Category Archives: Oxford Diecast

Oxford Diecast 1:43 scale June 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford are now starting to catch up with models remaining from release 1/2017. The two featured in this post are new Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin castings. These models have been diecast in Oxford’s Chinese factory to 1:43 scale.

43EMP001 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Hooper Empress

 

The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud was available to coach-builders as a long wheelbase chassis. In this case that car was built by Hooper on a 1957 chassis fitted with the final version of the straight six designed by W O Bentley. It was in the Empress style that they had used on Silver Wraiths and Daimlers previously. This time the front wings came to a peak to give the body a more up to date look than the earlier models.

Only 18 Cars were built by Hooper in this style on the Silver Cloud LWB chassis. It is one of the last creations made by the Hooper Coachbuilding Company before they ceased coach building in 1959.

This style of bodywork was captured by Quaralu, a French company in the 1960s in a diecast mode that has since been reproduced as a replica. Until now I believe that only ATC have produced it to modern standards in a rather more expensive resin model.

The Oxford model just shows how well they make this type of car. The flush fit windows are excellent as is the grille and all the separately fitted light lenses.

The wheels are good as are all the lovely tampo printed coachlines, badging and number plates. there is even a modest level of detail; on the baseplate. Inside there are wood effect dash and door cappings, a good steering wheel, and printed instrumentation and door fittings. The chrome fittings are excellent too. Bumpers, interior and exterior mirrors, number plate surrounds, grille and even the Spirit of Ecstacy are all neatly moulded and “plated”. The mascot may be a little overscale but this is common on models as otherwise it becomes vulnerable to breakage.

The colours it is painted are accurate for the car as it can be seen on the Internet, but for those who  do not like brown this car will be part of Release 2017/2 in two tone blue.

In summary an excellent model from Oxford at a very competitive price.


AMZ001 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato 2 VEV

 

The only way most of us will ever be able to own a DB4GT Zagato will be to buy a model. The last one sold at auction sold for over nine million UK pounds. An excellent return on investment as the car cost  £5,470 when new.

The DB4/GT was originally built to allow Aston Martin to take on Ferrari in the World Sports Car Championship, but with its Italian rival having a competitive edge Aston sent its car to Carrozzeria Zagato, with the instruction to maximise its performance. Ercole Spada at Zagato lead the work to lighten and streamline the car.  In search of weight reduction many steel components were replaced by aluminium parts and all non-essential elements like bumpers were removed. It was 100 pounds lighter, more aerodynamic and was fitted with a highly tuned engine and could reach around 153mph. 19 DB4/GTs were created by Zagato. The best known DB4 GT Zagatos are affectionately known by the registration plates they share, of ‘1 VEV’ and ‘2 VEV’. These were raced under the John Ogier’s Essex Racing Stable with assistance from the Aston Martin factory. Both the Zagatos raced in the 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans. However a repeat of the 1959 Le Mans victory was not to be, with both cars retiring. In July 1961 at a British Grand Prix Support race the Zagato had its first victory. With ‘2 VEV’ taking the last lap lead from a Jaguar E Type. ‘2 VEV’, which is modelled here by Oxford, crashed heavily at Spa in 1962 and had to be rebuilt and was modified in the process however that process was reversed when after a road accident in 1993 it was returned to 1962 specification.

Examining pictures on the Internet Oxford seem to have captured the profile of the car extremely well. I am particularly impressed by the lovely windows again flush fitted and with printed frames. The lights are all separate plastic inserts other than some small printed reflectors at the rear and are all nicely done. The grille and the tiny printed badging again deserves praise.

However, I have to point out three areas where I think that the model is not as good as it could be which lets down the otherwise lovely model. The first is the printed chrome surround for the headlights. As can be seen in the photograph below the printed line is actually quite some way from the plastic lens that the chrome is supposed to surround on the lower inner section and it is overscale as well which merely brings attention to the issue. Some Oxford publicity pictures showed the model without the printed chrome and that looks much better.

The second is that the model sits too high at the rear giving a “jacked up” stance as can be seen in the photograph below.

The third is the wheel rims which have bits of silver finish missing on one wheel which really needs to be resolved as this is not the first time I have seen this on an Oxford model.

My conclusion is that the faults mean that this model though still value for money is not as good as it could have been. It could have been as good as the Rolls-Royce with a little more care and attention.


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Oxford Diecast Release 2 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford Diecast has announced their second release programme for 2017. These models can be expected to reach us starting later in 2017. As ever there is a significant amount of new tooling announced in this release as well as some nice new colours and liveries on existing models. At present only drawings are available of these models which I have not included here but which may be seen on the Release 2017/2 area of the Oxford website https://www.oxforddiecast.co.uk

Please note that we have yet to see all of the models from release 2017/1 yet but the models outstanding are expected in the near future.

