Homefront Miniatures, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
The Austin 7 was an economy car that was produced from 1922 until 1939 in the United Kingdom by Austin. It was nicknamed the "Baby Austin" and was at that time one of the most popular cars produced for the British market and sold well abroad.
Its effect on the British market was similar to that of the Model T Ford in the US, replacing most other British economy cars and cyclecars of the early 1920s.
It was also licensed and copied by companies all over the world. The very first BMW car, the BMW Dixi, was a licensed Austin 7, as were the original American Austins. In France they were made and sold as Rosengarts. In Japan, Nissan also used the 7 design as the basis for their first cars, although not under licence. This eventually led to a 1952 agreement for Nissan to build and sell Austins in Japan under the Austin name.
Homefront Miniatures is not a name that is familiar to me. It would appear to be a brand of Fields of Glory Models, and is part of a range of mainly British home front figures.
This is the first vehicle in the range.
Homefront Miniatures' 1:35 scale Austin 7 comprises just 29 parts in pale grey resin, 12 parts in photo-etched metal on one fret, two lengths of plastic rod and one clear acetate sheet for the windscreen glass.
Casting quality is very good, although there is a bit of fine waste to clean up, most notably in the windscreen and door window areas. There are no big castig blocks so that is good news for those who don't like to break out the razor saw and motor tool.
The main vehicle body is an impressive single casting.
Details such as the upholstered back seat, the ending cooling louvres and the instrument panel are all cast in place.
The roof is a separate part with the sliding sunroof cast in the closed position.
The doors are cast with detail inside and out. These are separate parts and may be posed open or closed.
You may choose to build an open top configuration simply by omitting the roof and door parts.
Smaller parts include the steering wheel, front seats, headlights and suspension and steering elements.
The spoked wheels are cast in a darker grey resin (presumably more robust) with the tyres cast separately in the pale grey resin. The spoke detail is fairly heavy when compared to photos of the real thing.
The photo-etched fret includes the front grille, rear lugage rack, suspension elements and more.
A piece of clear acetate is included for the windows and windscreens. The phot-etched fret includes clever templates for cutting the clear acetate to size for the front, side and rear windows.
Instructions are supplied on three A4 sheets of paper.
Homefront Miniatures' 1:35 scale Austin 7 is an interesting and versatile subect that will suggest all sorts of creative vignettes and dioramas, whether civil or military.
Thanks to Fields of Glory for the sample
Text and Images by Brett Green