Category Archives: Bedford

Autocult Releases 4/5 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

This article looks at the last two releases of models by Autocult. These are cast in resin to 1:43 scale with photoetched details, and are made in China for Germany. As ever they represent rare of unusual vehicles from across a wide time frame.

Release 4


This release features:

  • Steyr 100 “Asien Stey – from the category ‘past brands
  • Benz 35/40 Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen – from the category ‘the early beginnings
  • Thompson House Car – from the category ‘camping vehicles’
  • Ferrari 330 GTC Zagato – from the category ‘prototypes
#02018 Steyr 100 ‘Asien-Steyr’  (Austria, 1934)

Max Reisch was born in Kufstein in the Austrian Tyrol in 1912 and made a name for his long distance motorcycle journeys. Using the reputation he had earned he approached Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG in 1934 for material and financial support for his next trip.

Instead of a motorbike they offered him the recently launched Steyr 100 so that the trip would be combined with a major promotional tour for the new car. Max Reisch accepted and the first step was to get the expedition car changed to his suggestion of a pick-up version.

The trip began in April 1935 and Max Reisch along with his partner Helmuth Hahmann left Vienna and travelled to Palestine, Syria and Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. From there they went via Pakistan, India, Burma, Thailand and Laos to Vietnam and China. After 14 months they arrived at their final destination Shanghai.

When they arrived in Shanghai instead of finishing they decided to continue their journey and took a passage on a ship to Japan and to the USA. After a brief pause the men and their Steyr headed to Mexico from where they sailed back to Bremerhaven.

Circumnavigating the world would be an amazing feat now but in 1935 with minimal engineering and spares back up it was an incredible achievement.

#01001 Benz 35/40 Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen (Germany, 1906)

The Benz 35/40 was the pinnacle of the Benz company output early in 1900. It was powered by a 3,380cc four cylinder engine producing 35 to 40 horsepower which could power the car up to 55 MPH via a leather lined clutch and chain or cardan drive. It was one of the fastest vehicles on the public roads at the time.

This was an expensive chassis and was generally fitted with a luxurious bodywork.

Albert Wilhem Heinrich of Prussia; the brother of the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was an early motoring enthusiast and Benz owner. His Benz 35/40 double phaeton modelled here participated in the 1,700 kilometers long-distance race “Herkomer-Konkurrenz” on 6-12 of June 1906.

#09010 Thompson House Car (USA, 1934)

Little is known of Arthur Thompson, who was said to have been a watchmaker from Ontario in California, the creator of this vehicle.

This 1930s vehicle took seven years to develop and build. It was based upon a Studebaker chassis fitted with a six-cylinder engine. Onto the chassis he formed a car body, passenger and camper compartment, all made out of aluminium. Over the conventional, solid structure he fixed another almost identical structure, which could be lifted like the popup campers of today. It was connected to the body by a combination of rods and fold-able fabric parts and was driven by an ingenious series of gears. Once in place it was possible for an grown person to stand upright.

It is not clear how many of these campers were built some references quote four, others no definite figure. One still existed in a museum in Sacramento in 2007 as photographs on the web show.

#06032 Ferrari 330 GTC Zagato (Italy, 1974)

In 1968, the last year of production of the Ferrari 330 GTC, chassis number 10659 was shipped to the USA. The buyer was the US-American Ferrari importer and former race driver Luigi Chinetti.

The car was first sold to Robert V. Kennedy of Cambridge, Massachusetts who sold it on to an unknown owner before it was accident damaged and ended back the hands of the US importer in the early 1970s. Instead of simply reconditioning the car he gave it to Zagato for a completely new design. Elio Zagato and his team created a new body for the Italian sportscar in the new style, without any curves and with several extravagant design features, which were new on a Ferrari. The most prominent feature were the front lights behind plexiglass covers, but the rear to had special features. Beside the eye-catching body there were new safety features built in underneath that could not be seen.And the whole car was topped off by a removable targa top.

This unique car was exhibited by Zagato at the Geneva Motor Show in 1974 and was shown at the Concour d’Elegance in Pebble Beach in 1996.


Release 5

This release features:

  • Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe Figoni & Falaschi – from the category ‘past brands’
  • BMW 340/1 Roadster – from the category ‘prototypes’
  • Bedford SB3 Mobile Cinema – from the category ‘buses’
  • Mercedes-Benz 150H Sport-Limousine from the category ‘racing cars’.
#02019 Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupé (France, 1949)

In the years following the Second World War things were hard for most people and the pre-war days of outrageous spending and glamour were replaced by a more serious and less frivolous era. In such a market pre-war bodybuilders such as Figoni & Falaschi found a lot fewer takers for their extravagant designs.

