Category Archives: 1:76

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


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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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Budgie #12 Volkswagen MIcrobus

By Maz Woolley

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

Robin Godwin recently wrote about the Budgie #8 Volkswagen Sedan made by Autocraft using the original moulds, for more on that click here.  My article looks at another model from a former Modern Products mould made by Autocraft: #12 Volkswagen Microbus.

The history of these castings in interesting. Morris and Stone were a Stoke Newington based toy distributor for many small firms in the post-war period who made toys but were not large enough to market and distribute them themselves. One of their competitors was Moko who distributed Lesney products including the then new Matchbox range. Morris and Stone mutated into Morestone and they set up in partnership with Rodney Smith who had left Lesney despite helping found it.  After making a Noddy car and some Dinky size vehicles, such as the Wolseley Police Car as well as one of the earliest TV related models in the UK – Supercar – from the shot-lived Gerry Anderson TV programme of the same name,  they then focused on the Esso Series which was sold in a small box which could be made petrol pump like and was aimed at Lesney Matchbox buyers.  These castings were made for them by Modern Products.

The firm was bought by S. Guiterman and Co. and the company name changed to “Budgie” and the same toys went on being sold under this new brand until Guiterman went into liquidation in 1966 and many of the dies were lost at that time in a factory fire.  Modern Products went on making its own toys and eventually took over the Budgie assets in 1966 and went on making them until Hot Wheels made them old fashioned and unsaleable.

A company called Seerol had the larger ex-Budgie Taxi, London Bus, and Rolls Royce made by contractors in South Wales for tourist shops in London into the 1980s.

In 1988 Dave Gilbert‘s Autocraft company purchased the Budgie Company including what remained of both ‘Morestone’ and ‘Modern Products’. This included old dies, tooling, machines, various part finished dies, and quantities of assorted castings. They have over the last 30 years adapted several of the original 1950s dies for use on modern die-casting equipment – the original hand operated machines are no longer legal.  The restored dies for both Volkswagen’s currently on sale can be seen here.

The Volkswagen Microbus was the 12th model in the original Esso Series being renamed as a Budgie later. The original model was sold in light brown, light blue or metallic blue. Autocraft sell it in a much wider range of colours and I have settled for a utilitarian grey which looks a colour it could have been made in originally even if it wasn’t.

The model is said like many Budgies to be close to 1:76 scale and I am sure it was used on many railway layouts in the days before Oxford and their competitors started to make properly modelled and finished 1:76 scale models.

The reproduction has its lights highlighted but not the VW Badge which was painted on many of the original models. The lights themselves are a curious half moon shape rather than the full dome of the real vehicle.

To the rear there is very little detail indeed as if the maker of the master hadn’t got a real vehicle to look at and was guessing from photographs!

All in all nowhere near as good a model as the Volkswagen Beetle but still a pleasant and inexpensive return to childhood. Autocrafts’ Budgie site can be found here for those who wish to learn more.


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Budgie Volkswagen

By Robin Godwin

Text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise credited.

Budgie Toys is alive and well in the capable hands of Dave Gilbert, owner of Autocraft and DG Models (see https://www.budgiemodels.com and http://www.autocraft.plus.com ) and, of course, the Budgie trademark, along with some of the original Budgie tooling. He has recently reissued the Volkswagen 1950s Saloon (an oval window, as per the original) and the Volkswagen 1950s Micro Bus in diecast zinc using the original moulds. A Budgie Facebook page entry for February 3 (https://www.facebook.com/budgiemodels/) indicated that the Beetles and Micro Buses were sold out but would be restocked soon.  Models are available from his website and eBay. I bought mine from the eBay store in April, and the cars are still available on eBay when this article was written – 10 pounds plus shipping.

Pictured below is the Volkswagen Beetle with Firestone Tires advertising livery (perhaps meant to be a service vehicle, but a Volkswagen couldn’t deliver much more than valve stems or inner tubes). The vehicle also comes in many other colours, unlike the original from 1956, which only came in a metallic silver blue. Other than colours, there is only one difference between the reissue and the original, and that is the addition of tiny axle mounted spacers between the chassis and the wheels to improve the overall stance of the model. This also allows one to determine if a model in hand is an original or a reissue. The box is also a new “Budgie Models” box while the original was issued in an “ESSO” or “Modern” box, or a Budgie blister pack.

According to the UK based model historian, Robert Newson, the original was always a Modern Products casting, and is exceptionally fine, better, in my opinion, than the Matchbox Volkswagen Beetle that appeared four years later, even though the Matchbox had an opening boot with representational motor, and fairly good glazing. The dies have aged incredibly well, as the reissue is also an impeccably clean and detailed casting. Perhaps Mr Gilbert had to “clean up” the dies a bit, but one would then expect the casting to be a shade different, but it isn’t. The early originals had metal wheels, just like early Matchbox, but later issues had grey or black plastic wheels. The reissue is only available with black plastic wheels. I have only one complaint, that being, the paint finish. Originals would have been heat/oven treated for durability as toys, but the reissues are merely sprayed from a can. The paint is fragile and chips easily.

But that is a minor criticism, as these are now being produced as collectors’ models and not toys. I would love to see more reissues of the small Budgie range, even if it might generate similar criticisms to the Atlas Dinky range.

The new Budgie VW Beetle with new box

New left, old right with original “Modern” box

Original base, top. New base, bottom with wheel spacers very evident. These improve the overall stance, and help identify the reissue

New Budgie box details.

Firestone Tires logo is a decal. Fit over trailing edge of door is good but not perfect. Careful handling required so as not to damage decal.

From Internet Posting copyright recognised.

Some original Budgie blister packaging for the US market (photo internet).

Some Budgie copies in white metal kit form included here for fun. Wizard (Australia), left, a rather poor casting with lots of flash and no quarter window. Centre is Steve Flowers RADDS line, a superb casting. Right is Midget Models from UK, also a very clean casting. The Springside at top is actually not a copy, but is a “square window” Beetle kit in roughly the same size. I would like to live long enough to build these some day.

Side by side with the Oxford Diecast square window Beetle. The OD has a better overall finish, but could take some casting lessons from Modern Products here. The quarter window is painted on the “glass” for the OD, but finely cast on the Budgie. Most references call the Budgie 1:76 scale, but it is larger than the OD. I’ll give OD the nod for scale accuracy here, which would probably put the Budgie between 1:75 and 1:72.

Matchbox usually gets high marks for casting finesse, but is surpassed here by the Modern Product effort of 1956. The Matchbox is a 1960 issue. OD could take some more lessons here, not on casting, but on fit of windows on the Matchbox – nearly flush.


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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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Atlas BMMO D9 Bus

By Maz Woolley

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

Midland Red were a major bus group here in the UK serving the Midlands from 1905 until 1981. It was one of the largest groups in the UK covering a territory from Gloucester in the south-west to Derby to its North West and encompassing the industrial west and east midlands. It’s buses and coaches were a well known sight even in the cities where municipal operators dominated local services as Midland Red provided almost all the inter-urban routes and most of the local routes in smaller towns in the area.

One curious feature of Midland Red is that it made its own buses between 1923 and 1969 when it was swallowed by the National Bus Company. The combination of the solid red livery and its uniquely styled BMMO buses made Midland Red services stand out.

The BMMO D9 was introduced in the late 1950s and served the company well with the final examples leaving the works in the mid 1960s and being in service until the wholesale replacement with Leyland Nationals during the ownership of MIdland Red by the National Bus Company.  It was early to provide electric closing doors and disk brakes all round, though later models had drums fitted and these were also retro fitted to the earlier buses. This was because though the disks worked well the pads wore out extremely quickly and were worn before the standard service interval was completed. In other ways the D9 was the end of an era with its half cab for the driver and conductor operation at a time when municipal fleets were introducing one man operation and rear engined Leyland Atlantians and Daimler Fleetlines.

The model shown in this article is a model from the Atlas Great British Buses series sold in the UK which has now ended and surplus stock has now ended up in the hands of wholesalers. The base has Corgi printed on it which shows that Atlas had it made for them from Corgi dies. Corgi produced this model in their Original Omnibus range in Midland Red and West Midlands Public Transport Executive colours, WMPTE took over many Midland Red routes in the Black Country to the west of Birmingham  when the new West Midlands county was formed.  The Corgi Midland Red buses were on service D9 to Dudley, X35 Hereford to Ludlow, and the WMPTE one on service 130 Stourbridge to Halesowen.  When Atlas had their model made made they moved over to the over side of the MIdland Red operation with the 658 service to Leicester via Nuneaton which started its journey in Coventry at Pool Meadow Bus Station.

The Atlas model is fundamentally the same as the Corgi one and includes all the wing mirrors , blind winding handles, and grab handles  that were used on the OOC versions. It is a good model though the plastic front panel insert used to portray the BMMO radiator is not a complete colour match and tends to slide in its setting more than it should. The alloy framed windows are nicely printed and the rear sliding doors well made. The printed adverts are nice period touches too. All in all it captures well the buses that I saw when young sitting at Pool Meadow ready for the journey to Leicester surrounded by Coventry Transport Daimler Fleetlines doing the local journeys.


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Some small Oxford Diecast Releases February 2018

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Oxford Diecast‘s outstanding models from their last Release are now being sold. There must have been a rush to get them finished and onto a ship before the Chinese New Year holiday began which is when most workers living away from their home areas go on an extended holiday to visit their family.

Their 1:76 scale models are extremely popular sellers here in the UK. 1:76 scale used to be heavily tied to railway modelling circles but Oxford’s models have spread its popularity over a much wider collecting base here in the UK over the last few years. This post has a look at two of the latest releases: one a new casting, and the other the sixth release of a casting that has been around for some time.

76RRC001 Rolls-Royce Corniche

The first release in 1:76 scale of this vehicle. The same car UTU353 has already been seen in 1:43 from Oxford with its hood down and reviewed on this site, click here to see it. A 1:76 scale model with the hood down painted persian sand is due later in the year to complement this one. Editors correction: Reader Andrew Davies quite rightly points out that all the 1:76 scale Corniche models will be hood-up so the Persian Sand model will be Hood up again.

The 1:43 model was excellent and Oxford has made an excellent job of making this model in the smaller scale.  The imitation fabric roof has been nicely painted on and the lines of the framework well modelled.

At the front the radiator, lights and bumper assembly are all excellent. Even the RR logo is printed on the radiator. The Spirit of Ecstacy is a little oversize but that is necessary or it would be too frail.

From the side the very thinly cast pillars become obvious. These are wonderful and allow the printed on chromework round the windows to look accurate. This shows what Oxford can do which makes the very thick pillars on some of their other models, and their printed window surrounds which are a scale 3 or 4 inches proud of the windows, even more frustrating.

At the rear of the car the lights are nicely painted on and number plates, reversing lights, and badging are all neatly printed.

The wheels are a little over-simplified but do not let the model down.

On the debit side the hood (roof) painting could be more neatly masked in places and I did have to scratch off a little overspray of “chrome” above windows printed on roof. But these are very minor points. This is an excellent model.

76FB006 Vauxhall FB Victor

The sixth appearance of this casting, and to my eyes one of the best. The single tone paint and printing are beautifully applied.

Most of the previous FBs have been two-tone cars with the exception of a single tone red one. To my eyes the single tone cactus green used here really suits the casting and the period.

This is another model where Oxford has got nice thin pillars around the windows and where the printed chromework works well. From the rear the lights are neatly painted on and the “Deluxe” badge is printed very well.

At the front this casting captures the somewhat plain grille and lights accurately. The Vauxhall lettering on the bonnet and the Victor lettering on the wing are excellent too. The wipers are printed slightly too thick but it is not too obvious.

The number plates initially caused me to go online and ask why Oxford Diecast was using reflective plates as they were not fitted until 1968 by which time the FB has been out of production for four years.

Many people pointed out that lots of people fitted reflective plates when they were introduced on cars made in previous years to make them look more up to date. So before I wrote an indignant letter to Oxford saying the plates were incorrect I looked on the web and there was ABC958B fitted with reflective plates. So the Oxford model is true to how the car is today, and probably has been for some time, rather than to when it was first sold.

So to summon up another lovely model. And with new castings like the Heinkel Kabine and the Isetta to look forward to in the next release any sixties street scene will be easy to populate with models from Oxford.

And one final photograph shows how well the Oxford models, and particularly the FB Victor, fit into a diorama of period buildings.


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Oxford Diecast – Release One 2018

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford Diecast announced their first release of 2018 to the press at the first day of the London Toy Fair. No photographs were released just design cells. Most of the models announced are re-colours on previously released castings but there are new castings across many ranges.  In 1:43 scale only one new casting appears, the AC Aceca. In 1:76 there are more new models like the Citroen H Van, a living wagon, a Scammel Highwayman tractor unit pulling a tanker, several Volkswagen Vans T1, T4, and T5 as well as a Land Rover Velar. In 1:!8 and 1:87 scale there are no new castings this time round. Finally in  1:148 scale there is a complicated new  Shelvoke & Drewry Freightlifter as well as a Green Godess.

Retail prices have crept up but the rises are still modest compared to many other companies recent increases.

1:18 Scale

18HE003 Heinkel Kabine Yellow

1:43 Scale

43ACE001 AC Aceca Vineyard Green
43AMDB2004 Aston Martin DB2 MkIII DHC Snow Shadow Grey
43AMDB9003 Aston Martin DB9 Coupe Cobalt Blue
43AMV003 Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe Quantum Silver
43ASV008CC Austin Seven Van Coca Cola
43EMP003 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud/Hooper Empress Black/Silver
43JAG5003 Jaguar MkV Closed Dark Blue/Tan
43JI009 Jensen Interceptor Mk1 Crystal Blue
43JM024 Morris J2 Van Skyways
43LAN188021 Land Rover Series I 88″ Hard Top RAF
43LRL005 Land Rover Lightweight Hard Top RAF
43R25003 Rolls Royce 25/30 – Thrupp & Maberley Black
43RRC003 Rolls Royce Corniche Convertible MPW (Open) Georgian Silver
43RUB003 Austin Ruby Saloon Dark Green

