Tag Archives: WhiteBox

WhiteBox DeSoto Suburban in Photos

by Mike DeTorrice

This is WhiteBox’s 1/43 release of the giant DeSoto Suburban for 1946. These huge ocean liners rode on a 139.5 in wheelbase, and their immense passenger and cargo-carrying capacity made them great for limos, large families or as taxicabs.

The WhiteBox version is low-priced yet really well done, and it displays great.



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WhiteBox 1954 Pontiacs

By John Quilter

 

WhiteBox produce a nicely detailed and correctly scaled 1954 Pontiac Chieftain four door sedan. This one with the full length chrome side moulding was known as the Chieftain and was built on the smaller GM body shell also shared with the Chevrolets of that year. GM cleverly were masters at using a central body shell across multiple marques but designed them to take marque specific front clips and rear quarters which were the defining style differences between the brands.

Pontiac in 1954 also built a longer series of cars known as the Star Chief. Front clips were similar across the line but the rear quarters were longer presumably providing a larger boot. These were not replicated in the Chevrolet line. Pontiacs of this era used two rather antiquated but quiet side valve engines, a six cylinder and a eight cylinder with 239 cubic inches displacement and 118 BHP and 268 cubic inches displacement and 127 BHP respectively. The car was designed forward of the firewall to take either engine, the eight being an optional choice across the line. This design was counter to the Chrysler practice in the late 1940 when six and eight cylinder cars had different wheel bases and lengths forward of the windscreen. Morris also used this design feature on the mid 50s Oxford and Isis. This was the last year for Pontiac side valve engines, 1955 being the launch year for their new short stroke modern overhead valve V8. There were no more six cylinder Pontiacs for the rest of the 1950s. Most Pontiacs of the 1950s era came with the well regarded GM Hydromatic four speed automatic thought a column shifted three speed manual was standard. Trivia: a few 1953 Pontiacs were produced with Chevrolet two speed Powerglide transmissions after the disastrous fire at the Hydromatic plant in August 1953.

WhiteBox has chosen the Chieftain for their model which also gives them the option of producing a police version currently available and perhaps later a taxi. There are a number of colour choices out there for the civilian car with a contrasting roof as was typical in this era. Some are even fitted with a front windscreen visor. Since these diecasts are not exceptionally expensive they make a good choice for a modification project. In this case I took an extra one and created a two door sedan from the entry level Chieftain Special series (also sometimes known in car dealer world as a rubber mat special since it would have had a rubber floor covering versus carpet). This entailed removing the chrome side moulding except for a shortened rear wing gravel guard, painting the wheels to show only the smaller hubcaps, turning the tires whitewall in, sawing off the fender skirt, or spat if you choose. A Chieftain Special front fender emblem, unique to this range, had to be created using some silver coloured pins and wire. One challenge in this conversion was preserving the “Silver Streaks” on the bonnet and boot that were Pontiac trademarks in the 50s. The very minute mouldings were not compatible with later bare metal foiling given their small size so a method of polishing off the new white paint was used. The interior became a two tone grey colour as per a factory brochure from the period on this website http://www.lov2xlr8.no/pontiac.html. Interestingly, White Box effect the contrasting roof colour with a plastic cover held in place with four pegs. A few extra colour details were added to the fascia and steering wheel and a single chrome moulding was created in bare metal foil along the belt line.

Editor. WhiteBox models are based upon mouldings already used for part works and seem to generally be sourced from PCT Industries owner of the Ixo brand. An Altaya model of the 1954 Chieftain in Havana Taxi livery looks at first sight to use the same casting, as does the blue and white DeAgostini Cuban Police Car sold in the Russian language Police Cars part work. White Box also sell a 1954 Pontiac Police Car in the traditional black and white of the California Highway Patrol.


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The 1950 Nash Ambassador in Photos

by Mike DeTorrice

For 1950, Nash continued the super sleek styling cycle it began with it’s ’49 cars. [Click for larger images.]

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This diecast Ambassador Custom, in 1/43 scale by WhiteBox, does a fine job of capturing the aerodynamic, torpedo-like design of these big Nashes.

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When is a Solido not a Solido?

By Robin Godwin

I recall reading an interview in one of the UK print model magazines about the re-launch of the Solido brand by OTTO of France. There was an air of excitement and enthusiasm. As soon as I learned that one of the new Solidos was to be a Volkswagen Beetle 1302 LS from 1972, I also caught the wave of excitement.

Photo #1 Whitebox, left, with visible passenger side mirror. Solido, right.
Photo #1 WhiteBox, left, with visible passenger side mirror. Solido, right.

Well folks, I’m here to tell you that, now that I have the Solido VW in hand, it is sourced from IXO/PCT (Premium & Collectibles Trading Company) and/or one of their numerous partworks, and is in no way an original casting from Solido. One of the great things about Beetles from the model manufacturing perspective is that, externally, they changed little over the years. One can sell a 1972 1302 LS Beetle or a 1983 Beetle both cast from the same mould, without egregious errors, and only minor tampo printing alterations to reflect differences. Accordingly, my point of comparison here is the WhiteBox 1983 Beetle, which is the same casting as the “new” 1972 Solido.  Whitebox is a house brand of www.ModelCarWorld.com and this range consists of IXO/PCT/partworks reissues. In fact, the WhiteBox VW has IXO cast into the plastic base. At least Solido had the producers grind that off the mould and replace it with their own name and logo in white tampo. The only other difference is that Solido only has a driver’s side mirror, whereas WhiteBox also includes a passenger side mirror.

