Category Archives: MG

Wossat? Plastic Models

By Maz Woolley

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

I recently acquired some plastic models. All approximately three inches (7.5cm) in length. The upper portion is moulded in a soft plastic whilst the lower section is in a harder grey plastic. The upper part has four small lugs moulded in that fit through holes in the chassis and the lug is then moulded into a cap to retain it. The wheels are plastic mouldings and they attach to four lugs extending out of the chassis which are again moulded into a cap shape to retain them. The name of the vehicle is moulded into the base, in some cases it is part of the mould and in others the lettering has been pressed in by a hot tool. There is no manufacturer’s markings of any kind that I can see.

I have no idea who made these toys and having exhausted my reference works I am asking you, our readers, to identify the maker and tell me when they were made, and where if you can!

Sunbeam Alpine

Rather a caricature here with the front end being pretty inaccurate it obviously represents and earlier series Alpine with the larger rear fins and split window top. The Series One Alpine was made from 1959 to 1960.


Bristol 406

Again not very accurate as a model, lacking the characteristic front air intake. And sadly it has lost the ends of the front bumper as well. But apart from Spot On who else made a Bristol model.? The 406 was introduced in 1958.


MGA 1600

May 1959 the MGA 1600 was introduced to replace the previous 1500cc version. Here there has been a little more effort at capturing features of the real car with quite a good representation of the MGA Grille moulded in. The wrap around rear screen of the coupe is also included although being unglazed it looks a little strange.


Jaguar XK150

Recognisably an XK 150 Coupe even with the hugely over high side windows. Another vehicle introduced in the late 1950s, 1957 to be precise. Like the MG there is some detail captured such as the 150s chrome strip to the number plate area on the boot and a moulded in Jaguar radiator on the front.

I am sure someone must know who made these. I suspect they would have been produced at the start of the 1960s reflecting vehicles current when the model maker made the master for the moulds. They look too large and finished for cereal premiums and rather smaller than many of the cheap plastic models of the time. Were they sold as a set or with some other model? I will be fascinated to hear from readers.


Autocult and Avenue 43 February 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest Autocult and Avenue 43 models have now been announced. All are resin made in China to 1:43 scale for Europe.

The Autocult models are from the following categories:

  • Streamliners – Hewson Rocket
  • Delivery Vehicles – DAF Pony
  • Past Brands – Amilcar G36 Pegase Grand Prix
  • Engineers/Small Series – MGB Jaques Coune

The Avenue43 models that they distribute have two new models;

  • Maserati 3500 GT Special Spyder Vignale
  • Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT

Autocult

04019 Hewson Rocket (USA, 1946)

In 1946 William Hewson owned dealerships in Los Angeles. He wanted to capture the market with a $1,000 Dollar car but had to find someone to design and make one for him. he turned to Coachcraft a Californian company created in 1940 who made everything from small cars to custom luxury ones. Coachcraft survived in business until 1966.

Coachcraft’s prototype had a curvy aluminium body fitted to a chassis strong enough to make a stressed roof unnecessary, but in true US Style customers were to be offered three types of roof: a soft top, a clear plastic top and a metal top. There was a choice between two different engines; a four cylinder and a six cylinder installed in the rear.

Sadly when Coachcraft finished its development work Hewson could not pay the 16,000 US Dollars due so the car never went into series production and remained owned by Coachcraft who sold it on to a car dealer for 650 US Dollars in 1959. It is now part of the collection at the Lane Motor Museum in the United States.



#08010 DAF Pony (NL, 1968)

The DAF pony was developed to tender for a US Military contract for a light terrain truck. Sadly for DAF they did not win the tender so they turned the design into a vehicle that ran from 1968 to 1969 and sold seven hundred units.

The vehicle was powered by the twin boxer engine from the DAF 44 and power was delivered by DAFs favoured Van Doorne Variomatic system.

The idea was to offer a small, individual truck for retail shops, and small business users, which was specially suited to inner city work in Amsterdam and other historic cities in the Netherlands with narrow streets. Available as a platform truck or as a tractor-trailer combination DAF probably had hopes of cornering a specialist market sector. Sadly buyers were few as van based pickup trucks were not much larger and could carry greater loads.



#02017 Amilcar Typ G36 Pegasé Grand Prix Roadster(F,1935)

Designed by Géo Ham who was famed for his aircraft and automobile designs, and built by Figoni & Falaschi body builders, this model aimed for sales to the moneyed classes. The new roaster was based on Amilcar‘s model G 36 Pegasé, which was introduced in 1935. Its four cylinder overhead valve engine was supplied by Delahaye and tuned with bigger valves and an improved oil pump system to provide 25hp more than the standard engine. But the performance was still not good enough to provide the thrill that rich individuals were seeking and which competitors were providing.

The design with its elegant curved bumpers, chromed footsteps, flowing wings, and spectacular rear lights was undoubtedly stylish but this was simply not enough to attract people who could buy what they liked. The company, founded in 1921 ceased production during the Second World War and never produced any more cars.



#05011 MG B Jacques Coune (BE, 1964)

In 1963 he had his works create a coupé on the underpinings of the MG MGB Roadster introduced that year. It was presented to the public in 1964 and was widely praised. Encouraged by this he put the car into limited production using parts from many cars to keep the costs down. The lights came from the Simca 1000 and both the front as well as the rear window came from the Renault 8.

In the mid-1950s Jacques Coune had a workshop and sales organisation in the Avenue de la Couronne in Brussels. He had agencies for Abarth and Iso and was well known for his racing activities. But his real passion was to have cars built to his own design.

Compared to the MGB Roadster the Coupé was more than 50 kg lighter and was therefore able to accelerate to a top speed of 180 km/h. MG are said to have test driven the car but they never expressed any interest in taking it up. Apparently the British Engineers said the design was “… too Italian”.

After two years production and 56 cars being built production ended. This coincided with MG introducing the MG MGB GT a practical coupé of their own.

Coune also converted other standard cars from Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and BMW.


Avenue 43


Maserati 3500 GT Special Spyder Vignale

The 3500 GT Spyder by Carrozzeria Vignale, designed by Michelotti, was introduced at the 1960 Salon International de l’Auto. In 1961 it became the first fuel-injected Italian production car. It was fitted with  Lucas mechanical fuel injection and was fitted with a standard 5 speed gearbox. Curiously the convertibles were only called Spyders for overseas markets.


Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT

The Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT was built as a prototype in 1962 based on the earliest version of the Chevrolet Corvair. It never went into production but was toured widely round the US to gather interest in the Corvair brand and finally the shape was used in Disneyland for the cars used  in the World of Tomorrow car ride attraction.

Bill Mitchell was the Design Studio Director and the Corvair Monza GT coupe was designed by Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine and owed much to the Bertone designed Testudo concept car. Like the earlier design, the GT doors swung upward and were actually a front hinged canopy that extended into the B section. The rear engine cover also hinged at the rear.

The engine fitted was a standard Corvair unit of 145 cu in (2,380 cc) Unlike the production Corvair, the GT engine was mounted ahead of the transaxle, turned around 180 degrees and mounted as a mid-engine layout. Besides its streamlined appearance, the Monza GT had some innovative features: magnesium-alloy wheels; 4-wheel disc brakes; and fixed seats with adjustable pedals. 

Some of the styling features of the GT, notably the rear end, were the inspiration for the 1965–1969 Corvair. Perhaps more notably the design would also influence the 1965 Chevrolet Mako Shark II concept car and the 1968-1982 Corvette (C3) that clearly resembled it.

Today, the Corvair Monza GT concept car is to be found in the GM Heritage Collection.


London ToyFair 2019 Part Two

By Maz Woolley

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

This the second 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 Corgi. The first article can be found here.

The article today looks at the Hornby stand and in particular the Corgi Toys area. The largest displays on the stand are from Airfix,Hornby and Scalextric. There were both a railway layout with a Hogwarts theme and a racing track provided to show off the products. The Hogwarts rail layout featured the Wamping Willow from the Harry Potter films with an Oxford Diecast Ford Anglia in its branches showing the revived use of Oxford OO scale models in Hornby packaging.

Some Vanguards pre-production models were shown, though not the planned new casting of series two Jaguar XJ and Daimler Double-Six models or the VW Camper. Photographs of the models are shown below. These are all pre-production samples and will not fully reflect the final version as they are hand finished and some parts are 3D printed rather than moulded.

