Category Archives: Oxford Diecast

Oxford Diecast – Small scale Rolls-Royce Phantom V and Rover SD1

By Maz Woolley

Oxford Diecast are quickly catching up with the models for Release 2 of 2017. The models shown have been diecast to 1:76 scale in Oxford’s Chinese facility for the UK.

76SDV001 Rover SD1 Targa Red

This is the first use of this casting in the Oxford range and I am sure that it will be around for a long time. The car was used by many UK police forces and there are many liveries it could be made in for just the Metropolitan Police let alone all the other forces who used them as motorway patrol cars.

It has been made initially in the Vitesse trim as is shown by the printed side marking. This was fitted with the Rover V8 engine and was the top of the range sporty model.

The SD1 replaced the Rover P6 series. Surprisingly the SD1 was only in production for 10 years from 1976 to 1986 from which date all large BL cars were based on Hondas. It even won European Car of the Year in 1977. Sadly though the car was not well made with even the press cars at the Launch having build issues. It also had issues with paint flaking and even rusting and tarnished Rover’s reputation for well made cars. The lack of a booted model also caused issues in the Executive Market which was more used to traditional booted vehicles like the Jaguar XJ or Ford Granada.

As is often the case from mid life onwards many of the early issues with the car were resolved and the build quality steadily improved. Had it been well built and finished from the start the car may well have sold better across the world and its eventual sale of about 300,000 cars might have been larger. Perhaps if an estate version had been introduced as well it would have taken a lot of the market that Mercedes and Volvo satisfied.

The model captures the SD1 shape well. It is long and low and the wheels examined closely are an excellent reproduction of the alloys fitted to the VItesse and the wheels are fitted with nice rubber tyres.

From the rear the huge rear window is well modelled and includes a wiper blade. The silver plastic in black plastic door handles are well represented as are the black rubber bumpers with silver embellishers. On thing to be careful of is the fragility of the door mounted mirrors. They are well scaled and look good but on my car one was so loose it fell out and was lucky not to be lost.

Looking at the front a few issues show up when examined closely. There is a strange silver strip over the passenger side light at a curious angle. The black grille area is not printed properly in the middle and the number plate is not fully printed. In addition the orange indicators have not been printed/painted on properly to the divider mark. On the positive side the Rover badge has been nicely printed and from a normal distance the faults on the front end are not so obvious.

The rear end is rather better than the front with the spoiler perhaps a little too large but acceptable at this scale. The printed badging is excellent and the lights though slightly exaggerated close up look good from a normal distance.

Although a lot of effort has been made to create a nice grey period moulded interior I was surprised whilst looking at it carefully for this review to find that the driver’s seatback was totally missing. Not just loose inside which I could correct but completely absent.  At the moment there is just the seat cushion fitted  whilst the passenger side has a full seat back. This shows poor quality control is still their even for the launch of a new casting.

Apart fro the completely missed seat back which is not acceptable I would other wise have said that despite a few issues with this car I would emphasise that looked at from a normal distance and handled carefully this is a good replica of the Rover SD1 which will I am sure go on to be seen in lots of liveries.

Rolls-Royce Phantom V

Already seen in the 1:43 range we now have this car “shrunk” to fit the 1:76 range. For many the first impression of this model is to remember the Matchbox model of the same car from their childhood.

The Phantom V makes a stunning model even in a small scale. The original car was in production from 1959 to 1968 retaining Silver Cloud underpinnings and a chassis at a time when the mainstream Rolls-Royce cars were built on the new monocoque Silver Shadow body. Only just over 500 of such cars were built and many went to heads of state apart from John Lennon’s spectacular “pop art” car.

The photograph above shows how well Oxford have masked the painting to give an excellent edge between the black and silver paint. Unlike their Phantom III which did not include the black circles on the wheel covers Oxford has printed them this time. Those on the side photographed are nearly centred correctly but one on the other side is printed well off centre ruining the effect.

