Category Archives: Aston Martin

Latest from Brooklin October 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs are copyright of Brooklin Models.

Brooklin has distributed photographs of their recent releases. Brooklin’s models are produced in white metal to 1:43 scale here in the UK.

BML18 1939 Nash Ambassador Eight 4-dr Sedan.

This model is of the 1939 Nash a car that was little changed mechanically but which was restyled with up to the minute lower and sleeker styling.  The front end is particularly elegant with its “lean forward” styling.

The Brooklin model captures the stance and shape of the car well. The higher level of detail being introduced is evidenced by the chrome side strip and boot hinges as well as the wheels with the inset body colour.


BML21 1941 Buick M-71c Roadmaster Convertible Phaeton.

This generation of Roadmaster had been introduced in 1940 and in 1941 the engine was fitted with a four barrel carburetor and was the most powerful engine available in 1941 on any US car. The four door convertible modelled by Brooklin was an impressive car.

The Brooklin model again captures the car well in the grey metallic paint chosen it looks an expensive car as it was. Signs of Brooklins new higher detailing are the separate chromed mascot, sidelights, rear spat emblems and bonnet side grilles. The  small side windows also looks to be finer than has been the case on many previous Brooklins and the wheels get quite a lot of detailing.


LDM96a 1956 Aston Martin DB 2-4 MKII  (colour change)

One has to question whether this re-colour is really worth launching? There seem to be few signs of the uprating the rest of the models are getting, and the wire wheels are very similar to those fitted on Dinky Toys in the 1970s, and significantly poorer than those fitted to competing resin models. Brooklin really should have improved the wheels and grille areas on this model before re-releasing it at a higher price point.

The model itself is of the earliest DB2 so is different to the recent Oxford Diecast 1:43 model otherwise I could see no reason to buy the more expensive model.


LDM. 123 1935 Brough Superior 8 D.H.C.

Brough was better known for Brough Superior motorcycles but they did make around 85 cars starting in 1935. The cars were built on a Hudson chassis fitted with a four litre Hudson straight eight engine. The cars were fast for their time easily reaching 90mph.

The Brooklin model is lovely with a lot of detailing such as all the small chrome inserts for grilles and strips along the sides. The chrome insert on the screen and side ventilators also seem quite fine work. The disk wheels and the chromed and body coloured sections are neatly done and the grille, radiator cap and front lights certainly seem to have a lot of time spent on modelling them in detail.

It is a fine model of a little known car. I hope that the slightly obscure nature of the original vehicle does not lead to lower than normal sales.


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James Bond’s Hot Wheels

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Photographs by the author.

CMC94 Aston Martin DB10 “Spectre 007”

It was a really breathtaking car, specially made just for the film and impressive in its metallic silver paint.

The Aston Martin DB10 which James Bond drove in his latest adventure “Spectre” was beautiful though as seems to be the case of all of Bond’s cars it ended up in a big crash. The small number of surviving film cars are all now worth a great deal of money.

Now Mattel has launched the DB10 in its Elite range of 1:18 scale models. The aggressively styled body is accurately captured and the paint is immaculate. Opening bonnet, hinged doors and boot lid are fitted as can be seen in the photograph below.

Even the steering works though only over a small range. The interior has a realistic looking dashboard, steering wheel and centre console, with leather looking seats with safety belts modelled too.

As the photograph above shows under the bonnet a detailed replica of the engine is visible. Underneath it has a detailed baseplate and the wheels reveal well modelled brake calipers and discs. These really are “hot wheels” for James Bond collectors.


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Oxford Diecast 1:43 scale June 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

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

43EMP001 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Hooper Empress

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


AMZ001 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato 2 VEV

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Recent Announcements 5/17

By Maz Woolley

All photographs have been supplied by the manufacturers.

Here are few models recently announced that have caught the eye.

LS Collectibles

These models have been recently announced. They are moulded in resin to 1:18 scale for France.  As is so often the case with detailed 1:18 resin models there are no opening parts.

The Porsche models are not of 911 or Boxster variations for a change and look to capture the real cars very well. The Mitsubishi GTO is a car seldom seen on the road now but certainly looks a nice model in black. Finally we get another Dodge Viper a model that may sell better outside the UK where we saw few of them.

LS016A Dodge Viper GTS 1996

LS019B Mitsubishi 3000 GTO 1992

LS021A/B Porsche 944 Turbo S

LS022A Porsche 928 S4

Minichamps

A mixed group of releases here. Racing cars again dominating the release. Models are diecast in China for Germany unless otherwise stated.

