Airfix Scale Models

Airfix Scale Models

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A1366 - M36/M36B2 "Battle of the Bulge"

The M36 was introduced to replace the M10 which only had a 76mm gun. The M36 had a 90mm gun with greater armour piercing capability. In the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, it gave it the capability of combating the Tigers and Panthers of the Wehrmacht.

The M36 with its new turret was placed on converted M10A1 hulls. The M36B2 used the same turret but was placed on the M4A2 hulls which had a diesel engine. They both had a long service life, particularly in other nation's services.

M7 Priest
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A1368 - M7 Priest

With the modern battlefield demanding mobility, the M7 Priest provided the British Army with an effective fully armoured self-propelled artillery vehicle, based on the chassis of the M3 Lee tank.

Supplied via the Lend-Lease agreement, these vehicles initially used US guns and ammunition, which did create some logistics problems for its British operators. The M7 was christened Priest by the British Army, due to the defensive machine gun position resembling a church pulpit.

King Tiger
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A1369 - King Tiger

The ultimate development of German tank technology during WWII, the Tiger II or King Tiger was a 68 ton beast which introduced the latest development of the feared 88mm anti-tank gun, which was capable of knocking out any Allied tank at ranges approaching 3km.

First used during the Battle of Normandy in the days following the Allied D-Day landings, the cost and complexity of these massive tanks dictated that only 489 would eventually be produced, with the price of each King Tiger equating to an equivalent cost for nine American Sherman tanks.

M3 Lee / Grant
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A1370 - M3 Lee / Grant

Another tank supplied to the British under the Lend-Lease agreement, the M3 Grant proved incredibly important during the battles of the Desert Campaign, where its reliability was a marked improvement over existing British designs.

With its main 75mm gun mounted in the fuselage, one drawback of the tanks design was its high profile, which made the job of the tank commander much more difficult when engaging enemy tanks in combat. In US service, the M3 was known as the Lee tank.

M-18 Hellcat
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A1371 - M-18 Hellcat

Possessing legendary speed, the M18 Hellcat 76mm Gun Motor Carriage was a late war American designed tank destroyer, which first saw action in Western Europe during the summer of 1944 and is regarded as one of the most effective military vehicles of its type.

Intended to be held in reserve and used strategically to challenge massed panzer attacks, wherever they occurred, the Hellcat was capable of knocking out even the heaviest of German armour, including the feared Tiger and Panther tanks, whilst also possessing the speed to outflank their adversaries.

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A1372 - M12 GMC

Providing heavy mobile artillery support for Allied ground forces, the M12 Gun Motor Carriage was an effective US designed self-propelled artillery vehicle which saw heavy action following the D-Day landings.

Featuring an open firing crew compartment, it was usual for these guns to be operated from concealed positions behind the front line. However, the M12 would go on to earn the nickname 'The Doorknocker' for its ability to blast open heavily fortified concrete bunkers during more direct actions.

Cruiser Mk.VIII A27M Cromwell Mk.IV
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A1373 - Cruiser Mk.VIII A27M Cromwell Mk.IV

One of a series of fast and relatively well armed cruiser tanks developed by the British during the Second World War, the Cromwell can trace its history back to late 1940 and the decision to find a replacement for the widely used Crusader tank. Due to a relatively protracted development, however, there can be some confusion with these tanks, as similar looking machines were named Centaur and Cromwell, with both being derived from the A24 Cruiser Mark VII Cavalier, the name given to the original intended Crusader replacement programme.

The main reason for the different names refers to the three different engine types which were used to power the individual vehicles. The A27M Cromwell Mk.IV was the most heavily produced version of the new Cruiser Tank Mk.VIII and matched the Centaur hull with the highly effective Rolls Royce Meteor engine (A27Meteor), which allowed the tank to travel at impressively high speeds. The tank also featured a quick firing 75mm gun, which was a re-bored version of the British 6 pounder gun and allowed the commander to have the option of using American produced armour piercing or high explosive rounds.

