Category Archives: Morris

Corgi Morris 1800 World Cup Rally

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

One of Corgi’s latest releases in the Vanguards range shows that they can still turn out a really nicely made model even if only an adaptation of an existing casting. One wonders about the future of Vanguards range in the new Hornby as it is clearly now a minor sideline as it has had no investment in new castings for about four years.

This release is of a Morris 1800 VA08913 which ran in the 1970 London to Mexico, Daily Mirror, sponsored World Cup Rally. This was driven by Jean Denton, Pat Wright, and Liz Crellin and sponsored by Woman Magazine. The car came in in 18th position just behind the Moskvitch 412 entered by Avtoexport and ahead of a male crew in an Austin Maxi. 

The rally team was sponsored by Motorwoman – a section of then-popular Woman magazine. It was widely reported in Woman magazine and in contemporary motorsport titles.  Prepared by British Leyland Special Tuning on behalf of the privateer team, the car has been active in motorsport circles since, and has been fully restored. The photograph below shows it when recently auctioned.

Photograph Copyright of Anglia Car Auctions

The colour of the restored car is a different shade of blue to the Corgi model but some old pictures suggest the car might have originally been in the lighter blue – but old photographs from the internet make it difficult to judge.

The model is impressive and includes the full set of bull bars used on the World Cup rally which have been removed since. The model deviates from the real car in a few respects: the side indicators are still moulded in even if painted over and the grille may also be incorrect as all the photographs on the internet of period rallying 1800s have a simpler grille with less silver coloured parts. 

A large number of small separate parts have been used to replicate the rally kit including bullet shaped mirrors, handholds, additional lights, and spare wheels on roof.

To the rear the extra lights and handholds are continued. And a large rally fuel filler cap is fitted at the top of the wing. As the photograph below shows the pink painted corners used on the original rally car are all there to be seen. Sponsors adverts are neatly printed on the boot lid.

The wheels are also nice replicas of the alloy wheels used. The back standing plate is also well modelled as is all the badging.

The sponsorship adverts are all neatly printed on the sides. The driver’s window is in a partially opened position which gives a limited view of the interior which sadly has detail moulded in but none picked out at all. A dashboard of instruments would have been nice but the moulding does not seem to have been modified to include all the fittings and extra instruments a rally car would have had fitted. 

More surprising is the lack of any extra internal roll cage. Looking at pictures of the original car that is entirely correct and shows how much more dangerous Rally driving must have been at the time.

On last view of the front end shows how much effort has gone in to adapting this base casting and turning it into a rally car. One wonders if this model sells out whether  Vanguards Cortinas will be turned into Rally cars as they featured in many Rallies of the period.

All in all a decent effort by Hornby to use one of the Vanguards moulds in a creative way. If only Hornby would invest in some new moulds for this range.


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BMC outside the UK

By John F. Quilter

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

Editors Note: John wrote this in response to the recent article posted on the Siam Di Tella which was a BMC hybrid made in Argentina. The article can be found here.

Here’s a little info on two BL products not made in the UK.

British Leyland and its predecessor BMC had many overseas operations over the decades. Here are two products of their overseas affiliates. The BMC J4 van, which was also badged as a Morris and Austin in the UK, was made in Spain by their operation there known as Sava.

This operation also made many of Leyland larger trucks as well. The J4 van, and there was a pickup and mini bus versions as well came after the J2 and before the Sherpa. Much of the sheet metal on the Sherpa was carried over but the engine was moved forward under a short bonnet rather than being between the seats as it was in the J4. The engine was BMC’s 1622cc petrol engine or a 1500cc diesel. Both part of BMC’s “B” series four cylinder engine range. This van is apparently made by Ixo and mine is done in a BMC service livery from a dealer in France. There are other liveries showing up on eBay as well. The J4 makes a good shelf item along with my Sherpa van (plus pickup and mini bus custom creations) and J2 by Oxford Diecast.

