Category Archives: Vauxhall

Some small Oxford Diecast Releases February 2018

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Oxford Diecast‘s outstanding models from their last Release are now being sold. There must have been a rush to get them finished and onto a ship before the Chinese New Year holiday began which is when most workers living away from their home areas go on an extended holiday to visit their family.

Their 1:76 scale models are extremely popular sellers here in the UK. 1:76 scale used to be heavily tied to railway modelling circles but Oxford’s models have spread its popularity over a much wider collecting base here in the UK over the last few years. This post has a look at two of the latest releases: one a new casting, and the other the sixth release of a casting that has been around for some time.

76RRC001 Rolls-Royce Corniche

The first release in 1:76 scale of this vehicle. The same car UTU353 has already been seen in 1:43 from Oxford with its hood down and reviewed on this site, click here to see it. A 1:76 scale model with the hood down painted persian sand is due later in the year to complement this one. Editors correction: Reader Andrew Davies quite rightly points out that all the 1:76 scale Corniche models will be hood-up so the Persian Sand model will be Hood up again.

The 1:43 model was excellent and Oxford has made an excellent job of making this model in the smaller scale.  The imitation fabric roof has been nicely painted on and the lines of the framework well modelled.

At the front the radiator, lights and bumper assembly are all excellent. Even the RR logo is printed on the radiator. The Spirit of Ecstacy is a little oversize but that is necessary or it would be too frail.

From the side the very thinly cast pillars become obvious. These are wonderful and allow the printed on chromework round the windows to look accurate. This shows what Oxford can do which makes the very thick pillars on some of their other models, and their printed window surrounds which are a scale 3 or 4 inches proud of the windows, even more frustrating.

At the rear of the car the lights are nicely painted on and number plates, reversing lights, and badging are all neatly printed.

The wheels are a little over-simplified but do not let the model down.

On the debit side the hood (roof) painting could be more neatly masked in places and I did have to scratch off a little overspray of “chrome” above windows printed on roof. But these are very minor points. This is an excellent model.

76FB006 Vauxhall FB Victor

The sixth appearance of this casting, and to my eyes one of the best. The single tone paint and printing are beautifully applied.

Most of the previous FBs have been two-tone cars with the exception of a single tone red one. To my eyes the single tone cactus green used here really suits the casting and the period.

This is another model where Oxford has got nice thin pillars around the windows and where the printed chromework works well. From the rear the lights are neatly painted on and the “Deluxe” badge is printed very well.

At the front this casting captures the somewhat plain grille and lights accurately. The Vauxhall lettering on the bonnet and the Victor lettering on the wing are excellent too. The wipers are printed slightly too thick but it is not too obvious.

The number plates initially caused me to go online and ask why Oxford Diecast was using reflective plates as they were not fitted until 1968 by which time the FB has been out of production for four years.

Many people pointed out that lots of people fitted reflective plates when they were introduced on cars made in previous years to make them look more up to date. So before I wrote an indignant letter to Oxford saying the plates were incorrect I looked on the web and there was ABC958B fitted with reflective plates. So the Oxford model is true to how the car is today, and probably has been for some time, rather than to when it was first sold.

So to summon up another lovely model. And with new castings like the Heinkel Kabine and the Isetta to look forward to in the next release any sixties street scene will be easy to populate with models from Oxford.

And one final photograph shows how well the Oxford models, and particularly the FB Victor, fit into a diorama of period buildings.


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Oxford Firenza 1800SL

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford Diecast have now launched a Vauxhall Firenza 1800SL to 1:43 scale to complement the 2300SL which appeared a few months ago. Although the models are very similar the 2300SL had additional instruments on the dashboard. The SL was the highest specification available initially until the “droop snoot” appeared in Magnum form.

The Firenza (Florence) was a two door coupé built on the chassis of the HC Viva and was also assembled in South Africa as the Chevrolet Firenza.  It was a conventional four cylinder inline rear wheel drive car and the British equivalent of the Opel Kadett Coupé.

 

Like the previous blue 2300SL the car is very neatly painted and finished with badging and chrome nicely printed. Grille and lights are excellent all round. There is no photo-etch and some items like door handles are moulded in but at Oxford’s retail prices one would not expect anything else.

The wheels fitted to the real car are again well done and the rubber tyres are excellent.

So are there any criticisms: only that the left hand rear light cluster could be straighter. All in all a very good model and I hope that Oxford are set up to produce a “droop snoot” at a later date and a Viva HC.


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Oxford Diecast Latest Releases March 2016

By Maz Woolley

Several new castings to 1:43 scale have just been released by Oxford Diecast. All are diecast to 1:43 scale in Oxford’s Chinese factory.

VA001 Volvo Amazon Light Green

The Volvo Amazon was made from 1956 to 1970 and was known in many countries as the 120 series. It sold well and was exported to the US from 1959 onwards. Volvo’s advertising at the time made the most of the fact that the car included many safety features and towards the end of the 1960s Volvo’s longer than average life span featured strongly in all Volvo advertising here in the UK.

This model from Oxford is based on a 1967 car which has been shown at Car Shows in the UK. The model is well made with chrome work neatly printed, good wheels and lights though mainly printed very convincingly done.  The wipers are rather thinner than many partworks ones which is good. The interior is neatly moulded with the “padded” dash top and linear speedometer housing nicely moulded in. The seats and door panels are in mid green.   An excellent model from Oxford which will form the basis of many more releases.

AMDB2001 Aston Martin DB2 Mark III Saloon

The first model to appear in the new Oxford Aston Martin packaging. The original car was a beautifully styled with every panel hand beaten so no two are actually identical. The Oxford model captures the lovely lines of the original very well and the printed chrome widow surrounds and lights are excellent. The grille moulding is very finely done.  The wire wheels are very fine in the usual Oxford manner with a clear disk behind to form the actual wheel structure. The interior is moulded in tan and there is a painted wooden steering wheel, instruments picked out on the dash and a separate gear lever. This will all be seen to more effect when the convertible version of this car is released by Oxford. I do hope that Oxford produces the DB4, DB5, and DB6 to a similar standard and even ventures into the DBS era.

The car that the model is based upon has featured in a book about its restoration. From being stored for many years in a lock up garage in Weybridge to its recommissioning by  Aston Works Service at Newport Pagnell in 2009.

VF001 Vauxhall Firenza Sport SL Bluebird

Vauxhall’s answer to the Ford Capri was a pretty car even though it did not prove to be anywhere near as big a seller. Based upon the Viva HC floor pan, mechanicals, and seating it was a more stylish vehicle than the base HC Viva. This Firenza was fitted with a 2.3 Litre engine which was more than adequate power for this light vehicle. The vehicle has been made in white metal before but the only contemporary diecast was a Lone Star Flyer which has been much sought after.  The oxford model is excellent capturing the shape very well and featuring nicely finished front grille and lights. The rear lights are printed and are acceptable even if separate moulded lights would have been nice.  The printed chrome trim and body stripe are well done too. The interior is all black which was pretty typical of the period and the dash has instruments picked out in silver.

The car that the model is based upon was first registered in 1972 and pictures on the web show that the car has been modified and has a small spoiler fitted below the bumper and non-standard wheels. Oxford have chosen to model the car as it would have left the assembly line which will allow them to make a range of authentic versions including versions with the vinyl roof.

 


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