The model made by Autocult is one of their last designs based on the chassis of a Talbot Lago T26 . The car was ordered by the ‘Zipper King’ Mister Fayolle and featured a zipper-like string of horizontal chrome strips on its front hood. The car then made its way to the United States, where Lindley Locke bought it in 1960. But Locke’s interest in the exclusive French car was passing and soon the car was garaged and forgotten.

47 years later the car saw the light of the day again. After its restoration it was presented for the first time at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach in 2018; exactly 70 years after its creation. The Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe was one of the highlights of the show.

#06029 BMW 340/1 Roadster (Germany, 1949)

In August 1946 the BMW plant in Eisenach was taken into the state owned AWTOWELO AG. In the spring of 1948 the first prototypes of a new car were finished, and in October 1949 series production of the new BMW 340 sedan began. After international legal battles between West and East German companies over the right to use the BMW name the East Germans changed the name of their cars to EMW, after their place of manufacture Eisenacht Motoren Werke.

Whilst the saloon version was being developed designer Hans Fleischer designed a sporty two-seater. The BMW 340/1 was a prototype based on the 340. It was a convertible with a sleeker body and lower bonnet line and greatly modified grille. The sports car was fitted with the 55 hp six-cylinder engine from the 340.

The project was taken seriously by the Soviet dominated German industry and it was publicly exhibited on the AWTOWELO stand at a trade fair in Leipzig in 1949. Long distance testing and some road racing were all undertaken to prove the car but it never went into series production. This is thought to be because there was little place for a sports car in the planned economy of a war ravaged country struggling to rebuild itself and which needed utilitarian vehicles much more.

#10004 Bedford SB3 Mobile Cinema (Great Britain, 1967)

In the early 1960s the then Prime Ministerof the UK, Harold Wilson, made a speech about the “White heat of Technology”, and the challenges that faced the UKs industries to adapt and exploit the new developments in science and engineering. A Ministry of Technology was created and its role was to inform manufacturing industry about new production techniques and opportunities.

Nowadays this outreach would be done by a team of consultants creating web sites, emails, and tweets and hoping that people round the country would interact with them. But in the 1960s the officials realised that they had to get out and visit Industry face to face round the country to spread the message. One way to do this was to take films and lecturing staff to visit key staff at industrial companies.

To allow this to take place the Ministry of Technology ordered seven trucks and trailers in 1967. The equipment was produced by Coventry Steel Caravans (CSC) a company based in Warwick which was famous for the trailers they had produced in the war, for the MInistry of Agriculture, and for industrial customers, as well as for making Caravans. CSC also built the bodywork for a cinema on wheels on a Bedford SB 3 coach chassis. With a capacity of up to 24 seats managers could watch the films on a cinema screen that was located at the rear end of the interior. The cinematic equipment was controlled from a Plexiglas dome above the driver’s cab. Inside the trailer displays were fitted to complement the films.

Seven Bedford trailer combinations were on the roads across the United Kingdom between 1967 and 1974 managed by the state and Industry sponsored Production Engineering Research Association (PERA).

#07015 Mercedes-Benz 150H Sport-Limousine (Germany, 1934)

The 1934 Mercedes-Benz Type 150 was unusual with its mid-engine. After the W30 the Type 150 was the second Mercedes-Benz which had its engine positioned as far as possible toward the centre of the vehicle. Never suited to mass production it was however very suitable for racing. The influences of Tatra and others are clear in the styling of this car.

Six such sports cars were built by Mercedes-Benz all built to compete in the class “V” in the second ‘2000 km durch Deutschland’ (2000 km of Germany). On July 21, 1934, at 5:35 am, all six were positioned on the starting line. All models were fitted with a 1.5 litre, water-cooled ohv four-stroke engine with a power rating of 55 hp. The engine closely related to that fitted to the Type 130. Four drivers finished their race with a gold medal. After the 2000 km of Germany the cars competed in another race in August 1934; the rally Liège-Rome-Liège. The driver Hans-Joachim Bernet led the field between Rome and Pisa and completed the section perfectly with the score of “zero penalty points”.

Despite this racing history Mercedes-Benz had no use for the six cars and in the end all the vehicles were destroyed. Several parts of the bodies and the chassis were reused for the development of a conventional front engined roadster which was launched in 1935.