1:43 Scale

Release 2017/1 had a lot of new 1:43 scale models included so  it is no surprise that there are fewer new castings but there is a new TX5 Taxi which will be popular with tourists as well as collectors. The Ford 400E will be on its 17th release but the livery this time is authentic and attractive as it is Lotus Racing Services. It will be a fine model to place alongside old Formula One cars.

43AK017 Austin Threeway Van Civil Service Stores
43AMZ003 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Red
43ASS006 Austin Seven RN Saloon Light Grey
43EMP002 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud/Hooper Empress Two Tone Blue
43FDE017 Ford 400E Van Lotus
43LR3S002 Land Rover Series III SWB Hard Top AA
43RSC002 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I Black
43RSD002 Rolls Royce Silver Dawn Two Tone Grey
43RUB002 Austin Ruby Saloon Dark Blue
43TX5001 TX5 Taxi Black

1:72 Scale

Oxford produces several ranges of aircraft models with different degrees of detail and price. The Twin Beech is a new casting and should make a fine model.

72BE001 Twin Beech G-BKGM – Bristol Airways
72DR015 DH89 Dragon Rapide X7454 USAAF – Wee Wullie
72DV005 DH104 Devon WB534 RAF Transport Command

AC079 Mustang P51D Sweet Arlene – 2nd Lt Arthur Reed Bowers
AC080 Arado AR196 D-IHQI Prototype 1938
AC084 Me163b Komet White 54 – 14JG 400 Niemcy 1945
AC085 Junkers Ju87 T6+DP 6 St.G2 Immelmann Libya 1941
AC086 Spitfire 1A N3277 Luftwaffe

1:76 Scale

Oxford has again released new castings in this scale. This scale covers several different ranges. Fire, Police and Ambulance vehicles are now to be combined into a single Oxford Emergency range going forward.

New castings include three cars: BMW Isetta, BMW M3 Coupe E92, and a Triumph TR7 roadster. In vans we get a Morris J4 Post Van. Construction gets a JCB 3CX which should be a very popular seller for diorama builders. A Leyland Octopus lorry with articulated box trailer in vintage Tesco markings is a new Lorry in this scale. Finally we will see the first two releases of the new Sherman Tank here in regimental markings. Interestingly the Sherman being produced as a load for an Oxford Rail wagon is unmarked and has a wooden box on its rear.

Quite a range of models for just one part years release.

76ACC007 Pallet/Loads Reckitts Starch * 4
76ACC008 Pallet/Loads Pratts Motor Oil * 4
76AH3005 Austin Healey 3000 Metallic Golden Beige
76AMDB9003 Aston Martin DB9 Coupe Cobalt Blue
76AMV003 Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe Quantum Silver
76ASS006 Austin Seven Saloon Light Grey
76ATKL004 Atkinson Cattle Truck J Haydon & Sons
76BED007 Bedford J1 Ambulance Dundalk Fire Service
76BI003 Beadle Integral East Yorkshire
76CAV003 Vauxhall Cavalier China Blue
76CDS005 Citroen DS19 Monte Carlo Blue/Aubergine
76COR1008 Ford Cortina MkI Lombard Grey/Red
76COR3008 Ford Cortina MkIII Strato Silver
76CRE009 Vauxhall Cresta Venetian Red/Polar White
76CT006 Citroen 2CV Charleston Cormorant Grey/Midnight Grey
76DT006 Diamond T Ballast Wynns
76DXF002 DAF XF Euro 6 Curtainside Wrefords
76DXF003 DAF XF William Armstrong Livestock Trailer
76ETYP010 Jaguar E Type Coupe Bluebird Blue (Donald Campbell)
76FB006 Vauxhall FB Victor Cactus Green
76FF006 Ford Fiesta Mk1 Terracotta
76FSR005 Fowler Steam Roller No.18873 City of Truro
76HI003 Hillman Imp Firebrand Red
76IR6003 Irizar i6 The Kings Ferry
76IS001 BMW Isetta Signal Red
76J4001 Morris J4 Van Royal Mail
76JCX001 JCB 3CX (1980s) JCB
76LAN180003 Land Rover Series I 80″ Open Top AA
76LAN2017 Land Rover Series II LWB Hard Top RAC Radio Patrol
76LO001 Leyland Octopus Box Trailer Tesco
76LRD008 Land Rover Discovery 3 Rimini Red Metallic
6M3001 BMW M3 Coupe E92 Mineral White
76MGB008 MGB Roadster Mineral Blue
76MM059 Morris 1000 Van British Rail
76MN008 Mini Surf Blue/Old English White
76MWD007 Bedford MWD 2 Corps 1/7th Middlesex Regiment France 1940
76QLD006 Bedford QLD Wiltshire Fire Brigade
76S94004CC Scania 94D 6 Wheel Curtainside Coca Cola
76SET07B Triple Morris Minor
76SET10B Triple Tractor Set
76SET14A 5 Piece Jaguar Collection
76SET17E Land Rover 5 Piece Set
76SET35A VW Bay Window Set Van/Bus/Camper
76SET51 3 Piece Rolls Royce Set
76SET52 5 Piece Volvo Set
76SHP005 Sherpa Van RAF
76SHP006 Sherpa Minibus Wynns
76SM001 Sherman Tank MK III 10th Armoured Division 1942
76SM002 Sherman Tank MK III Royal Scots Greys Italy 1943
76TAC004 TACR2 RAF St.Mawgan
76TP005 Triumph 2500 Russet Brown
76TR4003 Triumph TR4 New White
76TR7001 Triumph TR7 Convertible Triton Green
76VW027 VW Bay Window Camper Savannah Beige/White
76VW028 VW Bay Window Bus/Surfboards Lime Green/White
76VWB008 VW Beetle Lotus White
76VWY006 Vauxhall Wyvern Metallichrome Green
76WO005 Wolseley 18/85 Black/Ivory
76ZEP010 Ford Zephyr Purbeck Grey

