Category Archives: John Day

John Day Vehicle Scenics 1948 Riley 2.5 Drophead Coupé

By Maz Woolley

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

It has been some time since I have completed a John Day Vehicle Scenics (JDVS) kit  but the nice weather here in the UK has encouraged me to complete one I bought some months ago. This kit has had the master updated by Daryle Toney who owns JDVS and so  now consists of a body, a steering wheel on a ‘column’, a base with seats moulded in, and separate wheels that fit neatly to the base with a pin on the wheel and small hole in the chassis. This was first Vehicle Scenics model that I saw made up, and it was on a club stand at a Modellex many years ago. With its SRV03 code number it was one of the earliest JDVC kits made.   I have had to wait till now to buy one as it sold out quickly and remained out of production for many years.

The Riley RM series was one of the last cars developed by the Riley company before it was fully absorbed into the Nuffield organisation and moved on to the Gerald Palmer designed Pathfinder. The RMA was a 1.5 Litre engined saloon (also available from JDVS as SRV70), the RMB a 2.5 Litre saloon version, the RMC a 2.5 litre two door roadster, and the RMD (as modelled here) the 2.5 Litre drophead. They were all amongst the earliest “new designs” to be presented after the Second World War though in truth the chassis, engine and much else was largely inherited from the pre-war 1.5/2.5 litre Riley Kestrel.

The RM series was originally made in Coventry, but in 1949 production was moved to the MG works at Abingdon.

The kit all fits together well now the master has been tidied up and improved. The overall shape of the car has been caught well and the hood and hood irons are neatly modelled.

The interior is basic. Seats are moulded neatly but without any door cards the side is very blank and there is a large gap between rear seat and side creating a hole showing the ground through part of the wheel arch.

At the rear the handles, hinges, lights and bumpers are all moulded in well and the hood sits nicely.  To the side the side stripe and hood irons are well reproduced.

Inside the very simple dashboard moulding echoes the real vehicle without being detailed or completely accurate in shape. No floor mounted gear change is fitted and the steering column has no levers fitted either.

Whilst this car is primarily aimed at Railway Modellers it  complements Oxford Diecast‘s 1:76 pre-war Riley Kestrel  Saloon or the even earlier Barry Lester 1:76 BKL3 1935 Riley Kestrel white metal kit (another kit I have waiting to be made!). It also complements the Parker Models Pathfinder which tells the story of the next phase of life of the Riley badge in this scale.

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Oxford Diecast J4 Postal Van

By Maz Woolley

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


The Oxford Diecast 1:76 scale Post Van first seen as a casting at the London Toyfair is now on sale. I am sure that this is the first of many variants that will be sold by Oxford over the next few years.

The J4 van was marketed first as both a Morris J4 and an Austin J4 and even fitted with badges saying Austin-Morris at some points. Following the formation of the British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968, into which British Motor Corporation (BMC), by then a subsidiary of British Motor Holdings, had been absorbed, the van was branded as the BMC J4.  It was built between 1960 and 1974 with two mild facelifts. The Royal Mail and Post Office Telecoms were at one time the biggest fleet operator in the UK until privatisation and outsourcing split them up into smaller and smaller units. J4s  formed a substantial part of both Post and Telephones fleets so we will no doubt see a green PO Telephones one at some point.

Oxford has based their model on an early version in the Royal Mail livery used from 1962-1965. During this early period vans had glazed and grilled rear windows and even registration plates fitted in a  low position as modelled by Oxford. 348 DXV can be seen in a very dilapidated state on the web and shows the clear rear windows and no cab rear wall – one was frequently fitted to mail vans – but with the high level number plates. Maybe the high plates were fitted later in its life? What we cannot see on the picture of the original is whether it was fitted with the special locking bar fitted to the rear of most postal vehicles. The Oxford does not have one modelled which may be accurate for some vans but most had locking bars fitted.

