Category Archives: Oxford Diecast

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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Oxford Diecast – Release 2 2018

By Maz Woolley

Text by the Author. All cell drawings and listings provided by Oxford Diecast.

Oxford Diecast has announced their second release of 2018. Again there is a slight increase in the price of models but not a large one like many other ranges have had in recent months.

The models are currently only illustrated by cell drawings or CAD diagrams and no pre-production shots are available to share at this point. I include the cells were they are new tooling or a particularly interesting variation on an existing casting.

For 1:43 scale collectors there are only a small number of releases and only one new tooling a Bedford CF Ice Cream Van. I am sure that in later releases that will make its way to 1:76 and 1:148 ranges too. It is a vehicle overdue for a modern model and I do hope Oxford intends to produce a conventional van or even a camper van in future releases.

A first is a model to 1:50 scale. This is extending their very successful JCB licensing into a larger scale and I am sure that it will prove to be a popular model despite it costing more than Oxford 1:18 models. Talking of which there are no new 1:18 scale models in this release.

The Westland Dragonfly looks very impressive  though there are already many questions about its authenticity as the Dragonfly was a copy of the Sikorsky built under licence and there are various fuselage features which differ from original to copy and even between the Westland versions produced.

In 1:76 highlights include a Duple Commander initially in Southdown livery but sure to appear in more liveries next release and even as 1:148 I expect at some point in the future. We also see a Ford Zodiac Mark II appear in the range to accompany the second release of the 315 Capri in a nice blue and white two tone. A Burrell traction engine appears in this scale which I believe was supposed to have the non-scale living wagon to go with it until someone got the measurements wrong in the factory.

We get to see an Austin Maxi finally appear in an industrial diecast range not my favourite colour but I am sure that it will sell well none the less. Maybe it will bee precursor to Maestros and Montegos which are often asked for by collectors.

The Range Rover 3rd generation in 1:76 will be a very popular item and apart from obvious missing links like a couple of generations of Discovery Oxford is not far off creating a full history of Land Rover. Land Rovers also appear in two new and appealing sets. One a Universities overland expedition which was the subject of a contemporary documentary and the RAF Bloodhound kit reminiscent of the old RAF Corgi set.

In 1:87 the US series gets several new castings: Chrysler 300 Convertible from 1961; a 1968 Dodge Charger; a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona; aDodge D100 Sweepside pickup; and a 1946 De Soto Suburban. If these models continue to be made to the very high standard that the recent 1:87 releases have been I am sure they will all be very successful even if they area little dearer than the 1:76 scale models.

Finally to the tiny 1:148 models made with plastic bodies and a diecast baseplate.  There are a surprising number of people collecting this scale of models and not just to go with model railways. However just two new tools this time the Land Rover Discovery 4  and the Bristol MW6G Royal Blue​.

Many 1:43 collectors have been voluble online about the gradual reduction of output from Oxford in this scale especially of ordinary cars. Many have been disappointed with the few models available this time. 1:76 truck collectors have also noted the lack of new tooling this release. Keeping everyone happy and keeping an eye on product quality is obviously a big challenge for Oxford. The Showman’s wagon being made with incorrect scaling applied is perhaps a symptom that Oxford are struggling to control production in China, it certainly fits with the concern over the quality of finish on some models.

1:43 Scale

 

43CF001 Bedford CF Ice Cream Van/Morrison Mr Whippy​
New Tooling

43LAN188024 Land Rover Series I 88″ Canvas Bronze Green (Plimsoll)​

43LR2AS003 Land Rover Series IIA SWB Station Wagon Pastel Green​

43LRL006 Land Rover Lightweight Hard Top Fred Dibnah

43RRP3003 Rolls Royce Phantom III SDV Mulliner Claret/Black​

43RRP5003 Rolls Royce Phantom V James Young Windsor Blue​

MIN014N Pink Floral Mini Car – Wedding Wrap​

1:50 Scale

 