One curious feature I did not notice on the larger car is that when looked at at an angle only part of the radiator grille darkens on each side causing a curious effect. I am not sure of the cause of this as the grille looks excellent otherwise.

Inside there is a nicely moulded cabin with the seats in blue leather effect and a wooden effect dashboard  though not door cappings. The painted on rear lights are crisp, correct and lined up correctly and the boot of the car with its GB markings and boot fittings is excellent.

The photograph above shows how much detail has been included on the front end with all the lights and ancilliary lights present on the full size car nicely reproduced.

The spirit of Ecstacy is nicely moulded if slightly large: forgiveable because this is probably to make it strong enough not to break when handled. And the RR marking on the radiator shell is there if so tiny the eye struggles to see it.

Again the bumper has the tiny RR log fitted and it is so small that without magnification you cannot see how well printed it is.

Other than the misprinted black circles on one wheel this model is excellent and I am sure that like the larger version it will now appear in a range of colours.


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Oxford Diecast Rolls-Royce Phantom III

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the author.

Oxford Diecast have now released the 1:76 version of their Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville. This was released earlier in the year in 1:43 scale.

The model is based upon a real car auctioned in 2014. Registered in 1936 it has a 7.3 Litre engine. The chassis left Rolls-Royce’s factory in May 1936 and was bodied by H J Mulliner in Chiswick. It was delivered to  Lady Maud Buckland of Salisbury, took place on the last day of 1936. The total cost was around £2,600, about £1,500 for the chassis and £1,100 for the body.

Photographs of the real car show this model to be an excellent replica of the real car. The shape is excellent and the detailing very good too. There is not a single quality control issue on this model it is beautifully painted and detailed.

Looking at the front lights I was very surprised to see that they all have tiny lenses fitted and unusual level of detail for a 1:76 scale model. The radiator, horns and spirit of ecstasy mascot are very well modelled too.

Wheels are excellent and the contrast of the rubber tyres to the shiny wheel covers is excellent. The wheel centres appear to have the multi sided section moulded in but Oxford has not printed any of the detail which breaks up the silver section leaving it as a simple silver disk. The interior is simplified from the 1:43 version with a simple dashboard with moulded detail  and a simple one piece steering wheel.

The running boards runners are nicely modelled and printed and the rear end is neatly modelled with lights and number plate box all very well presented  Bumpers at each end are simplified from the 1:43 pattern as they need to be strong enough to with stand shocks. Finally the number plates are excellent with the characters all the correct shape.

I have recently found myself being critical of Oxford’s models for detail issues and faults which have not been caught by their quality control. This model is beautifully detailed and finished to a very high standard and yet sells for a very modest price. I can see many model railway layouts featuring one of these outside the Church and many more collected just because they are a fine model of an attractive vehicle.


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Oxford Diecast – Range Rover Classic

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author except for the picture of the real car whose copyright is recognised.

Oxford Diecast‘s models from the Second Release of 2017 are now starting to arrive thick and fast. This article looks at the first release of the Range Rover Classic, so called as it was built alongside its replacement for a period of time.  Most readers will be familiar with the fact that in the 1950s Rover developed a set of prototypes of an upmarket Land Rover estate car based on the P4 chassis but with the ability to be used on or off road. The programme got so close to release that Corgi had developed a Road Rover model of its own and when Rover decided it was not going ahead with the Road Rover Corgi had to scrap theirs too.

By the 1960s the agricultural nature of the Land Rover was allowing Japanese makers like Nissan and Toyota who offered 4x4s with options of civilised cabins with nice seats and a more car like ambience to attract customers tired of the hard ride, discomfort and rudimentary cabin on even the Land Rover Estate versions.  In the US the Jeep Wagoneer and other 4x4s were much less like a truck. To fight back against this Rover developed the Range Rover powered by the 3.5 Litre V8 and with full off road capacity. It was a much more comfortable vehicle but retained the go anywhere capacity. In its initial form it was fitted with an interior that could be hosed down, rubber matting and plastic seats but the requests for a less utilitarian interior lead to an interior that became more luxurious at each upgrade.

