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First Peek with Rusty Hurley Edition Date
11-14-05
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Carousel One 1972 Mclaren M16B Sunoco Special
GMP 1:35 P-40E Warhawk – “The Old Exterminator” - Robert Scott
GMP 1:18 Ford Mustang “Mr. Gasket” Gasser

 

Carousel One 1972 Mclaren M16B Sunoco Special GMP 1:35 P-40E Warhawk – “The Old Exterminator” - Robert Scott
 
     
 
Rusty Hurley
Rusty Hurley
 

So often with models, what makes it special to the individual owner is not how accurate the replication is, but the moment in time or the person or personal hero we associate with it.

How else to explain why one of my favorite models in my collection is the Auto art Porsche 917 Gulf #20?

It is a good model but not a great one. However, every time I look at it I don’t see the faults in stance and shape (or the slightly torn roundel that’s my fault), but the memory of the moment I saw Le Mans it in the theatre. I also remember the Christmas morning from my wife gave it to me (and I promptly damaged the roundel in my exuberance to get it out of the box).

This week’s First Peek models do involve very special people in terms of their history. In addition, we’re lucky in this regard because the craft of all the models involved is excellent.

As far as getting your wife to put them under the tree, that’s completely up to you.

 

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  Carousel One 1972 Mclaren M16B Sunoco Special

I have to confess something right here and now: the day I started collecting 1:18 scale was the day I started hoping this model would be done by a quality manufacturer. That’s because Mark Donohue is not only immortal in terms of accomplishment, but during my early teens he represented what was possible if you lived your life with purpose. He was, as the title of his autobiography states, “The Unfair Advantage”. Every time I think of Mark I get a whistful smile on my face and water in my eyes. Now this diecast model throttles that same response in me.

In 1972, Donohue came to Indianapolis to race Roger Penske’s McLaren M16B. Penske and Donohue had a mutually beneficial relationship, with Roger turning out fast cars and Donohue shattering any reasonable expectations he might have had. It was no different on May 29, 1972 when Donohue wheeled the Mclaren M16B around the famed Brickyard at an average speed of 162.962 mph. In a year dominated by the horror of the Munich Olympiad, it was moments like the Donohue victory at Indy that represented what was good in the world of sport.

The Carousel One model captures that moment brilliantly.

The model comes in a window box covered by an outer sleeve. Carousel One Indy models generally come with a decorative base and this one has a checkered design symbolic of Victory lane. To complete the diorama, there is artwork suggesting fans, press and crew members that might have been present at the race’s end. This is all very cute, but it only delays my anxious hands in getting the model out where I can see it.

The blue and yellow Sunoco livery is one of the more famous in racing and Carousel One has painted it so that it’s visually stunning. While the navy blue and sunshine yellow are dead on accurate, what impresses me about the finish is the fine red and yellow pin-striping and accents. The graphics appear correct with only the L&M logos missing from the edges of the wing. No doubt the aftermarket will take care of this need. The front and rear wings are plastic (look hard and you can see the seam on the edge of the front wing) but the paint is so well done you only get this by feeling the texture of the parts, not because of some discoloration between the two.

The model’s shape and stance are dead on with photos (and my memory) of the actual car. Detailed steering and suspension might not be Carousel One’s typical calling card, but on this beauty it’s remarkably well done, featuring delicate brake lines and sturdy and intricate tie rods. The car sits on Goodyear slicks with race accurate black four-point wheels sporting chrome trim. Nice to see logo tires, something other manufacturers are increasingly skipping.

The cockpit is framed by a “blue blocker” windshield. This not only cut down on the glare, but it fits right in with the livery. The mirrors are acceptably replicated and cockpit has a precise replica of the instrument cluster, pedals, belts and seat. But you didn’t buy this model for the instrument cluster did you?

Nope, you probably bought it more for the Offenhauser engine that dominates the rear of the model. The cockpit and engine sheathing can be gently removed for better viewing and (gulp) what a view it is! In addition to Carousel One’s nice job on the fittings and hoses, notice the miniature bolts, genuine screen on the intakes, clear tubing and flexible braided hoses.

