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D-Day 75 and new Vanguards Jaguar development

D-Day 75 and new Vanguards Jaguar development

Welcome to this latest edition of Corgi Diecast Diaries and your regular look at all the news, updates and stories from the fascinating world of Corgi die-cast model collecting. We have a particularly significant edition of our blog awaiting your inspection this month, as we concentrate on just two main subjects – first, we have the impending 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings and how the Aviation Archive range is commemorating this historic occasion and secondly, this will be the very first time that Diecast Diaries has featured development information from a new Vanguards model tooling. Both features will include a large number of exclusive pictures produced specifically in support of each article and as usual, our readers will be the first diecast model collectors in the world to find out about these details. The only deviation from these two main subjects will be the announcement of the lucky winner of our recent Consolidated Catalina VC competition, which we will reveal at the end of the blog. With all the edition introductions done, let’s head straight for Normandy and the culmination of one of the most meticulously planned military operations in the history of warfare.

Destination Normandy

This coming June will see the world commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Operation Overlord and the D-day landings was the culmination of many months of planning, preparatory operations and deception, but still required thousands of troops to fight their way up heavily defended beaches on 6th June 1944

In what must surely be considered one of the most significant WWII anniversaries of the 21st Century, next month will see the world commemorating 75 years since ‘Operation Overlord’ and the Allied invasion of Normandy, the largest amphibious assault force in military history. With surviving veterans of D-Day descending on Normandy from all around the world, this year’s commemoration is viewed as perhaps the final official opportunity to mark the sacrifices of the Battle of Normandy, as these brave men who were in their twenties when they fought their up the landing beaches under heavy fire on 6th June 1944, are all now well into their nineties and have carried the burden of their fallen comrades for all those years. They will be joined by a friendly invasion of many tens of thousands of D-Day tourists over the summer months, as people head for Normandy to pay their own respects to the men who helped to bring about an end to the horrors of the Second World War and in many cases, re-tracing the steps of their own relatives who took part in D-Day. For most, however, they will simply be hoping to be part of what is certain to be a historic occasion.

The Germans were fully aware that the Allies were intending to land an invasion force on the French coast and had spent many months preparing their defences, but where and when would the attack come? As tens of thousands of Allied troops climbed into landing craft off the coast of Normandy in the early hours of 6th June 1944, they knew that what lay ahead of them was the most heavily defended coastline in the world, manned by battle hardened troops who had been training for months to repel an invasion force. Fortunately, at their side was the largest combined land, sea and air operation the world had ever seen, with over 150,000 troops standing ready to launch the long anticipated Allied invasion of Northern France and the offensive which would result in the liberation of occupied Europe. The scene was set for the most crucial battle of the Second World War and one which was the result of many months of meticulous planning, preparation and deception, but one which would ultimately rest on the shoulders of the heroes who fought their way up the landing beaches on that fateful day. Its significance cannot be overstated and through the sacrifices made on this day, the final defeat of the Third Reich would be less than a year away.

D-Day air operations

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Thousands of aircraft were involved during the D-Day landings, from fighters to reconnaissance aircraft and each one had to be quickly identified by other friendly units and anti-aircraft batteries

There can be no doubting that the aerial campaign in support of Operation Overlord and the D-Day landings was a crucial component of its success and even though Allied air forces had around 11,500 aircraft available to them on the eve of invasion and approximately 25,500 individual sorties were flown on D-Day itself, the aerial contribution to the landings actually began many months prior to this. The Allies knew from bitter experience that air superiority over the landing beaches was essential to the success of the invasion force and therefore initiated ‘Operation Pointblank’ in the summer of 1943 as a combined Allied bomber offensive to systematically destroy the German aviation industry and thus significantly reduce the operational effectiveness of the Luftwaffe. As a consequence of this directive, the Germans were forced to withdraw significant numbers of fighter aircraft from around Europe, in an attempt to challenge these mighty bomber formations which were threatening to pound them out of the war, maintaining their strength and placing a strain on Luftwaffe resources. This draining of available forces, the constant attrition of combat and the manufacturing disruption caused by Allied bombing raids dictated that by D-Day, the Luftwaffe could not mount an effective response to the Allied landings and perhaps more significantly, were unable to command the airspace over the battles which ensued across Normandy.

