Exclusive announcement, Ace before the Armistice and ‘Fire up the Quattro!’

Exclusive announcement, Ace before the Armistice and ‘Fire up the Quattro!’

Welcome to this latest edition of Corgi Die-cast Diaries and your regular look at all the news, updates and stories from the fascinating world of Corgi die-cast model collecting. In yet another bumper Corgi update, we begin by taking a closer look at an impending Aviation Archive release which forms part of our successful RAF Centenary Collection Series and is a scale die-cast representation of arguably the most historic British aircraft in existence today – incredibly, this magnificent aircraft can still be found delighting Airshow audiences at a certain airfield in Bedfordshire. We follow this up with an interesting Vanguards related feature, where we focus on a special TV and film related dual model release which commemorated the end of an extremely popular police drama and resulted in a much loved Audi Quattro serving as target practice. We will also be returning to Detling and the second instalment of our South East Bus Festival review, with special thanks to Hornby researcher Paul Isles – we know that many of you will be looking forward to this. Finally, our Aviation Archive initiative to allow Die-cast Diaries readers the opportunity to have a say in the future of this popular range has proved to be a monumental success and we look forward to bringing you the latest details from our poll – which aircraft and scales do you think will have proved most popular? As you can see, we have plenty to get through, so we had better make a start straight away. BREAKING NEWS – If we didn’t have enough Corgi goodness to bring you in this latest blog, we have just received some breaking news, which has effectively pushed every other feature down the Die-cast Diaries pecking order – exclusive news of a new model announcement!

Exclusive Announcement

Second 1/48th scale Lightning F.6 roars in!

AA28402 Exclusive English Electric Lightning F.6 XS927 RAF No.74 Squadron on Corgi Die-cast Diaries blog

We are excited to begin this latest edition of our Corgi blog with some exclusive news for our readers – we have a new Aviation Archive model to tell you about. Following on from the hugely popular first release from our new 1/48th scale English Electric Lightning F.6 tooling, we can confirm that the second release will once more immortalise this classic British aeroplane in die-cast metal and will this time feature an RAF No.74 Squadron ‘The Tigers’ machine in its striking natural metal finish. The image featured above has been created by one of our talented graphic designers and will probably appear in the forthcoming July-December model range to announce the existence of what is certain to be an incredibly popular addition to our growing 1/48th scale range of models. Here is the catalogue and certificate text which will be used in support of this striking new model:

AA28402 – English Electric Lightning F.6 XS927/N, RAF No.74 Squadron ‘The Tigers’, RAF Tengah, Singapore, 1969.

When the English Electric Lightning entered RAF service with No.74 Squadron at Coltishall in June 1960, Britain had its first true supersonic interceptor and one of the most potent fighting aeroplanes the world had ever seen. Charged with protecting Britain from aerial attack, everything about a Lightning mission involved speed, with pilots using the blistering climb performance of the aircraft to mount a ‘Supersonic dash’ to the target, returning to base, refuelling and rearming before repeating the process if the situation dictated. The ultimate incarnation of the country’s first and only all British supersonic fighter aircraft was the F.6 variant, which addressed many of the issues associated with earlier Lightnings, whilst retaining the stellar performance of this magnificent aircraft. Lightning F.6 XS927 made its maiden flight from the English Electric factory on 15th February 1967, in the hands of celebrated test pilot Roland Beamont, before joining No.74 Squadron at Coltishall in early April the same year – this was the last F.6 to join the Squadron before they moved to RAF Tengah in Singapore. Wearing the iconic colours of this famous squadron, it is no wonder the Lightning served to inspire a great many people to join the Royal Air Force and for many, is still an enduring symbol of when the British aviation industry was at the peak of its manufacturing prowess.

