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Revell Germany BMW Isetta 250

BMW Isetta 250
Revell Germany No. 07030
Model Type: Injection-molded
Molded Colors: Gray, white, clear, black
Scale: 1/16
MSRP: $34.95
Pros: Good parts fit
Cons: Only three parts to front suspension; license-plate decals not opaque enough
Revell-Germany’s 1/16 scale kit of the Isetta is a big model of a small car. When it’s done, it’s about the size of most 1/24 scale cars.

The Germans called it a smooch-ball, apparently, but I always knew these as bubble cars. After World War II, small cars such as the BMW Isetta and Messerschmitt KR200 helped get Germans on the road again.

With only 94 parts, it went together quickly. I used Tamiya’s new flexible tape to mask the two-tone front door, and it worked great.

The only real problems I had were of my own making. I inherited a stash of old paints and modeling supplies, which included Polly Scale (no longer in production) decal setting solution. It proved to be too aggressive for Revell’s decals, smearing part of the logo for the front of the car.

The diminutive 250cc Sachs “engine” is simply represented in six pieces, but there isn’t much room to see it. The engine hatch on the passenger’s side of the Isetta is removable, but only reveals the fan shroud for the air-cooled engine.

The front suspension was a bit of a letdown, comprising three parts. It does allow for poseable wheels, and it went together easily to create a solid assembly.

The interior is assembled platform- style, but is also quite simple. There are two side panels, which attach to a single piece that includes the floor, front wheel arches, and interior rear package shelf.

Detail parts include the three pedals for the gas, brake, and clutch; what appears to be a gearshift lever; and something that resembles an emergency brake lever.

The steering column base fits between the pedal assembly, and includes a movable U-joint that allows the steering column to properly move out of the way as the front door is opened.

That opening door carries a utilitarian instrument panel, which has a decal for its single gauge, and an inside door panel detailed with a molded-on windshield wiper motor gets decals for the defroster vents, a rearview mirror and sun visor, and a handle for the driver to pull the door shut.

The rear package shelf is provided with a two-piece package-restraint rail. A passenger-assist handle on the passenger’s-side A-pillar rounds out the interior details.

All of the chrome parts go on the exterior of the car. They include the bumpers, hubcaps, rearview mirror, headlight bezels (with or without visors), side-marker-light bezels, a gas cap, taillights, and a third brakelight/license plate light.

All of the parts fit positively into their intended locations; even the body-to- chassis assembly was a snap. In addition to the badge on the nose and the instrument gauge, the decals include a choice of several national license plates (no U.S. though) and the plaid pattern for the seats.

The only down side to the decals was the white license plates weren’t opaque enough to cover the black license-plate panels. If I were to do it again, I’d paint the license-plate area white, or cut the plates from the decal sheet and apply them with white glue.

If I were to build another Isetta, I’d make it the basis of a rail dragster. Revell used to make 1/16 scale dragster kits when I was a kid. The interior area would be the perfect place for a Hemi engine with its blower intake poking out through the roof. And those wheel wells would look sweet with a pair of drag slicks tucked inside. 


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