History of BMW in 1:18

General discussions relating to all model brands and scales.
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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:32 pm

ihorses wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:29 pm
[KRAFTIG] wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:40 pm
Nice detail sir. That VICEROY car is just delcious!
It is! Its huge too. All the extra bodywork and gigantic wing sure adds up to the length.
I love the style. Classic racing! :manual:

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by luft911 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:15 pm

Thanks for all the great info and pics . I had the first of my Art Cars ( Lichtenstein ) arrive today and as a total presentation it is very impressive . I haven't unwrapped the cellophane from the glass base yet , but assume the two pieces of glass are bonded in some way with the printed panel sandwiched between them ? Impressive that the lower plate has those rubber feet too . It will probably be another week or more before my Calder and Stella arrive from Europe , but having seen this one I'm really excited for them to come . Really on the hunt for the Koons now !

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:19 am

Cool! Both CSLs are really nice models.

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by Gavin » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:23 pm

I love those Turbos, especially the first 4 you showed. The last couple with the crazy bodywork are awesome as well. I only have the Fruit of the Loom car, but it is excellent.

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:01 pm

While I'm working on a continuation of the 3-series and the voluminous E30 chapter, let's switch gears a bit to the 3-series bigger sister - 5-series.

5-Series

5-Series is a mid-size luxury car that was first released by BMW in 1972. It is the successor to the 4-door sedans of the BMW Neue Klasse and is currently (as of 2020) in its seventh generation, which was first unveiled in 2017.

5-series is the second most popular car in the BMW lineup, and is responsible for significant portion of company profits. By 2009 BMW made and sold over 5 million 5-series cars. One interesting fact – current BMW naming convention (3-digit number followed by letters) started with the first 5-series cars in 1972 and continues, with few exceptions to this day.

For the longest time 5-series cars were pretty much ignored by model makers, and to some degree this remains the case even today. For years, the only models of the legendary Bavarian sedans were two color versions of E28 535i models by AUTOart, with the only M5 in existence also being AUTOart’s E28 masterpiece.

And it is rather puzzling for such a successful vehicle. There are plenty of 3-series models, but much less 5ers. Partially this is explained by the lack of racing versions of the 5-series (aside from several rally cars and an odd race car here and there they were not used much for racing), and overall image as being more of a “family” sedans and not very exciting subject for the model car collectors. But situation has been steadily improving in the recent years, especially with resin manufacturers releasing several highly desirable M5 variants that were never released in 1/18th in the past.

5-Series Generations

E12: 1972 – 1981. Sedan
E28: 1981 – 1988. Sedan
E34: 1988 – 1996. Sedan/Touring
E39: 1996 – 2003. Sedan/Touring
E60/61: 2004 – 2010. Sedan/Touring
F07/10/11: 2010 – 2017. Sedan/Touring/GT
G30/31/38/F90: 2017 – Present. Sedan/Touring

E12

First generation 5 was produced by BMW from 1972 to 1981. Being completely new model at the time of its introduction, designers were playing it safe with the replacement of the beloved Neue Klasse sedans. Final design was penned by Paul Bracq, but it was highly influenced by 1970 BMW 2002ti Garmisch show car designed by Bertone.

E12 cars were initially released as the 520/520i 4-cylinder models (using power plants from the preceding Neue Klasse models), with 525 M30 straight-six engine coming a year later, followed by 528, 530, 533 and 535 models later in the production run.

In September 1976 E12 received a mild facelift. Gas tank door was moved to the side of the car and the taillights were widened. The hood received a slight “power bulge” which followed the lines of kidney grilles, and the dashboard vents were repositioned for better air distribution.

At the end of its production life, E12 could be ordered with “Motorsport” upgrades as a special order on 528/530 models. Upgrades consisted of 25% LSD, vented disc brakes, Bilstein shocks, Scheel or Recaro sports seats, sports steering wheel, light alloy wheels with lower profile tires, and optional front-rear spoilers.