AA28402 Exclusive English Electric Lightning F.6 XS927 RAF No.74 Squadron on Corgi Die-cast Diaries blog

Profile artwork featuring English Electric Lightning F.6 XS927/N, the latest model announced in our 1/48th scale range of Aviation Archive releases

As one of the most famous squadrons of the Royal Air Force, No.74 ‘Tiger’ Squadron can trace its history back to 1st July 1917 and has been associated with such classic fighting aircraft as the SE5a, Hawker Hurricane and Gloster Meteor since that date. For many enthusiasts though, its most poignant association has been with the mighty English Electric Lightning, an aviation icon of the Cold War Period and one of the most significant achievements of the British aviation industry. As the Squadron selected to welcome the Lightning into frontline service in the summer of 1960, the ‘Tigers’ went on to operate the F.3 variant, T.4 and T.5 trainers, along with the ultimate F.6 fighter version of the Lightning. Indeed, No.74 Squadron was again to be the first unit equipped with the definitive F.6 version of the aircraft, which was capable of being fitted with over-wing tanks to extend the operating range of this potent fighter and resulted in the Squadron being assigned to the RAF Far East Air Force, based at Tengah in Singapore. In June 1967, the Lightnings of No.74 Squadron began leaving Leuchars for their ferry flight to the Far East, with their arrival at RAF Tengah several days later relying on the support of no fewer than seventeen Victor tankers, which provided the aircraft with an essential air to air refuelling platform during their flight. After enforcing the effective air defence of the region for just over four years, the Lightnings of No.74 Squadron were flown to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, where they were handed over to the care of No.56 Squadron, prior to 74 Squadron being disbanded and bringing their proud association with Britain’s only indigenous supersonic fighter to an end.

This stunning new model is scheduled for an October 2018 release and is available for pre-order now. We look forward to bringing you more details about our new ‘Tigers’ Lightning in forthcoming editions of Die-cast Diaries.

RAF 100 - Aerial victory on Armistice eve

AA37708 Shuttleworth Collection SE5a fighter Major Pickthorn on Corgi Die-cast Diaries blog

This historic aircraft is one of the aircraft lovingly cared for by the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden aerodrome

For those of us who have an interest in aviation, there can be little doubt that aeroplanes are the most fascinating machines created by man and a source of enduring fascination for us all. We will all undoubtedly have our own particular favourite aircraft or periods along the aviation timeline which interest us more than others, however, this current centenary year for the Royal Air Force will be bringing our beloved hobby to the attention of many more people over the course of the coming few months and hopefully recruiting a few more members to our aviation ranks. As significant as the RAF 100 commemorations are, it is also to be remembered that this year also marks one hundred years since the end of the Great War, perhaps an even more significant commemoration for the world of aviation history – the first aircraft appearing over the Western Front were joining this monumental struggle only eleven years after the first successful powered flights completed by the Wright Brothers and helped to effectively establish the aeroplane as an essential weapon of war.

Helping to maintain the fascination of committed enthusiasts and captivating countless others who are fortunate enough to experience them, Britain’s vibrant historic aviation scene ensures that we have an impressive schedule of summer Airshows to choose from, allowing anyone lucky enough to be in attendance the opportunity to get close to some of the most famous aeroplanes from over the past 100 years. In this significant year for British aviation, many people will surly contemplate the question which is the most historic aircraft still flying in Britain today? Once again, the answer to this question is definitely going to be the subject of much enthusiast debate, but one magnificent aircraft which can certainly stake a claim for this accolade is about to see a 1/48th scale die-cast model representation of itself join the ranks of the Corgi Aviation Archive range and become the latest sell-out release in our popular WWI aviation series. AA37708 is the latest release from our 1/48th scale SE5a tooling and commemorates an aircraft which was involved in aerial combat on the day before the armistice of 11th November 1918, a combat patrol which resulted in one RAF airmen achieving the coveted status of ‘air Ace’ on the final full day of conflict in the Great 1914-18 War.

AA37708 Shuttleworth Collection SE5a fighter Major Pickthorn on Corgi Die-cast Diaries blog

Exclusive to Die-cast Diaries readers, this is the essential decoration guide used throughout the Pickthorn SE5a project

Like so many airmen before him, Charles Edward Murray Pickthorn transferred to the Royal Flying Corps from the British Army and began his flying service as an observer in reconnaissance aircraft operating over the Western Front. His flying potential was clearly illustrated during combat in June 1916, when he was forced to take over control of his aircraft after the pilot had become incapacitated, having suffered severe combat injuries. Not only did he land the aircraft safely back at his home airfield, he also had the presence of mind to send a message back by Morse code asking for medical teams to be on stand-by for his arrival.

