Ron’s model spot
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.