The Citroen DS19 is a truly iconic motorcar. Many know it by sight if not by name. It was produced from 1955 through 1975 and 1.5 million were sold globally. This unique car had a hydro-pneumatic suspension, power steering and brakes, and was the first sold with disc brakes. Ebbro continues with their run of unusual automotive subjects with a fully detailed kit of a pre-1965 version of the car. Blank places in the sprues suggest that later models are forthcoming.
The kit has over 150 parts and features working front (but not rear) doors and bonnet, pose-able steering, working rear suspension and it appears the roof can be removed as well to display the interior. The engine compartment is highly detailed.
Ebbro has patterned their model kits on Tamiyaís productions, as have others. I do think Ebbro is probably the best student of Tamiya to date. You can see the influence on the engineering of the kit, the quality of the molding, and both the layout and clarity of the instruction booklet. Having built several Ebbro kits I can attest that the overall experience is close to the same as a Tamiya build, and that is high praise, indeed.
Contents of the box:
- White plastic car body
- Two white styrene sprues
- One black styrene sprue
- One chrome plated sprue
- One clear sprue
- Bag with five tires and four poly caps
- A small decal sheet
- A8 instruction manual (17 steps)
The instructions comprise seventeen detailed steps to completion.
Steps 1 & 2 comprise the engine, trans-axle and related parts. The engraving on these pieces is exceptional. To the basic unit mounts the cooling system, exhaust, and inboard disc brakes (remember, the car is front wheel drive). The color callouts mimic a Tamiya kit, but some of the color choices look questionable; I would check readily found online sources before painting.
Step 3 is the complex dashboard and firewall. There is a decal provided for the instruments. The engraving is adequate and compared to references it looks very realistic. Some items are truly unique to this car, such as the mono-spoke steering wheel.
Steps 4 & 5 deal with the front of the body. The body casting itself is a work of art. The plastic is so thin it is translucent in spots. The motor mounts to the front of the body, not the chassis pan. The rest of the under-hood pieces look as detailed as the engine, but again, check your color references. The sun visors which are engraved under the body are the best Iíve seen in any car kit.
Steps 6 & 7 comprise the four corner independent suspension. Like the car, the suspension is unusual. There are no springs nor shock absorbers (oil pressure runs the whole show). The way the rear suspension is engineered, it appears that it will work when completed. Likewise, the front suspension arms look very delicate, and Iíd caution the modeler during painting and handling of same.
Step 8 is the chassis pan detail, which consists of a multi-piece exhaust system only. The pan is flat and uninterrupted; it looks more like a road race undercarriage than a street car.
Steps 9 & 10 are the basic interior construction and herein lies what I feel is the major shortcoming in the kit. There is no texture whatsoever on the seats, door panels, and floor. Photos of the real car show this isnít the case. The front seats have a vague fabric seam but thatís it. Most modelers would want to flock the floor, at least, and perhaps use textured paint on the seats. The internet photos I saws all had significant texture on the seats themselves. On the plus side the engraving is crisp, and as you can see by looking at the chrome tree every single handle is separate and chrome.
Step 11 is the window and chrome trim installation. Its important to note that with the design of the car, there is no chrome on the sides below the windows. All of the window chrome is included. This is a rare kit that you wonít need a single piece of Bare Metal foil to complete.
Step 12 is the attaching of the body to the chassis. Two notes; you MUST have the rear wheels and not the fronts attached at this point. There are no side skirts and no way to get the wheels on after assembly. Changing flats on this car must have been irritating, to say the least. Second, there are
spacers molded to the front fender corners and front door wells that must be removed after assembly. This shows some very good engineering by the folks at Ebbro.
Step 13 is where the front wheels attach, but only after attaching the front axles. Remember, the engine attaches to the body, but the suspension to the floor pan; this is the first chance to bring them together. At this step youíll be up on the wheels.
Steps 14 & 15 are basically the front and rear fascias; mostly clear and chrome parts. Even these pieces are unusual compared to a Ďnormalí car and look like fun. The callouts call for painting the inside of the headlight lenses clear yellow, which appears to be correct. There is a callout here for the Citroen emblem on the rear trunk lid which appears to say it is chrome mylar. I went crazy looking for this piece until I realized it was on the decal sheet! Iím not sure how it will apply but I feel better knowing that I didnít throw it out.
Step 16 are the front doors; they are well designed and look sturdy with solid attachment points for thehinges and windows. I think theyíll fit well.
Step 17 is the fitment of the roof and bonnet. It looks like the roof can be placed without glue to show off the interior. There are no hinges for the hood.
All in all Iíd give this kit a 90% rating. Some of the pros would include; unusual subject matter, excellent engineering and instructions, all chrome trim is supplied in the kit. And the cons; a lack of texture in the interior (which is very prominent in the kit), questionable color callouts in some areas.