Category Archives: Leyland

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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Hachette Italy World Buses – Part 12

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Another lovely triplet of models from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French series “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo. This time a real icon from Renault, an ex-pat from Leyland and an almost unknown Belgian one.

No. 34 (no. 29 in the French collection) Renault TN6-C2 1934 – We have already met Renault and its AGP Saharien (see seventh part, no. 19), but the TN is really a must for everyone, usually identified with Paris and seen in every black and white French movie. From 1931 Renault delivered its new TN chassis’s to many French towns, at first with an on-line four cylinders front engine (TN4), and with a six cylinders from 1932 (TN6A).

The Parisian buses were bodied by the STCRP (Société des Transport en Commun de la Région Parisienne), using aluminium sheets over a wood frame, with an open rear platform for the town, and a closed body for the suburbs (nicknamed “hen cage”). Much more comfortable than the previous Schneider or Renault, they were the first to use pneumatic tyres, with double wheels at the rear axle. But the engine was a bit too fragile, and it was soon replaced by a new six-in-line, powered by a ternary fuel made of a mixture of one-third of alcohol, 1/3 benzol and 1/3 petrol (TN6-C). The last version is the TN6-C2, but the difference with the first generation is above all aesthetic, with “artillery” wheels with star branches and an enlarged windscreen. They were retired in 1969, after a very long service.

The scale model is the faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle, part of the “AMTUIR” collection (Association du Musée des Transports Urbains, Interurbains et Ruraux), its museum is now located in Chelles, Seine-et-Marne, part of the Parisian Region (see www.amtuir.org).

As usual there is a plastic multi-part body and a metal chassis. Classic green and cream livery is well reproduced with a nice advert for Canigou (pet foods). There is a basic interior with a very nice drivers cab. Many separate small parts are fitted. This is a a beautiful model rich in old-world charm, it is a pity that they used an unrealistic shiny metal support inside the rear platform. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.

No. 35 (no. 30 in the French collection) Leyland Victory Mark II 1979 – Leyland Motors Ltd was a British vehicle manufacturer of trucks, buses and trolleybuses, with a long history dating back to  1896 and the foundation of the Lancashire Steam Motor Company in the town of Leyland in North West England, They were renamed Leyland Motors in 1907 when they took over Coulthards of Preston. Between the Great War and the Second World War Leyland produced many different vehicles, from luxury touring cars to light utility cars like the Trojan. During the Second World War Leyland was involved in war production, building the Cromwell tank as well as medium/large trucks such as the Leyland Hippo and Retriever. After the war the Centurion tank (of Dinky fame) was made. Many trucks companies were incorporated in Leyland, like AEC, Albion, and Scammel. It diversified into car manufacturing with its acquisitions of Triumph (1960) and Rover (1967). In 1968 it merged with British Motor Holdings to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation, to become British Leyland after being nationalised in 1975, then simply BL, and in 1986 changed its name to Rover Group. Leyland Trucks depended on British sales as well as on its established export markets, mainly centred on commonwealth and ex-commonwealth markets.

In the early 1980s export sales were drying up in many places. The business was broken up and while Leyland Bus was bought by Volvo Buses in 1988, the original Leyland Trucks business eventually became a subsidiary of PACCAR. The Leyland name and logo continues as a recognised and respected marque across India, the wider subcontinent and parts of Africa in the form of Ashok Leyland. Leyland Motors established a number of milestones that set bus industry rends, like being one of the first manufacturers to design chassis for buses that were different from trucks, with a lower chassis level to help passengers to board, They created the Titan and Tiger ranges in 1927 that revolutionised bus design, and the trend-setting Atlantean rear-engined, double-decker.

The Leyland Victory Mark II was a front-engined, double-decker bus chassis manufactured between 1978 and 1981, developed from the Guy Victory J, and specifically designed to operate in Hong Kong mainly by Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) and China Motor Bus (CMB). The body was designed by Alexander, with a narrow entrance door and a central larger one, while the engine was a Gardner six cylinders with 180 CV. The Victory had a notorious reputation as an unsafe bus, mainly due to its soft suspension and high centre of gravity, which makes it prone to overturning. It was very popular in Hong Kong and also known as “chicken” because its soft suspensions made it behave like a chicken when accelerating or decelerating. Some of the ex-CMB Victory Mark IIs have been saved for preservation, mainly in Hong Kong, while one was donated to the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum.