1:87 Scale

All models released are re-colours of the models first released earlier this year.  The Highway Patrol model is a nice addition.

87BC55003 Buick Century 1955 California Highway Patrol
87BS36003 Buick Special Convertible Coupe 1936 Cardinal Maroon
87CN57003 Chevrolet Nomad 1957 Surf Green/India Ivory
87CP65003 Chevrolet Stepside Pick Up 1965 Maroon Metallic

1:148 Scale

Oxford has gone into overdrive producing models to this scale. Introductions include the Churchill Tank, Ford 400E, Hillman Imp,  Lightweight Land Rover, Jaguar XF, and Burlington Seagull,

NBSA008 Motorbike & Sidecar RAF Blue
NCHT001 Churchill Tank Kingforce
NFDE001 Ford 400E Van British Rail
NFT022 Ford Transit Mk5 Network Rail Response Unit
NHI001 Hillman Imp Willow Green
NXF001 Oxford Jaguar XF Carnelian Red
NLAN188020 Land Rover Series I 88″ Canvas REME
NLRL001 Land Rover Lightweight United Nations
NMB006 Mercedes Actros Curtainside Sparks
NNR005 New Routemaster Propercorn
NPB008 Commer PB Royal Mail
NSEA001 Burlingham Seagull Wallace Arnold
NSFE007 Scania Pump Ladder Surrey F & R
NSHL03TK Scania Highline Tanker Eddie Stobart
NTCAB005 Scania T Cab Tipper Tinnelly
NTRAC004 Fordson Tractor Matt Grey
NTRAIL006 Mobile Trailer Buns on Wheels
NVOL4003 Volvo FH4 Curtainside Knowles

Oxford Structures

Bachmann and Hornby already make 1:76 scale buildings in painted resin for railway modellers and Oxford has decided to join them with a range of railway structures based on structures of the Great Western Railway. In addition a range of shops, houses and a Church will also be made.

This is an interesting venture from Oxford and I suspect that its success will depend upon whether they sell them for a lower price than the equivalents from Bachmann and Hornby.

 


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Oxford Firenza 1800SL

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford Diecast have now launched a Vauxhall Firenza 1800SL to 1:43 scale to complement the 2300SL which appeared a few months ago. Although the models are very similar the 2300SL had additional instruments on the dashboard. The SL was the highest specification available initially until the “droop snoot” appeared in Magnum form.

The Firenza (Florence) was a two door coupé built on the chassis of the HC Viva and was also assembled in South Africa as the Chevrolet Firenza.  It was a conventional four cylinder inline rear wheel drive car and the British equivalent of the Opel Kadett Coupé.

 

Like the previous blue 2300SL the car is very neatly painted and finished with badging and chrome nicely printed. Grille and lights are excellent all round. There is no photo-etch and some items like door handles are moulded in but at Oxford’s retail prices one would not expect anything else.

The wheels fitted to the real car are again well done and the rubber tyres are excellent.

So are there any criticisms: only that the left hand rear light cluster could be straighter. All in all a very good model and I hope that Oxford are set up to produce a “droop snoot” at a later date and a Viva HC.


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Oxford Diecast DB2 Mark III DHC

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford Diecast‘s Aston Martin Drop Head Coupe to 1:43 scale has now reached the shops to complement the model already seen in 1:76 scale. This model has been made in Oxford’s Chinese factory. The DB2 Mark III Saloon with its hatchback has already been issued in 1:43 by Oxford.

The Aston Martin DB2 Mark III was made between 1957 and 1959 and used the straight six engine originally designed by W O Bentley for Lagonda developed by Tadek Marek.  Capable of around 120MPH it was a fast and beautifully built sports car with a price which ensured that only the wealthy could afford one.

