RON’S MODEL SPOT
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They have been a long time coming, but I have finally found two 1:43 Oxford Diecast 1931 Austin Seven RNS — a saloon and a van. The Austins will also be available in 1:76 scale, but at the time of writing, they have not arrived in the country. First on the dissecting table is the saloon. A quick reference check shows that Oxford has got the lines right. The panel and shut lines are delicate but well defined. Unusually the bonnet seems to be a separate casting, but it is only the effect of black tampo-printed lines representing rubber trim around the opening. The roof and windows are a one-piece casting in clear plastic that allows almost flush glazing, and is quite effective with the opacity of the black colouring. This must be a rather flash version of the Seven, as it has silvered window frames and a thin, twined beading around the perimeter of the car at the waistline. The basic interior is well depicted, and the underside carries some frame and engine/ running gear detail. The wheels are reasonable, but the printed detail on a clear plastic disc is not convincing, especially if the light catches the sheen of the plastic. This version of the Seven is painted fawn and black with a beige interior. The sunroof section of the roof has a matte finish to represent the opening section. Other colours will be available. Brightwork on the car is minimal, as befits the era, with only the radiator surround and internal mirror being so treated, although the peening of the metal axle ends gives the impression of a small, plated hubcap. The headlights are clear glazed with silvered reflectors. The van version follows the same pattern as the saloon, but with a longer body, with only the roof section in plastic. Even so flush-fitting glazing is featured, including the small reardoor windows. The rear panel on this example is plain, but others will be available in the future with period advertising and logos. The van is neatly painted pale yellow with black roof and guards, and a black interior. Both the van and saloon are available at model shops at $41 for the van and $45 for the saloon. They come in sturdy display boxes with clear lids. A few issues back, two Coca-cola 1:43 diecast Volkswagens — a van and pick-up — were reviewed. Now there is a late-model Volkswagen Beetle available from the same maker. Overall it is a reasonable model, but it is a cheapened down variant of a plain version issued some time ago. It is painted pale green, with a red-striped white roof. The only concession to Coca-cola– collectable fans is the logo on the door, the spurious ‘Zingy’ number plate, and ‘Refresh Yourself’ printed across the engine cover. It’s priced at $30 at gift shops, etc.