Picture by Scouse73 on Flikr all rights acknowledged

Sadly the photograph doesn’t allow us to see any interior details to see if the model’s internal black and cream finish is accurate. I would have thought that the interior would be red and black or largely black except for red metal surfaces, but I may be wrong. Maybe a reader can tell us?

The Oxford model shows it as fleet numbered 73185 operating from the Matlock Post Office depot in Derbyshire.

So what of the Oxford model itself? My first observation is that the fineness of the casting which can be seen above has been rather lost by a heavy coat of red paint which overfills many of the panel lines. My second observation is that PO vehicles very rarely had any hub caps fitted and though some wheels were painted black many were I believe a silver sprayed steel finish though 348 DXV  shown above is so rusty and dirty it is difficult to determine which it had fitted originally. I certainly think bare steel wheels black or silver would be more accurate. The front headlights are modelled as simple raised areas with no trim rings moulded in and this rather spoils the look of the front.

The mould is fitted with sliding doors which were often fitted to the PO purchases and the printed chrome trim round the side windows is more acceptable than on many Oxfords as this has a nice thin casting. Hopefully Oxford has constructed the mould to also make it with standard doors as J4 minibuses, campers and most delivery vans came with a standard door.

To the rear the grilles over the rear windows have been printed on and are quite acceptable. Again a nice Morris badge to the rear as well as nicely printed number plates even if the placing may not be accurate. Sadly the printing of the rear lights is not very good on my example with a run of sliver paint under the lights – something to watch for as others I have seen do not suffer with the same issue. The front end also has some nice printing of the Morris and BMC Diesel badges. The grille is printed on to a raised panel and has the correct number of bars but I am not sure that it flares out enough on the sides. Unfortunately the lack of texture seems to be rather obvious.

All in all this model is a decent one for its price point and its intended market as well as the need to keep the casting generic enough to issue it in other liveries and body styles. A diecast model of a J4 in this scale is long overdue and will I am sure prove a big seller. Many Oxford Collectors have been enthusing over it on Facebook pages and I am sure many railway modellers with 1960s layouts will want one too. I just wonder how good it could have been if the same care and attention to detail had been paid to its creation that the US 1:87 cars have had?

To provide a contrast the pictures shown below show a John Day Vehicle Scenics  J4 Mailvan. This has been painted by the Author to his usual limited standard and the wheels are again painted silver and fitted with hubcaps which was not usually the case. It shows the type of features that a more typical mail van enjoyed like high level plates, metal panels in rear windows, and locking bar. This white metal kit is still available from John Day Models who have a website and an eBay presence.

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John Day Jowett Bradford Truck

By Maz Woolley

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

The author recently made up a previously released John Day Vehicle Scenics Model missing from his collection. The model has yet to be upgraded to the latest standards with separate wheels but can be seen as available on the price list on Daryle Toney’s John Day web site.

The Jowett Bradford was a British light van produced from 1946 to 1953 by Jowett Cars Ltd of Idle, near Bradford, England. The vehicle was also available as an estate car from 1947 to 1953. The vehicle was based on the pre-war Jowett Eight and was the first Jowett to be re-introduced after the Second World War. In spite of being very basic, the Bradford appealed to the post war market because of its economy and its availability.

Initially only a 10cwt van was made but in 1947 it was joined by an estate car, the Utility. Both these vehicles have also been modelled by John Day Vehicle Scenics. The Bradford was also manufactured as a light lorry, what would later be called a pickup truck. The chassis, or cab and chassis, were supplied to coachbuilders who would add their own bodies.

The John Day model is a neat representation of the original vehicle. It is relatively simple and is made from just a few parts: a chassis unit incorporating seats and wheels; a unit consisting of the bonnet,cab, and front wings; a truck bed with rear mudguards incorporated; front lights to fit into holes in the wings; and a vacform.

The model would be an excellent diorama item for any post war setting, especially one based in the North of England.

