All posts by maronlineeditor

Some preview samples from Corgi and Oxford Diecast

By Maz Woolley

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

John Ayrey is a major UK wholeseller and hosts open days for its trade buyers several times a year. I was lucky enough to get a press invite to their July session featuring Oxford and Corgi models. I even got to walk round their impressive warehouse which was full of models I wish I could afford!

All the models photographed are pre-production prototypes and may feature combinations of fittings which will not all appear in the same combination on the released models. Some of the models shown are just becoming available whilst others will ship over the rest of 2018.

We were lucky enough to have Lyndon Davies (Taff) at the event. It was fascinating to find out more about the development of Oxford’s models and how a lot of effort has to be expended at the CAD phase to make sure the engineers in China understand the need for certain body features to be created in a particular way to facilitate printing later.

Oxford are finalising models for two years ahead and if I interpreted Taff correctly we will begin to see the results of all the work going on at Hornby soon too.

Lyndon Davies (Taff) CEO/Chairman Hornby Hobbies, and Director at, and founder of, Oxford Diecast

N Gauge 1:148 scale


Oxford showed a small number of models at this scale. All the models shown are due in Q3/2018.

NMA002 Mercedes Ambulance London

NLR002 Land Rover LIghtweight Military Police

NCOR3003 Cortina Mark III Sebring Red

HO Gauge 1:87 scale

Samples were shown of the forthcoming new releases in the range of small US cars. The first two are recolours due soon.

87CI61003 1961 Chevrolet Impala White/Roman Red Q3/2018

87CSD61002 1961 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Aspen Gold Metallic

Test castings of new models were also shown

1961 Chrysler 300 Convertible (Closed)  – no production date for this version yet

87CC61001 Chrysler 300 Convertible (Open)  Mardi Gras Red Q3/2018

87DC68001 Dodge Charger Bright Red Q3/2018

87DD69001 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona black Q3/2018

87DS46001 DeSoto Suburban Noel Green Q3/2018 – NB Catalogue does not show luggage fitted.

De Soto Taxi not shown in catalogue yet.

87DP57001 1957 Dodge D100 Sweptside Pick up Tropical Coral/Glacier White Q3/2018

OO Gauge 1:76 Scale


76TCAB010 Scania T Cab short Curtainside Stuart Nichol Transport Q3/2018

76DAF004 DAF 85 Short Fridge Trailer Trevor Pye Q3/2018

76TPU002 Ford Transit Dropside Network Rail Q3/2018

76BR001 Burrell 8nhp DCC showman’s Locomotive and Caravan The Masterpiece (Dorset) Q3/2018

76JCX001 JCB 3CX Q3/2018

Combine Harvester – not shown in latest catalogue

763CX002 JCB 3CX Eco Backhoe Loader Union Jack Livery Q3/2018

76P38002 Range Rover P38 Monte Carlo Blue Q3/2018

76TR6002 Triumph TR6 Signal Red Q3/2018

76JSS006 SS Jaguar DArk Blue Q3/2018

76MGBGT003 MGB GT Glacier White Q3/2018

76CAP008 Ford Capri Signal Orange Q3/2018

76SOM001 Austin Somerset Black Q3/2018

76SOM002 Austin Somerset Buckingham Green Q4/2018

76BMO02003 BMW 2002 Taiga Green Q3/2018

76VW Could possibly be the pastel blue but very different shade to catalogue.

76FCC001 Ford Consul Capri Lime Green/Ermine White Q3/2018

76FDE010 Ford 400E Cargo Grey Q3/2018

76FT1008 Ford Transit Mark I Castrol Q3/2018

76RCL002 Range Rover Classic Darien Gap Q3/2018

Another sample I could not find in the catalogue of one of the later defenders with roof rack etc.

76LR2S004 Land Rover Short Wheelbase Post Office Telephones (Yellow) Q3/208

Land Rover not shown in Catalogue.

76LR2S005 Land Rover Series II SWB Civil Defense. NB Catalogue does not show luggage fitting on roof.

76LR3002 Land Rover Series III Hard Top AA Q3/2018

76LRFCS001 Land Rover FC Signals NATO Q3/2018

76CHT004 Churchill Tank 6th Guards Brigade 1943 Q4/2018

76TIL011 Austin Tilly No.1 MTTC Camberley 1945 (Subaltern Princess Elizabeth) Q3/2018

76WFA007 Weymann Fanfare North Western Q3/2018

76SB002 Saro Bus Maidstone and District

76PAN007 Plaxton Panorama Ribble Q3/2018

76IR6004 Irizar i6 Galleon Travel Q3/2018. Foreground is 1:148 Actros truck which I cannot find in the catalogue.

