1/18 Norev SL500 Vs. AUTOart SL600 Comparison & Norev 1994-1999 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Duo (R129) - Full Review - Mercedes-Benz - DiecastXchange.com Diecast Cars Forums

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1/18 Norev SL500 Vs. AUTOart SL600 Comparison & Norev 1994-1999 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Duo (R129) - Full Review


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#1 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 11:43 PM

Norev Vs. AUTOart...
Since I pulled my AUTOart SL600 out for some direct side-by-side shots as they are both the later facelifted R129s. There is no doubt that AUTOart is the clear overall detail champion here! You can't beat this era AUTOart with regards to engine, interior and other intricate details, they excelled in those areas back in the late 2000s. I love the fully plumbed and detailed motor, actual fender side marker lights and very thoroughly detailed chassis and suspensions front and rear on the AUTOart. Also, the proper hood/bonnet hinges are clear winning details. It all contributes to a really intensely detailed miniature.
However all is not perfect on this AUTOart model, I had to do some 1/1 research here to fortify my knowledge. Some peculiar details caught my attention. Perhaps, this could be to the fact that AUTOart had referenced someone's personal car who hadn't left it completely stock? The sideview mirrors on the AUTOart should be the same shape as the Norev facelift versions, but AUTOart left them as the pre-facelift design on a 2000 model year miniature? However, that is a glaring oversight, that Norev actually got correct. Another issue that bugged me on the AUTOart R129 is, the shape!  AUTOart is known to have taken some creative liberties on a few models, such as the flattened front fenders/hood(bonnet) on their Ford Focus Rally Cars (Compared the 1/1 or Action's model of the same car), then AUTOart's flattened rear fender mass over the rear wheels (Which are shaped oddly as well) on their Honda S2000 (as well as the lower front bumper jutting out surprised me, Maisto nailed that shape better). Also, their Mercedes CL500/600/CL55 AMG/Lorinser from 2001 also have a slightly cheated front fender proportion. Here in this case, their SL600 has reduced mass over the rear wheel and a more flattened beltline. This visually causes the rear end to sag a bit in sideview (as well as the rear suspension is also mounted/sitting slightly lower at the rear than the front doesn't help from causing a slight dragging diaper behind affect. You can see this compared to 1/1 images and my side-by-side views with both AUTOart and Norev models.
In 1/1 reality, what's so strange is, that the more expensive 2000 SL600 has non-projector beamed front lights, whereas the lower priced 1995-99 SL500 has them? Strange. In this case both AUTOart and Norev got those details correct.
Norev, did get their exterior shape more accurately than AUTOart, however, they missed the higher levels of details and is lacking overall in build quality. AUTOart wins in, especially in the overall fitment of parts category. Norev, failed (in my eyes) using decals for details like fender mounted side marker and rear 3rd brake lights versus making a new rear trunk/boot lid with a 3rd brake light hole space for a plastic lens (which AUTOart had done) to save on costs. Details could be better as well as build quality in general. Gaps between the seat back assemblies are really visually bothersome to me personally, they should be almost seamless flush. Especially compared to AUTOart's well executed seats. Another issue is the hollowed out ill-fitting hardtop (It's lacking the interior insulation that AUTOart has replicated to complete the entire roof like AUTOart has done), plus Norev's hardtop's shape is often easily warped from the factory (You will need a hot heat source/blow dryer/heat gun to carefully bend it into shape, where it fits more snugly to the a-pilar and body). Don't even bother thinking of comparing Norev's motor bay to AUTOart's. There is no comparison whatsoever, NONE! Norev has done an admirable job there, but just. AUTOart has a complete motor with wiring here and AMAZING supporting details!
Where Norev excels at is in, accuracy, stance (How far the wheels are pushed out) and rake/pitch (...how high or low a car sits in sideview)! It sits on its wheels just like the 1/1 and the rake is spot on (how a car looks in sideview ride height and angle wise. Stance, is how wide a car's wheels sit from directly front & rear. I am so tired of hearing people "Even on TV" erroneously mixing those two positions up)! Norev's body shape is much more accurate shape and proportion wise than AUTOart's.  You really have to look at the 1/1 images, or if you are a former (or current) Mercedes-Benz Designer such as myself, here. So, you have most likely looked at all of their past products with professional eyes for historical references and are used to them by glancing sight. Also, in particular, the R129 is one of my favorite designs in general. I can qualifiedly professionally say that Norev NAILED IT! That said, if you have both AUTOart and Norev, you are lucky, if you can get the Norev, then you should be grateful to also have it in your collection. It's a wonderful piece at a reasonable price point!