The Oxford model is beautiful capturing the stance of the original and the racing green paint is even and glossy. The plastic hood is a good matt finish and all the tampo printing and badging is neat. Oxford number plate s often have strangely compressed letters and numbers but those on this model look authentic. The interior has wood effect dash board and printed instrumentation which suggests that we may see on open convertible at some point.

The grille is excellent and captures the original car’s fine mesh well. The wire wheels are Oxford’s paint on a clear disk which looks convincing when viewed at a slight angle.

Regular reader’s will be aware of my frustration with some of Oxford’s recent releases but here I find no fault. This modestly priced 1:43 scale model is as good as many in ranges costing very much more.


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Land Rover Lightweight – The Compact Land Rover

By John Quilter

All photographs by the Author except for the photograph of the real vehicle. 

 

By Dennis Elzinga (Land Rover Lightweight) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Land Rover enthusiasts may be unaware of a somewhat obscure, at least in the USA, Land Rover known as the Lightweight or AKA, Air Portable. Back in the early 1960s the British Army was using Westland Wessex helicopters often based on commando carriers. Their need was for a 4×4 vehicle that could be carried slung on a pallet underneath these helicopters. The early helicopters weight carrying capacity was rated at 2500 pounds. That was less than the existing Series II 88 inch wheelbase Land Rovers. So the diligent Land Rover engineers set about getting the weight down to tap into this new market niche. This was accomplished by narrowing the body and chassis by 4 inches and fitting narrower axles front and rear. The engine remained the trusty 2.25 litre petrol or diesel four cylinder. The diet consisted of redesigned front fenders which along with the doors, hood, windscreen, tilt hoops and upper sheet metal were removable. What exactly was done with the removable panels when the vehicle was in use is unclear. The best efforts of the LR engineers was able to get the weight down to 2650 pounds, still too heavy but luckily by then the Wessex helicopter rated carrying capacity was increased to accommodate this figure.

Initial production began in November 11, 1968. These were the Series IIA versions with a typical mesh grill. The front fenders and hood were the most notable styling differences. The entire concept put this Air Portable version much closer to the old WWII American Jeep. Width was five feet and the tires were either 6.50 X 16 or 7.50 X 16. The electrical system was 24 volt. Many were sold to NATO and were used in non RHD territories so some were made as LHD and some were even specified with the Land Rover 2.25 diesel, particularly but not exclusively the Dutch ones. In total the military in over 20 countries used these unique Land Rovers.

After about 1,500 to 2,000 were made the standard Series IIA was superseded by the Series III in 1972 and the Lightweight followed suit with some upgrades. Most notable is the use of the trapezoidal shaped plastic grill which also probably saved another pound or two. These units got the new advanced gearbox with synchromesh in second, third and fourth gear and some, particularly those used for radio communications tasks, were fitted with 24 volt electrics with alternators. In around 1980 the engine got two more main bearings bringing it up to modern standards.

As an interesting note, back in about 1965 the British Motor Corporation launched the Austin Mini Moke, a sort of utility version based on the ubiquitous Austin Morris Mini. This vehicle was offered to the UK military, and even to the US Army, as a helicopter portable vehicle. At less than 900 pounds it was well within the air portable weight limits. In fact, carrying two would be quite possible. Unfortunately, this micro sized utility vehicle was only 2 wheel drive and with only 10 inch tires was sorely lacking in ground clearance. Of course at only 900 pounds, four beefy solders could probably boost it out of any mired in the mud situation. Nevertheless, when the military took issue with the lack of four wheel drive, BMC pressed on by designing the Twini, which was a twin engined version, one engine in front and one in the rear thus achieving the 4 X 4 requirement albeit with considerably more complexity. Still, the UK and US Army did not buy it, but for students of British Leyland history one of the prototypes is carefully preserved at the British Motor Heritage Museum at Gaydon in the UK.

Now to accommodate collectors of really miniature Land Rovers in 1:43 scale, two scale model makers have introduced replicas of these Lightweights. For those unfamiliar with 1:43 scale it is, in this writers opinion the gold standard of miniature vehicle collecting largely because of the incredible variety of vehicles replicated in this size. These two Lightweights measure about 3.37 inches in length. Not one, but two separate model makers are now producing these. Best of Show (also known as BoS) a brand name of Model Car World based in Florsheim, Germany (www.BoS-Models.de) make the dark green Series III shown which has a hardtop in cream to match the wheels.

This version appears to be a civilian version as there are no military markings or extra external equipment fitted. Given its “light weight” this item appears to be made in resin, now a common modelling material used by many of the Chinese makers of scale models. As with all the Lightweight Land Rovers the spare tire is on the bonnet held in place with three straps. The grille is the Series III plastic type and the head lamps are mounted outboard on the wings along with the side and indicator lamps.

A glance at the undercarriage shows front and rear axles on half elliptic leaf springs, and two propshafts and an exhaust system with a transverse rear silencer and tail pipe exiting on the left rear. There are seats for three across in the front with the driving position being RHD. The rear could accommodate another four on inward facing seats. This item is sold under the product code BOS43670.


