Big boob?

We tested the BMW 2002 Convertible by BUB (art.no. 08450)

ein Mann hält dem Cabrio eine Einstüte hin

Herpa, Wiking, Busch, Rietze, Brekina - all these brands have been well-established on the German model car market. But especially younger model enthusiasts might not be familiar with the name Bub (pronounced like ‘boob’). Once a famous manufacturer of die-cast car miniatures, the company experienced some financial difficulties in the early 1960’s and finally had to stop production.

Eventually, the brand was brought back to life in 2002; the company ‘Premium ClassiXXs GmbH’ is responsible for the production of model cars, whereas the Nuremberg based ‘NZG-Modelle GmbH’ takes care of their distribution. According to the manufacturer their main goal is not mass production, but to contribute to the market by making high quality collector’s miniatures.

Frontansicht For our test we bought the recently released BMW 2002 convertible. Being part of a limited edition (1,000 cars), the ‘fjord metallic’ blue model cost us EUR 13.90. The real car was built from 1967 - 1971 (about 2,000 cars) by former convertibles specialist Baur.

Our first impression of the tiny but rather heavy metal model car is good: The metallic paint contains very fine particles and has been evenly applied, although we would have appreciated a glossier appearance. Plenty of ‘chrome’ applications please the eye.

The multi-coloured front and tail light units look realistic and help to recognise the model as a BMW 2002.

By contrast, the interior could be much more detailed. Other model makers have proven what’s possible nowadays, bearing in mind that open-roofed cars allow a closer look inside. Unfortunately, the single-coloured dark blue interior doesn’t quite match the icy tone of the bodywork. The matt black soft-top cover shows some rather glossy patches - maybe they were caused by a less careful worker while packaging the model. Apart from that, the BMW was assembled properly; minor gaps between the bodywork and the side windows do not really strike the eye.

All in all, the nippy little car seems to be a bit too big for a true to scale model. Especially the huge rims seem to belong to a 21st century car rather than a small 1960’s BMW. But before dealing with the wheels we’ll have a closer look at the body first.

Draufsicht Measuring the model proves us right eventually: its scale is approximately 1/84.5 and not 1/87 - the car is too long, too wide and too high! We haven’t seen such a huge discrepancy between the required size and the actual size of any other recently produced model car yet; on the contrary, other manufacturers put a lot of effort into building their models absolutely true to scale in order to make them fit perfectly in any H0 scale environment and match even products made by other companies.

Further examination of the bodywork shows that Bub have apparently paid attention to detail, so there is not much for us to moan about. Of course, the gaps between doors and bodywork are usually smaller when a model is made from plastic (die-cast lovers obviously have to be a bit less pernickety...) and the silver fuel tank cap is a little too close to the tail end of the vehicle, but ‘chrome plated’ door handles, trim strips and wipers are quite impressive, you will even find authentic BMW badges on bonnet (black, white and blue print) and boot lid (tiny blue blot) as well as a realistically shaped exhaust pipe.

Nevertheless, we cannot understand why the car does not come with any outside and inside mirrors (apart from the one in the passenger sun visor). Anyway, in this respect the model enthusiast’s spare parts box should produce some relief.

At least, the manufacturer paid a lot of attention to the convertible’s light units. Apart from the number plate lamp which would sit on top of the rear bumper, nothing is missing, and all the lights are coloured red, orange or silver, just like on the real car - fantastic! We could spend hours looking at the black grille (it comes with silver BMW ‘kidneys’) with its embedded head lights...

As mentioned above, the car’s interior is a bit disappointing. While the satin-gloss seats with their realistic stitching look fairly good, (depending on your angle of vision) you can see the ground below the car because of the missing door panels. Thus the inside of the doors is not really a feast for the eyes either.

Heckansicht Unfortunately, the pretty big steering wheel leaves much to be desired. It looks rather plump and is not at all perforated, although the manufacturer Bub managed at least to preserve the typical character of the real car’s three-spoke steering wheel.

Finally, we have to have a closer look at the wheels of the BMW convertible. The silver gloss of the rims is pleasant and realistic. Having said that, there’s not much that finds our approval. The fine tread pattern of the tyres is a nice detail, but when the car stands in front of you this can hardly be seen anyway; you would have to lift the model to discover the tread.

While the tyre size of the real car used to be 165/13, the tested product unnecessarily boasts 16 inch rims, a wheel dimension that would suit a modern Volkswagen Golf V but has no place on a small 1960’s car. And even worse, the wheels have been fixed with 5 nuts instead of 4. So we are sure that the ambitious modeller will look for some replacement wheels from other model cars.

Blick von hinten rechts

conclusion

The BMW convertible by Bub is a model car full of contradictions: Unbelievable attention to detail regarding the bodywork comes with a rather slapdash design of the interior and a noticeable ignorance to the H0 scale. Using our points score system, this well-balanced coexistence of good and bad qualities can only lead to one verdict: average.

 

synopsis*
Packaging (50) 38
Protection of the vehicle (25) 22
Unpacking the vehicle (10) 5
Information content (15) 11
Visual overall impression (350) 301
'First impression' (50) 42
Proportions / recognisability of the real vehicle (50) 46
Closeness to scale, subjective impression (40) 34
Condition / intactness of the model (30) 28
Fitting accuracy / flawless assembly (30) 28
'Look-and-feel' / subjective impression of the model quality (40) 37
Wealth of detail / attention to detail (30) 26
Fineness of detail (30) 26
Lights (20) 16
Wheels and tyres (20) 12
Harmony of colours (10) 6
Vehicle body (200) 141
Closeness to scale (40) 20
Wealth of detail / attention to detail (40) 34
Fineness of detail (30) 24
Colour quality of the plastic, if applicable: paintwork quality (35) 31
Quality of prints, colour and chrome applications (35) 32
Interior and exterior mirrors (20) 0
Lights (150) 133
Completeness / presence of all lights (50) 47
Attention to detail (50) 42
Closeness to reality in terms of colour (50) 44
Interior / Dashboard / Seats (100) 50
Wealth of detail / attention to detail (40) 18
Fineness of detail (40) 25
Steering wheel / handle bars (20) 7
Wheels (150) 92
Closeness to scale (50) 20
Wealth of detail / attention to detail (40) 20
Fineness of detail (40) 34
Colour quality of the rims (20) 18
Gesamtwertung: durchschnittlich 755
(max. 1000)

*Find out more about the test criteria for model vehicles here.

Tested April 2007     German flag   © Volker Labitzke - www.tiny-world-BIG.com - please visit our  main page