Aircraft 1:72 Scale
72SW004 Supermarine Walrus Operation Torch -N. Africa 1942

Vehicles 1:76
76ATK004 Atkinson Borderer Low Loader NCB Mines Rescue
76AUS005 Austin 1300 Teal Blue
76BI004 Beadle Integral Southdown
76CA030 Bedford CA Ice Cream Hockings
76CAP008 Ford Capri Mk3 Signal Orange
76CFE007 Vauxhall Friary Estate Dusk Rose/Lilac Haze
76CHT004 Churchill Tank 6th Guards Brigade 1943
76CIT001 Citroen H Catering Van
76COM008CC Commer Commando Coca Cola
76CONT004 Container Samskip
76COR1009 Ford Cortina Mk1 Black Cherry
76COR2008 Ford Cortina Mk2 Ermine White/Sherwood Green
76COR3009 Ford Cortina MkIII Sunset
76CRE010 Vauxhall Cresta Moonlight Blue/Bermuda Blue
76CT007CC Citroen 2CV Coca Cola
76CWT004 Commer Walk Thru Scottish & Newcastle
76DAF004 DAF 85 Short Fridge Trailer Trevor Pye
76DEF015 Land Rover Defender LWB Hard Back RAC
76DIS005 Land Rover Discovery 4 Firenze Red
76DIS5002 Land Rover Discovery 5 HSE LUX
76DR005 Duple Roadmaster Ribble
76DSC006 Dingo Scout Car 5th RTR – 4th Arm.Brg -7thArm.Div. Libya 1942
76FCG005 Ford Cargo Box Van Parcelforce
76FDE010 Ford 400E Van Cargo Grey
76FT033 Ford Transit Mk5 AA
76FT1007 Ford Transit Mk1 Police Motorway Patrol (Gwent)
76FT1008 Ford Transit Mk1 Castrol
76HE002 Heinkel Kabine Spartan Red
76IR6004 Irizar i6 Galleon Travel
76IS002 BMW Isetta RAC
76J4002 BMC J4 Van British Rail
76JSS006 SS Jaguar Dark Blue
76LAN188023 Land Rover Series 1 88″ Canvas Marine Blue
76LAN2019 Land Rover Series II LWB Station Wagon Limestone
76LR2AS004 Hong Kong Police
76LR2S004 Land Rover Series II SWB Post Office Telephones (Yellow)
76LR2S005 Land Rover Series II SWB Hard Back Civil Defence
76LRFCA002 Land Rover FC Ambulance Nato Green
76LRFCG003 Land Rover FC GS
76LRFCS002 Land Rover FC Signals Nato Green
76LRL004 Land Rover Lightweight Berlin Scheme
76LW001 Living Wagon Maroon/Red
76MA006 Mercedes Ambulance East Midlands Ambulance Service
76MB008 Mercedes Actros SSC Tipper Ronnie S Evans
76MBC004 Messerschmitt KR200 Bubble Top Light Blue
76MCS003 Mini Cooper MkII Tartan Red/Black
76MFE005 MAN Pump Ladder Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue
76MGA005 MGA Dove Grey
76MGBGT003 MGBGT Glacier White
76MM060 Morris 1000 Van British Railways
76MMC006 Morris Minor Convertible Maroon B/Tan
76MN009 Classic Mini Tweed Grey/OEW
76MO007 Morris Oxford III Sage Green/Twilight Grey
76MW6004 Bristol MW6G Tilling Transport
76P38002 Range Rover P38 Monte Carlo Blue
76PAN008 Plaxton Panorama A. Timpson & Sons Ltd
76PD2006 Leyland PD2/12 Stratford Blue
76QLR003 Bedford QLR 8 Corps HQ – NEW
76RCL002 Range Rover Classic Darien Gap
76RRC002 Rolls Royce Corniche Persian Sand
76RRE002 Range Rover Evoque Coupe (Facelift) Fuji White
76RRS003 Range Rover Sport SVR Firenze Red
76SAL006 Scania ARP Scottish Fire & Rescue
76SB003 Saro Bus London Greenline
76SCT006 ECM
76SET53 5 Piece Triumph Set
76SET54 BMC Transporter & 2 Mini 1275GT Set British Leyland Nederland
76SFT005 Standard Flying Twelve Pastel Green
76SHT001 Scammell Highwayman Tanker Shell/BP
76SR007 Sunbeam Rapier MkIII Light Green Metallic/Embassy Black
76T4001 VW T4 Westfalia Camper Paprika Red
76T5C001 VW T5 California Camper Metallic Night Blue
76TAC005 TACR2 SFOR – Bosnia & Herzegovina 1997
76TIL011 Austin Tilly No.1 MTTC. Camberley 1945 (Subaltern Princess Elizabeth)
76TP006 Triumph 2500 British Racing Green
76TPU002 Ford Transit Dropside Network Rail
76TR7002 Triumph TR7 Convertible Persian Aqua Metallic
76TRF004 Thompson Refueller Silver City
76TS003 Triumph Stag Pimiento
76VEL001 Range Rover Velar Firenze Red
76VO003 Volvo 760 Blue Metallic
76VOL4007 Volvo FH4 (G) Nooteboom Semi Low Loader Cadzow
76VOL4008 Volvo FH4 GXL Walking Floor McBurney Transport
76VW029 VW Bay Window Auf Wiedersehn Pet
76VWB010 VW Beetle Pastel Blue
76VWS001 VW T1 Samba Bus Sealing Wax Red/Beige Grey
76VWY007 Vauxhall Wyvern Metallichrome Blue
76WFA007 Weymann Fanfare North Western
76WMB003 Willys MB US Army
76ZEP011 Ford Zephyr Bomb Disposal

1:87 Scale

87BC55005 Buick Century 1955 Black/White
87CI61003 Chevrolet Impala 1961 White/Roman Red
87CP65006 Chevrolet Stepside Pick Up 1965 Bell System
87OR50003 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Coupe 1950 Yellow/Black
87SET001 3 Piece Set Chevrolet Hot Rods

1:148 Scale

NCHT002 Churchill Tank 1st Canadian Army Brg. Dieppe 1942
NCOR3003 Cortina MkIII Sebring Red
NFDE008 Ford 400E Van Southdown
NFT012 Ford Transit Mk5 Stobart Rail Low
NGG001 Green Goddess AFS
NMB007 Mercedes Actros Curtainside McGawn Bros
NNR006 New Routemaster LT50 General
NSDF001 Shelvoke & Drewry Freightlifter British Rail (Western)
NSEA002 Burlingham Seagull Stratford Blue
NTCAB007CC Scania T Cab Box Trailer Coca Cola Xmas
NTRAIL004 Mobile Trailer Walls


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