Red Arrows Van
RAF Station Commander
RAF Police Mini
Triumph Herald 13/60
Herald comes with hood up or hood down display options
Audi Quattro and Grampian Police Rover SD1
Don Hayter’s MGB V8 Roadster and a Morris MInor Convertible
Graham Hill Lotus Cortina with Ford Cortina Mark III in very period purple paint.
A pair of Ford Sierra Cosworths. Left the RS500 and on the right Sussex Police RS 4×4
3.0 Litre Cortina Mark IV on left and Ford Granada Mark II 2.8i Ghia
Escort Mark II Mexico

Other Corgi products were on display showing the range now available.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2019 style

Corgi’s release of the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will be notable for being the first for some time that features all the original features. Moulds have been located to allow them to make all the wings, figures and the full working mechanism. It is a shame that this could not have been released last year to tie-in with the 50th Anniversary but I am sure that it will sell well this year as will the James Bond model sets.

The photographs above show the models included in the RNLI Lifeboats release to supplement the models already available in this charity’s liveries. A donation to the charity will be made for the sale of each set.

The 50th Anniversary models for the Apollo 11 mission were on display in pre-production form. Although very simple models they will look very good in packaging when launched later this year.

The Paddington Bear TX4 taxi is a well made toy and is expected to remain one of the best sellers, particularly in London where the tourist market is substantial for such toys.

A substantial part of the stand was given over to the new Chunkies range, seen above in the dealer display packs Corgi hope to get into the shops. They are made to appeal to young buyers, and their parents. The models are very well made and finished and to my surprise cabs, chassis and some other parts are diecast and the plastic looks strongly moulded and well designed for play. Although the generic shapes may not appeal to collectors we hope that this range is a success, as if it is it will give the Corgi brand an injection of money for investment and get the Corgi brand made known to a new generation of potential model collectors.

Discussions on the Hornby stall last year suggested that that they were concerned that they needed more young collectors to build the collecting habit and brand loyalty. The Chunkies range is a sign that they are addressing this. Some more photographs of the individual models are below.

For older children Corgi have several tie-ins to the Harry Potter Films which will sell well at the Harry Potter Studio Tour store as well as in Hamleys and other large stores.

Over in the Hornby area the layout has Hogwarts Castle modelled in one corner but this appears not to be listed as an accessory on the Hornby site! But again it illustrates the intention to appeal to youngsters as do the basic layout sets featuring Thomas the Tank Engine and the budget priced Junior Express set.

Over on the Airfix stand they too are keen to bring in young modellers with a selection of the Quick Build models being expanded this year. A celebration of flower power! It will be interesting to see if any new vehicle types are produced in future years to expand the range.

Also seen on the Airfix stand was their nice 1:32 scale Jaguar E Type model, a perennial in the range but looking as well shaped as ever, as shown below. Much though many people would like many more of the 1:32 scale Airfix cars to be revived it would seem we will continue to be limited to just a few of them.

Airfix are not to be left out in celebrating the landing on the moon with a nice set which includes the lander, Astronauts in various positions, and moon buggy and other items landed on the moon.

On both Corgi and Airfix the 75th Anniversary of D Day was celebrated with both Corgi and Airfix showing D Day tie in aircraft. Some Corgi ones are shown below.


F-5E-2 Lightning 43-28619 ‘Rita/Ruth’, USAAF 27th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Photographic Group, Eighth Air Force, Mount Farm Airfield, August 1944

Supermarine Spitfire XIV RM740, RAF No.322 (Dutch) Squadron, Deanland, August 1944

Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB MN625/MR-B, RAF No.245 (Northern Rhodesian) Squadron, Homesley South Airfield, Hampshire, June 1944

So what was missing? It would have been nice to see pre-production samples of the new Jaguar/Daimler Series II but as they are not scheduled for sale until Q4 of 2019 that is perhaps not surprising. Perhaps some first shots will appear at Nuremberg. I was very surprised though that having announced a significant number of military vehicles for 2019 in both 1:50 scale and in fit the box formats Corgi displayed none at London. But again perhaps we will see photographs from Nuremberg.


