Category Archives: 1:76

Maestro Model in 3D

By Maz Woolley

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

3D printed parts are widely used for prototyping work by model makers and artisan railway scenics producers have developed a lot of 3D printed items to sell over the last few years. Bollards, speed bumps, security fencing and items like that are being made by several established and growing scenics producers like Scale Model Scenery and Shedring Railway. Of late Shedring has started to make vehicle fitments like lifting equipment for lorries and even whole vehicles for use in dioramas like the site dumper shown below.

Photograph by, and copyright of, Shedring Railways

An alternative way for 3D designers to get their products to the public is a company called Shapeways who are commercial 3D printers who run a site where designers can upload their designs and if anyone buys the item Shapeways print it and send it to the customer and pay the designer a royalty. This company appears to run both a US and a European printing operation so the site attracts designs posted from both sides of the Atlantic and usefully an American design can be printed in Europe for European customers. Their site contains many items for diorama makers and has a few models in 1:43, but more in HO (1:87), OO (1:76) and even N (1:148 and 1:160) scales. Sometimes the same model is available in multiple scales. Designs include scenic items, railway engine bodies and fitments to use as transkits on commercial chassis. More importantly for car and vehicle model collectors there are also some lorries, vans and cars available. A selection of these are shown below. Please note that most illustrations on the Shapeways site have been generated from the digital data and are not photographs of the actual product that you will get.

Bedford TJ design by coasters120 on Shapeways

The Bedford TJ (thanks to Brendan Leach for correcting my error in calling it a TK) flatbed shown above is to 1:76 and looks like a one piece print. It is an interesting model as there are currently few TJ models.

Bedford OL by Transport Models on Shapeways

1:43 scale models are few and far between but provide interesting variants which can often be mixed with bodies and wheel sets off commercial models. The few 1:43 scale models seem to be made of a greater number of parts. The cost of the 1:43 scale models when additional parts needed to finish them off are taken into account are considerably dearer than Oxford Diecast trucks.

MIni Estate by Digitawn on Shapeways

This is a typical OO 1:76 scale model from the Shapeways site. It produced as a solid model with separate wheels. In addition to Minis there are also Transits and other Fords available on the site. The Mini model is certainly more accurate than many ready made models are.

Mercury Montego by Madaboutcars on Shapeways

The Mercury model shown is a digital generation of a 1:87 scale model. It is one of many US prototypes designed by Madaboutcars. All the US models I have seen are solid and  in either 1:43, 1:87 or Continental N scale of 1:160.

The model that I would like to look at in detail today is a 1:76 scale Austin Maestro designed by Alternative Model Railways which is available in 1:87, 1:76, and 1:148 scales. The 1:76 is available with the metal bumper or the plastic bumper, the plastic bumper version being shown here. A 1:76 scale van is also available. Shapeways can print with a wide range of plastics but model designers restrict the materials that can be used for the model and the Maestro can only be purchased made of a high quality plastic which makes the kit quite expensive, it costs nearly as much as four 1:76 Oxford Diecasts or two of the cheaper John Day Vehicle Scenics kits. The justification for the use of the expensive matte translucent plastic is that it shows fine and intricate details better.

The Austin Maestro was codenamed LM10 and was a five-door hatchback produced at Cowley from 1982 to 1987 by British Leyland, and from 1988 until 1994 by Rover Group. It went on to be produced in China until 2007 using a Toyota engine. It shared its platform with the MG derivatives as well as the Montego saloon.  It replaced both the Maxi and the Allegro and was fitted with engines from 1.3 to 2.0 litres.

Models of later Leyland, and Rover group, vehicles are scarce with the only other Maestro models known to me being the contemporary Scalextric and Corgi models. I know of no Montego model or models of the next generation Rover 200, 400, and 600 series cars. These once common cars have all but vanished from the roads now but there are many who remember driving them or as their parents or grandparents car. This generation of UK made vehicles are an opportunity for a small scale producer to fill if Oxford do not do so.

The model supplied is much like the digital illustration below though transluscent. Parts are printed and placed into protective plastic bags with different parts in different bags. As the illustration shows there is no glazing supplied.

