Scale model news

Tom Nas tnas at
Sun Feb 10 14:21:46 EST 2002

Hi all,

Visited the bimonthly swapmeet again yesterday to complete my collection
with the latest releases. I was disappointed because neither the announced
1:18 urquattro by AutoArt nor the 1:43 rally urquattros by Minichamps have
materialized yet. Planned introduction dates are by no means sacred in this
industry, but these models have taken a really long time to appear from the
release of the first pictures.

I did manage to get the interesting version of the Minichamps 1:43 R8, the
'alligator' version that won the '00 Adelaide ALMS. This model is fully
covered by a decal (incredible work!) simulating said beast in water. A
true work of modeling art and an interesting model that willo stand out in
the display case.
I also solved the dilemma of which colour of a model to buy by buying the
ivory 100 Coupe S (1:18, Anson, beautiful and pretty inexpensive!) to
accompany the orange car I bought earlier.
A couple of lucky finds were the 'Notarzt' urquattro in 1:87 by Herpa
(released in the early '80s and getting rare), a type 82 80 GTE by the same
manufacturer and two type 43 Avants by Ankerplast, a manufacturer from the
former DDR. These are crude models but the general shape is good and the
subject hasn't been modeled often. I intend to leave one as-is and paint
the other one in an actual Audi colour to give it a little more lifelike
appearance. Another lucky find was a bastardised model, a Conrad 1:43 Coupe
GT updated to the later-style bumpers and front end from a Schabak 90
quattro type 85. Though it needs a repaint, it's been pretty nicely done
and since there's no actual model of the '85-on CGT, this is a pretty
unique piece. I still hope some manufacturer will release a good model of
the Coupe GT some day, this car deserves better coverage.
The final purchase was by far the most expensive but IMO very much worth
it- a handmade version of the 1938 Auto Union type D V12 racing car that
took Nuvolari to four Grands Prix wins. This 1:18 model by CMC of Germany
consists of over 660 parts and has been exquisitely crafted. If you look at
the wire-spoke wheels with incredibly thin spokes and the detailed drum
brakes behind them or use tweezers to remove the engine cover (it's being
held on by rubber bands accurately depicting the actual car's fastenings)
you see the inconceivable amount of detail that went into this artisan
model. It's easily the most beautiful model in my collection and will get a
prominent place in the display case. It's also a nice companion for the
Revell type D streamliner that was recently released.
Having seen these cars in action at the MH and stationary in the museum
mobile in Ingolstadt I've become impressed by the beautiful shapes, the
hairy handling and the legends of the people who drove these monsters at
incredible speeds on very narrow tyres and with minimal crash protection.

Lastly, for those among you interested in Audi's associated marques and
history, Minichamps have released superb models of the NSU TT and very
pretty Wankel (rotary) Spider in 1:43. The TT looks a lot better than
Revell's effort of a couple of years ago, which had quite stunted
proportions and crude detail. No signs of that in Minichamps' offerings,
always immaculately researched and painted in correct colours.

If your foreign travel plans include Holland and you're into scale models,
make sure your travel plans include a visit to the swapmeet in Houten, the
largest in Europe that's held on a regular basis. If you've no problems
with crowds, that is... vendors come from Holland, Germany, Belgium, France
and the UK to sell both new and used models and brochures offering
something for nearly everyone. As there's lots of competition, you often
see discounts of over 50% compared to specialized stores. Get in touch with
me for more info.


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