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Norev Mercedes-Benz SL500........
Initially, I wasn't into the facelifted SL500/SL600s when Mercedes-Benz facelifted that platform in 1994. For me, the original was "GOLD"! The only improvement that I liked up until the 1995 was the new wheels, but that was it! All US/CAN cars came with the trunk inserted 3rd brake light (Which Europe got on the facelift).

In 1990, the Mercedes-Benz 500SL immediately became one of my overall favorite cars. Revell Germany made one of the more accurately shaped 1/18th 500SL models. Revell Germany's 500SL was the ONLY one that I felt was pseudo worthy of adding as a 1/18th scale miniature at that time. Maisto's version was a terrible misshaped joke. Not until AUTOart's great and highly detailed SL600 came on the scene in the late 2000s, was there a truly worthy R129 IMO (In My Opinion). I was disappointed with other manufacture's prior efforts.
Starting last year, we could all take a nice deep breath on the 1/18th scale R129 SL front. It was Norev to the rescue for Mercedes-Benz miniature collectors looking for a 1/18th scale alternative to the amazing AUTOart SL600 facelifted version, which I finally pulled out today for shooting my pics for a side-by-side comparison with Norev!  

The Norev 1/18th scale R129 Facelifted SL500 models are a very attractive alternative for those whom might have missed out on the original AUTOart SL600 which has skyrocketed in price over the last 8 or so years.
Norev's R129 does a really good job of quality to accuracy to price ratios in this segment. You really can't beat them here. It's not that often that can find diecast makers willing to produce an upper mid-level fully opening diecast model for under 100 Euros. Norev have done so, and didn't really skim out on their product either.
Norev's R129 models have fully opening body shells with both of their Dealer & Hobby Editions SL500s coming additionally with hardtops and the dealer versions also coming with additional soft tops for display. More on those hardtops later.
So, exterior wise, Norev have really nailed the shapes of both the later SL500 facelifted R129s. I am so impressed, especially with how well executed Norev have done on the interior. All of these models are "PLUSH" and not one detail was overlooked interior wise. One prominent feature on all R129s feature is the safety roll bar that pops up in the case of a rollover, which could also be initialed from the driver with the push of a button. On the later facelifted Norev hobby edition, dealer and special limited edition SL500 miniatures, the rollbar "hoop" all has a wind blocking black mesh that is attached/fixed to the roll bar (statically of course as a miniature replicated feature detail). Norev have done a good job!
Open the hood and view the engine base-plate details on the castings, which is sufficiently or adequately detailed. Flip the R129 over, and the chassis gets even better than the engine bay detail wise, especially in regards to the suspension. You won't be disappointed here.

I really am impressed with the fact how these "mid-price-level budget models" hold up compared to most current opening mainstream models sold in 2020-2021, as well as to the past AUTOart SL600 release!
It's really a lot of quality to value packed into these solid GT packaging in scale. Features for the body, like a working/movable rollbar, opening doors, opening trunk/opening boot with fully carpeted with emergency triangle attached inside the inner trunk/boot lid. Also, realistic shaped wheels with detailed brake rotors, gem like front and rear lights and star/stern mounted grill on a sealed front grille round out a very accurate exterior finish.