Alternative Model Railways Maestro Kit as shown on Shapeways.

Unusually the designer also has a simple assembly diagram on the web site something that few others seem to both with.

Alternative Model Railways Maestro Assembly schematic on Shapeways

So what was it like making this kit? The first thing to note is that it all fits together quite snugly. The surface finish on the roof and in other areas does show the printing artifacts with the roof in particular having distinct contours. In 1:76 scale or smaller this is not too obvious but in 1:43 it may be a considerable disadvantage.  The kit was very crisply printed and I have few criticisms of the accuracy and quality. As my modelling skills are basic the defects in appearance are mainly from my poor finishing.

The side view of the car has been very well caught. The 3D printing of the side strips, wheels arches and the side ‘scallop’ are all very accurate. As are the window frames, door handles and fuel cap. The very finely printed detail presents a challenge to the average kit maker as many kit designers will make details slightly over scale to make the easier to pick out. This is not the case here so painting side strips and window surrounds proved challenging.

The front view is good though there were some artefacts in the grilles particularly below the bumper. But overall quite an accurate reflection of the fairly plain Maestro front end. No attempt is made to model screen wipers.

At the rear the modelling is simple and no attempt at wiper is made, It is however quite a good shape. The rear lights are supplied as transluscent plastic which has to be painted and fitted into slots. The shape and fit are good but painting them is difficult to this size and a decal to overlay or making them in coloured plastic might be a better solution.

The model’s stance is good and the overall shape excellent. It would have been better if a vacform had been supplied as glazing it is a real challenge. My thanks to Daryle at John Day Vehicle Scenics for giving me some vacforms for lorry cabs to cut down for the front and rear screens which has worked quite well. The side windows have been been glazed using Kristal Klear and because of the size of the gaps it has not created the nice flat surface I had hoped for though it is flush glazed which is the effect I wanted.

Another view of the car shows that the wheels are well finished with the wheel cover often seen on the Maestro in body colour. Again fine rims made painting difficult as a more pronounced rim makes it easier to paint the tyre correctly.

Another unusual model to add to the collection, and an introduction to making 3D printed models. My personal feeling is that, at present, the high cost of models on Shapeways means that it is only really worth considering for models of vehicles that you cannot get in any other way like this Maestro. Perhaps if Shapeways could find a way of making vacforms and reducing cost then they might become more popular.


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Oxford Trojan in 1:76 scale

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest Oxford Diecast Bubblecar in 1:76 scale is the Heinkel Trojan. This is diecast in China for Oxford in the UK.

Oxford Diecast 1:18 Trojan – photo from Oxford Diecast

 

This car has already been modelled by Oxford to 1:18 scale as shown above. The real car the model is based upon is a 1963 Heinkel Trojan 200, chassis number 10873 shown below

Photograph provided by Bonhams Auctioneers

Launched in 1956 the Heinkel initially used a 175cc four stroke engine which was later enlarged to 200cc. It was lighter and roomier than the rival BMW Isetta as it had a  monocoque construction. It also boasted a reverse gear but the steering column was fixed as the Isetta system which folded out with the door was patented and could not be used.  A single door was supplemented by a canvas roof which could provide an emergency exit. Production in Germany ended in 1958 but it continued in Ireland wheer about 8,000 cars wer built before the tooling and rights moved to Trojan in the UK. The model is an example of one of the last built at Trojan.

76HE001 Heinkel Trojan Roman Blue

At first sight this model appears lovely and I am sure that it will grace lots of OO scale railway layouts and 1950s dioramas. My impression of the quality of the model started to fall as I opened the box. Yes, unlike the BMW Isetta, it is a real three wheeler which I could tell as the rear wheel and axle fell off into my hand when I had unscrewed it from the base. When I pushed it back in I noticed that the engine assembly it fitted into had not been glued in straight either.

The steering wheel and fixed column are nicely done, though I think the steering wheel is over large. The front number plate also has characters which seem too small in height unlike the ones at the rear.

Along the side on both the 1:!8 and 1:76 models is a totally unnecessary silver coach line which does not appear on the real car. The side mounted indicator is neatly moulded in and picked out.

