This model is a conversion of a first-generation Opel Corsa (as sold in Europe) into a representation of a Vauxhall Nova. This is the pre-facelift Nova, sold new in Great Britain from 1983 to 1990. The original model is by Herpa. Length is about 41.8 mm, which represents the true length of the vehicle (3,620 mm) at close to 1:87 scale. Some boxes for the model show 1:90 scale.
The Nova was a ubiquitous sight in Britain from the 1980s into the early 2000s, and for my layout the car will represent a site mule used within the campus of the processing plant, still just about running in 2012. I never felt the prototype was particularly photogenic, and my model is even worse. I actually painted it as well as I could, but in my close-up photos it looks like the vehicle is nearly worn out.
These models are made in a series of layers. There is an upper body shell, glazing unit, interior moulding, lower body shell and floor pan. I pulled the model apart with my thumbnail and set out the parts on the bench.
- On the upper body shell, I trimmed off the two windscreen wipers and then added two new ones (for right-hand drive) from bits of microstrip.
- On inside of the glazing unit, I picked out the rear view mirror in black paint.
- On the interior moulding, I cut off the steering wheel and trimmed away the instrument binnacle. I made a new instrument binnacle for the right-hand side of the fascia (more microstrip) and then pared this to shape.
- I discarded the steering wheel, the original is too small and I didn't have anything suitable as a replacement.
I painted the lower parts of the model and the window surrounds in a medium grey, trying to represent the faded appearance of these moulded parts on older cars, and I painted the seats in a tan colour. After I clipped the parts back together, I added a rear number plate from microstrip.
The main limitation of the model is the lack of a driver's door mirror. I haven't tried to add this, because I think whatever I try will look wrong. The lack of a steering wheel less obvious.
It is nice to add a model of a familiar subject like this, to help to enforce the scale of the layout when there are no trains in view.