Italeri 1/24 Ford Escort RS-1800 Mk.II Kit 3655
The Ford Escort is a small family car which was manufactured by Ford Europe from 1968 to 2004. The Ford Escort name was also applied to several different small cars produced in North America by Ford between 1981 and 2003. In 2014, Ford revived the Escort name for a car based on the second-generation Ford Focus sold on the Chinese market. The Mark I Ford Escort was introduced in the United Kingdom at the end of 1967, making its show debut at Brussels Motor Show in January 1968. It replaced the successful, long-running Anglia. The car was presented in continental Europe as a product of Ford’s European operation. Escort production commenced at the Halewood plant in England during the closing months of 1967, and for left hand drive markets during September 1968 at the Ford plant in Genk.
Initially the continental Escorts differed slightly from the UK built ones under the skin. The front suspension and steering gear were differently configured and the brakes were fitted with dual hydraulic circuits; also the wheels fitted on the Genk-built Escorts had wider rims. At the beginning of 1970, continental European production transferred to a new plant on the edge of Saarlouis, West Germany.
The Escort had conventional rear-wheel drive and a four-speed manual gearbox, or three-speed automatic transmission. The suspension consisted of MacPherson strut front suspension and a simple live axle mounted on leaf springs. The Escort was the first small Ford to use rack-and-pinion steering. The Mark I featured contemporary styling cues in tune with its time: a subtle Detroit-inspired “Coke bottle” waistline and the “dogbone” shaped front grille – arguably the car’s main stylistic feature. Similar Coke bottle styling featured in the larger Cortina Mark III (also built in West Germany as the Taunus) launched in 1970.
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About a month ago we received the upcoming releases from Italeri Models and Hobbico. The new Italeri 1/24 Ford Escort RS1800 Mk.II was in the lot and my JDM roots started to germinate again. Japanese imports have been great sellers in Puerto Rico but unfortunately American compacts were always looked with second and thirds thoughts. IIRC, the engineers at Toyota spent some time in the island and designed their 80-83 Corolla around our geographic needs and that’s how they marketed the car back then myself being the proud owner of one (sedan) back in ’82. I love the ”boxy” designs from back in the day. The Ford Escort resembles very much the Datsun B210, Toyota Corolla and even the Subaru of the time. The trend of ”boxy” designs continued well into the mid 80’s almost 90’s. We had the Corolla sedan and 4 doors and along came Nissan with their Sentra. Next came Mazda with their GLC model which also sold in Puerto Rico by Ford under the LASER badge. I had a GLC while my mother had the Laser. They were pretty much the same with little cosmetic changes on the front grill and stop lights. The electronic sunroof was reserved for the Mazda. They shared even the same aluminum wheels but if you wanted sun/moon roof you had the go Mazda. The sunroof was a sedan accessory while the moon roof was for the more affordable 3 doors hatchback version.
Well, enough with my back to the past trip. This kit comes in 92 parts with a couple of them not to be used. The molding is very good considering the age of the tooling. Much better than the Lamborghini Countach and Lancia Stratos in *my* opinion.. All the parts fall onto plate with no fit issues whatsoever. There is the usual mold line to be cleaned but other than that, no other problems to write home about.
PAINTING THE ITALERI FORD ESCORT RS1800 Mk.II
I used Tamiya TS-26 Pure White for the base color. Testors Spray Flat Black for the interiors and Metalizer Aluminum plate lacquer for the engine cover. The kit comes with high quality decals and responded very well to Walthers Solvaset. You will need a strong decal setting solution for those graphics of the rear wide fenders.
Although they are not pictured here, the kit also provides belt buckles and the instructions have them marked as ‘not to be used’. I will be of course taking as a side job the making of the safety belts. It would be a shame not using them. I already used Molotov liquid chrome and they look fantastic..
Having said that, the body is not cemented to the chassis yet because I will revisit this model’s seat belts. I love the kit, kudos to Italeri, this was a nice choice for a reprint so get yours before they’re gone. Heck, I would even build one without the graphics.