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London Toyfair 2019 Part Three

By Maz Woolley

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

This the third in a short series of articles based upon the Author’s recent visit to the London Toyfair, a large trade show featuring toys of all kinds, where vehicle models for the UK market are shown by wholesale importers as well as Hornby and Oxford Diecast. The previous article about the Hornby stand can be found here.

This article shows some of the models displayed on the Oxford Stand. With so many models in production the stand has an impressive display of hundreds of models in various scales.

Last year I tried to photograph models through glass in the crowded display cabinets and the pictures were not very good. This year the Oxford representatives on the stand were extremely helpful and got out a number of items for me to photograph. Although I photographed quite a few models I did not capture all the novelties on display. A few have been photographed in the cabinets as there wasn’t time to get out every model that I would have liked to photograph.

It should be remembered that many of the models pictured are made up of a special light alloy used for trial shots and 3D printed fittings. These can only suggest what the final product will look like. Even the fully painted models of unreleased items are hand finished production samples used to confirm that the model is ready to put into production and may not fully reflect the models when they go into production.

So starting with 1:43 scale. Here there was a display of all the expected re-coloured models. but also pre-production casting of the Bedford CF Ice Cream Van as shown below. Adrienne Fuller who is responsible for selecting cars and other vehicles for Oxford explained that although this is a quarter without many new 1:43 models they are still expecting to produce two to three entirely new castings in this scale this year in addition to recolours.

This mould by Oxford has really caught the look of the CF well. It should make an excellent model when it appears. It will be appearing in classic Mr. Whippy livery first, then Hockings but I am sure there will be more liveries over time especially as so many of this type of van were brought secondhand by small local firms across the UK.

The 1:43 scale Morris J2 minibus in Skyways livery from the final release of 2018 was shown and looks like an impressive model. Seen to the rear is another of the final release in 2018 the Fred Dibnah Lightweight Land Rover in 1:43 scale.

And now on to some very large 1:43 scale models. The new Weymann Fanfare South Wales – announced as an Oxford special to celebrate their 25 Years trading. The model shown below is a pre-production item and is fitted trial plastic components – the broken horn will not feature on the production model! The model features a plastic upper section with a diecast chassis. It is a striking model with the very high level of moulded and printed detail they can achieve when using plastic.

The South Wales version is not to be the only use of this moulding. Oxford were showing a Southdown version which has been announced as part of release one 2019. With a destination board for Bournemouth this model suits the Southdown livery well.

Moving on to 1:76 scale there were some interesting recolours shown. Below is another version of the J4 this time as an Austin J4 in BMC Parts livery due for later release. This is a nice livery and the Austin version of the grille seems to be very well printed.

The forthcoming Volkswagen Transporter T4 Camper looks very good and will be a popular model.

Oxford’s Transporter T1 Camper and Samba Bus in 1:76 scale both showed up looking ready to be put into production. Photographs are shown below.

Another re-use of a casting is the relatively new Leyland Sherpa now seen in Egyptian telephone livery, as seen in a well known Bond film. This model is sure to be popular even without film themed packaging. I hope that this casting soon gets used to produce models of vehicles used by the UK utilities firms.

We also saw test shots for the Volkswagen T5 Transporter which will be seen in various forms and also in a set which includes one of each generation of the Transporter from T1 to T5. Below we have test shots of the California camper

Shown below are test shots of the T5 van which will appear in several liveries starting with that of the RAC. I am sure that this will be seen in a wide range of liveries for current users.

Oxford often show models in a very early stage of development before they are announced. The Volkswagen T1 camper with surf boards shown below does not seem to exist in any current release but I am sure that we will see it in the future.

The Volkswagen T1 van casting get another release this year in Coca Cola livery. The test shot below shows the roof display with an advertising bottle on the roof.

One of the model sets which created a lot of interest when announced in the last release of 2018 was the RAF Bloodhound missile set. This was released by Corgi in the 1960s and by Airfix too. Here we have the new 1:76 scale from Oxford. The accompanying Land Rover has been well finished in RAF blue and markings.

This will make an impressive set re-creating the Jet Age long before Cruise missiles and Polaris carrying submarines.

The Oxford 1:87 scale range of US vehicles has been a strong seller. And the display showed some due for early release and others in early pre-production form.

The new Chrysler 300 Convertible can be seen in the photographs below. This casting looks good in red and the printed silver and badging looks like it could be very well done.

The forthcoming Dodge Charger Daytonas were also shown and are impressive in this scale.