This Lincoln Green painted model is Oxford’s first Classic Range Rover and is diecast in Oxford’s Chinese facility to 1:76 for the UK.

It is a nice model with an excellent shape. The printing is well registered and the Range Rover black script is neatly done as are the side badges .

Some have commentated very favourably about the wing mirrors but I think that their shaft is so very over scale that they may have been better left off altogether. Not all pictures of the original have mirrors and those that do are on a very spindly shaft. I guess that some collectors would not agree with me and want mirrors and are happy to live with the overscale shafts needed to prevent the mirrors breaking off.  I also think that the black printed grille should actually run along under the lights and to the level of the bumper and not end at the bottom of the grille cutouts.

At the side the wheels are good  and the mudflaps good with an exhaust exiting at the correct place. The door lock should have a black rim printed round it as the silver “blob” looks much too large and flat.

Inside there is a good matt finish suitable for this first generation of Range Rover and the typical very long gear lever. Sadly there is not the additional small lever to select low ratios next to it but in this scale that is not as obvious as it would be in 1:43. At the passenger side of the luggage area the spare wheel hanger is moulded in but no spare wheel is fitted.

The rear is generally good with the lifting rear window convincingly moulded above the handle unit and the Land Rover badge printed well. I am unconvinced by the number plates. I don’t know what process causes it but the characters are too wide for their height. In addition members of modelling boards on the web have pointed out that the lights are incorrectly printed. Checking the real vehicle myself against the model shown above, this seems to be the case. A web picture of YCX 348K as shown below confirms this.

© Land Rover Centre Huddersfield.

Oxford Diecast has often listened to criticisms of minor issues with  their initial releases and sorted them out for later ones. I hope that they do as the model is excellent apart from a few details which could be easily fixed and I look forward to it in the mid-blue and yellow/beige so many were painted.


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Oxford Diecast XK150 Roadster

By Maz Woolley

Oxford Diecast have now released their XK150 in Carmen Red which somehow looks more exciting than in white as it was before. This model is to 1:43 scale and diecast in Oxford’s China plant for the UK.

The XK150 roadster was the last development of the original XK shape before the E Type replaced it in 1961. It is beautiful classic car and the Oxford model is welcome especially as a Roadster as the Drophead Coupé was made in the Matchbox Dinky range.

The car Oxford based this model on can be seen on the web and the model is largely correct, though I think the interior may be in red or tan leather and the dashboard should probably be red with a sliver inset panel. However, this is not an issue on a model in this price range as the interior is generally accurate with items picked out on the door cards and for a budget priced model the dash detail has been nicely done with white panel printed instruments. There is a lovely steering wheel with chromed spokes and wooden rim too.

The Oxford model has with lovely paint and excellent “chrome fitments” for the most part. However, when you look close at the model I bought you can see issues which really shouldn’t exist.

Firstly you can see above the chrome number plate surround is miss-shaped and shorter on one side.  Secondly when supplied one of the rear light clusters was at an angle which I have carefully corrected for the photographs, and finally the printing of the rear lights was badly offset.

 

It really is a shame that these faults should exist as it does mar what is otherwise excellent model from Oxford Diecast.


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Oxford Diecast Release 3 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs were provide by, and are copyright of, Oxford Diecast.

This article has been updated to include a model missed from Oxford’s website listing – 1:148 Cortina III re-colour in yellow.

Release 3 of 2017 has been announced by Oxford Diecast. It includes a wide variety of re-colours and several new castings.  Most of the models are illustrated by drawings but those where prototypes are shown are pictured below. Lists of the other releases are included below and they include amongst others a 1:43 Coach casting for the first time as an Oxford 25 years special.

The bulk of the releases are in 1:76 scale and there are fewer trucks than usual, however there are several interesting farming and construction releases. For classic car lovers the 1:76 scale original Ford Capri, Heinkel,  and  Austin Somerset will be of particular interest.

Although many models are re-colours in several cases we have yet to see the first release of the casting.