Although originally introduced in November 1943, persistent problems with the new guns operation meant that the Mk.IV would not make its combat introduction until the Normandy landings in June 1944, where its speed and mobility would complement the Sherman tanks, which were available in greater numbers. During the savage fighting in the narrow hedgerow lined lanes of the Normandy battlefield, the excellent mobility of the Cromwell was somewhat nullified and even worse than that, as tanks were forced to climb these steep banks, they exposed their vulnerable undersides to potential armour piercing Panzerfaust attack.

The simple solution was to attach a steel blade hedge cutter to the front of the tank, which allowed the commander to scythe through the obstacle, keeping his tank level and still able to bring his guns to bear. This addition even provided some welcome natural foliage camouflage for the tank, as long as the bushes it didn't obstruct his gun aiming sights.

Cruiser Mk.VIII A27M Cromwell Mk.VI
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A1374 - Cruiser Mk.VIII A27M Cromwell Mk.VI

Even though the new British A27M Cromwell Tank would not make its combat introduction until the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944, the speed and mobility of this excellent new tank would soon earn it an enviable reputation amongst Allied troops, who came to rely on the support they provided.

The majority of Cromwell Tanks were armed with the standard 75mm ROQF gun, however, the less numerous Mk.VI variant would provide specialist infantry close support with its 95mm Howitzer and were consequently never too far away from the action. Firing a high explosive hollow charge shell, the tank was used to overcome fortified positions, such as concrete bunkers and pillboxes which stood in the way of the infantrys advance and could even lay smoke-screens if required. With its distinctively short barrel, the Mk.VI also featured a large counterweight on its main armament, which was necessary in helping to balance the gun.

Approximately 340 of these specialist tanks were eventually produced, which would prove to be extremely effective as Allied ground units pushed German forces back towards their homeland. Despite their impressive speed, the Cromwells were no match for the firepower of the German heavy tanks and would have to rely on speed and stealth for their battlefield survival.

Austin K2/Y Ambulance
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A1375 - Austin K2/Y Ambulance

Some of the most important military vehicles of the Second World War didn't feature huge main guns, neither were they bedecked with ever thicker armour plating, but are no less fascinating to study. One of the most crucial abilities on any battlefield is to be able to transport your wounded troops quickly and efficiently from the front line, to field medical stations some distance behind the fighting, where they could receive the medical attention they needed and potentially save their lives. Although clearly any vehicle could be used for this task, a dedicated ambulance would often allow the wounded to start receiving care straight away and if you were ever in need of one's services, you would no doubt class these as the most important vehicles on the battlefield.

One of the most famous vehicles of its type, the Austin K2/Y Ambulance was used extensively by British and Commonwealth forces throughout WWII, both in the combat zones of the world and on the home front. Built around the chassis of the Austin K30 light truck, the casualty compartment was developed in conjunction with the Royal Army Medical Corps and therefore proved to be highly functional. Able to carry either four stretcher cases or ten seated casualties, one of the main reasons why the K2/Y was so successful was because it was so rugged and reliable, requiring only a minimum of maintenance - an ambulance should always be ready when you need it.

The rear cabin was typically constructed of painted canvas on a timber frame, with the highly visible red cross on a white disk positioned prominently on all sides to hopefully ensure the vehicles occupants didn't come under fire. Once the K2/Y had delivered its latest casualty load to the field station, it would invariably head straight back into the combat zone, at speeds on open roads approaching 50 mph.

An extremely popular vehicle with British, Commonwealth and American troops, the Austin K2/Y was viewed as something as an angel on the troops shoulders. Hopefully, they would never need to see the inside of the ambulance, but if they did 'Katy' would be ready and waiting for them. With over 13,000 examples built, these would have been a familiar sight on the battlefields of the world and it is thought that around fifty examples still survive to this day, some having undergone restoration back to something close to their original wartime configuration.

