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In-Box Review
HO scale
VW Polo '14
VW Polo 3 doors facelift, deep black perleffekt
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Herpa cooperates with automobile manufacturers to produce current vehicles, including this VW Polo 3 doors facelift, item 038386. This particular model is painted with deep black perleffekt and Herpa tells us;
    New type! The three-door Volkswagen Polo was also improved and is initially released in deep black and pure white with pearl effect.

Volkswagen Polo
I searched for information about the Polo at Volkswagen USA but it is not listed. According to Wikipedia;
    The Volkswagen Polo is a supermini car produced ... since 1975. It is sold in Europe and other markets worldwide in hatchback, sedan, coupé and estate variants.

    The Polo was introduced in 1975, and as of 2011 has been produced over five generations with intermittent facelifts.

    The Volkswagen Polo won the 2010 World Car of the Year.

Lookin' her over
Herpa currently catalogs 251 Volkswagen models of all types including 26 Polo models. The model is fully assembled and packed in a light plastic form-fitted tray secured in a light plastic box.

I found no flaws in the molding or assembly. The exterior features fine recessed lines for doors and hoods and panels. Fine detail extenuates the thin grille. The rakish windshield is free of distortion. Except for an exhaust port the underside has only basic molded detailed, and the tires have no tread detail.

Slamming the doors
Individual clear lenses simulate the headlights and tinted lenses simulate the tail lights.

Separate side view mirrors are attached. Soft rubber-plastic low profile tires encompass sharply molded hubcaps.

The gray interior features bucket seats, the steering wheel, center console, stick shift and dashboard detailing. The side mirrors lack reflective surfaces.

In the past many of the Herpa vehicles I have reviewed featured tread detail. Recently most only have detail on the edges.

Paint and Finish
This model is beautifully finished with a smooth glossy deep black perleffekt (pearl effect) exterior. It is also available in weiß / white. Chrome trim encompasses the black chrome of the grille. A chrome VW emblem emblazons the grille and another is stamp-painted on the back. These emblems and markings are sharply printed and not decals. Herpa does not use decals. The paint is thin, glass-smooth, and opaque.

Off the lot
Herpa has released another impressive model of a neat supermini car. This VW Polo is an impressive model with fine plastic detail and excellent finishing. It features lenses for headlights and brake lights, a detailed interior, and applied side view mirrors. Printing is sharp. I happily recommended this model for collectors, model railroaders, and diorama makers.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here – on RailRoadModeling.
Highs: Fine plastic detail and excellent finishing. It features lenses for headlights and brake lights, a detailed interior, and applied side view mirrors.
Lows: No real tread detail.
Verdict: Herpa has released another impressive model of a neat supermini car. This VW Polo is an impressive model.
  Scale: HO Scale
  Mfg. ID: 038386
  Suggested Retail: $15.00, €12.50
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 30, 2015

Our Thanks to Herpa!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Nice review, but why is it that RR plastic models nearly always come pre-finished when the opposite is true for Military and aircraft etc?
APR 30, 2015 - 04:04 PM
Hi Timothy, Interesting question. Here's my understanding: Kits have fallen out of favor for a large segment of model railroaders. Even the simple Athearn "Blue Box" models have become too involved and time consuming for the general RR modeling population. A recent reply from a popular model RR manufacturer (I will not copy it here as I do not have permission.) to a modeler asking your question states that the company sells 5-10 times the number of RTR (Ready To Run) models than they do kits. I am not privy to why people prefer RTR. RTR tends to favor the common subjects, the subjects that railroads used 100,000s of. ( We won't discuss how individual RRs subtly varied many "standard" designs for their individual tastes.) Kits seem, for the vast majority, to be made for small railroads' rolling stock and less popular eras, such as pre-1930s railroading. I also think that due to an unholy melding of age, disposable income, detail demands, modeling skills and interest, that what model RRers expect are beyond what they are capable of assembling in a desired timeframe, so they are willing to spend money to get a nice model rolling on the layout with a minimum of fuss. Accuracy/authenticity of display? Aside from changes in road numbers and almost perceivable differences in accessory equipment, 10,000 boxcars for XXX railroad look alike. Same look. Same appliances. Same paint and livery. Then consider how a tank or airplane could be personalized by the crew and operating environment. Thus in spite of thousands of tanks and airplanes rolling off the production line in a standardized configuration, once those machines got to the front, they became unique. So I think it is difficult to make 'RTR' tanks and aircraft because people want to personalize their subjects. With that in mind, consider that there is a huge market for 'RTR' diecast and injection tanks and aircraft as there are many people who want the subject on their desk without wanting the time and skill to build it. What else I gleaned from the aforementioned letter and in conversations with other model railroad makers follows. In the USA, due to government regulations and bureaucracy, it has become practically impossible for companies the size of model railroad manufacturers to make anything and stay in business, so many of the components have to be made in China; but then a company can not import those parts unless they have an import number. (I have no idea what it takes to create an import number.) Thus it is easier to have the models assembled and shipped to the US for distribution. I presume that Herpa cars are in the same circumstances. I believe that they are as much for collectors as for model RR layouts. Herpa does make kits and accessory sets for those who wan to build a model. Their magazine Der MASS:STAB features articles demonstrating modelers who assemble or modify or convert Herpa models. I dunno if this answered your question but I hope it helps to understand the wonderful and wierd world of models.
MAY 16, 2015 - 04:41 PM
Wow! That was a good -- and thorough reply! Thanks, Fred. -Sean
MAY 17, 2015 - 02:40 AM

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