The wheels and tyres are single part items with painted on tyres. They replicate the real thing well.

If you look carefully at the photograph above you can see the fixing of the shell to a base using a huge unpainted metal pillar in the same way that the Isetta was fixed. This is a crude and unnecessary engineering solution in this day and age, and it completely spoils the interior needing  a blob to be fitted to surround pillar and to represent the interior which therefore lacks proper front and rear seats.

The nicely shaped sunroof would have benefited from being painted in a matt paint which would have enhanced the fabric effect.

The window frame printing is strange. The real car and the 1:18 scale model both have black window rims on doors, side and rear. But the 1:76 scale model has silver window surrounds everywhere but the front quarter which looks strange.

At the front the model is tidy except for the headlights which are too flat and this is accentuated by the simple silver circle printed. Perhaps white lenses as used by some US firms would improve this.

Apart from the crooked mounted engine and rear wheel not much to criticise here.  Nice level of detail for the model’s size.

Again, like the recent Isetta, a potentially lovely model spoilt by some of the detailing, the crude construction, and the poor quality of part fitment. A shame because even with all the criticisms I have it still looks lovely as long as viewed from a few feet away.


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John Day Vehicle Scenics 1948 Riley 2.5 Drophead Coupé

By Maz Woolley

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

It has been some time since I have completed a John Day Vehicle Scenics (JDVS) kit  but the nice weather here in the UK has encouraged me to complete one I bought some months ago. This kit has had the master updated by Daryle Toney who owns JDVS and so  now consists of a body, a steering wheel on a ‘column’, a base with seats moulded in, and separate wheels that fit neatly to the base with a pin on the wheel and small hole in the chassis. This was first Vehicle Scenics model that I saw made up, and it was on a club stand at a Modellex many years ago. With its SRV03 code number it was one of the earliest JDVC kits made.   I have had to wait till now to buy one as it sold out quickly and remained out of production for many years.

The Riley RM series was one of the last cars developed by the Riley company before it was fully absorbed into the Nuffield organisation and moved on to the Gerald Palmer designed Pathfinder. The RMA was a 1.5 Litre engined saloon (also available from JDVS as SRV70), the RMB a 2.5 Litre saloon version, the RMC a 2.5 litre two door roadster, and the RMD (as modelled here) the 2.5 Litre drophead. They were all amongst the earliest “new designs” to be presented after the Second World War though in truth the chassis, engine and much else was largely inherited from the pre-war 1.5/2.5 litre Riley Kestrel.

The RM series was originally made in Coventry, but in 1949 production was moved to the MG works at Abingdon.

The kit all fits together well now the master has been tidied up and improved. The overall shape of the car has been caught well and the hood and hood irons are neatly modelled.

The interior is basic. Seats are moulded neatly but without any door cards the side is very blank and there is a large gap between rear seat and side creating a hole showing the ground through part of the wheel arch.

At the rear the handles, hinges, lights and bumpers are all moulded in well and the hood sits nicely.  To the side the side stripe and hood irons are well reproduced.

Inside the very simple dashboard moulding echoes the real vehicle without being detailed or completely accurate in shape. No floor mounted gear change is fitted and the steering column has no levers fitted either.

Whilst this car is primarily aimed at Railway Modellers it  complements Oxford Diecast‘s 1:76 pre-war Riley Kestrel  Saloon or the even earlier Barry Lester 1:76 BKL3 1935 Riley Kestrel white metal kit (another kit I have waiting to be made!). It also complements the Parker Models Pathfinder which tells the story of the next phase of life of the Riley badge in this scale.


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Forward Birmingham Guy Arab

By Maz Woolley

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

Forward Models make a small range of buses to 1:76 scale. They started off as a crowd funded company issuing bonds and have released several models since 2016. Initial releases were all Birmingham Buses, ‘Forward’ is after all the motto on the City’s crest. These were produced in both the Birmingham City Transport livery and the West Midlands Transport Executive (WMPTE) livery that followed. After that buses in Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, Glasgow, and Edinburgh liveries have been produced.