Sturmpanzer IV Brummbar (Mid Version)
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A1376 - Sturmpanzer IV Brummbar (Mid Version)

Built on the chassis of the successful and reliable mass produced Panzer IV, the Sd.Kfz 166 Sturmpanzer assault tank was developed from a need to equip fast moving infantry units with an effective heavy howitzer for use against fortified positions and particularly when operating in urban combat situations. The Sturmpanzer replaced the turret of the Panzer IV with a large armoured casemate style superstructure, with the increased height of the sloped frontal armour allowing the installation of a ball mounted 15cm Sturmhaubitze 43 L/12 gun which was developed by Skoda and fired existing ammunition stocks. The altered superstructure resulted in a much more spacious fighting compartment than tank crews had, however, the huge projectiles and propellant charges they needed were heavy, so the loader's job in particular was an extremely difficult one. Each Sturmpanzer could carry approximately 38 rounds with separate propellant charges, but if the gun was operated in a highly elevated position, loading it was a challenge and could take quite some time for the crew to complete. In operation, the poorly ventilated fighting compartment could quickly fill with noxious fumes during heavy firing, leaving some crews to fight with the casemate rear armoured doors open for ventilation, something which left the vehicle and its crew vulnerable to enemy infantry attack.

The Sturmpanzer IV is often referred to as the Brummbär, which roughly translates to grumbling or bad-tempered bear, but it is thought that this was an Allied reporting name for the vehicle and not one actually used by the Germans - they simply referred to the assault tank as a Stupa 43, a direct reference to the gun the vehicle used. The Sturmpanzer served with 4 Assault Battalions, with Sturmpanzer-Abteilung 216 being the first committed to combat during Operation Zitadelle and the mighty clash of armour in the Kursk salient. These vehicles would go on to see significant action throughout the Soviet Union, as well as in Poland, Italy and the Battle of Normandy, although as was the case with most German armour during the latter stages of the war, there were never enough serviceable Sturmpanzers available at any one time and as mounting losses could not be replaced effectively, their operational numbers dwindled steadily as the fighting intensified.

Around 306 Sturmpanzer IVs were built, with only three or four of the distinctive armoured fighting vehicles surviving in various museums to this day.

Stug IV Sd.Kfz.167
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A1377 - Stug IV Sd.Kfz.167

The Sd.Kfz.167 Sturmgeschütz IV was a development from an incredibly successful series of armoured mobile assault guns produced by the Germans during WWII, which were initially intended to provide fire support for infantry units coming across particularly stubborn areas of resistance during their advance, particularly those in fortified positions. The early short barrelled L/24 75 mm gun was later replaced with the longer L/43 and L/48 guns, which were devastatingly effective anti-tank weapons, which when combined with the low profile of these vehicles, made them a fearsome adversary for Allied tank commanders and could easily be concealed in ambush positions on the battlefield.

Following the Allied bombing of the Stug III factory in November 1943, the serious production disruption this caused forced the Germans to adapt the casemate superstructure of the Stug onto the larger chassis of the Panzer IV tank, retaining the low profile anti-tank killing capabilities of its predecessor, but resulting in the re-classification of these new vehicles as the Sturmgeschütz IV. Quick and relatively cheap to make compared to the mighty German heavy tanks of the period, the Sturmgeschütz where arguably Germany's most effective armoured vehicles during the latter stages of the war and whilst production numbers of Panther and Tiger tanks steadily diminished as the war progressed, many more Sturmgeschütz vehicles were rolling off the production lines to make up the shortfall.

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A1378 - Panzer III AUSF J

One of the most famous tanks of the Second World War, the Panzer III was actually only available in relatively small numbers at the time of the German invasion of Poland, with around 180 tanks supplementing the more numerous, faster and lighter Panzer I and II tanks. Despite the popular misconception that Germany began the war having placed huge investment in tank production, much of the early burden of mechanized Blitzkrieg was born by smaller, lighter tanks and captured vehicles pressed into Wehrmacht service.

