I've seen a couple of sports / racer Bugattis in 1:32, but not aware of a T50 in 1:35 scale from any source. 99% certain that this one is Heller's 1:24 kit (also re-boxed by Airfix and Gunze) - an Airfix re-box of the 1:24 Heller was one of the first models that I built when I took up this hobby ten years ago. Not a tricky kit to build, but needs lots of care with parts alignment (especially the rear suspension to avoid it sitting too tail down).
Looking fantastic! One quick thing - whilst inaccurate in finish, the kit part for the folded roof is in fact pretty much the correct size - see here for a period reference photo. Almost certainly a single layer top, hence why it can be folded so tightly. There were a few production cars in this era that even had fully disappearing tops - click here for pics of an example.
Oh, and the marque is actually 'SS' - at this point, Jaguar was simply a model name, so the correct name for one of these is a SS Jaguar 100. No prizes for guessing why the SS name was dropped in early 1945...
Great to see this built, and very impressive as always. I don't suppose that you have any build pics? I couldn't see a thread in the appropriate section of the forum. Great to know that it all goes together properly, as the sprues and instructions certainly promise great things!
My understanding is that over here in the UK, Packard had the reputation of being America's Rolls-Royce.
Did you leave the door hinges standard? My one gripe looking at the parts & instructions is how the top hinge is cut into the dash. This is something that my OCD cannot cope with, especially on an otherwise so amazingly detailed kit.
Is it too late to darken the wheels? I can't help but think that having them in the same darker red / ox blood as the interior would look stunning, whilst also maintaining that contrast against the body colour and the white walls.
Such a pity that the Esders has not been kitted (although this Lindberg kit looks like a good starting point for a conversion) - it and the Coupe Napoleon are the definitive Royale bodystyles imho.
For those not familiar with the size of the T41 Royale, in the '80s a Frenchman built a 7/8th scale Coupe Napoleon using a T46 as the starting point (iirc, the chassis required a wheelbase stretch, but the rest was the appropriate dimensions) and that was still a large car. The story was covered in two or three articles in the UK vintage car mag 'The Automobile'.
Unfortunately, I sold mine just before Christmas, and it was still all sealed in the bags, so I hadn't had the opportunity to test fit any parts. However, when comparing the unbagged bodyshell to that off the Heller / Airfix EB110 that I also (and still) have, I didn't spot anything strange or obviously asymmetrical about it. If you haven't already done so, is trial fitting the windscreen not any good for checking whether the A pillars are still as they should be?
No idea about availability on your side of the pond. These kits are old - IIRC dating from about 30 years ago, but IMHO are vastly superior to the Monogram coupe, and a noticeable improvement over Revell's roadster. Not as nice as the Gunze Hi-Tech roadster though. Worth noting, to avoid any confusion, that Gunze reboxed some Heller kits, including the E Type coupe.
The box art displayed in the show photos looks like it uses the same artwork images from the original release, so don't draw too many conclusions from that. It is very nicely detailed, including underneath. The wire wheels are a single moulding, but good for the age of the kit - careful paint washes would make them very presentable.
I have original releases of both waiting to be built (as well as the remnants of an Airfix rebox that I built as a child) - I can take some pics if of interest?
Ah - I'd (mis)understood that it was a joint project. I prefer either all opening or none opening when it comes to doors on models - otherwise imho the panel gaps tend to look mismatched, so it will be interesting to see how the Heller R4 compares to Ebbro's one. Tbh though, with Ebbro's DS, the Tamiya Gullwing and these Heller new (and re-releases), 2015 looks like being a fantastic year for kits of classic European cars.
*Puts the DS, Gullwing, Fergie and Mehari on the shopping list*
Btw, Air Trax do some in resin - 404, Chambord and 24CT respectively. A 203 would be interesting as would a 304 cabrio.
Interesting to see that the new R4 version has all opening doors, not just the front. Is this just a Heller upgrade, or does Ebbro do this option too? If so, pity that they haven't done this with the DS as well. Also that the 2CV pickup has the earlier, ripple bonnet front end - would also be a useful upgrade for the regular 2CV. Really liking the Little Grey Fergie, and the Mehari. I see also from the photo album that Heller have re-released their E Type kit - a welcome return!
Yes please to all of the above, although I'd like my ADO16 in Riley flavour please. However, I'm pretty sure that AirTrax have done a resin ADO16 in the past? If steel wheels are needed for modifying Jag Mk2s, then the Revell XK120 is an excellent hub cap donor (I'm using them for an AirTrax Mk10 / 420G & the XK120 will probably become a racer & so running just plain steels).
I'd like to add a Riley RM, Jensen Interceptor (& its FF sibling) and the William Towns designed Lagonda to the list as well. If I ever have time, I'll make these last ones myself!
That Gullwing looks fantastic! I really like the full chassis detail and clear undertray so that it is still visible. It's a pity that that Tamiya didn't go the extra mile and have the boot opening too, but I doubt that it would be too tricky to convert.
For those commenting on the Heller version, I have an unbuilt one in the loft, but tbh I wasn't that impressed by what I saw in the box the last time I looked. I don't think it is up to the same level as the others in the same series (E Type OTS & FHC, and the many prewar European exotic and not so exotic kits). If it is of interest, I can dig it out to take some photos of the sprues and scan in the instructions.
Imho, whilst the headlights aren't 100%, the Heller E Types are vastly better in every way than either the Monogram coupe or Revell roadster. I built the Heller racing coupe as a child (a few bits survive in my parts box), and am really looking forward to having the time to build both the roadster and coupe Hellers that are in the loft. It will be interesting to compare them to the curbside Gunze roadster that I built when I first took up modelling again nine years ago. A newly tooled Tamiya level of quality full detail kit is vastly overdue though!!
If Tamiya are looking backwards in time for new kits, then it does beg the question of what else they might be considering. Given the M-B license, perhaps a Pagoda 230/250/280SL? A W100 600 would be too much to hope for!!
Many thanks for the review - very interesting reading!
That was my thoughts too when first seeing the sprues, until I read your write-up. Given the scale thickness of the plastic mouldings compared to sheet steel, the way ICM have done it is probably also far more realistic and accurate once it is assembled. Given the simplicity of a T chassis, it shouldn't be tricky to construct the rails for those of us who want to build one without the mudguards!
Ditto - it would have been nice. However, they have done pretty well over the last few years, especially with some different variations. It will be interesting to see what Revell AG's next classic car kit(s) will be though, given their recent subject matter. In terms of further variants of their recent new tooling though, perhaps there will be a further '60s Mini variant, perhaps a Traveller / Countryman, or even a Riley Elf.
I must admit that Ebbro's DS is the 2015 release announcement that has really caught my attention - I hope that they have at least one other variant planned too though!