18HE002-Oxford-Diecast-Heinkel-Kabine-Spartan-Red

The second issue of this 1:18 scale model.

 

 

76FT029 Oxford Diecast Ford Transit Mk5 Lwb High Docklands Light Railway

The numbering suggests that this is the 29th Issue of the Mark V LWB High roof Transit.  This time as a Docklands Light Railway response vehicle.

76CWT002 Oxford Diecast Commer Walk Thru British Rail – Yellow

The second use of this casting and sure to be popular with railway modellers. Continues the use of the black linings for windows that just highlight the overscale depth of the casting.

 

76OWB013 Oxford Diecast Bedford OWB Belfast

Again the 13th livery for this 1:76 scale casting of the Bedford OWB. This time in Belfast livery. Belfast buses are famous for their Red livery but I expect that this blue livery must be authentic for the bus modelled.

76WMB002 Oxford Diecast Willys MB US Navy Seebees

A second release of the new 1:76 Jeep. The first release was as a Royal Navy beach master vehicle and now it is in US Navy colours.

NWFL001 Oxford Diecast Weymann Fanfare Southdown

This 1:144 scale model shows what Oxford can do in this scale. Seen already and sold out in 1:76 scale this model should be popular.

 

VF004-Oxford Diecast Vauxhall Firenza Sport Sunspot Yellow

The fourth use of this casting and in a very popular colour of the time.

New castings to be released

1:43

43JUP001 Jowett Jupiter SA Green
43WFA001 Weymann Fanfare South Wales – Oxford 25 Years Special B

1:76

76NQ2001 Nissan Qashqai J11 Storm White
76SOM001 Austin Somerset Black
76CHV001 Combine Harvester Red
76FCC001 Ford Consul Capri Lime Green/ermine White
76TPU001 Ford Transit Dropside Stobart Rail
76WOT001 Ford WOT1 Crash Tender Mickey Mouse (scampton)
76HE001 Heinkel Trojan Roman Blue
76JCB7001 JCB 776LRFCS001 Land Rover FC Signals Nato Green Camouflage

1:148

NWFL001 Weymann Fanfare Southdown

Aircraft

AC082 Brewster Buffalo USS Saratoga 1939
AC083 Henschel 123A Unit 3/SFGR 50 Lt. Hamann
72SW003 Supermarine Walrus N19 Irish Air Corps

Re-releases of existing castings in new colours and liveries.

1:18

18HE002 Heinkel Kabine Spartan Red
18MBC006 Messerschmitt KR200 Convertible Royal Blue

1:43

43AMVT003 Aston Martin Vantage S Sunburst Yellow
43JAG5002 Jaguar Mk V DHC Closed British Racing Green
43JAG8004 Jaguar MKVIII Carmen Red
43LRL004 Land Rover Lightweight Canvas Berlin Scheme
43R25002 Rolls Royce 25/30 – Thrupp & Maberley Two Tone Blue
43JSS007 SS Jaguar Gunmetal
VF004 Vauxhall Firenza Sport Sl Sunspot

1:76

76MN011 Austin Mini Cooper White Union Jack
76OWB013 Bedford OWB Belfast
76BD023 Bedford OYD 15th Scottish Infantry Div Uk 1943
76M3002 BMW M3 Coupe E92 Jerez Black
76CHT003 Churchill Tank 142 RAC Tunisia 1943
76COM007 Commer Commando Skyways
76CWT002 Commer Walk Thru British Rail – Yellow
76CWT003 Commer Walk Thru London Fire Brigade
76ETYP013 E Type Jaguar White
76FT029 Ford Transit Mk5 Lwb High Docklands Light Railway
76HST003 Humber Snipe Tourer Old Faithful – Tripoli 1943
763CX002 JCB 3CX Eco Backhoe Loader Union Jack Livery
76LRL003 Land Rover 1/2 Ton Lightweight RAF- Red Arrows
76LAN180006 Land Rover Series I 80 Hard Top RAC
76MCS005 Mini Hong Kong Police
76ME006 Morris Eight E Series Tourer Dark Blue
76MCS006 Pink Mini
76PAN007 Plaxton Panorama Ribble
76RRP3002 Rolls Royce Phantom III Fawn/black
76RRP5002 Rolls Royce Phantom V Burgundy/silver Sand
76SB002 Saro Bus Maidstone & District
76SCT004 Scania Car Transporter Green Tiger
76TCAB010 Scania T Cab Short Curtainside Stuart Nicol Transport
76TR6002 Triumph TR6 Signal Red
76VL002 Volvo 544 Yellow
76WMB002 Willys MB US Navy Seebees

