Category Archives: Morris

Corgi – July/December Announcements

By Maz Woolley

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

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

Product Revivals

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

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

03502CC Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 

 

05401CC Yellow Submarine 

42418CC Magical Mystery Tour Bus 

 

85925CC Paddington Bear Taxi

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

 

Aviation Archive

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

 

34018AA Consolidated B24H Liberator

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

 

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

Lloyd S Breadner
Bray Dunes Aerodrome 1918

 

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

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

 

 

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

‘Seven Swabians’ Alfred Bader Jasta 65 September 1918

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

 

Original Omnibus

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Vanguards

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

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

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

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

 

VA02541 Austin Mini Cooper S Mk1, Almond Green

 

VA05212 Ford Granada Mk1 3.0 Ghia, Jade Green

 

VA05810 Morris Minor 1000Turquoise

 

VA06713 Triumph Spitfire, Mk3 Saffron

 


VA09524 Ford Escort Mk1 Twincam, Blue Mink

 

VA10111 Triumph Stag Mk2, British Racing Green

 

VA10509 Triumph TR7 FHC, Triton Green

 

VA10712 MGB Roadster, Acconite Purple

 

VA10818 Ford Capri Mk3 3.0S, Arizona Bronze

 

VA11117 Land Rover Series 1 80”, Military Police

 

VA11509 Triumph TR5, Jasmine Yellow

 

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

 

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

 

VA13605 Volkswagen Golf Mk2 GTI


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

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.


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

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.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

Another Model of the Oak Ridge Quad

By Robin Godwin

Harvey Goranson’s great post on the real Quad Tractor, Trailer and 25-Pounder Gun, with his reference to the Dinky #697 set, reminded me that I recently acquired the plastic Politoys copy of the Dinky model. The Politoys is derived from the Dinky, and appears to be to the exact same scale (Dinky used 1:59 for military vehicles, but Politoys calls these plastic vehicles 1:41 scale, clearly inaccurate). Some modifications are evident in the Politoys versions, most likely concessions with the use of plastic, such as pin and hole/hole couplings (with separate pins that can get lost, or broken, like one of mine) to attach the three pieces together. The pin is actually a friction fit into the “top hole” (see pictures). Dinky used a steel “tongue” and die cast metal hole couplings, which would not have had sufficient strength in plastic. Politoys added some detail, such as bolt head/rivet fasteners on the gun chassis. For some reason other than just using plastic, they also made the Quad Tractor front windows considerably larger, which effectively lowered the hood (bonnet) line. My Politoys Quad has two square metal slugs attached to the inside base of the model, which gives it some heft; they definitely look factory installed, but I don’t know for sure.

My Dinky vehicles are separates; the #688 Quad is a later version than Harvey’s, with interior windows and plastic wheels. The #687 25-Pounder is also a later issue with plastic wheels. The Politoys also comes with wheel variations – a patterned wheel and smooth disc wheels, but I’m not sure which came first. While Dinky sold theirs as a set alongside separate models, the Politoys was only ever sold as a set, #6 in their Veicoli Militari form the early ’60s.

Image 1#1 Same 1:59 Dinky scale evident

Image 2#2 Plastic pins are press fit into top holes, and hook through bottom holes. Note patterned wheels

Image 3#3 Larger windows and lower bonnet line on the Politoys

Image 4#4 Coupling details for the Politoys. The pin for the trailer is broken at the 90 degree point. Previous owner of this model added some black paint to the gun for detail, which I’m a bit afraid to try and remove

Image 5#5 Additional detail in the Politoys casting

Image 6#6 Metal weights visible in wheel arches

 We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

An Old Dinky Toy Comes Alive in Oak Ridge

By Harvey Goranson

 

In 1957 Dinky Toys issued No. 697, the 25-pounder field gun set, consisting of a field artillery tractor (FAT), a munitions trailer, and the 25-pounder field gun. Dinky also released the pieces separately (686 gun, 687 trailer, 688 FAT). Here’s mine:

Dinky_697_Morris_and_trailers_pic2_smallDinky_697_Morris_and_trailers_pic1_small

Imagine my surprise when I spotted this at the Secret City Festival’s WW2 display/re-enactment in Oak Ridge, TN USA:

Morris_Quad_and_field_gun_set.small[1]Morris_Quad_small
Production of the Morris Commercial C8 FAT, known as the “Quad”, began in October 1939 and continued until war’s end. It had 4-wheel drive and was designed from the outset to tow the limber and gun, or two limbers.

Morris_Quad_interior_small

If the Dinky had an interior, this is what it would look like. The Quad could carry a six-person gun crew, plus two dozen rounds of 25-pounder ammo.

Quad_Munitions_Trailer_small

The ring on top of the limber is a traversing ring to enable the field gun to be rotated 360 degrees.  Dinky left this detail off.

25-pounder_field_gun_small

Here’s the gun itself, and as evidence they got the correct artillery piece, see the detail below:

25-pounder_field_gun_data_small

“Saddle. 25 Pr.”

From what I can tell, I think both the Dinky and the real thing are the Quad Mk. II version (1940-41).


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Morris Isis conversion

By John Quilter

Ixo Hindustan Ambassador

IXO make a very commonly available Hindustan Ambassador model in taxi and police livery as well as a standard sedan as shown above.  Since this is an inexpensive model and readily available it makes a great donor car for conversions as it is essentially a late 1950s Morris Oxford.   The six cylinder version of the Oxford was the Isis and from the scuttle back it was an Oxford, only the front clip was lengthened to accommodate the big 2600cc inline six cylinder engine, not that different from that fitted to the Austin Healey but with a single SU carburettor.  This car was available with either an automatic gearbox or a four speed manual with overdrive which provided amazingly long legged highway cruising ability.  There were two version of this generation of Isis, a wood bodied Traveller and a saloon.  There never was an Isis version of the all steel four door Traveller that appeared in the Oxford range.

1957 Morris Isis saloon #2

1957 Morris Isis saloon #1

To create the Isis saloon, I had only to cut with a jeweler’s saw the front clip off and extend it with some thin metal bridge work inside and final shaping with my favorite material for this, J B Weld, an epoxy metal material that is great for shaping, filing, sanding and serves as a great glue as well.   The grill had to be created as the Hindustan has a much simplified grill of horizontal bars only.  To do this I used some photoetch mesh and some wire solder of the correct gauge to create the two arched bars.  The solder is silver in color replicating chrome and to preserve this look I coated it with some clear lacquer.    I preserved two of the Hindustan driving/fog lamps which are part of the bumper.

1957 Morris Isis traveller #2

1957 Morris Isis traveler #1

The Traveller project was a bit more complex, requiring the fabrication of a rear roof and the body sides and tail gate.  Wood basswood from the hobby store served as the wood sections and final finishing was with some clear lacquer to give a bit of gloss.    Wheels on both had to be painted body color and trim rings added  as per my guide,  Google images and an original factory brochure gave me some appropriate color choices.

So, two more created in the never ending quest to replicate or acquire in 43rd scale all the BMC, Triumph,  BLMC cars of my youth.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.