Hunting the RAF by night

Hunting the RAF by night

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. We are pleased to say that much of the feedback we receive in relation to the production of our blog is extremely positive and readership numbers are continuing to grow at a steady pace, however, we are often asked why so many of our features showcase models in the Aviation Archive series and why we don’t pay equal attention to the other ranges in the current, or previous Corgi line-ups. Well, the answer is that Aviation Archive is definitely the most popular Corgi range at the moment and we receive far more comment, feedback and reader engagement on matters die-cast aviation than any other category. The vast majority of request we receive are to include more aviation content in each edition, however, we are fully aware that Corgi is much more than simply aviation and we do try to include as much variety as we can within our blog. We think we have been particularly successful in featuring the Vanguards classic motor vehicles range over recent months and buses have also been appearing more regularly over recent months, however, we are always keen to receive your suggestions and this could be your chance to help shape the future direction of Die-cast Diaries. If you have a love of modern trucks, a huge collection of model buses or a TV and film related die-cast display which would put the rest of us to shame, please let us know about it and send details to us at diecastdiaries@corgi.co.uk , so we can share them with our loyal readership and educate fellow collectors about differing die-cast tastes. There is nothing more interesting than an article produced by someone passionate about their subject, even if you may not share their particular collecting preference – this could be your opportunity to star in a future edition of our Corgi blog. There are model collections at stake here and this is no time to be shy. We would be pleased to hear from anyone with a story to tell and not wanting to deter anyone, Aviation Archive collectors are more than welcome to get involved.

So, what do we have for you in this latest edition? We begin by returning to Guangdong Province and our legacy Corgi Lancaster production feature, with this final instalment looking at bringing everything together on the model production line and finally assembling the Lancaster we have been following over the past few months. We also take a look at a recent Aviation Archive arrival, along with an impending future classic, both of which have been causing quite a stir within collector circles since they were announced in the range earlier this year. Bringing you the latest in a long line of blog exclusives, we have news and first product artwork images from an exciting 2019 twin model release project, supporting the Go-Ahead Bus Group in commemorating 50 years since the formation of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and staying with the subject of public transport, you can also look forward to the evocative sight of a trio of classic British buses, gathered together for a memorable photocall at a recent transport rally event. We have news of our latest competition, with a unique piece of die-cast memorabilia awaiting our lucky winner, before ending in time honoured fashion with a slightly abridged edition of our popular ‘What’s on the desk’ feature. This all sounds like it is going to be yet another feature packed edition, so we had better get cracking.

Final assembly for die-cast Lancaster

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

The 1/72nd scale Corgi Avro Lancaster has earned an unrivalled reputation amongst aviation collectors and is regarded as one of the most important models in the history of die-cast collecting

Over the past few editions of Die-cast Diaries, we have followed the progress of a classic Corgi Aviation Archive model, as it progresses through the various stages of manufacture at a Far Eastern production facility. Although these details pertain to a factory visit back in 2003, many of the processes we were fortunate enough to view back then are still in use to this day, even though they may have seen further development and if nothing else, this series of features have been an interesting look at historic die-cast model production. So far, we have seen everything from the management of tooling blocks to cleaning the metal product frames produced by pressure injecting the molten Mazak through them, along with the preparation and painting of these individual components. We have discussed the ingenuity of the tampo paint printing process and how the production of these much loved models relies on more than a little human input, input from people who would probably have never have even seen an example of the aircraft on which the model they are working on is based. In this final instalment, we will see how all the individual components are brought together and enable our Corgi Lancaster to take its place in the Aviation Archive range and grace display cabinets (as well as lining the lofts) of collectors all over the world.

