oldcarfan Posted December 3, 2015 Share Posted December 3, 2015 This retro-review covers ESCI's long out of production 1/24 scale Renault 5 Rally car. I love offbeat and unusual subjects and Renault's 5, known as the Le Car here in the states, hits both of those marks. It is only a quick shoot and post as I don't have a photo backdrop or decent lighting. I just thought there might be some others who enjoy weird little cars as much as I do. I actually have two of these kits, the Gitanes and the Calberson versions. For the purposes of this post, I am picturing the Calberson version as the only difference in the kits is the decal sheets and the colors the bodies are molded in. I bought these kits in Naples, Italy at the fleet-landing gift shop over twenty years ago and just came across them in storage last weekend at my Mother In Law's.(She Who Must Not Be Named) I also found an unbuilt ESCI Gelandewagen Paris-Dakar, which I plan to start as soon as I actually get room on the table, and a Volkswagen Golf Rally car, so all in all it was a good Thanksgiving for me! I seem to remember buying the ESCI Series 1 Ford Escort rally car, the Audi Quattro rally car and a Range Rover as well. Can you guess what subject I was into back then? Maybe I'll come across them someday. I don't have any history to relay on this kit, (maybe there are some ESCI experts out there?) but I'm pretty sure ESCI produced it in other variants as well. I seem to recall seeing a red and possibly a green one in US hobby shops back in the day.All ESCI kits I have seen are packaged in large format boxes about the size of the special edition kits AMT does. There is no printed production date on these two boxes, but the cool box art paintings are helpfully signed by the artists. The Gitane's artwork was done by someone named Giglioli in 1980, while the Calberson's artwork was done by R. Cappello in 1984. The body is very good proportionally, looking better than a lot of new-tool kits I have bought. All parts are crisply detailed, with very little flash and only faint parting lines. It should require little in the way of clean up. The Calberson kit's body parts are well molded in a bright yellow, the Gitanes car's body is in a blue close to Grabber blue. The body is molded in one piece except for the hood and rear hatch which are separate. The chassis, engine and interior bits are molded in black and are on one large sprue. The only real issue with this is that the sprue containing these parts is slightly too wide for the box, meaning the guy who packed the kits had to sort of bend it to get it in. Luckily it doesn't appear to have warped the parts themselves. The interior is platform style with decent detail on the separate side panels and dash. It includes two nice racing seats for the driver and navigator. The engine is pretty simple but should respond well to detailing. The way it is designed reminds me of AMT's Volkswagen Rabbit kit of the 70s. The wheels, roll-cage and rally lights are also black and are on a separate sprue. I really like these rally lights and may have to mold them so I can put some on other kits.The windows and all lenses are on a clear sprue. Of course this sprue was not wrapped, so the windshield is a bit scratched, but it should polish out.The taillights are molded on this sprue as well, so they will have to be painted transparent red. The tires are wide, low-profiles with only a faint pebbly finish on the tread. I didn't scale them out but they fit an AMT wheel, so I'm guessing 15 inch. They also have raised outline type lettering on both sides. One side has Goodyear, the other Dunlop. The tires are fitted to three-lug Campagnolo(?) mag-style rally wheels. The decals seem in very good shape for so old a kit I think they will still be usable. The ones on the Calberson car are printed by Cartograf and represent the car as raced at the 1978 Monte Carlo Rally, and the Gitane car's were by a company called "G.Decal, Italy" The sheets in both kits are nicely done and quite thorough. For the Calberson, the only thing not included is the red stripe around the bottom of the body which will have to be painted. I don't know where ESCI's molds ended up, but I would sure love to see some of their kits back on the shelves. This is my mini-review such as it is, the pictures are not great, but I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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