The model by Carousel One is without question their best effort yet. This model honors the memory of the man, the builder, the race team owner and one legendary moment in Indianapolis history.

It is is limited to 3,508 pieces. There’s no need to add the cajoling line of “get yours soon or they will be gone”. Just divide the amount of models available by the number of Donohue’s faithful fans plus those people that have a warm memory of that sunny day in Indy 33 years ago. You do the math and let me know how it turns out. Better yet, let your wife know.

 

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  GMP 1:35 P-40E Warhawk – “The Old Exterminator” - Robert Scott

If you’ve been holding out for a military model that has both significance and substance, your ship (or in this case plane) has come in. The P-40E, with it’s famous menacing teeth, is iconic to the World War II era and in the case of this model it flown by a true American hero.

Robert Scott, a 34 year old flight instructor in California, was told he was too old to fly combat planes when the US entered the war against Japan. Not satisfied he pressed his case until he got a chance to fly supply planes like C-47’s as a member of the American Volunteer Group operating out of Manchuria, or as they were better known, the “Flying Tigers”.

One day after finishing a cargo run, the base was informed of an imminent attack expected from Japanese Air Forces. There was one broken down P-40 sitting on the airfield and Scott volunteered to move it out of harms way. While the attack proved to be false, Scott’s quick actions and ability to maneuver the plane astounded his commanding officer, the colorful Claire Chennault. He got his chance to fly fighter planes and never looked back.

So effective a pilot was Scott, that his P-40E became known as the “Old Exterminator”.
When he was done, Scott was credited with shooting down 22 enemy aircraft, awarded three Silver Stars, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and five Air Medals. His fame was enhanced by the first of his 12 books, “God Is My Co-Pilot”, inspiring a hit movie. He was still reportedly flying planes on his birthday at age 87 (an F-15).

The GMP model of Scott’s plane is a fitting tribute to machinery and man. If you haven’t had the experience treated you to a GMP military model, the fun begins with the packaging. The large unique artwork on the outer box conceals a Styrofoam shell. Within the shell is the main body of the plane, sets of parts and tools and, thankfully, instructions. You also get a set of gloves that will allow you to handle the plane without leaving any fingerprints.

It takes some time to put the model together but you’ve got to hand it to the minds at GMP, it’s wonderfully engineered. Carefully laying the model bonnet side down, you pop landing gear doors by gently using the opening tool. Then with the press of a camouflaged button on the belly of the plane, the main landing gear extends and rotates into place automatically! Digging out the rear landing gear is less flashy but easily accomplished.





Once you have the plane upright, it’s time to put on the propeller which is detailed with minute specification markings. An interesting note, the plane appears on this model with a standard olive drab nose, but if you look at reference art and photos you’ll see this is usually painted with a color. There was a reason for this: the American planes were so outnumbered by Japanese at the outset of the war in the Pacific, the painted the nose cones different colors on each run – a ploy that successfully deceived the Japanese into believing they had far more planes than they actually did.

The Allison V-1710 engine is comes open to view. GMP is known for their automotive engine detailing and brings the same flair to aviation models. That said, there just isn’t the same intricate exposed detail in an aviation engine, but there is a wow factor in the ingenious fitted magnetic engine cover panels.

The greenhouse is the focal point of the model. Slide back the shell and you will find not only are the expected components like seats, belts, and flight controllers well executed, but the smallest details such as the instrument panel and oxygen and radio components are brilliantly portrayed. Not that you’d want to cover up any of this detail, but the model comes with a 1:35 Robert Scott (complete with parachute pack) to occupy the pilot’s seat. If you display mini-Scott with the model, the greenhouse should remain open – but the detail of it is so amazing you will want to do that anyway.

The rest of the model is just as crisply done. The flaps and rudder move with gentle persuasion, the wings open to display the ammunition bays for the machine guns and you have your choice of what ordinance you’d like to place on the plane’s bomb hold. The landing gear, in addition to the amazing mechanism that powers it, is well articulated and comes on soft tires. The paint is the correct shade of military olive drab and the insignia and trademark teeth are boldly colored.