After successfully completing his flying training, Pickthorn began to hone his fighting skills and victories quickly followed. On 21st March 1917, he was involved in a dogfight with a German Albatros scout and having wounded the pilot, his adversary was forced to crash land his aircraft near British positions. The enemy aircraft was adorned with a striking skull and crossbones insignia on the fuselage and was the mount of Crown Prince Frederich of Prussia. Tragically, having survived the crash, the Prince tried to run across no man’s land towards German lines and was shot by Allied troops - he was captured, only to die of his injuries soon after.

AA37708 Shuttleworth Collection SE5a fighter Major Pickthorn on Corgi Die-cast Diaries blog

Exclusive SE5a pictures galore. The latest pictures of this impending release show the production sample model in all its glory

AA37708 Shuttleworth Collection SE5a fighter Major Pickthorn on Corgi Die-cast Diaries blog

A more detailed view of this beautiful new model, which marks one of the most historic aircraft in Britain today

Proving to be not only an excellent pilot but also an effective leader of men, Pickthorn was given command of No.84 Squadron on 8th November 1918, where he would come into contact with Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a F-904. Built by Wolseley Motors, the fighter had only arrived at the squadron a few days earlier, but was flown on patrol by Major Pickthorn two days after assuming command of the unit. During the flight, Pickthorn managed to destroy one of the Luftstreitkrafte’s fearsome Fokker D.VII fighters near the Belgian village of Chimay in an action which proved to be one of the last aerial victories of the war – the armistice came into effect at 11am the following day. Incredibly, the aircraft used by Major Pickthorn to score his final victory of WWI and earn him the coveted status of ‘Ace’ survives to this day and is currently the only original airworthy example of the SE5a in the world. Possessing genuine combat provenance, Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a F-904 is now maintained and operated by the famous Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden and is a regular performer at the many flying events held at the airfield each year. Thrilling Airshow crowds who can hardly believe they are watching a genuine WWI aircraft performing for their enjoyment, this classic British fighter has to be considered the most important RAF aircraft still in existence and will surely play a major role in their Centenary commemorations throughout 2018.

AA37708 Shuttleworth Collection SE5a fighter Major Pickthorn on Corgi Die-cast Diaries blog

One final exclusive – the Pickard SE5a pictured with an equally popular impending release, Manfred von Richthofen’s centenary Fokker DR.1

With aviation pedigree such as this, it is no wonder that Major Pickthorne’s SE5a AA37708 has proved to be amongst the most popular models in our RAF 100 Collection and as it currently stands, this fantastic model is unavailable for pre-order on the Corgi website, as it has already been fully allocated. Collectors may still secure their example by speaking to their usual model supplier, but it is already assured that this 1/48th scale die-cast replica of arguably the most historic aircraft still flying in Britain today is about to become a highly desirable addition to the Aviation Archive range. With a scheduled release date of June 2018, you do not have long to ensure this model will be finding its way into your collection.

Detling Revisited – Southern Bus Heaven

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

JG 8720 is a handsome 1937 Dennis Lancet 2 in the distinctive livery of the East Kent Road Car Company Ltd

In the previous edition of our blog, we brought you the first in a fantastic two part review of the recent South East Bus Festival, compiled by Hornby research expert Paul Isles, who enjoyed a pleasant and productive few hours at the show earlier this year. Readers will be pleased to hear that we have the second instalment of the review for you now, with more words and pictures to delight not only our bus enthusiast readers, but anyone with an interest in history, vehicles and British transport. Once again, we hand over to Paul and his fascinating visit to the 2018 South East Bus Festival.