Now, all is not perfect. Especially with a couple of Norev oversights.  Norev's ill-fitting hardtops. UGH! Nothing bothered me more than this on these models. Basically, Norev made their tops out of one-piece clear plastic, like the side and front windshields on their models, but painted to match the exterior color. That said, making them in plastic wasn't the wises move, because plastic warps over time, as well as is sensitive to warm and cold climates. As well as the fact that Norev's hardtops didn't fit properly from the factory. Contrast wise, their soft tops seem to fit flush, I don't understand that why one version of a top is fine and the others aren't? So, in my desperation to make my hardtops fit, I almost sanded down the base of my Hardtops to see if it would fit, but better minds suggested using a blow dryer to heat the plastic and then warp it by adding pressure. Well, after a few burned finger tips (even with gloves on) I was able to get a better fitment, not perfect, but better. I think that is a huge minus, if you spent your hard-earned money on a product and then you had to "Fix It".  

Overall, it's a REALLY GOOD solid piece which it makes you as a collector full of sentiment feel good about your purchase(s). At least I did. If you like this design and appreciate how it has endured over the last three decades. Norev is totally worth an add.


I'm really glad and grateful to have these iconic Future Neo-Classic Bruno Sacco designed Gran Turismo Cabrios in my collection. CHEERS!

Begin......
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Obsidianschwarz (Black)...
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MERCEDES-BENZ SL500 1999 - TURQUOISE METALLIC - EXCLU WEB - 200 PCS...
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Before & After Heat Bending Hardtops...
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AUTOart 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL600...
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AUTOart vs. Norev R129s Side-By-Side...
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Make the Best Out of Life!

Feel Free To have a look at my 1/18th Collection Showcase. Link Below Posted Image

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#2 OFFLINE   Florin

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 11:57 PM

Great comparison, so rich in details and pictures! I do have to say that this is a perfect example why displaying the same model/generation of a car from different manufacturers can cause big issues to those that suffer from OCD. I had a pair of Revell 129s - red 500SL and facelifted white SL500 which was replaced by the AUTOart SL600. I see that Norev has a couple pre facelift models available, I think I will upgrade the Revell as it's way off and from your pictures side by side from the front the Norev 500SL and AUTOart SL600 will display fine.

#3 OFFLINE   RSIevolution

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 02:59 AM

Thank you for the detailed photos and the nice comparison. I have a silver autoart and i intend to have a black norev also. This is one of my favorite Mercedes cars ever made. Especially the one with the V12, SL600 and SL73 of course...!
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#4 OFFLINE   juliojaramillo_3jc

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 09:41 AM

Excellent review David!

#5 OFFLINE   tanayast

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 11:20 AM

So first of all thanks for sharing the pictures and the write ups.

Second, GLAD you could fix the hardtop fitment. Otherwise will completely ruin the car.

I have the AUTOart SL600 and from your Norev pictures I agreed the AUTOart is more of a premium pieces. Probably my biggest annoyance with AUTOart is the dashboard colors. But I would LOVE to have the teal facelifted R129 Norev! Somehow the shelf presence is very good and still proper for this grand touring car. Well..... maybe 2nd after the blue prefacelift R129 which is still my favorite R129. And I love Norevís choice of wheels on their R129 releases.

Congrats on these additions and to share them with us here!!



#6 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 01:59 PM

View PostFlorin, on 20 February 2021 - 11:57 PM, said:

Great comparison, so rich in details and pictures! I do have to say that this is a perfect example why displaying the same model/generation of a car from different manufacturers can cause big issues to those that suffer from OCD. I had a pair of Revell 129s - red 500SL and facelifted white SL500 which was replaced by the AUTOart SL600. I see that Norev has a couple pre facelift models available, I think I will upgrade the Revell as it's way off and from your pictures side by side from the front the Norev 500SL and AUTOart SL600 will display fine.
Thanks Florin :nice:  Yup, I couldn't buy any other R129s except for the Revell or AUTOart until the Norevs were released. So, I totally understand the OCD perspective.
If, you add a prefacelifted 500SL, I would recommend the new release blue one! :occasion14:

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#7 OFFLINE   Florin

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 02:30 PM

View PostD N, on 21 February 2021 - 01:59 PM, said:

View PostFlorin, on 20 February 2021 - 11:57 PM, said:

