Miniatures news, March 1980

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A simple but most effective model of the “1,000 h.p.” twin-engined 6SR Sunbeam in which Segrave set the record to over 200 m.p.h. in 1927 at Daytona is available from Western Models Ltd., Morris Road, S. Nuffield, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 5SD. The model is toot over 6½” in length, being to the sensibly-large scale of 1/43 with a high-gloss red finish. The cowling, headrest, exhaust stubs, air-intake vents, and louvres, of the original car are faithfully incorporated and the model even has the correct disc rear, and wire-spoked front, wheels. Even the tyres are correctly inscribed: “Dunlop Cord Racing”. The crossed Union flag and Stars & Stripes flag are on the nose, the Union flags on the tail, together with the Sunbeam name and the white lettering “1,000 h.p. Car built by The Sunbeam Motor Car Co. Ltd., Wolverhampton England”, as on the full-size car, now in the National Motor Museum, when it became the first to exceed 200 m.p.h. The model, No. 23 in the series, runs freely and is altogether one of the best miniatures I have seen for a very long time. Members of the STD Register, and all those who like historic models are strongly advised to acquire one — as a desk ornament this little model should revive respect for Britain in respect of her past achievements! The price is £20.64 complete and in kit form £15.54. — W.B.

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What better for the other corner of the desk than a model of Campbell’s 1935 Bluebird, the first car in the world to exceed 300 m.p.h., when Campbell lifted the World Land Speed Record to 301.129 m.p.h. at Bonneville in September 1935, an occasion with which viewers of the recent BBC 1 play “Speed King” will be familiar.

This is an altogether different sort of model, most beautifully executed, hand-finished, solid “natural metal casting” frum Replicast Models, 4 Altar Road, Formby, Liverpool. I use inverted commas for in truth the 1/43rd scale, 8 in. long Bluebird, weighing over one pound and mounted on a wooden base, hand-moulded in brass, bronze or copper impregnated polyester resin, containing not less than 50% metal. In looks and feel it is indistinguishable from natural metal. A true colour version, sans metal content, is also available, complete with base and dust cover, but I rather prefer the tactile effect of the heavy “metal” model. 

This is a satisfyingly accurate representation having regard to its construction, of Bluebird in its final form. The offset appearance dictated by the gearbox’s position to one side of the driver, the twin rear wheels with air brakes behind, those huge power bulges over the 36.5-litre, 2,300 b.h.p., Rolls-Royce R-type V12 engine and the movable radiator flap in the nose are all there in this solid, polished “metal” form. An art form rather than a plaything, it costs £17.50 — C.R. 

* * * 

For those purchasers of Osprey Publishing’s magnificent £25 “BMW: A History” whose dust jacket was damaged because of shrink wrapping problems, you might like to know that you obtain a new jacket from the publishers at 12-14 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LP.

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