Here we look at #NGS-01 which is in Birmingham City Transport livery operating service 1 from the City to Acocks Green.  A route that the Author was familiar with having spent his student years in Birmingham. This is one of the earlier releases from Forward Models and is based on a Guy Arab Chassis powered by a Gardner 6LW 8.4 litre 6 cylinder diesel with a body built by Metro-Camell. This bus was the last of the ‘new look’ buses to be withdrawn by which time it was operating on the outer circle route, number 11, which retained two man operation longer than any other due to the need to get people on and off quickly on this congested route. Today the bus can be seen in Wythall Transport Museum.

The model from Forward is held together by long screws creating unrealistic poles through the centre of the lower and upper decks a similar solution to the one used by EFE.

It also suffers a little from the bonnet and tin front being made as a separate part so different radiators can be fitted to the same basic body as Birmingham operated Guy, Daimler, Leyland and others. This front section does not quite match up with the body paint making the separate section obvious.

The Birmingham livery is well painted and generally well masked. The opening window sliders are printed neatly and correctly on only a limited number of windows.

The rear platform is also neatly detailed with all handrails picked out and even the used tickets bin signage included. To the rear the funny arrow shaped indicators either side of the number plate are nicely printed.

As the photograph shows the Birmingham crest and operators details are clearly printed. The wheels seem fairly accurate, but the plastic for the wheels is a little too shiny perhaps. The bus in preservation has small silver cover on the centre of the front wheel hub which is not shown here.

The ‘new look’ front is well captured with all the destination and route blinds well realised and neat mirrors fitted. On the radiator an impression of the Guy badge and the  Guy name are printed as well as the other chrome embellishments to be seen on the real bus. However, the Indian ‘ceremonial bonnet’ that should be fitted above the badge is represented only by a raised ‘hump’ and is not printed on which is a shame. The lights are neatly made separate lenses, though the side mounted indicators are painted on moulded ‘humps’ in the casting.

The fleet number dominates the rear of the bus all the better for the bus inspectors to spot the bus for entering into their logs. On the roof the ventilation pods  are moulded in and the correct matt darker colour roof is painted on.

Despite the a small number of criticisms I think that it is a nice model of a classic Birmingham bus from the era when car ownership was lower and the bus was the main way for most people of getting round the City.


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Some preview samples from Corgi and Oxford Diecast

By Maz Woolley

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

John Ayrey is a major UK wholeseller and hosts open days for its trade buyers several times a year. I was lucky enough to get a press invite to their July session featuring Oxford and Corgi models. I even got to walk round their impressive warehouse which was full of models I wish I could afford!

All the models photographed are pre-production prototypes and may feature combinations of fittings which will not all appear in the same combination on the released models. Some of the models shown are just becoming available whilst others will ship over the rest of 2018.

We were lucky enough to have Lyndon Davies (Taff) at the event. It was fascinating to find out more about the development of Oxford’s models and how a lot of effort has to be expended at the CAD phase to make sure the engineers in China understand the need for certain body features to be created in a particular way to facilitate printing later.

Oxford are finalising models for two years ahead and if I interpreted Taff correctly we will begin to see the results of all the work going on at Hornby soon too.

Lyndon Davies (Taff) CEO/Chairman Hornby Hobbies, and Director at, and founder of, Oxford Diecast

N Gauge 1:148 scale

 

Oxford showed a small number of models at this scale. All the models shown are due in Q3/2018.

NMA002 Mercedes Ambulance London

NLR002 Land Rover LIghtweight Military Police

NCOR3003 Cortina Mark III Sebring Red

HO Gauge 1:87 scale

Samples were shown of the forthcoming new releases in the range of small US cars. The first two are recolours due soon.

87CI61003 1961 Chevrolet Impala White/Roman Red Q3/2018

87CSD61002 1961 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Aspen Gold Metallic

Test castings of new models were also shown

1961 Chrysler 300 Convertible (Closed)  – no production date for this version yet

87CC61001 Chrysler 300 Convertible (Open)  Mardi Gras Red Q3/2018

87DC68001 Dodge Charger Bright Red Q3/2018

87DD69001 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona black Q3/2018

87DS46001 DeSoto Suburban Noel Green Q3/2018 – NB Catalogue does not show luggage fitted.