With so many static vehicles on show, I was keen to capture some vehicles in motion and here again, the layout of the Kent Showground makes it easy for the photographer. One of the key elements that makes the site such a successful venue for the bus festival is the perimeter road, which enables the event organisers to operate free bus rides around the showground. These rides were scheduled to run every five minutes and such is the growing popularity of this part of the show that over thirty vehicles were ‘in service’, linking the five bus stops at the pedestrian entrance, car park entrance, the conference centre, the heritage vehicle park and the Farmers’ Market. There can no doubting the popularity of this part of the show, as there were queues at all five stops right through the day, proving particularly enjoyable for the younger visitors, as well as the older enthusiasts looking to take advantage of a short trip on a rare vehicle. Many of the enthusiast photographers were gathered by the entrances and along the front road leading to the conference centre but for me, the road along the rear of the site provided a better option, with Murrain Wood providing a plain background against which the buses stood out well, especially when panning with a slow shutter speed.

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

This Leyland Titan TD1 proved to be a popular ride during this event

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

A classy operator. This beautiful Leyland Lioness LTB1 was the connoisseurs mode of transport at Detling

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

Magnificently restored, this Dennis Lancet III is truly a thing of road transport beauty

With so many vehicle types, bodies, liveries, regions and routes on display, areas that appeal to an enthusiast and collector base that is very partisan in its tastes, as I mentioned earlier on, I really wanted to find a bus with a character to write about, something unique whose story would hopefully appeal across the board. In the end, not only did I find a vehicle with character, but also one with a mysterious history. Sandwiched between a Scania Irizar on one side and a Routemaster on the other, a small 20 seat Ford Thames Harrington Bus was dwarfed by its neighbours, looking almost forlorn among its bigger brethren. Comprising a Harrington B20F body on a Ford Thames Trader (Special Applications) 502E chassis, this bus is believed to be one of only two ever built to this configuration and was built new for either the MoD or BAC at RAF Filton/Filton Aerodrome, circa 1956. Its presumed use was for ferrying VIPs/Dignitaries or service personnel around the aerodrome and the bus remained at the base until 1997, when it was sold into preservation with D&K Gudgeon, being re-registered as MSU 252 from its original MoD registration number. The vehicle is now in the hands of Peter Isted who, in his own words, “bought it in a funny five minutes on eBay”.

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

This unusual vehicle is thought to be one of only two such configurations ever produced

I’ve always felt, based on nothing more than conversations with enthusiasts, that 80% of people that buy buses for preservation do so without really realising what they are letting themselves in for. Sitting down with Peter, I discovered that his was a similar story initially, but that talking to enthusiasts at the show had changed his outlook.

“We travel down to the Goodwood Revival meeting each year and each year we pull into the same ‘Little Chef’ restaurant for breakfast, before heading into the show. For three consecutive years it was raining, and I began thinking to myself what a great idea it would be to buy a small bus that fits in with the ‘Revival’ style and to convert it internally to use as a motor caravan. I found MSU 252 on eBay in 2017 and agreed to purchase it in a ‘funny’ five minutes; my wife and I driving up to Hereford to collect it. On arrival, doubt was creeping in on my part, but my wife was really enthusiastic about the bus; so much so that she insisted I pay the full ticket price, rather than try to haggle.

Having bought it, I’ve realised that there is some work required on the interior to fully restore it, but the mechanics are sound, so I decided to bring it along to the South East Bus Festival today to see if I can raise some interest to sell it on. Although I was aware that the bus was unique, from what the previous owner told me of it, it wasn’t until today, talking with a number of bus enthusiasts, that I realised how special this bus is. I couldn’t convert it now, even if I had the desire to, so if I sell it, I want to make sure that it goes to someone that will restore it sympathetically.”

The little Harrington was beginning to attract some attention from enthusiasts at this point, so having swapped details with Peter I left him to take his lunch in peace. My intention, once back in the office, was to locate more information on MSU 252, but despite calls to the archives at the new Aerospace Bristol Museum and the Bristol Vintage Bus Club, I’ve been unable to locate any photographs or information on the vehicle during its time at Filton, a most unusual situation. Maybe someone reading this review can help throw some light on this subject?