Finally, there was an "official" Motorsport version called M535i, sporting a 3.5L engine with Motorsport front and rear spoilers, Recaro sport seats, close-ratio gearbox and LSD, larger brakes, Motorsport striping down the sides and front air-dam, and M1 steering wheel. It was produced in 1980 and 1981 with 1410 total cars made. The E12 M535i was the hottest E12 and is rightfully considered to be the predecessor to the legendary BMW M5.

The E12 was replaced in Europe/North America by the E28 in 1981, although E12 production continued until 1984 in South Africa.

E12 in 1:18 Scale

For scale model collectors there isn’t a huge selection to pick from, but we are in a much better position today than we were just a couple of years ago. And while the only model of the E12 we have is the “loaded” M535i in both resin and sealed diecast, it is still better than not having any models at all. Hopefully other versions of this great classic sedan will be made in the future. As of this writing, some pictures of the pre-facelift 520 made by MCG (Model Car Group) circulating around the net and due to be released in the first half of the 2020. Three colors are planned.

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Otto resin is typical for models from this manufacturer, and while it is not the best or most detailed resin model, its rather accurate and nicely made. The model is available only in Alpine White. Paint quality is good, decals are correct, and interior detail is above average. Obviously sealed with no undercarriage detail, but solid effort nonetheless.

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OttoMobile 1/18 BMW E12 535i Alpinweiss

For a couple of years, this was the only choice if you wanted an E12, but recently another French model maker Norev released a rather simplified sealed diecast of the exact same car. While some may argue this was a poor choice of prototype as the model already existed, Norev cars were rather inexpensive (to be fair, Otto models were not high-priced either).

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Norev 1/18 BMW E12 535i Silver w/M-Stripe

Norev offering came in Alpine White and Silver with the M-stripes (I got the silver since I already had white Otto), and a couple non-striped variations. At first glance the car was mostly correct in shape and detail, even though it is a very simple model with no chassis detail, simplified interior, and only ok paint quality. Even the wheels don’t steer. The model is rather light and honestly, feels like more like a toy than a model. It looks fine on sitting on the shelf, but if you can get your hands on Otto model, you can easily skip Norev with no regrets. I’m expecting Otto to hold better value anyway.

Few months later after initial release of the 535i with the M-stripes, Norev issued two other colors of the model without M-stripes – in black and bronze (which they call Gold).

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Norev 1/18 BMW E12 535i Gold

Few years after the initial 535i offering, in 2017 Otto came back to E12 and released a nice Alpina B7 S Turbo model in dark Alpina blue with copper-colored stripes based on their M535i model. Overall, it is a very solid model with proper shape and mostly correct details. Excellent wheels and proper front and rear skirts and badging make it a very nice add to the collection – especially if you are a fan of the tuned BMW’s from Buchloe.

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OttoMobile BMW E12 Alpina B7 S Turbo

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Otto E12 models

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The front ends are almost identical on all models, though you can clearly see the difference between Alpina and 535’s. Power bulge on the hood also suggests all of these are facelifted models.

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Alpina rear spoiler is slightly different shape, but if not for the different badging you probably won’t tell it apart from the regular 5er. Wheels on 535’s are identical on Norev and Otto, but Alpina has an inch-up classic Alpina rims.

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Headlights are slightly bigger on Norev models, and 535 badges are missing from the front – though the M-stripe version does have a old-style BMW logo on the air dam that Otto does not have. Otto interiors are way better than plain black Norev models. Alpina even has that classic wood shift knob.

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Full E12 lineup in 1:18 scale

Sadly, there are still no full detail E12 available for 1:18 scale collectors. With tendencies of the manufacturers to release either resin or sealed metal models these days, chances are it will stay this way a while longer.

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:30 pm

Very informative, learned much. Thanks.

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by BavarianMotorWorks » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:48 am

Great article ihorses, one thing that you haven't mentioned though. Norev have placed the exhaust pipes dead centre and Otto have the correct offset.