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John Day Models – 2016 releases

By Maz Woolley


Daryle Toney continues to gradually improve and develop the John Day Vehicles ranges. The standard range continues to get updated castings and even some new derivatives whilst the Post Office Range is growing too. All the latest releases have separate wheels, cleaner castings, and new improved vacforms which are thinner and clearer than before. These models are all designed and cast in the UK from White Metal and are only available as kits from the supplier by mail order or through the suppliers eBay listings. Daryle has a web site which shows what is currently available and details of how to order models at Like Parker Models these kits are aimed primarily at railway modellers looking for something a bit different for their layout.

All models shown have been assembled and painted by the Author who has a very basic level of skill and would be even better made by a skilled model maker.

SRV112 Austin A70 Hereford Pickup truck

The Austin Hereford A70 pickup would carry a 15cwt load and had a bench seat to allow three to sit in the cab. There was no A70 van. At around £700 painted but with no extras it was not a cheap vehicle. Powered by a 2.2 litre four cylinder engine it was a powerful commercial vehicle though the high cost and high running costs would mean that it only had a small market compared to the A40. It was exported for local assembly in Australia where a large pickup like this would have been more appropriate. The A70 is a rare car now and only a very few of the pickups survive.

The John Day model is based on the A70 Countryman which is already in the range. It has been adapted by Daryle with a good representation of the rear of the cab and load bed. The rear end has also had a lot of work to represent the body mouldings, that drop down flap, and the scattering of lights and reflectors fitted by Austin.

GPO 03 Morris J4 Mail Van

Launched in late 1960 the J4 was a direct competitor to the Bedford CA and Ford Thames ranges. The Post Office were big users of this type of vehicle in many forms. This version from John Day has been finished with the type of security fittings on the rear door used for deliveries of higher value items to Post Offices. It also has the number plates fitted on the roof as was done with some, but not all Post Office Vans.

The effort to produce the Post Office specific details is excellent as the diecast makers have made plenty of 1:76 Postal Vans but none fitted with the security equipment.  Parker Models has already made a J4 Van but again that is standard van.

The decals provided with the kit are very fine and even include the details for the door and the number plates.

GPO 06 Standard 6cwt Utility

The Standard vans were based upon the Standard 8 and 10 saloons. The John Day range already includes a Standard 8 car and the Standard van and pickup. This model for the GPO range has has been updated to represent a linesmans van which was trialled by Post Office Telephones a similar van in red was trialled by the Post Office for postal deliveries. It should be noted that this van with ladder rack and ladders is also supplied as SRV114 with decals for a building firm.

The van was rejected after trials so no more Standards were bought and the Morris Minor Van continued to be the most widely used vehicle by the Post Office in this market sector.  Had Standard succeeded in breaking into the large public utility market it might have meant they stayed competitive in the smaller car sector but with limited sales the Standard Vans did not make a large contribution to company profits.

This model includes very fine decals for number plates as well as the crown symbols and Post Office telephone details on the door. The Standard Van casting has been tidied up considerably from its first releases in the standard range and the ladder rack and ladders are unbelievably fine castings.

Yet again a small UK artisan producer has filled in some gaps in the UK’s motoring history in miniature. The models are great fun to make up and look quite well displayed alongside Oxford Diecast models to the same scale.

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UK 1:76 scale White Metal kits

By Maz Woolley

Before Oxford Diecast started to make 1:76 scale models the only way that you could obtain models in this scale were to buy kits from a number of UK Artisan firms which produced models to that scale. Once Oxford’s cheap ready made offerings became available Artisan producers struggled to sell models and the market contracted quite quickly. Two who are still trading are John Day Models made by Daryl Toney and Parker Models made by Rod Parker.

Parker VE65 Austin Ten 1939/47

Another model that would look well on any UK Railway layout in the last days of steam. The Austin 10 stayed in service for a long time during the years after the Second World War when  cars were in scarce supply in the UK. The model is a nice representation of the real car though the radiator grille is difficult for someone with my limited skills to paint. Casting is clean and the Vacform fits well.