The second vehicle is from TRAX in Australia, a Morris Major Elite. This unique to Australia car, was essentially the centre section of a Riley 1.5 or Wolseley 1500 but Leyland Australia added a longer boot for more capacity and a longer front clip perhaps to balance off the look. It also used the 1622cc engine which was a step up from the UK produced Riley and Wolseley. The model is in TRAX’s limited range and is in resin. Available in two colours, the blue and white being one often seen back when the cars were new. The photo below shows the Elite along with its cousins the Wolseley and Riley both done in Brooklin’s Lansdowne range.


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Bijou Transkits

By Maz Woolley with Rod Ward

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

Looking in a dictionary “Bijou” means something small but desirable. At one time Estate Agents in the UK used it to describe very small and expensive residences in desirable locations, especially in London. Rod Ward chose it as a name of one of his model ranges which consisted of a variety of models and transkits.

Rod remembers that sales of the early Bijou models were brisk, but that the last dozen or so sold really slowly. He says that the white rubber moulds for the resin castings lasted for about 60 shots, and that they did not make a second mould for anything after BJ014. With such low sales of the later models Rod stopped production, and sold the remaining stock over a period of time. He sold the last he had left with the closure of Model Auto and now the only way to obtain them is on the secondary market.

Many of the kits were transkits providing parts to adapt an existing model to create a new version and Rod says that he didn’t think that British collectors understood the transkit ethos.  Of course with the cost of the base model and the Bijou kit the end model was fairly costly, but on the other hand it was of a model that was otherwise unobtainable. In other cases the models were “orphans” from other ranges. In some cases the models could be obtained from Rod’s Model Auto shop as finished models

The listing below has been provided by Rod Ward and gives the full detail of the Bijou range.

BJ001 Vespa parascooter as used by the French Army, fitted with a bazooka. 1:30 scale white metal KIT (based on Scottoy Mercury copy Vespa, with UK-made white metal additions)
BJ002K Bugatti T52 Baby white metal KIT or handbuilt made for us by Auto Replicas to 1:43 scale
BJ003K Austin ‘Pathfinder’ pedal car white metal KIT 1:43 scale – adapted from a plastic original
BJ006M London E1 double deck tram, 1:100 scale diecast by Herbert Kees ‘Model Auto Show 1995’ promo livery
BJ006T London E1 double deck tram, 1:100 scale diecast by Herbert Kees ‘Typhoo Tea’ original livery
BJ007 Rigid Inflatable boat with outboard motor, plastic made in Portugal
BJ009 Triumph Herald estate 1:43 scale resin transkit to convert Vanguards Triumph Herald saloon (base model not included) WB
BJ010 Triumph Courier van 1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Triumph Herald saloon can come with Whitbread or Standard Triumph decals (base model not included) WB
BJ011 Reliant Regal saloon 1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Reliant 3-wheel van (base model not included) WB
BJ012 Austin A35 Pickup 1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Austin A35 saloon (base model not included) WB
BJ013K AOMA trailer caravan 1920s-30s timber-frame style (ex Sun Motor Co 202) 1:43 scale resin Kit ex-Dahinden (France)
BJ014K Rex trailer caravan, curved shape 1930s-40s (ex Sun Motor Co 203) 1:43 scale resin KIT ex-Dahinden (France)
BJ015 Curtiss Aerocar artic trailer caravan 1930s 1:43 scale resin KIT mastered by John Roberts
BJ016 Curtiss Aerocar artic ambulance trailer 1930s 1:43 scale resin KIT mastered by John Roberts
BJ017 Curtiss Aerocar artic hotel bus trailer 1930s 1:43 scale resin KIT mastered by John Roberts
BJ018 Packard tow car for BJ015, BJ016, or BJ017 (1:43 scale resin transkit body only for Solido Packard, base model not supplied) mastered by John Roberts
BJ019 M8 Greyhound armoured car (ex Sun Motor Co 331, 1:50 scale resin transkit for Solido M20 scout car, base model not supplied) WB
BJ020K Sales trailer: Chips, ice cream,Refeshments, booking office, recruiting office etc (ex Sun Motor Co 204) 1:43 scale resin KIT adapted from BJ013
BJ021 Austin A60 Estate.  1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Austin A60 saloon (base model not included) WB
BJ022. Vauxhall Victor Estate.  1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Victor saloon (base model not included) WB
BJ023. Austin Allegro Estate.  1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Austin Allegro saloon (base model not included) WB
BJ024. Hillman Husky Estate.  1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Hillman Imp saloon (base model not included) WB
BJ025. Commer ‘Cob’ Van.1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Hillman Imp saloon (base model not included) WB
BJ026. Morris Marina Estate.  1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Morris Marina saloon (base model not included) JQ
BJ027. Morris Marina Pick-up.  1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Morris Marina saloon (base model not included) JQ
BJ028. Morris Marina Van. (‘Wimpey’ decals) 1:43 resin transkit to convert Vanguards Morris Marina saloon (base model not included) JQ
WB – the master was made for Model Auto by Bill Barnes of Tober Models
JQ – the master was made for Model Auto by John Quilter