Up until this point, the various components of the Lancaster model, both die-cast metal and plastic, have been worked on in different areas in the factory. The solid metal wings and fuselage sections have been prepared, paint sprayed and embellished with additional painted markings and are now lining storage bins awaiting assembly, whilst the myriad of plastic components have been removed from their moulding frames, cleaned up and painted in preparation for assembly. This will include such items as crew figures, propellers, undercarriage, weapons loads, gun turrets and the horizontal stabilizer with their distinctive H tail units, all of which will have to be painted prior to final assembly. Indeed, much of this internal assembly work will go largely unnoticed, particularly around the cockpit area and inside the gun turrets, however, this level of detail and authenticity is a feature which has helped the Aviation Archive range become so popular over the years and why it is still going strong nearly 21 years since the first models appeared in model stores all over the world. Factory technicians will have been painting the crew figures, applying the yellow warning tips to the many hundreds of scale Lancaster propellers and assembling the painted undercarriage legs which will eventually support this impressive model, as it stands majestically as the centrepiece of many a collection. All these individual components are now lying in plastic component bins at various points on what is essentially about to become a scaled down Lancaster production line – Avro Chadderton, but in miniature.

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

The tampo printed Lancaster fuselage sections featured in the previous instalment await the next stage in the production process

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Painted and assembled propeller units wait to see which Lancaster model they will be attached to

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Painted crew figures are fixed to the cockpit section, which is then attached to the metal base of the model

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Other members of the model crew are fixed into position, ready for their first die-cast bombing mission

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Starting to take shape. The base of the model now also has the tail-plane assembly and rear gun turret attached

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

A closer look at the Lancaster assembly line, showing Corgi Lancaster’s at various stages of their production

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Final checks on the die-cast fuselage tops, before all major components can be assembled. Note the complete Lancaster in the case at the right of this picture, which is for workers to refer to, should they need

The first stage is for the cockpit assembly to be completed, with workers using glues of various strength and types to attach plastic to plastic, then these plastic sub-assemblies to the metal base of the Lancaster. As the model slowly starts to take shape, the cockpit, complete with figures, is attached to the base, along with the assembled rear turret and painted horizontal stabiliser, before everything advances to the next assembly area. Whilst all this is happening, other technicians will be working on the main die-cast components of the model, which have already been pre-painted, have dried and will really start to begin resembling something like a Lancaster. The one piece wing, upper fuselage and engine nacelles all now come together and are soon married with the base assembly which contains the crew figures, interior detail, tail section and rear turret. As these sections are predominantly die-cast metal, they will need to be screwed into position, once everything has been aligned correctly and to allow free movement of items such as the gun turrets.

As you can see from the many pictures illustrating this feature, the entire process is incredibly labour intensive and each model will have passed through the hands of a great many people before it arrives with its new collector owner. Anyone who has ever attempted plastic modelling will know that dealing with paint and glue can cause problems if not handled correctly, with fingerprints and smudges potentially ruining many hours of careful work – this must be magnified tenfold with the production of a large die-cast model and requires lots of planning and really careful handling by every person in the process. Die-cast collectors are a discerning bunch and they like their models to be as pristine as possible, no matter how many people have been involved in its production and for this reason, along with wanting to avoid unacceptable levels of rejection, these pictures illustrate just how impressive this entire model construction process actually is.

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

With the wings and upper fuselage section now assembled, the cockpit canopy can be attached to the model

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Looking something like a 1/72nd scale Lancaster, this image shows the propellers being attached to the already painted model

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Another view of smaller items being glued to the main Lancaster fuselage, interestingly with a large pile of Lancaster boxes stacked in the background

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Quality control. Here, a Lancaster is being assessed before it can proceed down the production line. Anything she is not happy with will be highlighted with a red sticker and will either receive additional attention or will be rejected

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Just one of the Lancaster production lines, as this magnificent model is assembled from its many component parts

With the model now looking very much like a scale representation of the famous bomber which it is attempting to replicate, it is time for the final detail to be attached, including propellers, cockpit canopy, radio masts, antenna and pitot tubes, before everything is assessed in a final quality control check. You will notice in many of the attached pictures that whilst the model is in the advanced stages of assembly, many of the workers have a selection of glues and paints at their workstations, just in case the model they are working on requires a little extra attention or if some of the painted areas are in need of a little touching up. Knowing what would be considered acceptable by the customer and eventually the collector, this work must again be done sympathetically and requiring exceptional levels of dexterity, but just as was the case with Lancaster production during the war, it could be argued that due to the significant human element throughout this process, no two Corgi Lancasters in the entire production run are identical. Interestingly, most of the people involved in the manufacture of this latest Aviation Archive collectable will have ever seen a Lancaster before and as this was produced some time ago and before the proliferation of 4G mobile phone use, a beautifully finished, complete Corgi Lancaster model in 1/72nd scale was sitting at the head of the production lines, both to provide work inspiration and as a reference for anyone who may need it.