Porsche 906K Vögele and Siffert – Sebring 12 hours 1966.

A classic late 60s shape with sloping front and Kamm tail. A lot of detail like sun strip and lights seems to be included.

Porsche 917/10 Kauhsen and Dr, Heinemann “Farewell in the snow” Nürburgring 1973,

This model is to 1:18 scale and shows how much advertising has grown over the years with a minimal sponsorship livery.

 

 

Renault Sport Formula One team R.S.16 – Kevin Magnussen – 2016 1:43 resin

Renault team cars from the end of 2016 modelled to 1:43 scale in resin.  Models for someone who has to have the whole grid or for fans of Renault or the individual drivers.

Renault Sport Formula One team R.S.16 – Jolyon Palmer – 2016 1:43 resin

 

McLaren Honda MP4/5 Ayrton Senna 1989

This model is to 1:18 scale and is bound to be popular with Senna fans. Sadly McLaren’s current form makes one wonders if their drivers will ever be seen on the podium again.

McLaren Ford MP4/8 Ayrton Senna 1993 

This model is to 1:43 scale and even MInichamps web site does not state what material it is made of.

 

MaxiChamps

BMW 520 – 1972 – Silver or Yellow

These budget re-releases from the Minichamps back catalogue are nice models capturing the BMW 5 Series of the early 1970s which was a very popular car.

Best of Show

ModelCarWorld originally produced some Neo models to 1:87 with photo-etching and a lot of detail. These appear to have been regarded as much too expensive by 1:87 scale collectors and so MCW is releasing its 1:87 models at a lower level of detail and at a lower price point as Best of Show. Many of the models presented have already been seen in BoS or Neo 1:43 ranges. When compared to the detail and accuracy of Herpa, Wiking, and Brekina I think that BOS models leave a lot to be desired. Oversized window frames and rather crude wheels seem to be common. However, they do focus on models that the main German 1:87 producers would not release. Some of their latest releases are shown below.

All models are moulded in resin in China to 1:87 scale for Germany.

Mercedes 180 (W120) Bakkie, BoS-Models, 1:87

Aston Martin DB5, BoS-Models, 1:87

Opel Manta B Mattig, BoS-Models, 1:87

 

Jaguar XJ-S, BoS-Models, 1:87


 

 

Amalgam Collection

By Maz Woolley

All photographs are by the manufacturers.

I recently stumbled over a company that I had never heard of before whose sales are targeted only at the richest model collectors. Amalgam models based in Bristol in the United Kingdom create large scale exhibition standard models to the orders of racing teams and wealthy car owners as well as a few batches of models of classic subjects for more general sale. These models are all to large scales between 1:18 and 1:8 and often include fine scale opening features and a very high standard of finish. The models are targeted at the wealthy who buy  luxury brand chronometers and fine and classic cars as you can see on their website  http://www.amalgamcollection.com/

The company was created in 1985 by four model makers making scale buildings for Architects practices, They still work in that field and for Naval Architects as well as making the Amalgam Collection of model cars.  They focused on supplying the leading F1 teams and Europe’s luxury car manufacturers.  It is now owned by a US media company, Motorsport Network. In recent years cars from Ralph Lauren’s collection  have been modelled and sold in his flagship stores. They offer a bespoke service building a model of your car to order.

As might be expected these are very expensive models. A 1:8 scale racing Aston Martin costs about the same as a small new car in the UK. Their standard 1:18 scale models such as the one shown below are slightly more expensive than an equivalent hand built model model from BBR.

 

I have selected two cars they have modelled from different ends of the collection to look at. The first one has been modelled many times to different standards and is from their 1:18 collection. The Ferrari 250 LM #21 which was the overall winner of the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1965 driven by Jochen Rindt, and Masten Gregory. This model is to 1:18 scale.

The model appears from the photographs to be well moulded  and detailed as one would expect.  A lot of attention has been lavished on the box and all the luxury add-ons and presentation.

The interior appears to be detailed to the same standard as the exterior. The tiny Ferrari badge in the centre of the steering wheel is present and the wood effect wheel rim nicely modelled.

Perspex sliding windows are well modelled and the fuel filler and air inlets are nicely captured and convincing.

Front and rear detailing is well done and wheels and tyres are excellent as well.