Great comparison, so rich in details and pictures! I do have to say that this is a perfect example why displaying the same model/generation of a car from different manufacturers can cause big issues to those that suffer from OCD. I had a pair of Revell 129s - red 500SL and facelifted white SL500 which was replaced by the AUTOart SL600. I see that Norev has a couple pre facelift models available, I think I will upgrade the Revell as it's way off and from your pictures side by side from the front the Norev 500SL and AUTOart SL600 will display fine.
Thanks Florin :nice:  Yup, I couldn't buy any other R129s except for the Revell or AUTOart until the Norevs were released. So, I totally understand the OCD perspective.
If, you add a prefacelifted 500SL, I would recommend the new release blue one! :occasion14:
Great, thanks!!! I haven't seen the blue one yet but will add it to the list.

#8 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 02:32 PM

View PostRSIevolution, on 21 February 2021 - 02:59 AM, said:

Thank you for the detailed photos and the nice comparison. I have a silver autoart and i intend to have a black norev also. This is one of my favorite Mercedes cars ever made. Especially the one with the V12, SL600 and SL73 of course...!
It was my pleasure! :danke: The black one is really striking with the contrasting caramel interior! :drool5:  You can't go wrong adding it! :occasion14:

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#9 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 02:56 PM

View Postjuliojaramillo_3jc, on 21 February 2021 - 09:41 AM, said:

Excellent review David!
Thanks Julio!!! :danke:

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#10 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 03:48 PM

View Posttanayast, on 21 February 2021 - 11:20 AM, said:

So first of all thanks for sharing the pictures and the write ups.

Second, GLAD you could fix the hardtop fitment. Otherwise will completely ruin the car.

I have the AUTOart SL600 and from your Norev pictures I agreed the AUTOart is more of a premium pieces. Probably my biggest annoyance with AUTOart is the dashboard colors. But I would LOVE to have the teal facelifted R129 Norev! Somehow the shelf presence is very good and still proper for this grand touring car. Well..... maybe 2nd after the blue prefacelift R129 which is still my favorite R129. And I love Norev's choice of wheels on their R129 releases.

Congrats on these additions and to share them with us here!!
My Pleasure Stefanus! :danke:

Now, I noticed that people like Gunther (mcb112) and Albert on Facebook have also bent their, but Albert used hot water, so actually that might be a better way, so that you don't have to burn your finger tips with a blow dryer. :eusa_clap:
I totally am looking forward to seeing your blue pre-facelifted version reviewed and if you can't find the teal one, you will be thrilled, but the other too Dealer Edition metallic blue & reds are nice as well! :drool5: You really can't go wrong with Norev's R129(s)! :eusa_clap:
Cheers! :occasion14:

Make the Best Out of Life!

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#11 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 04:01 PM

View PostFlorin, on 21 February 2021 - 02:30 PM, said:

View PostD N, on 21 February 2021 - 01:59 PM, said:

View PostFlorin, on 20 February 2021 - 11:57 PM, said:

Great comparison, so rich in details and pictures! I do have to say that this is a perfect example why displaying the same model/generation of a car from different manufacturers can cause big issues to those that suffer from OCD. I had a pair of Revell 129s - red 500SL and facelifted white SL500 which was replaced by the AUTOart SL600. I see that Norev has a couple pre facelift models available, I think I will upgrade the Revell as it's way off and from your pictures side by side from the front the Norev 500SL and AUTOart SL600 will display fine.
Thanks Florin :nice:  Yup, I couldn't buy any other R129s except for the Revell or AUTOart until the Norevs were released. So, I totally understand the OCD perspective.
If, you add a prefacelifted 500SL, I would recommend the new release blue one! :occasion14:
Great, thanks!!! I haven't seen the blue one yet but will add it to the list.
Florian, here is the blue one! :drool5:
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#12 OFFLINE   Florin

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 04:11 PM

Oooh, sweet!!! Love it. Thanks for sharing!

#13 OFFLINE   Craig

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 04:22 PM

I think if Norev were to make it with the AMG wheels on it would look fantastic! I love them anyway, but I really do like the five spoke AMG wheels.