50FST001 JCB Fastrac​
New Tooling

1:72 Scale Aviation

72BE002 Twin Beech – FT996-811-HF 728 Squadron RNAS Hal Far Malta 1948​

72DG003 DH84 Dragon EI- ABI IOLAR​

72WD001 Westland Dragonfly Royal Navy WH991 Yorkshire Air Museum​ New Tooling

AC089 Lavochkin LA7 Sergei Federovich Dolgushin – 156 Fighter Reg. 1945​

1:76 scale

76BM02003 BMW 2002 Taiga Green​Scale: 1:76

76D28003 DAF 3300 Short Van Trailer Pollock​

76DC001 Duple Commander MkII Southdown​
New Tooling

76DEF016 Land Rover Defender LWB Station Wagon Hong Kong Police​

76DXF004 DAF XF Euro 6 Livestock Transporter Skeldons​

76EC003 ERF EC Flatbed Trailer Pollock

76ETYP012 Jaguar E Type Soft Top Imperial Maroon

76ETYP014 Jaguar E Type Silver Blue

76FB6004 Fowler B6 Showmans Loco No.14425 – Carry On

76FCC002 Ford Consul Capri Caribbean Turquoise/Ermine White​

76FDE016 Ford 400E Minibus London Fire Brigade (Green)

76FG004 Ford Galaxy Black​

76FRE005 Land Rover Freelander London Underground​

76FS004 Ford Sierra Sapphire Moonstone Blue

76FT3008 Ford Transit Mk3 British Gas​

76FTC010 Ford Transit Connect Tube Lines​

76FZ001 Ford Zodiac MkII Shark Blue/Pompadour Blue​
New Tooling

76GDSF001 Burrell 8nhp DCC Showmans Locomotive Masterpiece​
New Tooling

76J4003 Austin J4 Van Southern Electricity​

76JAG2007 Jaguar MkII Carmen Red​

76JFP003 Jaguar F Pace Italian Racing Red

76JS002 JCB JS220 Millionth Machine

76LAN2018 Land Rover Series II LWB Canvas Southdown

 

76LAN2020 Land Rover Series 2 LWB Canvas Bluebird Land Speed Record 1960​

76LR2S006 Land Rover Series II SWB Canvas REME​

76LR3S002 Land Rover Series III Hard Top AA​

76LR3S004 Land Rover Series III SWB Canvas Royal Navy

76LRDF011 Land Rover Defender 90 Station Wagon Hong Kong Police​

76LRT009 Leyland Royal Tiger Alexander Bluebird

76MMS006 Morris Minor MM Saloon Clarendon Grey​

76MMT010 Morris Traveller Limeflower​

 

76MX001 Austin Maxi Tara Green​
New Tooling

76NMN007 New Mini Chili Red/White​

76NQ2002 Nissan Qashqai J11 Pearl Black Metallic​

76OWB014 Bedford OWB Isle of Man Road Services​

76P4004 Rover P4 Stone Grey/Juniper Green​

76PD2007 Leyland PD2/12 Barton​

76QLD007 Bedford QLD RAF 2nd Tactical A F -84 Grp 1944

76RAN005 Range Rover Vogue Aintree Green Metallic

76REL005 Reliant Regal Supervan Blue​

76RP006 Rover P6 Corsica Blue​

 

76RR3001 Range Rover 3rd Generation Bonatti Grey​
New Tooling

76SCT007 Scania Car Transporter Robinsons Autologistics​

76SET61 3 Piece Set BMW​

76SET62 3 Piece Set Bubble Car​

76SET63 3 Piece Set Hong Kong Police​

 

76SET64 2 Piece Set First Overland

 

76SET65 Bloodhound Missile Set

76SFE010 Scania CP31 Pump Ladder Shropshire Fire & Rescue​

76SHP007 Sherpa Van Telephone Service​

76SM003 Sherman MkIII 18 Arm.Reg -4th NZ Arm.Brg.Italy 1944​

76SOM002 Austin Somerset Buckingham Green​

76T4002 VW T4 Van Grey White

 

76T5V001 VW T5 Van RAC​
New Tooling

76TAC006 TACR2 RAF St. Mawgan (Red)

76TR4004 Triumph TR4 103MU – RAF Akrotiri Cyprus

76TX4008CC TX4 Taxi Coca Cola

76VEL002 Range Rover Velar SE Fuji White​

76VWS002 VW T1 Camper Turquoise/White​

76WOT002 Ford WOT1 Crash Tender RAF Catterick (Red)

76XJS006 Jaguar XJS White (The Saint)

76XR006 Ford Escort XR3i Caspian Blue​

1:87 Scale

 

87CC61001 Chrysler 300 Convertible 1961 (Open) Mardi Gras Red​
New Tooling

87CP65005 Chevrolet Stepside Pick Up 1965 White

 

87DC68001 Dodge Charger 1968 Bright Red​
New Tooling

 

87DD69001 Dodge Charger Daytona 1969 Black​
New Tooling

 

87DP57001 Dodge D100 Sweptside Pick Up 1957 Tropical Coral/Glacier White​ New Tooling

 

