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PowerPlant

Esci/Revell Mercedes 500 SLC

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Hi everyone! I'm looking to buy the mentioned kit in condition seen on pic... I like the car, however, I don't know much about the kit itself... What I do know is it's long out of production and somewhat rare... Can anyone tell me more? Specifically, does it seem complete from the pic? Also, I see it has engine detail, but the hood seems molded shut... Any insight regarding this? And from the box art it seems more like a 450, not 500... Anyone know for sure? Thanks :)

5a11fbf645dd5__86.thumb.jpg.96e6eed77d535a11fc2566452__861.thumb.jpg.71578f70ab6

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I think you caught ESCI-Revell in a fib! And that IS a 450 SLC, not a 500.  See the box art below for the Hugo Boss and Bandama rally versions of the ESCI "450 SLC."  I have both of those kits.

All these ESCI Mercedes 450 kits had an engine, but the hoods are molded shut.  The hood lines are pretty deep, so it's easy to cut them out using the back-of-the-hobby-knife trick. 

Your kit looks complete, matching the loose and assembled parts with the sprues.  I glanced into the Bandama rally kit and don't see anything obvious missing.  Will try to take a closer look later, I'm packing up stuff to ship from an eBay sale today.

I've never seen the 450 SLC in a Revell-ESCI box before, so that's interesting.  Revell also re-issued the old ESCI Mercedes 190 in several different boxes, I think.  IIRC, one version had some "Aero" body parts that didn't fit very well.  ITALERI has also re-issued some of the old ESCI kits, but I don't think the 450 was one.

From 1981-83, Automobile Year did 3 lavish, hardcover coffee-table sized books called "Automobile Year Models."  In one of them, Francois Verlinden built the Bandama rally Mercedes 450 as it looked after the rally: dusty and dirty with dents and wreckage.  It looked great and he didn't even paint it.  But he was Francois Verlinden...

 

ESCI-3018-1.jpg

ESCI-3018-2.jpg

Edited by Mike999
omission

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I purchased a built up of the Bandama kit.  Un-built kits are a little pricey in the US.  I'll post some pictures when I get a chance.

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I really like the old ESCI kits, not sure why, as they aren't particularly detailed, and the build quality is just okay. I think it's the subject matter. They seemed to do kits that very few others were doing.

Prices are weird. There are some kits selling for hundreds, others barely hit $20. I've lucked out with a couple of the "rare" ones, and snagged them for cheap.

I don't have any of the Merc kits though. Yet.

 

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Thanks for the replies! 

I wonder why they did that, considering they labelled the rally versions properly :P

Either way, I never paid much attention to Esci before, because their only kit I have is the Ferrari 250 SWB with those atrocious body proportions, which I will probably get rid of as soon as I find the Italeri kit... So I just figured they didn't make good models at all, but I hope the funny body isn't a problem with this kit because I really like it, as well as some of their other kits I've only just seen for the first time recently. Also, I wonder how complicated it might be to cut the hood out since it opens with the grille attached to it, as not much can be found in terms of built-up pics online... Another interesting thing about this kit, in my opinion, is the fact it includes licence plates and markings for South Africa! I've never seen that before... :) 

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One thing you can't see in the pic:  all these 450 kits have a big, long ugly molding plug hanging down from the front center of the roof interior (about where a rear-view mirror would go).  If you're lucky, the previous owner already got rid of it.

If not, be very careful removing it. The plastic on the roof is thin.  It's easy to warp/dent the roof (or put a hole in it) if you use sprue cutters or a knife.  Probably the best way to deal with it is by gripping the plug firmly and cutting off most of it with a razor saw.  Then carefully grinding/sanding down the rest. (Don't ask me how I know this...)

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Here is the built up I mentioned.  The hood is removable, not sure it the kit comes that way or the builder cut it open.

DSCN4994DSCN4997

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I have all 3 versions pictured above and some years ago I started building one of them and starting a conversion job to make it into a wagon. It is my phantom Mercedes SLT project, as I have a strong belief that the SLC would have sold better as a luxury 2 door sportswagon.

Anyway, I also have loads of refrence photos of a 1:1 79 450SL that I did some work on some years ago so I did start to detail the engine and enginebay. It is lacking quite a bit but I think it can be a true gem if detailed the right way.

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JC, that is a nice build-up!  All these kits I've ever seen came with the hood molded in place, so the builder probably cut that one out. For extreme detailers, ESCI made a typo in the decals.  The co-driver's name was Hans ThorSzelius, not "Thorzelius."  Good luck fixing that...

Wagons and model ideas: I'm going to build this someday!  When I lived in Los Angeles, a local Mercedes repair shop had a "Merc-amino."  A Mercedes car/pickup truck they used for hauling parts etc.  It was beautiful, painted dark blue with white lettering for the shop name.  (Sorry, I don't know enough about M-Bs to know which model, but an older one.) Saw it for a long time, then it disappeared.  One day in the local post office, I ran into one of their mechanics and asked about that Merc-amino.  He said it started costing more than it was worth in maintenance and they junked it.  He thought they built it from a station wagon.  Welded up the rear door lines and used the tailgate to form the back window panel.

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I have both of those pictured kits. And the 190 too.  I bought them because I like the unique subject matter.  The hood is attached to the body by a thin layer of plastic - it is designed to be easily separated.  The wheels are undersize (IIRC, they are more like 12 or 13" wheels). Then the tires make up for it, so they have tall sidewalls. I have been contemplating having new (correctly sized) wheels 3-D printed. I would also like to 3-D print the louvers in the side windows behind the B-pillar.

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The 500 SLC was an homologation version  produced for the 1978 WRC and was as such a production car with the then new 5.0 litre all aluminium engine.

 

Edited by dublin boy

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Thanks for the input guys!

I ended up buying the kit for 12 euros including shipping, which is not bad - despite the used condition, considering it's out of production and getting somewhat harder to find at a reasonable price...

Either way, it's as close to the Pagoda as it gets in kit form so I'm pretty excited about it :D

Now here's to hoping the "glass" isn't quite superglued to the body... :P

 

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Interesting kit of this era MB - possibly the only time that driveline was ever done.  Does anyone know if the Otaki and/or Arii kits are related to it in any way?

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...Does anyone know if the Otaki and/or Arii kits are related to it in any way?

Maybe, but I doubt it. ESCI was an Italian company. When ESCI folded, all their molds seem to have gone to the other Italian kit company, Italeri.  Both companies had licensing agreements with other companies but I don't think any were Japanese.  ESCI partnered with Aurora and AMT (for some aircraft kits), Italeri with Revell of Germany.

A few old ESCI kits have appeared in RoG boxes, like several versions of the Mercedes 230G.  Many more have been re-issued as Italeri kits, like the military Land Rover, Rally Range Rover and Toyota BJ-44 "Armed Pickup." 

Here are 2 kits I'd love to see re-issued.  That Range Rover Police not only had decals for British and Dutch versions - it had the dashboard AND correct suspension parts to build it as left or right-hand drive.  And that Philippine Taxi Toyota is just completely bonkers. One of the few ESCI kits with chrome parts - all those chrome horses, roosters, etc.:

 

ESCI-3039-2.jpg

toy_fil2.JPG

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ESCI kits seem to be like Heller kits- some were decent, some were mediocre. But each was sometimes the only source for a subject ( How many different Lancia Beta Monte Carlo racer kits were there anyway?). So hooray for that . BTW, the old ESCI BMW M1 kit was recently re-issued by Revell Germany.

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