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:57 pm

BavarianMotorWorks wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:48 am
Great article ihorses, one thing that you haven't mentioned though. Norev have placed the exhaust pipes dead centre and Otto have the correct offset.
Ha, didn't even notice! But sure enough...Sometimes things like that make you wonder what those model makers are thinking - I mean, they surely see these things, and think what - oh, its good enough - those idiots will buy it anyway... I'm just gonna put it right here in the wrong place and go have a beer with my buddies....

Thanks!

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:32 pm

Hello again! Finally I had the time to compile another chapter in the History. Today we will talk about the next "major" series for BMW - the flagship 7-series. Due to the lack of models of the first and second generation of the seven in 18th scale, I'm combining the chapter about E23 and E32 into one. Enjoy!

7-Series

BMW started making 7 series back in 1977, in an attempt to capture the upscale car market occupied at the time by Mercedes Benz and similar big European sedans. While originally a successor to the BMW E3 "New Six" sedan, from the ground-up, 7-series was planned as a flagship car for Bavarian auto maker. Currently in its 6th generation, it is available only in sedan form (both long and short wheelbases), and traditionally is a measuring stick for most BMW innovations and technological advancements, which then trickles down to “lesser” BMW models.

Throughout the generations, Sevens had multiple power plants fitted to them. The first 7 Series was powered by straight-6 gasoline engines, but following models have been equipped with inline-4, straight-6, V8 and V12 engines, both naturally aspirated and turbocharged. Since 1995, diesel engines have been optional in the 7 Series, and a very popular choice for buyers of a power and torque-hungry big sedan.

Unlike 3 and 5 series cars, 7-series was never offered as an M-model (as in M7), but in 2014 BMW officially released a M Performance option for the 7 series, which was very popular. Nowadays BMW 7-series is synonymous with luxury and it is one of the best upscale sedan you can buy. So BMW succeeded in their quest – but it didn’t start that way back in 1977.

E23

First generation of 7 series, code-named E23, was introduced in 1977 and was produced until 1987 – which is a very long time to stay on the production line by modern standards. Penned by brilliant Paul Bracq and Manfred Rennen in 1974, E23 was a beautiful and purposeful sedan. The cars were powered by the classic BMW naturally aspirated straight six engines, but starting in 1983 a supercharged six was available as an option.

E23 introduced a lot of “firsts” for Bavarian company – things such as an onboard computer, service interval indicator, a push-button "check control panel" which would tell the driver about malfunctions, a recording device and complex climate control systems. It was also the first BMW to offer an anti-lock braking system, a driver's airbag and double-link front suspension. All of this set the tone for all future 7-series generations, and has been a trademark for new BMW flagship sedans since.

Up until very recently, there were no scale models of the first generation 7 series made in 1/18 scale. Somewhat surprising, seeing how there are dozens of E24 6-series models made by various manufacturers. That was until in 2016, when Chinese manufacturer KK Scale, a then newcomer to the market, released 3 color versions of the 733i sedan in black, silver, and green metallic.

It was a highly anticipated release in scale BMW collecting world, but the actual release turned out to be a complete disappointment. Not only was the model sealed, it was extremely simplified – to the point that if it wasn’t the only version of E23 in this scale, I would likely not even buy it.

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The proportions are mostly correct, though there are a few awkward lines that were not present on the real car. Outside detailing is very average, with most chrome trim painted with silver paint, very simple lights with visible mounting tabs, hard and disproportionate tires, very subpar paint with visible orange peel texture on it, and foggy glass parts. To make matters worse, there was no chassis detail to even speak of, the model was sitting super high and from any angle it just appeared to be off. The price was only $69 but that was hardly a consolation.

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About the only thing that was going for the model was the fact the it was available in nice shade of green (and maybe photo-etched badges). The packaging was nice box with Styrofoam clamshell-type insert to hold the model. The rest of the model was bad. But up to this day – this is the only release of E23 in 18th scale. Let’s hope that another manufacturer makes a model that does the first generation 7 series justice at some point.

