Category Archives: Mercury

Esval September 2018 Release Announcement

By Maz Woolley

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

Esval models have been often been the subject of discussion on bulletin boards. They have announced many models of interest to collectors that have either taken a long time to appear or which have not yet been produced. Recently they sent out publicity material announcing twelve models to be released between November 2018 and  Spring 2019.  Sadly none of these are the 1938 Humber Snipe or 1958 Packard hard top coupe previously announced as future subjects and which also no longer appear as future releases on the web site or in the 2018 brochure.

Esval models are resin cast in China for the US to either 1:18 or 1:43 scale.

1:18 Scale Models

1937 Duesenberg SJ Towncar

This model is due for release in November 2018. It comes in four different configurations. This is the first 1:!8 scale model from Esval and if of the 1937 Duesenberg SJ Towncar by Rollson, which is known as the last Duesenberg ever made. This car was modelled by Esval a couple of years ago in 1:43 scale.

 

The cars first owner was a wealthy German avant-garde painter, Rudolf Bauer who had it built even though Duesenberg had already gone out of business. It was intended to be the longest and most distinctive Duesenberg ever built. The body was constructed by Rollson, an American coachbuilder that specialised in town cars or town cabriolets. The car was delivered to the owner in 1940.

1:43 Scale Models

1950 Mercury Leo Lyons Coupe

This is due to be released in November 2018.

A custom car based upon the 1950 Mercury and built by a  20-year old called Leo Lyons. Drawing on the help of established custome builders in California like Ed Iskenderian and George and Sam Barris. Chassis and body panels were bought from Ford and “California Metal Shaping” custom designed and built the doors, hood, and top.  This car is regarded as the most radical custom version of the 1949-51 Mercury .

It was originally intended to make ten cars but in the end only the prototype was built. The model is based on the post-restoration version of this car.

2010 Porsche Cayenne 2 door Coupé by Merdad

Another release planned for November and a modern vehicle. The  2010 Porsche Cayenne 2 door coupé by Merdad. Merdad are a UK based coachbuilder who creates very expensive upgraded versions of Land Rover Evoques and Porsche Cayennes. It is not just a question of more powerful engines but they also fit strengthening frames as well as finishing the car in very high quality materials.

Only three of the 2010 versions were produced each slightly different and Esval has made two of them.

 

1920-21 Pierce Arrow Model 32 7-Seat Limousine

One of the models due in Spring 2019 is this 1920-21 Pierce Arrow Model 32 7-seat limousine. This was the largest car offered by Pierce Arrow at the start of the 1920s. Pierce Arrow was based in Buffalo, New York and is best known for its expensive luxury cars which did not survive the later depression.

The bodies for the Model 32 were designed by Leon Rubay, a freelance who also designed models for Marmon and Duesenbergs. In 1920, Pierce-Arrow launched the Model 32, which would form the basis of the company’s entire model lineup. This new chassis would be the only chassis available but would be available with 10 different factory body styles. 2,239 examples of the Model 32 were made before upgrades were made and the Model 33 was launched.

1951 GMC Series 100 5-Window pickup

November 2018 is the expected release date Our surprise new release this fall is one of the most legendary American pickup truck designs, 1951 GMC Series 100 5-window pickup.

The 1950s were the era when the classic American pickup became part of everyday US life and laid the grounds of the ‘lifestyle’ pickup of today. The Chevrolet and GMC’s so-called “Advance-Design” trucks led the way with production starting in 1947. These were entirely restyled and introduced new levels of comfort, convenience, and up to date looks. The new cab was wider, and offered more head and legroom. The model is based on a post-restoration vehicle.

 

1934-41 Adler Trumpf Junior 2 door Sedan

Spring 2019 should see the release of this model. A car for the masses was a German obsession throughout the pre-war period culminating in the KDF-Wagen. The 1934-41 Adler Trumpf Junior 2 door sedan was an early precursor which offered middle class families a practical and reasonably priced car.

Made in Frankfurt by Adler (Adlerwerke vorm. H. Kleyer AG), from early in 1934 the small two-door “Limousine” modelled here had a recommended price of 2,750 Marks. This model went on to be the company’s best selling car with over 100,000 being built before production ceased in 1941 during the Second World War.

 

1971 Trident Venturer Sport Coupe

The arrival of freely available equipment for building tubular frames and making fibreglass bodies spawned a collection of speciality car manufacturers in the UK in the 1970s. Some like TVR and Marcos are still remembered well, others have been lost in the past. Here Esval show a 1971 Trident Venturer sport coupe which they intend to release in Spring 2019.