1:72 Scale Aircraft

72DV005 DH104 Devon WB534 RAF Transport Command

AC083 Henschel 123A Unit 3/SFGr 50 Lt. Hamann Q3/2018

1:43 Scale


43TX5001 LEVC TX Electric Taxi Black. Q3/2018

43LR3S002 Land Rover Series III SWB Hardtop AA Q3/2018

43R25002 Rolls Royce 25/30 Thrupp and Maberley Q3/2018

1:18 Scale


18MBC006 Messerschmitt KR200 Convertible Q3/2018

18HE003 Heinkel Kabine Yellow Q3/2018

Corgi Vanguards

Fewer samples to show here unsurprisingly. But we do get to see the two Minis to come this year.


VA13507 Mini 1275GT Special Tuning Press Launch Car

VA02541 Austin Mini Cooper S MK 1 1275cc Almond Green

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AUTO 100 – The World’s Greatest Postage Stamp Car Collection

By Jerry J. Broz

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

The Editor recently wrote about the die-cast model of the US Postal Service Delivery Truck.

Auto 100′ the Postage Stamp Car Collection is a valuable addition to any scale die-cast model car collection and can serve as an essential list of manufacturers and models of the available die-cast model cars produced.

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Automobile, a group of six English-speaking nations (Grenada, Nevis,Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Bequia & Union Island, and Tuvalu) assembled a collection of official postage stamps featuring cars. This collection is the most comprehensive collection of car stamps ever issued. It commemorates the most important and historic road and race cars ever built, the designers, the racers, and manufacturers from around the world, an was entitled ‘The World’s Greatest Car Collection’.

Introduced in 1984 by Stamp Collectors Society of America this collection includes 694 stamps, 61 full-page, full-colour photographs, 60 ‘profiles’ of drivers, designers and manufacturers, a history of the automobile, and a detailed description and specification of every car on the stamps, along with seven pages of Index and six pages of preface, introduction, and history of every car. All 306 pages are stored in a loose leaf, six-ring, black and gold decorated album, provided exclusively to subscribers.


The total value of the complete collection, as detailed above, was $563.00 in the 1980s.

The car stamps were available from the Stamp Collectors Society of America until their discontinuation in 1990 and are still available in sets of eight to sixteen stamps or in collections of 130 stamps or less from eBay.


Each month the subscribers to the original collection received 24 Stamps, one or two photographs, and one or two profiles with an invoice for $19.50 and with a “Stamp Collectors Society of America” letter announcing the next set of 24 stamps. Each shipment featured additional information about cars, designers,racers, manufacturers, etc. The accompanying letter was addressed to the subscriber and signed by Prescott V. Kelly, President of Stamp Collectors Society of America.

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Another passing – John Martin

I have been informed that John Martin, the JM in JM Toys has recently passed away. John was trained as an engineer and after working for large companies like GEC Marconi and Plessey he left to form small companies of his own and one, J Martin Toolmakers was his introduction to model making as it made tools for Airfix, Palitoys and others. From there he developed a bigger involvement with modelling by buying a company making railway controllers and then acquiring Fleetline Model Company that made N Gauge white metal models for railway scenes.

John opened Cowplan models in 1979 and expanded buy buying another business. The emphasis at this time was railway modelling. But after he started trading at toy fairs in the mid-1980s his interest was taken by Brooklins as well as Pathfinder Models, Kenna Models, and Somerville models.  At this time he amassed one of the largest collections of Brooklins in the world. As his model trading expanded his engineering firms were wound down with the final one closing in 1992. By this time JM Toys had become one of the biggest distributors of white metal models.

John suffered from Diabetes and created a number of special models to raise funds for the British Diabetic Association  (now Diabetes UK). In recent years the business has been passed over to his son Russell to run and has become heavily Internet based. Whilst John found more time to ‘go fishing’ which was a hobby that allowed him to leave behind the stresses of the model business.

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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 16

By Fabrizio Panico

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Nos. 46  to 48

This time we visit fabulous India with a Tata bus, France again with another Berliet and step behind the Iron Curtain with a postwar Skoda. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork ‘Autobus dal mondo’, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French partwork ‘Autobus et autocars du monde’, produced in Bangladesh by Ixo. At the time of writing Italian Hachette has announced that the partwork will be extended to eighty models (the French one is marching towards 120), but the first two models (nos. 61 and 62) are nothing more than new liveries on old castings: not a good start, let’s hope we see something new.