The models which caught my eye at the time were the transkits. And this article shows the three I have made up, and the parts of a fourth which I have yet to paint and assemble. The kits are supplied are designed to make it quite straight forward to make up the model without too much “kit bashing” involved. Though sometimes parts from the original Vanguards model need to be cut to fit to the new model.  Care is needed though when stripping parts from the donor car such as the jewelled lights, headlight surrounds, wing mirrors etc.

BJ009 Triumph Herald Estate Car

Here the donor was easy to find as there are lots of cheap Vanguards Herald saloons as they sold them in a plain box for a cheaper price for a time. As can be seen mirrors, lights, bumpers, rear light cluster and base and wheels all come from the donor car. Inside the interior is re-used.

 

BJ011 Reliant Regal saloon

Here we have a kit to convert the Reliant Supervan made in Lledo Vanguards series into a Reliant Regal saloon. These cars were produced in significant numbers in the 1960s when their cheap tax was appealing. Always slightly dearer than the base Mini the attraction of their cheaper tax was lost on many. However, they did last well as the Fibreglass body was fairly robust, the simple chassis sturdy, and the small lightweight engine powerful enough to move the light car as quickly as was safe!

The lights, interior and base and wheels had to be swapped from the original model and a new body and vacform completed the model.

BJ024. Hillman Husky Estate.

A donor Vanguards Hillman Imp or other Imp based car is needed. From this jewelled headlights, wipers, part of interior tub, bumpers,  base and wheels are taken.  In this case the base, which also forms the cars sills and front valance, may need to be resprayed to match the new  body shell making this one of the trickier conversions. That means the steel wheels also have to be repainted in body colour.

It is always a good idea to find a donor car where the wing mirrors have not been fitted as removing them can be problematic though spares can be bought if needed.

The Husky was quite scarce so any model of this is welcome.

The Comer Cob would be identical though with blanked out rear side windows and a slightly different interior arrangement.

BJ028. Morris Marina Van

This kit was obtained on eBay in the recent past and is complete with its original Wimpey details, Wimpey are now part of Taylor Wimpey but they were previously a large general builder dealing with everything from Industrial plant to housing estates. As can be seen the kit provides a new body, interior, dash, and vacforms. To make it you need to retain the base and wheels, grilles bumpers and lights, mirrors and windscreen wipers from the donor.

The Marina van sold extremely well and was widely used. It was always a wonder why Lledo never made one originally as they could have sold it in many liveries. I look forward to making the kit up when the weather allows outside spraying again.


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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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Oxford Diecast J4 Postal Van

By Maz Woolley

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

 

The Oxford Diecast 1:76 scale Post Van first seen as a casting at the London Toyfair is now on sale. I am sure that this is the first of many variants that will be sold by Oxford over the next few years.

The J4 van was marketed first as both a Morris J4 and an Austin J4 and even fitted with badges saying Austin-Morris at some points. Following the formation of the British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968, into which British Motor Corporation (BMC), by then a subsidiary of British Motor Holdings, had been absorbed, the van was branded as the BMC J4.  It was built between 1960 and 1974 with two mild facelifts. The Royal Mail and Post Office Telecoms were at one time the biggest fleet operator in the UK until privatisation and outsourcing split them up into smaller and smaller units. J4s  formed a substantial part of both Post and Telephones fleets so we will no doubt see a green PO Telephones one at some point.