John Day Austin A70 Countryman 1950/54

This model has been seen in 1:43 scale from Pete Kenna. It was named Hereford succeeding the Hampshire that ran from 1947 to 1950.  This at a time when Austin cars were named after English counties. This is another model selected by Daryl Toney for re-mastering and is now a lot cleaner and sports the new style wheels which are separate rather than moulded into the base. The vacforms on the older John Day models were often poor fitting items but the new ones in these re-mastered models fit very well.

Parker VE62 Ford Pilot Estate Car 1947/51

This V8 Ford sold in relatively low volumes since it’s Canadian Bren Carrier derived side valve V8 engine attracted high vehicle tax rates and was not very economical either. The  Pilot was replaced by the Consul/Zephyr range which was a very much better seller. This vehicle is a must for any royal car collection in this scale since there is one in the Royal Collection. To replicate VUL 3 one would need to paint the model in dark green.

As usual the Parker model is a clean casting which captures the original well.

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Small Scale Review: Greenlight and John Day

First Published: May 2014


Anchorman Channel 4 News Team Van, 1:64 scale

Greenlight have re-released the Anchorman Channel 4 News Team van to coincide with the sequel just released. The new tooling includes a satellite dish, new wheels and stairs.

Airstream Travel Trailer, 1:43 and 1:64 scale

Greenlight has a new licensing agreement with Airstream, maker of the ‘silver bullet’ travel trailer, and will now produce a range of of vintage and modern American trailers in 1:64 and 1:43 scale.


John Day Vehicle Scenics

1:76 scale white metal kits made in UK

Casting Photographs by Daryle Toney.

Two new sets of castings have been produced recently for Daryle Toney who now owns the John Day Vehicle Scenics range.These kits are mainly aimed at railway modellers and are made in a simple set of parts: body; base plate with cast-in seats; separate wheels, a new feature under Daryle Toney; a steering wheel in most cases; and vacform.

Set One

This includes a re-issue of an old model and two adaptations of previous models to create entirely new models.

SRV 70 Riley RMA

The original casting was a popular one capturing the Riley very well. The new casting is rather cleaner and has the new-style wheels which are separate parts which have a small lug on the bag which fit into pre-cast holes in the baseplate.

SRV 110 Hillman Minx series I-III

This model has been adapted from the existing Sunbeam Rapier casting. A neat conversion, it even includes a dashboard with the characteristic central instrument cluster. Whilst called a series I to III no vehicle could cover all these generations since they had different grilles and the series III had rollover wings at the rear. Looking at the series Minx the model is closest to the series II Minx of 1957.   

SRV 111 Morris 1/2 ton Van

This is a new casting adapted from the Austin A55 Van that has been in the range for some time. The new casting is much cleaner than the old Austin casting, and the Morris grille has been very neatly done.

Set Two

These are all upgraded from previously released models and significant work has been undertaken to clean up the masters and to incorporate the new separate wheels featuring on all the new releases.

SRV 03 Riley 2.5 Litre DHC

This is a re-work of another Riley. These models have always been popular with buyers and the improved kit is the only way to get this vehicle in 1:76 scale.

SRV 65 Austin A70 Hereford

Another re-work. Again a popular seller and the only way to get a model of this vehicle in 1:76 scale.

SRV 79 Austin 16HP Saloon

A relative newcomer to the range re-worked. A nice model of a car which should be popular on railway layouts. Perhaps the Austin 8 in the range will be re-mastered in the future too.

Photographs of the new castings may be seen in the gallery below.