No. 46 (no. 45 in the French collection) Tata LPO 1512 1990 – The origins of Tata can be traced to a company founded in 1868 by Jamshedji Tata : today Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate holding company, headquartered in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), and owned by Tata Sons, a registered charity. One of its members is Tata Motors Limited (formerly TELCO, short for Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) a multinational automotive manufacturing company producing passenger cars, trucks, vans, coaches, buses, sports cars, construction equipment and military vehicles,. The group includes Jaguar Land Rover, with manufacturing and assembly plants in India, as well as in Argentina, South Africa, Great Britain and Thailand.

Founded in 1945 to produce locomotives, the company manufactured its first commercial vehicle in 1954 in a collaboration with Daimler-Benz AG (which ended in 1969): the chassis was a copy of the Mercedes L 3500, and from it was derived a whole series of bus and truck chassis, like the Tata 1210 and then the 1510, and its more modern variant the 1512. The Tata 1510/1512 was the largest selling bus in India and neighbouring countries, combining good features and low ownership cost. Built on a sturdy frame with parallel side members, suited to the difficult local conditions, and equipped from 1993 with a Cummins straight six diesel engine (previously with a Tata-Mercedes Benz 697 engine), the 1512 was usually bodied by contracted suppliers to customer requirements. Alas in later years its reliability was often hindered by poor maintenance causing frequent accidents, notwithstanding a legal maximum speed of 40 km/h.

The scale model represents a 1990 large capacity long distance bus where, lacking any air conditioning, the side doors (obviously on the left side) have been deleted, at the expense of safety. There is the usual combination of a plastic body and a metal baseplate, which is well detailed. It is painted in a bright livery in white, yellow and light green. On the sides there is the “Stage Carriage” writing, meaning it is a vehicle stopping at designated places, plus others printed in Indian characters, which the Author cannot decipher. The registration plate is one from the Delhi Regional Transport Office, correctly printed in black over yellow, as required for a public use. The prefix DL-1P is specifically allocated to Delhi commercial buses.

The angular shape of the bus is well reproduced, with large windows and many separate plastic parts, like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers, plus a chromed side exhaust. Very nice wheels and driver’s ‘cab’ area. The seats are only basic. Note the shadows on the windows representing the safety bars on their lower side. No apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model of an almost unknown bus, at least in Europe.


No. 47 (no. 36 in the French collection) Berliet PLR 10 1955 – We have already seen the Berliet history and its Crusair (see part 8, no. 22), PHL 10 (see part 10, no. 30) and PR100 ranges (Jelcz version, see part 14, no. 40) and how after the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, but that Chausson, Isobloc and Renault buses were much more innovative. In 1951 Berliet launched the PLR 8, a very powerful bus, but old fashioned even before it was launched: its heavy welded box frame, its dual rear wheels and horizontal engine meant high costs, both to buy, to use and to maintain. The PLR 8, an urban bus, was equipped with a 125 CV five cylinders MDUH diesel engine, while the PLR 10, an intercity bus, had a 150 CV six cylinders MDZH diesel, later used also on the urban version of the PLR 10. In 1958 a new generation of very low consumption engines was developed thanks to the MAN injection system, but this evolution did not save the model from its fate, as it was not the commercial success the new engine deserved.

With the cooperation of Vétra for the electric systems, Berliet produced a trolleybus version of the PLR 10, named ELR, a variant appreciated in Nice and Marseille.

The scale model represents an urban version (the correct name should be PLR 10 U) of the Monegasque CAM (Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco) with only 20 seated places and large central and rear platform for 70 standing places. The model is in a very elegant white livery with the coat of arms of the Principality on the roof. There is the usual plastic body with metal baseplate, and the exhaust is enhanced in silver.

The red circle on the front means that the vehicle runs a regular service, but it is in contrast with the “Special” in the destination board. The registration plate is not correct for the year, it should be white on blue, the blue on white was released only from 1978. Very likely it is a copy of a preserved and re-registered bus.

A nice front grille is provided, suitably pierced, and good wheels. A well reproduced driver’s cockpit is present as well as a basic interior. Usual added parts like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers are fitted. No apparent differences to the French edition. A good choice, fifties buses are the most loved.


No. 48 (no. 37 in the French collection) Skoda 706 RO 1947 – In 1859, Count Wallenstein-Vartenberk, owner of an already established foundry and engineering work, set up a branch in Pilsen, then in the Kingdom of Bohemia, part of the Austrian Empire. In 1869, the plant was taken over by Emil Škoda, who soon expanded the firm, and in the 1880s founded what was then a very modern steelwork, which was a leader in arms manufacturing. Exports included heavy castings, such as parts for the Niagara Falls power plant and for the Suez Canal sluices. In 1924, Škoda Works acquired the Laurin-Klement car manufacturer, later known as Škoda Auto.