The ‘standard’ Dodge Charger was shown too and looks good. It is interesting that it has been modelled with the headlights showing as many models of this car have the headlights in their concealed position.

Another model close to release is the De Soto Suburban with its roof rack. This is a rather earlier car than many in this range so it will be interesting to see if models from this period sell well. A taxi version is expected later.

Another model due soon is the Dodge D100 Sweptside which is due for release soon. The model looked very well finished and US pickups make for popular models so I expect it may sell out quickly. It is interesting that the rear seems to be a separate moulding so we may well see more variations on the D100.

Here we see very early test shots of the 1954 Pontiac Chieftain with a siren fitted to the roof. The model has been announced for release 1 2019 in two tone blue as a standard sedan so presumably police and possibly fire versions will follow later in the year.

Another very early casting shot is the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham 1957 again announced in release 1 2019. Reminiscent of the contemporary Matchbox model this is slightly smaller but promises to be impressive even in this smaller scale.

Another announced recently as part of Release One 2019 is the Chevrolet Panel van. The model may be released as an Ambulance first but clearly a van will also be forthcoming and I expect this to appear in several classic american liveries.

The early shots below show that Oxford have captured this classic 1950s van very well.

The final test casting on display in this scale is the Chevrolet Corvair Coupe announced recently. Even though this is an early shot it shows the potential for this to be a really nice model. The coupe also came in some very nice paint finishes so hopefully Oxford will be able to release it in several different authentic versions.

Oxford’s 1:148 scale range is another with upper components made in plastic. On show were some pre-production trials. These are interesting as they are made in clear plastic with 3D printed parts as shown in the photographs below.

First we have the Land Rover Discovery 4.

Then the Shelvoke & Drewry Freightlifter which is to appear in British Railways Western livery in 2019.

Presumably the photographs below show the pre-production test for the recently announced Hants and Dorset Bristol MW6G.

And finally in this scale the Green Goddess fire appliance expected in National Fire Service livery.


Unfortunately although samples of the new Citroën H catering van were there I did not photograph them.

I would like to thank Oxford Diecast for sharing so many pre-production and test models with us, and for so patiently getting models in and out of cabinets to allow me to photograph them.


Hachette Italy World Buses Part 18

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Parts 52 to 54

This time we’ll look at one of the most popular British buses, a quite rare one from France and another “ethnic” one, from Colombia. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

 

No. 52 (no. 41 in the French collection) Bedford OB 1947 – We have already seen the Bedford history and its TJ Rocket (see part 11, no. 33). And how, established as a subsidiary of Vauxhall in 1930 to manufacture commercial vehicles, it soon became a leading international brand, with substantial export sales throughout the world. Its success was due in large part to the smooth running in-line six cylinder engine with overhead-valves, of Chevrolet origin (the famous stove-bolt six). The semi-forward control “O” type lorry chassis was introduced in August 1939, with a coach-chassis version named “OB“. Duple Coachbuilders modified their Hendonian body to fit the chassis, which was longer than the previous WTB model. Only 73 OB buses were built before production stopped due to the outbreak of the Second World War, After the war it reappeared largely unchanged and was produced till 1951, with a total of almost 13,000 produced.

Duple developed the new “Vista” as the standard coachwork for the postwar OB with elegant curved roof and waistlines. Seating capacity was normally 29 with overhead luggage racks, whilst the rear luggage boot was also used to store the spare wheel. The OB is one of the most popular preserved coaches: more than 180 are still in existence, with nearly 70 in roadworthy condition. They regularly appear in period television programs and movies. Duple Coachbuilders was active from 1919 until 1989 : its name was intended to convey the principle of a single vehicle being suitable for a dual role. Ex-military Ford model Ts were converted to a small touring car body that could be transformed into a van by removing the decking at the rear and fitting a van top. This dual-purpose body was then built also on Morris Cowley and Oxford chassis, production ceasing around the end of the 1920s.

Coachwork had been built since the inception of the company, but in 1928 it was decided to make an effort to increase output of this body type. By the middle of the 1930s bus bodies were produced in quite large numbers with a busy export business. After the war there was a move towards metal-framed bodies, but the 1950s brought a difficult time for the coachbuilding industry as there was a rapid decline in orders and competition became intense. The 1980 deregulation of coach services for journeys of over 30 miles caused the market for light coach chassis to collapse. Duple’s output fell from 1,000 bodies in 1976, to 340 in 1983. In July 1989, the decision was made to close down the Duple operation, some parts of it sold to domestic rival Plaxton.

