CLASSIC RENAULT VAN FROM HELLER
Despite the real vehicle’s enduring popularity in France, Heller’s recent 1/24 Renault Estafette is the first mainstream offering of the type… and looks splendid.
Auto modellers certainly have reason to rejoice with Heller’s Renault Estafette.
It is one of the initial projects enabled by the acquisition of the famous French kit company by Glow2B Germany GmbH, in 2019. Two versions have been released simultaneously – a Gendarmerie machine (80742), and a cute baker’s delivery van (80743).
Different vehicle formats mean that the police version, which has windows all around, has its side panels moulded in clear styrene. This is a much neater approach, making the gluing of transparencies unnecessary. However, the boulangerie van employs solid styrene side panels and separate clear windscreen, and cab/rear window components.
A good standard of design and moulding is evident throughout. A full frame-style chassis and engine are present, as well as the entire exhaust system and axle/steering units. The one-piece floor pan has integrally moulded wheel arches and the cab floor, two-part seats with different support frames, driver controls and a detailed dashboard. Rubber tyres fit around convincing styrene wheel hubs.
Thoughtfully, cut-out glazing masks are printed on the instructions, and these can be used as is, or overlaid onto masking tape as templates to create self-adhesive masks. Besides the 1964 baker’s option, kit 80742 can be finished as a plain blue 1973 vehicle with different registration… although with imagination and aftermarket licence plate decals, many different colour schemes could be applied. Two different Gendarmerie vehicles can be represented with kit 80743, both being black overall and from 1964 and 1973, and two bench seats are provided for passengers.
This is a welcome and impressive return by Heller under Glow2B’s steerage, and each kit costs 29.99 Euros. Further information on Heller products is available via www.heller.fr and www.glow2b.de