4.06.2013

N Scale Cars! Part 3!

And here is Part 3 of a survey of some of the different vehicles on my layout!  Part 2 was posted here last week, and Part 1 is from all the way back in 2009!

As I put together these posts, I've tried to think what makes this topic interesting.  There's probably a lot of factors:  They are colorful and unique little toys, they're relatively cheap, and they represent something we are all rather familiar with!  I think why this is interesting for many folks is that while the selection of vehicles in N Scale is by no means comprehensive or complete, I'm surprised at how much can actually be found out there! So that's really the main purpose of this series of posts: sharing some of the unique, obscure, or otherwise less-well-known brands and vehicles that can work on an N scale layout.

Fleischmann (again)
On my previous post I misidentified an IMU Ford GT as a Fleischmann model, thankfully MK caught it and pointed it out in the comments!  As compensation for that error, I found a couple of other real Fleischmann models...of what, I am not precisely sure.  Anyone know what these are?
Oxford Diecast
Coming from the UK, is a wonderful selection of buses, wagons (as in 'station wagons'), lorries, and various sedans with a distinctly British flavor!  Yes, they are also in that abominable 1:148 scale but as with buildings and other non-rolling stock related items, I find the actual scale differences between 1:148 and 1:160 production to be mostly indistinguishable. 

Anyway, what's great about Oxford Diecast is that they truly are metal, a bit like the Mini-Metals available in the USA in that sense.  Paint, graphics and details are excellent.  And each vehicle has real turning wheels so you can have pretend races between Steve McQueen and Roger Moore!

Unfortunately (and expressed by yet another good point by MK in the comments on this previous post) is the fact that Oxford doesn't really make a whole lot of cars common to the modern era.  Buses? Yes.  Cars? No.  Perplexing given my sense that more and more modellers (particularly in N Gauge as opposed to the larger scales) are more prone to modern era trains, making N Gauge an ideal area for modern vehicles!

Oh yeah, I also have to say I love the packing of the Oxford vehicles. In fact, I love how this little Land Rover was presented that I haven't been willing to open it up to disturb it from its packaging! 
Oh no! Am I becoming a ....gasp!....a collector????
Rietze
Rietze is another European manufacturer who, for whatever reason, seems to have little presence outside of the Continent (on the other hand, Busch, Herpa, Wiking are not unheard of in the US; Rietze is just never seen).  Despite this, Rietze has a decent line up of cars, and in fact a few vehicles that tend towards more contemporary styles like their Ford Transit Van, VW Golf, or their Audi A4's.

I don't have either of those, but I do have a large "Star Liner" tour bus to shuffle some group of annoying tourists through Quinntopia!  The below is a very large, very plastic, modern bus for all your charter needs from our friends at Rietze! Plus the wheels move! Yeah!
Did someone say they needed a bus? Below is just a sampling of a few different VW vans from several manufacturers.  The bus on the right is the Minis version profiled in the last post.  The bus on the far left is a Wiking ambulance version.  The one in the center in the very bold blue and red colors is from Rietze!

Tomix
One thing that hasn't changed in the nearly four years since I first wrote about N scale cars was my affection for Tomix.  And to this day, I must admit, they are still the best at N Scale cars.   Every car has exceptional detail (at least relative to the cost/price!), wheels that turn, windows, features and details painted appropriately, etc... All at the same, and often much less, than you will get from any other manufacturer.
What is also awesome about Tomix is the super-cool way you can purchase a collection of these through one of their "Car Collection" sets (or "truck", "bus", or "trailer" collections) which containt between 16 and 24 vehicles.  Below is the "Car Collection V 13" which contains 24 vehicles (mainly from 4 basic families of vehicles, so you do wind up with some duplicates).
Tomix does an equally impressive job with its truck/trailer sets!   I purchased one of the above mentioned 'collections' several years back and have happily populated the streets of Quinntopia with these vehicles.
Van/Trucks of slight smaller capacity area also available - in a distinctly modern look!
And there is just an amazing amount of diversity...the older, pink station wagon in the back, the yellow cab, and the two smaller cars in front...well, I don't know if I've ever seen any of these models in real life (all Tomix vehicles are created primarily for the Japanese market, so you'll see models, or at least names of models, that may never have seen the light of day outside of Japan).
On the layout, they look absolutely perfect.  Again, this "1:150" scale issue I don't see as a problem.  That could be because some/most of the vehicles are ones I'm not familiar with.  I don't know what exactly the below vehicle is but, who cares? It looks right (almost looks like a Fiat) and the detail and look of the vehicles at this cost are perfect.

