Category Archives: Standard

A Car Transporter Conversion

By Maz Woolley

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


Car transporter at Standard Triumph’s Canley Factory in Coventry in the early 1960s
Copyright owner unknown.

My conversion was inspired by finding the black and white photograph of a Progressive Deliveries transporter collecting Standard Triumph cars from the factory in Canley in Coventry shown above.

Car transporters are a good way to show off a group of models, especially if you collect 1:76 scale models. Collectors will be familiar with the EFE transporter, shown below, which was produced over many years in several liveries with either an Atkinson or Bedford TK tractor unit. Although slightly simplified the trailer does capture the look of period transporter trailers from Carrymore and others. A model like the one below provided the chassis of the tractor unit and the trailer.

Photograph by Hattons copyright acknowledged

My first challenge was finding a suitable Leyland cab unit to fit on the tractor unit chassis. Here I had the choice of two different 1:76 scale Leyland Comet cabs from small suppliers here in the UK. One from Langley in white metal and one from Road Transport Images (RTI) in resin. After careful comparison of the cabs and the black and white photograph I decide to use the RTI cab unit. This was a nice clean unit which came with a simple interior and vacform. I was lucky that I bought this cab several months before Frank Waller passed away. Since his death RTI products have not been available as his family has not yet been able to find someone to take the company on as a going concern.

The RTI cab is a 1:76 scale Leyland Comet short door LAD (Leyland/Albion/Dodge) cab from 1958 when it was introduced as the third geneneration of the Comet. This cab was made by Coventry Motor Panels for the truck makers and was styled slightly differently for each manufacturer.

Starting from a black and white photograph did not make things easy. My initial guess was that the unit could have been painted in yellow and black but a fellow member of CDMC (Coventry Diecast and Model Club) was kind enough to ask fellow modellers in the Coventry area and not only was the colour of the original livery identified but suggestions for suitable spray paints to match were supplied too!

The steps in the conversion process are described below. Unfortunately I didn’t think to photograph the work in progress.

  • EFE tractor and trailer stripped and completely disassembled
  • Front bumper cut off tractor chassis
  • Paint stripped from trailer and chassis
  • All spray painted in Acrylic grey primer
  • Repainted Cab in Ford Olympic Blue (Light blue)
  • Masked upper part of cab
  • Sprayed lower part of tractor cab with Ford Royal Blue Acrylic spray paint and removed masking.
  • Spray upper part of trailer in Olympic blue
  • Spray lower part in Royal Blue
  • Spray tractor chassis in Royal Blue
  • Cut dash and sterring wheel from Atkinson tractor unit interior to re-use
  • Glue Atkinson wheel/dash to the RTI cab interior
  • Spray RTI seats and cab interior in primer and then in satin black
  • Decals designed and printed on injet decal paper – clear for items on cab and upper part of trailer and printed on white backed decal for lower trailer as clear deacls with light blue lettering did not work.
  • paint lights and fill with acrylic to make main headlight lenses
  • Apply decals on cab and trailer and overspray with clear acrylic paint
  • Glue windows in Cab
  • Glue interior in cab
  • Cut plasticard packing to attach cab to chassis at correct height and spray black
  • Glue plasticard insert into cab chassis
  • Glue Cab onto plasticard insert in chassis
  • Re-assemble rest of components

The conversion went well though I did manage to break one of the small lugs that holds the folding rear ramp in place trying to get it back into place. It was finished in time for a chop night at CDMC and I was lucky enough to win one of the awards on the night for my efforts.

The car shown on the transporter is also a conversion. It started life as a John Day Vehicle Scenics Standard Vanguard Phase III. This has been altered to represent a Standard Ensign which used the Vanguard body but had a smaller four cylinder engine and much simpler grille as well as a more basic interior. They sold quite well to companies and to the Armed Forces where the Fleet Manager was happy with lower costs than the Vanguard but the same durability.

The conversion consisted of:

  • remove the Vanguard’s protruding grille unit
  • open out the grille area to create a flat recess and file off wing side light area
  • remove all overriders from bumpers
  • file off Triumph badge from bonnet
  • make a decal printed on ink jet paper of the ensign grille and badging from an image found on the web.
  • Clean and paint model
  • Highlight lights and sidelights in silver/silver/red, and white
  • Fit vacform glazing
  • Assemble model
  • Finish wheels off
  • Apply decals

So here we have a couple of models which display well together with a conversion I did of the John Day Vehicle Scenics Standard 9cwt van into a Standard Triumph Livery shown many years ago in the printed MAR magazine. This was also created from a black and white photograph and it is possible that the van should actually be in dark green rather than black.

Both the base John Day models shown in this article are still available from Daryle Toney who owns the John Day Vehicle Scenics range, his website can be found at http://johndaymodels.webplus.net/ . The EFE transporter model is not shown on the Bachmann website so is now presumably obsolete, but it is frequently available on eBay. For the moment the Langley X27 Leyland cab would have to be used to do a similar conversion as the RTI one is not currently available.

