Southwest Model Cars

Bentley Embricos Kit #1

1949 Le Mans 24hrs

by  Rodney Rawlings



Southwest Model Cars are the new kids on the block. They promise a series of classic British sportscars and their first offering is the beautiful Embiricos Bentley which was developed to try to improve the efficiency of the lorry shaped Bentleys of that era.


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Multi Media kit of resin, white Metal, photoetch parts

The Main Body Chassis unit is packed in bubble wrap and the remaining parts are in 5 self seal bags. It is easy to check all parts are present and vacforms and acetate sheet should not be scratched by other small parts.
An interesting account of it's development and ensuing competition history is given in the three sheets of information included in the box. A shame though that a clearer sheet of build advice is not present. All the information required is present but diagrams would have made the build process a little more straight forward. One will need to digest the text, so that the right details for the option chosen are right as there is more than one version possible from this kit. (See manufacturers note).


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Items such as the placement of the rear race number are left to the imagination. There is a picture on Amazing 43 which shows it though.
The body is superbly cast in resin with no pinholes and almost no flash. The internal door detail is cast into the body and is adequate because when the windows are fitted vision to the interior is limited. This fact is unfortunate because nobody but the builder gets to see the superb dashboard detail, (see photo).


The instruments are printed onto acetate which is glued to the rear of the etched, detailed dashboard. The back of the acetate is then painted white with a red line for the tacho. Looks fine, don't you agree?


There are a number of white metal parts including the radiator grille which can be easily burnished to a shine and then some thinned black paint can be run into the grooves to give a realistic look.
When painting the body it is necessary to paint the etched wheels the same colour. PLEASE NOTE, BE GUIDED BY THE PAINT COLOUR INFORMATION PROVIDED. THE COLOUR OF THE MODEL PHOTOGRAHED IS SLIGHTLY TOO DARK.


The windows are of the flat acetate type whereas the windscreen has been vacformed. Two vacforms were provided in my kit and hopefully are in all the kits. I realised later that I had missed the instruction note to remove the centre screen support moulded on the body for strength in the moulding process. I would also advise trimming and bending the bonnet (hood) straps to fit before painting. I didn't, then wished that I had.

The side window frames should be left bright, as PE is.


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The decals I thought were too thick. I had some problems getting the roundel on the radiator grille to settle. In fact it never really did and looks a bit clumsy. If the actual car had a roundel to this scale, cooling problems would have been encountered I'm sure. I would if building the kit again use the decal as a pattern and paint the grille cream and black for the number.
There are no other problems in the building of this kit. Considering the finely detailed miniature which results, it is fairly straightforward, especially for the person who has some experience.


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SWMC promise us a series of 1963 Le Mans Lotus Elites next. I can't wait!
My thanks to SWMC for providing the review sample.

Manufacturers note

Some may recognise this kit from the past as it was originally released by MPH Models about 10 years ago. The instructions we realise are perhaps a little lacking in diagrams and this will be remedied on our next release the Lotus Elite. Future Bentley Kits will have some extra pictures included in the kit. The decal thickness is related to them having an extra film coat and different material to create a satin finish more typical of the period. We would endorse the suggestion to paint the radiator number as even a thin decal would be difficult to adapt adequately to the slats of the grill. Again this is a learning process for us and we are using a different printer for the Elite decals.

We have also decided to produce three different Embiricos kits

Kit 1 reviewed here produces the 1949 Le Mans car.
Kit 2 Has no vents and fixed spats and Ace Wheels to produce the Road car as it first appeared in 1938.
Kit 3 Has the larger vents to produce the 1950/51 Le Mans car and later road car.
This will save model makers having to make alterations to the vents on the wings.
We hope to have the first Elite kits available early in the new year and this should be followed about 2 months later by our next release the original Le Mans De Cadenet. Future projects are the Le Mans Sunbeam Lister Tigers and some Austin Healey Race and Rally Cars.