With the Lancaster now assembled and quality control checks completed, it is time for each model to be placed in its bespoke box and prepared for shipping to several Corgi distribution facilities around the world. Both the protective polystyrene insert and the box itself will have been produced at another factory in China and delivered to the die-cast factory ready for this final stage in the process. With the cardboard boxes already assembled in their hundreds, each Lancaster model is placed inside the box with its protective insert and all the separate parts, such as undercarriage, undercarriage doors, display stand and certificate, along with any instruction leaflet information which may be required. Once the lid is placed on top, it is highly likely that the next person to see the model will be its new owner, as they carefully remove the Lancaster from its box and inspect it prior to placing it on display, the latest acquisition for their growing die-cast collection.

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

The finished model is carefully packed into its polystyrene tray, along with the stand and other accessories

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

A thing of beauty. Die-cast collectors were already looking forward to adding this model to their collections

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Hundreds of boxes await the finished models, delivered to the factory from another manufacturer

Exclusive Corgi Avro Lancaster Chinese factory production review on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Anatomy of a Corgi Lancaster. Some of the larger component parts of the model laid out for illustrative purposes

It is sometimes difficult to understand just how much work is involved in the production of any die-cast model collectable. From the original design work required before the model tooling block can be produced, to the filing of newly cast metal parts and their eventual assembly, this entire process is extremely labour intensive and a great many people will probably have been in contact with your model during the various stages of its manufacture before it comes into your possession. With so many different processes to go through and numerous individual parts required in the production of each model, we hope that this series of features has provided an insight into how the models we all have in our collections made it from prototype drawings to beautifully presented scale die-cast representations of some of the world’s most iconic machines. It certainly highlights the dexterity and attention to detail of the production facility workers and hopefully helps to dispel the myth that these are easy things to make, especially in the case of an aircraft model. Although many things will have altered and improved in the 15 years since this factory visit was made, it has given us the opportunity to see how one of the classic releases in the history of the Aviation Archive range made it to our display shelves – Avro Lancaster production Corgi style.

Latest aviation classic arrives

New Corgi English Electric Lightning F6 AA28402 the Tigers on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

A pair of Corgi classics – the first and second 1/48th scale English Electric Lightning F.6 models enjoying some quality time together

If the 1/72nd scale Avro Lancaster is regarded as a classic Corgi model, then the new 1/48th scale English Electric Lightning F.6 is surely destined to follow in its die-cast slipstream and we are extremely pleased to announce that the second release from this magnificent tooling has just been released. Coming as something of a surprise when Die-cast Diaries announced the existence of this exciting new model tooling at the beginning of 2017, the Lightning has proved to be an incredibly popular addition to the Aviation Archive range, with the first release totally allocated before it even arrived in stock and has since become an incredibly difficult model to source. The second release will hopefully allow those who missed out on the original model to secure an example of this famous British jet interceptor produced in this impressive larger scale, as well as undoubtedly proving irresistible to collectors who already have the first Lightning.

