Marcus Nicholls takes a look at a highly respected British manufacturer
If you have ever dipped a toe into the highly addictive world of 1:43 collectable car kits and finished models, chances are you will have encountered British manufacturer Marsh.
Founded back in 1981 by John and Pam Simons, Marsh Models was launched initially as a kit-building agency. The company was originally set up in the Romney Marsh area of southern England, hence the name and company logo. It moved to East Sussex in 1987 and is currently situated in a workshop on an organic dairy farm. Marsh Models is acknowledged as the company that introduced components such as photo-etched interiors, photo-etched wings and resin tyres into their kit boxes.
Proudly offering something different to “a world of bland uniformity”, Marsh lists some wonderfully diverse subjects in miniature replica form, including Can-Am (the racing formula for which the company is perhaps best known), vintage Le Mans, Formula 1, Daytona 24 Hours, NART Ferraris, classic road cars and even some aviation icons such as the prototype of the Supermarine Spitfire and the beautiful DeHavilland DH88 Comet, both in 1:32 scale.
But the core of the line-up is the solid representation of Can-Am racers and there are lots of them. You’ll find famous marques and models on offer, such as the Jo Bonnier Racing Lola T222, 1968 Sunoco McLaren M6A and the 1972 Shadow MkIII, as driven by Jackie Oliver.
The parts breakdown of a Marsh Models kit typically consists of a polyurethane resin body and interior parts (seats, floor panels, dashboard), cast metal detail parts (steering wheel, rollcage, driver controls), synthetic rubber tyres, photo-etched metal (sheet-metal monocoque, radiator faces, seat harnesses, trim) and vacuum-formed clear plastic for the windscreen and headlight covers.
It takes some skill, patience and attention to detail to complete one of these kits, but they are beautifully detailed and the result will be extremely rewarding.
In my opinion, the 1:43 McLaren M6GT 1969 is one of the stand-out options in the range. This is a great-looking car, although only three were ever made due to a rule change making it impossible for McLaren to homologate the car for endurance racing.
New releases from Marsh Models include Riccardo Patrese’s Arrows A3 (1981 Monaco GP), David Prophet’s Interserie McLaren M12 (Hockenheim 1972), Alan Mann Racing’s Len Terry-designed Ford Open Sports (driven by Jack Brabham in the 1969 Texas Can-Am race – it appeared in competition only twice) and Lothar Motschenbacher’s McLaren M1B (Riverside 1966).
Hot new kits on release and on the way
Tamiya 1:24 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition: £40 approx. www.hobbyco.net
Carrera 1:32 Ferrari SF70H: £37.99. www.hobbyco.net
Tamiya 1:12 Yamaha YZF-R1M: £36 approx. www.hobbyco.net
Carrera 1:32 Red Bull Racing RB13: £37.99. www.hobbyco.net