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More Heller kits


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#1 T54

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 02:45

Just for the fun of it, and because someone asked me, I scanned more of the original drawings of the 1960s and early 1970s French Heller car kits. All these drawings, used for making the patterns and molds of the actual kits were sketched then drawn strictly from the few pictures we were able to gather, by hand and using a pen and india ink, generally from a single measurement such as wheelbase of overall length. Not quite today's CAD... :lol:

Here is one that was unfortunately never issued, the MATRA 650, and it is really too bad because it would have made a lovely kit:

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These are the kit parts as they were supposed to be:

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I am still crying about that one, I always loved that car.

Here is one that was issued, but in its later "K" version. I would have preferred the wild look of the Langheck, but by the time the molds were ready to be cut, the car had changed:

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One that was not issued for whichever reason was this Porsche 911R, later issued by other companies. This is the only one of which I still have the actual original vellum drawing:

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This one is well known and was re-issued by a Japanese company several times, from molds leased from the Heller company:

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The kit ended up nicely, here is one I put together for adverts in 1968:

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This is the great little Renault R8 Gordini 1300, a really fun car that put Minis to shame:

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The kit rendered the car very realistically, complete with Delta Mics alloy wheels and little fiberglass flares over the front wings:

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More later... if anyone cares. :)

Edited by T54, 04 May 2010 - 00:39.


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#2 Rob Miller

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 08:15

Please - I care.

#3 brucemoxon

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 09:40

Me too.

And I'd never heard of an R8 kit before. Now I'm all keen on getting one. Pardon me - off to Ebay.




Bruce Moxon

#4 werks prototype

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:42

More later... if anyone cares. :)


Definitely :up: It is a real shame about the Matra, was there no similar approach by a company to lease the molds?

#5 T54

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 19:06

Problem is, the MATRA molds were never made. I got paid for the work, but for unknown reasons to this day, the model, as well as that of the MS80 F1 below, was set aside and replaced by something else.

MATRA MS80 3-view basic drawing:

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Here is one that was issued, a really nice kit of the Lotus 49B:

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Another, the Brabham BT26, this one made a great kit too:

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And a little india-ink wash I did for the 1970 Heller catalog:



The Brabham kit was later changed to the more politically-correct rear wing after the Montjuich Park Lotus uh, double incident. It can be seen here on a 1980s catalog page years after their first editions:

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Here is the basic drawing I did in 1969 of the Ferrari 512, I was quite happy with that kit:

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Regards,

T54






#6 werks prototype

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 20:53

I believe these drawings would also go down very well in the Cutaway Drawing/Artist thread. Really wonderful stuff :up:

#7 T54

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 00:42

Thank you.
I am afraid that I am pale material compared to the incredible talent of Tony Matthews...

The Porsche 911R drawing did not show up at first in my first post, it is there now. Sorry for the goof.
Regards,

T54

#8 Hamish Robson

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 10:42

I built the 49B kit years ago and, yes, it was very nice. Very hard to get the front ride height correct though.

Lovely to see these old drawings!

#9 SWB

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 10:51

Yes, more!

Heller kits were always the most exciting for a car mad kid!

Steve


#10 TooTall

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 20:29

I'm pretty sure I have a couple of those kits stashed away someplace along with several 1/12 Tamiyas.

Kurt O.

#11 312f1

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 12:41

I still remember my cursing as a 16 year old trying to make the exhausts of the 512S stay in place and in shape without them sticking to my fingers... Not to mention my dilemma as to which version of the GT40 I should opt for. There were several engine and body possibilities in that damn kit!

Edited by 312f1, 06 May 2010 - 12:47.


#12 T54

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 01:09

Sorry! :)
In fact the GT40 kit was not really Heller but a re-packaged American kit, I believe IMC.

