Category Archives: Oxford Diecast

Oxford Diecast Jaguar Mark V DHC

By Maz Woolley

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

I am a little late to look at this model which is one of Oxford Diecast‘s releases to 1:43 scale from 2018. The Jaguar Mark V Drop Head Coupe (DHC) is available with top up and top down, here we show the top down release in opalescent silver. The top up versions are available in dark blue and British racing green. It follows Oxford’s excellent 1:43 scale SS Jaguar. Like the SS Jaguar I expect that a version of this model will appear in the 1:76 scale range eventually.

Photograph copyright of HIstoric Auctioneers recognised.

The Mark V was produced from 1948 to 1951 replacing the 2.5 and 3.5 litre saloons and inheriting their six cylinder pushrod engines based upon pre-war Standard units.  It was available as a four door saloon and a two door convertible known as the Drop Head Coupé, both versions being full five seaters.  It was a transitional model and introduced engineering developments that would take Jaguar from being a small specialist car firm to a major player in the luxury and sports car market by the end of the 1950s. For the first time a Jaguar was fitted with independent front suspension, hydraulic brakes, and was specifically designed to be produced in both right and left hand drive. Also introduced were the classic wheels fitted with smaller 16″ tires, sealed headlamps and flashing turn signals for the important American market. It was the last car whose styling was influenced by the classic SS Jaguar lines developed by William Lyons before the Second World War. It was replaced by the more streamlined  Mark VII whose style was developed from that introduced with the the XK120 and which took the large Jaguars forward during the 1950s and which not only featured integrated wings and mudguards but also the classic XK engine .

The car modelled by Oxford Diecast was featured at auction in 2014. It was built on the 1st of December 1950 and first registered on the 3rd of February 1951  by the Northampton licensing office. The model looks very true to the original car in colour and finish with the wheels accurately reflecting the Ace wheel trims, painted rims, and Jaguar details on the wheel centre.

I am glad to say that this model reaches the same standards that their excellent Rolls-Royce models have in this scale. The metallic flake in the opalescent paint finish is quite fine and the overall paint finish is very good indeed.

The hood irons looked too large to me until I looked at the original car and saw that Oxford has got them quite right they are huge on the real car too. The crumpled effect of the folded hood has been well realised though the plastic is perhaps a little too reflective.

Door handles are moulded in and painted silver. They are so small on this car that separate items would have possibly looked over scale so I am perfectly happy with the moulded in ones.

The interior is well modelled too with nice wood effect dash and door cappings. The leather seats and door trimming is nicely matt and matches the colour of the real car. Even the nice matt floor is the light grey of the original car’s carpet.

One criticism is that the dash board has been rather simplified with the secondary dials and radio not shown.

The grille, bumper and lights are excellently moulded and finished and the number plates are excellent. The light lenses are first class with a representation of the bulb moulded in and the chrome light rims are delicately modelled.

A leaper is fitted and is quite finely modelled and does not look over scale. This was actually an optional accessory on the original car and the car this model is based on is fitted with one.

There is a small gap round the main lights faired in pods, which are separate plastic items, but it is scarcely noticed at normal viewing distances so it is no real issue.

The rear lights are part of the rear bumper assembly and are painted over silver background which is an effective solution. A neat boot handle is good.

After a run of disappointments with some recent Oxford Diecast models this model reminds me how good they are when they get it right.


Other versions of the Mark V available include an Atlas Jaguar Collection model, made by Ixo, of the DHC with top up as shown in the photograph below.

Neo produce a Mark V Saloon as shown below, a vehicle that is also available as a 1:43 unglazed pewter model by Danbury Mint also shown below.

Neo Jaguar Mark V Saloon – Photograph from Neo Models
Picture copyright rights of eBay vendor recognised.

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Intergranular Corrosion Again

By Maz Woolley

Photographs by Jane Jones, a member of the Oxford Diecast Collectors Facebook group. Text copyright of the Author and Jane Jones.