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

Seating 20, this Harrington B20F body on Thames Trader 502E chassis is resplendent in the livery of the British Aircraft Corporation at Filton

With the buses covered to my satisfaction, it was time to take in the other aspects of the show. The trade and model bus stands in the Conference Centre were very busy, with plenty of new and second hand books and models on offer and the continuous slide show upstairs was proving very popular - the subject this year being the history of the Leyland Atlantean, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The Festival has become recognised for its strong series of talks and presentations and this year was no exception, with talks from Simon Loh, Regional MD of Arriva, Ray Stenning, Editor of Classic Bus and Roger Davies, Transport Writer.

The day was finished off with a wander through the Heritage Transport collections, featuring such diverse subjects as working Ruston & Hornsby engines, classic cars, commercials and agricultural vehicles, as well as Military collections and live steam model railways. These are stories for another day though, so we’ll just leave you with a taste of the machinery on offer.

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

An eclectic selection of classic vehicles, starting with this beautifully presented Commer QX four wheel tipper truck in smart Ovenden Bros livery

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

This 1975 Rover P6 3500 Automatic in Cameron Green is a quintessentially British way to travel

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

A modern classic. This Fiat 500L helped to inspire a new generation of stylish small cars which have become incredibly popular

Back at home, captioning the photographs taken during the day, one has to wonder at the sheer number of man hours that have been spent preserving and maintaining these marvellous buses; at least two-thirds of the vehicles that were present are either privately restored or are operated by bus company heritage or charter fleets and the number of ‘new’ restorations on the festival scene is growing. The new entries blend well with the returning ‘regular’ vehicles and the overall impression this gives is of a well-regarded transport festival, hopefully one that will continue prospering for the foreseeable future.

The next South East Bus Festival is scheduled to take place on Saturday April 6, 2019 at the Kent Showground in Detling.

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

A final selection of Detling delights, starting with another look at the magnificent 1929 Leyland Lioness LTB1, which was the oldest vehicle in attendance and still in full working order

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

Buses and aviation, what a heady mix. This 1952 AEC Regal IV is presented in BEA livery and once plied its trade at Belfast Airport

2018 Detling South East Bus Festival review on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

A particularly good-looking design, the AEC Regal IV was well represented at the show, with this example wearing the distinctive green livery of a 1950s era London Transport bus

When reading a review article produced by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic author such as Paul, it is not difficult to see why these beautiful buses and classic vehicles continue to attract new people into their renovation and restoration and why many thousands of enthusiasts look forward to attending similar events to the South East Bus Festival all over the country. We would like to sincerely thank Paul for his excellent and most enjoyable review and speak on behalf of all Die-cast Diaries readers in hoping that we can look forward to further articles in blogs to come – thanks again Paul for bringing us this really enjoyable review feature.

‘You killed my Quattro!’

CC02799 Ashes to Ashes Last Stand Gene Hunt Audi Quattro on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

An exclusive first look at the artwork produced in support of this special release, with bullet holes included

Throughout the past 21 years, the Vanguards range of 1/43rd scale model vehicles has presented collectors with thousands of hugely appealing and extremely addictive die-cast models to collect, many of which have gone on to become highly prized collectables in their own right. During that time, some of the most popular releases have been linked to the many four wheeled stars of Britain’s Television programmes over the years, several of which have gone on to become almost as famous as the characters they transport around the small screen. In this latest Vanguards model feature, we are going to be looking at a rather special dual model release which commemorated a famous final scene for a popular TV police drama and the demise of a particularly distinctive and rather unusual mode of police transport. Before we begin, it is important to confirm that even though these models are more accurately described in Vanguards release history as TV and Film Corgi Classics (they each have a CC code, as opposed to the more usual VA code for a Vanguards release), they are both toolings from the Vanguards model range and are therefore legitimate targets for our attention, as well as being components in a really interesting model project.