I also did a lot of aircraft stuff for Heller, mostly French WW2 fighters and bombers. Here is the drawing for the assembly of the Morane 406, the equivalent to the Hawker Hurricane in Frogland:

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Also here is a complete set for a pretty twin-engine aircraft:

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And the one for the 1967 Alpine-Renault A210, the very first model kit I ever designed, I was a puppy in this art form then...:

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And the original issue of the kit:

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:)







#13 philippe7

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 05:56

Great memories here, as a kid I built the Heller A210, the R8 Gordini and also the Porsche 907 ( and also the Renault R16, but I don't think you're guilty of that one, T54  ;) )

Sadly when I left home for university studies, my youger brothers used them as toys and my parents threw away the remnants before I realised what had happened ..... even my small collection of Solido 1/43 models, and those lovely Super Champion 512, 917 and T70's suffered the same fate :(

#14 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 07:07

Thankyou T54. Great stuff. Brings back memories. Please continue!!

By the way, who did the original box art?

#15 T54

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 02:12

It was a combination between Paul Lengelle and myself. Paul was more specialized in boats and aircraft, so I made an outline in pencil of the cars and he painted over it. He was really good. The Aline A210, I did mostly myself, all the others, I just did the outline. Later, another artist took over for the cars, beginning with the Ferrari 512.

Philippe7, sorry that your kits were thrashed... it is heart breaking.
So that you know, a new book is being published soon in France about the history of Heller, and this is the reason why I had to scan all this stuff, because I hold the ONLY surviving archive!
Everything was thrown away during the various moves and change of company ownership since 1970. Very sad.

Here is an india-ink wash I did of the Brabham BT26 and of the McLaren M5 for the 1970 catalog:

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In the 1970 catalog:

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And the McLaren basic plans:

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And the only surviving (and rather poor) document showing the detail of the kit parts:

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I had a great time and learned a lot. Later, when I went to work for the Cox model company in the USA, all what I learned at Heller helped a lot!
There was no school teaching this kind of stuff... you HAD to be a model kit enthusiast so as to comprehend how they needed to be, the molding process, the parts minimal draft so that they would come out of the mold, and the enormous costs involved, before CNC automatic machining and CAD design.
Guys like me had all the fun!

:)

Edited by T54, 08 May 2010 - 02:13.


#16 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 07:37

T54 , your story is very interesting , as are the drawings....great stuff, thanks a lot !

#17 312f1

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 08:01

Were you also involved in Heller's motorcycle kits?

#18 T54

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 14:08

Yes, those were the last kits I did for the company.


#19 312f1

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 09:57

Yes, those were the last kits I did for the company.


I have the Laverda sfc still unfinished 35-odd years later...
They didnt do much at the same level after that period, did they?

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#20 T54

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 01:17

Nope. The guys who followed me probably had no love for the job I think.
I worked for the Cox company in California after that and it was the best job I ever had. I designed toy trains, airplanes, gas-powered cars, slot cars... it was so much fun! I also kept some drawings from that. And they let me race my bikes too, even making parts for me in the model shop... :)

#21 Barry Boor

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 08:48

I had that Heller McLaren kit and built it up as the Vic Elford Antique Automobiles car.

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I sold it on Ebay for £5.50!

I also had the Alpine kit, which I never built. I thought I sold it but cannot find it on my Ebay Sales spreadsheet so maybe it's still in the loft.

#22 T54

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 15:03

:lol:
No respect for authentic plastic nowadays... :smoking:
It is a funny thing, these plastic model kits. If mint, un-assembled in their original box, they bring good money. You assemble them into a decent model and they loose nearly all their perceived value... ):



#23 paulhooft

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 16:53

Back in the 60's I had a Brabham F3: it was a very detailled, but difficult kit.
I build a Bugatti Type 50, but never finished the Hispano Suiza.
Always found the Heller kits a bid complicated...
That Renault 4 was nice!
Somewhere down here, there still is an unbuild Lotus Ford 49, a Porsche 017 and a 1969 McLaren..
Paul

Edited by paulhooft, 19 May 2010 - 16:54.