BMW E23 7-series (1977-1986) 1/18 scale model cars

KK Scale BMW E23 733i Black Metallic, Lim. Ed. 1000 KKDC180101
KK Scale BMW E23 733i Silver, Lim. Ed. 1000 KKDC180102
KK Scale BMW E23 733i Green Metallic, Lim. Ed. 1000 KKDC180103

E32

Designed by Ercole Spada and Hans Kerschbaum under the direction of Claus Luthe, second generation 7-series was stunningly beautiful car, and quite a departure from familiar BMW design language of the 70s. From its introduction in 1986 to the last day of production in 1994 E32 was widely considered one of the most technologically advanced cars in its day and set the standard for performance luxury vehicles well into the 1990s.

Available with inline six, V8, and V12 engines, E32 was revolutionary in every way - some of world's first automotive features for passenger vehicles were introduced in the E32: Electronic Damper Control, Traction Control System, dual-zone climate control, projector lens headlamps, double glazing windows, HID (Xenon) headlamps, to name a few.

Introduction of the first V8 since early 60s 501/2 cars, and first post-war production V12 fitted to a passenger car were hard to ignore, and made Mercedes Benz postpone the release of their W140 by nearly 2 years in an attempt to develop a worthy competitor. E32 became a legend among Bavarian luxury sedans, and is still held in high regard among aficionados of the brand. The car was replaced with the third generation 7-series, codenamed E38 in 1994.

In 1/18 scale, the E32 was made only by Minichamps as a 730i variant, but what an excellent model it is! Full-open, full-detail diecast, with a meticulously replicated engine bay and chassis with functioning suspension, carpeted interior and trunk, multi-piece collapsible hood hinges, and photo-etched badges. At the time of release, it was a glorious diecast model.

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The only complaints about the model were poorly executed front headlamps (visible pins holding them in place) and chrome window surround trim, which was done with chrome foil. It looked fine at first, but with time, the glue would weaken on many models making the foil shrink and tear/crinkle a bit.

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The model was released in 3 color versions – Sterling Silver, Titan Red, and Black. These were an instant success, and sold out rather quickly (no information available as to how many were made of each color). Few years ago Minichamps announced that they will re-release E32 in two new colors – Ganite Silver and what appears to be an Island Green (judging by the promo photos), but the release has been postponed several times, and at this point it is unclear if this will ever happen. As such, original issues are sold for a considerable premium on auction sites, in some cases reaching $500+ for a mint boxed models.

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Excellent interior and engine detail, and just look at this chassis! Fully detailed exhaust, front and rear suspensions, and great undercarriage detail.

In addition to the regular road car issue, Minichamps also released César Manrique’s Art Car for the BMW Art Car series as a Dealer only release limited to 3,000 copies.

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Identical to all Art Cars in the series, the model comes mounted on a Plexiglas plinth with its own display cover, packed in a very nice box with included book about the Art Car project and other art cars. Like all Art Cars, it is a special release, and not only because of the packaging and presentation.

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The model itself is improved, better finished, and overall of higher quality (likely due to better QC) than the regular release car. While it still has the same headlight lenses and crinkly chrome foil around the windows, the paint and graphics on the body are of very good quality, the interior is better detail-painted, with cloth-like paint applied not only to the carpeted areas, but also to the seat upholstery as well. Underhood insulation was also upholstered versus simple black paint on the regular release. Small parts were better painted, better detailed and assembled. It’s a stunning model and a must have for a E32 fans.

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General model design remained unchanged, but you can clearly see how Art Car is different from the regular release in so many ways. New graphics, carpeted rear shelf and seats, lack of badging on the Art Car.

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Detail of the the engine is virtually unchanged, but the colors are. So is the underhood insulation which made with cloth-like paint on the art car vs. just black paint on the regular release.

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Wheels are the same on both models, but interior detail and paint certainly not. Flocked seats, different color trim and paint on the dashboard, better overall assembly.

