Oxford Diecast Austin Seven Ruby

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author except where otherwise stated.

The model shown here is the second release of the Austin Seven Ruby from Oxford Diecast.  This follows the previous release in various colours of the original Austin 7.

In August 1934 the ‘7’ was re-styled with the saloon version being called the ‘Ruby’.  The new model was recognisable by the longer bonnet and cowled radiator, whilst the tail was slightly downswept with the spare wheel enclosed by a metal cover, this item also concealing a folding luggage grid. These changes brought the styling of Austin’s smallest car in line with the larger ones
The Oxford model captures the Ruby’s diminutive size and its curved shape very well. And the colour split is very nicely achieved.

From the front the Austin badging has been well printed though the Austin badge is just a silver print with no red colour applied.  The badging on the radiator is well done but the silver inset around the grille is a little overscale. The headlights are lovely units with clear plastic lenses.

The picture above shows how well the car’s profile has been captured and the suitcase on the luggage rack is a nice plastic casting.

Another view of the case shows the printed straps. The number plates are nicely printed as are handles and catches all round the car.

The roof has a nicely printed fabric section and the interior has a nicely finished dashboard with instruments printed a neat steering wheel, moulded door cards and nicely matt finished seats.

On the down side I am afraid that the wheels do not match the quality of the rest of the model. Setting aside the fact that the “wire” outer has fallen off one wheel whilst handling, the rear wheels do not turn without binding on the body. But the worst feature is the way that they look. Oxfords technique for “faux wires” has looked OK on many previous models but it really lets this one down. Somehow the plastic nature of the outer wires is obvious and the clear disk is cloudy and stops the inner disk showing through, though on some wheels the inner wires are not properly fitted into the centre either. This is a real shame as it stops this from being an excellent model when it so easily could be.


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Brooklin January 2018

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by Brooklin

Brooklin has recently released a number of  new and re-coloured models. Here are their studio photographs of the latest releases. All these models are now available from Brooklin suppliers even if Brooklin’s web site does not show them as available. Those interested in buying them should bear in mind that Brooklin dealers are now often offering significant discounts which did not happen previously. It is noticeable that there are no new Lansdowne models at the moment as Brooklin continues to develop it’s new sales strategy.

BML22 – 1939 Nash Ambassador

BML23 1948 Ford V8 Station Wagon. [Colour change]

 

BML24 – 1934 Ford Five Window Coupe –

Stated as Cordoba Grey but beige/brown colour

BRK221 – 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air 4 Door Hardtop

The four door hardtop has not often been modelled and this model has been favourably received for the significantly improved levels of detail.

 

BRK223 – 1965 Chevrolet Impala Convertible Coupe

Another well received model. This model is neatly detailed.

 

CSV26 – 1937 Superior-Pontiac Provident Ambulance

IPV446 1939 Railton Cobham Saloon (Flying Squad)

Six cars were assembled during the war for the use of the Metropolitan Police.


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Ford Transit Connect Conversion

By John Quilter

Photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author except for one clearly marked publicity Photograph from Greenlight.

In the last few years Ford has completely revamped its commercial vehicle range moving away from the long running Econoline  in the USA and adopting the international design vans and mini buses,  a more European type range of commercial vehicles.  These compete with the Mercedes Benz Metris, and Dodge Ram Promaster City, Chevrolet City Express offerings as well as some from Nissan such as the NV200.    There are two basic Ford models  but lots of variations.  The smaller of the two current offerings is a Transit Connect and the larger,  just known as a Transit.    In the USA the Connect is actually the second generation of this vehicle, the first being smaller still and imported from Ford’s Turkey operation.    The second generation was launched in 2012 and sold in the US from 2014.   It is produced in both Turkey and Valencia Spain.   It comes in two lengths,  174 inches or 190 inches.    The passenger version is known as the Titanium edition with side windows and additions rows of seats,  two behind the driving compartment on the shorter version.

