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Airfix 70s classics in 1/32 - Beach Buggy and Bond Bug

Matt Bacon

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Not necessarily everyone's cup of tea, don't you know, but some folks might be interested in a trip down memory lane. A pair of Airfix's state of the art for 1973 kits. The buggy was made by Bugle, and was popular for its integrated headlights and general build quality. Fistral Beach or Pendine Sands have all the sand of their Californian cousins, but are a bit, well, colder... The triangular Bond Bug is all-original, though, designed by eccentric genius Tom Karen to update the prehistoric product lines of Britain's two three-wheeler (the result of a tax break) makers, Bond and Reliant, when they merged.

I have made a blue thing. It's better in daylight, but this 'ere nail varnish makes for a good metalflake effect for the full 70s OTT look.




Bits of a Bug. This is definitely one of those early 70s Airfix 1/32 car kits, on a par with the K3 Magnette or Prince Henry, with fine details, and quite a few of them. Fortunately it's also moulded in Airfix's new dark grey plastic, which is reasonably hard but not brittle, so separating those small details is a lot less fraught than with the older kits. Even the engine is pretty reasonable for the scale (never mind that it's mostly going to be unseen).



I may be deviating from the instructions (they aren't that clear!). But looking at pictures of the real thing, the mouldings are pretty seamless, without obvious filled joint lines like you find on a Lotus Esprit or Ferrari 288GTO between the fibreglass sections, though there is a step along the sides. So I've decided to assemble the three main body parts, fill and clean up before painting. Although the rear panel has the boot door in it, only that part is black and opens... the rest merges smoothly into the body sides, and the wheel arches are also seamlessly blended into the body. And yes, I did check with a mockup that it was possible to get the chassis in AFTER building the body this way...



Did I mention the instructions weren't clear? Well, in this case they are just plain wrong. Thanks to a YouTube snippet of a Bug restoration I figured out how the steering box and linkage work. The hole in the steering box faces backwards, not forwards (makes sense, it's where the column fits into it), and the 8 link goes on the pin that's now on the outside. Then the other rod and L lever from the axle all join up quite neatly...

Orange-ness sooon...

Edited by Matt Bacon
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  • Matt Bacon changed the title to Airfix 70s classics in 1/32 - Beach Buggy and Bond Bug

Both Airfix kits have been released again after all these years.

I can remember the Bugle Buggy being sold by VW main dealers way back when in the 70's I think. Royal Berkshire Motors in Reading UK had the Bugle  Buggy kit in their showroom with a metalflake green finished body and all the chrome plated goodies for it when that kit car was released. There was a bit of a fad for beach buggies at the time, but the enthusiasm for them dropped as time went on.

Edited by Bugatti Fan
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