1/24 Volkswagen Golf GTI from Revell UK

1/24 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Revell UK
Catalogue # 07005


The term "hot hatch", a shortened version of "hot hatchback" was a term invented by the British motoring press in 1984 that now has worldwide use. It refers, of course, to the high performance version of any small to medium sized 3 or 5 door hatchback "family car. The history of this type of car actually started nearly ten years before in the 1970s with a long forgotten vehicle, the Simca 1100 Ti, but now 3 cars have emerged over the years as the epitome of the type – the Peugeot 205 GTI, the Ford Escort XR3i and the Volkswagen Golf GTI.


Announced at the 1975 Frankfurt Motor Show, the VW Golf GTI can be said in retrospect to have been the major model to have brought the hot hatch concept to a global audience. The Golf has always been a successful model sales-wise, not only in its stronghold of Europe, but right across the world. The first Golf GTI took a standard small 3 door hatchback family car and transformed it into a high performance vehicle. So successful has the concept been that in every model (or generation) of Golf, a GTI has appeared in the range. The Golf is now on its Mark 6 variant and is forecast to be produced for many more years to come.

Purists will say that the Golf GTI Mark 1 was the best model; however, in the UK at least, the GTI Mark 2 is much more regularly seen at classic and performance car events (below), with its striking front grill and spoiler making it immediately identifiable. For my sins, I once owned a GTI Mark 3 for a short while in 1993, which was always a rewarding driving experience when you were behind the wheel.

Credit and copyright: http://www.matey-matey.com/een.shtml

The latest of Revell's reboxing of older car kits in their "125 years of Automobile" range is a W Golf GTI Mark 2. The quality of some of these releases that I have reviewed has not been great by today's standards, but perhaps because I have a soft spot for the GTI, I was able to approach the model without any negative thoughts. I do not know how old the kit is on this occasion, but it has the feel of a kit first produced around 15 – 20 years ago. A quick trawl on the internet uncovered several old build threads in forums, all commenting strongly on one aspect of the kit, which I will come to later. The kit released now has a bodyshell and 3 sprues in a bright red plastic, along with a transparent sprue, instructions, decal sheet and 4 rubber tyres. For once, the kit does not contain any horrible chromed parts – hurrah!

The bodyshell (below) is a very good shape in comparison to the actual standard car, comparing well from all angles. The slight heaviness of the detailing of the underbonnet area at the front gives the age of the kit away. One slight problem is the sunroof; it is not in quite the correct position, is a little small and the radii of the corners of the actual hatch are incorrect. This will entail a filling and rescribing exercise to correct.



The first red sprue (above) provides the floor pan, binnacle and instruments, some engine parts, the rear halves of the wheels and some detailing pieces. Some of these latter pieces, such as the shock absorbers, aerial, windscreen wipers and rear view mirror lack the finesse we have come to expect from modern kits and the binnacle, with its moulded-in foot pedals, needs some careful attention. The second red sprue (below) holds the interior, major engine parts, exhaust, radiator, front upper valences, rear bumper and some more detail parts. The standard of the exhaust, interior and the bumper is really rather good.



A close-up of the engine block halves and radiator (above) reveals the basic detail given; the shapes are good but the keen modeller will have to augment these areas to bring them up to modern standards. The final red sprue (below) gives the seats, bonnet, front halves of the wheels, suspension, grill and remaining valence parts. The seats are a very good representation of one style provided in the original vehicle and the grill is surprisingly realistic given the moulding limitations. The vents on the bonnet are too shallow and need addressing. The worst area of the kit, and that commented on in the blogs I examined mentioned earlier, is the wheels. They just do not capture the shape or pattern of the originals at all, seemingly being a cross between 3 different styles that were available. There are ways to correct this, but it involves time and a fair amount of skill; otherwise, the modeller may want to source specialist replacement wheels from the aftermarket area.



The tyres (above) are fine and offer a realistic tread pattern. Unfortunately, the age of the kit is again shown in the transparency sprue (below) with its outdated single shell transparency to fit within the body shell, which spoils the interior somewhat. Oddly, the smaller transparency pieces are extremely well detailed.



Finally, we have the brand new decal sheet (above), as ever with Revell car kits being extremely well executed and in perfect register. The pattern for the seats replicates one original style extremely well and shows that good research has been performed in this area. Contacting a Golf fanatic I know with access to production database records, the UK-registered car B911 CFT offered on the sheet appears to have definitely been a right hand drive car, so these decals cannot be used on this left hand drive-only kit.

So What Do We Think?
Although some of comments above may seem a little negative, this is the best of the reissued car kits from Revell that I have reviewed of late. It certainly looks like a Golf GTI and with some extra work, could be turned into a decent model. High on the list of alterations would have to be cutting the main transparency into separate pieces and doing something about the poor wheels. In the end, a nice Golf GTI will emerge.

A better-standard re-release car kit than of late from Revell

Our thanks to Revell UK for the review sample. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit www.revell.eu

Robin Jenkins.