Tuesday, May 14, 2019


The key to this kit is pre-painting as many parts as possible. To keep things simple, there are some bit made in the wrong colour. Engine crankcases are not chrome, but silver magnesium. A coat of Humbrol silver followed by a wash of Citadel black ink looks great - speaking as one who has stuck his head under a few VW's...

Inside, someone decided to mould the seats and door cards in dark brown plastic. This is wrong, they should be black, as this VW colour chart shows.

 Halfords satin black is ideal for the slightly shiny leatherette. I've done the floor this colour too as the mats are rubber.

Much of the inside is left in its black plastic state as the dash and steering wheel should be slightly shiny too.

The mohair roof is sprayed matt black to contrast with the rubber or leatherette bits.

Finally, the wheels are painted silver but hubcaps left chrome. Mind you, in my experience, they pretty quickly go rusty!


Huw Griffiths said...

"Inside, someone decided to mould the seats and doorcards in dark brown plastic. This is wrong, they should be black ..."

I don't doubt you for one second. However, I wonder what example of a prototype the kit designer or manufacturer chose as a basis for this kit.

To some people, this might sound like a crazy comment - I'm not sure that it is.

VWs of many "flavours" have, for many years, been popular with people who like to customize their cars - so a lot of these vehicles are probably far from original"stock" condition.

Add to this the fact that many of them have been on the road for a long time - and there's even more scope for non standard replacement of parts like these.

Meanwhile, I don't know how many different markets these cars were sold in - and I'm not sure everything would have been to the same basic spec (never mind colour) everywhere.

For example, some cars have been sold with different bumpers in different countries.

Phil Parker said...

This is my blog, so the designer is wrong and I am RIGHT! And so is the VW colour chart. If you are looking for democracy then you are in the wrong place.

Seriously though, Beetles were world cars - the spec differed (retractable bumpers on US models for example) but generally, we all got the same thing, even if this did mean those ugly big bumpers that appeared in the 1970s.

Good point about customisation, but this is a stock build, complete with the sort of vinyl that used to stick to your legs in the sun when I was a child. Kids today don't know what they are missing when not tearing skin off to get out of the car...

Huw Griffiths said...

I know what you mean about that 70s vinyl - I really hated the stuff - even if I was more likely to encounter the stuff in buses, especially Leyland Nationals and other stuff of a similar vintage.

Whilst on the subject of Leyland Nationals, I don't know if anyone noticed a plastic kit of one of the things on the Peco stand at last year's "Warley". Apparently, they'll be selling the former Tower Models bus kits under a different banner.

Well, this particular kit (in its previous guise) was the real reason for my comments about "non original spec" replacement parts.

The guy who wrote the instructions for the National kit pointed out that a number of these vehicles had been refurbished - with the implication that a lot of parts (and their colours) had probably been changed over the years.

I suspect that similar observations could also be made about a number of preserved trains etc..

If nothing else, this all reinforces any advice for modellers to check the particular prototype they might be modelling - preferably also for the specific period they're looking to mimic.

Some people might even get the impression that, however careful preservationists might be, there's often the potential risk of some errors creeping in at some point. I wonder if this might be one reason for some rail museums having a policy of aiming to preserve trains in "as withdrawn" condition (albeit, hopefully, with worn out parts replaced by ones that work).