If you were encouraged to watch a new police based TV drama and given the plot line of a time travelling detective inspector coming into contact with some old fashioned and often unorthodox policing techniques from a previous era, you may well have been forgiven for having a few reservations about this becoming your next not to be missed series. Thankfully, the clever people at the BBC had the foresight to back their judgement and commissioned a new series which would go on to enjoy almost cult TV status amongst a huge viewing audience and propel DCI Gene Hunt into small screen police folklore.

CC02799 Ashes to Ashes Last Stand Gene Hunt Audi Quattro on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

The other model in the Ashes to Ashes ‘The Last Stand’ set was a Ford Granada Mk.2 S2 2.8 in Police livery

The imaginative plot for the initial series, entitled ‘Life on Mars’, centred around present day (at the time) Greater Manchester Police Detective Chief Inspector Sam Tyler, who following his involvement in a serious road traffic accident, wakes up on the Manchester streets he is used to policing, but back in 1973. In the day’s prior to the impact of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act legislation, Tyler finds himself wrestling with his conscience and being challenged in almost every policing situation, not least by his new boss, DCI Gene Hunt. Hunt is a pub frequenting, chauvinistic, brash, yet strangely appealing character, who has some unique and extremely old fashioned methods to his policing style, believing that anything goes in getting the ‘scum’ off his streets. Proving to be fast paced, dramatic and often hilarious, the show proved to be an instant success, with the clever plot leading to many enjoyable storylines. Despite this, after two series of this popular programme had aired, Tyler bids an emotional farewell to his unlikely new friends, leaving viewers to wonder if this was all the result of his crash induced coma, or if he had indeed discovered the ability to traverse time.

The success of the programme dictated that a sequel soon followed, this time called ‘Ashes to Ashes’ and centering around a new character, Detective Inspector Alex Drake, who befell a similar time travelling experience, this time back to the Metropolitan Police in 1981. She had previously been working on the mysterious case of DCI Sam Tyler and was familiar with his claims, names and descriptions of the character’s he claimed to have met whilst he had been transported back to the 1970s. Imagine her dismay when following a shooting incident, she finds herself amongst the same group of police officers, this time back in 1981 and once again under the leadership of the incomparable DCI Gene Hunt. If his unorthodox and almost comical policing methods were entertaining in the previous series, imagine how working with a highly capable and relatively senior female officer would sit with the outwardly chauvinistic Hunt in the daily execution of his duties. The scene was set for the creation of numerous classic television moments, leaving audiences wishing the days away until they could get their latest Gene Hunt fix.

CC02799 Ashes to Ashes Last Stand Gene Hunt Audi Quattro on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

Yet another Die-cast Diaries exclusive image. Here we have the completed original box artwork file, featuring all the little extras which Mr Pinnigar managed to incorporate into this impressive project – ‘Fire up the Quattro!’

As well loved as the characters undoubtedly were, one of the most distinctive on-screen presences belonged to Gene Hunt’s beloved Red Audi Quattro, a vehicle which certainly gave him the edge when speeding towards a confrontation with the latest collection of hapless villains in need of a good kicking from ‘The Gene Genie’. After a further three successful series and the Audi Quattro becoming the dream car for tens of thousands of the show’s loyal fans, it all came to a sad and climactic end, with Hunt’s beloved Audi sacrificing itself to protect its loveable rogue of an owner, in what turned out to be a final ‘Last Stand’ shootout. One of the most imaginative, thought provoking, entertaining and hilarious police dramas of modern times had come to an end, but not before a certain red German manufactured super car and its owner had achieved something of an iconic TV status.