The scale model is based on one of the preserved buses, with the usual combination of a metal body and a plastic baseplate with minimal detail. It is in a bright livery in cream and green. The destination plate reads Dartmouth, and the operator is Southern National.

The registration was issued by Devon County Council. The model is quite heavy. It is true to the original shape and the livery and registration plate seem to be authentic, but why is the side indicator near the door gold instead of orange? Many small separate parts are fitted, lights, mirrors, and wipers for example. A very nicely modelled front grille is fitted with the Bedford logo and script. The Duple logo is printed on the bonnet sides.  A basic interior is fitted but the drivers area is well modelled. The tyres are nicely moulded but the wheels are ugly.  The identical coach has been reproduced in 1:24th scale by Sun Star (but in that case it is indicated as from 1949). There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice reproduction of a once familiar sight on British roads.

 

No. 53 (no. 42 in the French collection) Chausson ANG 1956 – We have already met Chausson, its history and its succesful APH bus from 1950 (see part 5, no. 14) and how, beside making components for the automotive industry, they started producing car and unitary bus bodies. During the post war boom Chausson supplied thousands of buses to many French cities, but in 1959 Saviem acquired all their buses activities and Chausson left that market. In 1954 Chausson developed the AN type, a bus family based on the concept of the monocoque body, an assembly of tubes and ribbed and bent steel plates, welded together, assuring an high rigidity. According to the builder, it was the one that would be able to impose itself in all continents, even intended to be delivered in spare parts to be assembled as a “Meccano”, with easy completion with left or right hand drive, and with identical rear and front faces, pneumatic doors and large side luggage compartments. But the initial version, the ANH, suffered from many early defects: a poor visibility towards the front, an engine with too little power, and poor cooling.

Chausson reacted very quickly, and introduced a new version from 1957: the ANG. The small split windscreen was replaced by a single panoramic one, while an Hispano-Suiza engine, lying under the floor with 150 hp, replaced the previous Hercules engine. The clients were still doubtful and when Chausson sold its bus operation to Saviem the ANG production was stopped, to reappear in 1960 in the form of a new Saviem bus, the SC-5 of 36 seats, using many elements of its previous bodywork but with an engine placed in the front. Less than 300 ANG versions were produced.

The scale model is quite heavy, with a plastic body and metal baseplate. The registration plate is from the Seine-et-Marne department (Île-de-France) and the destination plate says Fontainebleau, famous for its royal castle.

The model is accurately shaped and the red and cream livery is correct, but its symmetrical body is quite ugly. A nice interior is fitted with a well detailed drivers cockpit. Good side windows and wheels are fitted. There are the usual added parts like bumpers, lights, mirrors and wipers (three of them). No apparent differences to the French edition. A correct reproduction of an unsuccessful French bus.

 

No. 54 (no. 43 in the French collection) Ford F600 “Chiva” rural bus 1990 – The mountainous geography of the Andean regions, like Colombia and Ecuador, requires the use of very strong vehicles for their rural public transport network. These are usually built on a truck or bus chassis with an artisan built open wood body with basic fitments and bench like seats. They are characterised by the use of bright colours (usually the yellow, blue, and red colours of the national flags) and elaborate ornamental paint work.

They are fitted with a ladder to a large and strong rack on the roof which is used for carrying people, livestock and merchandise. Locally they are called “chiva” (Spanish for goat) or “escalera” (Spanish for ladder). Chivas were first introduced in the Medellin region in the early 20th century, soon becoming a natural solution to the need of moving both cargo and passengers simultaneously. Through the years their aesthetic approach became a cultural trademark of rural Colombia, evolving into works of folk art. Others regard them as a symbol of underdevelopment. A similar approach, but based on a Willys Jeep, is called “jeepao”.

Sometime you could find these unique buses also in New York, were the “chiva” has developed into a customised bus, carrying party goers around the city. The “chiva” modelled in this collection is based on a Ford “F600” truck chassis, usually with a V8 diesel engine, famous for its endurance and longevity. The first-generation Ford F-Series (light trucks and pickups) was introduced in late 1947 and assembled at sixteen different Ford factories. All F-series were available with optional “Marmon-Herrington All Wheel Drive” until 1959.

 

Their design evolved steadily and successive generations followed each other constantly. According to the year indicated by Hachette this “chiva” should be based on the eighth generation of the Ford F-Series produced from 1986 to 1991, their engine lineup was updated with both the inline-6 and the V8 converted to fuel injection, while the the diesel V8 from International (Navistar) was enlarged from 420 to 444 cubic inches.