#24 T54

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 02:12

Paul,
I sold the intact kits I had a few years back and now regret it... I also had some neat test shots of these kits in different colors than that of production, and most went to Japan. Oh well, I can't take them with me anyway when I croak, and I have enough toys for the rest of my days, so that's the way it is... :)

#25 werks prototype

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 02:57

Couldn't the different coloured test shots have been included for reference in a non-slot car area of the slot car museum? (Oxymoronish as it sounds) Or better still a kit museum, if such a thing exists? (I realise I am now rubbing salt into the wounds here, sorry)

Edited by werks prototype, 20 May 2010 - 02:58.


#26 T54

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 12:49

Yeah, well, I sold all this stuff before the museum was even a project... and I had too much stuff and not enough room! :well:


#27 werks prototype

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 13:04

Yeah, well, I sold all this stuff before the museum was even a project... and I had too much stuff and not enough room! :well:


I see, well, thanks for sharing all this material and direct experience with us. :up:

#28 T54

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 17:42

My pleasure. If you like old toys and memorabilia, you can always keep an eye on my TOY WEBSITE (large and small) that gets updated and improved regularly. :)
Regards,

T54

#29 paulhooft

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 15:49

I just found back the box and instructions of the Heller Couzinet Arc en Ciel (Rainbow) plane of the very famous French pilot Jean Mermoz!
This is a real Gem:
I'll make a scan of them and post them later.. :clap:
Paul


#30 T54

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 18:26

"l'Arc en Ciel III" (the Rainbow) from the Saint Louis to Natal flight in 1932... and indeed a beautilyl aircraft. These kits were a bit crude, remoniscent of the early Aurora model kits, but this was the beginning for Heller, and the assembled model is still a gem.
The history of Rene Couzinet is a sad one, as he ended his life himself after failing in business in Brasil.

#31 paulhooft

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 16:56

Somewhere, Over the Rainbow


C'est une Arc en Ciel!

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Paul

#32 Cavalier53

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 19:50

T54,

I have the Matra F2, the GT40 and the 908 unfinished since ages.

I also later obtained an un-built (100 % complete) Japanese kit issued in a French box of a Renault R8 Gordini, with all documentation, with plastic wheel arches and Deltamics! I never realised that must also be Heller's - sorry yours!

Fantastic detail, only minor differences with my 1:1 steel 1964 model. Mostly because that's not a Gordini and has the steel 13" poor-mans sports wheels of which the brand escapes me right now, some Ferry stuff and just one twin Weber. Recently found original Cosmic track enlargement set, I believe those are really rare, nice improvement running the 15" wheels.

So which one to make road-worthy first? The 1:24 or the 1:1 model?

Jan.




#33 scran

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 00:57

I'm in the process of building both the McLaren M7 and Brabham BT33 kits (1:24th scale)..................

#34 David Lawson

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 08:22

Phillipe

Did Heller release a BT26, I thought they only released the 33.

I have the Lotus 49B, McLaren M7A and Brabham BT33 unbuilt in their boxes in my model-making room as we speak. I also have boxed and unbuilt, the Union Model release of the Porsche 907/8, Porsche 917K and Ferrari 512S are these Heller moulds or Protar as I also have the 512S released by Protar so I'm not sure who was leasing who the moulds.

A great pity the MS80 was never released.

David

#35 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 14:42

Phillipe

Did Heller release a BT26, I thought they only released the 33.

I have the Lotus 49B, McLaren M7A and Brabham BT33 unbuilt in their boxes in my model-making room as we speak. I also have boxed and unbuilt, the Union Model release of the Porsche 907/8, Porsche 917K and Ferrari 512S are these Heller moulds or Protar as I also have the 512S released by Protar so I'm not sure who was leasing who the moulds.

A great pity the MS80 was never released.