 

Greenlight Collectibles, who do a number of 1:43 scale replicas of modern vehicles, produce a white Transit Connect van with a black interior.  These are quite accurate diecast models probably used by Ford as promos since they replicate current production Ford products.   The Connect measure 4.37 inches which is virtually dead on accurate 1:43 scale for the longer version.  Greenlights are good value for money so for an inveterate modifier such as myself, they make great donor models to create something a bit different and not currently in an model range.  Therefore I set about making one of the cargo versions into a passenger van known as the Titanium edition which features  more features and fancier interiors.

To do this required disassembly, quite easy with two Philips screws holding the plastic base plate in place.  Grinding off the spun pegs  releases the fascia unit and this gives access to the front side windows which also need to be removed and set aside for protection.   Then comes the harder work.   After covering most of the model with masking tape for protection, drill a number of small holes in the inset areas of the side panels.   A Google search for photos of the real vehicle, often internet advertising websites, will give good views of the shape of the windows and in many cases the design of the rear rows of seats plus representative colours.    Many of the Titanium editions will be in various colours but in order to preserve the logos and badging and black mouldings I chose to keep my model in the very typical commercial vehicle white.    To open up the windows it will be necessary to drill multiple holes in the body sides.  Be advised this Mazak material is hard stuff, use sharp bits.   Then much filing with various square, triangular, and round files will open up the window areas to the proper shapes.  Once the windows are to the correct shape I cut out of clear 1/16th inch thick clear plastic windows to fit the apertures.   The modern vehicle practice these days is to have a wide black boarder around windows so some flat back paint surround is painted in as well.

For additional rows of seats I scratch made reasonable facsimiles from pieces of styrene plastic shaped and glued together then painted grey and black and fitted to the base plate.   The  on line images I found showed seats in duotone grey and black so these additional details were added to the stock Greenlight front ”captain’s chair”  seats.


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More Police Cars

By Peter Wyatt

In my previous post, I promised to show a few police cars from my collection. Except for one, they are all a nominal 1/43 scale.

The first one is a Corgi Mini van with dog and handler.

Corgi Vanguards Vauxhall Velox

Corgi Vanguards Triumph Dolomite

Dinky Humber Hawk. This car has the number plate of PC 49.

Corgi Zephyr Estate

Mersey Tunnel police Land Rover

Corgi Hillman Imp. As was common on some Corgi models, the rear suspension on this model is broken.

Metosul VW

Dinky Ford Zodiac

Morestone Wolsley police car. This one is the size of a Matchbox toy.

Vanguards Austin 1800 diplomatic protection unit

Corgi Riley Pathfinder

Dinky Range Rover

Corgi Chevrolet. This is my only American police car!

Finally, here is my Dinky police phone box.  I hope you enjoyed these photos.

 


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A Life of Police and Police Cars

By Peter Wyatt

I got this Corgi Toys Commer 464 police van in 1967 for my tenth birthday. The light flashed (still does), and from that day, my heart was set on becoming a police officer.

Having completed an apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer, just in case I didn’t like being a police officer or, they didn’t like me, I became a police officer in England, which I did for thirty years until I retired seven years ago as a Detective Inspector. Thank you, Corgi, for helping me in my career path and for giving my family and me a great quality of life.

It also led me to become an avid collector of police vehicles which I still do to this day at the age of 60. I have also fine tuned my two grandsons, Harry and Noah, into the mindset of collecting die cast and to look after them as an investment. They do have cars to play with, but they love to see the collectible ones on display. I also collect other Corgi and Dinky Toys, but police cars have always been my main collecting theme.

All photos are my own apart from the Mark 2 Escort which is from the Trofeu site. I moved house recently, and all my cars are currently in the loft whilst I have a room converted to house them. I can’t find my own picture of that model.

I became a police officer in 1981. The very first police car I drove was a Ford Escort Mark 2. It went from 0-60 in about 2 hours, but I thought it was a fantastic car. In the early 2000’s, Trofeu brought out this 1/43 limited model of the actual car. I just had to have one!

It’s not my intention to chronicle my whole career, but I will share some of my scale model collection by different manufacturers.

The following is a Volvo V 70 traffic car based on a Schuco Volvo estate. A business called Paul Robson Models based in Cumbria UK personalised the Schuco model into actual Staffordshire police cars.

You will see that Paul placed a clipboard with my name on the dashboard. I never actually served as a traffic officer; twenty four of my thirty years were spent as a detective.