Oxford has based their model on an early version in the Royal Mail livery used from 1962-1965. During this early period vans had glazed and grilled rear windows and even registration plates fitted in a  low position as modelled by Oxford. 348 DXV can be seen in a very dilapidated state on the web and shows the clear rear windows and no cab rear wall – one was frequently fitted to mail vans – but with the high level number plates. Maybe the high plates were fitted later in its life? What we cannot see on the picture of the original is whether it was fitted with the special locking bar fitted to the rear of most postal vehicles. The Oxford does not have one modelled which may be accurate for some vans but most had locking bars fitted.

Picture by Scouse73 on Flikr all rights acknowledged

Sadly the photograph doesn’t allow us to see any interior details to see if the model’s internal black and cream finish is accurate. I would have thought that the interior would be red and black or largely black except for red metal surfaces, but I may be wrong. Maybe a reader can tell us?

The Oxford model shows it as fleet numbered 73185 operating from the Matlock Post Office depot in Derbyshire.

So what of the Oxford model itself? My first observation is that the fineness of the casting which can be seen above has been rather lost by a heavy coat of red paint which overfills many of the panel lines. My second observation is that PO vehicles very rarely had any hub caps fitted and though some wheels were painted black many were I believe a silver sprayed steel finish though 348 DXV  shown above is so rusty and dirty it is difficult to determine which it had fitted originally. I certainly think bare steel wheels black or silver would be more accurate. The front headlights are modelled as simple raised areas with no trim rings moulded in and this rather spoils the look of the front.

The mould is fitted with sliding doors which were often fitted to the PO purchases and the printed chrome trim round the side windows is more acceptable than on many Oxfords as this has a nice thin casting. Hopefully Oxford has constructed the mould to also make it with standard doors as J4 minibuses, campers and most delivery vans came with a standard door.

To the rear the grilles over the rear windows have been printed on and are quite acceptable. Again a nice Morris badge to the rear as well as nicely printed number plates even if the placing may not be accurate. Sadly the printing of the rear lights is not very good on my example with a run of sliver paint under the lights – something to watch for as others I have seen do not suffer with the same issue. The front end also has some nice printing of the Morris and BMC Diesel badges. The grille is printed on to a raised panel and has the correct number of bars but I am not sure that it flares out enough on the sides. Unfortunately the lack of texture seems to be rather obvious.

All in all this model is a decent one for its price point and its intended market as well as the need to keep the casting generic enough to issue it in other liveries and body styles. A diecast model of a J4 in this scale is long overdue and will I am sure prove a big seller. Many Oxford Collectors have been enthusing over it on Facebook pages and I am sure many railway modellers with 1960s layouts will want one too. I just wonder how good it could have been if the same care and attention to detail had been paid to its creation that the US 1:87 cars have had?

To provide a contrast the pictures shown below show a John Day Vehicle Scenics  J4 Mailvan. This has been painted by the Author to his usual limited standard and the wheels are again painted silver and fitted with hubcaps which was not usually the case. It shows the type of features that a more typical mail van enjoyed like high level plates, metal panels in rear windows, and locking bar. This white metal kit is still available from John Day Models who have a website and an eBay presence.


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CMC Morris LD Van

By Maz Woolley

CMC plastic 1:76 model kits were only on the market for a relatively short time and were not widely seen even when in production. I have had their Morris J Van which I bought when the range was first sold which was an excellent model which made up reasonably easily for a multi-part kit.

I know that they also made a Morris LD and a Bedford CA and have kept my eyes open for them at toyfairs but have never seen any made or unmade until recently when I came across the LD. This was a bought from a toyfair made up and painted very poorly. I have taken it apart and over-sprayed it as I did not dare use paint stripper of any kind in case it attacked the plastic.

Like the Morris J, the CMC model is a fair representation of the real van though the paint coats needed to hide the original paintwork have rather smoothed out the sharper features.

All in all quite a nice model and unlike the Corgi Trackside to the correct 1:76 scale.

I shall keep looking for the Bedford CA and a better LD but it is a nice addition to my small scale range of commercials.