Clearly, the most important aspect of the air offensive in preparation for the invasion of Normandy, was to achieve all their strategic objectives, without alerting the Germans as to the actual location of the intended landing areas. The systematic destruction of road and rail networks, supply dumps and the targeting of coastal fortifications and radar sites was essential if the invasion was to succeed, but this all had to be undertaken as part of a wider, coordinated plan intended to deceive and confuse the Germans, keeping them guessing until the very last moment before the invasion force appeared in their binoculars. In the months leading up to invasion, hundreds of strike missions were mounted right across Northern France, but with an intentional concentration in the vicinity of Calais, as this was the shortest crossing route for any potential invasion fleet and known to be thought of by many in the German High Command as the most likely point of attack. This is exactly what Allied military planners had been hoping to achieve, splitting German defensive forces and increasing their chances of a successful seaborne assault. Other essential air operations in support of D-Day involved the gathering of reconnaissance information, destroying any Luftwaffe strike airfields in the region, ensuring the English Channel stayed free of U-boats and providing air-sea rescue cover for airmen forced to ditch in the sea. The plan proved so effective that on D-Day itself, the Allies had overwhelming air superiority and of the 319 sorties flown by the Luftwaffe on 6th June 1944, only a handful ventured anywhere near the Normandy landing beaches. Indeed, by 12th June, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel reported that Allied air cover was so effective that German ground units were unable to move during daylight hours, whilst the enemy could manoeuvre with impunity. It appeared to him that neither the Luftwaffe nor ground based flak batteries were able to come to his assistance, preventing him from mounting any effective counter-attack.

Without doubt, the most distinctive feature of Allied aircraft taking part in air operations on D-Day itself was the application of black and white identification markings around their wings and fuselage, which was a necessary attempt to reduce the number of friendly fire incidents occurring with so many aircraft in the sky at the same time. Although Allied aircraft were equipped with an electronic Identification Friend of Foe (IFF) system, it was thought that the sheer number of aircraft in the air at any one time might clog the system and lead to possible confusion, so a more visible alternative was selected, one which had proved successful during previous operations. The plan to adopt so called ‘Invasion Stripes’ had been approved by ACM Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force, on 17th May 1944, however, due to the highly secret nature of this directive, orders were not issued to Allied airfields until the evening of 3rd June. Already busy ensuring as many aircraft were serviceable as possible for the coming offensive, ground staff now had the additional task of painting 3 white and two black alternating stripes around the wings and fuselage of thousands of aircraft scheduled to take part in D-Day operations, effectively exhausting Britain’s supply of black and white paint in the process. The initial date for the proposed invasion was 5th June, however, poor weather resulted in a 24 hour postponement, which allowed more time for this significant paint application undertaking to be completed by ground trades.

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection Spitfire XIV AA38707 on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

This unique series of images shows how the representation of D-Day identification markings on scale models has been interpreted over the years and can be quite different from the situation back in 1944. This first image shows Spitfire AA38707 as it was presented for website and catalogue purposes

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection Spitfire XIV AA38707 on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Our Photographer & Image Retoucher Michael, took one of the pre-production Spitfire sample models and applied his interpretation of what the actual application of identification markings may have looked like on the Spitfire, on the eve of D-day

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection Spitfire XIV AA38707 on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Sure to stimulate heated debate amongst diecast collectors, which interpretation of D-Day markings do you prefer? Both could be wrong, but at the same time, both could be right …. Over the years, the aesthetic appeal of perfectly straight lines and equal spacing has become the accepted norm, despite many original wartime photographs showing something quite different

