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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For years, the question ‘who makes the best Miura - aa or Kyosho?’ has been asked. I suspect the subject of this question is now going to be the Mercedes 190E, what with Norev now chucking its hat alongside Aa’s into a W201-shaped ring.

Obviously, there are some detail differences between the cars owing to them being from different years. I don’t remember the specifics dates when Mercedes tweaked the 190, but approximately speaking, the Norev is from 82-84, and Aa’s is from 88-91-ish.

Aa’s 190 has reached near mythical status, fuelled in part by the crazy prices being asked for used examples. You can see the appeal. The detailing is excellent, it’s heavier than the 1:1, and little details like the clear fuse box and the bonnet hinges are lovely.

It’s not without its faults, though. The shape is not correct, particularly the car’s rear 3/4s; the exquisite folds and delicate creases that give the 190 its distinctive shape and stability at speed are too soft on the Aa, robbing the shape of some of its essential 190-ness. Compare too how the base of the A-pillar meets the wing; on the Aa it sort of blurs together. On the Norev, they look - correctly - like distinct parts.

The car also sits too low, while the front grill rises too high relative to the slim headlights either side of it, giving it an usual blend of an 80s era Mercedes with a 50s era Mercedes grill.

Norev’s 190 has, to my eyes, a much better shape. And so it should; it’s at least 15 years younger than Aa’s so benefits from the tools and tech that diecast companies have access to today. I think the door frames are too thick (they are more suited to a 1:18 W124), but perhaps Norev found it difficult to form them to be a bit thinner. Overall, there’s more to like here shape-wise than complain about and that all important rear has the crispness to it that I want; even the rear screen (flat on the Aa) has the correct folds on the side.

However, Norev’s 190 isn’t as finessed as Aa’s. The bonnet has doglegs, which isn’t a biggie, unless you consider the effort aa put into its hinges. I like that someone decided to try and replicate the 1:1’s bonnet hinges and mimic the bonnet in the service position.

Inside - aside from the ridiculously tall front seats and the inner A-pillars that, annoyingly, are not painted, and a steering horn pad that’s too flat - there are other curiousities. For instance, while we don’t know much about the 1:1 this is based on, it has (expensive) electric seats (often an infrequently used option), but no nice day-to-day comfort options, like front and rear armrests or rear headrests to complete that mini limo look. It would have been nice to see those inside at least one of these cars. On the Norev, rear belts aren’t mounted with the same sophistication as the aAs. And I’ve said it before… where does Norev keep finding all these manual Mercedes? It’s made more manual Mercedes than Mercedes has :)

I’m also not sure Norev’s should have two washer nozzles on the bonnet given it’s an early 190 with the twin blade wiper. My understanding is that it only got twin washers when Mercedes upgraded to the ‘jumping’ wiper. I’m also surprised to see that both cars have the under bonnet insulation from the 2.6, and not the 2.0. As that’s a part that falls to pieces (literally!) on the 2.0, perhaps on the 1:1s these are based on it was replaced by the alternative part at some point in the 1:1s’ lives.

Engine-wise, the 1:1’s isn’t much to look at, so you can see why Norev didn’t really bother. But Aa did, and the difference in detail between the two is noticeable.

Let’s talk wheels for a moment. There’s no doubt that a 190 is a pretty thing indeed on a set of OEM alloy wheels. Personally, I prefer the wheel trims. I guess it boils down to what flavour you like your 190 to come in. I like the aerodynamic functionality of the trims, because they’re in keeping with Mercedes’ objective for the 190 to be aerodynamically efficient. I also like them as an act of defiance; in an age when big and brash alloys are all the rage, I love how the essential correctness of the 190’s shape means it has no need for such showy ‘trinkets’. That said, I don’t think either car has captured the wheels that well, which is surprising considering their simplicity. They should have a slight dome-shape to them. Norev’s wheels suffer from having too much sheen to them.

I should say that my aa 190 is over ten years old now. Apart from a wobbly passenger door, it’s as good as it was the day I bought it. I’m pretty sure the Norev will be fine over time, too.

To go back to the question that started this post, I’m not qualified to answer which is the best 190 (in the same way we never really concluded who makes the best Miura).

But I’d say this; if you want a fine example of the diecaster’s art and craftsmanship, then the Aa is your choice. If you want a fine example of a nicely detailed and very accurately shaped W201 at a good price, then Norev’s 190 is the one for you.