With the final episode airing in 2010 and the undeniable popularity of the programme leaving audiences feeling somewhat bereft, Vanguards supremo Mark Pinnigar was soon in discussions regarding the possibility of producing a special commemorative model release to mark the passing of this much loved series. Asked by the then Corgi Marketing Manager if they had the tooling inventory to produce such a release, Mark conducted a thorough review of the tooling and quickly confirmed that it was possible and immediately set the project in motion. Indeed, he had already started thinking about how the release could do justice to such a memorable series and came up with a slightly more elaborate project than had initially been envisaged. The original plan had been to produce a scale representation of Gene Hunt’s handsome Audi Quattro and whilst this model was eventually produced as a standalone release (CC02701), Mark also had an idea to immortalise the final ‘Last Stand’ scene of Ashes to Ashes in die-cast metal, featuring Gene Hunt’s Audi and a police Ford Granada 2.8, which was part of the vehicle entourage speeding towards this climactic scene. The Quattro would even be finished complete with bullet holes, after it had selflessly shielded its boss from harm in the final shoot-out scene, further endearing the vehicle to the show’s many fans. Mark describes how he paid great care to the authenticity of the model during production and how the bullet holes replicated on the model are placed exactly as they were on the real vehicle during filming – he produced a stencil of the shoot out damage and placed it over the pre-production model, to ensure the correct alignment of the damage. The deco guide we have included at the beginning of this feature also shows bullet holes in the windscreen, however it was decided not to include this detail on the production model for reasons Mark was not at liberty to divulge.

CC02799 Ashes to Ashes Last Stand Gene Hunt Audi Quattro on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

The final Ashes to Ashes model set CC02799. For fans of this much-loved series, this magnificent set proved to be the ideal way in which to mark the end of the Gene Hunt era

CC02799 Ashes to Ashes Last Stand Gene Hunt Audi Quattro on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

The back of the box includes the film strip of stills cleverly lifted from the final episode shoot out scene and the Police Service Memo sheet used to describe the release itself

As impressive as this model pairing is, Mark’s efforts were not confined to ensuring accurate representations of the vehicles in question, he also wanted to produce an appealing box for the set, one which was befitting of such a significant project and destined to be popular with British model collectors. Mark planned to use as much of the available box space he could, including such details as tyre marks and doughnuts on the box base which supported the two models and the use of scenes from the series to embellish the box presentation. His attention to detail included lifting still frames from the series using a DVD and his Mac computer, before incorporating these into the box design and also producing a film strip montage of scenes using his graphic design talents to create this visually impactful detail. Perhaps the most interesting feature is the police service memo page which appears to be taped to the rear of the box artwork. Mark bought a second hand SAAB from a former police officer and whilst cleaning it out, he found two sheets of unused police memo paper under the carpet in the boot. He took one of the sheets, screwed it up to give it a worn appearance and even added a strategic tea stain for ultimate authenticity. Using a suitable 1980s style font, this was then used as the canvas for the model description, a really distinctive feature on the box of this fantastic model release.

CC02799 Ashes to Ashes Last Stand Gene Hunt Audi Quattro on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

Another view of the presentation box artwork and how Mark attempted to use as much of the available space as possible, making this a unique model release

CC02799 Ashes to Ashes Last Stand Gene Hunt Audi Quattro on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

The model support base includes tyre marks and another dynamic scene from the final episode

As a fan of the programme, Mark wanted to help produce something that would be a lasting modelling tribute to the Ashes to Ashes series, whilst also adding a trio (including the single pristine version of the Quattro) of models sharing the levels of detail which have come to be the trademark of the Vanguards range. The villains would pay a heavy price for murdering Gene Hunt’s beloved car, which like all good TV heroes, went down in a blaze of glory in this final defiant stand. The Ashes to Ashes Quattro and Granada ‘The Last Stand’ set (CC02799) was released in April 2012 and a careful web search can still unearth the odd mint example available for purchase – Fire up that Quattro! As usual, we are grateful to Mark Pinnigar for his help in producing this article and throwing the spotlight on this highly collectable model set.

Aviation Archive – You are still having your say!

Corgi Aviation Archive 20th Anniversary have your say on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

We would like to end this latest edition of Die-cast Diaries by giving readers an update on our recent invitation for you to have your say on the future of the Aviation Archive range, where we gave collectors the opportunity to nominate which aircraft they would most like to see joining the range as future new tooling projects. In this significant 20th Anniversary year for the range, we decided to place absolutely no restrictions on what could be suggested and whilst the most popular suggestions may or may not eventually find their way into the Aviation Archive tooling bank, this exercise offered a unique opportunity for both collectors and the designers here at Corgi to see what people are asking for. It has proved to be an extremely enlightening and rather sobering experience. Proving that the Aviation Archive range continues to attract collectors both new and existing, we were absolutely swamped with e-mails containing your suggestions and they continue to flood in at a healthy rate. We had hoped to be in a position to move the project on to the next stage by now, but the sheer volume of responses has dictated that along with all the other tasks we have to complete each day, we have not had the time to collate all the suggestions we have received so far, with hundreds of e-mails still to be opened.