News from the Continent January 2019 – Busch

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

Here we focus on the December 2018 releases from Busch. These are moulded in plastic to 1:87 scale unless otherwise stated.

Busch publicity has become rather erratic. The photographs shown cover a few review models supplied by Busch as well as some publicity photographs on the web. It certainly makes your correspondents job harder chronicling the new releases!


H-GS

41679 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet – sport red


H-GS

41680 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet – sport white


H-GS

42847 Tractor Progress ZT 303 4×4 – blue


H-GS
H-GS

42848 Tractor Progress ZT 303 4×4 – red


H-GS

42849 Tractor Progress ZT 303 4×4 green


43401 Cadillac 52 Saloon “Police of Coolidge,Arizona USA”


43603 Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon Avantgarde
North Rhine-Westfalia Police


43604 Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon Avantgarde “Beverley Hills Police”


45004 Chevrolet BelAir “Californian Police”


45909 MG Midget TC Cabriolet – closed hood – red


H-GS

46812 Mercedes-Benz W123 T-model “Oldschool”


H-GS

46813 Mercedes-Benz W123 T-model “ZDF Telemotor test car 1980”


47853 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter “British Police generic crash support unit”


# 22562/22563


H-GS

50011 Porsche Junior tractor with band saw


50503 Lada 1500 Saloon 1973 – yellow ( CMD-Collection )


50515 Lada 1500 Saloon Police car with radar device


51702 Nagetusch caravan trailer 1958 – blue


51751 Nagetusch mobile shop trailer



H-GS

59944 Trailer loaded with roof trusses



H-GS

59959 Trailer loaded with NSU Kettenkrad

EsPeWe Models in scale 1:87

95027 HW 80 HTS Trailer with manure tank “Golden ear of corn”


95237 IFA W50 LA PV with snow plough


95239 IFA W50 LA Mexico expedition 1968/1969


95241 IFA W50 L pick up with stake “Export version for IRAK with reinforced bumper”



H-GS

95537 IFA W50 L60 Showman´s tractor


95602 IFA S4000 TLF 16 “Fire Brigade”


95603 IFA S4000 TLF 16 “Voluntary Fire Brigade”



H-GS

95604 IFA S4000 TLF 16 “Fire Brigade”

The S4000 fire engines pictured above were manufactured between 1959 and 1967


95704 Robur LO 2500 bus “travel agency” – orange (new mould)


95705 Robur LO 2500 bus “travel agency” – green (new mould)



H-GS

95706 Robur LO 2500 bus “Zugvogel” – blue



H-GS

95707 Robur LO 2500 bus – green



H-GS

95708 Robur LO 2500 bus – brown



H-GS

95709 Robur LO 2500 bus – “leisure-travel” – brown


25019 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G “Croatian airforce”


A couple of models direct from China.

By John F. Quilter

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

While surfing eBay recently I turned up this new Chinese MG ZS 1:43 scale model, and from the same vendor at a ridiculously low price of less than $3.00,  a third generation Toyota Prius.  So I bought both.   The MG ZS may be something you see on the streets in the UK (Ed: They are imported to the UK but seldom seen) but they are totally unknown here in North America but it’s still carrying on an iconic brand even if it bears no resemblance to the MGs of the past aside from the badge.  It’s a nice little model in a bright blue colour with classic MG octagon badges front and rear.  Black interior with a glass roof,  and left hand drive, I guess it is made for the Chinese market.   Judging by its weight I seems to be a diecast with a plastic base showing some detail of the front and rear suspension, fuel tank and exhaust system.  The only markings on the base are “SAIC MOTOR”, so I am guessing it’s done as a promotional item for the MG brand.  I see them in red, white and blue and even a set of all three colours.

The second model, a Prius, is very well known to us in the USA as they are almost ubiquitous here now.   In silver with  a black interior but this one is right hand drive.  It  seems to have the same construction techniques as the MG but has markings on the base of “Toyota Prius,    License by Toyota Motor Thailand Co Ltd.  Scale 1:43,  Made in China”   I see them offered in white or silver and there is a separate version from J Collection as a plug in hybrid  with unique multicoloured livery.   And finally I turn up a 4th generation version in two colours by TSM, aka True Scale Models.    Prices vary greatly from what I see on the ‘bay.


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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


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