The Panzer III Ausf (model) J was a later production development of this famous tank and one which represented quite an advancement over earlier models. A slightly redesigned hull allowed for the addition of increased armour protection and a new gun mantlet facilitated the installation of the more powerful 50 mm KwK 38 L42 gun, although these modifications did take far too long in development. By the time this variant of Panzer III entered service with Panzer Divisions on the Eastern Front, they were struggling to match the heavily armed Soviet KV-1 and T-34 tanks they were facing, and in addition to this, the larger ammunition used by the new gun reduced the internal stowage capacity from 90 to 84 rounds. Although the Ausf. J was the most heavily produced variant of this famous tank, by 1943, the Panzer III was outclassed on the battlefield and not produced as a tank any more, although the main chassis was still used in the production of the excellent Sturmgeschütz III assault gun/tank destroyers.

Hawker Hurricane Mk.1
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A14002V - Hawker Hurricane Mk.1

The most numerous fighter in service with the RAF at the start of the Battle of Britain, the Hawker Hurricane went on to prove itself a vital and effective fighter aircraft on all fronts of the Second World War. It came to be regarded as a rugged and reliable ground attack machine, but it was undoubtedly its service as a defensive fighter during the Battle of Britain that forged its reputation as one of the war's great fighters.

Entering service with 111 squadron in December 1937, the original fabric wings made way for metal ones by 1939. During the Battle of Britain, the average strength of fighter command was 1,326 Hurricanes compared to 957 spitfires. It was in a Hurricane that Flt. Lt. Nicholson gained fighter commands only Victoria Cross of the war, downing an enemy Messerschmitt Bf110, while his own aircraft was being engulfed with flames. After the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane went on to serve in the Far East, as well as the Desert and Eastern Front.

BAE SYSTEMS is a registered trade mark of BAE Systems plc.

Airfix Blood Red Skies - Battle of Britain
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A1500 - Airfix Blood Red Skies - Battle of Britain


A Tactical Level Air Combat Tabletop Game for Two or More Players. Written by Andy Chambers, 'Blood Red Skies' is a tabletop miniatures game where you take command of a force of fighter aircraft in battle. The emphasis in 'Blood Red Skies' is on action and the game is fast-paced, with no pre-plotting or book-keeping required. A game of Blood Red Skies with two planes per side can be fought in twenty minutes or less. The Airfix Presents 'Blood Red Skies' box set comes complete with everything you need to get playing the game, and four aircraft: two Supermarine SpitfireMk IIs and two Messerschmitt Bf109-Es in 1:72 scale.


  • 1 x Blood Red Skies Rulebook 
  • 2 x Supermarine Spitfire MkII Fighter planes
  • 2 x Messerschmitt Bf109-E Fighter planes
  • 4 x BRS Advantage Flying Bases
  • 2 x Reference Aircraft Cards
  • 8 x Combat Dice
  • 6 x Pilot Skill Level Discs
  • 6 x Boom Chit Tokens
  • 6 x Zoom Tokens
  • 3 x Cloud /Air Defence Clusters
  • 1 x Navigation Caliper
  • 1 x Range Finder
  • 2 x Movement Templates
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc
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A17001 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc

In the world of aviation, is there any aircraft which can even come close to matching the iconic status the Supermarine Spitfire enjoys, a legacy which is as strong today as it was during the wartime years? A modern monoplane fighter aircraft which made its first flight from Eastleigh Aerodrome on 5th March 1936, the Spitfire would earn its legendary reputation during the Battle of Britain, when the pilots of the Royal Air Force stood defiantly against the overwhelming might of the all-conquering Luftwaffe, an aviation beacon of hope for a nation and its people during their darkest hour. 

