Category Archives: 1:76

A Car Transporter Conversion

By Maz Woolley

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


Car transporter at Standard Triumph’s Canley Factory in Coventry in the early 1960s
Copyright owner unknown.

My conversion was inspired by finding the black and white photograph of a Progressive Deliveries transporter collecting Standard Triumph cars from the factory in Canley in Coventry shown above.

Car transporters are a good way to show off a group of models, especially if you collect 1:76 scale models. Collectors will be familiar with the EFE transporter, shown below, which was produced over many years in several liveries with either an Atkinson or Bedford TK tractor unit. Although slightly simplified the trailer does capture the look of period transporter trailers from Carrymore and others. A model like the one below provided the chassis of the tractor unit and the trailer.

Photograph by Hattons copyright acknowledged

My first challenge was finding a suitable Leyland cab unit to fit on the tractor unit chassis. Here I had the choice of two different 1:76 scale Leyland Comet cabs from small suppliers here in the UK. One from Langley in white metal and one from Road Transport Images (RTI) in resin. After careful comparison of the cabs and the black and white photograph I decide to use the RTI cab unit. This was a nice clean unit which came with a simple interior and vacform. I was lucky that I bought this cab several months before Frank Waller passed away. Since his death RTI products have not been available as his family has not yet been able to find someone to take the company on as a going concern.

The RTI cab is a 1:76 scale Leyland Comet short door LAD (Leyland/Albion/Dodge) cab from 1958 when it was introduced as the third geneneration of the Comet. This cab was made by Coventry Motor Panels for the truck makers and was styled slightly differently for each manufacturer.

Starting from a black and white photograph did not make things easy. My initial guess was that the unit could have been painted in yellow and black but a fellow member of CDMC (Coventry Diecast and Model Club) was kind enough to ask fellow modellers in the Coventry area and not only was the colour of the original livery identified but suggestions for suitable spray paints to match were supplied too!

The steps in the conversion process are described below. Unfortunately I didn’t think to photograph the work in progress.

  • EFE tractor and trailer stripped and completely disassembled
  • Front bumper cut off tractor chassis
  • Paint stripped from trailer and chassis
  • All spray painted in Acrylic grey primer
  • Repainted Cab in Ford Olympic Blue (Light blue)
  • Masked upper part of cab
  • Sprayed lower part of tractor cab with Ford Royal Blue Acrylic spray paint and removed masking.
  • Spray upper part of trailer in Olympic blue
  • Spray lower part in Royal Blue
  • Spray tractor chassis in Royal Blue
  • Cut dash and sterring wheel from Atkinson tractor unit interior to re-use
  • Glue Atkinson wheel/dash to the RTI cab interior
  • Spray RTI seats and cab interior in primer and then in satin black
  • Decals designed and printed on injet decal paper – clear for items on cab and upper part of trailer and printed on white backed decal for lower trailer as clear deacls with light blue lettering did not work.
  • paint lights and fill with acrylic to make main headlight lenses
  • Apply decals on cab and trailer and overspray with clear acrylic paint
  • Glue windows in Cab
  • Glue interior in cab
  • Cut plasticard packing to attach cab to chassis at correct height and spray black
  • Glue plasticard insert into cab chassis
  • Glue Cab onto plasticard insert in chassis
  • Re-assemble rest of components

The conversion went well though I did manage to break one of the small lugs that holds the folding rear ramp in place trying to get it back into place. It was finished in time for a chop night at CDMC and I was lucky enough to win one of the awards on the night for my efforts.

The car shown on the transporter is also a conversion. It started life as a John Day Vehicle Scenics Standard Vanguard Phase III. This has been altered to represent a Standard Ensign which used the Vanguard body but had a smaller four cylinder engine and much simpler grille as well as a more basic interior. They sold quite well to companies and to the Armed Forces where the Fleet Manager was happy with lower costs than the Vanguard but the same durability.

The conversion consisted of:

  • remove the Vanguard’s protruding grille unit
  • open out the grille area to create a flat recess and file off wing side light area
  • remove all overriders from bumpers
  • file off Triumph badge from bonnet
  • make a decal printed on ink jet paper of the ensign grille and badging from an image found on the web.
  • Clean and paint model
  • Highlight lights and sidelights in silver/silver/red, and white
  • Fit vacform glazing
  • Assemble model
  • Finish wheels off
  • Apply decals

So here we have a couple of models which display well together with a conversion I did of the John Day Vehicle Scenics Standard 9cwt van into a Standard Triumph Livery shown many years ago in the printed MAR magazine. This was also created from a black and white photograph and it is possible that the van should actually be in dark green rather than black.

Both the base John Day models shown in this article are still available from Daryle Toney who owns the John Day Vehicle Scenics range, his website can be found at http://johndaymodels.webplus.net/ . The EFE transporter model is not shown on the Bachmann website so is now presumably obsolete, but it is frequently available on eBay. For the moment the Langley X27 Leyland cab would have to be used to do a similar conversion as the RTI one is not currently available.

More googling has uncovered the Rootes Group transporters run for them by British Road Services and pulled by Commer tractor units. This will be my next challenge!


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Some Modern Northcord Buses

By Maz Woolley

All text copyright of the Author, Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer. 