I make no apologies for returning to the subject of intergranular corrosion as it still seems to be affecting models from major diecast firms. Collectors looking at stored models have come across models falling to bits from time to time, The Corgi Vanguards Transit Castrol van has a tendency to self-destruct as shown in MAROnline previously by Dave Turner. Whilst Photoetched parts popping on resin models can usually be remedied with glue and care intergranular corrosion has no cure. Some people have stabilised the models by flooding them with super glue and other binders but that just holds together a failed casting it is no cure.

Intergranular corrosion of diecast models is commonly known by many descriptive names: Zinc Pest, Metal Fatigue, and Diecast Rot are some. It is a destructive intercrystalline corrosion resulting from the Mazak (Zamak) used to make diecast models being contaminated with other substances. It leads to castings swelling and becoming misshapen. In later stages the castings may craze or develop cracks, ultimately even disintegrating. This was quite common in pre-war toys like early Dinky Toys where lead used elsewhere in the factory got into the mixture but according to Wikipedia this should not happen to items from the 1960s onwards as manufacturing controls should guarantee the purity of the metal.

Impurities in metals used in current manufacturings could be caused by suppliers shipping metal which already contains impurities or contaminants, or it can happen in the plant where the metal for diecasting is melted and mixed and where impurities may be inadvertently introduced. It is impossible for us to determine whether it is poor raw materials or poor manufacturing processes that are the root cause as either end up with the model suffering in the same way. But as I read comments on the Internet that many model makers have suffered from this problem, including PCT Industries, Norev, Corgi and others, it clearly needs to be taken more seriously by people producing the castings.

I had previously heard that Oxford Diecast too had this problem but had never seen direct evidence that this was the case. However, a recent post on the Oxford Diecast Collectors Group on Facebook by Jane Jones shows a destructive case of intergranular corrosion as you can see from her pictures below.

Jane posted: ‘I made a worrying discovery today. I noticed that the rear of this GPO telephones Morris 1000 was bowed, and comparing it to other Morris 1000 vans, it as almost a mm longer. Closer examination showed that the offside was bowing out and beginning to crack . No other model that I have examined seems to have the same issue. Hopefully its an isolated case??‘.

Janes’ photograph is shown below with my added arrows highlighting the extensive areas of distortion.

Jane added: ‘Lookout for the rear distorting. That indicates that the body has elongated because the zinc rot causes microscopic cracks‘.

Sadly Janes’ second photograph shows the inevitable result when the corrosion is as bad as that shown above. Again my arrows have been added to highlight where the ‘bowing’ sections have broken away from the van.

So if you have this Oxford Diecast van it may well be worth checking it. I suspect that this is not an extensive problem for Oxford Diecast collectors or the internet would be full of many more comments. It is a great shame though for those who find their models like this as it inevitably takes several years to come to light and by then the manufacturer is in no position to replace clearly faulty goods.


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Oxford Diecast AC Aceca

By Maz Woolley

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

Oxford Diecast has now released the long awaited AC Aceca in 1:43 scale at the same time as Norev are also selling one which I believe is based upon a model that has already appeared in the Atlas Sports Cars Collection. The Oxford model is based upon the AC Aceca prototype which can be seen in mid metallic blue and in the black with a green sheen colour called vineyard green shown below.

Photo Credit: (C) Bonhams

AC created the Ace in 1954 based on a design by Cliff Davis for his Tojeiro sports-racer which owed much to the Ferrari 166 Barchetta. The hardback version ,the Aceca, arrived in 1955. and in 1956 the more-powerful Bristol six-cylinder engine became available. With this the Ace/Aceca could touch 120mph. ‘VPL 441‘, the Aceca prototype, appeared on the AC stand at the 1954 Earls Court Motor Show, and following that became the works demonstrator. The car appeared in several motoring magazines of the period, and was the subject of an Autocar roadtest published on 4th March 1955. It is said to have been sold to World Land Speed Record holder Sir Donald Campbell, who became one of the first AC owners to have his car factory-converted to Aceca Bristol specification soon after. 