The scale model sports the red, light blue and yellow colours of the Colombian flag, and is made with the usual combination of plastic body and metal baseplate. It is a large and fairly heavy model. Near the engine cover an oil bath air filter is correctly reproduced (compulsory because of the dusty tracks), with a vertical silver exhaust at the rear which leads up to the roof, in order to avoid smoke being drawn in to the passenger area. Correctly, it is a very basic bus, but it is enriched by the details: printed artwork, ladder, roof rack, mirrors, and grille. Nice front wheels are fitted. A correct Colombian registration plate is fitted, with the municipality of issuance “Andes” embossed at the bottom of the plate itself.  Again there are no apparent differences to the French edition. A colourful choice, adding a “Spanish American touch” to the collection.


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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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Corgi – July/December Announcements

By Maz Woolley

Text by, and copyright of the Author. Illustrations provided by Hornby Hobbies.

Hornby Hobbies has recently announced the Corgi products for the second half of 2018. There are no new castings and little sign that any major changes being made by the new management team. Perhaps we will start to see those in 2019? Though the fact that prices are not being significantly increased shows that Hornby are finally realising that the market for their models is price sensitive.

Product Revivals

The sales of the film and TV tie-in products from Corgi are substantial and the products are carried by a wider range of retailers. Of recent years the emphasis has been on reproductions of earlier James Bond models but this time the models celebrate 50 year anniversaries of two films: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Magical Mystery Tour.

I am sure that Beatles fans the world over will buy the re-released models and that the Chitty will sell in respectable numbers as nostalgia for childhood and for the films of the late 60s is still strong.

03502CC Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 

 

05401CC Yellow Submarine 

42418CC Magical Mystery Tour Bus 

 

85925CC Paddington Bear Taxi

This will come in special packaging and will include a
Paddington Bear Figure. This will certainly be a good tie-in but Hornby need to be quicker with negotiiating deals like this Paddington 2 has already been released so the model is coming along a bit late to catch the maximum sales.

 

Aviation Archive

Here Corgi has created new liveries on castings which have already been seen in a variety of other liveries. Whilst the liveries are undoubtedly attractive ones one wonders how many versions of the same casting Corgi can sell. Looking on eBay many of the previous versions of these castings sell for considerably less than the latest models recommended price and only very popular and scarce ones attract a premium.

 

34018AA Consolidated B24H Liberator

‘Male Call’ of 453rd Bombardment Group 8th AF 1944
Jimmy Stewart

 

38109AA Sopwith F.1 Camel, No.3 Squadron RNAS

Lloyd S Breadner
Bray Dunes Aerodrome 1918

 

38808AA Do17Z-10 R4+LK I/NJG 2

Gilze – Rijen October 1940 – sadly the artwork from Hornby has a large watermark on it.

 

 

38906AA Fokker D.VII (OAW) 4649/18

‘Seven Swabians’ Alfred Bader Jasta 65 September 1918

Sadly the artwork from Hornby has a large watermark on it.

 

Original Omnibus

 

46514AOM Wright Eclipse Gemini 2,
Go-Ahead East London Transit
EL2 Ilford Station

46514BOM Wright Eclipse Gemini 2,
Go-Ahead East London Transit
EL1 Thames View Estate

46713AOM Wright Eclipse II (Single Deck),
Transdev The Shuttle 662
Keighley Bus Station via Crossflats

 

46713BOM Wright Eclipse II (Single Deck),
Transdev The Shuttle 662
Bradford via Bingley

 

Vanguards

At the risk of repeating myself we are seeing the same small range of castings again and again in different colours. Whilst some of the new colours are quite eye catching and may well persuade people to buy another version of the model the market for yet more of the same must be shrinking.

In many cases the castings are now looking old and basic. The Morris Minor for example has cast in window ventilators which are painted body colour, black printed line round the screen and a clumsy grille. Partwork models are superior to this in many cases.

The Land Rover in Military Police livery is different and will I suspect be a popular release as will the 1275 Mini in Special Tuning livery.

But taken as a whole the release is disappointing as it has been for about 3 years now.  I hope that this is just a  holding exercise before the new management re-launch Vanguards with some new castings.

