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Mike

Type AG 1910 Paris Taxi (24030) 1:35

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Type AG 1910 Paris Taxi (24030)

1:24 ICM via Hannants Ltd.

 

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The Renault built Type AG Taxi de la Marne got its name after a fleet of these vehicles were pressed into service transporting French troops to the First Battle of the Marne in WWI.  It was very popular as it was one of the first taxis to be able to automatically calculate the fare due to the inclusion of a meter in the interior, which you can just make out in th picture above.  As well as service during the early war it was also popular in Paris and London in the early 1900s

 

The Kit

This is a new tool in the predominant vehicle model scale from our friends at ICM, and depicts a colourful rendition of the vehicle in civilian service.  It arrives in ICM's standard top-opening box with a captive inner lid, and inside are five sprues in grey styrene, a single clear sprue, two flexible sprues with black tyres plus the spare, decal sheet and instruction manual.  It is a full detail kit with 10hp engine and detailed underside plus crystal clear glazing panels for the enclosed passenger cab.

 

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Construction begins with the chassis rails with moulded-in rear leaf-springs and two cross-members that are then added to the lower bodywork along with brackets for the running boards on both sides.  The little engine is made up of six parts and its transmission from a further three, with both assemblies brought together on a sub-frame at which point the exhaust stub is fitted then it is inserted into the main chassis from below.  Flipping it over the firewall and the pedals are slotted in between the front fenders, and this section is set aside while the coachwork is made up from individual panels, starting with the stepped floor.  The divide between driver and passenger has two flat panes of glass to keep the weather out, and curved sides reminiscent of the carriages from which they descended.  The driver's floor, rear parcel area and the comfortable passenger seat are inserted, and the carriage-style roof is made up with a small rear window.  The doors are each made up from two layers with the glass between them, and once fitted with handles they can be posed open or closed, hinging back in suicide door style.  The driver has a more utilitarian bench seat with padded backrest attached to the bulkhead behind him, then the chassis and coachwork are joined, the rear suspension, exhaust and steering column are added from below.  A sump guard and front axle are added later along with the driveshaft and rear axle while it is upside down, and once righted, the sloping bonnet and less-than-generous side rails that intended to prevent the driver from falling out are installed either side of his seat.  There is also an elongated S-shaped "folding mechanism" attached to the side of the passenger hood, which still persists today in some American limousine and hearse designs as a purely cosmetic homage to the original coachwork.

 

The wheels are all spoked and have separate flexible black plastic tyres that slip over the rims.  Detail here is good with bolts, rivets and the air valve for these early pneumatic tyres all moulded into the hubs, while the tyres have a faint pattern moulded into them.  The spare wheel is mounted on a rim on the right running board, and also has a flexible tyre provided in the box, then it's a case of adding the steering wheel, horn, gear shift and the driver's folding awning that fixes to the front of the coachwork with a short frame inside that allows the real one to fold back if desired.  The final items are the two lamps with clear three-sided lenses and the taxi's major innovation, the meter, complete with little flag-shaped arm.

 

 

Markings

One rather colourful scheme is provided in the instructions with a choice of three number plates for front and back, the word "Libre" in white and again on a red background, plus another decal for the front of the meter.  The chassis and wheels are painted yellow with yellow accents around the bonnet, and the bodywork is predominantly red with black hood and seat cushions as per the box top. 

 

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Conclusion

The Type AG was quite an important advance in Taxis for the day with the innovative meter, plus the smoothing of the ride quality thanks to pneumatic tyres, which must have been a luxury back then.  Not my usual scale, but a nice model none-the-less.

 

Highly recommended.

Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd.

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Review sample courtesy of

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