Shiny star

We tested the Mercedes CLK-Class Convertible (Collection CMD) by BUSCH (art.no. 49405)

das BUSCH CLK Cabrio - ein glänzendes Modell

We enjoyed a breathtaking sight, indeed, when the little dark convertible had left its see-through plastic ‘garage’. Had the BUSCH people perhaps invented a machine that could transform real-life cars into H0 gauge models, just at the push of a button? No, of course this fantastic machine many modellers will have dreamed of at some point does not (yet) exist. But the first impression we got of the tested model car was just overwhelming and goes to show the high standard contemporary production methods have reached.

FrontansichtLike any other model car, however, the miniature CLK-class convertible has to be scrutinised, so it is much more than the first impression that counts eventually.

Even the sturdy box the car is being stored in underlines the aspiration of the manufacturer: Special fixings prevent the model from rolling about; no part of the bodywork can touch the package and hence can’t be scratched or damaged. Therefore, it takes a little bit longer to take the small convertible out of the box (which, by the way, provides you with some interesting information about the product). The sight of the impressive model car lets you forget everything around you anyway: Absolutely realistic-looking clear glass headlights, chrome-plated grille ribs and countless tiny silver prints (e.g. the Mercedes star in the middle of the steering wheel!), brake disks which can be seen through the alloy rims, a free-standing interior mirror with silver facing, number plates with all the individually coloured official stamps (which are legally required in Germany) - unbelievable!

SeitenansichtUnfortunately, the car’s interior appears to be a bit too glossy for our taste, and its light grey colour is somehow dull and, in terms of colour harmony, doesn’t perfectly match the dark green metallic paint.

Luckily, our test sample is in very good condition - a few tiny scratches in the windscreen can hardly be spotted. All the parts fit flawlessly and without any noticeable gaps - the assemblers who work for the manufacturer BUSCH have obviously done a good job.

The dark green metallic paint, in combination with all the silvery applications, gives the vehicle a ‘premium’ appearance, whereas the interior looks a bit cheap. But you can spot most details of the real car and the miniature wheels just look great.

HeckansichtEven modellers who don’t trust their senses and rather rely on the use of a magnifying glass and a calliper rule won’t be disappointed. The CLK-Class model is absolutely true to scale. The varnish which covers the bodywork is very glossy and its metallic particles are really tiny; prints and chrome applications are of high quality. Not only the silver exhaust pipe is a real eye catcher!

We do not understand, however, why a few important details have obviously been ‘forgotten’: Just like the real car, the miniature Mercedes convertible comes with side indicators that are integrated in the exterior mirror housings - but the mirrors themselves haven’t got silver faces (unlike the perfect interior mirror)!

If you think of all the effort BUSCH have put into the production of this model car, the reversing lights could have been highlighted with some silver paint as well. The also missing silver trim that should run along the hood cover does not seem quite as important to us though. Nevertheless, we can’t imagine a slightly higher price for some additional prints would have put off any buyers as high quality modelling accessories are usually a bit dearer anyway. Hence, there remains some room for improvements by the ambitious modeller...

Finally, the wheels of the car are yet another highlight. Design and size of the rims are true to scale and very close to reality, and their colour enhances their lifelike appearance even more. Of course, the above mentioned visible brake disks are the icing on the cake!

conclusion

The CLK-Class Convertible by BUSCH is a high-end model car which impressively represents state-of-the-art production methods. At a High Street toy shop we paid EUR 11.99 for the shiny Mercedes (purchased in March 2006). Although the retail price is not part of our test criteria (thanks to e-commerce the prices for identical products vary too much), we call that a competitive offer for a fantastic luxury convertible which can certainly bring some glamour to your diorama or model railway layout.

 

synopsis*
Packaging (50) 37
Protection of the vehicle (25) 22
Unpacking the vehicle (10) 3
Information content (15) 12
Visual overall impression (350) 320
'First impression' (50) 47
Proportions / recognisability of the real vehicle (50) 48
Closeness to scale, subjective impression (40) 38
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) 27
Fineness of detail (30) 25
Lights (20) 17
Wheels and tyres (20) 18
Harmony of colours (10) 7
Vehicle body (200) 184
Closeness to scale (40) 38
Wealth of detail / attention to detail (40) 36
Fineness of detail (30) 24
Colour quality of the plastic, if applicable: paintwork quality (35) 35
Quality of prints, colour and chrome applications (35) 35
Interior and exterior mirrors (20) 16
Lights (150) 132
Completeness / presence of all lights (50) 47
Attention to detail (50) 45
Closeness to reality in terms of colour (50) 40
Interior / Dashboard / Seats (100) 85
Wealth of detail / attention to detail (40) 35
Fineness of detail (40) 33
Steering wheel / handle bars (20) 17
Wheels (150) 135
Closeness to scale (50) 35
Wealth of detail / attention to detail (40) 45
Fineness of detail (40) 37
Colour quality of the rims (20) 18
Gesamtwertung: sehr gut 893
(max. 1000)

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

Tested October 2006     German flag   © Volker Labitzke - www.tiny-world-BIG.com - please visit our  main page