Now moving on to the other version made by Oxford Diecast of the UK (www.oxforddiecast.co.uk) this is in United Nations livery in olive drab color with a lighter green fabric tilt. This is a Series IIa and clearly a military type with a shovel attached to the rear. Again, RHD but with only two individual seats in the front and no apparent seats in the rear. Union Jack decals appear on the bonnet and tail panel plus UNITED NATIONS and their logo on the flanks. The registration plate 5412 FL 91, is part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

Judging by Oxford Diecast’s prior business practices, over time they make many versions of a given model cleverly using the base casting but with many colors, liveries and differing features. This United Nations one is just one of many that are planned, this one is marketed under their product code Product Code: 43LRL001. The tooling for this model, will be used to produce it with a Canvas back and also a hard back with and without side windows. The version without side windows will have a full rear door but the one with side windows has a tailgate and half door. Oxford have also produced a large number of extra parts – signs, battery boxes, beacons etc to enable them to release the model in a number of different liveries.

The subject of this report is the first model of this type produced by Oxford and is in a UN livery. Check the Oxford Diecast website for future versions later this year and in 2018. Indications are that this will be followed by two hard back models in Military Police and the RAF Red Arrows livery. Images can be found on the internet by model number 43LRL001/2/3 etc.

Building a collection of miniature Land Rovers can be almost as much fun as collecting the 1:1 versions and best of all, they require no registration or insurance and generally don’t need the mud washed off.

Editor: For anyone who is interested in Lightweight Land Rovers and who hasn’t the space for the 1:43 versions Oxford are also producing UN and Military Police versions of this in 1:76 scale these are scheduled for release in the first half of 2017.


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Oxford Diecast – TR4 and Super Imp

By Maz Woolley

 

This post looks at two new 1:76 scale diecast models made by Oxford Diecast in their Chinese factory for the UK.

76TR4001 Triumph TR4

This is the first release of this casting and Oxford have captured the car really well. Particularly good are the front grille and the printed Triumph logos and badges. The silver finisher on the top of the front wings is well printed as are the rear lights. Inside the dashboard is painted wood coloured and has some moulded features but no printed instruments.  The wheels are solid but the moulded in wires are more convincing than on some Oxfords, and with a black wash added may be very respectable.

If I have one criticism it is of the front headlights which appear over large, probably because the rims are not inscribed and I think that they should be more deeply recessed too. Otherwise a very acceptable model.


 

76HI002 Hillman Imp

This second Imp model from Oxford is modelled as the later Hillman Super Imp launched in 1965 and produced up until the end of Imp production in 1976. This car had a slightly improved upholstery and interior and more rubbing strips on the outside as well as a different front and rear moulding.  The Oxford catches all the extra external detail well with lovely badging but it falls down in some areas. First the wheels are too far apart and hence stick out from the body. Secondly they need white painted rims as these seem to feature on most of the cars shown in period photographs. Readers please note that the white rims shown on the model photographed have been added by the Author and are not present on the model as shipped by Oxford. The final issue is the placement of the front moulding which is printed much too high completely spoiling the effect. The top of the moulding should stop half way up the headlights not three-quarters of the way up.

I find it very frustrating that Oxford’s nice print of the front moulding has been positioned too high. A little more care and attention to detail in the factory would have made this model one of my favourites rather than one that is “nearly right”.

 


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Find them on

Gilding the Lily

By Maz Woolley

 

My recent review of some of the new Oxford Diecast Models contained a few criticisms about small details which I thought marred otherwise excellent models. This post shows how a few bits of easy detailing can improve the models. I have concentrated upon three of the four 1:87 scale models recently released.

1936 Buick Special Convertible Coupe

Here my criticism is of the front lights and side lights. Pictures of the original show a chrome inner ring around the headlight lenses and that the sidelights were not all chrome.

The original car

Oxford as supplied

Oxford Updated

I am sure that you will agree that these small changes make the model a little more realistic.

1957 Chevrolet Nomad

Here my criticism was of both the front and rear.

The front lights lack the chromed surrounds shown in the picture below, the bonnet features are not picked out in silver, and the “dagmars” are painted silver.

Chevrolet Nomad – the original car

As supplied by Oxford

After details added

At the rear the red lenses are missing as shown below

The original car

As supplied by Oxford

With the rear lights added in

Again I hope you agree that this makes the model just a little better.

1955 Buick Century 

Here the criticism is of the flat front lights. Wherever I have looked on the web the lights appear to have a shallow domed shape and small peaks. I have managed to dome the lights using Kristal Klear but not yet identified a way of adding the small peak shown below.

Original car

As supplied by Oxford

With improved but not yet fully corrected lights

Again I think that this has made a small improvement but I am now in need of inspiration for how to add the missing chrome peak.