The subject of D-Day identification marking application is a fascinating one, particularly for plastic modellers and diecast aviation collectors. Almost without exception, the historic representation of these markings by model manufacturers is for perfectly straight and beautifully masked painted stripes to be applied, leading many to believe that anything less than this would have been completely unacceptable back in 1944, however, nothing could be further from the truth. The enormity of the painting task facing airfield ground trades in the hours leading up to D-Day was staggering, with thousands of aircraft requiring identification marking application and their size ranging from the tiny Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper spotter aircraft, to the massive Short Stirling glider tugs and every aircraft type in between. With every available person assigned to the task, the markings were often applied in just a matter of minutes, with wide paint brushes and even yard brushes pressed into service and not a piece of masking tape, or brown paper to be seen. Indeed, as most of the aircraft destined for D-Day service were stored outside hangars on open airfields, the continued poor weather of the 4th/5th June actually resulted in paint almost immediately washing away in some cases, necessitating a rather quick second application of the markings. For the men assigned to flying operations in support of D-Day, these simple black and white stripes could mean the difference between life and death and whether they were the exact width, or perfectly straight was of little consequence to them, they simply had to be there.

Over the years, despite a wealth of historic documentary evidence to the contrary, it seems that illustrators and modellers alike have decided that anything less than perfectly straight D-Day identification markings on aircraft profiles, decal sheets and diecast model releases is unacceptable, with manufacturers who deviate from this accepted norm coming in for rather scathing criticism – it would be interesting to gauge the views of Diecast Diaries readers on this subject and to see if historical accuracy or simple aesthetics come out on top.

Aviation Archive marks D-Day 75

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Adding our own diecast aviation tribute to the impending 75th Anniversary commemorations of D-Day, this range of five 1/72nd scale models benefits from specially designed box artwork which sets them apart from any other models in the Aviation Archive range

As the 2019 Corgi model range was announced in early January, many Aviation Archive collectors will have been hoping to see this year’s commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord and the D-Day landings would be represented in the range and they were not disappointed. With a collection of models specifically intended to provide a scale diecast tribute to the air operations taking place above the invasion beaches of Normandy, we announced a collection of five models commemorating this historic anniversary, each one benefitting from specially designed anniversary packaging and supplied complete with a limited edition certificate. With one Axis and four Allied aircraft covered, we have included two fighters, one close air support fighter, one reconnaissance aircraft and a paratrooper transporter in the collection, with each of the Allied aircraft sporting the black and white identification markings which have become so synonymous with D-Day air operations. Indeed, we have tried to do something just that little bit differently on one very special model, with regard to these markings, but we will get to that a little later. This fine collection of models help to tell the story of D-Day and how a multitude of different aircraft types were involved in both preparing for and executing this historic invasion, an operation which would eventually bring about the destruction of the Third Reich.

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection model display on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Diecast D-Day airborne armada. The five aircraft models which make up our D-Day 75 collection represent some of the most important types involved around the time of ‘Operation Overlord’ and make a poignant addition to any model collection. Please be aware that the F-5E Lightning is still a pre-production sample model, as this was the only option available at the time of the shoot

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection model display on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

A different view of this model formation, this time with the Spitfire and Typhoon leading the way and ‘That’s All Brother’ bringing up the rear, something the real aircraft certainly didn’t do on D-Day

As the first two models from our D-Day 75 Collection have just been released and collectors will be adding the Hawker Typhoon and Messerschmitt Bf 109G to their displays over the weekend, we thought that this was the ideal opportunity to bring readers a full overview of the collection in all its glory, especially as we are now only weeks away from the anniversary itself. Bringing readers an exclusive selection of product images, we will be paying special attention to one model in particular, one which some might describe as the ‘Piéce de résistance’ of the collection – a 1/72nd scale representation of the actual aircraft which launched D-Day in June 1944. AA38210 Douglas C-47A Skytrain ‘That’s All Brother’ was equipped with special electronic navigation equipment and was selected to lead a mighty force of paratrooper laden C-47s through the night of 5th/6th June 1944, dropping them behind enemy lines, in advance of the main invasion force. This very same aircraft was discovered many years later and has been restored to airworthy condition – significantly, she is one of the US based C-47 Skytrains and Douglas DC-3s which are scheduled to fly across the Atlantic to lead the 75th Anniversary commemorations with ‘Daks over Normandy’, arriving at Duxford during the last week of May. In this unique, never to be repeated tribute to D-Day, ‘That’s All Brother’ will surely be the most poignant aircraft taking part in this impressive formation, as it flies over the coast of Normandy, just as it did 75 years ago. Let’s take a closer look at how the Aviation Archive range has represented this historic aircraft:

AA38210 – Douglas C-47A Skytrain 42-92847 ‘That’s All Brother’, 438th Troop Carrier Group, RAF Greenham Common, the night of 5/6th June 1944 – The aircraft which launched D-Day.