Photo #2 Whitebox top, with IXO logo visible. Solido tampo on bottom.
Photo #2 Whitebox top, with IXO logo visible. Solido tampo on bottom.

So I’m hugely disappointed, having anticipated a new die cast from Solido, only to have purchased an old mould that has been issued who knows how many times before. Perhaps, as I alluded to earlier in discussion about the external shape, none of the earlier issues were actually 1972 VW 1302 LS models, but if so, it is only tampo printing that has given us this unique version. This discovery must cast doubt on all the other “new” Solido models.

In the same interview, the new brand owners were also excited about reintroducing the old Solido military range in “1:43” scale (they were 1:50). Don’t get me wrong, I love the old Solido tanks with working metal tracks – they were largely responsible for me becoming an adult collector. But there are still lots of originals for sale on eBay, mostly at prices similar to what I paid 20 to 30 years ago. I’m sceptical that these reissues with “improved details” will entice many buyers unless the prices are very competitive. Even though 1:50 is a great scale for military vehicles, the market may be saturated by the many superb 1:72 and 1:43 scale military partworks which can now be had for $10 to $20 US. I wish them luck, but I hope that we get some fresh models, reasonably priced.

Back to VWs and next time I will talk about the recent/current 1:43 Greenlight 1967 VW “Gremlins” Beetle issue. It looks suspiciously like a partwork as well, but, because of a stripped Phillips screw, I can’t get my model off the plastic plinth without damage. Greenlight has used both High Speed and Yatming castings before, so it would be no surprise if this VW was sourced from another manufacturer, but I hope to be able to prove it.


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A pair of 1936 American Cars

BY JOHN QUILTER                                           June 2015

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It’s getting really confusing these days with the proliferation of 1:43 models under various marketing brand names. I recently acquired two American sedans from 1936 which were marketed under the WhiteBox name but this is where it gets confusing. What appears to be the same castings are also seen as Ixo, De Agostini or even Altaya. The two reviewed are a 1936 Buick Special four door sedan and a 1936 Chrysler Airflow sedan. The Buick is red, comes in a typically nice Perspex display box on a black plinth. In red the car is pretty flashy for a usual upmarket sedan from the mid 1930s, but it shows well and the paint quality is good. I’m not quite sure if a red this bright was a standard colour in 1936, brochure images show a darker red known as Cardinal maroon. The interior is tan and the car has optional white wall tires that were a trendy style in the USA at the time. Chrome features, not painted silver, are the bumpers, grille with hood ornament, wipers, and hubcaps. The door handles are silver painted. A look at the chassis shows pretty basic details of frame, final drive, fuel tank and rear springs. There is no sump or front suspension.

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Interestingly there is only the notation ‘1/43 Buick Special’, no brand information or even place of manufacture. License plates are white from South Dakota. Proportions seem accurate and the model shows well. The Buick Special was the smallest of the Buicks, a sort of entry level Buick for people aspiring to an up market brand, just under La Salle and Cadillac. The Specials had the smallest of the relatively advanced “valve in head” inline 8 cylinder engine of a modest CID 223 displacement developing 93 BHP at 3200 RPM. The model’s wheelbase measures 2.74 inches which equates to the correct length for 1:43 scale. This model casting is also seen as a New York taxi with the DeAgostini label in their World Taxi Series. Also spotted is a police version from the city of Monterey, California.

Next is a 1936 Chrysler Airflow sedan also by WhiteBox and also seen as a police version from San Francisco. The model pictured is an all black sedan but there is a interesting grey version with maroon fenders. Again the brands Ixo and Altaya are used. Chrysler Airflows were an attempt to produce an advanced car with a high level of streamlining. Chrysler also sold Airflow styled Desotos and some Dodge trucks in this era. They were launched in 1934 but were a little too radically styled to be widely loved by the buying public and in the next few years Chrysler moderated some of the extreme features of the first editions Airflow such as the waterfall grill that extended up and over the hood but the headlamps still remained fared into the front fenders which was not at all common at the time.

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Chrysler was the top of the line brand of the corporation just under the ultra-luxury Imperial who also offered Airflow styling. This model is black, with the usual chrome features and wide white wall tires. Like the Buick described above the chrome grille could do with a black paint wash to bring out the bars more clearly. There is somewhat more under carriage detail on this car but again no model branding, only the ‘Chrysler Airflow 1/43’ information. License plates are from Rhode Island. This model represents the Chrysler designated by the corporation as a C-9 and was equipped with a quite large 323 cubic inch inline side valve 8 cylinder engine developing 130 BHP at a conservative 3400 RPM. New for this year on Chryslers was an all steel roof panel and these cars had a ‘humpback’ trunk for greater luggage capacity. The wheelbase for the C-9 cars was 123 inches, the model measuring out to be correct for 1:43 scale.

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Another US car in series by WhiteBox is a dark blue 1936 Ford sedan. It is always nice to see some new additions to the growing range of 1:43 scale models of prototypes from the 1930s even if the Buick has already been done by Brooklin in two door sedan, four door sedan, convertible coupe, and coupe. However, these are much more expensive white metal handbuilts.

A final note is that my supplier had some of the Chryslers on offer at discounted prices due to missing parts or paint blemishes. So buyer beware, if a supplier does not do a careful inspection prior to shipment you may get a model with faults.

Ediitor’s note: WhiteBox is a brand owned by the producer of Neo, Best of Show and other ranges. The models are indeed made by PCT/Ixo for them in China and are based on moulds previously used for a variety of partworks.


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