Welcome to our first column of 2024 dedicated to the world of scale models with an AROnline twist, brought to you by the expert eye and passion of Keith D’Souza.
In a world where petrolheads are collecting miniature versions of their favourite cars in order to save their garages and bank balances, Keith will be your trusted guide through this most geekish of hobbies.
From a Hot Wheels Landie to a launch-spec Disco via a mini Maestro
From classics to moderns, Keith’s reviews offer a detailed and insightful look into the world of scale models. It’s a new year, so why not buy a nice AROnline-themed diecast to brighten up your mantlepiece, desk or bedroom window sill?
This month, we bring you an excellent 1:43 scale model of the Land Rover Discovery in launch spec from the good people at Oxford Diecast, an ‘OO’ scale Maestro from the same people or a Hot Wheels Defender. We wish you luck finding the latter – nothing is more frustrating than trying to find specific Hot Wheels model, when you’re being jostled at the cash tills in Lidl!
Car of the Month: Oxford Diecast Mistrale Land Rover Discovery 1:43
Oxford Diecast now bring G660 BKV – a Series 1 Land Rover Discovery Mistrale – to the display cabinet, continuing the niche they are carving in the diecast landscape. The model is very well done – the Mistrale Blue paintwork is as it should look, with those funky 1980s graphics aligned to each side.
Good to see the Marina door handles get accented, plus other details such as the’ TDi’ badging, number plate with correct font used, roof rails and that Sonic Blue Conran interior. It is far too easy to go down the Defender/Range Rover route, but this casting is fresh and distinct. Even more special would be a LJ Honda Crossroad version – we can but hope!
Order from: oxforddiecast.co.uk
Oxford Diecast Austin Maestro 1.6L 1:76
For ‘OO’ gauge enthusiasts, the default accompaniment or enhancement to a diorama scene leads to Oxford Diecast and their immense range of mainly British models to enhance or complement a display.
Frustratingly, the Maestro has been sadly neglected in small scale apart from Corgi’s attempt of its ‘Working Lights’ MG 1600 version in the early 1980s. Scaled to 1:76, Oxford Diecast recolour its established Maestro casting in ‘1.6L’ specification, once again bringing this now Austin classic into mainstream availability – nicely formed and capturing details correctly.
Particularly pleasing is the registration plate which brings a welcome level of authenticity. Modelling at smaller scales does present challenges – the micro levels of detail are just not possible the smaller scale you go. But rejoice in the fact that this car is available and can be easily added to a railway diorama or just as a standalone miniature recalling a much loved firm family member.
Order from: oxforddiecast.co.uk
Hot Wheels Land Rover Defender 90
Much to the detriment of the ugly stepchild Matchbox, Mattel do put in a lot of effort into its Hot Wheel brand producing original fantasy creations along with interpretations from today and yesteryear for their mainline range.
The inclusion of the Defender Classic in ‘90’ form is a good one. Okay, the tampo printing is misguided somewhat, it’s in left-hand drive and you won’t get heritage colours or authentic rims. But for around £2, this is excellent pocket money folly. The casting has enough detail to ensure authenticity for its target audience.
Adding some further highlights with some metallic touch pens on the front and rear lights would really elevate this Landie even more, without the need to fork out for the overpriced premium versions. It is a cute and delightful piece of small scale retro that fits perfectly on your desk or on display. It is well worth looking out for in supermarkets or such on your travels.
Order from: mattel.com
- Model Reviews : January 2024 – Land Rover, Hot Wheels and Austin Maestro - 6 January 2024
- Model Reviews : December 2023 – Alfa Romeo, Mini and Ford - 24 December 2023
- Model Reviews : November 2023 – Mini, Jensen and Ford - 29 October 2023