 

VA02541 Austin Mini Cooper S Mk1, Almond Green

 

VA05212 Ford Granada Mk1 3.0 Ghia, Jade Green

 

VA05810 Morris Minor 1000Turquoise

 

VA06713 Triumph Spitfire, Mk3 Saffron

 


VA09524 Ford Escort Mk1 Twincam, Blue Mink

 

VA10111 Triumph Stag Mk2, British Racing Green

 

VA10509 Triumph TR7 FHC, Triton Green

 

VA10712 MGB Roadster, Acconite Purple

 

VA10818 Ford Capri Mk3 3.0S, Arizona Bronze

 

VA11117 Land Rover Series 1 80”, Military Police

 

VA11509 Triumph TR5, Jasmine Yellow

 

VA12612 Ford Escort Mk2 RS Mexico, Signal Yellow (Forrest Arches)

 

VA13507 Mini 1275GT Special Tuning, Press Launch Car,
Auto Car Magazine

 

VA13605 Volkswagen Golf Mk2 GTI


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

Hachette Italy – World Buses Part 11

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Parts 31 to 33

At last another British bus, but produced and bodied in Pakistan, and one each from France and Germany, the last two from manufacturers already previously seen in this listing, all of them from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French  “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo. We should be arrived to the second part of the collection, but the French one is still going on: originally planned for 60 models, this collection was initially extended to 80 and then to 100 models!

No. 31 (no. 25 in the French collection) Mercedes-Benz O 302 1972 – We have already met Mercedes Benz (see fourth part, no. 11), after the O 10000 (1938) and the Lo 3100 (1936) this time we see the O 302, manufactured by Mercedes-Benz between 1965 and 1974 at the Mannheim plant.Launched as a replacement for the O 321, it was sold as both a chassis and as an integral bus with Mercedes-Benz supplying the body, designed to an austere Bauhaus style, mostly as a coach. Over 32,000 were built over an eleven-year period (the O 321 reached 20,000 units in 13 years), it was later superseded by the O 303 which reached an even higher production volume, but over a longer period. “One for all” or “Jack of all trades” could well describe the O 302 : urban or country bus, touring coach, the “universal” bus everyone was waiting for. But it was the last of its kind. From the last half of the 1970s buses became specialised. The O 321 was a design of the 1950s (rounded contours and small windows), while the O 302 styling features were typical of the 1960s : basic squared shape with steeply angled front, generous side windows with slim pillars, and large rear screen.

While the regular service versions had plain side windows, the touring coaches featured curved windows extending into the roof, a truly “panoramic” bus. Available with four wheelbase lengths between 9.6 and 11.9 meters (from R10 to R13, according to the number of rows of seats), doors, equipment and seating varied greatly, ranging from practical urban buses to luxury touring coaches. Over the chassis was mounted a body of semi-integral construction, while the six in-line direct injection diesel engine was installed transversely at the rear. Different engine displacement and power levels were available, according to the vehicle dimensions and use. Air suspensions were standard on the urban buses and on the larger touring coaches.

This was the first touring coach from Mercedes-Benz to feature individual nozzle ventilation for every passenger seat, and the first to have an option of air conditioning. For the first time the driver had a genuine instrument panel in front of him. A worldwide success, the O 302 was exported everywhere , even in the States featuring typical stainless-steel side panelling. It was also produced in countries like Turkey or Korea. A last technical achievement: in 1969 the OE 302 was presented at the Frankfurt International Motor Show as the world’s first hybrid bus. Power was more than sufficient for an urban bus, but the range was limited to 55 kilometers.

The scale model has the usual plastic body and metal chassis with a few details and the exhaust system enhanced in silver. The inscriptions on the chassis define it as a type 10R, but there are only nine seat rows. The livery is white with a red roof and a low side stripe, also in red. On the side the lettering “Rundfahrten Pulay” refers to “Pulay Reisen” a family travel company from Leobersdorf, lower Austria. But the registration plate is from Esslingen, a district in the centre of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and according to the “H” it is a registration for “historic” vehicles. Very likely the scale model is a faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle.

Very nice detailing of the front grille with the Mercedes-Benz emblem, good too are the front lights, rear mirrors and wipers. The side windows are nicely replicated as are the rear engine cooling grilles. Nice wheels with the typical chromed hubcaps are also in evidence.

 

No. 32 (no. 24 in the French collection) Isobloc 656 DH Panoramique 1956 – We have already illustrated the short history of Isobloc (see sixth part, no. 17), this time we’ll met the last coach produced, when Isobloc had already declared bankruptcy and had been absorbed by the SACA (Société d’automobiles et carrosseries d’Annonay) of Sylvain Floirat. At the request of the new owner a new autobus was developed, the 655 DHU, and a new panoramic coach, the 656 DH. The 656 DH Panoramique was a groundbreaking vehicle, very comfortable and adaptable to different uses. Seating could range from 30 to 42, or to 52 when the toilet and the wardrobe were not installed.

