by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
The following introduction is as supplied by Revell of Germany;
The BMW Z1 was originally created as a concept car that was not intended for production. In January 1985 BMW formed their subsidiary BMW Tecnik GmbH. The object of this firm was to carry out research and development in vehicle technology, to redefine and if necessary change the basic directions in order to set trends. This would give rise to revolutionary technology, independently of later mass production. Under the working title ‘Freedom on Four Wheels’ work began on the concept car. The first model was shown to the directors at the end of 1985. At this time hardly any motor manufacturers had a roadster in their range, the competition was not offering new developments. The result was sufficiently convincing to persuade them that a more roadworthy prototype should be made and it was in fact completed in July 1986. This technology platform was shown to the press in the same month. The impact of the sporty, open two-seater was absolutely overwhelming. BMW therefore decided to put the experimental car into production in 1987, at the IAA in Frankfurt, the roadster was received with rapturous enthusiasm.
The former experimental car therefore went into production in July 1989. As it had been designed as a concept car, it had to be mainly hand-made. In addition to a monocoque chassis made of a hot dip galvanised steel, a roll bar integrated into the frame of the windscreen and a plastic body, this unusual sports car attracted attention because it had doors that slid down into the bodywork. The necessary lateral stability was provided by the high side sills, which also gave it the advantage of great rigidity. As the technology originated from the type 325i, the BMW Z1 had a 6 cylinder engine with a capacity of 2494cc that developed 170 bhp and a top speed of 225 kph. The car accelerated for 0 to 100 in 7.9 seconds and did it with an overall weight of 1290 kg. By June 1991 a total of 8000 BMW Z1’s made the car the trailblazer for a veritable tidal wave of roadsters, so that nowadays nearly all manufacturers have one in their range.
The model is supplied in one of Revell of Germany’s end opening boxes and has an artwork of the vehicle on the front in yellow; in my opinion yellow is the colour that is least appealing of the options I have seen. Inside you will find a number of plastic bags that are all sealed again in a single plastic bag. the contents break down as follows;
1 silver grey sprue
1 light grey sprue
3 grey sprues
1 chrome sprue
1 light grey body shell
4 vinyl rubber tyres
1 decal sheet
1 instruction booklet
An advisory leaflet
An inspection of the parts for this car model is very good as regards moulding and what is covered. There is a some basic modelling skills required to deal with ejector pin marks, but otherwise this should be plain sailing as regards construction. There is one other thing to be warned about and that is the chrome parts; most of you will be familiar with using chromed parts but for those that are not, be careful with removal as it will be difficult to hide where the parts were removed from the sprue. There are a few very subtle flow lines on some mouldings but these will not cause any issues from what I have seen.
The engine included with this model has some very nice detail present that matches online reference pictures. As far as I can tell all of the details that can be seen are replicated very well in plastic. The part I call the rocker cover has the embossed BMW lettering just as the real item. The only issue that might be there is the area beneath the engine, this has no detail and if it can be seen will detract from the model. The addition of some wiring detail in this area will finish it off a treat. The engine and engine bay in all other respects should be a very eye catching area of the finished model. It is worth mentioning that the bonnet/hood can be displayed open or shut depending on how you feel at any giving moment, detail on the interior of the bonnet/hood is present but will require a few ejector pin marks are attacked.
The wheels of this model are moulded in a silver/grey plastic and does have a small amount of flash present on the wheels specifically, the detail appears to be a little soft but passable. The tyres are vinyl rubber and I can hear some of you groaning now. The vinyl is quite well detailed as even the ‘Dunlop’ detail is replicated on them along with a subtle tread detail. The model has been designed by Revell of Gemany with the front wheels being steerable, an aspect I do like. Another nice detail is the break discs being replicated on the model. Detail painting and decal application are called out as construction progresses as there is no instruction sheet dealing specifically with painting and decal application. Yes there are decals to be used on the wheels.
The interior detail is also very good overall, especially where the seats and dashboard are concerned. Revell of Germany looks to have put a lot of thought and effort into this area of the model with me finding only one obvious fault, the position of the handbrake is too far backs and in the place it is very difficult and uncomfortable to operate. Decals have been provided to simulate the glass in the interior and wing mirrors.
The body of the vehicle looks to be a good match for the real car, the unusual doors being especially well replicated. As mentioned the bonnet/hood can be open or shut and so the effort put into the engine bay can be displayed or not depending on how you feel at any given time. the glazing is good due to it being of a reasonable thickness and so avoiding distortion when looking through it. One option I particularly like is the optional soft top roof, this part has a very subtle but nice texture to the exterior of it, but I advice the ejector pin marks on the inside are dealt with if used.
This is the second car from Revell of Germany in this scale that has appealed to the modeller in me and this car should build into a very nice looking model; in the hands of some I suspect a stunning model is possible. I am torn on the use of chromed plastic due to the difficulty of hiding the area where a part is removed from the sprue, but with that said the modeller has the choice of removing the chrome and painting as wished or doing their best to hide the mark where it was removed. Models like this let me see why some modellers choose this aspect of the hobby to work in.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell