Category Archives: 1:76

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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Aussie Buses and other thoughts

By Mick Haven

During my first trip to Australia back in 1997, I paid little attention to their buses, although buses had played a major part in my life for at least the first third of it. Whilst it’s true that I would have seen plenty of them down there within the first day or two of my arrival, there are two which linger in the memory. The first one is the ‘Surfside’ Leyland National LWB on route number 1, showing the destination, Tweed Heads, a town in Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast. This is on the border with neighbouring New South Wales, a place where you can straddle the state border line, with one foot in Queensland and one in New South Wales. Why does the Surfside stand out? In reality it was no different to any other Leyland National, basically a long rattling tin box with very basic fixtures and fittings, not a patch on the old solid L.T.s, Leyland PDs and Bristols. Maybe it was because it was my first ride on an Aussie bus. Maybe it was due to the novelty of seeing and riding on a ‘British’ bus, one so familiar back home, yet eleven thousand miles away in a foreign town. I would ride the same service the following year. During those first trips down there, I had little or no knowledge of Australian models either, Elle MacPherson aside. I certainly had never heard of Trax or of its parent company, Top Gear Models. Once I did become aware of them, via computer and consequently, the internet, I began collecting models of the ubiquitous ‘Ute’, which is to Australians what pick-up trucks are to Americans. Over a period of time, about a dozen of them made their way north, not only by Trax but by Biante and Classic Carlectables, two other unfamiliar names back then. I was also fascinated by Trax commercial vehicles brand, Trux. In amongst them, all in 1/76th scale, was the Surfside, and I think also there was the same bus, but in the livery of buses plying their trade in Canberra and Tasmania. There were also double deck and single deck buses of a much older vintage. I began getting Trax new and current releases literature by post, and keeping up with them on the ‘net. This would have been around the end of the last century at a guess. I still get regular updates from them in both forms.

My collection of British bus models isn’t extensive, no more than in the low twenties. As, if for no other reason, I don’t see the point in having models of buses which have no relevance to me. Even that is only partially true because as well as buses, I grew up with many of the country’s well known national coach companies, e.g. East Kent, Southdown, Ribble, Royal Blue, Midland Red and so many others, long before they fell under the ‘National’ umbrella that we know today. For a coach spotter in the 1950s, London’s Victoria Coach Station was Mecca. To get models of them would run into hundreds. Consequently, I wouldn’t have the space to display them. So I only collect or have collected, models of buses I grew up with, I rode on or drove for a living, i.e. London Transports and Green Lines on Essex routes, Eastern Nationals and Southdowns.

I digress. Seeing the Surfside in updates from Trax meant that having ridden on one, I had to have the model, so one was ordered. An altogether far more satisfying purchase was to follow. During that same trip down under, I left the Gold Coast and went to Sydney for a couple of days. From there I had to get to Melbourne, where I had arranged to stay with friends. I had three choices of travel, train, plane or long distance bus. The first two were out of the question financially. I opted to go by road, and the method of transport I chose was operated by the ‘Firefly Express’ company who ran a twice daily service between Sydney and Melbourne, and a service between Melbourne and Adelaide. The Sydney/Melbourne service departed at 07:00 and 19:30. It took 12 hours! On arrival at the departure point, there was this splendid double deck bus, or is it a double deck coach? Whatever, it was a super vehicle. I used it there and back.

I had been back home awhile, and looked in on Trax on a regular basis. I had never forgotten the Firefly and thought that it would make an excellent model, so I e-mailed them to ask if they had plans to make one, and if not, could they consider it. An e-mail arrived within a day or so, advising me that by sheer coincidence, the release of one was imminent. It was. I ordered one straightaway, and it arrived within two weeks. My timing was perfect, because the production run was short lived. If ever there was a case of ‘now you see it, now you don’t’, this was it. I got lucky. There were one or two other models sharing the same body, but in the livery of other operators. The vehicle is a ‘Landseer’, by Australian coach builder, Denning, and has the almost mandatory ‘roo bars across the front, very necessary when crossing the outback in the middle of the night. This is a bus model I treasure. The Denning company also produced single deck interstate coaches, not dissimilar to classic American Greyhounds. These too were replicated by Trux. Pictures of many Australian buses and coaches, including Firefly’s, can be found on the Showbus Australia web site.

The Surfside model was cast for Trax by EFE The Firefly chassis has no manufacturers name. Was this a special commission by E.F.E. for the Australian market? That I don’t know, but like far too many EFE.s, neither of them have mirrors. However, I believe the giveaway is in the absence of them. I have never seen or heard it explained why so many EFEs didn’t have mirrors. What doesn’t make sense is that for all those that didn’t, many others did? No bus ever leaves the garage without mirrors, I know, I drove them for a living. The real Firefly had those long protruding affairs, seen on the vast majority of long distance coaches.

The third bus shown is of one operated by Sydney State Transit, and is by C.M.N.L. Northcord. For realism and minor details, including mirrors, it surpasses the other two by some distance. The bus featured is on a Volvo B12BLE CB60 chassis, on route 438 to Parramatta, one of many of the type in service at the time. While the models may look out of place with the London Transports, the Eastern Nationals and the Southdowns, they are nevertheless fine models in a small collection.

Two others which I would like to get my hands on, are a Sydney State Transit Mercedes on route 311 to Bondi, and a little twenty something seater? in service with the Sunbus company in and around Cairns in Far North Queensland. The latter was on a Mercedes chassis. There is a similar Mercedes model in the colours of Surfside, which is probably based on an EFE but that model has a folding door at the front only, where the Sunbus has a longer chassis, with one folding door at the front and one in the middle, so a conversion would only be for the very experienced modeller.

I seem to recall that C.M.N.L. may have produced the other Sydney bus, or one like it, but I can’t find either one anywhere, not even on eBay Australia. As the Firefly and the 311, if indeed one does exist, both date back nearly twenty years, finding a model of either is highly unlikely.

MAR contributors interested in unusual or ‘worldwide’ bus models may like to look in on eBay under ‘Australian buses’. There are a number of classic buses from Trux to be found, Leyland Atlanteans for example, and some even older. At the time of writing, I’ve recently received my regular Trax special offers literature. They are running a ‘Super Sale’, offering classic Holdens, Australian Fords and Chryslers, including some Utes at $23 each, reduced further if ordering more than one, and Trux buses at $30 each, also reduced further for multiple buys. One of those which made me smile was a half cab double decker 1949 AEC Regent. Why? Because the bus has folding doors at the front and an open platform at the rear. Yes, and? Much fuss was made with the introduction of the new ‘Bus for London’, ‘The New Routemaster‘, or even ‘ the Boris Bus’, as it was dubbed. This ‘new’ bus, shares the same configuration as a 1949 A.E.C. Information on the Firefly web site leads me to believe that the Landseer has long been phased out in favour of a single deck coach. Finding a model of one would seem to be harder than finding the real thing.


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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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Parker Models Standard Vanguard Phase II Saloon

By Maz Woolley

When listing my collection I realised that I had a missing Parker Model. Although released some time ago this model is  is still available from Parker Models so I obtained one to complete my collection.

The Standard Vanguard was launched in 1947 with a classic 1940s American Style “beetle back” which looked modern when seen alongside many of the warmed over pre-war cars being sold by most other carmakers. Although sales were initially good Standard’s one model policy meant that they needed the cars to sell strongly and sales started to fall off as others launched their new post war models. In 1951 Ford launched the new Ford Consul and Zephyr which aped US Fordor styles and Vauxhall launched the Velox E series with its Chevrolet influence. Both ranges were three box saloons based on contemporary American styling.

Standard’s response was the Vanguard Phase II model which had been re-styled in a three box “notchback” shape. The boot size increased by 50% and the larger rear window improved visibility. At the front a new wide grille was added. Under the skin the car had changed little with some modifications to the suspension and tyres and a slight increase in engine compression. A contemporary test by The Motor magazine, without the optional overdrive, recorded a top speed of 80mph. In 1954 Standard became the first British car maker to offer a diesel engine as a factory fitted option. The chassis was stiffened to take the weight of the heavier engine and performance suffered with only a 66mph top speed.

Parker Models are 1:76 white metal kits primarily designed for the railway modeller. The model consisted of: A body shell with all features moulded in; a chassis with wheels, bulkhead and seats cast in; a steering wheel, and a vacform. The casting was clean and the painting and assembly of the model is straightforward. As usual with Parker Models the model captures the original car very well.


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John Day Jowett Bradford Truck

By Maz Woolley

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Oxford Beadle Integral East Kent

By Maz Woolley

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

Oxford Diecast continue to catch up with their release program. This article looks at the new 1:76 scale Beadle Integral 76BI001 which has just arrived in the shops. The first thing to note is that Oxford has made the whole bodyshell in plastic. Many recent Oxford coach/bus models had plastic uppers and metal lower sections but here only the base plate is diecast. I know that this will not please some collectors but when one sees the fine detail that has been incorporated and the absolutely flush glazing it offers in a thin walled bodyshell I am sure that most collectors will be happy for Oxford to continue down this path.

This coach dates back to the “make do and mend” period after the Second World War when new buses and coaches were a scarce commodity. During this time many coachbuilders built new bodies getting rid of the old-fashioned half-cabs and giving them up to date looks. J C Beadle of Dartford in Kent were such a company taking Leyland and AEC chassis and adding modern bodies. East Kent were one of several companies that were customers. The vehicle modelled by Oxford started life as a Leyland TD5 double decker and was rebodied in 1951 as a 35 seat coach. It was withdrawn from service in 1964 and after being in private hands it was acquired for preservation in 1972. At some point during its working life it had a white roof added offering Oxford the option to do another version of this vehicle.

I admire Oxford for making this unusual and attractive vehicle. Options for endless recolours are limited as Beadle seem to have changed the front end styling frequently so I hope that this model sells well to encourage Oxford to make more unusual models. A version in East Yorkshire colours is planned for later in 2017.

As to the model itself it is excellent. Comparison with the archive photographs available show it to be an accurate replica with all the salient styling features well captured. Some simplification has been made, the grille area is painted black whereas pictures show it to be textured and probably in body colour, and the destination, number, and fleet boards should all be slightly recessed. These minor points do not spoil the overall effect of the model.

Printing of the body mouldings with chrome surrounding cream centres of the body mouldings has been done accurately and gives an excellent appearance. The tiny operators script and passenger emergency door markings are all there and difficult to read even with a magnifying glass as they are to scale. The lighting and chrome front decoration is all very neatly moulded and highlighted. The rear small lower red lights could have been better centred when printing but as everything else is spot on it is acceptable. I am impressed with the number plates with the silver on black printing and the realistic size and spacing of the letters and numbers .

Most of my previous Oxford buses/coaches have had poorly aligned rear wheel sets but I have either been luck this time or Oxford are improving the quality of their fitting.

All in all an excellent model and great value for money at the price it sells for in the UK.


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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 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

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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