John Day Vehicle Scenics SRV70 Riley RMA 1:76

The gallery below shows the Editor’s photographs of two of the John Day Models shown as castings above. These models were made up by the Editor. The models shown are the Hillman Minx Convertible and the Morris Van. In both cases the castings were much cleaner than those supplied in the original range. Small criticisms can be made, the Hillman Minx steering wheel is generic and it would have been nicer if it had had the two spokes that the Minx featured rather than three, for example. Once again this range has made kits available of vehicles which we may not ever see modelled by anyone else.

As usual the models make up quite easily even for someone with little time and only average skills.


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John Day Daimler Conquest

by Maz Woolley                                               July 2014

Regular MAR readers will be familiar with the John Day Vehicle Scenics range of 1:76 scale white metal kits now produced by Daryle Toney. These kits are primarily aimed at railway modellers, and are of a simple construction, consisting of a bodyshell, a baseplate with seats cast in, a vac-form for windows, wheels to fit into holes in the chassis, and a steering wheel in some cases. The range covers a broad timescale from the 1920s to 1970s.  This article looks at one of the re-mastered models.

SRV14 Daimler Conquest

This model was always one of my favourites in the John Day Daimler Conquest 1:76old range. It would have made a lovely contemporary Matchbox model, but they never made a Daimler car, only an ambulance and some military vehicles. The new casting is a lot cleaner, and has not only been modified for the separate wheels now featured (they were formerly cast into the chassis), but it also has the lights re-aligned, as they were not all level on the original master.

The Daimler Conquest was derived from the smaller-engined Lanchester saloon and was fitted with a six-cylinder 2.4 litre engine. It was a smooth-running car with the Daimler pre-selector gearbox, and whilst it was not slow, it was no match for the less expensive Jaguars. Although nicely styled and well trimmed, it offered little more than Rover cars of the period included at a lower price. The ‘Conquest’ had the appropriate launch price of £1066, a considerable sum in 1953.

The model was easy to build and assemble. The gallery below shows two models made by the Editor recently, click on any photograph to enlarge it.


John Day General Post Office Models

John Day Catches the Post           March 2014

by Maz Woolley, with pictures by DARYLE TONEY

John Day Scenics models are 1:76 White Metal kits produced in small numbers by Daryle Toney here in the UK. The pictures in the gallery below have been supplied by Daryle and show the latest model in the range which is a ¼ ton Morris Post Office van. The kit is much more cleanly cast than previous John Day models and there is much less preparation needed before painting this model than was previously the case. Another new feature is the wheels which instead of being cast into the base plate are supplied as individual wheels with a small projection at the rear which slots into a hole cast into the chassis. This feature is already being rolled out to the original range as models are re-cast.

This version of the Morris van was only supplied to the Post Office here in the UK and replaced the Morris Z van which had been in use before and after the Second World War. Based on the then new Morris Minor car it was fitted with unique rubber wings and had separate headlights mounted on those wings. Where the original saloon had headlights by the grille the van had sidelights. This version of the van is said to have been produced until 1956 but was then replaced by the more conventional version of the Morris Minor Van that was produced for general sale from 1953 onwards.

Models of the Minor based Post Office van are freely available in 1:76 scale from Oxford and Classix or as Kits from Springside and others but these are mostly based on the later post split-screen version. The Dinky Dublo post van and its myriad copies are all based upon the standard split screen Minor van. So at the moment the John Day seems to be the only model of this version of the van.

The model is an excellent representation of this vehicle and captures all the features well down to the locking bar fitted to the rear doors. It even features the unique fitments to the driver’s window that allowed it to be opened. Inside there is only one seat which is correct though the inspectors seat is fitted which was basically just a seat cushion which was fitted to some, but not all, of the original vehicles. The decals supplied have been created for this range and are to a very high standard indeed.

It is intended to produce further GPO vehicles and a Post Office Telephones version of this model with ladders and rack is planned. In every case the features that are unique to the postal service are to be modelled which will please modellers.

It is good to see a new casting in 1:76 from a small UK artisan producer and especially one that captures a unique vehicle.


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