More googling has uncovered the Rootes Group transporters run for them by British Road Services and pulled by Commer tractor units. This will be my next challenge!


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Parker Models Standard Vanguard Phase II Saloon

By Maz Woolley

When listing my collection I realised that I had a missing Parker Model. Although released some time ago this model is  is still available from Parker Models so I obtained one to complete my collection.

The Standard Vanguard was launched in 1947 with a classic 1940s American Style “beetle back” which looked modern when seen alongside many of the warmed over pre-war cars being sold by most other carmakers. Although sales were initially good Standard’s one model policy meant that they needed the cars to sell strongly and sales started to fall off as others launched their new post war models. In 1951 Ford launched the new Ford Consul and Zephyr which aped US Fordor styles and Vauxhall launched the Velox E series with its Chevrolet influence. Both ranges were three box saloons based on contemporary American styling.

Standard’s response was the Vanguard Phase II model which had been re-styled in a three box “notchback” shape. The boot size increased by 50% and the larger rear window improved visibility. At the front a new wide grille was added. Under the skin the car had changed little with some modifications to the suspension and tyres and a slight increase in engine compression. A contemporary test by The Motor magazine, without the optional overdrive, recorded a top speed of 80mph. In 1954 Standard became the first British car maker to offer a diesel engine as a factory fitted option. The chassis was stiffened to take the weight of the heavier engine and performance suffered with only a 66mph top speed.

Parker Models are 1:76 white metal kits primarily designed for the railway modeller. The model consisted of: A body shell with all features moulded in; a chassis with wheels, bulkhead and seats cast in; a steering wheel, and a vacform. The casting was clean and the painting and assembly of the model is straightforward. As usual with Parker Models the model captures the original car very well.


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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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Scalelink Standards

By Maz Woolley

Scalelink have been producing a wide range of white metal models and kits aimed primarily at the railway modeller in the UK for many years. Amongst this output is a range of 4mm, 1:76 scale, vehicles.  Models from this range can still be bought new from the manufacturers but they also turn up regularly at lower prices built, or unbuilt, on eBay and at swapmeets. The kits are constructed in a similar manner to John Day Vehicle Scenics or Parker Models and cover a wide range of largely pre-war vehicles to go with layouts modelling the “golden age of steam”.  If you want a model from the early days of motoring for your layout or collection Scalelink covers this period in 1:76 with vehicles like a De Dion Bouton Tourer from 1904, a Rover 6HP Tourer from 1906, a Renault AX Tourer from 1908 and an Aquila ‘Italiana’ from 1913. The newest vehicles in the series were introduced just before the Second World War like the Vauxhall 10 from 1939.

This article looks at two models of the Standard Flying 8 one a tourer and one a saloon. 8 horsepower saloons were popular in the pre-war period and the Standard was one of the dearer models in a marketplace. Other 8hp saloons included offerings from Austin (as modelled by John Day), Morris Series E (as modelled by John Day and Oxford Diecast), and the Ford Model Y (modelled by Scalelink and Varney). The Standard Flying 8 was introduced in 1938 and the initial version lasted until 1941. It was re-launched largely unchanged after the Second World War, losing the “flying” appellation, and lasted from 1945 to 1948.

The Flying 8 was the first small British car with independent front suspension and was well appointed. Two versions were available from the launch of the model: A two-door all-steel saloon, and a 2/4-seat open tourer. The former body was built for Standard by Fisher & Ludlow at a newly erected plant at Tile Hill, Coventry. This was not far from the Standard factory in Canley. The open tourer bodies were built by Carbodies at Holyhead Road, Coventry. The tourer featured cut-down door tops and a fold-flat windscreen. Both cars were capable of reaching 60 miles an hour and had a 1021cc four cylinder engine with a three speed gearbox. Total production of the vehicle is unknown due to loss of factory records from the pre-war period. Estimates suggest that around 25,000 may have been made in all including some sold as kits for export. Contrast that to the Morris Series E introduced at the same time which sold over 120,000 including the brief period it was sold post war.

Scalelink SLC081 Standard Flying 8 Tourer 1938

This model is supplied with two hoods one folded in the down position and one in hood up position. Unfortunately the windscreen tope edge does not fit to the hood well and would need careful “fettling” to achieve a reasonable fit. The folded hood is a rather better fit. The cut down sides have been modelled neatly.

All in all this is not a bad model not as well cast as Parker models but better in some respects that the older John Days which have not yet been upgraded.

Scalelink SLC082 Standard Flying 8 saloon 1939

Much the same standard of casting here. And it makes up into a neat model too. The bumpers on both models are often bent when the model arrives but can be carefully straightened as needed.

The model I received did not have a vacform and the windows had to be created with Kristal Klear in both vehicles and for the first time I have used this on the headlights too. It is certainly rather effective.


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