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Oxford Diecast March 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

A number of models have just been released by Oxford Diecast in 1:76 and 1:87 scales. Many were originally announced for the final quarter of 2016 but have been slightly delayed. These are all  diecast and plastic and made in Oxford’s own  Chinese production centre.

1:76 Scale Models

 

76 MW6001 Bristol MW6G Royal Blue

Oxford’s clever use of diecast lower sections combined with a plastic upper body not only allows for multiple versions of the vehicle to be made it also allows the windows, roof and other upper body details to be finely modelled. As the windows are part of the moulding, there are no issues with fitting gaps at all and the vents are very convincing too. Some collectors may question the lack of mirrors and the use of printed wipers, but they do make the model more robust and the small round mirrors of the real thing would be scarcely noticeable and very fragile if done to scale.

The Oxford is based upon a preserved coach, and looking at photographs of the original it has been very well captured by Oxford.

My only criticism is that the rear wheel sets are slightly crooked on my model, something that I have found on other Oxford coaches, but this can presumably be corrected with a  little persuasion. Looking at the quality and detail of this model, it is difficult to believe that some of their competitors similar models are about twice the price.


 

76TS001 Triumph Stag

The Triumph Stag was made between 1970 and 1977. Designed to meet the needs of an American market where pure convertibles were set to be banned, it incorporated a permanent roll cage. Designed by Giovanni Michelotti it was fitted with a Triumph-made 3 Litre V8 engine created from two of their four cylinder engines as fitted to the Dolomite. This proved to be the cars weakest point as it turned out to be fragile, and it was a symbol of how ineffective British Leyland Group management was that they did not insist part way through the development that Triumph used the proven ex-Buick Rover V8 to cut costs and build up economies of scale.

The Oxford model has quite a lot of detail incorporated with badging, lights and grille well printed. However the wheels really need the gaps and centre marked out in black paint as they look very flat and plastic. I have marked mine since shooting the photographs, and I think it it makes a great improvement. The moulded interior is adequate in this scale without a great deal of effort to detail the dashboard. When I received the car, the rear of the T bar did no fit into the lower body section properly, and others have commented on Facebook about this. I found that with a gentle press the upper section clicked into the body and was then a  good flush fit.  But unfortunately the windscreen shows a thick line of clear plastic underneath the chrome surround at its base.  I think that quality control may be being limited to help them meet the ambitious production targets Oxford set themselves.

It is a model of the car as sold in the first year of production and features a Coventry registration plate, so it is presumably based on a press car.

 


76BM02001 BMW 2002 Colorado Orange

The BMW 2002s of 1977 were based upon the 02 series chassis introduced with the 1600 in 1966.  The car modelled by Oxford is a 1971 model registered in East Sussex. The bold orange colour was a popular colour in the 1970s and is even stronger than my pictures show. It was this generation of BMW that finally rescued the country from being close to bankruptcy and created their reputation for making sporting saloon cars.

The 2002 was introduced after both Helmut Werner Bönsch, BMW’s director of product planning, and Alex von Falkenhausen, designer of the M10 engine, both had a two litre engine installed in a 1600-2 for their own use.

The Oxford model captured the shape well, and the printed chrome features are well done with the exception of the window surrounds which are printed in such a way that they emphasis the thick body shell of these models. I have said elsewhere that I think it better that Oxford either move over to flush fit glazing or drop the printing round the lower edge of the windows altogether.  The tiny badges and scripts on the boot are incredibly fine, and Oxford seem to have suddenly started to print more realistic number plates onto the models. The tiny rubber fittings on the bumpers are printed on and the side rubber mouldings too, though they are a little too glossy.  I suspect that the indicators which should be on the corner of the car above the front lights have been printed on and as this is an orange car have “vanished” perhaps when later colours appear so will they.  Finally the wheels like the Stags seem just too solid and would benefit from a black wash.

All in all a nice model and one that would be nice to see in 1:43 scale as well.


 

76AMDB2002 Aston Martin DB2 MkIII Drop Head Coupe

This series of cars was made by Aston Martin from 1957 to 1959. It was an evolution of the DB2/4 Mark II model it replaced. It was powered by Tadek Marek’s upgraded engine based upon the W.O. Bentley-designed Lagonda 2.9  litre 6 cylinder engine. the front grille introduced on this model set the shape that would be seen in some form on future Aston Martins.

Aston Martin built 84 drophead coupé models so they were always rare and expensive cars. Indeed a DBIII, as Ian Fleming called it, appeared in the Goldfinger book.  These cars were capable of 120 mph, or more if one of the more highly tuned versions of the engine were fitted.

The Oxford model with the hood up is nice with a beautifully fine grille and tiny printed doors and boot handles. Lights and number plates are excellent too and the interior is simple but adequate. The only areas that are a little disappointing are the whheels and the paintwork. The wheels are solid plastic with a few raised lines to represent the wire wheels and they are really not as good as the rest of the model. The paintwork is a nice racing green but it is thin over the gaps round the panel lines.