The companies were separated after 1945, when the whole Czechoslovak economy came under government control : the car works in Mladá Boleslav became AZNP (Automobilové závody národní podnik or National Automobile Manufacturing Industry) today’s Škoda Auto, while the truck plant became part of a conglomerate of nine truck producers headquartered in Liberec as LIAZ (Liberecké automobilové závody), although the trucks and buses were still marketed as Škodas. Later, Škoda became well known in the USSR and other countries as a trolleybus manufacturer, but when in late 1989 the company was privatised very soon mismanagement, and the loss of guaranteed access to the East-European market, led to a collapse. In 1991 the Czech government sought a foreign partner for the passenger car works, choosing Volkswagen with a 30% initial stake, rising to 100% ownership by 1999.

The Škoda 706 RO is an urban bus produced from 1947 on the frame of the 706 R truck, and bodied by Sodomka (from 1948 named Karosa). In 1896 Josef Sodomka founded a manufacturing plant for coaches, and producing automobile bodywork of its own design from 1925, designed to be mounted on automobile chassis produced by Praga. In 1948, the company was nationalised and incorporated into a ‘National Enterprise’, which was then given the name Karosa (acronym for “Factory for carriages, cars, rotors, machine tools, cutting machines and buses”). Karosa become the sole manufacturer of buses in Czechoslovakia, but in 1989, after the fall of the communist regime, Karosa had to reduce its production. Help came from Renault, Karosa later becoming part of Irisbus and then of Iveco Bus. At the time the RO was a modern high capacity bus and was exported to many countries within the communist block, China included. The engine, a Skoda straight six diesel engine with 145 CV, was placed in front next to driver, and the rear axle was propelled by a long driveshaft. The body presented a very long rear overhang. Its heir, the RTO (quite similar, but much more comfortable with a lowered frame), was presented in 1958 and continued serial production until 1972, while it was produced under licence until 1977 by Jelcz (see part 14, no. 40) in Poland.

The scale model represents quite accurately a bus exported to China, with a red and white livery, and a dark grey roof. The Author apologises but he is unable to translate the Chinese characters. At the time China encouraged the workforce to live close to work to limit need for transport to work. Nowadays their cities are blocked by traffic like ours, and worse.

The bus has the usual form of construction with a plastic body and metal baseplate, which is well detailed. A side exhaust is added, as are front and rear tow hooks. Very nice doors and the wheels are fitted. Among the added plastic parts are the usual lights, bumpers, mirrors (five of them) and wipers. On the roof a triangle is fitted, very likely to be used to indicate the presence of a trailer. Another nice reproduction of a bus almost unknown in Western Europe.

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The Ford Car in Miniature 5th Generation Mustang Part Four 2010-2013

By Dave Turner

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

“Freedom To Soar” – Fifth Generation Mustang

Part Four 2010 to 2013

Halfway through the fifth series of Mustang and there were many very subtle changes during a bit of a re-skin. They are in the main hard to determine in the real car, so in miniature form it is almost impossible. For a start the front end got a wider grille – echoing that of the previous Shelby pattern with the amber lights now inboard of the outer headlights, except for the new Shelby where they are outboard of them as that grille is now wider. The previous quite flat hood has now a ‘Powerdome’ with a slightly raised central section. The lower body sides now have a very slight recess below the door handle line while the previously flat tail is now very gently angled at each side. The tail lights are now angled up along their lower edge with much larger vertical back up lights rather than the tiny rectangular pattern in the lower inner corners.

Engines continued more or less the same as before but for 2011 the V6 became a Duratec while the V8 became all aluminium and the car sported the “5.0” legend on the front fender. For 2012 a Boss 302 was added to the range reviving a 1967-70 name and featuring the 5.0 V8 with quad pipe exhaust plus side pipes and the option of the Trackey – for selecting specific ignition settings. A Leguna Seca Package added enough tune-up items to make the cars almost racetrack ready.

A new front facia arrived for 2013 with a larger grille and a black panel across the rear accommodating the tail lights. The rear licence plate was now accommodated in a wider recess that featured a black coloured ‘grille’ at each end. Despite the pending arrival of the sixth generation cars for 2015 quite a few changes came with the 2014 Mustangs. Some of them anticipated features on the next cars like certain things about the front panel.