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection C-47A Skytrain That's All Brother AA38210 on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

An exclusive first look at the artwork file produced in support of the development of this magnificent model, arguably the most effective way for Aviation Archive collectors to mark the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

In order to ensure the defeat of Germany and the end of the Second World War, the Allied powers knew that they would have to launch a full scale assault against continental Europe, an undertaking fraught with potential dangers. In support of this plan, Allied aircraft began a concerted bombing campaign, targeting aircraft and munitions manufacturing plants, as well as attacking strategic targets in the intended landing areas, all designed to diminish Germany’s fighting capabilities. These attacks were always carefully masked by strong diversionary raids, so as not to alert the Germans to where the anticipated Allied amphibious assault would take place, making D-Day as much about deception, as it was about preparation. Finally, after months of planning, the order was given to ‘Go’ and the invasion was on. At RAF Greenham Common in the late evening of 5th June 1944, paratroopers of the US 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions climbed aboard hundreds of Douglas C-47 Skytrains, as they prepared to drop behind German lines in advance of the main seaborne invasion force, the spearhead of Operation Overlord. At the head of this mighty air armada and the aircraft which effectively launched D-Day, Douglas C-47A ‘That’s All Brother’ would lead a force of over 800 Skytrains over the next few hours, as she navigated through thick cloud and German defensive fire to deliver her precious cargo of brave paratroopers onto their designated drop zones in Normandy and the opening combat operations of D-Day.

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection C-47A Skytrain That's All Brother AA38210 on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

An exclusive trio of signed sample images featuring our very special D-Day 75 C-47A Skytrain ‘That’s All Brother’. The model benefits from several additional parts and represents the aircraft which is described as leading the D-Day invasion

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection C-47A Skytrain That's All Brother AA38210 on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

From this angle, you can clearly see the iconic nose artwork carried by this historic aircraft, as well as the radome fitted beneath the aircraft’s fuselage

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection C-47A Skytrain That's All Brother AA38210 on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Another significant feature of Skytrain AA38210 is the application of the iconic D-Day identification markings, where we have attempted to replicate the unmasked painting of the black and white stripes, as featured on the real aircraft on the night of 5/6th June 1944

As one of the largest military operations in the history of warfare, the Allied D-Day invasion fleet of 6th June 1944 could rely on the support of an impressive combined air force, with around 11,590 aircraft available to Allied military planners in support of the invasion fleet. Arguably, the most famous individual aircraft involved in Operation Overlord was Douglas C-47A Skytrain ‘That’s All Brother’, the aircraft which signified the start of D-Day and the eventual defeat of Germany. Equipped with an early form of airborne radar, this significant aircraft was the first one to take off from RAF Greenham Common on the night of 5th June, the lead aircraft at the head of a mighty force of US paratroopers, destined to cause havoc behind the invasion landing beaches. It is thought that the name painted on the nose of the aircraft was linked to the significant role it was scheduled to play on invasion night and was a message to Hitler, informing him that his murderous reign as Fuhrer was about to come to an end. Damaged by flak on her historic mission, ‘That’s All Brother’ was patched up, before flying a second mission on D-Day, towing a glider with troops of the US 82nd Airborne Division destined for the battle now raging in Normandy. Seeing plenty of action in the months following D-Day, it was thought that this aircraft had been scrapped, until it was discovered as a derelict airframe in an aircraft boneyard. Purchased by the Commemorative Air Force following a successful crowdsourcing appeal, the aircraft was later returned to airworthy condition, making her first post restoration flight in early 2018. She is scheduled to take part in the ambitious ‘Daks over Normandy’ gathering of Douglas C-47s and DC3s during the summer of 2019, to mark the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, where she will surely provide the most poignant flying tribute to the men and machines involved in this historic day.