1:87

87BC55004 Buick Century 1955 New York Taxi
87BS36004 Buick Special Convertible Coupe 1936 Balmoral Green
87CSD61002 Cadillac Sedan Deville 1961 Aspen Gold Met…
87CI61002 Chevrolet Impala 1961 Convertible Roman Red/white
87CN57004 Chevrolet Nomad 1957 Colonial Cream/india Ivory
87CP65004 Chevrolet Stepside Pick Up 1965 Red/white
87OR50002 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Coupe 1950 Crest Blue
87PB59002 Pontiac Bonneville Coupe 1959 Sunrise Coral

1:148

NAP004 Austin Princess (late) Black/Royal Claret
NCT006 Citroen 2CV Charleston Two Tone Grey
NDSC002 Daimler Dingo 10th Mounted Rifles
NDEF002 Land Rover Defender Royal Mail
NLRL002 Land Rover Lightweight Military Police
NMA002 Mercedes Ambulance London
NMGB002 MGB Roadster Pale Primrose
NNMN002 New Mini Pepper White
NCOR3002 Cortina Mark III Daytona Yellow

Specials and Sets

SP133 Xmas 2017 Albion
76SET58 RAF Centenary Set


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OXFORD MILITARY – Churchill Tank Mk III

By Robin Godwin

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The box reads “… not a toy. Collectors model not suitable for children under 14 years.” There is always a point of discussion between collectors with the addition of “toylike” features added to collectors’ scale models. For regular vehicles, this discussion usually involves opening features such as doors, bonnets and boots. I don’t consider these features toylike or gimmicks at all. If they are there on the real vehicle, then why not on accurate scale models? The argument that opening features ruin the lines of a vehicle with poor fit and large gaps is, unfortunately, sometimes true, and those manufacturers who don’t put the extra engineering effort into proper design/fit and actuation deserve criticism in the model press. In fact, perfection has been achieved by several manufacturers in 1:43 and even 1:50 scales (and is routine in the larger scale models, except in some of the cheaper ranges like the new Solido 1:18 scale VW Beetle with dog-leg door hinges) so it can be done.

With armoured, tracked vehicles the discussion usually centres on the tracks, their accuracy and whether or not they roll. Again, I prefer working features, so I really like my tank models with rolling tracks. Virtually all the partwork 1:72 tanks and their derivative ranges feature fixed rolling wheels and tracks. They are marketed as collectors’ items as well, and generally feature very accurate running gear, which is fine for display models. The Oxford Diecast Churchill in 1:76 scale, with working tracks, leaves me a bit flat, however. It is the method of execution that has been under-engineered for what is described as a collectors’ model. The effect is uncannily similar to the solution sought by Dinky Toys and Matchbox over 60 years ago – obviously dummy cast wheels which hide a roller system behind, giving a remarkably toy like appearance rather than a seriously modelled effort. If this is meant to be a display model, it doesn’t display as well as it should. Forces of Valor (Unimax) produced a much more accurate working system on their 1:72 Churchill Mk VII tank several years ago. The pictures below illustrate the differences (in reality, the differences between a Mk III and a Mk VII largely amounted to additional armour, and up-gunning). Surprising as well is that OD omitted separate plastic antennas and features a fixed non-elevating fragile plastic barrel. Although the plastic turret rotates, these obvious omissions would have enhanced display value.