I’m chuffed to bits with mine :)

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Scuddy for this great review ! The AA was released early 2006, so it's already 15 yo.
Do you have any idea why there is a bend in the roof on the Norev ?
My pleasure mate :)

the Norev has a bend in the roof just above the C-Pillar because the 1:1 has a bend there, too. Presume it is aerodynamics-related. You can see it here:
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Thorough review Scuddy. 👏 I was looking for a collector to give an unbiased comparison and your post ticked all the right boxes. For its age, the Aa has better finesse compared to the Norev and this is magnified if you look at the pics on the computer than the phone I seen this thread earlier on. True the lines on the Aa are muted and so also the kink on the rear of the roof. On my black AA 2.3L the joint near the base of the A pillar and front fender looks better defined simply because there is a matte black windshield surround. Not so much on the Senna car though or the 2.5L.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you, Winston. As you can tell, I’m very happy with mine. Finally, we have a 1:18 190 with the correct shape. I’m curious to see what this Norev will do the values of Aa’s 2.0 190. Time will tell :)

I have noticed one curious thing inside the car that has baffled me; the roof appears to have two colours, as per the pic below. Plus I couldn’t help but indulge and show a pic of the 190 with its big brother, the S123 :)

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Terrific comparison, Scuddy.
I for one really appreciate your review (I wasn't aware the blue colour had been released yet?)
And as a (re)painter of models that the particles to represent the metallic effect are finer and more scale correct on the Norev.
I would think that potential buyers will not be prepared to pay the wide difference in price to get hold of one of the models and go for the Norev (which is what I intend).
BTW - have you measured the two for width?
There seems to be a difference in size......
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you, Slart. Blue was announced a week or so ago, I think. Signal red is out now too, with a tan interior. I may add another colour… but I’ll wait to see what’s coming next. Width-wise, I haven’t checked (and I’ve just packaged up the Aa! Sod’s law!) but it could be the perspective of the overhead shot that has skewered the width a bit.

I’ll put it out there again; if you want a W201 but you have missed Aa’s and you don’t want to pay money madness for one, I’d urge you take a look at one of these.(y)
 

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I’ll put it out there again; if you want a W201 but you have missed Aa’s and you don’t want to pay money madness for one, I’d urge you take a look at one of these.

Going to check on it now, the more so since we are in the 'black Friday week'..... :>)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Scuddy, a parcel just arrived direct from Norev - containing a green 190E that I had forgotten I had ordered.
Can you believe that someone could so easily forget such a thing?
DUH!!!!!!! :>)
You maddo! That’s so funny. Thank goodness you didn’t order another one! Let us know what you think of it. I like the green one :)
 

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Let us know what you think of it.

I don't have an AA like you for a direct comparison, and I can't see any major flaws in the shape.
Any shortcomings are very small fish, and considering the price, I am more than happy with it.
I just wish Norev would look a little bit further afield for subjects to do a similarly good job on.
The balloon wheel Citroen makes my heart sink, it just doesn't make any sense to have gone through the costs to develop such a model.....
BTW - the green version unique to their site is now sold out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Excellent :) can you check the roof lining on yours and see whether yours has (in your case) a random green patch on it? I can’t even begin to think of why they did that!
 

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Can you check the roof lining on yours and see whether yours has (in your case) a random green patch on it?

Yes it has.
How about your blue version, does it have the same patch in blue?
Did you notice the spare crest and mounting disc under the base?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Can you check the roof lining on yours and see whether yours has (in your case) a random green patch on it?

Yes it has.
How about your blue version, does it have the same patch in blue?
Did you notice the spare crest and mounting disc under the base?
Yep, mine has that patch on the roof too. I have absolutely no idea what that is about; I wonder why Norev did that? To the best of my knowledge, no 1:1 was ever like that. I got the extra crest and mounting base, too. They were placed in a small bag next to the gloves and I overlooked them at first, only spotting them when I put the 190 back.

You mentioned there was a few small things you weren’t too happy about. May I ask what they were? Is it glazing-related?
 

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You mentioned there was a few small things you weren’t too happy about. May I ask what they were? Is it glazing-related?

Only those same things that you mentioned, nothing extra.
Your assessment was comprehensive.....
Not that it matters too much, but did you get gloves with the green version?
I didn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You mentioned there was a few small things you weren’t too happy about. May I ask what they were? Is it glazing-related?

Only those same things that you mentioned, nothing extra.
Your assessment was comprehensive.....
Not that it matters too much, but did you get gloves with the green version?
I didn't.
The Diamond Blue version was a DE, so it came with the gloves and screwdriver. I think I have enough gloves from Norev to support me if I decide to take up a career as a surgeon :)
 
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