Reviews of products for scale automotive models, including motorcycles and motorized vehicles.

YAMAHA Ténéré 660cc Paris Dakar 1986

Published: March 3rd, 2021     
YAMAHA Ténéré 660cc Paris Dakar 1986
Reviewed by: Gregory Hansel - IPMS# 46474
Scale: 1:9
Company: Italeri


The Yamaha XT 660 was an enduro style bike that featured the most powerful single piston engine of its time back in the 80s. The kit was initially released in the 1980s and was developed by Protar from Italy.  Protar had a series of 1/9 bikes as well as a series of Formula One cars in 1/12 and 1/20.


The kit comes on five sprues and has rubber tires, vinyl hoses, springs and a LOT of screws. The only chrome is the wheels and those need to be painted black anyway.  The molds are from the 1980s and it shows a bit with large sprue gates and some tool marks here and there, but it's surprisingly clean and crisp.  The overall level of detail is good and the model looks great in the box.

AC-40-137A Soviet Firetruck

Published: February 22nd, 2021     
AC-40-137A Soviet Firetruck
Reviewed by: Ben Morton - IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/35
Company: ICM

There is an old proverb, or maybe it's an English idiom, that states:" give credit where credit is due."

It is thought that Samuel Adams might have been the first to coin the phrase. Giving credit where due applies to the Ukrainian company, ICM Holding. Having persevered a 'commie invasion' of Eastern Ukraine, packing up their entire manufacturing facility and moving it to the Western Ukraine they also seem to get the most from a particular model kit's mold, in this instance the Soviet Military truck ZiL-131.

The original ICM kit of the ZiL-131 was released in 2014 and has been re-released and re-packaged with additional parts for an emergency and recovery vehicle, figures (both soldiers and drivers) and the subject of this review, the AC-40-137A Soviet Firetruck. True to form ICM holding has released several different sets of figures (clean-up crews from the Chernobyl disaster) to go along with this Soviet Firetruck. Not a company to miss an opportunity, they will soon have available a version of this kit with civilian fire fighters.

Porsche - Classic German Sports Car

Published: February 15th, 2021     
Porsche - Classic German Sports Car
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Company: Pen & Sword

Pen and Sword's Car Craft Series focuses on some of the more exotic cars and covers both their history and the variants. This volume covers the iconic Porsche 911. My personal first experience with the 911 came when my roommate bought a used 911 and we tooled around in it (plus I got to drive it). Even used, it was a thrill with the acceleration of a rocket and the brakes to stop a freight train. When this book came up for review, I had to jump at it. The book is soft cover and is lavishly illustrated with pictures and drawings. One thing that makes this series of special interest to modelers is that it has two specific modeling sections. This is shown in the table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Origins: Icon of Driving and Design
  3. Design by Detail
  4. Variations on a Theme
  5. Motor Sports Legend
  6. Porsche 911 in Profile
  7. Model Showcase
  8. Modeling the Porsche 911

There are tons of beautiful color photos covering the racing and street versions of the car.

Jaguar E-Type, British Motoring Masterpiece

Published: February 11th, 2021     
Jaguar E-Type, British Motoring Masterpiece
Reviewed by: Ben Morton - IPMS# 47301
Company: Pen & Sword

The Jaguar E-Type, British Motoring Masterpiece is the latest volume from automotive writer Lance Cole. Other books in his series of classic automobiles include the Bugati, Porsche 911, and the soon to be released Citroen DS.

While all three of those cars are iconic, the Jaguar E-Type still holds sway as the premier automotive design from the 1960's. An argument can be made that that design may still be the metric by which newer cars are measured.

The 11.5" x 8.5" soft cover volume from Pen and Sword books contains sixty-four pages with a myriad of photographs, drawings and profiles of the Jaguar E-type. Author Cole has divided his book on the Jaguar E-Type into:

Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1886 with Mrs. Benz & Sons

Published: February 3rd, 2021     
Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1886 with Mrs. Benz & Sons
Reviewed by: Bill O'Malley - IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/24
Company: ICM

This kit is the second release in 2020 of the Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1886. This release includes three figures of Mrs. Benz and her two sons in addition to the Motorwagen vehicle. The vehicle was previously reviewed by IPMS so this review will focus on the three figures included in the second release.

Mrs. Benz is posed sitting on the Motorwagen with her hands on the tiller, and the two sons are alongside the vehicle, maybe pushing to get it started? The poses look realistic and natural, but the detail is a little soft for a 1/24 scale figure.

Instructions are provided on a single sheet with a diagram of the sprue and Revell & Tamiya paint colors listed on the front. The opposite side shows assembly diagrams and paint instructions for each of the figures. The parts are provided on one sprue with Mrs. Benz and both sons.