A complaint I have had before with OD products is quality control. Only one of my tracks rolls freely, with the other jammed a bit by a bent mounting bracket for the return roller/idler wheel. Since the base is screwed on, I may remove it and attempt to straighten the bent metal bracket, but this may chip the paint.

On average, though, the model is a decent replica of a Mk III tank that fought at el Alamein in North Africa in 1942. It features a satisfying amount of metal in it’s construction with a subsequent hefty feel. To me, it sits a bit high compared to more accurate 1:72 scale models, and finish appears to be way too glossy. Although OD calls it a collectors’ model, it is very toy like in execution. Unless you collect all versions of Churchills, or specific campaign versions, or are locked into 1:76 scale (and need a tank for your Oxford Diamond T Tank Transporter model, also used in the African Desert), then I recommend acquiring one of the 1:72 scale partworks. They are more accurate and generally less expensive.

Illustrations

Zylmex earlier generation Churchill Mk VII, left, Oxford Diecast Mk III, middle, Forces of Valor (FoV) Mk VII, right. Note non-elevating barrel on OD

The Zylmex is obviously a toy with the incorrect number of road wheels, but actually a simpler and (likely) less expensive production method (plastic one piece wheel/axle arrangement running through slots in the chassis). Zylmex at least added antennae, and opened up an access panel in the front of the track guards (likely for cleaning and/or repair access). The OD does the same panel in tampo black

The FoV is way more accurate, but spoiled by toy standard requirements for the metal wire antennae. It has what appears to be a better “posture” than the OD

Another Mk VII, this time from the Combat Tanks partworks by PCT/Ixo. Non-rolling wheels/tracks, but a way better looking model at half the price.

Matchbox Centurion, left, showing similar engineering solution to rolling wheels/tracks from over 50 years ago – solid cast “fake” road wheels with rolling mechanism hidden behind

The OD solution to rolling tracks. Not counting drive and idler wheels, there are 11 metal axles with plastic sleeve rollers per side. This can’t be the least expensive option for manufacturing, nor is it the best looking effect. Note bent idler wheel bracket on left side of photo, which means my model does not roll. A QC issue

The FoV solution to rolling wheels/tracks. Two plastic friction fit pieces per “axle” fit into holes in suspension casting. A better engineering solution, and a much better looking model


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Atlas/Oxford Dennis F106 Fire Appliance

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by the Author.

Oxford Diecast has made several Fire Appliances to 1:76 scale. These are diecast in China in their own factory. Some of these models have been produced under contract for Atlas Editions and sold in their Fire Service Vehicles subscription series. It should be noted that even the models sold by Atlas have Oxford on their bases.

The Dennis F106, as modelled here, was made between 1963 and 1968. Ninety-nine vehicles were built. The version modelled is the rear pump variant with white tips to the roof ladders and an escape ladder that can be removed, though not extended, as shown below. The London Fire Brigade crest is printed  on the side lockers on both sides and a lot of detail has been printed on including climbing slots and the water hose attachment points.

The Oxford model is excellent and also appears in their own range with a different registration and without the bell on the cab roof.

The escape ladder fits neatly onthe vehicle by two pins inserted into slots in the roof.

The modelling includes printing on the visibility panel in the front cab doors. Although the flashing lights on the roof are painted the translucent blue over silver paint is very effective.

The wheels too are good moulded replicas of the full size ones with the silver hub caps on the front wheels well detailed.

The front of the vehicle has an excellent grille, well printed lights and a finely printed Dennis badge. Inside the cab a basic interior is provided and the chassis underneath is a flat largely detail-less plate.


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Oxford Diecast Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest 1:43 scale Rolls-Royce by Oxford Diecast is another new casting; a Silver Cloud I. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I was made by Rolls-Royce Limited from 1955 to 1959. It replaced the Silver Dawn and was replaced by the Silver Cloud II. The J. P. Blatchley design is part of the evolution away from the upright pre-war style still used for the Silver Dawn. The Cloud I had a six cylinder 4.9 litre engine which was replaced by a larger V8 in the Cloud II. In 1957 performance was increased by the fitting of twin carburetors. Brakes were hydraulic and servo assisted and the suspension was independent coils at the front and semi-elliptic springs at the rear.