I am very glad to be able to say that Oxford Diecast are back on form with this car. The only ‘fault’ I can find is that the tyres have a tendency to sit back from the rims which takes only moments to fix. The casting is fine and thin making the printed screen surrounds front and back an excellent fit. It is also a lovely replica of the Aceca shape which is similar to the contemporary Aston Martin DB2 Mark 3 also modelled by Oxford.

Although the rear lights are red paint applied to silver printing they actually look very convincing. And as can be seen above the Oxford ‘wire wheels’ fitted into a black wheel are rather more convincing than some printed on a clear disk background. The side windows are printed straight on the flush fitting glazing.

At the front the grille is neatly moulded and black washed. Nice head lights are complemented by printed sidelights which look more acceptable on the model seen at a normal distance. Oxford’s number plates are improving with the letter size and shape looking a good match to the plate size.

The AC badge when magnified shows that it has been neatly printed if lacking the blue colour it shows on photographs at Goodwood.

The side view of the model shows how well it has caught the profile and stance of the car. Inside is a mix of red ‘leather’ seats, door cards and other fittings and brown wood coloured glove box and wheel rims. The dashboard is body coloured with printed instruments. The gear stick is brown shafted with a silver end to represent the gear knob.

As can be seen above the lines if the rear are well captured. Though not easily seen here the oening lines round the rear door are inscribed well and catch the light nicely without being over scale.

One feature I particularly like are the ‘bullet’ shaped mirrors fitted to the car doors which are period correct. However VPL441 does not seem to have one on the passenger door in photographs on the web unlike the Oxford Model. Another difference to the web pictures is the fitting of a front bumper. All the web photographs of this car show it with only over riders. However the car has been around since 1954 so may have been fitted with bumpers at some point.

Another excellent model from Oxford at a reasonable price here in the UK and one that I look forward to seeing in 1:76 scale too at a later date.


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London Toyfair 2019 Part Three

By Maz Woolley

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

This the third in a short series of articles based upon the Author’s recent visit to the London Toyfair, a large trade show featuring toys of all kinds, where vehicle models for the UK market are shown by wholesale importers as well as Hornby and Oxford Diecast. The previous article about the Hornby stand can be found here.

This article shows some of the models displayed on the Oxford Stand. With so many models in production the stand has an impressive display of hundreds of models in various scales.

Last year I tried to photograph models through glass in the crowded display cabinets and the pictures were not very good. This year the Oxford representatives on the stand were extremely helpful and got out a number of items for me to photograph. Although I photographed quite a few models I did not capture all the novelties on display. A few have been photographed in the cabinets as there wasn’t time to get out every model that I would have liked to photograph.

It should be remembered that many of the models pictured are made up of a special light alloy used for trial shots and 3D printed fittings. These can only suggest what the final product will look like. Even the fully painted models of unreleased items are hand finished production samples used to confirm that the model is ready to put into production and may not fully reflect the models when they go into production.

So starting with 1:43 scale. Here there was a display of all the expected re-coloured models. but also pre-production casting of the Bedford CF Ice Cream Van as shown below. Adrienne Fuller who is responsible for selecting cars and other vehicles for Oxford explained that although this is a quarter without many new 1:43 models they are still expecting to produce two to three entirely new castings in this scale this year in addition to recolours.

This mould by Oxford has really caught the look of the CF well. It should make an excellent model when it appears. It will be appearing in classic Mr. Whippy livery first, then Hockings but I am sure there will be more liveries over time especially as so many of this type of van were brought secondhand by small local firms across the UK.

The 1:43 scale Morris J2 minibus in Skyways livery from the final release of 2018 was shown and looks like an impressive model. Seen to the rear is another of the final release in 2018 the Fred Dibnah Lightweight Land Rover in 1:43 scale.

And now on to some very large 1:43 scale models. The new Weymann Fanfare South Wales – announced as an Oxford special to celebrate their 25 Years trading. The model shown below is a pre-production item and is fitted trial plastic components – the broken horn will not feature on the production model! The model features a plastic upper section with a diecast chassis. It is a striking model with the very high level of moulded and printed detail they can achieve when using plastic.

The South Wales version is not to be the only use of this moulding. Oxford were showing a Southdown version which has been announced as part of release one 2019. With a destination board for Bournemouth this model suits the Southdown livery well.

Moving on to 1:76 scale there were some interesting recolours shown. Below is another version of the J4 this time as an Austin J4 in BMC Parts livery due for later release. This is a nice livery and the Austin version of the grille seems to be very well printed.

The forthcoming Volkswagen Transporter T4 Camper looks very good and will be a popular model.

Oxford’s Transporter T1 Camper and Samba Bus in 1:76 scale both showed up looking ready to be put into production. Photographs are shown below.

Another re-use of a casting is the relatively new Leyland Sherpa now seen in Egyptian telephone livery, as seen in a well known Bond film. This model is sure to be popular even without film themed packaging. I hope that this casting soon gets used to produce models of vehicles used by the UK utilities firms.

We also saw test shots for the Volkswagen T5 Transporter which will be seen in various forms and also in a set which includes one of each generation of the Transporter from T1 to T5. Below we have test shots of the California camper

Shown below are test shots of the T5 van which will appear in several liveries starting with that of the RAC. I am sure that this will be seen in a wide range of liveries for current users.

Oxford often show models in a very early stage of development before they are announced. The Volkswagen T1 camper with surf boards shown below does not seem to exist in any current release but I am sure that we will see it in the future.

The Volkswagen T1 van casting get another release this year in Coca Cola livery. The test shot below shows the roof display with an advertising bottle on the roof.

One of the model sets which created a lot of interest when announced in the last release of 2018 was the RAF Bloodhound missile set. This was released by Corgi in the 1960s and by Airfix too. Here we have the new 1:76 scale from Oxford. The accompanying Land Rover has been well finished in RAF blue and markings.

This will make an impressive set re-creating the Jet Age long before Cruise missiles and Polaris carrying submarines.

The Oxford 1:87 scale range of US vehicles has been a strong seller. And the display showed some due for early release and others in early pre-production form.

The new Chrysler 300 Convertible can be seen in the photographs below. This casting looks good in red and the printed silver and badging looks like it could be very well done.

The forthcoming Dodge Charger Daytonas were also shown and are impressive in this scale.

The ‘standard’ Dodge Charger was shown too and looks good. It is interesting that it has been modelled with the headlights showing as many models of this car have the headlights in their concealed position.

Another model close to release is the De Soto Suburban with its roof rack. This is a rather earlier car than many in this range so it will be interesting to see if models from this period sell well. A taxi version is expected later.

Another model due soon is the Dodge D100 Sweptside which is due for release soon. The model looked very well finished and US pickups make for popular models so I expect it may sell out quickly. It is interesting that the rear seems to be a separate moulding so we may well see more variations on the D100.

Here we see very early test shots of the 1954 Pontiac Chieftain with a siren fitted to the roof. The model has been announced for release 1 2019 in two tone blue as a standard sedan so presumably police and possibly fire versions will follow later in the year.

Another very early casting shot is the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham 1957 again announced in release 1 2019. Reminiscent of the contemporary Matchbox model this is slightly smaller but promises to be impressive even in this smaller scale.

Another announced recently as part of Release One 2019 is the Chevrolet Panel van. The model may be released as an Ambulance first but clearly a van will also be forthcoming and I expect this to appear in several classic american liveries.

The early shots below show that Oxford have captured this classic 1950s van very well.