The scale model is very likely based on one of the preserved buses, with a nice CMB livery in light blue and cream. It has a metal lower body, plastic upper body and chassis. A basic interior is fitted with a red ticket machine, and unfortunately the realism is affected by the use of un-prototypical shiny metal supports inside the body. Many small separate items are used, like lights, grille, mirrors and wipers. It has very nice wheels and side windows, though the windows are lacking horizontal bars, needed for safety reasons because of the sliding windows. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.

 

No. 36 (no. 28 in the French collection) Brossel A92 DARL 1962 – The Belgian automotive industry is often overlooked, but it is a thriving and dynamic one. In the past it could offer many revered brands, like Minerva, Imperia, Nagant, FN, Metallurgique, and Vivinus . After the Second World War domestic producers soon disappeared, but at the end of the century Belgium was one of the largest European automakers with an annual output up to 1.2 million from the assembly plants of brands like Opel, Ford, Audi, and Volvo. Its export-oriented auto industry has shrunk by half in recent years (to 500 thousand units) due to strong competition with imports from near and far Eastern producers, but today more than 90% of the vehicles produced in Belgium are still intended for export.

Brossel Frères SA was an old manufacturer of trucks, buses and autorails, based in Brussels from 1912 until its demise in 1968, when it was bought by British Leyland and its name disappeared the following year. At the end of the 1950s Brossel developed with the coachbuilder Jonckheere a high capacity urban bus powered by a rear mounted Leyland diesel engine. The French town of Lille, near the Belgian border, favoured them to replace its old Isobloc buses. Saviem (then the owner of Isobloc) wasn’t interested in the contract and Brossel won the order for more than 150 buses.

The A92 DARL (Diesel ARrière Lille) chassis was similar to the Leyland Panther one, with a considerable front level difference to reduce the height of the floor as much as possible. The double wheels on the rear axle offered excellent driving characteristics. Typical of the last DARL produced was the spherical cylindrical windshield, which reduced the light reflections experienced by the driver.

The scale model has the usual plastic body and metal chassis with  the exhaust is enhanced in silver. The destination board reads “Valenciennes” a town about 50 km from Lille, while the cream and olive green livery is that of the CGIT (Compagnie Générale Industrielle de Transports) of Lille. The registration plate is from Lille. Usual separate parts like mirrors, lights and bumpers. Very nice wheels, windows and doors. The interior is typical of the French standards in the 1960s, the few seats arranged like a sitting room, with almost all the platform left to the standing people. A nice addition of a not so common bus, only seen in France and Belgium. No apparent differences to the French edition.


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Atlas Dinky Trucks – 934 Leyland Octopus Wagon

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

This model is the last I will receive in the Atlas Dinky Trucks collection and they have saved a spectacular Dinky Supertoy for the end. The eight-wheeler Leyland Octopus was the first model in the collection as 943 a tanker in Esso livery  and to finish the collection we see the same chassis and cab used for 934 as a dropside wagon.

934 was released in two colour schemes: yellow and green as shown on the box and blue and yellow as Atlas has chosen to have the model painted. The blue and yellow version is considerably scarcer with a mint original likely to cost thousands at auction.

This model was issued in 1956 and was withdrawn in 1964. Like the 943 tanker the rear section of the toy had previously been seen on a Foden.

The bright red hubs are slightly different to original models I have seen on the web with the front wheel differing to the rear six wheels on this replica.

To the rear the tinplate hook and spare wheel are replicated.

The cab is well painted and replicates the original well.

This series started in early 2016 and has now ended nearly two years later. Many collectors seem to be waiting on the 942 Foden Regent Tanker issued in mid-2017 which was not sent to all collectors at that time. In my view this was one of the better series by Atlas with plenty of UK Dinky models replicated and where French models have been used some pretty interesting examples of those have been chosen.


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Oxford Beadle Integral East Kent

By Maz Woolley

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

Oxford Diecast continue to catch up with their release program. This article looks at the new 1:76 scale Beadle Integral 76BI001 which has just arrived in the shops. The first thing to note is that Oxford has made the whole bodyshell in plastic. Many recent Oxford coach/bus models had plastic uppers and metal lower sections but here only the base plate is diecast. I know that this will not please some collectors but when one sees the fine detail that has been incorporated and the absolutely flush glazing it offers in a thin walled bodyshell I am sure that most collectors will be happy for Oxford to continue down this path.

