History of BMW in 1:18

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:53 pm

Agreed. I call them place-holders until something better is released I'm happy... but in most cases, there may never be an alternative in scale so take what you can get!

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:33 pm

[KRAFTIG] wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:53 pm
Agreed. I call them place-holders until something better is released I'm happy... but in most cases, there may never be an alternative in scale so take what you can get!
Right, so often while you think somebody else will make these cars in better detail, these disappear and you left with nothing. Getting what I can, and then upgrading is how I do it too. Though, a lot of time I just end up keeping both - if that ever happens!

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Wed Jan 19, 2022 11:52 pm

I'm back - did you miss me? Took me long enough...I was hoping that with me working from home during recent world events, I would have more time for things like this...but no... Was super busy. But enough rambling - next chapter in the History is ready, and I hope you enjoy it! Second generation 5er on the menu today :)

E28

Penned by genius designer Claus Luthe, E28 was evolutionary from the design standpoint, with the new car almost indistinguishable from the previous model at the first glance. But similar as it was to E12 visually, it gave the world first M5 version of the 5-series, and that in itself was as revolutionary as it could have possibly been.

Second generation 5-series was initially produced with gas 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines. In 1983, diesel engine was added to the lineup for the first time in a 5 Series. It was also the first 5 with the central console angled towards the driver and to be available with anti-lock brakes. E28 was replaced by the E34 in 1989.

Starting in 1984 the first ever M5 was built by hand in Garching, using 535i chassis and a modified BMW M1 engine, making it the fastest production sedan at the time. Production of the M5 continued until November 1988, well after production of the E28 chassis ended in Germany in 1987.

Production of North American M5 started in late 1986 (almost two years after M5 production began for European markets), and it was only produced for twelve months. All North American M5 models used S38 engine instead of the M88/3, were painted Jet Black and most interiors were Natur leather. A very small number of US-spec M5s were built with black interiors. Canadian-spec M5s were available with the option of a black leather interior.

E28 in 1/18 scale

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For the longest time, E28 M535i and M5 models made by AUTOart were the only models in this scale of any 5-series cars. BMW collectors are very fortunate that AUTOart made most of their BMW offerings at the height of their craft, and Chinese factories cranking these beauties out were still staffed with highly skilled workers willing to work for low wages, which in turn resulted in absolutely stunning models for very reasonable prices.

Even today these still are absolutely the best in their segment as far as detailing, assembly, finish, and packaging goes – they are exceptional modelcars. And they have not been re-released like some of the older AA models recently and remain in very high demand today, which contributed to astronomical prices that good examples command on second-hand market.

1/18 scale collectors were never treated to any models of the lower-guise E28s. I guess nobody was interested in making lowly 4 cylinder cars, or lesser 6-cylinders. When AA went to build an E28 model – they went for the best – the M535i.

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AUTOart BMW E28 ///M535i - Alpine White - #75161

And what a model it is! Full open, fully detailed everything, classic diecast model. Beautiful design of the working elements, nice materials, excellent color choices. The model was released in only two colors – Diamond black metallic with beige interior, and Alpinweiss with an awesome, period-correct dark blue interior. It was released as a part of AUTOarts Millennium series, which was their top offering at the time.

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Glorious M30 was very nicely reproduced in 1:18 scale. Perhaps not to the level some premium manufacturers can do now, but for a relatively inexpensive 2007 release, it was an absolute gem. Working hood supports, tiny hinges, separately molded block and all accessories, wiring and plumbing, and lots of very nice detail painting!

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Carefully open properly hinged doors, and they reveal a fully carpeted interior with nicely molded interior elements in wonderful blue color, with cloth seatbelts, proper markings, photoetched bits, and textured paint.

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Full-open, fully detailed, and carefully crafted models like this one is the reason I once chose this scale over smaller 43rd. Sadly, models like this one are more of an exception with a lot of diecast manufacturers these days. 2000’s was really the golden age of 1:18 scale diecast.

The “other” M535i that is currently available to the collectors, is a lowly budget offering from Norev - but it really is no comparison to the mighty AA. After it was clear Autoart will not re-release any of its BMW models, Norev decided to get into E28 bandwagon and released several color versions of the E28 M535i.