Corgi Aviation Archive D-Day 75th Anniversary Collection C-47A Skytrain That's All Brother AA38210 on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Signifying its prominent position in the Aviation Archive range, the box artwork accompanying the release of AA38210 C-47A ‘That’s All Brother’ marks this particular model as arguably the most significant D-Day related diecast model ever produced by Corgi and a fitting tribute to these 75th Anniversary commemorations

As you can see from the image selection included in this feature, our scale representation of ‘That’s All Brother’ includes the addition of her under-fuselage radome and receiver aerials on either side of her cockpit, as well as giving the model a much more realistic interpretation of the hastily applied D-Day identification markings, closely following the historic photographs which exist of this aircraft, as it prepared for its lead role on D-Day. This magnificent model is the perfect way to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings and is scheduled for a summer release – the rest of the collection can be viewed by visiting the D-Day 75 section of the Corgi website. Hopefully, many Diecast Diaries readers will have the opportunity to see the real aircraft, as she embarks on her historic European tour this summer.

Vanguards range captures a Jaguar

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

An exclusive first look at a CAD image file produced during the initial development of the new Jaguar XJ6 / 12 (Series 2) & Daimler Sovereign (Series 2) Tooling

The launch of any new Corgi model range is always a time of great excitement amongst diecast collectors, with everyone keen to get a first look at all the new models and to see which ones will be finding their way into their own collections. With a model production history which dates back to 1956, the Corgi brand has been associated with some of the most iconic toy and collectable products over the years and as the range continues to develop, each new collection of models reflects current collecting trends, whilst at the same time dipping into the rich Corgi heritage we are so proud to represent. After what had proved to be a relatively lean few years from the perspective of new model tooling additions to the Corgi line-up, the 2019 range announcement will have come as a pleasant surprise for many collectors, as it contained no fewer than five major new tooling projects across the various brands, in addition to our significant new ‘Chunkies’ toy range. Collectors of the popular Vanguards model vehicle range would have been delighted to see the addition of a new Jaguar XJ6/12/Daimler Sovereign (Series 2) tooling to the range and for the first time since we have been producing our Diecast Diaries blog, we are proud to be in a position to bring you early development details from this exciting new project.

Every diecast model collector we have ever been fortunate enough to speak to will usually ask when we intend to bring out a particular model subject they are very much looking forward to seeing produced in metal and usually from a long list of perfectly valid suggestions. When you expand this across the entire Corgi product range and accept that new model tooling production is a complex, time consuming and expensive business, you can hopefully see why it will never be possible to meet the expectation of collectors in this regard, especially as these decisions have to be made from sound business thinking and the finite funds available in the development pot are being fought over by all the iconic hobby brands in the Hornby Hobbies portfolio. The development teams will always have a selection of expertly prepared subject suggestions available for new tooling consideration, however, simple economics dictates that only a fraction of these will proceed beyond this initial discussion stage in any given year. Knowing how difficult it can be to get any new tooling project off the ground, the inclusion of a new subject in any catalogue is something we like to celebrate and for Vanguards collectors, the new Jaguar XJ6/12 (series II) tooling is certainly something to look forward to.

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

If you had to be transported to a Police station, then surely this beautiful Jaguar XJ6 Series 2 was the most stylish way to do it

Although every new tooling announcement will delight some and disappoint others, the inclusion of the new Jaguar tooling in the Vanguards range is a welcome and extremely attractive addition to the range. Significantly, this is an extremely famous British premium car brand, whose profile will be familiar to millions of people and not just motoring enthusiasts. From a hobby perspective, models of these cars in 1/43rd scale are a little thin on the ground to say the least and have only previously been produced in either white metal or resin. Bringing the Jaguar XJ6 (Series II - which is how we will refer to the tooling for the rest of this blog, even though other models using this body shape will be produced) into the general collector market with the Vanguards range will no doubt be of interest to many and will see this handsome vehicle joining the many classic Corgi vehicle models which have gone before it. Another big reason for selecting this particular vehicle is that they were used extensively by Police forces all over the country and are still regarded as some of the most stylish vehicles to have been used in a law enforcement role. As Police vehicles continue to attract significant collector support, our new Jaguar tooling will definitely allow several fantastic future releases which already seem destined for ‘classic Corgi’ status.