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D Di Mascio Ice Cream Van

By Maz Woolley

All photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author. With the exception of the drawing which is copyright of Oxford Diecast.

Oxford Diecast‘s recent release in 1:76 scale of a D. DiMascio Ice Cream van will strike a chord with anyone who grew up in the Coventry area in the 1950s through to the 1970s. So strong was the presence of this firm’s vans that for many Coventrians the words “D. Di” meant ice cream in the same way that Hoover meant a vacuum cleaner. A van would be parked outside the gates of my secondary school in spring, summer and autumn ready for “home time”. The phrase “I’ll have a D. Di on the way home” was a common one. Another Coventry habit was taking a bowl out to the D. Di van and they would  fill the bowl with ice cream for a suitable number of old pennies, I can remember my Mum doing that as a special treat for us in early 60s Cheylesmore. This is the second D. Di van in the Oxford range as they have previously modelled the “Little D. Di Ford Thames van.

Dionisio Di Mascio came from Cassino in Italy in the inter-war years and started his business in Coventry after working for his Uncle in Glasgow. Before the war the vehicles were limited and the business dominated by D. Di Mascio’s ice cream parlour. Sadly, their premises were destroyed in the blitz. With the huge post-war growth of Coventry and its  relative prosperity the firm grew quickly adding vehicles based on converted cars running two Rovers, six Standards and even an Austin. They also had some larger vehicles like an Austin K8 and Morris PVs.

As business grew D. Di started to standardise on BMC J type vans and soon a fleet of 24 J types was in use. For those of us growing up in the 1960s and 1970s these were the vans that we saw all the time and that is the type of van represented by the one modelled by Oxford Diecast. Sadly none of the vans is known to have made it into preservation. The van modelled is based upon WHP 881 which was registered on 1st August 1958 and driven by Marico.

The Oxford model captures the D. Di livery well and although D. Di vans were not all identically bodied the body is very close to several pictures that can be found on the web. Certainly close enough to make me wish that they made this model in 1:43 scale as well.

For those who want to know more about D. Di Mascio and their vans I can recommend “D. Di Mascio’s Delicious Ice Cream” by Roger de Boer, Harvey Pitcher, and Alan Wilkinson which has provided much information for this post.

I now live in the Northampton area where local ice cream sales are dominated by Gallones. I have recently found out that the current owner of Gallones is the grandson of Dionisio DiMascio which explains the fact that one Morris LD in the D. Di Fleet was ex-Gallone. Perhaps other vans went from D. Di to Gallones? I would certainly welcome a Gallones van from Oxford maybe based upon an LD or Commer van which would offer lots of other opportunities for other liveries like Mr Whippy and Mr Softee as well.


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Corgi July to December 2017

By Maz Woolley

All pictures used to illustrate this article are from Corgi’s web site. Most are mock ups or 3D renderings rather than examples of the final models. 

Business Background

I make no apologies for starting this article with news about the Hornby Hobbies business as June is not only when they announce the second half models but it is also their financial year end.

Already this year we have seen the company drop its plans to build a visitor centre to replace the one lost when they sold their headquarters site. This was followed in April by a major shareholder,  New Pistoia Income Limited, calling for the removal of Roger Canham the Executive Chairman. Before the Annual Results New Pistoia decided to cut their losses and sold the 20% they held in Hornby hobbies for 32 pence a share to Phoenix Asset Management Partners the biggest shareholder who now have 55% and have now to offer to buy any other shareholders shares at 32 pence.

Whilst all this upheaval took place the annual results were announced and the CEO/Chairman Roger Canham’s resignation as well. A growing underlying pre-tax loss of over six million pounds was widely reported in the Financial columns. Whilst their cash situation has significantly improved this will still leave them little capital to invest in new products so only the fast selling products with the highest level of margin will get any investment. The shareholders have not had a dividend for several years now and the shares values have flat lined over the last year so they are all losing money on the shares which cannot go on for ever.

