Monday, December 1

Supercharging a Bentley – Guillaume builds Revell’s 1/24th scale 4,5 l. Bentley Blower

New to the family at TMN but an old hand at making models and a welcome addition is our man Guillaume who has had a crack at making the re-boxed Revel kit of the classic kit of the 4.5 litre “Blower” Bentley – one of the most famous racing cars in history – this British racing green car is built up for you to see what’s inside the box…
Build Review:
Bentley 4,5L Blower
Product number 07007
1:24th scale
Skill level: 4
Single components: 123 in total with vinyl tyres, injection moulded plastic and chrome plated parts.

The story of W.O. Bentley is quite interesting. Walter Owen Bentley and his brother Horace Millner always dreamed of creating their own car company – which they did in 1919. In order to make a lot of publicity for their cars, they entered as many car races as they could. But times were hard and W.O. had to sell shares of the company in order to keep producing cars.
Bentley Motors Ltd had participated in the 24-hour race at Le Mans since first race held in 1923. This brought added popularity to the Bentley brand name. Development of a model with an engine displacing approximately 4.5 litres began in 1926. The vehicle was named after this engine with which Bentley won overall victory at the 1928 Le Mans. Bentley were able to successfully defend this victory again in 1929. Some 4.5 litre models were modified prior to participating in the 1930 Le Mans race. Amongst other items, a Roots supercharger was added and positioned clearly visible in front of the radiator grill, from whence the car then became known as the Bentley 4½ litre Supercharged or Bentley Blower. The power rating of the over 4 metre long vehicle was an impressive 240 hp.

The Blower being built..
In the early years of automobile racing, the most prestigious one was the 24 hours of Le Mans – a race that was won in 1924 by John Duff and Frank Clement, driving a Bentley 3 Litre Sport. Between 1927 and 1930, Bentley dominated the famous endurance race.

At the begining of 1929, Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin modified a Bentley 4,5 litre by adding a supercharger to the engine. W.O. – who was chief engineer, but no longer owner of the company - refused to modifie the engine, which resulted in a car with a supercharger placed in front of the radiator. The car’s engine delivered 240 hp at 4200 RPM (this is 1929 !). Car n° 8 was driven by Dudley Benjafield and Giulio Ramponi and is now part of the Ralph Lauren Collection.
The Revell releases are always a mix of new tool kits and almost forgotten kits, with a high level of nostalgia. It keeps modellers happy on many levels; new tool ones are always good news, while the re-edition of classic kits enables us to get kits that we missed in the past. One of the examples for the near future that makes my legs move in a rather strange manner – from a long distance and with out-of-focus binoculars, it might resemble a 1/72 scale HP Victor.

The recently released 1/24 scale Bentley 4,5L Blower had about the same effect on Guillaume, who loves to build fast cars and motorcycles. The kit’s origins are French: the 40 year old moulds were produced by Heller. And although the kit clearly isn’t a modern one, it still builds into a nice-looking Bentley Blower.
In this kit revel have left the moulds as they were but added to the decals and packaging – this kit still offers in it’s feature set some cool things:

- a Multi-part, highly detailed engine
- Separate Roots compressor with carburettors
- Faithfully reproduced chassis parts wit integrated leaf springs
- Multi-part bodywork
- Separate, two-piece engine hood
- Intricate front light mountings including protective covers
- Rotating spoked wheels and spare wheel
- Separate, intricately suspended front and rear mud-guards
- Diverse chrome parts, including quick release wheel nuts, fuel tank cap, radiator grill, headlight casings and hand-break
 - Authentic decal set for the Blower with start number 8 in the 1930 Le Mans Race

The kit is moulded in dark green plastic and one chrome coloured sprue. It comes with an engine and although you can add details, looks not bad at all!
The instrument panel has some detail for the dials. Revel also provides decals for these dials, something that the original Heller kit didn’t. Because the cockpit of the car is open, this enhances the kit really!
The model has some detail on the inside of the doors, but these can’t be positioned open.
The engine covers of the Bentley has the leather bands moulded on them. You could remove and replace them to make it more realistic. The spokes for the wheels are moulded in plastic.
Some parts are on a chrome coloured sprue, like the front of the radiator and the headlights.
The vinyl tires...
The decals of the kit are way better than the original ones, with a lot of extra detail for dials, tires, etc. Revell decals for this boxing in comparison are on the right hands side, printed by Cartograf while the Heller decals are on the left.
Revell’s kit comprises of 126 parts and although 4 decades have past since they were first made, they still look pretty good! They build up into a 18,3 cm long kit that looks quite convincing!

Guillaume started with the construction of the engine, that he painted using Alclad paints to recreate the chrome highly polished shine of the original.
Building the kit out of the box is a pleasure: fit is good, no bad surprises and for those that want to, detail can be added to this pretty good base!

the leather seats are rather exposed in the open bathtub cockpit.
The wooden spoked wheels look pretty good painted up with the tyres which are realistic enough to pass especially on this vehicle.
The cockpit...
With the engine covers removed...
And here is the Bentley with together with the products that were used to construct it.
It’s a good thing this kit is available again - and at a good price too! The kit is a very nice base for the experienced modeller, a good introduction to the hobby for the novice. The decals are an absolute improvement compared to the old ones, so there’s no stopping you now! 
Many thanks to Revell for sending us this kit!

Guillaume Friart

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit , @RevellGermany or