David


David, I believe the Union kits from Japan used the Heller moulds. Protar did 1/12 kits for their first years, before moving to 1/24 around 1985.


#36 David Lawson

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 19:48

Thank you for the info.

David

#37 T54

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 22:51

David,
I believe that they did release the "26", but it was shortly upgraded to the later wings and bombarded "33". I will have to verify this because... it's been a while! :)
Please keep building those wonderful slot cars that you do, they are marvelous and make my day every time you show us one.


#38 Barry Boor

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 07:34

Hear, hear!

#39 Kevan

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 12:37

I also did a lot of aircraft stuff for Heller, mostly French WW2 fighters and bombers. Here is the drawing for the assembly of the Morane 406, the equivalent to the Hawker Hurricane in Frogland:


Fascinating to see the original artwork for these- Like a lot of British kids I cut my modelmaking teeth on Airfix in the mid-70's, but I certainly remember encountering Heller kits for the first time, and a whole world of unfamiliar subjects that Airfix didn't make. Think my first Heller kit was the Polish PZL P-11:
http://www.studio-ma...e.com/PZL11.htm

Trouble was, none of the local toy/model shops in my small town ever seemed to stock them, so I never got round to building that many- they were something a bit out of the ordinary that I got on days out and holidays- I certainly never did any of the race cars you've shown.
I do remember a school trip to France in the early 80's and finding a French model shop (in Dieppe I think?) for the first time- pure heaven for a 14-year-old model aircraft fanatic, kits I'd never even seen before, let alone built- I could have spent a fortune!

Edited by Kevan, 03 September 2010 - 12:38.


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#40 T54

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 15:36

Kevan,
Now you can buy them all over eBay in France, the USA, the UK and even Japan, and most are rather cheap. :)

#41 rallen

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 17:22

Sorry to ask guys but can someone post some links of sites to get Heller kits that you recomend? thanks!

#42 Alan Cox

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 16:35

Sorry to ask guys but can someone post some links of sites to get Heller kits that you recomend? thanks!

A couple currently available from the UK
http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=item45f56ab2e5
http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=item45f56aaee5

#43 T54

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 20:14

Alan,
Thanks for the tip, I bought both since I no longer had them. :)

T54

#44 Alan Cox

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 19:28

Alan,
Thanks for the tip, I bought both since I no longer had them. :)

Glad you were successful, Phillipe - and the only bidder, too! I don't know if you have had a look at the same vendor's other items as he currently has some fascinating 'mint and boxed' examples which were pretty obscure in the UK at the time they were released.

#45 T54

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 03:27

Yes, I saw them, but my house is going to burst at the seams if I get back in model kits... I have to hide my Marklin trains from my wife in my storage lockup at this time... :lol:
Besides, I have to repair whatever is wrong on the Coventry-Climax engine on my old Cooper for next year's events, and that's going to take care of the disposable income for a while... :(

#46 Aero426

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 17:54

Years ago, I bought an AMT dual kit containing a Porsche 907 and Ferrari P car. Can anyone confirm if these are repackaged Heller kits? I love the box art.

#47 T54

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 18:31

Yes, they are. You can see the story of how it happened on my website HERE.
I was young then so please forgive the few mistakes you may find... :blush:

#48 Aero426

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 02:33

Yes, they are. You can see the story of how it happened on my website HERE.
I was young then so please forgive the few mistakes you may find... :blush:


Thank you, an enjoyable read.

#49 T54

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 17:03

I got the kits I bought from the UK, but all but two are later re-issues with newer, larger boxes. Still, it is nice to have them back! As soon as I reach total geriatric age, I'll put them together for the heck of it. :)

#50 paulomartino25

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 12:28

I've just found this thread now and I'm wondering if anyone might have either the Heller Brabham or Lotus 49 for sale? Apologies if I should have posted this in a "wanted /for sale" thread,
Thanks in advance,
Cheers,
Paul