Why does this matter to collectors of model vehicles? Well Corgi is hardly mentioned in any discussions of Hornby at all and apart from the 1:48 Lightning model investments in new mouldings are non-existent apart from a single 1:50 truck not even listed in the second half release section of their web pages.  The company states that its turnround is well under way with a belief that all UK brands have been maintained despite all the cost cutting measures taken, lower sales, and restrictions in the sales channels they are servicing. I am not sure that that does not count as what are now known as “alternate facts”. Collectors are right to be uneasy when they see that the  Corgi brand is not mentioned once in the plans for the next stage of the turnround.

It is against this background that Corgi announced their July to December catalogue. Almost everything in it is a new version of a casting already used several times in the past. Some castings  like the Vanguards Morris Minors and Mini are now several generations old and simply not up to the standards of Oxford Diecast, or PCT made models for part works or ranges like Whitebox. Looking at the Corgi Forum the posts about the new releases are mostly negative which I know reflects several MAR Online readers views as well. Corgi have not even listed some models on their web site that Hattons has listed like the re-released Basil Fawlty Austin  or yet another Mr Bean Mini.

I believe that the situation is clear: Hornby has no intention of investing in any significant level of new tooling for the Corgi ranges. Their sole idea of keeping Corgi alive is to produce re-paints of old castings and hope that they sell enough to milk some contribution from the brand to their financial recovery. In my opinion Corgi is now a spent force and Hornby is deluding itself if they expect collectors to pay nearly thirty pounds for Vanguards models made from  ageing moulds when DeAgostini/Atlas and others offer more for less money.

Corgi 2017 Second Half Catalogue

The models listed below are those listed by Corgi on their web site for the second half of 2017. Their January 2017 announcement was already reported here.  When checking a supplier website there are models available to order that are not in the catalogue such as five re-released James Bond vehicles, Mr Bean’s Mini, and Basil Fawlty’s 1100. There is also a single 1:50 scale lorry, Scania R (Face Lift) Flatbed Trailer & Brick Load “Ian Craig Haulage Ltd, Falkirk, Scotland”,  claimed to be new tooling. If these are new it seems strange that Corgi did not include them on their website listing.

My observations on the models offered are:

  1. The Royal Wedding Anniversary models are crude and horrid and quite expensive for the type of souvenir shop likely to want to stock them. I can’t see collectors wanting them at all.
  2. I hope the metallic models are not made with reflective flakes the size showing in pictures
  3. How many times are they going to release that Mini casting – it was not good when first released and looks even worse now compared to modern models?
  4. Who lined up all that awful thick silver detailing on the Minor Police Car windows?
  5. Why are they using the same moulds used already for re-paints recently so soon like the Sunbeam Alpine?
  6. Why is an “export” Rover 3500 fitted with UK number plates?
  7. Why keep on flogging the “New London Bus” to death when the new Mayor has cancelled buying any more of them?
  8. Why keep on releasing Land Rovers when Oxford will be doing them and charging significantly less?
  9. Why bother with the Captain Scarlett car? It has now slipped out of fashion again.
  10.   Many earlier releases of the re-used castings are available on eBay and at Toy Fairs for much less money why buy a new one?
  11. How can anybody at Corgi say they are “proud to introduce the July to December 2017 Corgi range, featuring a host of new introductions

Aviation Archive

English Electric Lightning F6 XR728/JS , RAF Binbrook

 

Albatros D.Va D.7327/17, Lt. Lothar Weiland, Jasta 5, Seefrontstaffel 1

 

Fokker DR.1 Triplane 213/17 ‘K’, Lt. Friedrich ‘Fritz’ Kempf, Jasta 2

 

Sopwith Camel F.1 B6313, Major William George ‘Billy’ Barker RAF

 

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 42-97880/DF-F ‘Little Miss Mischief’ USAAF

 

Panavia Tornado GR.4 ZA461, RAF No.15 Squadron, Special Scheme

 

Dornier Do17Z-2 U5-BH, 1./KG.2 ‘Holzhammer’ Operation Marita

 

Junkers Ju-88C-6 F8+BX, 13./KG40, Battle over the Biscay

 

Short Sunderland Mk.III W3999/ RB-Y No.10 Squadron RAAF, Early 1942

 

Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 XW538/S, RAF No.16 Squadron, RAF Gutersloh

 

Hawker Typhoon lB RB389/I8-P ‘Pulverizer IV’, No.440 Sqn RCAF

 

