Commodore Wars – Trax V Biante
The iconic VB Commodore has been shouting out to be modeled for many years. Well, now we have the VB and the VC modeled by both Biante and Trax. As both manufacturers have released an SL/E version, time is ripe to put them head-to-head!
The Numbers – Both Biantes are Limited Editions of 1824pcs. Trax has yet to publish production numbers, but based on their earlier VB (4000pcs), I’m guessing around 2500. At the time of writing, all 4 are still readily available.
The Finish – There was some glue residue on the Biante VB and some black-out missing on part of the wheel on the Trax VB. Apart from that, the finish is good and the paint is excellent on both. (pics below – Biante on the left, Trax on the right)
Trax continue to lift their game and this model is on par with their other new releases. However, the Biante version is better, thanks largely to the finer detail (which I guess is what you get when the cost is over 50% more). The door and window trimmings are finer, the mirrors reflect (not silver paint), the wheels are better cast (not black paintouts), there is more underbody detail (personally, I dont care about that too much), the exhasut outlet has a hole not a blank stub, the interior carries far more detail etc.
The Measure-Up – With the dimensions of the real car available, it’s time to whip out the verniers and calculator for a 1:43 scale measure-up. Exterior Dimensions of a real VB:
- Total Length: 4705mm (SL/E: 4729mm)
- Total Width: 1722mm
- Total Height at kerb weight: 1371mm
- Wheelbase: 2668mm
- Front Track: 1451mm (SL/E: 1449mm)
- Rear Track: 1417mm (SL/E: 1422mm)
When measured, both brands fall under dimension with regard to total length, particularly the Biante (by around 9cm when calculated back to 1:1 scale). The Biante version is almost spot on for width, but the Trax is too wide (by around 9cm) and both are too high (i’m guessing this is more a ride-height issue rather than the body itself being too tall). The Trax wheelbase is a fraction long, and both front & rear track are waay too wide. The Biante is very close to perfect on these measurements.
- Collectability – Biante 3.9; Trax 3.5
- Finish – Biante 4.7; Trax 4.6
- Accuracy – Biante 4.4; Trax 3.6
- Value – Biante 3.9; Trax 4
- Overall – Biante 4.2; Trax 3.9
Twenty Lost Models
Well, they weren’t really lost as such. But now they’re home. I’ve built many of the Tamiya 1:20 scale Grand Prix series kits over the years, and these first 20 builds have…
F1 Tobacco Conversions
I haven’t had time to do any serious modelling recently, but I did get to apply the tobacco decals to this trio of F1 cars.