Elegant and graceful to look at, the Spitfire's appearance masked the fact that this was a deadly fighting aeroplane and one which was adaptable enough to undergo almost constant development throughout the wartime years, allowing later marks of the fighter to post speeds which were almost 100 mph faster than the first machines to enter service. With a service career which extended well into the post war years, the Spitfire outlived all its aviation contemporaries and with over 22,000 Spitfires of all variants (including Seafires) eventually being built, Spitfires are still a regular sight at Airshow events all over the world, as an ever increasing number of restored airworthy aircraft continue to write the enduring Spitfire story. Even though the prototype Spitfire made its first flight over 85 years ago, the aircraft is still widely regarded as Britain's most famous aircraft type and instantly recognisable to many millions of people the world over.

The Spitfire Mk.IX variant was arguably the most important mark of Spitfire in the entire production run and because of that, it is somewhat surprising to learn that it was actually something of a stop-gap development. The arrival of the Luftwaffe's new Focke Wulf 190 fighter over the Western Front in August 1941 saw RAF Spitfire Mk.Vs operating over the Channel falling victim to the 'Butcher Bird' in ever increasing numbers and something had to be done. A major Spitfire upgrade was in progress, but the Mk.VIII was still some way off, as manufacturing facilities prepared their tooling jigs for the new aircraft, but there was a temporary solution. One of the major features of the new Spitfire was its use of a powerful new version of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine and it was proposed that fitting this new engine to a Spitfire Mk.V airframe would give the fighter a welcome performance boost.

The first 100 Spitfire Mk.IX fighters were actually Mk.Vc airframes adapted to take the new Merlin 61 two stage, two speed supercharged engine, with this combination producing a thoroughbred fighting aeroplane, one which was more than capable of challenging the FW190 and the latest 'F' variant of the Messerschmitt Bf 109. In fact, the new Spitfire was considered so successful that this would become the second most heavily produced variant in the entire production run and if including the aircraft powered by the licence built Packard Merlin 266 (Spitfire Mk.XVI) even eclipsed the Mk.V in production numbers. With further powerplant refinement taking place throughout the production life of this variant, the first Mk.IX Spitfires started to join RAF Squadrons from July 1942, with this famous mark of Spitfire going on to see service past D-Day and into the post war era. The last major Merlin engine powered variant of the Spitfire, this 'emergency stop-gap fighter' actually became something of an aviation classic.

Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1
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A18001V - Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1

An aircraft which is undoubtedly one of the most significant in the history of aviation, the Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1 was developed from the Hawker P.1127 experimental aircraft produced to test the possibilities of V/STOL vectored thrust flight. These aircraft would successfully master the transition from hovering to forward flight and back to the hover, despite several of the development aircraft suffering accidents during testing. The prospect of a viable V/STOL aircraft proved to be of great interest to both the British and US military, who funded further development of the aircraft.

The new 'Jump Jet' was an instant hit with the British public, who marvelled at the ingenuity of their aviation industry, which was once again proving to be the envy of the world. As the consummate display performer, the Harrier was always a popular display item with Airshow crowds, with the two forming a bond which would last right through the Harrier's long service career. In the eyes of the British public, no Airshow was complete without a display from Britain's world leading Harrier.

Entering Royal Air Force service in April 1969, the operational flexibility offered by the Harrier GR.1 ensured the aircraft would never find itself too far away from potential conflict hotspots. Not confined to operating from military airfields, Harriers could be concealed in forest clearings or dispersed to sections of motorways, or even school playgrounds, but with the intention of keeping their location concealed from the enemy. With many of these early Harriers deployed in West Germany, they would act as a significant deterrent against Eastern Bloc aggression, potentially lurking in many undisclosed locations, poised to strike against attacking Soviet armour at a moment's notice.

Hawker Typhoon Mk.1B - Car Door
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A19003A - Hawker Typhoon Mk.1B - Car Door

These early machines were somewhat rushed into service and it was discovered that a number of modifications would be desirable, if not totally essential. Perhaps the most noticeable difference from the later models were around the canopy area as the first Typhoons were supplied with a forward opening car door style cockpit entry for the pilot which even included a wind down window. The pilot also had a transparent roof panel, which hinged open to the left and some machines had the addition of a rear-facing mirror, on the canopy frame.