New Corgi English Electric Lightning F6 AA28402 the Tigers on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

Lightning force. The first two releases represent very different schemes worn by the Lightning during its RAF service career

For this second Lightning release, AA28402 presents the world’s only all British supersonic interceptor in arguably its most iconic presentation, that of a natural metal F.6 variant in the colours of No.74 Squadron ‘The Tigers’, during their time based at Tengah in Singapore. Interestingly, despite the extremely attractive appearance of these black tailed interceptors, complete with their tiger face motif, it seems as if the military top brass were less than impressed with the distinctive nature of the squadron’s aircraft presentation and instructed them to tone them down and make them less conspicuous. As a consequence, these handsome Lightnings wore these distinctive markings for a relatively short period of time, making this scheme choice for the second Corgi release all the more appealing. This fantastic model is available now and already has collectors speculating as to what the scheme choice will be for the third Lightning release – we look forward to bringing you these details in a future edition of Die-cast Diaries.

Pencil bomber turned night owl

AA38808 Dornier Do17Z-10 Kauz II Screech Owl Nightfighter on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

Before we leave the subject of aviation archive models for this edition, we have already looked at a previous classic aircraft release and seen how the Lightning is fast becoming a current classic, so it is probably appropriate that we also take a look at a future release which seems certain to be held in the same regard. One of the most striking models announced in the July to December 2018 model range was a Luftwaffe aircraft type which will be familiar to many as one of the main German bombers which served during the Battle of Britain, however, this aircraft was also pressed into service as a heavily armed nightfighter, equipped with a nose mounted infra-red ‘Spanner-Anlage’ spotlight. Following the spectacular successes of Blitzkrieg during the early months of WWII, few in the German Military contemplated the fact that the conflict would last beyond 1940 and become a desperate struggle on many fronts. Despite Britain standing alone in the face of this onslaught, she began to launch daylight bombing raids on German cities, as Bomber Command went on the offensive, however, heavy losses soon resulted in these raids being carried out under the cover of darkness. Not prepared to defend against a night bombing campaign, the Luftwaffe were forced to quickly develop aircraft and tactics suitable for the task, adapting aircraft which were currently in front line service for this nocturnal task. Although the Bf 109 was one of the most successful fighter aircraft in the world at that time, it was not ideally suited to operations at night and some larger, less obvious types were pressed into service. The Dornier Do17 was developed as a ‘fast bomber’, capable of carrying relatively light bomb loads at great speed and able to outrun the fighter aircraft of the day. Outdated by the time of the Battle of Britain, the Do17 was nevertheless deployed in significant numbers and was well like by Luftwaffe crews, as it possessed excellent handling characteristics and good low altitude performance, making the aircraft less susceptible to enemy action. It also made the aircraft an ideal choice for the fledgling Nachtjagd force, as its greater size and strength allowed it to be modified for this specialised task. With additional fuel tanks added in the bomb bay and a savage array of guns mounted in a new hard nose, the aircraft’s greater loiter capability transformed these former bombers into deadly night hunters, sinister looking aircraft scouring the night skies searching for their latest prey.

AA38808 Dornier Do17Z-10 Kauz II Screech Owl Nightfighter on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

This fantastic image showcases the talents of our graphic design team and features the pre-production sample image displayed at the head of this section, with an added creative twist. Looking very much at home in its operating environment, this image really does show off the sinister appearance of this nocturnal hunter and night intruder

As the most heavily produced version of the Luftwaffe’s distinctive ‘Flying Pencil’, the Dornier Do17Z would see plenty of action during the Second World War, including several roles for which the aircraft was not initially intended. With the Do17 regarded as almost obsolete by the opening stages of WWII, it is surprising to think that this ungainly looking bomber would also be pressed into service as an early night fighter, as the Luftwaffe quickly tried to establish an effective force to repel the growing number of raids targeting German cities. In a deadly game of nocturnal cat and mouse, British bombers would desperately attempt to avoid detection whilst navigating towards their latest target, aware that prowling Luftwaffe night fighters could strike at any moment. Aiming to disrupt Bomber Command operations still further, l/NJG.2 was a specialist unit mounting long rage night intruder missions over Britain, causing havoc with the British night flying training programme and attacking bombers returning from their latest raid, as they prepared to land back at their home airfield. This Do17Z-10 Kauz II (Screech Owl) had been modified specifically for the task and was equipped with a nose mounted infra-red searchlight and detection system, along with a devastating array of weaponry, designed to make short work of any British bomber it detected. Operating from the captured Dutch airfield at Gilze-Rijen, R4+AK was the mount of future night fighter ace Erich Jung, who ended the war with 28 nocturnal victories. Only nine aircraft were modified for this task, due to the fact that the infra-red ‘Spanner-Anlage’ spotlight system proved to be rather sensitive and difficult to operate, allied to the fact that the Junkers Ju-88C was proving to be much more suitable in the role of nightfighter.