Trident Cars Ltd. built cars from 1966 until 1977 in Woodbridge and then Ipswich. The first car was the Clipper convertible with a body styled by Englishman Trevor Frost. This was based on a TVR prototype TVR. The Clipper Coupe was built on a TVR Grantura Mark III chassis, but this was later switched to an Austin-Healey 3000 chassis. The Trident Venturer was launched in 1969 as a cheaper alternative to the Clipper using a similar body fitted to a Triumph TR6 chassis powered with a Ford 3-litre V6. Sadly the late 1970s was beset with financial crisis and Trident closed in 1974. An attempt to revive the company in 1976 but the company finally closed in 1977.  This car is now rare as only 84 Trident Venturers were built.

 

1949-50 Delahaye 135M Coupé by Guilloré

Another model due to be released in November. This is a stylish 1950s design from the French car maker Delahaye. This is a 1949-50 Delahaye 135M coupé by Guilloré.

Delahaye was one of the firms whose Grand Turismo cars were famous and fashionable in the inter-war period. The firm was a pioneer of the French motor industry opening its first workshop in 1896. Delahayes won a reputation for high quality engineering and after the success of the Delahaye 135 in the “Coupe des Alpes” in 1935 they focused on sportier cars. After the Second World War Delahaye revived production of the 135M and eight of this model were made from 1949-50 and only five now survive. The car has right-hand drive like many high quality French and Italian cars of the period. Delahaye’s 135 rapidly dated as the new generation of cheaper, faster and cheaper factory produced sports cars like the Jaguar XK120 emerged. Esval Models intends to make two versions of this car in dark blue and in off-white, each car has distinctive design.

 

1961 Cisitalia DF85 Coupe

Due for release by Esval this November. Italy had many small producers and styling houses in the 1950s. The 1961 Cisitalia DF85 Coupe, is a product of that era. Consorzio Industriale Sportiva Italia was established by Piero Dusio in 1939 and made a variety of sporting goods. After the Second World War Dusio built a number of Fiat-powered racing cars using the extended acronym Cisitalia and started making passenger cars in 1947. By 1949 Cisitalia was bankrupt by 1949 and Dusio moved to Argentina. In 1960, Dusio attempted to resurrect the Cisitalia brand. The 1961 Cisitalia DF85 Coupé was a car of the revived company and based on the Fiat 1500S.

The body was crafted by Carrozzeria Fratelli Fissore of Savigliano, one of the biggest names in the coachbuilding business after the Second World War. Like many of these small concerns records of their output are rare. It is estimated that fifteen to thirty of these cars were produced.


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Goldvarg September 2018

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs have all been provided by the Manufacturer.

It is amazing to think that Sergio Goldvarg only returned to producing 1:43 scale models just over a year ago. Since then licences have been obtained from Ford and General Motors and once the first cars were released a steady stream of new ones has been announced. The cars are resin moulded to 1:43 scale and finished in China to Sergio’s specification. Lots of attention is paid to having pre-production tryouts made and shown to knowledgeable collectors to help get them absolutely right before production. These pre-production samples also help Sergio to get a good idea of the colours that will sell strongly and builds up a direct relation between the maker and the collectors.

Most of the releases to date have sold out at Goldvarg Collectibles, though some can still be found on the inventories of retail sellers. What is also amazing is that the US price of some of the cars to pre-order today are still at the bargain $99 launch price, and even a few that are not are only $109. This seems to be a bargain price at a time when prices from  European companies like Matrix and Brooklin have increased very significantly over the same period and other competitors are much dearer anyway.

So lets look at some of the models announced but not yet shipped.

1961 PONTIAC CATALINA Twilight Mist

 

The 1961 Catalina sold for less than a Chevrolet Impala yet was fitted with a better automatic box and was kitted out to the standards of a Oldsmobile and was cheaper than that too. The new squarer, straight through, wing styling front and back heralded the start of the much more conservative styling of the early 1960s.

The Goldvarg model captures the complex curves and pressed surfaces very well.

GC-007 B 1970 FORD Galaxie Caramel Bronze

The 1970 Ford Galaxie was a full-sized car. The name was used for the top models in Ford’s full-size range competing with the Chevrolet Impala. Here the Goldvarg model has captured the typical early 1970s shape well and the intricately finished rear chrome panel and badging are worthy of note.

This car is also to be available in metallic silver with a black vinyl roof.

GC-008 A 1965 MERCURY PARK LANE MARAUDER Ocean Turquoise

 

In 1965 the chassis of full-size Ford and Mercury cars was redesigned and the Mercury line was given much flatter sides. a much more slab-sided appearance. Europeans will see the influence of the front end on both the German Ford Taunus 17M and the British Mark III Cortina.

