Ron’s model spot

Ron Ford

New Zealand Classic Car - - AUTOMOBILIA - By

Many of the new mod­els re­leased re­cently have been cast in resin. This method used to be the ter­ri­tory of the ar­ti­san mak­ers, but now the main­stream com­pa­nies have adopted the method. The main ad­van­tage is that the tool­ing is very much cheaper and it al­lows many more ob­scure sub­jects to be cov­ered. Mod­ern resin mod­els seem to ac­cept paint very well, and the fin­ish is equal or su­pe­rior to metal.

Trax Mod­els of Aus­tralia has em­braced the tech­nol­ogy and many of their lat­est is­sues are resin cast and sold as ‘Se­lect Se­ries’. Un­for­tu­nately, even though the cost of tool­ing is rel­a­tively cheap, the mod­els are more ex­pen­sive, as the de­vel­op­ment costs are spread over fewer mod­els.

1958 Ford Cus­tom­line

The first re­view this month is of the Trax 1958 Ford Cus­tom­line V8 with Ford-o-matic side trim to 1:43 scale. The Cus­tom­line is cer­tainly well modelled, with all the fea­tures of a mod­ern model, such as finely crafted plated parts, glazed lights, chrome ef­fect sig­nage, and del­i­cate photo-etched wind­screen wipers and quar­ter light frames. The win­dow glaz­ing is very thin and snug fit­ting and seems to be made from an ad­vanced vac­uum-formed method.

In­te­rior de­tail­ing is also ex­cel­lent with all in­ter­nal fit­tings be­ing shown. The dash­board and con­trols look re­al­is­tic. Even the un­der­side is very well de­tailed with items such as the frame cross mem­bers are holed through on the web. There is even a plated ex­haust pipe peep­ing out un­der the rear bumper with a ‘ black­ened’ in­te­rior.

The Cus­tom­line’s paint job is out­stand­ing, with three tones – grey, pink and white, all with ex­cel­lent gloss and per­fect sep­a­ra­tion of the colours. The in­te­rior is white and grey. Un­for­tu­nately, the Cus­tom­lines seem to be out of Trax’s cat­a­logue at present, but can be picked up on the sec­ondary mar­ket.

1956 Chrysler Royal

An­other Trax Se­lect Se­ries model is this 1956 Chrysler Royal. It has the same well-modelled at­tributes as the Ford Cus­tom­line. Of note are the plated trims around the win­dows and the body dec­o­ra­tion — par­tic­u­larly, the spear-shaped side dec­o­ra­tion.

The glaz­ing fits per­fectly and the in­te­rior is well de­tailed and ben­e­fits from a mul­ti­coloured fin­ish – brown for the seats and dash­board top, with white con­trasts on the doors and dash­board. The dash­board it­self has printed de­tail­ing.

The un­der­side is not as de­tailed as that of the Cus­tom­line but ad­e­quate. Wheels are re­al­is­tic, with large plated hub­caps and shod with white­wall tyres. The Chrysler Royal is flaw­lessly painted metal­lic green with light char­treuse roof and side dec­o­ra­tion.

Sur­pris­ingly, this is not the first time th­ese sub­jects have been modelled, as Mi­cro Mod­els made both in its orig­i­nal range. They orig­i­nate from the 1950s, so are con­tem­po­rary with the real cars. The Mi­cro Mod­els Cus­tom­line was not a very good model, as the com­pany tried a trick whereby they could make ei­ther the Cus­tom­line or Main­line util­ity from shared tool­ing. The Chrysler was an ex­cel­lent model for the era, although it and the Cus­tom­line were to slightly small scale (1:48).

Trax has many other in­ter­est­ing new mod­els for 2016, in­clud­ing the 1940 Ply­mouth Coupe, 1958 Chrysler AP2, Mor­ris Ma­jor Elite, 1962 Austin Free­way wagon and sedan, Chrysler AP2 Ute, and Wolse­ley 28/40, plus many oth­ers. Check out www.topgear.com.au.

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