Monday, May 18, 2009


SMN was at a campervan show at the weekend, and one of these dinky Italian three-wheelers was doing duty as a mobile coffee stall. Instead of a flatbed, it sported a boxy panel-van rear containing supplies, with an espresso machine hissing away right at the back. There was even a fold-out mini-marquee to keep rain off, and my cappuccino tasted great, too.

The mini-machine is nicknamed the Ape in Italy and has been manufactured by Piaggio (also known for its aircraft) in one form or another for more than half a century. Italeri’s Apes are nice little models, available in 1:18 and 1:32 scales, and would grace any collection of commercial diecasts, not least for their diminutive size, compared to almost any other form of cargo hauler.

For diorama makers, an Ape or two would look good as extras in almost any European scene.

Visit Italeri here.