The Goldvarg model again has very fine grille work as well as badging. The car is also available in a nice metallic gold finish.

GC-009 A 1969 FORD TORINO Calypso coral

 

The Ford Torino modelled by Goldvarg is an early car from the second year of production. It is nice to see an earlier Torino as the Starsky and Hutch car has meant that most Torinos produced have been 1973 cars. The Torino filled the mid-range segment and was named after the Italian city of Turin, perhaps to add some suggestion of Italian style to what was only a Ford Fairlane in disguise.

The Goldvarg model looks good even in this early pre-production form with the wheels still not ready to show. The front grille seems to be very neatly replicated and the badging too.It is also to be available in a yellow which is undoubtedly period correct but much less attractive to my eye.

GC010 A 1963 FORD FALCON SPRINT Rangoon Red

 

The Falcon was the small platform in the Ford line up from 1961 onwards. By 1963, there were two and four door sedans, convertibles, wagons and hardtops. In mid-year a V8 was offered for the first time in the Sprint line only. The Sprint acted as a test bed for the soon to be launched Ford Mustang which may have looked very different but was pure Falcon underneath!

The pre-production model has a few parts that are not yet finely finished as I expect that they will be when the model is launched. But  it captures the lights and grille very well as well as side spear and badging.

This model will also be available in Polar White.

1963 Chevy Nova Laurel Green

 

The Chevrolet Chevy II/Nova was the smallest platform for Chevrolet cars and went through five generations after being introduced in 1962. Its influence on GMs former European Opel division is clear to see. Powered by four or six cylinder engines the Chevy II/Nova started out intending to be a thrifty purchase but as time went on more expensive variants rapidly emerged. By 1963 the Nova option for the Chevy II was available in a convertible body style, and a two-door hardtop was available from 1962 to 1965. All Chevy two-door hardtops in the range were marketed as the Sport Coupe .For 1963, the Chevy II Nova Super Sport was released and it featured special emblems, an instrument package, wheel covers, special side mouldings, bucket seats, and floor gear change.

The Goldvarg is still at the prototype phase but  seems to me to capture the original car exceptionally well with excellent fine detailing to finish the relatively simple shape of the car well.

1956 MERCURY MONTEREY Station Wagon

 

The Marquis-Monterey range had a longer wheelbase and longer body than the Ford LTD, Ford Galaxie, and Ford Custom. The 1956 model had a new engine, the 235 hp (175 kW) 312 cu. in. This year, along with the rest of Ford, Mercury cars started to sport the ‘Lifeguard’ safety equipment. The deep-dish steering wheel and safety door locks were standard.

Here the Goldvarg is in very early prototype form and we can expect to see more prototypes as the details are developed and the colours are tested. Here we can see that the shape seems well developed and the side mouldings are being readied for the woodie treatment.

1962 Buick Electra

 

The Buick Electra was a full-size luxury car included in the Buick range from 1959 to 1990.  Famed for its extreme rear wings when first introduced it was offered in many forms over the years and here it is in two door coupe form.  The 1962 model had four VentiPorts per front wing and was restyled from 1961 version. The car was fitted with many luxury fitments as standard but came with a lot of options too.

Again this is an early prototype but it clearly has the correct shape and stance and we can look forward to seeing more developed prototypes in the near future.

1964 Pontiac Grand Prix

 

The 1962-1964 Pontiac Grand Prix achieved strong sales for General Motors during its run,  It set to win over the buyers of Ford Thunderbirds, amongst others. Based on the Catalina hardtop coupe it had unique styling touches and was fitted with T-Bird style bucket seats and a large central console. The name, Grand Prix, was used to add associations to speed and daring. The car could be fitted out with one of five versions of Pontiac’s superb Trophy 389 V-8, from a 230-horsepower economy special to a high-compression Tri-Power version (three two-barrel carburetors) with 348 hp. This, and its lower weight, made the GP faster than the T-Bird. A three-speed manual gearbox was standard, but most GPs were ordered with the new “Roto” Hydra-Matic, a new three-speed torque-converter box. An alternative option taken by enthusiasts was a four-speed manual floorshift.

Again the Goldvarg is in its early stages and much fine detail is yet to be added. The shape appears to be caught very well which is important as the GP is a relatively plain car with limited chrome adornments.