While I’m excited to hear Minichamps might be resurrecting the old tooling, I hope that they would consider making a different version of the car too – a E32 with a V12 under the good would be a treat!

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BMW E32 7-series (1986-1994) 1/18 scale model cars

MINICHAMPS BMW E32 730i - César Manrique Art Car. Dealer Edition, Limited to 3000. #80 43 0 150 932

MINICHAMPS BMW E32 730i - Sterling Silver #100023000
MINICHAMPS BMW E32 730i - Titan Red #100023001
MINICHAMPS BMW E32 730i - Black #100023002




____________________________________________________________

Hope you enjoyed this installment. Next, we will be returning to the 3-series, and the famous E30 model.
Cheers and Happy 4th to all Stateside.

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:04 pm

Wow, well done. Love the level of detail!

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:47 am

[KRAFTIG] wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:04 pm
Wow, well done. Love the level of detail!
Sadly, you seem to be the only one who does. :roll:
Thank you!

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:52 am

ihorses wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:47 am
[KRAFTIG] wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:04 pm
Wow, well done. Love the level of detail!
Sadly, you seem to be the only one who does. :roll:
Thank you!
Sad for sure, I can appreciate the effort! :okay:

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:58 pm

The day has come! Yes, I have finally photographed, edited, and compiled the first installment in a very voluminous E30 saga! This is first chapter of many on E30, as the number of models released over the years is simply astounding. In fact, as I write this, I'm awaiting a package with new E30 models that were just released! How incredible is the fact that a car that first seen light some 40 years ago, still garners interest from model makers today? Anyway, enjoy.

E30 3-series

E30 is the second generation of BMW 3 Series. It was produced from 1982 to 1994 (in some markets) and replaced the first generation of the model codenamed E21. For the first time the model range included not only coupé, and sedan, but also convertible, Baur Cabrio, and touring body styles. It was powered by a range of gas and diesel powered four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines. The E30 325iX model was the first 3 Series to have all-wheel drive.

Development of the E30 3 Series began in July 1976, with styling being developed under chief designer Claus Luthe with exterior styling led by Boyke Boyer. Final design was approved for production in 1979, with production car released at the end of 1982. Visually, the car design was very evolutionary, but under the skin it was quite a different car, with modern suspension and interior, and wider range of engines.

And of course the E30 series is where the famous M3 moniker gets its start. The "God's Chariot", as many fans call E30 M3, was based on the E30 3 Series coupe and was intended to be a homologation special to satisfy the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaf and Group A Touring rules, which required a total of 5,000 cars to be built. It was presented to the public at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show, and was produced from March 1986 to June 1991. But we will get to the M3 story a little bit later. Today, let's talk about non-M E30 models.

Road cars

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Lineup of BMW E30 3-series model made in 1:18 scale resin by Otto Mobile

OTTOMobile

It is hard to believe, but for a very long time (first E30 prototypes produced in 1981) there were no 1:18th scale models of plain-Jane E30 in any body style - not a coupe, or a sedan, or anything really. There were plenty of road-going and racing M3 variants, but no regular E30. For 30-odd years, one of the most popular BMW cars didn't have an 18th scale model. Quite a mystery, really.

In early 2010's when it seemed dust has settled over the E30 M3 battle between AUTOart and Minichamps, multiple newly established resin model makers were trying to find their niche in the overcrowded and competitive 18th scale diecast/resin market. And this was the time when French resin maker OTTO Mobile realized that aside from M3 Coupe and multiple racing versions, no manufacturer has ever made non-M3 road cars.

And they went to work - within the next few years Otto released sealed resin models of 325i and 325is Coupes (cosmetically, these models were identical on the outside, so I suspect Otto just repainted same casting and slapped different badge on it), 325i Cabriolet (late version), 325i Baur Cabrio, 325i Touring with M-tech appearance pack, early 325i Convertible, and just recently a 325i Sedan (as of late 2020). Let's take a closer look at the models:

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OTTOmobile first E30 release - BMW E30 325iS Coupe 1989, in Calypso Red.