87DS46001 DeSoto Suburban 1946-48 Noel Green​
New Tooling

1:148 scale

 

NDIS001 Land Rover Discovery 4 Ipanema Sand​
New Tooling

NFDE004 Ford 400E Van Royal Mail​

NFT021 Ford Transit Mk5 Stobart Fleet Maintenance

NLRT004 Leyland Royal Tiger Maidstone & District​

NMN007 Mini Car RAF

 

NMW6001 Bristol MW6G Royal Blue​
New Tooling

NNMN005 New Mini British Racing Green and Union Jack

NNR007 New Routemaster First West Yorkshire

NWFA002 Weymann Fanfare Grey Cars

Non-scale

 

SP140 Showmans Living Caravan​
New Tooling


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

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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Oxford Diecast Pontiac Bonneville Coupe 1959

By Maz Woolley

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

Oxford Diecast has issued a re-coloured version of their 1:87 scale diecast in China for the United Kingdom 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Coupe.

The re-colour is in sunrise coral with a white roof which is a very period look.  Our review of the original issue can be found here. The model itself is excellent with a lot of very fine printing of chrome embellishments and very neatly printed wipers and window surrounds.

The wheels are excellent and the printed badges and side chrome fine.

To the rear the rear lights, badging and chrome strips are very delicately done, remember that this model is only 1:87 scale!

Inside nothing is picked out but there is a nicely moulded interior with neat door cards and dashboard.

All in all a lovely model and a well chosen colour which is enough to persuade this collector to buy another model from the same casting.

What I cannot understand is that this lovely Pontiac model which is up to the highest standards of 1:87 metal casting and finishing is made by the same company that produced the crude Isetta shown below which we recently reviewed. How can this be? Does Oxford have multiple teams responsible for models and the resultant model is good if the A-Team do it and poor if not?

After being disappointed by the model above I went back to the London Toyfair pictures and I note that the Heinkel Trojan casting on show appears to rely on the same large central shaft to hold the base on which is a very considerable disappointment. Most 1960s toymakers didn’t resort to such crude engineering.


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Oxford Diecast BMW Isetta

By Maz Woolley

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

The 1:76 scale version of Oxford Diecast‘s BMW Isetta has just gone on sale. painted Signal Red this model has been diecast in China for the UK.

Isetta production in the UK started in 1957 in Brighton under licence from BMW.  The British cars had right-hand drive with the door hinged from the right hand side of the car and the steering column moved across to the right as well. UK components from Dunlop, Lucas and Girling replaced German ones.

The Isetta was not popular in the UK until the three-wheeled version was introduced exploiting the UK rules which allowed three wheelers to be treated a motorcycle and sidecar and have cheaper tax rates then a car. Isetta of Great Britain did produce four-wheeled Isettas, but these were said to be  only for export to Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Production ceased in 1962.

The car modelled by Oxford, 60 PHN, definitely exists, and although I can find no pictures of it, the UK Vehicles website shows it to have been first registered in April 1960 with a 295cc engine. Since it is a four wheeler with left hand drive and the door opening the wrong way for the UK one wonders at its history and why Oxford chose to model this car which is hardly representative of UK made and registered Isettas. Looking at the model there are other things which are not typical for UK made cars like the side indicator which is a horizontal rather than a vertical unit.

So on to the model itself. Its small size obscures some of the rather crude features like a vertical post in the middle of the car to screw the base plate into; this is an extremely crude engineering solution. The wheels are simple plastic mouldings which are rather crude as well. The front and rear window openings are surrounded by crude black lines to represent the window surrounds, they look as poor on this model as they do on other Oxfords.

Comparing the model to the Schuco Junior BMW Isetta made by Hongwell many years ago the Oxford is fractionally smaller and has a cruder interior without the neat separately moulded steering wheel and steering column.

The Oxford also leaves the door handle in body colour though there is a slight lump to represent it. And where the Schuco has a neat printed line directly under the side windows on a raised part of the casting the Oxford has somewhat uneven tampo print leaving a strip of body colour between it and the glazing which looks unrealistic. Finally the closed canvas roof opening is painted in a shiny black rather than a matt finish where Schuco/Hongwell managed a separate matt plastic item in a semi-open position which looks rather more real.

I had been rather looking forward to this release but am thoroughly disappointed with it. Oxford has not chosen a typical UK specification Isetta with three wheels and on top of that has produced a very average casting flawed by the intrusive interior column to fix the base to. It has been detailed in an average manner and to my eye fails to reach the same engineering standard and does not capture the charm of the original in the way that the many years old Hongwell/Schuco model did.


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