This model is the finest aviation model I have seen in the price range, the only challenge I could find is where to display it. It is large and quite heavy. It comes with blocks to keep the plane from rolling, but unlike aviation models that are made of lightweight wood, this one’s probably not going to be able to be suspended anywhere or be impaled on a pylon. GMP does have a solution: an aviation diorama. In fact GMP is starting to become more immersed in diorama supplies with an upcoming series of drivers. But that dear readers, is another column.

 

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  GMP 1:18 Ford Mustang “Mr. Gasket” Gasser

GMP 1:18 Ford Mustang “Mr. Gasket” Gasser

Fans of First Peek wrote me quite a few e-mails regarding the column that reviewing Precision Miniatures brilliant ’33 Willy’s Gassers. One of those models was the famous Malco Gasser driven by “Ohio George” Montgomery. In a sport of drag racing that was dominated by west coast, “Ohio George” was consistently faster and his presence a top draw at events. He was forever innovating the Gasser concept, so it is a fitting bookend that GMP has released the famed 1969 Mr. Gasket Mustang to complement the Precision Miniatures piece. What a difference a decade makes.

While the original Gasser is lean and mean in appearance, the Mr. Gasket Mustang bristles with “look at me” bells and whistles. The glistening candy apple red metallic paint is scaled accurately so your eyes don’t focus on the individual flakes, but on the model’s luminescent quality. The graphics had also come a long way from the primitive markings on the Willy’s: now there are logos and plenty of sponsor markings. Going around the exterior, the Gasser still has all those stock body requirements we don’t associate with the modern dragsters. Features such as opening doors complete with door handles and window cranks, headlights, tail lights and bumpers. But we do see elements of the funny car being mixed in, like the flopper-type body panels.

The model, in fact, comes packaged so that you don’t accidentally damage it due to the way the panels operate and fit. Before opening it, you might want to consider putting on a bib.
Inside the Styrofoam coffin, the car had a layer of thick plastic at the joint between the front and rear bonnets. Lift the model from the box and notice a piece of black plastic that might appear to be a throwaway from a styrene model parts tree. Keep this handy.

Grasp the front bonnet by the front wheel wells and pull up and back gently to expose the engine. (If you didn’t take my hint about the bib, you’ll want to stop here and wipe the involuntary drool from your lips – but more about the power plant in a moment.) The front bonnet will stay up on its own. Now, tilt back the rear bonnet. It too will stand on its own; however the slightest shift in weight or stance can lead to it crashing downward. So, what looked like a piece of “extra” black plastic can actually be used as a prop which stabilizes the open rear bonnet. The car displayed like this looks like something akin to a Transformer for a grown-up. [We are grown-ups right? It’s hard to tell when I’m drooling like this over the engine.]

The engine is a massive 429 Boss twin turbo motor that created a mind numbing 1800hp. The car was so devastating that is was eventually banned by the NHRA. No wonder, it looks like something out of a Geiger lithograph. The wiring, hoses, duct work are incredibly complex with a myriad of connections and fasteners for your eyes to follow. The headers are uniquely weathered and flawlessly woven. The twin-turbo assembly is modeled so accurately it has a look of raw power. The only complaint here is there is a seam or two visible on some of the plastic components. It hardly matters given the unbelievable replication of this monster power plant’s intricate components.

Lift the rear bonnet and the red/white custom interior comes in to full view. The racing harness is soft and the seats are not just painted red and white, they are molded out of soft vinyl so each stripe seems individually sewn. The detail on something as mundane as the shifter is unbelievably good and the functional steering assembly seamlessly transitions from cockpit to engine compartment. Flip the model over and the chassis is finely detailed, the largest difference here being the fully developed ladder suspension – quite the opposite of the 33 Willy’s which uses a leaf spring set up.

As always, the really fun detail features of any Gasser or funny car are the chute pack and wheelie bar. The chute elements are made of genuine cloth and the wheelie bar is molded from multiple metal elements. Like any kind of racing, the driver is not the only person responsible for the performance on race day, and this ferocious Mustang is emblazoned with a rear license plate with the crew’s name. That’s class.

Overall this is one satisfying model. Displayed together with one of the Precision Miniatures pieces, it’s a celebration of a form of racing where men were seemingly only limited by their ability to innovate.


 

 
     

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