Bad Schuco Design and Assembly

I eagerly anticipated delivery of the latest Schuco model, the 1973 Bitter CD. I have three other Schuco models in my collection, two of which are resin like the Bitter CD, and they are beautiful and the packaging, more specifically the unpackaging, was trouble free. This was not the case with this model. After opening 200 models I know how to be careful when unpacking and removing models from their boxes, cases, and styrofoam containers. I know to lift the top of the box straight up and slowly from the bottom so as to not inadvertently snag or damage any trim pieces. Looking closely at the image it's apparent the side view mirror had been broken off at packing time. Hopefully it was still somewhere in the box.

What was also instantly apparent was the loose screw that was free to fly around the inside of the package causing whatever damage during the three plus weeks it took the package to arrive.

Next was to remove the model from the styrofoam box. As usual the model is screwed into the box with additional hardware to make it secure. In this case a piece of pressed wood served as a rigid base on the underside of the styrofoam box. The usual procedure is to carefully hold the model on one side while slowly unscrewing the hold down screws. Well, this time the back screw only turned a few turns before additional turns did nothing. The front screw barely came out at all then simply turned and turned. The screws were not loosely free to turn but did require force on the screwdriver. But the model could not separate from the styrofoam box still being attached with the hold down screws.

What I had to do on the rear screw was to use a hacksaw blade and pliers to break the screw head off so that the screw shaft could be moved through the hole in the pressed wood. For the front screw I had to use a pair of needle nose pliers and an X-acto knife to remove sufficient material around the screw head so that the front of the model could similarly be lifted free from the pressed wood base and styrofoam box. All this while being careful to not damage the model.

What I then found was that the hold down screws were long, passed through a spacer, and disappeared into the base of the model. I had to then remove the remaining three screws (remember one was already loose in the box) to separate the base of the model from the body. I then saw that the hold down screws were screwed into a recipient plastic bulb which was fitted and supposedly glued into the base in a round receptacle on the hody. Unfortunately the screwdriver torque required to remove the two hold screws from the plastic bulb was greater than the strength of the glue used to secure the bulb in its receptacle and the screws simply turned the entire bulb, spacer, and screw assembly in place. The bulbs easily came out of their respective round receptacles the glue having failed.

It was then that I saw the base of the model was actually broken in two pieces with an additional chunk broken off. It was then easy to hold the bulb with pliers and turn the screw so that it then separated from the bulb thus permitting removal of the bulb, spacer, and screw assembly from the broken base pieces.

Fortunately the manner in which the base was broken means that the two pieces and the chunk can be easily glued back together with little evidence they had been broken. Also fortunate was the broken side view mirror was still in the box having fallen underneath the model.

I will also try to glue the broken side view mirror back on its stem and hope the results are acceptable. I attribute the broken side view mirror to sloppy work in assembling the top and bottom halves of the styrofoam box at packaging time. The top was likely misaligned with the bottom and lowered abruptly causing the damage before being relifted and relowered without regard or concern for whatever damage had been caused.

Very disappointed with Schuco on the extremely poor design of the packing and securing method as well as the careless mating of the two styrofoam box halves. Not to mention the breaking of the base piece and securing only three of the four screws used to assemble the model. Apparently there was no quality control at all on the assembly and packaging work performed.