Both the Jaguar XJ6 and XJ12 (Series II) were marketed the time of their release as being ‘The finest Jaguar ever’ and the passage of motoring time has done nothing to diminish their aesthetic appeal. As attractive as these cars undoubtedly are, they still managed to be upstaged by a relative of genuine breeding, which was very much the vehicle of choice for the rich and famous. An additional vehicle option also available to our development team with the production of this new tooling is the Daimler Sovereign (upmarket) version of the vehicle – utilising the same Jaguar bodyshell, chassis and many internal components, the Daimler Sovereign was a luxury car in every sense of the word. It took the basic Jaguar shape and gave this already luxurious car a style overhaul, resulting in a range of cars which few could hope to own, but many admired. Indeed for many motoring enthusiasts, the Daimler Sovereign Vanden Plas is the very embodiment of luxurious motoring and is regarded as only slightly lower than a Rolls Royce in the motoring pecking order of prestige ranking.

Turning a motoring classic into a classic Vanguard

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

This first series of images show various angles of the Jaguar scan data, which was used to build a base model file from which the new models individual components can be developed

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

With an unequalled collection of research information to his name, our Vanguards expert Mark Pinnigar works closely with the Corgi development team on all of the model projects which take their place in this popular vehicle range, but the prospect of a new tooling addition is something which really gets his creative juices flowing. With the merits of any potential new model addition to the range already agreed far in advance, securing accurate information to allow the design process to begin is an important first step and as is the case with many of the new models which appear in the Corgi and indeed Airfix model ranges, the availability of scan data is not essential, but is a great help to the design team. On this Jaguar XJ6 project, the team were fortunate to be granted access to a Jaguar specialist business in Eastbourne, where they were able to undertake the LIDAR scanning of a suitable subject vehicle. The digital files produced by this scan would prove invaluable during the development stages to come, however, the scanning of a car is not always as straight forward as you might think. As advanced as scanners and scanning software may be these days, if your subject car is too highly polished, when the laser light hits the surface of its bodyshell, it may not return the readings you are looking for and in such cases, a different, less shiny vehicle may be required. Thankfully, after around three hours of scanning, the Jaguar had been committed to SD card and the information was ready to be processed.

As impressive and accurate as the LIDAR scan data is, this is only a starting point for any new model tooling project and signifies the beginning of a very busy period for the designer responsible for the project. The information it produces is not in a format which can be used by the CNC milling machines which will eventually be used to produce the model tooling blocks and must be converted using more clever software and lots of model making experience. Using the LIDAR scan as a hollow shape outline, the Corgi design team will need to create a 3D CAD version of the information, which will serve as a base model shell, from which the individual components of the model, both metal and plastic, can be produced. Once this has been done, every aspect of its design must be checked and perfected, before it can proceed to the tooling quotation stage. For the purposes of this blog, we are simplifying the process dramatically, but needless to say, this is a very lengthy process and draws upon every ounce of experience the Corgi team have gained over the years.

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

For a Vanguards collector, these 3D CAD data drawings represent a fascinating insight into how these popular models are produced and have never previously been seen in this format

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

A combination of the two. This next trio of images are an amalgamation of the scan data and the CAD files produced by the Corgi product designers and illustrate how the availability of scan data gives them accurate shape references to work to

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

The first stage in converting the scan software into a set of 3D drawings to create base model files from, is to carefully draw a series of 2D curves, following the contours of the scan data. Sharing much commonality with other tooling development projects within the Hornby Hobbies group, Corgi designers are experienced in ensuring their files are suitable for the diecast manufacturing process. Not only does this allow for an accurate representation of the unique shape of the vehicle to be replicated, but it also allows the designer to plan where he intends to place his manufacturing joints, all the while determined to use every tool at his disposal to make the most accurate model possible. Staying as close to the LIDAR scan data as possible, he will only make the slightest of alterations as necessitated by the diecast manufacturing process. The model tooling blocks these digital files are being designed for will need to incorporate all the metal, plastic and Crystal Styrene parts to be used in the production of the new model, including any additional components which will have to be planned in at this stage, should several different versions of the same vehicle need to be manufactured during its production run. This highly complex work may take several weeks to complete, before the project can advance to the next stage, which will be sending the files to a toolmaker for quotes and eventually for the production of the model tooling blocks themselves.