The final test casting on display in this scale is the Chevrolet Corvair Coupe announced recently. Even though this is an early shot it shows the potential for this to be a really nice model. The coupe also came in some very nice paint finishes so hopefully Oxford will be able to release it in several different authentic versions.

Oxford’s 1:148 scale range is another with upper components made in plastic. On show were some pre-production trials. These are interesting as they are made in clear plastic with 3D printed parts as shown in the photographs below.

First we have the Land Rover Discovery 4.

Then the Shelvoke & Drewry Freightlifter which is to appear in British Railways Western livery in 2019.

Presumably the photographs below show the pre-production test for the recently announced Hants and Dorset Bristol MW6G.

And finally in this scale the Green Goddess fire appliance expected in National Fire Service livery.


Unfortunately although samples of the new Citroën H catering van were there I did not photograph them.

I would like to thank Oxford Diecast for sharing so many pre-production and test models with us, and for so patiently getting models in and out of cabinets to allow me to photograph them.


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Oxford Diecast Jowett Jupiter

By Maz Woolley

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

The Oxford Diecast 1:43 scale diecast Jowett Jupiter 43JUP001 has now arrived from China and reached the shops. This is one of the limited number of new castings in 1:43 scale being introduced by Oxford Diecast in 2018. 

The Jowett Jupiter was made by Jowett Cars based near Bradford in the UK. It was a sports body mounted on the chassis of the Jowett Javelin. The car was aimed at winning foreign sales which would allow Jowett access to a larger supply of rationed steel.  The complete car was shown for the first time in New York in 1950. Production lasted only four years and about 900 were made making them very scarce today.  A class win at Le Mans in 1950 was followed by first and second in class at the Monte Carlo rally  the following year. Class wins came again at Le Mans in 1951 and 1952. Jowett closed in 1955.

The Oxford model is a fine one with a lot of detail incorporated and the only things suggesting this is a budget model are the silver printed lights on the front wings which are just a blob of paint without even a shape moulded into the casting, the printed door handles and oversize printed blob for the door lock. Looking at the photographs on the Internet of the real car the green paintwork seems a little dark but that may be a trick of the light or the way the photograph has reproduced.  A good set of grilles and nice Jowett badging help lift the model as do the number plates and bumpers.

Yet again Quality Control had failed to deal with at least one issue. The photograph above shows a tag of plastic held in by the hood. Luckily it was a simple matter to cut away  but I would expect the factory to do so. Again the silver printed studs on the hood show that no stud shape is moulded in and that they are just printed on lacking a little finesse.

However, looking at the model it has really caught the original well. It makes one wonder if Oxford might risk a Javelin in 1:43 since they already make one in 1:76 scale which would sit well alongside this. 

The interior shown above is impressive, with wood effect dashboard and lots of instruments moulded and printed, as well as a nicely created wood and stainless steel effect steering wheel. The bench seat looks like tan ‘leather’ and the moulded door cards also have printed handles.

The low and sleek lines are somewhat disrupted by the hood which was always a far from sleek ‘pram hood’. The hood and screen seem to use construction techniques seen originally on the 1:76 bus range  with the upper component of hood and screen outlines being moulded in one part and then printed with hood in matt effect tan colour paint and the metal parts of the screen and door glass areas printed silver. This is very effective.

Wheels, hub caps and tyres are also very nicely done.

Oxford has already shown an open car at the London Toyfair so I look forward to that being made in due course, though the next release will be another hood up car in red.  It will also perhaps appear next year in 1:76 scale, as many 1:43 scale cars have made that migration, and it will sit nicely next to their 1:76 scale Jupiter.  All in all a nice model of a subject which has been produced in white metal by Mikansue, ODGI Toys, Pathfinder, and Brooklin. But this is its first appearance in an affordable mainsteam range.