Messerschmitt Bf 110E-2 G9+LN, Oblt. Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer

 

Westland Puma HC.1 XW220/AC, RAF No.72 Squadron, Aldergrove, 1997

 

Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 N2359/YB-J, ‘Winged Popeye’, RAF No.17 Sqn

 

Gloster Sea Gladiator N5519/G6A, No,802 NAS, HMS Glorious, 1939

 

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 ‘Yellow 1’ Oblt. Gerhard Schopfel, Battle of Britain

 

Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2 P8127 ‘White 47’, Robert ‘R.T’ Smith, 3rd Sqn AVG

 

North American P-51D Mustang 44-13586/C5-T ‘Hurry Home Honey’, USAAF

Vanguards

 

Volkswagen Beetle, Type 1 Export Saloon Horizon Blue

 

Land Rover Series 1 80” RAC Road Service Vehicle

 

Ford Escort Mk3 XR3 Prairie Yellow

 

Austin Se7en Deluxe, Vanden Plas ‘Mini’ Lord Austin’s Daughter Irene Austin, Princess Blue-Grey Metallic

Morris Minor 1000 The Lothians and Peebles Constabulary

 

Ford Cortina Mk3 2000E Automatic Sahara Beige

 

Ford Cortina Mk2 Twin Cam (Lotus) Red II

 

Rover P6 3500S Scarab Blue, Export Specification, RHD

 

Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000 Modena Green

 

Ford Sierra XR4i Strato Silver

 

Ford Capri 2300GT Mk1 1969 Tour de France Automobile

 

Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800 1979 Lombard RAC Rally of Great Britain

 

Sunbeam Alpine Series 2 Quartz Blue Metallic

 

Morris Minor 1000 Traveller Bermuda Blue

Original Omnibus

 

New Routemaster, Go-Ahead London, 88 Camden Town

 

New Routemaster, Go Ahead London, 88 Clapham Common

 

Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Shuttle Bus

Others

 

Paddington Bear New Routemaster

 

Captain Scarlet Classic Spectrum Saloon Car

 

70th Anniversary of The Royal Wedding – Classic Mini

 

70th Anniversary of The Royal Wedding – Classic Routemaster

Bloodhound SSC Super Hauler

 

Corgi Christmas Super Hauler

Closing thoughts

Long time MAR readers will know that I have been a collector of Corgi models in the past and have been getting more and more restive with each underwhelming release announcement. I know many of you feel the same. I think that the thing I find most insulting to collectors is the pretence that the Corgi range is active and vibrant. Some honesty and openness about the role Hornby think Corgi has going forward would be welcome. Some of us have been Corgi Collectors since our childhood.

What do you the reader think?

Last thought. If  Hornby can’t make anything of the range, it would surely be better to sell it to someone else who can?


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

Atlas Dinky Collection – Morris Oxford, Mercedes 190 and Porsche 356

By Maz Woolley

This article was originally written for the first MAR Online site. It is one of the items which we have collected from the old site which is now turned off. It has been adapted to the new site. The models featured were issued some time ago.

The Atlas Dinky collection is made by Norev in China for Editions Atlas Group under licence from Dinky brand owners Mattel. All are reproductions and are not produced using original Dinky moulds. Many models in the UK collection have been of toys released in the UK, albeit that some have been finished in rare South African colours. A number have been based upon French Dinky models. In some cases these models were never released in the UK market.

159 Morris Oxford Saloon

 

This moulding first appeared numbered 40G in realistic single tone colours but in the mid-fifties Dinky changed the numbering to 159 and re-finished them in two-tone colours.
Atlas have chosen to release this model in what they call cerise and ivory. Others have called it maroon and cream. I don’t believe that BMC ever sold any Oxfords in a two-tone scheme like that used by Dinky.

This model was finally deleted by Dinky in 1959 long after the prototype had been replaced by the Farina saloons.

The Atlas reproduction is well done and although I would have preferred the cream and green finish the colours chosen are entirely authentic.

 


526 Mercedes 190 SL

 

As far as I can determine this French Dinky was never listed by Dinky UK for sale here.