21 is the force code for my old force, Staffordshire Police, and the number is on the roof of cars to enable identification from the air.

In my next post, I will show a selection of images from my collection. Hope you will find some of them interesting.


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More Anonymous Alloy Models from China

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author

I looked at an Austin Seven Model marked C.I.L. but sold as an alloy model recently. I now have another model from this series which is shown below. The model is of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and is very similar to the well known real life 1907 Silver Ghost AX 201.

The model is quite impressive initially being the right size and shape to complement the Corgi Classics closed bodied Silver Ghost. There is no Spirit of Ecstacy mascot but looking at the original pictures that may be appropriate for this car but the lack of the Rolls-Royce symbol on the radiator is probably incorrect.

The wheels and Chassis are made of plastic and the colour match with the painted body is excellent. The horn, brake levers and spare tyre are all well modelled as are the seats.

Inside the nice painted steering rim is the end of the detail other than some foot pedals moulded into the floor. There is a complete lack of any instrumentation.

In profile the lack of detail elsewhere cab be easily overlooked as it captures the shape of the original very well.

The front headlights have a simple polished interior finish but looked at from a distance it looks like bulbs and lenses are all modelled. This is a trick of the light but an effective one.

To the rear no effort has been made to include any lighting or other features.

All in all like the Austin a curious mixture of “Models of Yesteryear” levels of detail with a 1:43 casting which captures the original vehicle well.


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Two Favorites in One

By Frank Koh

Playlist for Tonight:
1. Sergio Mendes' Favorite Things, Atlantic Records, 1968.
2. T.N. Nomura Tin Battery-Operated "Bump 'n Go" 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS, Japan, 1968

For me, this 1968 Sergio Mendes solo album (sans Brazil 66) on the Atlantic Records label (not one of the more well-known A&M releases) is truly The Carefree Sixties on Vinyl. The upbeat title cut “My Favorite Things” and the sultry interpretation of “I Say a Little Prayer” are the best of the early works of Mr. Mendes. Arranged and conducted by Dave Grusin, I might add.

The T.N. Nomura bump-‘n-go tin Camaro is not only exceptionally realistic and well-scaled (close to 1/18) for a sixties tin toy, it is feature-packed as well. It’s got lights that actually work, and though the headlight doors don’t open like on the real car, they are actually “see-thru”, and that’s genuinely sixties-cool. It also has a horn that makes squeaking sounds like those silly toddlers’ shoes that annoy everyone within twenty feet of those little brats that love to wear them.

Why did I create this playlist?

I practically “grew up on a diet of Bossa Nova” and other wonderful types of music, and Sergio Mendes has always been a personal favorite. I have also loved first generation Camaros since they debuted during the 1967 model year. In fact, I have owned two of them.  So the year 1968 ties it all together!

Here’s my latest project car, a full scale 1968 RS/SS tribute car, which coincidentally, we shot in its original Butternut Yellow color.


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Atlas British Touring Cars – Triumph Dolomite Sprint

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

It would seem that whilst Atlas has been passing models that form part of the current British Touring Car Championship series to wholesalers on the continent as they are now appearing in at least one retailers publicity material and are now appearing quite widely on eBay. This suggests that the series has not been as popular as Atlas hoped. Atlas has yet again been quite “Loose” in its range description as many of the cars featured won the British Saloon Car Championship which preceded the Touring Car Championship.

This article looks at one of the models from this series Triumph Dolomite Sprint driven by Andy Rouse to win the championship in 1975.  The car came first equal in the manufacturers table with the Chevrolet Camaro.

The Atlas model is is interesting with quite a fine casting and quite a lot of separate parts and extensive printing. At the front the headlight rims could perhaps be a little narrower but all the lights are there and tape replicated on the headlights. When the photograph is enlarged the badging shows fine detail.

The sides are covered in the promotional material that seems to replicate the car as raced well. The complicated multiple coach lines are also well printed.  The side windows are excellent, the fit flush and are plastic inserts used with the door frames printed on. Comparing this model to the Corgi Vanguards model in my collection this casting is not a re-cycled Corgi. It is newer and rather more delicate. Indeed Corgi did model the same car as VA5303 and this Atlas model seems to be a step up in a number of areas.