Finally by way of comparison is a picture of the BBR model of the 250 from 1967. To my eye the Amalgam model is roughly on a par with BBR ones in standards as well as price though not marketed to collectors in the same way.

At the other end of the offerings from Amalgam are hand made 1:8 scale models such as this of the Aston Martin DBR9 which raced at Sebring in 2005. which is currently out of stock.

There are no opening or moving parts on this model which is made to be displayed. The model is finished to an extremely high standard with the wheels and brakes being particularly beautifully executed.

All the logos are incredibly well reproduced and details like the town point are captured well. The fine modelling of the rear wing is excellent though it looks fragile even in this large scale.

The overhead view on a plinth is the only view where it looks like a model rather than a real car.

 

All in all a wonderful scale model but then it needs to be one could buy a new Hyundai i10 for less money than such a model would cost!

Few collectors could afford these models or will see them unless they attend manufacturers exhibitions. However they are interesting as they show a corner of the model making industry not generally seen in the general press.


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Oxford Diecast DB2 Mark III DHC

By Maz Woolley

 

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

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

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

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

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


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More from Matrix March 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

All photographs are of test samples and have been supplied by the manufacturer.

Matrix has recently publicised a range of new and re-coloured models. These are again show vehicles and coachbuilt vehicles for the most part and it includes their first 1:18 scale model.

 

1:43 Scale

MX10108-054 Aston Martin DB5 Shooting brake by Harold Radford maroon 1964

This car has been produced previously but is now to be available in a  new colour.


MX11705-074 Harold Radford SC Estate green / green metallic “Picnic ” 1959

This car has been produced previously but is now to be available in a  new colour.


MX40107-012 Armstrong Siddeley 346 Sapphire Four Light Saloon black 1953

This car has been produced previously but is now to be available in a  new colour.


MX41001-101 Jaguar Pirana Bertone silver 1967

This is a new model. The original was a concept car  created by Bertone for the 1967 London Motor show based upon E Type running gear.


MX41701-011 Range Rover Rometsch Hunting car Honecker green 1985

This new model is based upon a preserved vehicle which was custom built for Eric Honecker the leader of East Germany


MX41806-011 Steyr 220 Gleaser Sport Cabrio white / maroon 1938 

Produced by Glaeser of Dresden on the Steyr chassis made in Austria only 6 of these were made and three were destroyed in the war. The car modelled looks like one which is in the United States.


 

MX50102-051 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500SS Pininfarina black 1949

This new model has a sloped back was similar to many US cars of the late 1940s and is a similar shape to the Bentley Continental to be launched in the early 1950s.


MX50102-091 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Bertone gold metallic 1956

Another new model for Alfa Romeo collectors. Again a special coachbuilt car this time on the Guilletta platform which saw specials from so many makers


MX50108-071 Aston Martin DB9 Spyder Zagato Centennial green metallic 2013

A new model of a one-off concept car. Zagato also made a similar coupe concept.


MX50108-081 2014 Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake by Zagato 2014

Built by Zagato on their 75th anniversary this car was aone-off sold to a European client. Obviously based upon the concept cars that they had built the previous year.


MX50303-071 Chrysler Turbine brown metallic 1963

A lot of collectors of US models will be very happy that this car has now been produced to a decent standard and that they will no longer have to scratch build a roof to add to a cheap and not entirely accurate New Ray model. I am sure that this will sell out quickly.


MX50408-021 Delahaye 135 Pininfarina Coupe silver 1947 

Another new Delahaye from Matrix.


MX51904-011 Talbot Lago T26 Antem Cabriolet white 1950

Another French coachbuilt car from Matrix. These cars were made in small numbers and as the 1950s progressed these chassis makers gradually closed as cheaper alternatives like the Jaguar offered speed and style.


1:18 Scale

MXL0205-011 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet VanVooren Shah of Iran dark blue 1939

This model is a classic coachbuilt cabriolet on a Bugatti Type 57 chassis. It must be very impressive produced at this larger scale in such fine detail.


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Oxford Diecast March 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

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

1:76 Scale Models

 

76 MW6001 Bristol MW6G Royal Blue

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

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

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


 

76TS001 Triumph Stag

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

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

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

 


76BM02001 BMW 2002 Colorado Orange

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

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

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

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


 

76AMDB2002 Aston Martin DB2 MkIII Drop Head Coupe

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

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

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


1:87 Scale Models

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

87BS36001 Buick Special Convertible Coupe 1936

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

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

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


 

87CN57001 Chevrolet Nomad 1957

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

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

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


 

87CP65001 Chevrolet Stepside Pick Up 1965

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

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

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


 

87BC55001 Buick Century 1955

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

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

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


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


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Atlas Dinky – 506 Aston Martin DB3 Sport

By Maz Woolley

 

Reproduction Box

As predicted in an earlier post we now have the racing version of this model to go with the road version issued earlier in pink. This model has already been seen in the Continental Dinky Collection.