The new Typhoon scheme is a fascinating one and helps tell the story how all nations coveted airworthy versions of the enemys latest fighters during WWII. This RAF ground attack aircraft was hit by flak whilst crossing the coast of France at low level, with the pilot making a belly landing in the nearest field he could see. Unfortunately, he was captured before he had the chance to set fire to his aircraft, to prevent it falling into enemy hands he was taken prisoner.

The aircraft was taken to Rechlin (the German equivalent of Farnborough) where it was returned to airworthy status. It was operated as part of Zirkus Rosarius, a unit operating enemy aircraft types, evaluating their performance, hoping to establish their strengths and vulnerabilities. The unit would tour operational Luftwaffe bases (hence the Zirkus name), where squadron pilots had the chance to see the latest enemy aircraft at close hand, speaking with the pilot flying it, to discuss how best to better them in combat. This aircraft probably served in this role for around a year, before being written off in a landing accident just a month after D-Day.

Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat
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A19004 - Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat

The ultimate scale of Aviation models as far as we are concerned are the big 1:24 scale kits. Airfix launched its first the Spitfire - when many of our designers were children themselves. The excitement of childhood and the models they created has driven them to make the Hellcat the ultimate Airfix model of the decade. Introduced in 2019, the Hellcat is an aircraft carrier based WWII fighter and our model allows you to build it in either flight or stored mode with the wings folded. Just check out the video of the model included with the product illustration at the top of this page. You'll dream of building this model whilst you await its arrival!

Comprising over 600 pieces, this will involve you in developing lots of modelling skills as you gradually assemble each detail want to create a fully detailed engine! Maybe you want a nice cockpit, since it's there in this kit for you! There are so many different options to choose from, you could easily make 3-4 models and have each appearing significantly differently once built. You will certainly find the time and effort repaid in this model our designers estimate around 180 hours are required to build and finish this model to a high standard showing what great value this kit and our hobby is. So, now the only decision is what options to include in your model purchasing. One thing's for sure, a Hellcat kit is not a decision you'll regret.

Grumman Martlet Mk.IV and Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat are trademarks of Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation.

1930 4.5 litre Bentley
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A20440V - 1930 4.5 litre Bentley

With its front mounted supercharger, the 4.5 litre Bentley became the quintessential British sports car of the 20s and 30s. It was shaped from the earlier 4-cylinder 3 Litre, but produced substantially more power with its blown engine. As such, it was a stunning road car and a perfect contender for endurance racing. Due to its dramatic appearances at Le Mans and successes in speed trials at the Brooklands circuit, racing and winning became synonymous with Bentley during this period and few other models capture this image as well as the 4.5 litre Bentley. The number 9 car featured in this kit, UU5872, is the original Birkin Team Car known as 'Birkin Blower No. 2'. This is the car that made a dramatic appearance at the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hour Race.

In 1929, Bentley replaced the 4.5 litre and opted to race the higher capacity Speed 6. Three 'Birkin Blowers' were entered to compete alongside the Bentley Speed 6s at the 1930 Le Mans. In the event, only one Blower, (Birkins own No. 2 car), started the race. Under Walter Owen Bentley's tactical team management, Birkin's role was to draw the Mercedes of Carraciola and Werner into a high speed duel, which he successfully achieved. The Blower lead from the start, swapping the lead with the Mercedes throughout the night, until eventually the German car withdrew with a blown engine. Birkins success came at a cost, as he had to retire after 20 hours with a bent valve, leaving the two Speed 6s to take 1st and 2nd Places.

  • Power: 240bhp
  • Wheelbase: 3 metres
  • Weight: 1,930kg

Bentley Motors Limited England. Bentley, the B in wings device and other associated logos and names are trademarks of Bentley Motors Limited. The body designs of Bentley motor cars are protected by Bentley Motors Limited under design, trademark and intellectual property law.

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