This interesting and attractive Dornier Do17Z-10 ‘Screech Owl’ AA38808 is due for release later this month and will make for an interesting addition to any aviation model collection.

Fusilier 50 Bus livery – When fate calls, heroes answer

Exclusive new Corgi model bus announcement on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

Product artwork produced in support of this special dual release and featuring the Newcastle Wright Gemini 2 bus

Subscribers to the Corgi Collectors Club were given an unexpected Original Omnibus 2019 exclusive announcement in a recent edition of their club magazine and as we are always keen to bring new model news to our own readers as soon as we are allowed, we are pleased to share these details with you now. As one of the first Corgi 2019 model announcements, this information is so advanced that the models in question do not yet have a product page on the Corgi website, however, that is no reason to prevent us from telling you about it, so here goes – the following section was penned by our talented researcher and writer Paul Isles.

The Defence Review of 1957 saw a number of reforms carried out to the British Army between 1958 and 1961, as it transitioned from the Regimental to a Brigade system, leading to the amalgamation of pairs of Regiments. In 1962, this process culminated with the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, seeking ‘tangible advantages from the point of view of recruiting and flexibility’ that could be gained from a large regiment system and by March that year, planning was well underway. The first of these ‘large regiments’ was created on September 1, 1964 with the formation of the Royal Anglian Regiment from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd East Anglian Regiments, and the Royal Leicestershire Regiment. A year later, figures showed that recruitment to the large regiment had met Profumo’s stated ‘tangible advantages’, leading to the Army Board making it their stated wish and intention that regiments should amalgamate.

During 1967 the Fusilier Brigade, consisting of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers, the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) and the Lancashire Fusiliers, agreed to amalgamate in the face of mounting pressure from Whitehall, forming the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers on April 23, 1968.
The new Regiment could trace its lineage back to the raising of the ‘Irish Regiment’ by the 3rd Viscount Clare in 1674, forming part of the mercenary armies employed by the Dutch States Army against the French. Immediately following the cessation of the 3rd Anglo-Dutch War, this was a volatile period of history, as allegiances and religious attitudes ebbed and flowed and the five English, Scottish and Irish Regiments employed in the Netherlands found themselves fighting against former allies.

At the end of May 1685, James Scott, 1st Earl of Monmouth and an illegitimate son of Charles II, set sail for England from the Hague, his aim being to overthrow England’s catholic King; James II. A former Commander-in-Chief and Captain General, Monmouth landed at Lyme Regis on June 11 and to counter this new threat to his Crown, James II had recalled two Regiments from their Dutch Service, the former ‘Irish Regiment’ and Colonel Luke Lillingston’s ‘English’ Regiment, establishing the 5th and 6th Regiments of the Line. At the same time, James II instructed Lord Dartmouth to raise an Ordnance Regiment to protect the armoury at the Tower of London, armed with the snaphaunce, or fusil, musket, to which the King referred to as ‘Our Royal Regiment of Fuzileers’, the 7th Regiment of the Line.

Separated in order of seniority only by the order in which they disembarked in 1685, the 5th Regiment of the Line became the 5th (Northumberland Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot in 1836, earning the ‘Royal’ status on June 3, 1935 on the occasion of George V’s Silver Jubilee. The 6th Regiment of the Line gained ‘Royal’ status a lot earlier, in 1832, when it became the 6th (Royal 1st Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot but did not gain ‘Fusilier’ recognition until May 1963, when it became part of the Fusilier Brigade.