De Soto Taxi not shown in catalogue yet.

87DP57001 1957 Dodge D100 Sweptside Pick up Tropical Coral/Glacier White Q3/2018

OO Gauge 1:76 Scale

 

76TCAB010 Scania T Cab short Curtainside Stuart Nichol Transport Q3/2018

76DAF004 DAF 85 Short Fridge Trailer Trevor Pye Q3/2018

76TPU002 Ford Transit Dropside Network Rail Q3/2018

76BR001 Burrell 8nhp DCC showman’s Locomotive and Caravan The Masterpiece (Dorset) Q3/2018

76JCX001 JCB 3CX Q3/2018

Combine Harvester – not shown in latest catalogue

763CX002 JCB 3CX Eco Backhoe Loader Union Jack Livery Q3/2018

76P38002 Range Rover P38 Monte Carlo Blue Q3/2018

76TR6002 Triumph TR6 Signal Red Q3/2018

76JSS006 SS Jaguar DArk Blue Q3/2018

76MGBGT003 MGB GT Glacier White Q3/2018

76CAP008 Ford Capri Signal Orange Q3/2018

76SOM001 Austin Somerset Black Q3/2018

76SOM002 Austin Somerset Buckingham Green Q4/2018

76BMO02003 BMW 2002 Taiga Green Q3/2018

76VW Could possibly be the pastel blue but very different shade to catalogue.

76FCC001 Ford Consul Capri Lime Green/Ermine White Q3/2018

76FDE010 Ford 400E Cargo Grey Q3/2018

76FT1008 Ford Transit Mark I Castrol Q3/2018

76RCL002 Range Rover Classic Darien Gap Q3/2018

Another sample I could not find in the catalogue of one of the later defenders with roof rack etc.

76LR2S004 Land Rover Short Wheelbase Post Office Telephones (Yellow) Q3/208

Land Rover not shown in Catalogue.

76LR2S005 Land Rover Series II SWB Civil Defense. NB Catalogue does not show luggage fitting on roof.

76LR3002 Land Rover Series III Hard Top AA Q3/2018

76LRFCS001 Land Rover FC Signals NATO Q3/2018

76CHT004 Churchill Tank 6th Guards Brigade 1943 Q4/2018

76TIL011 Austin Tilly No.1 MTTC Camberley 1945 (Subaltern Princess Elizabeth) Q3/2018

76WFA007 Weymann Fanfare North Western Q3/2018

76SB002 Saro Bus Maidstone and District

76PAN007 Plaxton Panorama Ribble Q3/2018

76IR6004 Irizar i6 Galleon Travel Q3/2018. Foreground is 1:148 Actros truck which I cannot find in the catalogue.

1:72 Scale Aircraft

72DV005 DH104 Devon WB534 RAF Transport Command

AC083 Henschel 123A Unit 3/SFGr 50 Lt. Hamann Q3/2018

1:43 Scale

 

43TX5001 LEVC TX Electric Taxi Black. Q3/2018

43LR3S002 Land Rover Series III SWB Hardtop AA Q3/2018

43R25002 Rolls Royce 25/30 Thrupp and Maberley Q3/2018

1:18 Scale

 

18MBC006 Messerschmitt KR200 Convertible Q3/2018

18HE003 Heinkel Kabine Yellow Q3/2018

Corgi Vanguards

Fewer samples to show here unsurprisingly. But we do get to see the two Minis to come this year.

 

VA13507 Mini 1275GT Special Tuning Press Launch Car

VA02541 Austin Mini Cooper S MK 1 1275cc Almond Green


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Oxford Diecast – Release 2 2018

By Maz Woolley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1:43 Scale

 

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

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

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

43LRL006 Land Rover Lightweight Hard Top Fred Dibnah

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

43RRP5003 Rolls Royce Phantom V James Young Windsor Blue​

MIN014N Pink Floral Mini Car – Wedding Wrap​

1:50 Scale

 