2010 Models

Models of the second half of the fifth incarnation of Mustang include some superb 1:18 diecasts and a variety of 1:64 toys. Auto Art continued their interest in these cars and in 2012 offered a nice straightforward GT in 1:18 along with the more dramatic Shelby GT, both in Coupe form. Greenlight were actually in front of Auto Art, issuing their similar choice of subjects early in 2010. Features from Greenlight include scale hood hinges and a hood prop, a ‘Premium’ interior package, cloth seat belts and appropriate engine detail. A small illustration was included in MAR 241 (April 2010).

Mattel came along with their usual vast assortment of the subject in the Hot Wheels stable, some quite attractive and a realistic likeness to the real thing while others are at the other end of the spectrum. Subjects covered include GT, Shelby GT500 and Shelby Super Snake.

Shelby Collectibles offered 1:24 and 1:18 models of GT500s and Super Snakes at least one example was featured in MAR 244 (August 2010). Quite a variety of models came from MaistoGT and Roush 427R Convertibles in 1:18 and a 1:41 GT Convertible aimed at the toy end of the market with opening doors and pull-back motor on the rear axle.

Revell represented the plastic kit department with 1:25 GT kits for both Coupe and Convertible as well as a bigger 1:12 Shelby GT 500 Coupe. The smallest 2010 recorded so far was the little GT Coupe from Tomy at 1:67 and they managed to incorporate opening doors.



Auto Art 72911 GT Coupe various colours 1:18 diecast
Auto Art 72913 Shelby GT 500 various colours 1:18 diecast
Greenlight 12870 GT Coupe various colours 1:18 diecast
Greenlight 12824 Shelby GT 500 Coupe various colours 1:18 diecast
Hot Wheels 9988 Malaysia GT Coupe various colours 74mm 1:65 diecast
Hot Wheels CFH 35 Malaysia Shelby GT500 Coupe various colours 74mm 1:65 diecast
Hot Wheels 9673 Malaysia Shelby GT500 Super Snake 74mm 1:65 diecast
Shelby Collectibles 09074 Shelby GT 500 Coupe 1:18 diecast
Shelby Collectibles SC344 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1:18 diecast
Shelby Collectibles 2035 Shelby GT 500 coupe 1:24 diecast
Maisto 31158 China GT Convertible 1:18 diecast
Maisto 31669 China Roush 427R Convertible 1:18 diecast
Maisto China GT Convertible 117mm 1:41 diecast
Maisto China GT Coupe 76mm 1:63 diecast
Revell 85-1963 GT Convertible 1:25 plastic kit
Revell 85-4272 GT Coupe 1:25 plastic kit
Revell 85-2623 Shelby GT500 coupe 1:12 plastic kit
Tomy 60 Vietnam GT Coupe 71mm 1:67 diecast
2011 Models

Greenlight produced a plethora of small diecast 2011 Mustangs in a variety of different series but at least they offered a very nice Shelby GT500 in 1:18. This is immediately noticeably different to their 2010 version by having narrower stripes.

A name new to this column is Toy City, produced in China to 1:43 a 2012 Shelby GT 500 ticks all the boxes in a clinical kind of way, even the wheels depict the 19” painted forged aluminium of the real car to a reasonable degree.

Naturally the arrival of the re-incarnated Boss 302 for 2012 inspired more models. One model 302 came from Auto World in 1:64 who managed a neat opening hood with some engine detail included in the casting effectively highlighted by paint detail. This model also sported what was painted to represent the glass roof option.

The ever present Hot Wheels line included various 2012 Mustangs including a Laguna Seca version of the Boss 302.

Identifying some of these small Mustangs gets a trifle uncertain as some makers mix and match some of the real cars features. For example the real Boss 302 had its striping changed for 2013 to design in which the vertical stripe on the front fender continued over the hood as illustrated in MAR 274 (Oct 2013) in which the Schuco Pro R 1:43 resin Boss 302 is featured. For 2013 the rear licence plate had a black ‘grille’ at either end in a longer depression in the back panel and this is also featured on the little 1:62 Maisto. Majorette on the other hand produced at least seventeen versions of their 1:61 Boss but produced the striping in a mix of the 2012 and 2013 pattern.

Greenlight 12825 Shelby GT500 Coupe 1:18 diecast
Greenlight 13100 Shelby GT500 Coupe 1:64 diecast
Greenlight 29770 GT Coupe 1:64 diecast
Toy City 00315 04333B China Shelby GT500 Coupe 111mm 1:43 diecast
Auto World 164-011 China Boss 302 75mm 1:64 diecast
Hot Wheels 5570 Malaysia Boss 302 Laguna Seca 75mm 1:64 diecast
Maisto China 11530 Boss 302 77mm 1:62 diecast
Majorette Thailand 204A Boss 302 79mm 1:61 diecast
Schuco 450883100 Boss 302 1:43 resin

Illustrations Fifth Generation Mustang 2010-2013


Tomy 1:67 diecast from Vietnam: 60, 2010 GT Coupe.