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Norev BMW E28 ///M535i, Lim. Ed. 2000 - Grey Metallic - #183261

Just like with the E12, E28 is a very simple model with no opening panels, limited chassis detail, simplified interior, and only ok paint quality. These came out in the same time as E12, with the same price tag. So, unless you missed on AUTOart version and really want E28 M535i sedan in your collection, I would pass on this offering as these models don’t come even close to AA masterpieces.

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Small details just feel more refined and delicate on AA model, even though nothing is blatantly wrong on the Norev. About the only element that look off a bit on Norev is the size and position of the headlights, but the entire model just “feels” crude. Norev is missing an antenna in the back, and trunk spoiler is slightly different shape, too.

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I also feel there are some issues with the proportions on Norev model. It appears taller than it should be, especially in the front. The wheels are nicely done on both models, though AA has better tires. Chassis detail is very crude and limited on Norev, especially when you compare it to absolutely beautiful detail on AA model.

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Few years ago collectors of scale BMWs were treated to a rare occurrence in BMW scale model universe – an Alpina model. Otto released beautiful Alpina B7 Turbo sedan in stunning Burgundy Red and it is absolutely a must-have.

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OTTOmobile BMW E28 ALPINA B7 Turbo, Lim. Ed. 2500 – Burgundy Red - #OT152

Even though this resin model has no opening parts and a simplified chassis, exterior and interior details that are visible do not disappoint. Correct proportions and high quality paint make up for lack of working features. Relatively high-volume release (2500) meant the prices remained low for a while. In addition to the original run, Otto also released two more colors (less attractive, in my opinion) which brought the total to almost 5500 pieces, which is rather generous.

Making it even more interesting for collectors, Asian newcomer LS Collectibles released another E28-based Alpina - this time a top of the line B10 3.5 BiTurbo sedan in several very nice and interesting color combos.

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LS Collectibles BMW E28 Alpina B10 3.5 BiTurbo Red w/White Stripes LS044C

The model is quite a bit better in almost every aspect that their first crack at a BMW – which was their weirdly disproportionate E21 Alpina C1 release – but in my opinion, it is still far from being a serious collector’s replica – despite what the name of the company implies.

The model comes in a fancy box similar to more expensive Tecnomodels and BBRs and mounted on a plinth with nice photoetched plaque, but fails short where it really counts – being an accurate replica.

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LS’s B10 has a very good details for a sealed model, and is nicely finished like a lot of resin replicas. But…the headlights are on the small side, the entire front end is somewhat squeezed, which makes kidney grilles too short and front chin spoiler too tall. The rear end is also on a taller side, and taillights appear to be out of proportion. Rear window does not have defroster lines printed on, like Otto. Wheels and tires are better on LS, however. But that is not to say that Otto’s wheels are bad – they are just not as good.

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Where B10 really shines is the interior – from colors to selection and application of the decals, to overall execution – the interior on LS model is truly superb.

Put these two next to each other, and scale issues become really apparent with LS Alpina – it is clearly “slightly” taller than Otto model. Part of it is oversized wheels, part is just improper scaling. They do make a great pair sitting on the shelf, though!

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And then there is the M5… An absolute jewel of a model, truly one of the best “classic” AA Millennium models, in breathtaking Zinnober Rot (was also released in Delphin Grau).

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AUTOart BMW E28 ///M5 - "Shadow Line" Zinnober Red- #75152

I own many scale models, and this M5 is one of my most loved pieces. The prototype, the execution of the model, the heart and soul that went into making this scale piece – is just unmatched.

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Venerable M88/3 is faithfully recreated in scale. Based obviously on European M5 model, this is the same engine AA later put into their equally magnificent E24 models.

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Similar to the M535i, the interior of the M5 is clean and nicely detailed. Natur color scheme is the same like was offered on all US-models, but beautiful Zinnober Rot paint is not – US cars were all painted black.

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Fully carpeted trunk, with first aid kit molded in black plastic on the side, and tool kit on the trunk lid. Excellent tail lenses with great reflectors. Hinges are a bit oversized, but expected from a model released in 2007.

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Full-open, full detail diecast modelcar made with lots of love. The model oozes good vibes!

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The stance, the wheels, the paint – all just about perfect.

Looking at the pictures above, it is easy to see why this model was desired by many collectors, and in a very short time was sold out and became extremely sought after. Coupled with the fact that AA lost BMW license and never re-released this (or any BMW models for that matter) – the prices went up faster than the real M5 could disappear into horizon on an autobahn. I’ve seen this model sell for over 10 times its original selling price on more than one occasion.