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Oxford Diecast Austin Somerset

By Maz Woolley

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

The Austin A40 Somerset was made for only two years replacing the more traditional A40 Devon and was in turn replaced by the much more up to date unibody A40 Cambridge. In essence the Somerset was a re-bodied Devon with a more highly tuned engine and styling similar to that of the larger A70 Hereford supposed to appeal to the American buyer as the UK was trying to export as much as possible to help it pay off its war debt.  Powered by a 1.2 litre engine it could just reach 70mph.

The Devon was modelled in the Classix range to 1:76 scale in two and four door forms and was a very good model of that car, better in some respects than this more recent Oxford Diecast.

Most readers will be familiar with the contemporary Dinky Somerset #161 and the more recent Lansdowne in 1:43 scale. As far as I am aware no contemporary small scale model was made and although John Day Vehicle Scenics made the A70 I don’t think any other modern 1:76 scale model of the Somerset has been made.

76SOM001 Austin Somerset Black and  76OM002 Austin Somerset Buckingham Green

These models have been long awaited and have certainly caught the rounded shape and flowing lines of the original well. Viewed from the type of distance we usually look at them they are good models, certainly for their price.

The black model was issued first and is typical of most of these cars, In a sombre colour with normal tyres. The green model has fancy white walls which would not have been common at the time though are entirely accurate for the car carrying that registration plate although it lacks the headlight peak accessories fitted to that car.

The green car’s printed black screen surround merely emphasises the thickness of the casting and would have been better left off altogether.

One puzzle is the rear lights where the lower light appears to be a red reflector on real cars and not a silver disk as printed on the model.

The interior is simply moulded in red for the black car and brown for the green car. Door cards are included but seem to lack any moulded in fittings. The dashboard has limited moulded details but adequate for this scale.

Frustratingly the Austin of England script along the bonnet side is not printed straight on my models and keeps catching my eye. Another issue is the large vertical  mould mark on the rear wing which can be seen on the model above. This is only the case on the driver’s side and appears on both the green and black cars.

There is a silver printed side chrome strip and quarter lights. Again the printed quarter lights emphasis the depth of the casting and might have been better left off.

The front end captures the car very well but the Austin badge is missing off the grill centre which would have broken up the large expanse of silver and there is no attempt to model the flying ‘A’ mascot on the bonnet. The grille could also do with a black wash but at this price point that is perhaps too much to expect.

Another view of the rear showing the neat number plate, but also the substantially overscale boot hinges.

The front of the Black version has higher contrast and looks better though it is more noticeable that the sidelights on the wing tops are left unpainted whereas on the original car they were silver.

Again the boot hinges look much too large on the black version.

Searching the web using the number plates shows the real cars exist and that these models capture the originals well and show most of their features if not all.

As seems to be typical of Oxford Diecast models recently there are quite a few minor faults which reduce the accuracy of these models but I  am sure that most collectors will not be as critical as I am. The railway modelling fraternity with early British Rail dioramas will leap to buy these as will the growing number of 1:76 scale car collectors.


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Oxford Diecast – Release 3 2018

By Maz Woolley

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

Release 3 2018

Oxford have recently announced release three for this year and the inevitable has happened – there are much fewer new castings released this time. Now the range is so large much of the production capacity is being taken by the profitable second and subsequent releases leaving less production capacity to produce the expensive new models.

In 1:76 scale we will see:

  • OXF 76AQ001 Audi Quattro Tornado Red
  • OXF 76CP001 Ford Capri Mk1 Maize Yellow
  • OXF 76FE001 Ford Escort Mk1 Modena Green
  • OXF 76SCV001 Showmans Caravan Maroon
  • OXF 76TX5001 LEVC Electric Taxi Black

In 1:43 scale:

  • OXF 43CF001  Bedford CF Ice Crean Van/Morrison Mr Whippy
    OXF 43CCC001A Ford Cortina MkII Crayford Convertible Blue Mink Roof Up

In 1:50 scale:

  • OXF 50FST001 JCB Fastrac
  • OXF 50HYD001 JCB Hydradig

Finally in 1:72 aircraft 

  • OXF 72WD001 Westland Dragonfly Royal Navy WH991
  • OXF AC089 Lavochkin LA7 Sergei Federovich Dolgushin
  • OXF AC090 Focke Wulf 190A 15/JG 54 _Hauptmann Rudolf Klemm
  • OXF AC090S Focke Wulf 190A 15/JG 54 – Hauptmann Rudolf Klemm – No Swastika
  • OXF AC091 Macchi Veltro 205 1L.Gorrini – 1 Squadriglia – 1 Gruppo Caccia – 1944
  • OXF AC092 Mitsubishi A6M2 Imperial Japanese Navy

Oxford have confirmed that many of the models from release two of 2018 will be with us in the final quarter of this year and that many newly announced liveries and recolours of current castings will be appearing over the next two quarters.


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Oxford Trojan in 1:76 scale

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest Oxford Diecast Bubblecar in 1:76 scale is the Heinkel Trojan. This is diecast in China for Oxford in the UK.

Oxford Diecast 1:18 Trojan – photo from Oxford Diecast

 

This car has already been modelled by Oxford to 1:18 scale as shown above. The real car the model is based upon is a 1963 Heinkel Trojan 200, chassis number 10873 shown below

Photograph provided by Bonhams Auctioneers

Launched in 1956 the Heinkel initially used a 175cc four stroke engine which was later enlarged to 200cc. It was lighter and roomier than the rival BMW Isetta as it had a  monocoque construction. It also boasted a reverse gear but the steering column was fixed as the Isetta system which folded out with the door was patented and could not be used.  A single door was supplemented by a canvas roof which could provide an emergency exit. Production in Germany ended in 1958 but it continued in Ireland wheer about 8,000 cars wer built before the tooling and rights moved to Trojan in the UK. The model is an example of one of the last built at Trojan.

76HE001 Heinkel Trojan Roman Blue

At first sight this model appears lovely and I am sure that it will grace lots of OO scale railway layouts and 1950s dioramas. My impression of the quality of the model started to fall as I opened the box. Yes, unlike the BMW Isetta, it is a real three wheeler which I could tell as the rear wheel and axle fell off into my hand when I had unscrewed it from the base. When I pushed it back in I noticed that the engine assembly it fitted into had not been glued in straight either.

The steering wheel and fixed column are nicely done, though I think the steering wheel is over large. The front number plate also has characters which seem too small in height unlike the ones at the rear.

Along the side on both the 1:!8 and 1:76 models is a totally unnecessary silver coach line which does not appear on the real car. The side mounted indicator is neatly moulded in and picked out.

The wheels and tyres are single part items with painted on tyres. They replicate the real thing well.

If you look carefully at the photograph above you can see the fixing of the shell to a base using a huge unpainted metal pillar in the same way that the Isetta was fixed. This is a crude and unnecessary engineering solution in this day and age, and it completely spoils the interior needing  a blob to be fitted to surround pillar and to represent the interior which therefore lacks proper front and rear seats.

The nicely shaped sunroof would have benefited from being painted in a matt paint which would have enhanced the fabric effect.

The window frame printing is strange. The real car and the 1:18 scale model both have black window rims on doors, side and rear. But the 1:76 scale model has silver window surrounds everywhere but the front quarter which looks strange.

At the front the model is tidy except for the headlights which are too flat and this is accentuated by the simple silver circle printed. Perhaps white lenses as used by some US firms would improve this.

Apart from the crooked mounted engine and rear wheel not much to criticise here.  Nice level of detail for the model’s size.

Again, like the recent Isetta, a potentially lovely model spoilt by some of the detailing, the crude construction, and the poor quality of part fitment. A shame because even with all the criticisms I have it still looks lovely as long as viewed from a few feet away.


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Oxford Diecast Rolls-Royce 25/30

By Maz Woolley

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

The model featured in this article is a recent release from Oxford Diecast. This is diecast to 1:43 scale in China for the UK. This is the second release using this casting. And continues the steadily release of Rolls-Royce licensed models from Oxford Diecast.