1:87 Scale Models

This is the latest series of 1:87 models from Oxford aimed squarely at the US market where the collapse of suppliers like Malibu, Fresh Cherries and others has created a gap in the market for Oxford to fill. My first impression looking at these models is that a lot of effort has gone into them, and that the level of detailing is very high for such small diecasts.

87BS36001 Buick Special Convertible Coupe 1936

The Buick Special was Buick’s entry level full size car for many years. In 1936 this was powered by a 3.8 Litre inline 8 cylinder engine. It was a good year for Buick and sales of the special were good.

The model by Oxford has caught the looks of the car very well and the glossy black paint is a typical period colour, a white version is to be offered later in the year. The Buick badge on the grille and the number plates and rear lights are all nicely printed. The grille could perhaps benefit from a black wash but is tall and impressive like the real thing.

I think that the headlights have been printed much too small. All the picture references I have seen show the headlights surrounded by a chrome ring and not a  body colour one. The sidelights too are printed in silver over their whole area but on the real car they weer body colour on the top. Another curiosity is that the wheel rims seem to be in yellow plastic when picture references suggest that the steel wheels are painted often in colours which contrast with the body colour and the rims are either that colour or fitted with chrome embellishers. Despite these criticisms I think it a nice model .


 

87CN57001 Chevrolet Nomad 1957

The Nomad was a glamorous model in its 1955 to 57 heyday.  It was a two door sports sedan powered by a powerful V8 engine and fitted with an extended station wagon rear. The Nomad was dropped for the 1958 model year and though it re-appeared in later years it was as a more conventional top of the line station wagon.

Oxford have modelled it in Dusk Pearl and Imperial Ivory and have announced one in Rio Red and Arctic White for later in the year. The model has some excellent features with neat white sidewalls and lots of small badges, number plates and vents printed on. However the bonnet ornaments should have chromed ends and don’t and the headlights are again tiny little dots surrounded by body colour when the real Nomad had large chrome light surrounds. Finally there are no painted rear lights and the “dagmars” are not painted black.

For all my criticism this is a nice model and one that a dab or two of paint would finish off nicely.


 

87CP65001 Chevrolet Stepside Pick Up 1965

This series of Chevy trucks was introduced in 1960 and replaced in 1967. So the 1965 was a well developed vehicle. A 5.3 Litre V8 was on offer for the first time in that model year and for drivers in search of comfort air conditioning arrived too. The Light Blue and White colour scheme appears to be authentic with lots to see on the Web. Later in the year it will be released in orange.

Oxford’s printed grille and printed vents are excellent as are the number plates.  The printed white Chevrolet on the rear of the pickup is very nicely done. The roof section has nicely printed black lines where the trim was rubber or black painted and has finely produced vents. This is another model with a plastic upper section and again it fits so well that you would never guess until you test it.

I have fewer criticisms to make of this model. One is of the wheels which I believe are one piece mouldings with the rims, wheels and hubcaps printed. On half the wheels this has been printed squarely and this looks good on two it is not printed quite centrally which is a little disappointing. The steering wheel is a nice moulded item with the column lever included but it is fitted much too low with its lower edge below the level of the seat cushion.   But overall this is a nice model and I can see it making its way onto US Railroaders layouts.


 

87BC55001 Buick Century 1955

Another classic American car. Released in Turquoise and Polo White it will be available later in the year in Coral and Polo White. Century was a model name used for performance versions of their cars from 1954 to 1958. The Century used the smallest and lightest body shells in their range from the entry point Buick Special and combined them with their most powerful V8 engine. Available in several body styles Oxford have chosen to model it as a two door coupe.

This model again has really good number plates, grille printed in black and silver, and this time it has lovely wheels with white side walls and body colour wheels. The side spears and “bullet holes” are all printed neatly on as is the Century script on the rear wing. Rear lights are printed in and the bumper are all neatly moulded and printed silver. Again fitted with a  basic but adequate interior. The bonnet ornament is simple but represents the real one quite well if not as delicate as a true scale one would be.

There is one area which I feel lets this model down a little and that is the front lights which are just a flat silver printed circle where the real car has slightly domed headlights with  a small chrome peak according to my picture sources. Some Kristal Klear dripped on is a quick fix for the headlight lenses but the lack of the small peal is a shame.


Whilst I have been slightly critical of these models I think that they are all good value for the price point that Oxford Diecast sells them at and it is nice to have the models available in this smaller scale. Many will be used by railway modellers and will look excellent on a  layout perhaps weathered a bit to make them a little more realistic. The US cars to 1:87 scale are particularly finely detailed for small diecast models.