The car as modelled is a French Dinky variant based upon castings made in the UK and was sold in 1960 for a year. The only variation known is that the racing numbers varied from one to nineteen. Atlas have chosen to model it as number 15.

In the UK the model appeared numbered 110 with red painted hubs.

The original Aston Martin DB3S was made between 1953 and 1956 and was a successful sports racing car often seen in the racing press. With placings at Le Mans as well as Sebring and the Tourist Trophy it was a considerable success although overshadowed by the Jaguar C and D Types.

The Atlas replica is very nicely made with smooth and glossy paintwork and a well finished driver. Lights and grille are silver painted and the rear lights are painted red.


Atlas Customer services say that there are 55 models to be released in this series and that 41 have been issued so far. This is very substantially fewer that were issued in the French Atlas Collection and perhaps indicate that sales have fallen off considerably as the collection has progressed. A Dinky Vans series has been test marketed with an OXO Trojan Van. As far as the collection of later Dinky’s with opening features is concerned , which they test marketed with the DB5, Atlas say that they have still to decide whether they will go ahead with that.


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Oxford Diecast Latest Releases March 2016

By Maz Woolley

Several new castings to 1:43 scale have just been released by Oxford Diecast. All are diecast to 1:43 scale in Oxford’s Chinese factory.

VA001 Volvo Amazon Light Green

The Volvo Amazon was made from 1956 to 1970 and was known in many countries as the 120 series. It sold well and was exported to the US from 1959 onwards. Volvo’s advertising at the time made the most of the fact that the car included many safety features and towards the end of the 1960s Volvo’s longer than average life span featured strongly in all Volvo advertising here in the UK.

This model from Oxford is based on a 1967 car which has been shown at Car Shows in the UK. The model is well made with chrome work neatly printed, good wheels and lights though mainly printed very convincingly done.  The wipers are rather thinner than many partworks ones which is good. The interior is neatly moulded with the “padded” dash top and linear speedometer housing nicely moulded in. The seats and door panels are in mid green.   An excellent model from Oxford which will form the basis of many more releases.

AMDB2001 Aston Martin DB2 Mark III Saloon

The first model to appear in the new Oxford Aston Martin packaging. The original car was a beautifully styled with every panel hand beaten so no two are actually identical. The Oxford model captures the lovely lines of the original very well and the printed chrome widow surrounds and lights are excellent. The grille moulding is very finely done.  The wire wheels are very fine in the usual Oxford manner with a clear disk behind to form the actual wheel structure. The interior is moulded in tan and there is a painted wooden steering wheel, instruments picked out on the dash and a separate gear lever. This will all be seen to more effect when the convertible version of this car is released by Oxford. I do hope that Oxford produces the DB4, DB5, and DB6 to a similar standard and even ventures into the DBS era.

The car that the model is based upon has featured in a book about its restoration. From being stored for many years in a lock up garage in Weybridge to its recommissioning by  Aston Works Service at Newport Pagnell in 2009.

VF001 Vauxhall Firenza Sport SL Bluebird

Vauxhall’s answer to the Ford Capri was a pretty car even though it did not prove to be anywhere near as big a seller. Based upon the Viva HC floor pan, mechanicals, and seating it was a more stylish vehicle than the base HC Viva. This Firenza was fitted with a 2.3 Litre engine which was more than adequate power for this light vehicle. The vehicle has been made in white metal before but the only contemporary diecast was a Lone Star Flyer which has been much sought after.  The oxford model is excellent capturing the shape very well and featuring nicely finished front grille and lights. The rear lights are printed and are acceptable even if separate moulded lights would have been nice.  The printed chrome trim and body stripe are well done too. The interior is all black which was pretty typical of the period and the dash has instruments picked out in silver.

The car that the model is based upon was first registered in 1972 and pictures on the web show that the car has been modified and has a small spoiler fitted below the bumper and non-standard wheels. Oxford have chosen to model the car as it would have left the assembly line which will allow them to make a range of authentic versions including versions with the vinyl roof.

 


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