All of this didn’t not go unnoticed in diecast world, and Otto decided to defuse the high-stakes market for AA E28 M5 model, and released their sealed resin version. Otto model is based loosely on their Alpina chassis, and looks just as good. Since AA never released black M5, this is a welcome addition and an opportunity for collectors that missed this car earlier to add one to their collections.

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OTTOmobile BMW E28 ///M5 – Black, LMT ED 2000 – Diamond Black Metallic - #OT184

While it is hard to compare a full-detail diecast and a sealed resin model, Otto is a very good release on its own right. No chassis or engine detail, and fewer details in the interior, but it does not look out of place sitting next to AUTOart on the shelf.

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Nearly identical front ends, with slightly “simpler” headlights on Otto release. Wheels and tires are exceptional on both models. Otto has a trunk spoiler not included on AA.

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And that is all we currently have in E28 model lineup. While not complete, it is definitely a good representation of the lineup. All in all, completists need acquire 6 models – M5 and M535i from AA, Alpina B7 and M5 from Otto, Alpina B10 from LS, and M535i from Norev. All others can easily skip Norev and Otto M5 if they can get their hands on AA models and Alpinas. No matter how you want to collect – if you ever get a chance to add any of the AUTOart E28’s to your collection – please do, they are highly recommended.

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Thu Jan 20, 2022 6:54 am

Someone has been busy! Well done, a few AUTOarts there I missed :(

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:25 am

[KRAFTIG] wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 6:54 am
Someone has been busy! Well done, a few AUTOarts there I missed :(
Well, there is only two Autroarts, so if you are so inclined, you can quickly catch up - although, it won't be cheap!
Thanks!

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by Gavin » Thu Jan 20, 2022 11:27 am

I haven't seen pics of the AA E28 for a long time...what a fantastic looking model. I have their E24 M6 & love it & do wish I'd grabbed the E28 as well. My only issue with the model & what kept me from buying it, is I absolutely wanted it to look like the M5 we got here in the US. This meant black (interior color didn't matter to me, but tan would have been ideal) with the killer BBS rims.

So glad that Otto released that combo. I snapped one up, as soon as American Excellence got them in stock.
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by the way...thanks so much for posting these. I can't imagine how long it takes to put together, but I have read every installment & really enjoyed the history & learned a lot.

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:54 pm

Gavin wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 11:27 am
I haven't seen pics of the AA E28 for a long time...what a fantastic looking model. I have their E24 M6 & love it & do wish I'd grabbed the E28 as well. My only issue with the model & what kept me from buying it, is I absolutely wanted it to look like the M5 we got here in the US. This meant black (interior color didn't matter to me, but tan would have been ideal) with the killer BBS rims.

So glad that Otto released that combo. I snapped one up, as soon as American Excellence got them in stock.

by the way...thanks so much for posting these. I can't imagine how long it takes to put together, but I have read every installment & really enjoyed the history & learned a lot.
Thanks! Yeah, Autoarts are simply terrific models. Literally, when writing this, I was looking very closely to find anything wrong with them, and hardly could. Their E24 are also superb, and I will definitely get to them - I have a full set as well.

Otto model is good for what it is - a shelf model. For the price it was originally offered ($65), hard to complain.

Appreciate the compliments. It does take forever to photograph, clean up and format the pic, and even longer to write, proofread, and format the text - but the hardest thing is - it takes forever to collect all the models! :rotfl:

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by Atalante » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:53 pm

Amazing work you did here must have taken a lot of time. These old AA diecast are gold.

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Fri Jan 21, 2022 12:11 am

Atalante wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:53 pm
Amazing work you did here must have taken a lot of time. These old AA diecast are gold.
I think its time AUTOart dusted off some of their old BMW moulds :rockon:

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:46 am

Atalante wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:53 pm
Amazing work you did here must have taken a lot of time. These old AA diecast are gold.
Thank you. Agreed - they did good - one of the reasons these models go up in price as time passes.
[KRAFTIG] wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2022 12:11 am
Atalante wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:53 pm
Amazing work you did here must have taken a lot of time. These old AA diecast are gold.
I think its time AUTOart dusted off some of their old BMW moulds :rockon:
They can't - they lost BMW license and there was apparently quite a riff raff when it happened, so they likely will never make a BMW again.

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