This coach dates back to the “make do and mend” period after the Second World War when new buses and coaches were a scarce commodity. During this time many coachbuilders built new bodies getting rid of the old-fashioned half-cabs and giving them up to date looks. J C Beadle of Dartford in Kent were such a company taking Leyland and AEC chassis and adding modern bodies. East Kent were one of several companies that were customers. The vehicle modelled by Oxford started life as a Leyland TD5 double decker and was rebodied in 1951 as a 35 seat coach. It was withdrawn from service in 1964 and after being in private hands it was acquired for preservation in 1972. At some point during its working life it had a white roof added offering Oxford the option to do another version of this vehicle.

I admire Oxford for making this unusual and attractive vehicle. Options for endless recolours are limited as Beadle seem to have changed the front end styling frequently so I hope that this model sells well to encourage Oxford to make more unusual models. A version in East Yorkshire colours is planned for later in 2017.

As to the model itself it is excellent. Comparison with the archive photographs available show it to be an accurate replica with all the salient styling features well captured. Some simplification has been made, the grille area is painted black whereas pictures show it to be textured and probably in body colour, and the destination, number, and fleet boards should all be slightly recessed. These minor points do not spoil the overall effect of the model.

Printing of the body mouldings with chrome surrounding cream centres of the body mouldings has been done accurately and gives an excellent appearance. The tiny operators script and passenger emergency door markings are all there and difficult to read even with a magnifying glass as they are to scale. The lighting and chrome front decoration is all very neatly moulded and highlighted. The rear small lower red lights could have been better centred when printing but as everything else is spot on it is acceptable. I am impressed with the number plates with the silver on black printing and the realistic size and spacing of the letters and numbers .

Most of my previous Oxford buses/coaches have had poorly aligned rear wheel sets but I have either been luck this time or Oxford are improving the quality of their fitting.

All in all an excellent model and great value for money at the price it sells for in the UK.


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Atlas Dinky Trucks – 935 Leyland Flatbed with Chains

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest release from Atlas makes use of the Leyland eight wheeler chassis again. This time it appears with a flat bed and chains. This has been diecast in China by Norev for Atlas.  Perhaps we will see this again as replica of 934 Leyland Octopus Wagon or even 944 the later tanker in Shell BP Livery.

935 Leyland Octopus Flat Truck

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

This model was first issued in 1964 and the originals are scarce and expensive at auction ranging from several hundred pounds to well over a thousand UK pounds in first class condition. Originally available in two variations one with a baltic blue cab and the other, as modelled here, with a mid-green cab. The scarcity of this model is because it was only in the range for two years.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

The Atlas model is a good replica of the original down to the chains and posts. The box art work is reproduced well and the Atlas is certainly a “Supertoy” like the original.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

To the rear the spare wheel and tow hook are all present. The baseplate clearly states the Atlas and Mattel details so there is no mistaking this as an original.

Another good model in this series.


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Leyland Sherpa Conversions

By John Quilter

 

Leyland Sherpa Van - James Bond

John’s photographs of his conversions may be seen at the end of the article.

There was a partworks issue of vehicles in James Bond 007 movies and one of them was a circa 1980 Sherpa van in telephone service truck livery from the movie “The Spy that Loved Me” as seen above.   Since these are interesting diecast models in accurate 1:43 scale I have collected a number of them over the past years although they have to be purchased from Europe via EBay since the partworks series is not offered in the USA.  The Sherpa range was a product of British Leyland and was made in many versions for many years and in fact there is an Auto Review book on them by Rod Ward.  AUTO REVIEW AR61 The Sherpa Story.

There were minibus versions, a pickup plus others.   Since the partworks models are reasonably priced I acquired a few extras and converted one into a minibus and one into a pickup.   They were distributed by GE Fabbri Limited and these particular ones were made by Universal Hobbies although others are IXO products.    One of the things one has to consider with the this series is some come with “movie damage” and the Sherpa was one of these with a dented bonnet and right hand door as the picture of the unmodified van shown in the picture.   When I did the conversions I “repaired” this damage bringing the model to as new condition.   The minibus conversion required drilling out the side and plenty of filing the holes  into the correct shape windows.  The glazing was with clear plastic shaped to fit.  I was lucky to have a few Sherpa sales brochures to assist me in accuracy.   The interior needs to be modified to include some additional seats which I made out of styrene plastic.   Most of these 007 vehicles come with figures and if you are not using them in a particular project they make great additions to other models.