The AUTOart is a real classic! I love it, but as you mentioned the shape is a bit off, that's a bit of a shame. I still like the model though!

F**k you Photobucket.



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#14 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 06:16 PM

View PostFlorin, on 21 February 2021 - 04:11 PM, said:

Oooh, sweet!!! Love it. Thanks for sharing!
Yes, that blue one has me wanting it REALLY BADLY! I like all of the pre-facelifted SLs best!

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#15 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 06:46 PM

View PostCraig, on 21 February 2021 - 04:22 PM, said:

I think if Norev were to make it with the AMG wheels on it would look fantastic! I love them anyway, but I really do like the five spoke AMG wheels.

The AUTOart is a real classic! I love it, but as you mentioned the shape is a bit off, that's a bit of a shame. I still like the model though!
Hi Craig! I suppose if they don't, then one could buy the AMG wheels from AUTOart - Spare Parts in Aachen and make a mounting point to fit them on a Norev? At least then you also pic and chose from the four facelifted SL500s already released and make the AMG wheel upgrape with the color of your choice :yahoo:

Yes, AUTOart is a real classic, but that entire shapes librities on a few of their models bugs me. I really am so thrilled when they get the models 100% correct shape wise! All I can say is, that you will be really pleased with whichever Norev that you purchase, but be prepared to bend the roofs on the ones with the hard tops. :occasion14:

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#16 OFFLINE   tanayast

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 08:18 PM

 D N, on 21 February 2021 - 03:48 PM, said:

 tanayast, on 21 February 2021 - 11:20 AM, said:

So first of all thanks for sharing the pictures and the write ups.

Second, GLAD you could fix the hardtop fitment. Otherwise will completely ruin the car.

I have the AUTOart SL600 and from your Norev pictures I agreed the AUTOart is more of a premium pieces. Probably my biggest annoyance with AUTOart is the dashboard colors. But I would LOVE to have the teal facelifted R129 Norev! Somehow the shelf presence is very good and still proper for this grand touring car. Well..... maybe 2nd after the blue prefacelift R129 which is still my favorite R129. And I love Norev's choice of wheels on their R129 releases.

Congrats on these additions and to share them with us here!!
My Pleasure Stefanus! :danke:

Now, I noticed that people like Gunther (mcb112) and Albert on Facebook have also bent their, but Albert used hot water, so actually that might be a better way, so that you don't have to burn your finger tips with a blow dryer. :eusa_clap:
I totally am looking forward to seeing your blue pre-facelifted version reviewed and if you can't find the teal one, you will be thrilled, but the other too Dealer Edition metallic blue & reds are nice as well! :drool5: You really can't go wrong with Norev's R129(s)! :eusa_clap:
Cheers! :occasion14:

Yep canít go wrong with any of these really!!

#17 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 05:09 PM

View Posttanayast, on 21 February 2021 - 08:18 PM, said:

View PostD N, on 21 February 2021 - 03:48 PM, said:

View Posttanayast, on 21 February 2021 - 11:20 AM, said:

So first of all thanks for sharing the pictures and the write ups.

Second, GLAD you could fix the hardtop fitment. Otherwise will completely ruin the car.

I have the AUTOart SL600 and from your Norev pictures I agreed the AUTOart is more of a premium pieces. Probably my biggest annoyance with AUTOart is the dashboard colors. But I would LOVE to have the teal facelifted R129 Norev! Somehow the shelf presence is very good and still proper for this grand touring car. Well..... maybe 2nd after the blue prefacelift R129 which is still my favorite R129. And I love Norev's choice of wheels on their R129 releases.

Congrats on these additions and to share them with us here!!
My Pleasure Stefanus! :danke:

Now, I noticed that people like Gunther (mcb112) and Albert on Facebook have also bent their, but Albert used hot water, so actually that might be a better way, so that you don't have to burn your finger tips with a blow dryer. :eusa_clap:
I totally am looking forward to seeing your blue pre-facelifted version reviewed and if you can't find the teal one, you will be thrilled, but the other too Dealer Edition metallic blue & reds are nice as well! :drool5: You really can't go wrong with Norev's R129(s)! :eusa_clap:
Cheers! :occasion14:

Yep can't go wrong with any of these really!!
Yep, Norev should be cashing in really well!!! :twocents: :twocents: :twocents: :twocents: :twocents: :twocents: :twocents:  :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:

Make the Best Out of Life!

