02 December 2022
New Schuco MHI Set Polizei
I guess that, for many of us, 1/32 scale has always had the connotation of Bayko and Britains toy figures. Certainly, it remains the principal scale domain of agricultural diecast models. Yet, as a scale, it sits well within the size ranges when it comes to display and, as far as Schuco is concerned, one which it continues to keenly deliver on, with far more than just vehicles for the farm model collector.
Returning to my roots, as it were, in terms of diecast models, the evergreen Volkswagen typ.2 commercial that has been replicated ad nauseam has been and will, probably, forever be a reoccurring subject. In context then, Schuco’s inclusion of several variations on this theme would appear to have an uphill struggle in eliciting any enthusiasm from me. Surprisingly, then, far from it. There is something about the modelling style and the subject choices of Schuco’s succession of offerings on the theme - and the latest versions - that I find curiously attractive. So much so that I decided to draw on one of two new Schuco MHI (Märklin Händler-Initiative) sets to put under the spotlight. Both comprise a 1950s oval rear window Beetle paired with a contemporary split-window transporter companion model. Both are blue-light themed sets, the first of which depicts German Fire brigade vehicles with the transporter in covered pick-up guise - MHI Set Feuerwehr 1/32 (450774300) and the other with the transporter in van format.
Schuco MHI Set Polizei (450774400)
Without getting hung up on the exacting details of changes, model year to model year, on both the Beetle and typ.2 transporter, lets just focus on the pair as examples of diecast modelling. I’ll start by saying that, as far as I am concerned, very nice examples they are too. I am invariably influenced by first impressions when having models to hand. Impressions that include some sort of emotional or sixth sense vibe that tunes the instinctive reactions. With this pair, and the Beetle in particular, there seems to be an evocation that mixes high quality tin plate and 1950s diecast in styles with a modern level of quality finish in a delightfully curious package. Of course, the Beetle, with its opening engine lid, exudes the 1950s by virtue of its oval rear window, but there is something about the way Schuco manages to incorporate the chrome trim details on these 1/32 and its 1/43 Beetles that is idiosyncratic of its modelling style. In particular, the fine chrome trim window surrounds and bonnet trim both shout “Schuco”.
The dark ‘forest green’ paintwork accented in white of the German Polizei is, in itself, such an evocative colour scheme. What impresses me about this pair is how solid - how dense - the white is. There is absolutely no grinning or bleeding through of the well applied, glossy, overall dark green paintwork on either model. The overprinted “POLIZEI” text, in particular, standing out very clear and very white in superb definition. Unboxing the pair also reawakened an appreciation of how pleasurable small matching sets can be and how comfortable 1/32 seems after being so used to 1/43 and 1/18.