The passenger platform was raised in the rear, to allow high visibility to all the seats, below it were huge luggage compartments. In the rear most had a toilet, a wardrobe, and a space for the hostess complete with refrigerator and cooker. The whole vehicle was air conditioned, thanks to forced air circulating on dry ice, whilst the seats were adjustable and had a  radio integrated in the headrest. It was 11.9 metres long and the rear housed a 7 litre supercharged diesel engine by Hispano Suiza in a longitudinal position with a Wilson pre-selection gearbox with five speeds, fitted just in front of the rear axle. It was indeed a flagship coach. But its life was very short, at the end of 1957 SACA was bought by Saviem (Société Anonyme de Véhicules Industriels et d’Equipements Mécaniques) and its production was stopped after only a few units. They could still be seen full of tourists in the streets of Paris until 1968.

This model has a plastic body (a bit flimsy) and a metal chassis with a few details and the exhaust system painted in silver. The livery in blue and grey is typical of Transcar, a branch of the SGTD (Société Générale des Transports Départementaux), specifically dedicated to the organisation of excursions and leisure trips. They were created in 1955 and still in business under the TRANSDEV banner.

The destination plate reads “Normandie – Cote d’Azur”, while the registration plate is from Paris. There is a very nice front grille with the Isobloc emblem, as well as plastic rear mirrors, front and fog lights which are separately fitted parts.

The airy glasshouse and the wheels, with chromed hubcaps and whitewall tyres, are nicely reproduced. A beautiful model, to be shown alongside the Greyhound Scenicruiser, the Pegaso Z-403 and the Citroen Cityrama, to be fully appreciated.

 

No. 33 (no. 26 in the French collection) Bedford TJ Rocket 1980Bedford was established as a subsidiary of Vauxhall in 1930 to manufacture commercial vehicles Bedford’s were based initially on Chevrolet mechanical parts as Vauxhall was bought by General Motors in 1925. It was a leading international brand, with substantial export sales of light, medium, and heavy trucks throughout the world. Its heavy trucks business was divested by GM as AWD Ltd in 1987, whilst the Bedford brand continued to be used until 1991 on light commercial vehicles and car-derived vans based on Vauxhall/Opel, Isuzu and Suzuki designs; subsequent GM Europe light commercial vehicles were branded as either Vauxhall or Opel, according to the market. Before 1925 General Motors assembled trucks in Britain from parts manufactured at their Canadian works, and marketed as “British Chevrolet“. In 1925 production was transferred from Hendon to Luton, Vauxhall’s headquarters, in Bedfordshire, from here the “Chevrolet Bedford” name, and from 1931 “Bedford” was used alone. Its success was due in large part to the smooth running in-line six cylinder engine with overhead-valves, of Chevrolet origin (the famous stove-bolt six).

The TJ was introduced in 1958 and was an updated version of the TD range. It was available in UK until 1975, after which it was manufactured only for export until 1986, and after that it was manufactured by AWD into the early 1990s. Petrol and diesel engines were available. It was never a big seller in the home market but a big export earner in developing countries, due to its basic layout and specification. Many assembly plants were established overseas in places like Pakistan and India.

In Pakistan the TJ is very popular. It has a cult status among drivers and is known for its power, reliability and durability. Many trucks and buses are highly customised and decorated by their owners. External decoration may include structural changes, paintings, calligraphy, and ornamental decor like wooden carvings and chains and pendants dangling off the front bumper. Usually the body is rebuilt in mogano wood, capable of absorbing vibrations and not splitting like the welded steel. Also the chassis is heavily modified: the height from the ground is increased and the suspension is strengthened. The luggage area on the roof is often used to transport more passengers, while the access to the interior is from the left side, like in the UK.

The scale model has the usual plastic body and metal baseplate, with basic details of the chassis. Quite an overdecorated livery for this Pakistani bus, sporting a Peshawar registration plate. It is quite difficult to see the interior, the windows being completely covered by the decorations. The exterior ladders are nice, and there are some nice added parts like the mirrors, lights and the front bar.

Only one wiper is fitted (very likely rain is optional in Pakistan). A well reproduced scale model, but not to everyone’s taste. No apparent differences to the French edition.


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