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Renault Taxi De La Marne (1914). 1:35

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Renault Taxi De La Marne (1914)

ICM 1:35

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The Renault Taxi de la Marne (Marne Taxi) is an automobile manufactured between 1905 and 1910 by Renault and used as a taxicab. The name Taxi de la Marne was not used until the outbreak of World War I, when the fleet of Paris taxis was requisitioned by the French Army to transport troops from Paris to the First Battle of the Marne in early September 1914. It was the first car produced after Marcel Renault's death in 1903, along with another four models.

 

A car-rental company in Paris ordered 1,500 cars in 1905 as a result of a new invention that automatically calculated how much the passenger had to pay. It was called a taximeter and had been invented in 1891. Soon the Taxi de la Marne was popular for the rest of the decade in Paris and also in London from 1907.

 

The Model

The model arrives in the usual sturdy box with a separate top sleeve with a nice artist’s representation of the vehicle on the front. Inside, within a large poly bag, are four sprues of light grey styrene, four vinyl tyres, a small decal sheet and, in a separate poly bag, one clear sprue.  On initial inspection the parts are really well moulded, clean, with no sign of flash.  There are a number of moulding pips, some of which are on quite fragile looking parts, so care should be taken when removing.  The sprue gates attaching items like the exhaust are also quite heavy and I can see these parts breaking if you’re not careful. 

 

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The build begins with the joining of the two chassis rails, each with the front suspension springs integrally moulded, by two cross members. The single piece mudguards/running board part is then glued to the chassis. The carriage like cabin is then assembled from four parts before being fitted to the chassis too. Two longitudinal rails are then fitted between the forward cross member and front of the engine bay, while the four supports for the running boards are also glued into position. The sump tay is then attached, followed by the two piece front axle. The cute little engine is assembled from seven parts which includes the exhaust, before being glued into the engine bay, followed by the two piece gearbox and two piece radiator, which actually sits behind the engine. The single piece bonnet is then fitted as are the two, two piece rear doors, rear seat base and front bulkhead.

 

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The rear seat is fitted, along with the front seat base and front. The front bulkhead of the rear cabin is attached, as are the drivers bench seat and the two, two piece headlights. The rear suspension springs have to be slid into place and twisted for the location pins to fit properly. The two piece rear lamp is attached, as are the silencer and rear section of the exhaust pipe. The rear axle is made up form two parts, which includes the integrally moulded drive shaft. Each wheel is made from the single piece rim and the vinyl tyres, the completed wheels are then fitted to the axles, while the engine under tray, brake leaver and steering column are also fitted. The foot pedals are glued into position, as are the steering wheel, gear and handbrake levers.

 

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The front of the main cabin is further detailed with another panel onto which two headrests and fold down seat are attached. The spare wheel consists of a styrene ring and vinyl tyre, this is then glued to the drivers side running board. The rear cabin is fitted with the side and rear panels, while the drivers cabin is fitted with a headrest, armrests and frame for the folding rain cover. The three piece meter is assembled and fitted to the opposite side to the driver and the starting handle attached at the front. Lastly the rear cabin is fitted with its roof and roof hinges, while the drivers position is fitted with its two piece cover and all the doors have the handles glued into position.

 

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Decals

The small decal sheet contains registration numbers for three vehicles and a couple of decals for the taximeter. The three vehicles are all painted in the overall red, with black mudguards and roof sections.

 

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Conclusion

It’s good to see these rather unusual vehicles being released, particularly for the WWI aficionados and also remembers the role played by them during the Great War. It is also great to see a civilian vehicle of the time, for those who like something different in their collection. Whilst not a complicated kit, certainly by ICM standards, it looks like it will build into a nice little model.

 

 

Review sample courtesy of

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