Maisto 1:63 diecast from China: 2010 GT Coupe


Hot Wheels 1:65 diecast from Malaysia: 9988, 2010 GT Coupe.


Hot Wheels 1:65 diecast from Malaysia: CFH 35, 2010 Shelby GT500 Coupe.


Hot Wheels 1:65 diecast from Malaysia: 9673, 2010 Shelby GT500 Super Snake Coupe,


Auto World 1:64 diecast from China: 164-011, 2012 Boss 302.


Hot Wheels 1:64 diecast from Malaysia: 5570, 2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca


Maisto 1:64 diecast from China: 11530, 2013 Boss 302.


Majorette 1:61 diecast from Thailand: 204A, 2013 Boss 302.


Toy City 1:43 diecast from China: 00315 04333B, 2012 Shelby GT 500

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at

DeAgostini Dinky 518 Renault 4L

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

DeAgostini Dinky Models seem to continue to be being sold by Tesco supermarkets here in the UK. This is very unusual as these cover mount publications usually become available by order only after part three. I would speculate that DeAgostini has a lot of the Italian Dinky collection left over and is trying very hard to sell them here in the UK. NB this is not overstocked Atlas product as the base plate does not have Atlas on it. This is part thirteen of the DeAgostini part work.

The Renault 4L from Atlas was covered on our old site and an article was brought over to this site and can be read here.  Atlas had the car painted in pale blue, a colour which never appeared on the UK market. Here DeAgostini has had it painted in brown in a colour that did appear briefly on the Dinky UK price list.

The Renault 4 was an important car for Renault to offer an option to  move to front wheel drive and the latest 5 door style. With a little more power than a Citroen 2CV or Ami, and a little more room, it is clear what the target was! At this time Renault and French Dinky cooperated on several models so that the model could be launched simultaneously with the car and this was the case with this model which was released in 1961 in several colours. Later it was used as the basis of a fire car and a post car.

The casting appears identical to the Atlas one and is a good replica of what was a fine casting.  French Dinky definitely set the standard for Dinky toys in the early sixties with quick releases of fine castings to a constant 1:43 in most cases. Sadly Dinky UK didn’t seem to see a need to produce in constant scale or to cover a wide range of new releases.

A nice period colour to add to the collection.

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Editorial – July 2018

With the US initiating an international trade war, will it have any impact upon model collecting? Will Mattel, Greenlight, Castline and even Goldvarg face raised import tariffs on their models, all made by contractors in China? And if so, will that mean that American collectors will always have to pay more for their models, because Mattel and other companies no longer have the skills or the enthusiasm to bring manufacturing back to the USA? Will Brooklin models face additional tariffs when they are imported into America, and how would that affect their overall sales, which are so dependent on the US market?

The recent announcements from Corgi include no new castings, once again. I hope that the new management has something up their sleeves for next year to revive the brand, as the catalogue gets thinner with each release. Even Oxford Diecast’s second release tranche for 2018 featured only a small number of 1:43 scale models, mostly recolours. With the plethora of large scale models being released, it seems that 1:43 is becoming the preserve of small companies making small numbers of resin models, which are beyond the price range of most collectors.  With the rapid contraction of partwork productions, which tended to be in 1:43 scale, the modestly-priced collectors market will offer much less to buy in the near future. But perhaps the budget-price collector has already decided to collect smaller-scale models. American 1:64 scale and British 1:76 models, as well as 1:87 scale models elsewhere, all seem to have a constant flow of new releases.

In the meantime our regular correspondents keep up the flow of interesting articles on all sorts of topics, so my thanks to them for their time and effort. And my usual reminder that you too can contribute to MAR Online. Just send some photos and notes on a subject that you think will be of interest and we will turn it into an article.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at

A tribute to Robin Allen

By Mike Neale

Mike is a member of SHMAC who knew Robin well and his tribute will also appear in the SHMAC club newsletter.

 Robin Allen, 1949-2018.

I first met Robin over 30 years ago, back in the mid-1980s, thanks in fact to the SHMAC, when he was displaying some of his models alongside other club members.  I would regularly see him at shows such as Modelex and The Classic Car Show at the NEC. I’ve found one old photo from a bit after then, when a group of SHMAC members and I had a stall at a swapmeet at the old Coventry Transport Museum (long before they built their shiny new one).