50FST001 JCB Fastrac​
New Tooling

1:72 Scale Aviation

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

72DG003 DH84 Dragon EI- ABI IOLAR​

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

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

1:76 scale

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

76D28003 DAF 3300 Short Van Trailer Pollock​

76DC001 Duple Commander MkII Southdown​
New Tooling

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

76DXF004 DAF XF Euro 6 Livestock Transporter Skeldons​

76EC003 ERF EC Flatbed Trailer Pollock

76ETYP012 Jaguar E Type Soft Top Imperial Maroon

76ETYP014 Jaguar E Type Silver Blue

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

76FCC002 Ford Consul Capri Caribbean Turquoise/Ermine White​

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

76FG004 Ford Galaxy Black​

76FRE005 Land Rover Freelander London Underground​

76FS004 Ford Sierra Sapphire Moonstone Blue

76FT3008 Ford Transit Mk3 British Gas​

76FTC010 Ford Transit Connect Tube Lines​

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

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

76J4003 Austin J4 Van Southern Electricity​

76JAG2007 Jaguar MkII Carmen Red​

76JFP003 Jaguar F Pace Italian Racing Red

76JS002 JCB JS220 Millionth Machine

76LAN2018 Land Rover Series II LWB Canvas Southdown

 

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

76LR2S006 Land Rover Series II SWB Canvas REME​

76LR3S002 Land Rover Series III Hard Top AA​

76LR3S004 Land Rover Series III SWB Canvas Royal Navy

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

76LRT009 Leyland Royal Tiger Alexander Bluebird

76MMS006 Morris Minor MM Saloon Clarendon Grey​

76MMT010 Morris Traveller Limeflower​

 

76MX001 Austin Maxi Tara Green​
New Tooling

76NMN007 New Mini Chili Red/White​

76NQ2002 Nissan Qashqai J11 Pearl Black Metallic​

76OWB014 Bedford OWB Isle of Man Road Services​

76P4004 Rover P4 Stone Grey/Juniper Green​

76PD2007 Leyland PD2/12 Barton​

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

76RAN005 Range Rover Vogue Aintree Green Metallic

76REL005 Reliant Regal Supervan Blue​

76RP006 Rover P6 Corsica Blue​

 

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

76SCT007 Scania Car Transporter Robinsons Autologistics​

76SET61 3 Piece Set BMW​

76SET62 3 Piece Set Bubble Car​

76SET63 3 Piece Set Hong Kong Police​

 

76SET64 2 Piece Set First Overland

 

76SET65 Bloodhound Missile Set

76SFE010 Scania CP31 Pump Ladder Shropshire Fire & Rescue​

76SHP007 Sherpa Van Telephone Service​

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

76SOM002 Austin Somerset Buckingham Green​

76T4002 VW T4 Van Grey White

 

76T5V001 VW T5 Van RAC​
New Tooling

76TAC006 TACR2 RAF St. Mawgan (Red)

76TR4004 Triumph TR4 103MU – RAF Akrotiri Cyprus

76TX4008CC TX4 Taxi Coca Cola

76VEL002 Range Rover Velar SE Fuji White​

76VWS002 VW T1 Camper Turquoise/White​

76WOT002 Ford WOT1 Crash Tender RAF Catterick (Red)

76XJS006 Jaguar XJS White (The Saint)

76XR006 Ford Escort XR3i Caspian Blue​

1:87 Scale

 

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

87CP65005 Chevrolet Stepside Pick Up 1965 White

 

87DC68001 Dodge Charger 1968 Bright Red​
New Tooling

 

87DD69001 Dodge Charger Daytona 1969 Black​
New Tooling

 

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

 

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

1:148 scale

 

NDIS001 Land Rover Discovery 4 Ipanema Sand​
New Tooling

NFDE004 Ford 400E Van Royal Mail​

NFT021 Ford Transit Mk5 Stobart Fleet Maintenance

NLRT004 Leyland Royal Tiger Maidstone & District​

NMN007 Mini Car RAF

 

NMW6001 Bristol MW6G Royal Blue​
New Tooling

NNMN005 New Mini British Racing Green and Union Jack

NNR007 New Routemaster First West Yorkshire

NWFA002 Weymann Fanfare Grey Cars

Non-scale

 

SP140 Showmans Living Caravan​
New Tooling


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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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