Rolls-Royce did not build a monocoque car until the Silver Shadow in the 1960s so the Cloud body sat on a frame. This allowed some special bodied versions to be made but the overwhelming majority sold were built with the standard Pressed Steel Company manufactured steel body shell. A lightweight aluminium based alloy was used for the doors, bonnet and the boot lid.

The British Motor magazine tested a standard factory-bodied Series I in 1956 recording a top speed of 102.9 mph and acceleration from 0-60 mph in 13.5 seconds. The car tested cost  £5078 including taxes.

The car modelled by Oxford Diecast is a real one which was auctioned for over 21,000 GBP in May 2015. It was originally made in 1959 and the model retrains most of the original’s features though it does not reproduce the red pinstripe and red stripe on the wheel trims.  Photographs by the Silverstone Auctions of the original in 2015 are shown below.

© Silverstone Auctions
© Silverstone Auctions
© Silverstone Auctions

43RSC001 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Sand and Sable.

The Oxford model is another excellent Rolls-Royce model from them, particularly as it sells for only a little more than Atlas models and less than most Corgi Models. Whilst it lacks any photo etched parts it really doesn’t miss them. Oxford has again used multi-part windows which press fit into all window apertures to give flush glazing. The side window glazing has chrome printed on raised frame lines which gives an excellent effect.

The paintwork matches the original well. Please note that  my photographs make the sable area look a little lighter than it really is. One or two minor items have been dropped from this model such as the red wheel trim on the original but this is not missed and could be added if one wished.

As on all the Oxford Rolls-Royces a lot of effort has been made to capture the RR radiator and mascot with a finely printed RR symbol on the radiator setting it off well. The mascot is again a little overscale but that is understandable since it would be easily breakable if modelled to scale size.

The rear is lovely with number plate, RR symbol, and handle finely modelled. The only slight let down is the rear lights being printed in flat red and orange on a silver printed background and the left hand light being raked inwards more than the right hand one. If Oxford has to print these lights then printing the base fitting straight and using a translucent paint over the silver would give a much better effect.

The wheels are good with the central section of the cap hinting at the flat side sections. The white wall on the tyre is kept small in keeping with that on the original car. The side view of the car is excellent capturing the flowing lines of the original really well though the thicker lower brown paint does slightly soften the cast lines on the body.

The interior has been finished to a high standard with wood effect dashboard, door cappings and seat back fitments. Seating is in white which is a match to the white leather fitted to the original car. The instrumentation is printed on the dash and the door fitments have been printed in chrome too.

Underneath, the frame, engine, propshaft and rear axle and springs are all modelled in a basic manner.

The Silver Cloud has been modelled by many in the past with the 1:45 scale Budgie/Seerol model  perhaps being the most commonly seen in the UK, especially as it was on sale in London Souvenir shops for many years. Less commonly seen is the Lone Star model of a four headlight 1960s Silver Cloud. My personal favourite obsolete diecast Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud is the Verem model which also comes in a Sand and Sable finish. This was an enhanced casting based upon the 1960s Solido Silver Cloud. Although we have had many Chinese resin Silver Clouds from a variety of makers many have not captured the Cloud accurately in some respects.

Although Minichamps Silver Cloud II does have separately inserted rear lights to my eyes it offers nothing else that the Oxford does not. The available paint schemes are also less attractive, though the white and black solid colours may make them popular as replicas of wedding cars.  At about half the price of the Minichamps the Oxford model is outstanding value for money.

I look forward to Oxford making this car to 1:76 scale at some point in the future which is sure to be popular as collecting in this scale seems to be growing at the moment.


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Oxford Diecast Volvo 760

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by the Author.

Oxford Diecast continue to release the models promised for 2017. Here I look at a new 1:76 scale model diecast at Oxford’s Chinese factory for the UK.

