1/24 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Klasse DTM 2009 "Gary Paffett" and Trilux AMG Mercedes DTM 2009 "Ralf
- Published on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 15:01 Robin Jenkins
1/24 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Klasse DTM 2009 "Gary Paffett" and Trilux AMG Mercedes DTM 2009 "Ralf Schumacher"
Revell of Germany
Kit numbers 07127 (Paffett) and 07128 (Schumacher)
Available from Wonderland Models
RRP: £18.99 each
A snapshot from my past: early 2002, Paris, out drinking in a quiet bistro with a couple of work colleagues in a small restaurant. We are joined by one of their German friends and his old school pal Ralf. Ralf seemed a pleasant enough guy, spoke passable English, talked for about 2 hours, learned "Ralf was something to do with car racing" but we didn't go into this any further; he had married the previous year and had a newly-born son. End of the night, all parted company. Only realised over a week later that Ralf was Ralf Schumacher, F1 driver for Williams who had just finished 4th in the World Championship and won 3 Grand Prix, and whose brother was the multiple World Champion Michael Schumacher! I've sometimes wondered if he was insulted that I and my colleagues showed no recognition, or relieved to be completely out of the spotlight for the evening?
Since then, I have sometimes toyed with the idea of modelling one of his cars but never got around to it. Then, out of the blue, these 2 new Revell car kits have been released so you can guess why I was keen to get my hands on one of them!
The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters is a touring car racing series based in Germany, but with rounds elsewhere in Europe.It currently only has 2 manufacturers taking part, Audi and AMG Mercedes; Audi have dominated in the period 2008-2010. In 200, AMG Mercedes due to good reliability managed to challenge Audi for the individual title; unfortunately, their top driver, Gary Paffett from the UK, just missed out to Audi's Timo Scheider. Amongst AMG's other drivers was Ralf Schumacher; now retired from F1, he finished overall 11th in the 2009 championship.
Revell have launched a new pair of 1/24 AMG touring car models; each of the models is identical apart from the decals, one boxing giving Paffett's car and the other Schumacher's car. The decal sheets are shown below, with Paffett's car being the Salzgitter option.
The main body shell is cast in a glossy, hard polystyrene, with all other plastic parts in more normal consistency white plastic on 4 sprues. 4 "rubber" tyres and a clear sprue for all glasswork completes the package.
A considerable amount of cleaning up and removal of injection marks will be necessary on the interior of the body shell. Disappointingly for such a well-moulded shell, there is no interior detail on the shell either. I am also told by a modeller friend seriously into touring cars that the emergency breakout panel shown on the roof has an interior aspect and release which has also been missed.
The nose/bonnet is the single most disappointing aspect of the kits. I have looked at dozens of photos of these cars and am convinced the kit part does not quite capture the shape properly; the nose is not quite tall enough, meaning the angle of the bonnet to the windscreen is too steep. Add to this the lower spoiler tray being overthick (as well as the additional air spoiler plates which are added later) and the nose ends up looking slightly 'clunky'. It is surprising that pieces in this area are overscale because the tail mounted spoiler is moulded much more finely.
I am also certain that the rubber tyres are slightly thin in side profile, at least for race specification (they are moulded as 'slicks'). The tyres are more like those I found photos of used during testing.
The clear parts in one of the kits was definitely not as clear as the other. However, a quick polish with toothpaste immediately restored the clarity.
Various suspension, wheel, drive shaft and arch pieces are held on one sprue. The brake mechanism is a high point here.
The body pan is much better executed, fitting perfectly to the shell. A rudimentary engine block is included should anyone decide to show this area exposed (though a lot more detail would need to be added).
The interior, complete with roll cage also is well moulded and dry fitting shows it all goes together nicely. Only the poor moulded-on safety harness lets this area down.
I'd now like to express a couple of modelling prejudices, not aimed at these kits but at car kits in general:
- Normal waterslide decals and rubber tyres do not enjoy each other's company! Only specialist finished decals or rub-down markings look right on rubber tyres.
- Why, oh why, OH WHY are manufacturers still chrome-plating kit parts? Is it to appeal to younger modellers or modellers who don't paint their kits? (Not here, with the kits being a high skill level 4). Only in very large scales (above 1/12) does chroming appear anything like realistic. Add to this, one of the hardest of any modelling skills, in any medium or with any subject, is trying to disguise successfully the mounting points where chromed plastic has been removed from the sprue! In over 40 years of modelling, I have never managed it to my satisfaction and always end up soaking the chromed sprues in Modelstrip or something similar to get back to bare plastic.
OK, to include rub-down markings and some etched brass would add considerably to the cost of the kits, so it will be down to the specialist companies to come up with something here.
Revell's decals have improved greatly over the last couple of years, as many people have commented. Those in these kits are in perfect register. A quick call to another friend building the Paffett car informed me that the decals are a little thicker than appear, but are opaque and react well to decal solutions, albeit a lot are required.
The painting instructions for the Schumacher car are better than for the Paffett car. The latter's box top makes the nose look almost red; Revell's own Orange 30 paint is listed on the side of the box, but in truth this is nowhere near the orange shade required - a paler, less intense orange was used on the actual vehicle, as a quick Google search will show.
So what do we think?
I may appear to have been a little critical of these models, but as always I have tried to be as fair as I can within my knowledge of the subject. The nose shape is the only thing that cannot be changed or improved upon, and 2 very nice cars will result with a little patience and a lot of decal solutions. And at last I will build one of Ralf's cars.............!!!
Our thanks to Revell of Germany for the review samples.