The Pickup required cutting off the upper rear body and fabricating a tailgate, bed floor and cab back.  So now I have three versions of the Leyland Sherpa small commercial vehicle to add to my British vehicle model collection.

1980 Sherpas #1e

1980 Sherpas #2e

1980 Sherpas #3e


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Atlas Dinky Supertoys – Leyland Octopus Tanker Esso

By Maz Woolley

Having recently posted the second model in this series from Atlas in the UK I thought that I would show pictures of the model which started the series. It was featured in MAR284 in June 2015, when we were part of the Zeteo web site. That was the time Atlas did a test marketing exercise for this series.

943 Leyland Octopus Tanker – Esso

This model used the tank from the previous Foden Tanker with an entirely new Leyland chassis and cab. Launched in 1958 this toy stayed in production until around 1964 by which time the Shell Tanker based on the same chassis and cab but with a more up to date style of tank had been introduced. A rare promotional model for CPC products was also produced using the same castings.

This is a large and impressive model and the quality of the casting, painting, Esso printing and tank fitments is first class. Indeed I suspect that the finish is rather better than that many of the original models enjoyed even when new.

 

Atlas Dinky Leyland Octopus Tanker Esso Atlas Dinky Leyland Octopus Tanker Esso Atlas Dinky Leyland Octopus Tanker Esso Atlas Dinky Leyland Octopus Tanker Esso

More in the series?

The accompanying leaflets suggests that the series will include British Supertoys, commercial vehicles from the standard range as well as some French Commercials that have already appeared in the Continental range. Those specifically mentioned are:

  • 920 Guy Van ‘Heinz’ which has already been shipped and which can be seen in a posting on this site.
  • 435 Bedford TK Tipper which has been advertised as the next to ship

Others mentioned in the publicity material are:

  • 512 Guy Otter Flat Truck
  • 34B Berliet Flat Bed container
  • 413 Austin Covered Wagon
  • 443 Studebaker ‘National Benzole’ Tanker
  • 586 Citroen 55 Milk Lorry

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ASAM Leyland Marathon 2

By John Quilter

All photographs by the author.

1980 Leyland Marathon brochure

ASAM models, which used to be A Smith Models, produces a huge range of European and British truck all in white metal kit form.   Sometime in the past they produced a few American trucks such as the Ford LTL 9000 highway tractor.  Now their range includes such items as vintage AEC, Bedford, Foden, Dennison, MAN, Scammel, Thorneycroft, and some military items such as tanks and tank carriers all in 1:48th scale, a common collecting scale for large commercial vehicles.   Their range is quite astounding but they seem to be sort of in the background and not commonly featured, at least in MAR.  A browse through their website  http://www.asam.co.uk will show the extensive offerings and provides pricing and ordering information.

Since I enjoy building the occasional kit and love to replicate anything British Leyland, and other interesting British vehicles, passenger, commercial and heavy commercial, the ASAM kits are a great hobby.   The kits come with a parts listing, photo pages showing the parts laid out and assembled.   Step by step instructions such as would be provided with a Revell or AMT plastic kit are not included.  Therefore, there is a bit more knowledge and skill needed for assembly.   As with any white metal kit there is some fine filing and finishing needed for some of the parts.  Trial fitting is essential before final assembly.  I find that painting many of the items before final assembly is useful.    There are decals in the kit such as the LEYLAND letters for the front and with this kit there was  livery decal “British Road Services UK-Iran”.   I chose to make the final color more generic without the livery.   Google images will provide many, many idea on color schemes.   I also chose not to fit the livery board at the top of the cab or the “tropical” raised roof but did use the air-conditioning unit.   In fact for some reason there were duplicate parts supplied in the parts bags for some reason but that is better than missing parts.

This truck was known as the  Leyland Marathon 2 and was available as a two or three axle truck with a day cab or a sleeper cab.  Engines were Leyland TL12, Leyland 11 of 200 BHP  or Cummins in 10 and 14 litres up to 330 BHP.  The cab was a raised and modified version of the Ergomatic cab launched in 1965.  Production began in 1973 and continued until 1977 when the Marathon 2 was launched and produced until the still newer Leyland T45 Roadtrain was in production.  ASAM also makes kits of various versions of this truck as well.

The trailer in the photos is a separate item from my collection and not part of the ASAM kit.

1980 Leyland Marathon side (2) 1980 Leyland Marathon kit painted #2 1980 Leyland Marathon front 1980 Leyland Marathon and trailer LH


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