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And their latest in the series so far - BMW E30 325i Sedan 1988, in Dolphin Grey.

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Magnificent looking BMW E30 325i Baur TC Cabrio 1988, in Henna Red. With the open top, you could finally see all the fine details on Otto's pretty well made interior.

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BMW E30 325i Touring was a very welcome addition to the E30 lineup, especially in Alpinweiss, and especially with an optional M-Technik appearance package. Tourings are typically not favored by model makers due to their limited appeal, but E30 Touring is just such a good looking car!

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The first release of the two convertibles in E30 body made by Otto - BMW E30 325i Convertible 1993 in beautiful Atlantis Blue. There are quite a few differences between the two releases which I will point out below.

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And finally the second Cabrio release in Agate Green. Excellent color combination on this model.

All regular E30 models made by Otto were sealed resin with non-existent chassis detail, but they were generally very nicely made, and look really good sitting on the shelf. Proportions were generally spot-on, and it was clear that they did their research on the model differences - several minor details that differ on the real cars were faithfully reproduced in scale. Quality control was good, with one notable exception - there were problems with windows being glued slightly off. Paint and decal application were consistently good, and for the price (around 60-70 Euro on average) they offered excellent value.

Here are some pictures offering a bit of detailed look at these excellent model cars.

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Attention to detail is what made these releases from Otto great: they didn't just re-purposed existing molds to create seemingly different models, they actually changed them to represent correct detail changes on the real cars. Just look at the front facias: 4 distinct spoiler designs, different size and shape markets and fog lights, and even proper badge for the specific M-tech bumper on the grill as well!

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Same excellent work on the back ends as well - different taillights for different models, correct spoilers on the trunk lids, even the exhaust tip shape and position was updated accordingly.

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Early and late model convertibles had plenty of different details to look over - additional chrome on the earlier model, with chrome windshield surround, color coded mirrors on the later release, bigger "basket weave" vs. smaller "bottlecaps" on the earlier version, and the additional side marker on the fender.

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Interiors offered plenty of differences as well - from early to late gauge clusters, 3 and 4-spoke steering wheels, to different style and shape shifter knobs and color of the carpeting.

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The differences didn't end there - chrome strips on front and rear bumpers, taillights, tow hooks, and color of the grilles - all showcasing that Otto really put some love in creating these wonderful models.

Somewhere in-between these releases they also cranked out a really pretty E30 M3-based Alpina B6 3.5S Coupe in two colors and E30 Alpina C2 2.7 in Antrazit Grey. They also jumped on the M3 train, and released several versions of the coupe and convertible and couple of the cool rally versions, but we will touch on these later in the chapter once we get to the M-versions.

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Stunning M3 Coupe-based Alpina B6 3.5S in Alpina blue with copper striping.

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Regular E30 Coupe-based Alpina C2 2.7 in Antrazit Gray. Despite relatively large release limitation (2,000 pieces), this was one tough model to track down.

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Bodywork difference were obviously dictated by the model origins. But kudos to Otto for recreating it all in great detail for both Alpinas. The bumpers, grilles, lights, striping - all was done right. If I were to nitpick - badges placement on the B6 seems a bit off.

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Both had famous Alpina-style wheels, but just look at those fenders on the B6. They make the car look absolutely different from C2! Notice the fender markers and body kit on the C2 as well.

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Beautiful duet. Otto Alpina B6 and C2 coupes.

In total, Otto released 6 versions of the E30 3-series (7 if you take into account 325i/325iS color variation), and 2 distinct Alpina cars. All were limited releases ranging from 2,750 units for the first Cabrio release, to only 1,500 for the silver Coupe and Baur Cabrio. All Alpinas were limited to 2,000 units. All Otto models are currently sold out and rather hard to find even on the second-hand market with prices reflecting the supply scarcity. While it is quite possible other manufacturers will release E30 models in the future, unless it is full-detail diecast - it is hard to imagine these would be better than Otto's resin offerings.