76VO001 Volvo 760 Gold Metallic

This is the first time that we have seen this casting from Oxford and it captures the real car well. The wedge shape so fashionable in the early 1980s is well caught and the paint is a good representation of the popular metallic finish which can be seen on many photographs of the car.

Wherever you look there are impressive small details like the Volvo badging printed on the wings which is hardly noticeable without magnification but which is there as it should be.

I don’t think that the model is one of Oxfords best for a number of reasons. Firstly the rear light cluster looks like eight separate lights, see above, whereas on the rear car it was one continuous light with different colour sections and a silver trim horizontally in the centre. Secondly the tyres had to be taken off and refitted. If you look at the picture below you can see extra rubber sticking out and on other wheels the tyres did not actually reach the hub. All correctable but avoidable. The hubs themselves appear to be a bit vague and do not match the alloys that I can see on cars pictured on the web and have no Volvo badged centre cover.

The last issue can also be seen on the photograph above. Where are the mirrors? A large blank area of the door looks like the mirrors should have been fitted there. Indeed the picture Oxford provides of the next use of this casting shows mirrors drawn on, see below.

So my conclusion is that this is a good model without reaching the standards that Oxford can achieve. It is also good to have models from the early 1980s in affordable diecast ranges.


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D Di Mascio Ice Cream Van

By Maz Woolley

All photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author. With the exception of the drawing which is copyright of Oxford Diecast.

Oxford Diecast‘s recent release in 1:76 scale of a D. DiMascio Ice Cream van will strike a chord with anyone who grew up in the Coventry area in the 1950s through to the 1970s. So strong was the presence of this firm’s vans that for many Coventrians the words “D. Di” meant ice cream in the same way that Hoover meant a vacuum cleaner. A van would be parked outside the gates of my secondary school in spring, summer and autumn ready for “home time”. The phrase “I’ll have a D. Di on the way home” was a common one. Another Coventry habit was taking a bowl out to the D. Di van and they would  fill the bowl with ice cream for a suitable number of old pennies, I can remember my Mum doing that as a special treat for us in early 60s Cheylesmore. This is the second D. Di van in the Oxford range as they have previously modelled the “Little D. Di Ford Thames van.

Dionisio Di Mascio came from Cassino in Italy in the inter-war years and started his business in Coventry after working for his Uncle in Glasgow. Before the war the vehicles were limited and the business dominated by D. Di Mascio’s ice cream parlour. Sadly, their premises were destroyed in the blitz. With the huge post-war growth of Coventry and its  relative prosperity the firm grew quickly adding vehicles based on converted cars running two Rovers, six Standards and even an Austin. They also had some larger vehicles like an Austin K8 and Morris PVs.

As business grew D. Di started to standardise on BMC J type vans and soon a fleet of 24 J types was in use. For those of us growing up in the 1960s and 1970s these were the vans that we saw all the time and that is the type of van represented by the one modelled by Oxford Diecast. Sadly none of the vans is known to have made it into preservation. The van modelled is based upon WHP 881 which was registered on 1st August 1958 and driven by Marico.

The Oxford model captures the D. Di livery well and although D. Di vans were not all identically bodied the body is very close to several pictures that can be found on the web. Certainly close enough to make me wish that they made this model in 1:43 scale as well.

For those who want to know more about D. Di Mascio and their vans I can recommend “D. Di Mascio’s Delicious Ice Cream” by Roger de Boer, Harvey Pitcher, and Alan Wilkinson which has provided much information for this post.

I now live in the Northampton area where local ice cream sales are dominated by Gallones. I have recently found out that the current owner of Gallones is the grandson of Dionisio DiMascio which explains the fact that one Morris LD in the D. Di Fleet was ex-Gallone. Perhaps other vans went from D. Di to Gallones? I would certainly welcome a Gallones van from Oxford maybe based upon an LD or Commer van which would offer lots of other opportunities for other liveries like Mr Whippy and Mr Softee as well.


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