The wheels are modelled well  capturing the alloy wheels becoming popular at the time.

The rear of the car is again pretty good with the lights moulded in plastic and coloured to match the lenses used. The badging is again excellent.

Inside the car the interior is stripped out to the rear and fitted with a neatly moulded roll cage. The steering wheel and dashboard are neatly moulded but no detailing has been added.

The only fault that I can see is the trailing edge of the roof where the casting is rough and looks almost as if it has been filed off.


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Corgi – New for 2018

By Maz Woolley

All pictures taken from the Corgi Website.

The latest catalogue from Corgi shows that it is too early for the new regime at Hornby to have had an effect. There are a mere thirty eight items, excluding the catalogue itself. Thirty four if you discount the buses where two different models are sold of same casting and livery, identical but for the destination board. No new castings are introduced in any range, and some ranges, most notably trucks, yet again see no new releases.

Regular reader Andrew Davies points out that at least one of the Vanguards issues is not wholly new. The Triumph Herald police car casting was previously used as a Monmouthshire Constabulary car  in a Panda Car twin pack (PC2002) in 1998 during the Lledo era. The computer generated illustration of the new car in Monmouthshire Constabulary livery looks very little different to the old one.

Andrew also notes that the Magenta Stag announced for 2018 appeared in the 2016 catalogue along with a Triumph TR250 but neither was never produced, it is thought due to licensing issues at the time.

It is perhaps a good thing that almost all the models being produced are limited editions as I cannot see there being a strong demand for yet another version of what are now very elderly moulds in some cases. I hope that the next catalogue gets to see the result of the money that we are told is being made available for new tooling or it may be pointless issuing one.

A listing of the new releases follows:

Aircraft

  • Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 ‘Red 8’, Kurt Gabler, Mosquito Hunter, III./JG 300
  • Hawker Fury Mk.I, K2065, RAF No.1 Squadron, ‘C’ Flight Leaders Aircraft – 100 Years of the RAF
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk.I, V6799 / SD-X Pilot Officer K.W Mackenzie, RAF No.501 Squadron – 100 Years of the RAF
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4, Wilhelm Balthasar, 1./JG.1, France 1940
  • Avro Lancaster B. Mk.III (Special) ED929 / AJ-L ‘Operation Chastise’ Dams Raid – 100 Years of the RAF
  • D.H Mosquito B.IV, DK296 / GB-G Flt. Lt. D A G ‘George’ Parry, RAF No.105 Squadron – 100 Years of the RAF
  • Panavia Tornado GR.4 ZA459/F ‘MacRoberts Reply’, 90th Anniversary Scheme – 100 Years of the RAF
  • Boeing Chinook HC.4 ZA683 RAF No.27 Squadron, ‘Special Centenary Scheme’ – 100 Years of the RAF
  • Focke Wulf Fw190A-8/R2 ‘Black 8’ Unteroffizier Willi Maximowitz, II Staffel (Sturm) IV/JG.3
  • BAe Hawk T.1 XX246 / 95-Y RAF No.100 Squadron, 95th Anniversary Scheme – 100 Years of the RAF
  • Eurofighter Typhoon T.3 ZK380 No.2(AC) Squadron – 100 Years of the RAF
  • SE5a F-904, Major C E M Pickthorn (MC), RAF No.84 Squadron France, November 1918 – 100 Years of RAF
  • Douglas C-47A Skytrain™ 315208 ‘Fassberg Flyer’, US Air Force, Berlin Airlift
  • Fokker DR.1 Dreidecker, 155/17 Lt. Eberhard Mohnicke, Jasta 11, von Richthofen’s Flying Circus
  • Westland Whirlwind HAR.1 XA868 Royal Navy, HMS Protector, 1963
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa P7823 / TM-F ‘Down Belfast Telegraph Spitfire Fund’ – 100 Years of the RAF

Film and TV range

  • James Bond Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante ‘The Living Daylights’
  • James Bond AMC Hornet ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’
  • Mr Bean’s Mini