Wiking
It seems like Wiking is one of those brands that has been doing the same thing for years and years, and in fact has been making plastic-injected scale car models since the 1950's.  I don't know when they first jumped in N Scale models, but it seems to me like they were one of the first.

The diversity of their catalog can be surprising, for example the two Mercedes Benz vehicles surround a Chevy Malibu!


I tend to be something of a sucker for older style packaging (or "N scale nostalgia"), so these older style trucks with trailers really caught my eye as I think they are quite cool (not sure how old these models and packaging actually are!).  Yikes! Another potential symptom of becoming a 'collector'!
Wiking does have a catalog of both old and new vehicles, with their 'new Beetle' (below) and Passat doing a nice job of providing some contemporary models.  Of course, they make the old Beetle as well!
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Okay, so that about wraps up my 'overview' of N gauge car models as of 2013!  Looking back at my first post in 2009 on this topic, its surprising both how much has NOT changed, and yet, how much there is available to discover!  It makes me wonder what my "N Scale Cars" update in 2017 will look like! Maybe we'll have remote controlled cars without wires, lights and sound?! Nahhh.... Probably not!

Let me know if there are any other major manufacturers that make cars (primarily cars, as I know trucks and other industrial vehicles get into a whole other area) that I missed in eigther these two posts, or the older one from 2009.  I'm sure I'm missing someone!

As always, thanks for reading!

9 comments:

  1. well as far as trucks Faller and there truck and bus system

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  2. Thanks for posting this series. I didn't realize there was such a variety of vehicles in N scale. Do you know if there is a manufacturer that makes modern N scale Honda Civics or Accords?

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  3. @ Robert - You're right! I totally forgot about Faller's 'car' system!

    @ JD - definitely check out the Tomix offerings. I know Tomix makes a Honda Fit; and in their 12th collection it looks like either the Honda or Toyota Hybrid: http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http://www.tomytec.co.jp/diocolle/lineup/car/carcolle12.html&usg=ALkJrhhxy3mgFe31xlE_LEDolTQGJ7f7bw

    I just remembered that Kato just released some new Japanese cars that might include an Accord

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  4. Tomytec has done both the Honda Fit (Collection 6 and soon to be reissued in set F4) and the Today (collection 14), plus the Odyssey minivan (collection 8). But as far as I know they've never done a Civic or an Accord.

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  5. @Robert,

    re: the Faller "car" system, they use Wiking molds and don't make models of their own.

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  6. Kato only makes Toyota models. Must be a licensing issue, but I've never seen any non-Toyota models from them. The only N-scale Accord I'm aware of was one that was made by willmodels:

    http://stores.ebay.com/willmodels

    An excellent small production resin manufacturer, only available through his ebay shop. I have his Cherokee, Blazer and PT Cruiser. Very nicely detailed, but you have to do the painting and assembly. The Accord doesn't seem to be available at the moment. But according to an email Will sent me a while back it should be back up for purchase soon.

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  7. Btw, a new N-scale manufacturer is Minichamps, previously known for their 1:43 scale die-cast collectors models.

    https://www.minichamps.de/index.php?a=1&b=1&c=0&d=0

    They now have a line of 1:160 scale busses.

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  8. Jerry,

    Sorry for the serial posts... you asked about the Fleischmann car in your pic. That's a DKW F93. DKW was a German car maker later absorbed by Auto Union (became Audi, then part of VW). Classic German 50's car.

    Btw, another N-scale car maker:

    http://www.aktionshaus-mzz.de/index.asp?verified=true

    Have never ordered from them as they only take money transfers, but theu get good reviews on the German boards.

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  9. The unidentified cars are DKW Auto Union, the forerunner of BMW.

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