Minichamps

Inspired by success of their sealed diecast racing E9s and E89 series, Minichamps decided to release their own version of non-M E30, which resulted in 1982 323i Coupe in 7 color variations, and 7 versions of the same 323i Coupe in various racing liveries.

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MINICHAMPS BMW E30 323i Coupe 1982 in Silver.

Minichamps version was simplified sealed diecast so typical of their latest releases - it almost feels that the only reason they released a road-going version was to justify making the casting so they could crank out several racing versions as well. The proportions are ok (not great) with most notable flaw being the shape of the trunk lid and oversized wheels. Detailing is basic, with sparsely detailed and unpainted chassis (the only painted element is exhaust), functionality is minimal with front poseable wheels being the only movable feature. The stance is ok, but overall model is severely lacking in design quality, with lights attached with visible pins, chrome moldings and brightwork simply painted silver, no brake detail to speak of, painted badging, missing license plates, rudimentary interior detail, cloudy window plastic. Honestly, the model feels like a blown-up 1/43 model. Overall - nothing to write home about.

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Even in these photos, you can clearly see that it was not a premium offering from Minichamps. Even though it has some features that resin models from Otto didn't offer (front wheels that can be turned, some chassis and suspensions detail) it was easily offset by oversized wheels, painted brightwork, and suspect proportions.

To recoup the cost of the development, they released 7 color variations all limited from 702 to 400 units per color with the total production number close to 3,500 models. Some colors are still available at retail with an average price around $100, but can be had at discount too. If you are not "completist" collector, don't have to have a Coupe with oversized "bottlecaps", and can get your hands on Otto's excellent 325i Coupe - this one can is an easy pass.

Collecting E30 3-Series Road Cars

For a full set of all E30-based non-M road-going cars you will need to collect total of 9 models. 6 version of Otto's 325i in different body styles (2 verts), 2 Alpinas, and a Minichamps coupe. If you are not into variants and small detail differences, then 5 main body versions from Otto, and 2 Alpinas should get you covered.

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Upcoming models

As of this writing (late 2020) there are several model makers that have announced, showed prototypes, or even completed models of the E30 3-series. Sadly, none of these upcoming releases are full-detail, premium diecasts. Instead, they are sealed models and judging from the pictures appear to be rather simple castings along the lines of the Minichamps release. So far we have confirmed 3 color versions of 325i Cabrio from MCG, 1992 325i Touring and a 1988 325i Coupe from Norev, all of which duplicate models already released by Otto.

Coupe
Norev BMW E30 325i Coupe 1988, Blue. #183201

Cabrio
MCG BMW E30 325i Convertible 1985, Red. #MCG18151
MCG BMW E30 325i Convertible 1985, Silver. #MCG18152
MCG BMW E30 325i Convertible 1985, Black Met. #MCG18153

Touring
Norev BMW E30 325i Touring 1992, Silver. #183216

Image

Copyright 2016-2020 Alex Kustov. No copying or reproduction in any shape or form without written permission of the author.

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[KRAFTIG]
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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:48 pm

Wow, another brilliant chapter. Great work sir! :clap:

A nice plug for OttOmobile, they really fill in the gaps with some unique and rare specimens. And the price is affordable too if you're into sealed models.

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Re: History of BMW in 1:18

Post by ihorses » Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:27 pm

[KRAFTIG] wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:48 pm
Wow, another brilliant chapter. Great work sir! :clap:

A nice plug for OttOmobile, they really fill in the gaps with some unique and rare specimens. And the price is affordable too if you're into sealed models.
Thanks!
Yes, I'm not a big fan of sealed models, or resin models for that matter - but beggars can't be choosers, as the old saying goes. We have waited almost 30 years for somebody, anybody - to make a detailed E30 diecast, and so far, nobody answered the call. So good on Otto for cashing out on this opportunity.

I feel that if AA didn't loose BMW license when they did, they'd do these eventually in glorious full detail, like their E21 and E28 models. Now they moved on.

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