We instantly bonded due to our shared interest in the ‘grey porridge’ British and European saloon cars of the fifties and sixties, both as real cars and in model form. He was very interested in my conversions of old Dinky & Corgi toys into more accurate representations of the real vehicles, as this was something that he too liked to do. At that time he was editor of the model page for Classic Cars magazine, and in the December 1990 issue he actually wrote an article about me and my model conversions.

I loved going down to his house and seeing what real cars he had each time, as quite often there would be some new classic car acquisition replacing one that he had decided to sell. I could also spend hours looking at the model collection.

One real car that was always there from fairly early on was of course his beloved 1952 Standard German-market VW Split Window Beetle. He had bought this rare car in 1970, saving it from being cut up into a Baja Bug, and had run it as a daily driver, but in 1976 he reluctantly sold it to fund a house purchase. He asked the new owner to give him first refusal if he ever wished to sell the car. It went up to Scotland and the owner began to dismantle it to start a restoration, but that was as far as he got, and the car stayed in his garage. In 1990, true to his word, he phoned Robin and offered to sell the car back to him, with almost the same mileage on the clock as 14 years earlier. Robin had the car restored and vowed never to sell it again. I’ve included a photo of him next to the car just after that 90s restoration had been finished, before he had got the proper German-style number plates made up.

He would go out of his way to help people too. I remember once when my partner and I had met up with him at Amberley Classic Car Picnic and we needed to get back to London to see a show at the theatre that evening. We had gone down by train that day but when we tried to come back our return train had been cancelled (I should have known not to rely on Southern Rail) and the next one was an hour away, too late to get to the theatre. Robin insisted on driving us all the way up to Gatwick airport to catch a train so that we could make it in time. Actually, at first he had suggested driving us all the way back to London, but I couldn’t let him do that. That was just the sort of person he was.

Another 90s photo shows Robin watering his NSU Prinz, presumably trying to grow it into a Chevrolet Corvair.

Over the years I must have attended dozens of classic car shows and model swapmeets with Robin. One of the most memorable trips was to Techno Classica in Essen, Germany, a show that completely blew me away. Robin was in his element amongst all of the German cars in particular, as he had spent a few years in Germany during his childhood, as his father was posted there with British Forces Germany. On the way back we diverted to take a look at the old army barracks where his dad had been based.

A car show that we both liked and visited many times over the years was the Amberley Classic Car Summer picnic. That is where we are both seen standing next to (someone else’s) Jaguar XK150.


On Drive-It Day this April, I drove down to Romsey in my Morris Minor to meet up with Robin, who was out in his Mercedes-Benz 220S Ponton saloon, which he is pictured next to.  I have tried to recreate the scene in model form, alas without a miniature Robin.

Robin had been suffering from cancer for several years and had been through a lot of unpleasant treatment, which had at least for a while seemed to be effective. However more recently it had spread almost everywhere. His descent from that April Drive-It day was sadly quite rapid.

Having had a fall at home, no doubt caused by the strong painkillers that he was on, he was admitted to hospital. For a while it seemed like he was making a bit of a recovery and might make it back home. Sadly this was not to be and he finally passed away on Saturday 23rd June in Portsmouth Queen Alexandra hospital, aged just 69. I was at his side along with his closest family and friends.

The funeral date has yet to be arranged. I do know that he left instructions for the funeral car to be a vintage Rolls Royce – that’s very Robin!

It is the end of an era. I will certainly miss him a lot.


Corgi – July/December Announcements

By Maz Woolley

Text by, and copyright of the Author. Illustrations provided by Hornby Hobbies.

Hornby Hobbies has recently announced the Corgi products for the second half of 2018. There are no new castings and little sign that any major changes being made by the new management team. Perhaps we will start to see those in 2019? Though the fact that prices are not being significantly increased shows that Hornby are finally realising that the market for their models is price sensitive.

Product Revivals

The sales of the film and TV tie-in products from Corgi are substantial and the products are carried by a wider range of retailers. Of recent years the emphasis has been on reproductions of earlier James Bond models but this time the models celebrate 50 year anniversaries of two films: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Magical Mystery Tour.

I am sure that Beatles fans the world over will buy the re-released models and that the Chitty will sell in respectable numbers as nostalgia for childhood and for the films of the late 60s is still strong.

03502CC Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 


05401CC Yellow Submarine 

42418CC Magical Mystery Tour Bus 


85925CC Paddington Bear Taxi

This will come in special packaging and will include a
Paddington Bear Figure. This will certainly be a good tie-in but Hornby need to be quicker with negotiiating deals like this Paddington 2 has already been released so the model is coming along a bit late to catch the maximum sales.


