP mainly on suburban lines, but it was found everywhere else in France.

A plastic body and metal baseplate feature on this model sporting the classic RATP livery: dark green and cream. There is a well detailed baseplate, and the model has all the usual small added parts. Again this model has a poor interior, the seats seem to lack any space for the passengers legs. It is quite similar to the APU/53 (no. 66), but it is likely that they are from different moulds. The route shown is 297, from Porte d’Orléans to Chilly Mazarin, a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, about 17 km from the centre of town, near Orly International Airport. The adverts on the side are very interesting: Dubonnet Quinquina was an aromatised wine-based aperitif, containing a small amount of quinine. It was created in 1846 in response to a competition run by the French Government to find a way of persuading French Foreign Legionnaires in North Africa to drink quinine (It is very bitter, but was needed to combat malaria). In the Italian partwork booklet the model is shown with a smaller decal, but the model sports the wider one, like the French model. On the rear of the bus there is an ad for the “Le Chat” soaps, cube-shaped soaps produced originally in Marseille, but now taken over by Henkel.

There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A model of a bus much loved by all the French.


M4 Model Cars Italy March 2019

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

M4 Group in Italy both design and manufacture in Italy. Models are diecast to 1:43 scale unless stated otherwise.

February 2019 Releases

We start with the releases made in February across their ranges.

ART Models

ART400 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta

As run at the Grand Prix of Luxemburg, Findel in 1949 – driven by Luigi Villoresi – R.R. Winner


ART401 Ferrari 857 S

As run at the 1000 km Paris/Monthlery in 1956 – 5th position driven by De Portago and Hill


BEST Models

BEST9738 Lancia Beta Montecarlo

This is a Group 5 test car Varano 1979 this was driven by Riccardo Patrese and has been issued in a limited edition of 79 pieces with figurine.


BEST9739 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1200 HF

As driven in the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally by Cella and Lombardini. It finished 5th over all and 1st in their class.


BEST9294/2 Ferrari 275 LM

A driven at the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1968 by M.Gregory and C.Kolb


RIO Models

RIO4588 Fiat 1500 – 1936

Here the existing Fiat 1500 Casting is fitted with a roof rack carrying skis and a container for their fittings.


RIO4589 Ford 999

As used in Baltimore in 1904 to set a world speed record by Henry Ford. This is one of the early speed record holders produced by Rio over the years.


RIO4590 Lamborghini Miura P400S 1969

Another release of the Muira 400S. Here painted gold.


RIO4591 Mercedes-Benz 20-35 Landaulet 1909

Here the model is based upon a car featured at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. However, the Rio product manager has had the name stated incorrectly. This car is a Daimler as it was produced before the company merger that formed Mercedes-Benz took place in 1926..


March 2019 Releases

ART Models

ART034/2 Ferrari Dino 246 SP

Here modelled as the winner of 1000 km Nurburgring 1962 driven by Hill and Gendebien.


ART402 Ferrari 212 Export

Here the car is finished as first in class winner and fourth in class and second overall at SCCA Pebble Beach in 1952 driven by A. Stubbs


BEST Models

BEST9740 Porsche Carrera Abarth

Finished as the car which finished 7th at the 12 hour race at Sebring in 1962 driven by Gurney and Holbert.


BEST 9741 Lancia Fulvia F&M Special HF

A very unusual open Fulvia as entered in the 1000 km at Nurburgring in 1969. It finished 1st in the 1.6 class driven by Munari and Aaltonen.


BEST9742 Ferrari 308 GTS 1980

The Best 308 GTS finished in the colours used in the US TV series Magnum.


RIO Models

RIO4592 Fiat 128 Rally 1971

Another release of the 128 Saloon from Rio. Here in a pale blue and in Rally trim level. Looking at the photograph I hope that production models are not as heavily painted as this as the shut lines seem to lack crispness on the photograph. The front sidelight created by simply tampo printing a silver square also looks like a compromise that reduces the quality of the model.


RIO4593 KdF (Volkswagen) Cabriolet

Here is a KdF modelled after the car given as a gift to Adolf Hitler on his 50th birthday on 20.April 1939. And accompanied by a period publicity photograph.