43R25002 Rolls-Royce 25/30 Thrupp and Maberly.

Just over one thousand and two hundred 25/30s were built between 1936 and 1938. It was an updated version of the 20/25 with a larger six cylinder engine of 4.2 Litres better able to carry the larger coach built bodies sometimes fitted. Other coachbuilders who built cars on this chassis were: Park Ward, H. J. Mulliner, Arthur Mulliner and Hooper. 

Thrupp and Maberly were a well respected coach builder based in Cricklewood in North London.  They even built the bodywork for Sir Henry Segrave‘s land speed record car, the Golden Arrow. They were acquired by the Rootes Brothers and started building top of the range Humber bodies from the early 1930s alongside bespoke bodies for Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Daimler chassis. As coach building declined after the Second World War they concentrated on the special bodied and open cars for the Rootes Group finally closing in 1967.

The car modelled by Oxford may be seen on the web and has chassis number GMP-37 and is registered BUE995, a Dudley plate, as printed on the plates on the Oxford model. The body style is stated to be that of an ‘owner driver sports saloon’. It is finished in a very deep green over black with an interior of black leather  and woodwork. Oxford have captured this well with the green looking considerably darker than the photographs show. A sunroof is fitted and Oxford have replicated that in a closed position.

The side view of the car shows how well the shape of the car has been caught by Oxford. The wheels are neatly done and initially I thought missed RR on the hub centres but looking at pictures of the real car I do not think they feature on that either.

Again the front three quarter view shows how good the model is capturing the curves which make the body a long way from a simple box shape. The real car has two auxiliary lights and not just one. The car released first, 43R25002, was based on BSG527 and that does have a single auxiliary light.  The rear view mirrors on BUE995 do not rise up anywhere near as much as they do on this model which can again be attributed to the fact they are based on those fitted to BSG527.

The rear three quarter view is excellent with the sculptural shape of the body work well captured.  The chrome mouldings round the ventilator in front door window, front screen, bonnet and sides are all printed crisply and finely. The trafficators are neatly highlighted in silver in the B pillars and the door locks printed on a raised part of the casting.

The interior is well done with dull black plastic leather finish, the wood trim well captured, and winder and door handles all picked out in silver on the door cards which are correctly painted black. The dashboard has been well modelled and appears to have some printed detail, though without taking the model apart it cannot be clearly seen.  The steering wheel is neatly moulded and has the large centre section for the advance/retard levers and horn.

The traditional grille has been moulded very well and there is a fine ‘Spirit of Ecstacy’ mascot on top. The RR initials are printed on the radiator shell but can only be seen when magnified. The lights are good with clear lenses but lack the three fine lines which should be seen on the face of the headlight glass.

To the rear another minor variation from the original car can be seen. The rear lights set on the rear wings are different to the ones fitted to BUE995 which are circular shapes on a chrome fitting which runs above and below the light. Here the lights are those fitted on BSG527 and many other 25/30s which are rectangular and jut out of the wing at the top of the housing.  Lights round the rear number plate are printed well with the multiple lens sections created by the printing. Even the small reflectors under the  rear bumper are captured.

The exhaust is fitted with a  fan shaped end but again this is not fitted to the car that the model is based on which has a simple pipe to the rear. Perhaps this is another feature carried forward from the first release of the casting.

Whilst the model has many small faults if you are looking for an exact replica of the original car on which it is based it is a great model overall. When judging it I also have to remember that this is a mass market, budget priced model, and not an expensive resin item. I think that Oxford Diecast show what they can do with their Rolls-Royce models which show a lot of detailed care and attention in design and manufacturing, something sadly lacking elsewhere in their ranges from time to time. There are compromises made but overall I think that they are making some of the nicest Rolls -Royce models available today with the great benefit that you will not get them out of store to find chrome parts peeling and dropping off as happens on many resin models.


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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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