1:76 scale model buses and coaches have always been at the heart of the public transport collectors scene. The scale is large enough to show considerable detail, but small enough to display a wide range of models in a limited space. Recent years have been a time of turmoil for model bus makers. Established names have released far fewer models. EFE, now under Bachmann‘s ownership, has only recently started to announce new upgraded models under the new management. At Hornby the Corgi Original Omnibus range continues to release models but many fewer than in previous years.  This is in part due to the rapid rise of Oxford Diecast output in this market sector which has put a pressure on  the prices and quality offered by the established players.

Some smaller players like  Forward Models continue to release their early post-war buses at a steady rate, and even add extra transfers to allow customisation of destination boards. The recent announcement of a Birmingham Guy Arab by Canadian firm Rapido Models will add stiff competition to that part of the marketplace.

We have seen the loss of some other players in the market as Brit Bus and B-T Models went into liquidation in 2017 and although B-T Models seem to be being rescued I have not heard that Brit Bus will be.

Northcord Model Company was formed by Danny Chan after the closure of CMNL in 2011. It has always aimed to produce detailed models  to a high standard. It makes careful use of moulds to produce buses from Australia, Ireland, North America, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK have all been featured in the range.

They are building on the success of their casting of the Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC model which is already available in the livery of Go-Ahead London, National Express West Midlands, Stagecoach London & Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, First Bristol and Reading Buses liveries,

They will be now be releasing eighth and ninth versions – ukbus 6507A and ukbus 6507B in the livery of Bluestar. Bluestar is a trade name for Solent Blue Star which was founded in 1987 and is part of the Go-Ahead Group.  The area that they service area is Hampshire which includes the cities of Southampton and Winchester as well as parts of the New Forest and coastal tourist areas.

The model is based upon fleet number 1641 (HF66 CFM) which has 10.9 metre, single door bodywork and was new to Bluestar in 2017. It is liveried for route 1.

The standard of tampo printing appears to be very high and the livery of the original bus has been reproduced in fine detail. As seems to be the current fashion the only difference between the two models is the direction of working. This allows the same bus to be sold in two slightly different versions.

The model is a one-piece casting with gasket-mounted windows as well as twin tree protectors at the front. The front dome and curved screens are captured too. Inside there are handrails on upper deck and lower deck, and other fine details.


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Oxford Diecast Austin Somerset

By Maz Woolley

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

The Austin A40 Somerset was made for only two years replacing the more traditional A40 Devon and was in turn replaced by the much more up to date unibody A40 Cambridge. In essence the Somerset was a re-bodied Devon with a more highly tuned engine and styling similar to that of the larger A70 Hereford supposed to appeal to the American buyer as the UK was trying to export as much as possible to help it pay off its war debt.  Powered by a 1.2 litre engine it could just reach 70mph.

The Devon was modelled in the Classix range to 1:76 scale in two and four door forms and was a very good model of that car, better in some respects than this more recent Oxford Diecast.

Most readers will be familiar with the contemporary Dinky Somerset #161 and the more recent Lansdowne in 1:43 scale. As far as I am aware no contemporary small scale model was made and although John Day Vehicle Scenics made the A70 I don’t think any other modern 1:76 scale model of the Somerset has been made.

76SOM001 Austin Somerset Black and  76OM002 Austin Somerset Buckingham Green

These models have been long awaited and have certainly caught the rounded shape and flowing lines of the original well. Viewed from the type of distance we usually look at them they are good models, certainly for their price.

The black model was issued first and is typical of most of these cars, In a sombre colour with normal tyres. The green model has fancy white walls which would not have been common at the time though are entirely accurate for the car carrying that registration plate although it lacks the headlight peak accessories fitted to that car.

The green car’s printed black screen surround merely emphasises the thickness of the casting and would have been better left off altogether.

One puzzle is the rear lights where the lower light appears to be a red reflector on real cars and not a silver disk as printed on the model.

The interior is simply moulded in red for the black car and brown for the green car. Door cards are included but seem to lack any moulded in fittings. The dashboard has limited moulded details but adequate for this scale.

Frustratingly the Austin of England script along the bonnet side is not printed straight on my models and keeps catching my eye. Another issue is the large vertical  mould mark on the rear wing which can be seen on the model above. This is only the case on the driver’s side and appears on both the green and black cars.

There is a silver printed side chrome strip and quarter lights. Again the printed quarter lights emphasis the depth of the casting and might have been better left off.

The front end captures the car very well but the Austin badge is missing off the grill centre which would have broken up the large expanse of silver and there is no attempt to model the flying ‘A’ mascot on the bonnet. The grille could also do with a black wash but at this price point that is perhaps too much to expect.

Another view of the rear showing the neat number plate, but also the substantially overscale boot hinges.

The front of the Black version has higher contrast and looks better though it is more noticeable that the sidelights on the wing tops are left unpainted whereas on the original car they were silver.

Again the boot hinges look much too large on the black version.

Searching the web using the number plates shows the real cars exist and that these models capture the originals well and show most of their features if not all.

As seems to be typical of Oxford Diecast models recently there are quite a few minor faults which reduce the accuracy of these models but I  am sure that most collectors will not be as critical as I am. The railway modelling fraternity with early British Rail dioramas will leap to buy these as will the growing number of 1:76 scale car collectors.


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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


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

Oxford Diecast – 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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