Initially released in France as 24H in 1958 it was renumbered 526 in 1960 and stayed in production until 1963. When it was re-numbered in 1960 it gained windows and this is the version Atlas has chosen to model.

Again the reproduction is well made and for the UK collection Atlas have had the model painted in cream with a black hardtop which is one of the original colours. This model has previously been released in silver and black in the continental collection.


182 Porsche 356A Coupe

 

Here is another UK Dinky release though from the printed detail on the reproduction box I am sure it was sold across Europe.

This model was in production from 1958 to 1966 and appears to have been released with windows and to have retained the same number throughout.

Atlas has chosen to have the model painted in red with silver concave wheels and white tyres. Dinky also used this casting in red in the “Goodwood” sports car gift set, though in that case it had black tyres.

This is another moulding released previously on the continent. In that case it was painted in cream with blue wheels.


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John Day Models – 2016 releases

By Maz Woolley

 

Daryle Toney continues to gradually improve and develop the John Day Vehicles ranges. The standard range continues to get updated castings and even some new derivatives whilst the Post Office Range is growing too. All the latest releases have separate wheels, cleaner castings, and new improved vacforms which are thinner and clearer than before. These models are all designed and cast in the UK from White Metal and are only available as kits from the supplier by mail order or through the suppliers eBay listings. Daryle has a web site which shows what is currently available and details of how to order models at http://johndaymodels.webplus.net. Like Parker Models these kits are aimed primarily at railway modellers looking for something a bit different for their layout.

All models shown have been assembled and painted by the Author who has a very basic level of skill and would be even better made by a skilled model maker.

SRV112 Austin A70 Hereford Pickup truck

The Austin Hereford A70 pickup would carry a 15cwt load and had a bench seat to allow three to sit in the cab. There was no A70 van. At around £700 painted but with no extras it was not a cheap vehicle. Powered by a 2.2 litre four cylinder engine it was a powerful commercial vehicle though the high cost and high running costs would mean that it only had a small market compared to the A40. It was exported for local assembly in Australia where a large pickup like this would have been more appropriate. The A70 is a rare car now and only a very few of the pickups survive.

The John Day model is based on the A70 Countryman which is already in the range. It has been adapted by Daryle with a good representation of the rear of the cab and load bed. The rear end has also had a lot of work to represent the body mouldings, that drop down flap, and the scattering of lights and reflectors fitted by Austin.


GPO 03 Morris J4 Mail Van

Launched in late 1960 the J4 was a direct competitor to the Bedford CA and Ford Thames ranges. The Post Office were big users of this type of vehicle in many forms. This version from John Day has been finished with the type of security fittings on the rear door used for deliveries of higher value items to Post Offices. It also has the number plates fitted on the roof as was done with some, but not all Post Office Vans.

The effort to produce the Post Office specific details is excellent as the diecast makers have made plenty of 1:76 Postal Vans but none fitted with the security equipment.  Parker Models has already made a J4 Van but again that is standard van.

The decals provided with the kit are very fine and even include the details for the door and the number plates.


GPO 06 Standard 6cwt Utility

The Standard vans were based upon the Standard 8 and 10 saloons. The John Day range already includes a Standard 8 car and the Standard van and pickup. This model for the GPO range has has been updated to represent a linesmans van which was trialled by Post Office Telephones a similar van in red was trialled by the Post Office for postal deliveries. It should be noted that this van with ladder rack and ladders is also supplied as SRV114 with decals for a building firm.

The van was rejected after trials so no more Standards were bought and the Morris Minor Van continued to be the most widely used vehicle by the Post Office in this market sector.  Had Standard succeeded in breaking into the large public utility market it might have meant they stayed competitive in the smaller car sector but with limited sales the Standard Vans did not make a large contribution to company profits.

This model includes very fine decals for number plates as well as the crown symbols and Post Office telephone details on the door. The Standard Van casting has been tidied up considerably from its first releases in the standard range and the ladder rack and ladders are unbelievably fine castings.


Yet again a small UK artisan producer has filled in some gaps in the UK’s motoring history in miniature. The models are great fun to make up and look quite well displayed alongside Oxford Diecast models to the same scale.


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