Feel Free To have a look at my 1/18th Collection Showcase. Link Below Posted Image

http://www.diecastxc...wcase-up-dated/


#18 OFFLINE   forza!

forza!

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:32 AM

I'm over the moon with the R129 :yahoo: Of course, the perfect model doesn't exist (oh hi AUTOart Mac F1, didn't see you there :nice: ) but the fact that Norev is making this and pays real good attention to shape and stance makes me a very happy collector!
I jumped on the bandwagon early, buying the 1st release in grey and have recently bought the black facelift. Both are decent value for money and if you're a fan of the real car, you can't really go wrong.

David: Great review as always and a total pleasure to read and get a designer's view on the subject. Keep up the good work!
Dream car top 5 (in random order):
McLaren F1 - Lamborghini Diablo SE30 - Ferrari F50 - Bugatti EB110 - Ferrari 550 Maranello

#19 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:35 PM

View Postforza!, on 23 February 2021 - 03:32 AM, said:

I'm over the moon with the R129 :yahoo: Of course, the perfect model doesn't exist (oh hi AUTOart Mac F1, didn't see you there :nice: ) but the fact that Norev is making this and pays real good attention to shape and stance makes me a very happy collector!
I jumped on the bandwagon early, buying the 1st release in grey and have recently bought the black facelift. Both are decent value for money and if you're a fan of the real car, you can't really go wrong.

David: Great review as always and a total pleasure to read and get a designer's view on the subject. Keep up the good work!
Either of the Norev R129s are "FEEL GOOD" models!! :eusa_clap:  They both had a "Charm" about them. This generation SL takes me back to being a teenager just starting high school. I love this design.
Yes, AUTOart gets a lot more correct, than the very few that they went a bit creative with. So that McLaren is a GEM!!! :eusa_clap:

I REALLY WANT that blue pre-facelifted one...That thing is GORGEOUS!!!!! :drool5: :drool5: :drool5:  I really am pleased with how Norev keeps pumping out better Mercedes each and everytime. They just NEED to start doing full motors and they will earn even more brownie points. Also, stopping with some short cuts, like the decal'd or painted side fenders and trunk mounted 3rd brake light decal. However, that is just nit picking, they have done a REALLY GOOD JOB here! :yahoo: :eusa_clap:

Thanks Forza (Patrick)! I am so bad at remember all of the member's real names out of the 70K plus people registered on here.  :rolleyes:  CHEERS! :occasion14:

Make the Best Out of Life!

Feel Free To have a look at my 1/18th Collection Showcase. Link Below Posted Image

http://www.diecastxc...wcase-up-dated/


#20 OFFLINE   forza!

forza!

    Forza Ferrari!

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 01:47 AM

Quote

Thanks Forza (Sjoerd is this this you?)! :nice: I am so bad at remember all of the people's real names out of the 70K plus mebers on here.  :rolleyes:  CHEERS! :occasion14:

It's Patrick, but that's fine :nice:

Cheers mate :occasion14:
Dream car top 5 (in random order):
McLaren F1 - Lamborghini Diablo SE30 - Ferrari F50 - Bugatti EB110 - Ferrari 550 Maranello

#21 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 01:59 AM

View Postforza!, on 24 February 2021 - 01:47 AM, said:

Quote

Thanks Forza (Sjoerd is this this you?)! :nice: I am so bad at remember all of the people's real names out of the 70K plus mebers on here.  :rolleyes:  CHEERS! :occasion14:

It's Patrick, but that's fine :nice:

Cheers mate :occasion14:
Cheers Patrick!! :occasion14:

Make the Best Out of Life!

Feel Free To have a look at my 1/18th Collection Showcase. Link Below Posted Image

http://www.diecastxc...wcase-up-dated/





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