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Oxford Diecast – 2017 First Release Programme

By Maz Woolley

 

OxfordDiecast

The London Toy Fair has opened and with it came the announcement of Oxford products to be made this year. Amongst the re-colours, new liveries and downsizing there are quite a few new castings as well. There are no samples to be seen yet though I suspect a few may make it to London and Nuremberg. The list below highlights some of the new models we can look forward too.

Automobile Range 1:43 Scale

  • Rolls-Royce 25/30 Saloon
  • Jaguar MK V Drophead
  • Austin Ruby Saloon

Commercials Range 1:43 Scale

  • Land Rover Series IIAS late models
  • Land Rover Series III

Cars 1:76 Scale

  • Range Rover P38
  • Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible
  • Triumph TR6
  • Volvo 544

Commercials 1:76 scale

  • Commer Walk Thru
  • Land Rover Series IIAS

Construction 1:76 scale

  • JCB JS220 Tracked Excavator
  • JCB 531 70 Loadall

Military 1:76 scale

  • Land Rover Forward Control Ambulance
  • Willy MB

Omnibus 1:76 scale

  • Saro Bus

Automobile 1:87 scale

  • Chevrolet Impala 1961
  • Cadillac Sedan DeVille 1961
  • Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Coupe 1950
  • Pontiac Bonneville 1959

1:148 scale models

  • CMP
  • Daimler Dingo
  • Weymann Fanfare
  • Burlingham Seagull
  • New Mini
  • Cortina MK III
  • Austin Princess Late
  • MGB Roadster
  • Livestock Trailer
  • Farm Trailer
  • Baler
  • Merc Ambulance

New Liveries and colours

In addition to the entirely new models we can look forward to several police cars based on existing castings in 1:76 scale.  A black Austin A60 Hertfordshire police, and the Rover SD1 and Austin 1100 in Metropolitan Police liveries.

In 1:43 it looks like the Cararama models that Oxford has been selling in the UK are to be brought closer to the Oxford range and the Austin Cambridge will be seen in the same Gaydon car colours that we saw on an Oxford 1:76 in 2016. In addition the Escort, Morgan and Capri will all have new colours.

We should finally see the production of the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato  in both 1:76 and 1:43 scales this year as well as new colours on the 1:76 DB9, Vanquish and Vantage.

The Military range will see quite a few models we have been waiting for including some forward control Land Rovers as well as the first Tank.

In 1:18 scale we will finally see the Heinkel Bubblecar though no announcement yet of it being produced in smaller scales.

Aircraft

Although fewer aircraft are in this release there are still several for collectors to look forward to all to 1:76 scale:

  •  Avro Anson No.6013 AA No.1 SFTS RCAF
  • Airspeed Oxford V3388/G-AHTW (Duxford)
  • Airspeed Oxford V3388/G-AHTW (Duxford)
  • DH82A Tiger Moth Floatplane RAF L-5894
  • Douglas Dauntless Black 2B2 USS Lexington
  • Heinkel He162 Air Min 61 W.Nr.120072 RAF 1945
  • Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien 244th Flight Reg. Chofu Airfield 1945
  • Grumman Hellcat VF31 Lt. Ray Hawkins. USS Cabot 1944

Although prices seem to have been increased across all ranges they have not increased as steeply as those from some other firms which is good news for collectors.


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Oxford Diecast 43RRCO01 Rolls-Royce Corniche

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford Diecasts’s range of Rolls-Royce models continues to grow. Here is the first release of the Rolls-Royce Corniche to 1:43 scale. It is released initially in Indigo blue with light tan hood and seats. If Oxford follow their usual path this will also appear in the 1:76 range at some point.

It is easy to forget that this model retails for little more than a part work and for significantly less than models from Corgi. As the picture above shows a lot of attention has been paid to getting all the lighting, grilles and mascot modelled convincingly. The mascot is possibly overscale but that is common on Rolls-Royce models to ensure that the mascot is not easily knocked off when handled.

The interior has been modelled to a high standard with wood effect dashboard and door cappings as well as printed instruments, switches and radio. I think that the column mounted gearshift seems a little short and it would have been nice to have the gear display seen through the steering wheel picked out but all in all a very good level of detail. Even the door cards have printed switches on them for the electric controls of door mirrors, windows etc.

To the rear the badging and lights are all well printed. The use of printed red and amber on silver for the rear light cluster is neatly done, though inserted chromed plastic and with plastic lenses would have been nice the printed lights are an acceptable alternative.

The wheels are very nicely done with RR printed on the centre of the hubs and the rim embellisher being realistically wide.

Once slight criticism is that the blue paint though a nice glossy coat is a little thick and has blurred the panel lines a little.

A little investigation shows that the number plate UTU 353 is real and is fitted to a 1972 Corniche last auctioned in 2013. It is one of the 1,233 Series I Corniche Convertibles made by Rolls-Royce and was originally owned by John Boulting a film director who made films like Brighton Rock and Lucky Jim.

Another excellent new casting from Oxford and I am sure we can look forward to seeing it with the hood up later this year.


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