It goes without saying that we are extremely grateful to everyone who has taken the time to send in their suggestions over the past month or so and we will be working hard to finalise our definitive list over the next couple of weeks, bringing you the fascinating results in the very near future. From the most requested aircraft suggestions received, we will then produce a poll list of the top 20 suggestions and invite collectors to select just one aircraft from the list you would like to see added to the range. We will then rank the top five suggestions and tell you the percentage of votes each one received, crowning the most requested new aircraft tooling suggestion as the winner of our Aviation Archive 20th Anniversary suggestions poll in a special edition of Die-cast Diaries.

Corgi Aviation Archive 20th Anniversary have your say on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress is proving to be a popular suggestion for 1/72nd scale collectors

We have received thousands of e-mails to date, with hundreds still to collate, so it is not really fair to give any totals at this present time, but we can give you a little overview of proceedings. From the suggestions received so far, it is clear that 1/72nd scale remains the most popular collector scale, but the recent release of our newly tooled 1/48th scale English Electric Lightning F.6 has seen a significant increase in the popularity of this larger scale. We have also seen many respondents expressing their support for our largest 1/32nd scale models and hope that these impressive models may once again grace a future Corgi model range. As for specific aircraft, in 1/72nd scale, aircraft such as the Boeing B-29 Superfortress and Handley Page Hampden are doing particularly well, with some slightly more ambitious suggestions being the Convair B-58 Hustler and the Boeing 747 Jumbo.

Corgi Aviation Archive 20th Anniversary have your say on Corgi Diecast Diaries blog

With the success of the new 1/48th scale Lightning, other iconic jet aircraft are proving to be popular suggestions for the next model tooling in this scale

In 1/48th scale, the Lightning F.6 has led to calls for aircraft such as the McDonnell Douglas Phantom (Spey engines) and a Hawker Hunter to join the range, as well as several suggestions to further swell the ranks of our WWI aviation range. A regular suggestion is for a definitive Concorde model in both 1/144th scale and 1/72nd scale, with 1/32nd scale still attracting significant interest, most noticeably for a Hawker Typhoon and a Red Arrows BAe Hawk T.1. Every suggestion has equal validity and we are grateful that you have all been so enthusiastic in helping us to build this interesting Aviation Archive picture. We very much look forward to bringing you the results of our findings in the near future, but if you would still like to have your say, please e-mail your suggestions to diecastdiaries@corgi.co.uk and if you would include a message title of Aviation Archive, this would be a great help. With some expected and some rather unexpected aircraft currently doing well, could your suggestion make a difference in whether a particular aircraft makes the fabulous final twenty?

That’s yet another whopping edition of Corgi Die-cast Diaries done and dusted, which we hope included something which was of interest to you. As usual, we are always keen to hear from readers who may like to suggest a subject they would like to see covered in a future edition of Die-cast Diaries or similarly those who might like to send in pictures of their own model collection – we are also interested to find out if there are any Corgi models which have a particular meaning for you and why. If you would like to tell your model collecting story in a future edition of our blog, please let us have your ideas at diecastdiaries@corgi.co.uk, where we very much look forward to hearing from you.

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 both our official Facebook  and Twitter  accounts – could we please ask that you use the #CorgiDiecastDiaries when posting, as this helps direct new collectors to our blog pages. We look forward to reading all your latest Corgi collecting discussions and pictures of your favourite models over the coming weeks.

Finally, we would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support of our blog and we look forward to bringing you plenty of Corgi related news, features and updates in the months to come. The next edition of Die-cast Diaries will be published on Friday 29th June.

 

The Corgi Die-cast Diaries Team

 

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