RIO4594 Fiat Balilla Ambulance car Africa 1935

This must have been of limited use as a military ambulance as it is a very short van body. It would also have been limited use off road as it was a conventional two wheel drive chassis.


RIO4595 Mercedes-Benz SSK

The Rio SSK casting here finished as a car that ran at Le Mans in 1932 driven by Foucret and Foucret. This wire wheels on this model reflect the age of the casting and need upgrading to meet current standards.


News from the Continent February 2019 – M4 Model Group

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

All the models shown below were scheduled to be released in January 2019 so should be available in retailers now. Unless otherwise stated the models are diecast in Italy to 1:43 scale. As is usual all the models are re-liveries or re-colours on long established castings

Art Models

ART398 Ferrari 335 S

Fourth placed at the Swedish Grand Prix 1957 driven by Hawthorn and Musso – Ferrari chassis #674


ART399 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta

This placed second at a six hours race at Sebring in 1950 and was first in the two litre class driven by Kimberly and Lewis. This represents Ferrari chassis #0010

BEST Models

BEST9734 Ferrari 330 GTC 1966

Styled by Pininfarina this is a rare and expensive car. One in a similar colour sold recently for over 600,000 US Dollars. Here the Best model is stated as being painted in a hazelnut brown metallic finish.


BEST9735 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1,3 HF

Here the Fulvia casting is liveried for the car which finished third in the Coppa delle Alpi in 1968 driven by Trautmann and Trautmann.


BEST9736 Lancia Fulvia Rally 1,6 HF Fanalone 1969

‘Fanalone’ is the name for the cars with the large twin headlights fitted towards the end of the Fulvia’s run. Here it is in Corsa red with the distinctive front styling.


BEST9737 Porsche 550 RS

Here the RS is finished as it appeared when it ran in the Mille Miglia in 1957 driven by Heinz Schiller.


RIO Models

RIO4585 Lamborghini Miura P400 1966

Styled by Bertone this model is in the yellow colour many of these cars were finished in. IN fact it looks very similar to the 1967 car Jay Leno has which was originally bought by Dean Martin.


RIO4586 Citroen DS 21

Here finished as the 1.000.000th DS car produced and painted in gold. Unfortunately the painting has rather flooded all the scored body lines. Further issues include the front amber indicators being printed crookedly and the front bumper is missing the many black inserts fitted on the real car.


RIO4587 Fiat 1100/103

Here the RIo Fiat 1100 casting is seen again, this time as an Italian Police car from 1954.


Mercury – la collezione Part Two

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Here a few pictures of the second and third model to be released in the Mercury partwork being sold in Italy by Hachette.

 Fiat 600 Multipla

The second part is again issued on a large card to attract the attention of the customer to the series and the model being sold at a discounted price. This card is huge and must cause news stands and shops in Italy a lot of issues finding space to display them. The model looks tiny in its cover mount.

On the rear of the card we again get a display showing us what is to come and a taster for the third model which will be at the standard price for the collection.

The red and black Fiat 600 model shown below is the replica from Hachette sitting on the replica box..

The green and grey model shown in comparison below is an original Mercury model from my collection.

There are no big differences between the two though the baseplate is engraved upside down on the new replica as shown below (NB the cars are positioned on the wrong boxes with the new Mercury on the right on the old Mercury box, and vice versa.) .

The Hachette box is also slightly altered from the original as it lacks the hole that Mercury had punched in to allow buyers to see the colour of the model inside. Even the weight is similar with the Hachette being a few grams lighter.

Fiat 1100 Taxi

Here the third model from the Hachette partwork. The Fiat nuova 1100 taxi in the livery of Berne (Berna in Italian) in Switzerland.

Hachette has chosen to model a very rare Mercury as they were only sold in Berne and consequently are very sought after by collectors. Unfortunately I do not have one to compare it with so I have shown it below with the standard 1100 that it is based on.

Again the Hachette box lacks the ‘spyhole’ which shows the colour of the model.