Original Omnibus

  • Bristol Lodekka FS6B, Wilts and Dorset, Cream and Maroon, 38A Bournemouth Limited Stop
  • Bristol Lodekka FS6B Wilts & Dorset, Cream and Maroon, 38A Salisbury Limited Stop
  • Guy Arab II Burton Corporation, Burgundy and Cream, Anglesy Road
  • Guy Arab II Burton Corporation, Burgundy and Cream, Calais Road
  • AEC London & Country, Two-Tone Green, Epsom
  • AEC London & Country, Two-Tone Green, Leatherhead
  • Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company, Tunbridge Wells
  • Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company, Brighton Marina & Queens Park

Vanguards

  • Triumph Herald 1200, Monmouthshire Constabulary
  • VW Beetle Type 1-11E, British Army, Royal Military Police
  • Ford Zephyr 6 Mk3, Spruce Green
  • Vauxhall Cresta PA, Alpine Green & Glade Green
  • Morris 1800 Mk2 1970 World Cup Rally, 2nd in Ladies’ Prize, 18th overall
  • Rover SD1 3500 V8 Vanden Plas, Opaline Green
  • Ford Escort Mk1 Mexico Sebring Red
  • Triumph Stag Mk2, Magenta
  • Ford Granada MkII 2.8i, Sussex Police
  • Ford Fiesta Mk1 1100cc ‘Sandpiper II’, Roman Bronze & Solar Gold
  • Ford Escort Mk2 1.6 Harrier, Strato Silver

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GFCC Toys – 1955 Studebaker Speedster Coupe

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of the Author.

The GFCC Pontiac Bonneville has already been reviewed by Graeme Ogg in a previous article in MAR Online. I have now received the next model available on eBay from this range; a 1955 Studebaker Speedster Coupé. This was rather dearer than the Pontiac, but including delivery to the UK it cost about the same price as a Corgi or Oxford 1:43 scale model.

Again the model comes in a slightly curious box. But the box quality and the plastic inner and tissue packing is very like that used for Atlas models. There is continued speculation that these models may have been developed for a partwork or subscription series that was not launched.

The Studebaker Speedster Coupé was sold in the 1955 model year only. It used a name previously used by Studebaker in the 1920s. It formed part of the President series and was based upon the President Hardtop Coupé. The 1955 model year cars were characterised by the introduction of massive grilles and bumpers. The Speedster was fitted with a large number of options as standard and was considerably dearer than the hardtop it was based on. After showing the Speedster at car shows it went into production in the middle of the 1955 model year. It was replaced in the 1956 model year by the Hawk series modelled by Dinky, Corgi and many others since.

It is difficult to know what to judge the model against. In many ways, although a diecast, it is like an early Brooklin but it has more Tampo printing. It has no separate inserted parts  and lights are all painted on. In other respects, like the exposed axle ends, it is more like an old Dinky Toy but unlike a Dinky the interior has door cards, a detailed dashboard and steering wheel as well as the seats which represent the  “Shoemaker-stitched” diamond-quilted genuine top-grain leather seating fitted to the original. So I suppose that it is closest in feel to a Dinky that has been given extra detailing.

My model has a dashboard that has dropped to the floor. Normally I would quickly refit this myself but this model is fitted together with spun-over rivets so is not going to be easy to open. I hope other buyers find their dashboard properly fitted.

The model has many of the features of the Speedster replicated in a simplified manner. The wheel hub shape attempts to capture the original but omits the false wire wheel sections making them toy like. At the rear the lights are painted in a simplified way and the reversing lights on the original are just bumps on the boot. The badging is also rather simplified.

From the side the model looks nicely shaped though the heavy silver printed chrome is rather dull and the black roof and the printed window surround do not match properly leaving an incorrect strip of green between the chrome and the black paint.

The massive front with its unblacked grille really reminds me of a French Dinky from the 1950s. The massive extra lights are incorrectly painted red pictures of the real car seem to show them in an orange colour.

The rear too has a really Dinky like quality with the moulded in detail and no separate parts. It is a nice shape though capturing the car well.

The model is available in three colour combinations:

  • Black and ochre with a cream roof
  • Yellow with black lower and roof
  • Green with black lower part and roof

All these colour combinations can be seen in selections of photographs of the real cars.

The only source for these models seems to be from the company ‘s direct sales on eBay.


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