Aviation Archive

Here Corgi has created new liveries on castings which have already been seen in a variety of other liveries. Whilst the liveries are undoubtedly attractive ones one wonders how many versions of the same casting Corgi can sell. Looking on eBay many of the previous versions of these castings sell for considerably less than the latest models recommended price and only very popular and scarce ones attract a premium.


34018AA Consolidated B24H Liberator

‘Male Call’ of 453rd Bombardment Group 8th AF 1944
Jimmy Stewart


38109AA Sopwith F.1 Camel, No.3 Squadron RNAS

Lloyd S Breadner
Bray Dunes Aerodrome 1918


38808AA Do17Z-10 R4+LK I/NJG 2

Gilze – Rijen October 1940 – sadly the artwork from Hornby has a large watermark on it.



38906AA Fokker D.VII (OAW) 4649/18

‘Seven Swabians’ Alfred Bader Jasta 65 September 1918

Sadly the artwork from Hornby has a large watermark on it.


Original Omnibus


46514AOM Wright Eclipse Gemini 2,
Go-Ahead East London Transit
EL2 Ilford Station

46514BOM Wright Eclipse Gemini 2,
Go-Ahead East London Transit
EL1 Thames View Estate

46713AOM Wright Eclipse II (Single Deck),
Transdev The Shuttle 662
Keighley Bus Station via Crossflats


46713BOM Wright Eclipse II (Single Deck),
Transdev The Shuttle 662
Bradford via Bingley



At the risk of repeating myself we are seeing the same small range of castings again and again in different colours. Whilst some of the new colours are quite eye catching and may well persuade people to buy another version of the model the market for yet more of the same must be shrinking.

In many cases the castings are now looking old and basic. The Morris Minor for example has cast in window ventilators which are painted body colour, black printed line round the screen and a clumsy grille. Partwork models are superior to this in many cases.

The Land Rover in Military Police livery is different and will I suspect be a popular release as will the 1275 Mini in Special Tuning livery.

But taken as a whole the release is disappointing as it has been for about 3 years now.  I hope that this is just a  holding exercise before the new management re-launch Vanguards with some new castings.


VA02541 Austin Mini Cooper S Mk1, Almond Green


VA05212 Ford Granada Mk1 3.0 Ghia, Jade Green


VA05810 Morris Minor 1000Turquoise


VA06713 Triumph Spitfire, Mk3 Saffron


VA09524 Ford Escort Mk1 Twincam, Blue Mink


VA10111 Triumph Stag Mk2, British Racing Green


VA10509 Triumph TR7 FHC, Triton Green


VA10712 MGB Roadster, Acconite Purple


VA10818 Ford Capri Mk3 3.0S, Arizona Bronze


VA11117 Land Rover Series 1 80”, Military Police


VA11509 Triumph TR5, Jasmine Yellow


VA12612 Ford Escort Mk2 RS Mexico, Signal Yellow (Forrest Arches)


VA13507 Mini 1275GT Special Tuning, Press Launch Car,
Auto Car Magazine


VA13605 Volkswagen Golf Mk2 GTI

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News from the Continent June 2018- Conrad

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Text by, and copyright of the Author. All photographs supplied by the manufacturer.

Here are some models recently announced by Conrad. These are all diecast for Germany for the small family run company and are to 1:50 scale.

Art.No. 2210/0 KOBELCO SK500LC-10

Crawler excavator in Kobelco Livery


Art.No. 2211/0 MECALAC 15MC

Crawler excavator: fitted with an offset two-piece boom attachment and liveried in “Communal” markings


Art.No. 2212/0 MECALAC 15MWR

This is similar to the previous model but this time it is a wheeled excavator with the same offset two-piece boom attachment


Art.No.2453/0 Liebherr L 509 

A  twin wheel loader in the manufacturers livery


Art.No. 2768/0  MECALAC 6MDX

A site dumper again liveried in maunufacturer’s finish.


Art.No. 77235/0 MAN Euro 6 TGS CIFA Energya E8-E9

A  four axle concrete mixer with CIFA livery


Art.No. 2117/0 GROVE GRT8100

This is a very substantial telescopic crane developed for use on rough terrain.


ArtNo. 2202/07 CASE CX250D

This is a CASE liveried crawler excavator


ArtNo. 2968/01  POCLAIN TY2P

Wheeled crane with crane boom in the manufacturers colours


ArtNo. 2925/0  POCLAIN TY45

A hydraulic excavator with shovel in the manufacturers colours

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