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Julien

Type AG London Taxi (35658) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd.

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Type AG London Taxi (35658)

1:35 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.  As well as service during the early war it was also popular in Paris and London in the early 1900s. Over 1100 were used in London at the time.

 

The Kit

This is downsizing of the 1/24 scale kit, 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 two sprues in grey styrene, a single clear sprue, three 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 make up the chassis. The running boards and fenders are then fitted to this. The cab is then built up with the rear part being made up along with the frame from the front. This is then fitted to the chassis. Engine bearers are then added. The front axle is then made up and installed.  The five part engine is assembled and along with the exhaust this is added in from the top. The transmission then goes in behind it followed then by the radiator and front wall. The hood is then paced over the engine. Moving back to the cab the doors are added along with the drivers, and passenger seats. The front partition is then added  At the rear the double leaf spring is added along with the main part of the exhaust. The rear axle and drive shaft can now be put in. 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,

 

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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 rear cabin is then enclosed 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

A small decal sheet provides licence plates and meter signs.

 

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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.  Its good to see this nice kit scaled down to 1/35.

 

Highly recommended.

Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd.

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Review sample courtesy of

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