That is where we are going to leave this first look at the early development of a new Vanguards model, but not before we bring you a further series of exclusive Corgi development images. Jumping ahead in the manufacturing process somewhat, we are pleased to be in a position to let you see pictures of the very first component shots produced from the new Jaguar XJ6 tooling and only by the good grace of the Corgi Brand Manager. Usually, this kind of information is not seen outside the business, especially at this very early stage and for good reason. When metal and plastic is shot through the tooling blocks for the first time, there is still a huge amount of development work still to do and the tools themselves may require additional modification before the team are happy with them. Indeed, several further versions of these product sprues may be required before the tooling is deemed ready for production. For this reason, we do have to stress that what you are looking at are the very first media shots produced by the new Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 tooling and they may be subject to further change. For the diecast collector, however, these images represent a fascinating insight into the production of a new model tooling and for that reason alone, we are happy to show them.

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

For many readers, this will probably be the most interesting picture of the entire blog. This collection of components from the new Jaguar tooling are the result of metal and plastic being shot through the tool for the very first time and will allow the product designers to assess every aspect of the new model. Usually, they are understandably reluctant to allow images such as these to be seen outside the business

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Still attached the metal sprue frame, this is how the main body shell of the Jaguar will look once it is ejected from the tooling block and will clearly require some cleaning up

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Assembled for the first time, these two models have been put together by the Corgi product designers, using a combination of parts from the accessory sprues

Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive Corgi Vanguards Jaguar XJ6 scan and CAD development on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

This appealing image shows that Vanguards collectors have much to look forward to , as this new model continues towards its scheduled Autumn release

Clearly, there is still quite some work to do before the first release from this new tooling arrives in model shops everywhere and we are very much looking forward to keeping everyone informed as things progress. As it is, this first Diecast Diaries opportunity to feature Vanguards new tooling development within the blog has been a significant development and we hope it will not be too long before we can bring you news of further additions to this fantastic range.

Catalina VC winner

In the previous edition of our blog, we offered one lucky reader the opportunity to win a pristine example of our superb 1/72nd scale Consolidated Catalina Mk.IVA, which was flown by Flight Lieutenant John Cruickshank during his VC winning actions on 17th July 1944. This magnificent model was sold out on the Corgi website a long time ago and is now becoming quite a sought after item – hopefully, our lucky winner was unable to secure an example of their own and Diecast Diaries has come to their Aviation Archive rescue. So, without further ado, the winner of our Cruickshank VC Catalina model is Mr Keith Hopwood. Congratulations to Keith and we hope your new model will be taking pride of place in your collection. As usual, thank you to everyone who took part – you all helped to make this another extremely successful Diecast Diaries competition.

Corgi 1/72nd scale Consolidated Catalina Mk.IVA, which was flown by Flight Lieutenant John Cruickshank

That’s all we have for you in this latest bumper edition of Corgi Diecast Diaries, but you can be sure we will be back as usual with more updates and exclusive Corgi content in four weeks’ time. In the meantime, we are always interested to hear from our readers, especially if you would like to suggest a subject for future inclusion in our blog. Better still, if you would like to send us pictures of your own model collection, or details of a Corgi model release which is special to you, you may even find yourself featuring in a future edition of Diecast Diaries. As always, we would be grateful if you could use this diecastdiaries@corgi.co.uk link for all correspondence. 

If you can’t wait for the next edition of our blog, there is always plenty of Corgi model related news, views and conversation taking place on our official Facebook  and Twitter  social media pages, which welcome your contributions. We look forward to reading about all the latest Corgi collecting discussions and pictures of your favourite models over the coming few weeks.

Finally, we would like to thank all our readers for their continued support. We look forward to bringing you much more Corgi related news, features and updates in future editions of our blog. The next edition of Die-cast Diaries is scheduled to be published on Friday 14th June.

 

The Corgi Die-cast Diaries Team

 

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