Our look at what is on the way from Goldvarg ends here but I am sure that there are yet other drawings, and work in hand, on yet more models. The current trend for Goldvarg to produce cars from the 1960s seems to be popular with many collectors as there are a lot of cars from that era yet to be modelled well. If you are interested in Goldvarg models their website is https://www.goldvargcollection.com/


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Maestro Model in 3D

By Maz Woolley

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

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

Photograph by, and copyright of, Shedring Railways

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

Bedford TJ design by coasters120 on Shapeways

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

Bedford OL by Transport Models on Shapeways

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

MIni Estate by Digitawn on Shapeways

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

Mercury Montego by Madaboutcars on Shapeways

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

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

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

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

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

Alternative Model Railways Maestro Kit as shown on Shapeways.

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

Alternative Model Railways Maestro Assembly schematic on Shapeways

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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M2 Econolines

By Maz Woolley

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

The first generation of the Ford E-Series van ran from 1961 to 1967 and was a very common sight in films and TV shows set in US cities in the Sixties.  They were widely used by Utilities like Bell Telephone and were also a popular van for conversion into a camper.

Based on the mechanical underpinnings of the compact Ford Falcon automobile, the Ford Econoline was said to be based on sketches started in 1957 when the British Ford Thames 400E it resembles was launched in the UK. The van competed with the Volkswagen Transporter, Chevy Greenbrier and Dodge A100.

The vehicle was sold in van and pick up form as an Econoline and the station bus passenger van was sold as a Ford Falcon Club Wagon.

The van was fitted with a 2.4 Litre inline 6 initially and engine sizes grew to 2.8 Litre and then 3.9 Litre over the years. The front mounted engine was in the centre of the cab and gave the van “nose heavy” characteristics so Ford fitted a 165 lb (75 kg) counterweight over the rear wheels.

The van was also sold as a Mercury. Initially made in Canada the Mercury production was later shifted to the US and was always a low volume exercise.

This article looks at two of the many Econolines produced by M2 to 1:64 scale diecast in China. M2 are premium price 1:64 models which compete with AutoWorld and Greenlight rather than Mattel Hot Wheels. M2 have produced these models as custom vehicles, lowered and with special paint jobs as well as the more conventional versions seen here.

1965 Mercury Econoline Van

The Mercury van differs little to the Ford other than in badging, but this passenger van would have been badged as a Falcon Club van when sold by Ford. The side view shows that the split two tone paint has been very neatly applied and the windows have been made in such a way that they push fit into the aperture to give a more realistic finish.

The black surround to the front window is not very well printed with distinctly wobbly lines on the one I have. This is a shame as all the other printing like wipers and air vents is very good.

Wheels and tyres are very good. and the front light inserts with the grilles to the side of the lights well realised. The panel lines showing how the van was welded together from multiple pressings are well engraved and the paint covers them well without obscuring any detail.

At the rear the Mercury script is neatly printed and the lights printed effectively.

1965 Ford Econoline Camper Van

This is available in two versions. One with the full elevated roof as shown here and the other with a raised panel which could be folded up with a canvas side when parked.

This model shows how different the US and UK were in the 1960s. On top of the cab is fitted an air conditioning unit something we would not see in the UK on smaller campers until much later.

The raised roof dominates the model. It is nicely modelled in plastic but the windows are printed on. In front of it sits the air-con unit which is another separate plastic item. Below it, the middle windows are moulded-in sloping as if they have been propped open from within. A table and some low side units are moulded in the interior as well as some thicker seating which will clearly become the bed when the van pulls up.

The two tone paint separation on the side is again neatly done as is the tiny Econoline script on the cab doors. Again the wheels and tyres are well modelled.

To the front the Ford Script is clearly printed and other features are like the Mercury above, except for the bumpers which are made to resemble white painted metal ones. Again the black printed screen surround is poorly done one an otherwise well printed model.

Underneath both models, M2 have moulded in some chassis features.


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More new Goldvarg Collection models.

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by Sergio Goldvarg.

Pictures of the production of the new Goldvarg Collection models from production batches are now available and news of the next three models to be made has been announced. These are resin cast models made in China for the US.

First photographs of the models that have already shipped. First impressions are good. As long as quality control is maintained these look to be fine models with a lot of detail but without too many fine photoetched parts to fall off or “spring”.

GC-001 1958 Ford Fairlane 500


GC-002 1956 Mercury Montclair

 


GC-003 1961 Ford Country Squire

 


And now to the news of the next releases. The subjects reflect the fact that licensing arrangements with Ford were made more quickly than those with others.

  • GC-004. 1965 Ford F-100 Pick-up 2
  • GC-005. 1960 Mercury Park Lane 2
  • GC-006. 1953 Ford Country Squire

Some very early prototype pictures have been released by Goldvarg of the first two subjects.

If these models are produced to the same standard, and retail at the same price point, as the first three released then I suspect that the relatively small batches to be made will sell out very quickly.


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