Exclusive new Corgi model bus announcement on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

This fascinating file shows the amount of decoration artwork which will be required for the Newcastle based commemorative bus

With the 7th Regiment being granted ‘Royal’ and ‘Fusilier’ status from its formation, the final Regiment of the quartet was formed in 1688, raised as the 20th Regiment of the Line by Sir Richard Peyton. Fusilier status was bestowed upon the 20th in 1881, under the Childers Reform of the British Army, the 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment of Foot becoming The Lancashire Fusiliers. The same reform saw the 5th renamed as The Northumberland Fusiliers, the 6th as The Royal Warwickshire Regiment and the 7th as The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment).

The creation of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1968 resulted in the four amalgamated Fusilier Regiments losing their traditional names, becoming numbered Battalions within the Regiment (the Royal Northumberland becoming the 1st Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire becoming the 2nd, the Royal Fusiliers becoming the 3rd and the Royal Lancashire becoming the 4th), but on November 1, 1969 the 4th Battalion was disbanded, a victim of the 1967 Defence White Paper reduction in infantry battalions.

The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers also incorporated Territorial Army elements, the 5th (Volunteer) Battalion RRF being formed in 1968 from the Fusilier Volunteers and the 6th (Volunteer) Battalion RRF being formed in 1975 from the Northumbrian Volunteers, along with two companies from the 5th (V). These two Battalions could trace their lineage back to the Volunteer Rifle Corps of 1859 and the Northumberland Militia of 1759 and continued as separate Battalions until 1999, when the 6th (V) Battalion was disbanded and absorbed into the Tyne-Tees Regiment, before being disbanded again in 2006; the original X, Z & C Companies re-joining the 5th (V) Battalion.

Since its formation in 1968, the Battalions of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have served in trouble spots across the globe, from Northern Ireland, Cyprus, the Balkans and Kosovo, to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, but following the successful conclusion of the first Desert Storm Operation, on August 1, 1992 the 3rd Battalion was withdrawn from the Army’s Order of Battle, its personnel merged into the 1st and 2nd Battalions, as part of the UK Government’s ‘Options for Change’ policy. This policy was followed in 2010 by the Strategic Defence and Security Review which rendered further cutbacks under the ‘Army 2020’ plan and resulted in the amalgamation of 1st and 2nd Battalions at around 75% of the previous regimental strength.

Exclusive new Corgi model bus announcement on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

The London ‘New Routemaster’ presentation will look very different to the scheme worn by the Northeastern operated bus

Fifty years on from its formation, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers now comprises the 1st Battalion, an Armoured Infantry Battalion operating under the 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade, based at Tidworth Camp on Salisbury Plain and the 5th Battalion, part of the Army Reserve, based around the North-East of England. The Fusiliers retain the traditions and battle honours proudly earned by their predecessors and continue to wear the red-over-white hackle awarded to the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers by King George IV in 1829, following on from the original white plumes worn by the 5th (Northumberland) Regiment of Foot, following their victory over the French at the Battle of St. Lucia in December 1778.

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, and working with the Go-Ahead Bus Group, a special commemorative livery has been applied to two of the company’s Wright buses; one based in Newcastle and one in London.

Corgi Original Omnibus is proud to be working with the Fusiliers to produce this special edition Go-Ahead Group Wright Bus twin pack in the ‘Fusilier50’ livery. At the time of writing, both of the actual buses will be appearing at the London Privilege Parade on September 5, 2018. Please keep checking Die-cast Diaries and the Corgi website for further details of this very special release.

AEC Regent trio delight at Heaton Park

AEC Regent III Trans Lancs Transport Show at Heaton Park on the die-cast diaries blog

The original catalogue image featuring VA08913 shows the model without the front bull bars attached

For anyone who has yet to sample the delights of a bus and transport show, you are missing out on a fascinating trip back into British transport nostalgia and a thoroughly enjoyable day out. These events are now being enjoyed by ever increasing numbers of people and it is important to point out that you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy immersing yourself in this fascinating subject - there will always be someone on hand to tell you something about the vehicles on display. A recent event held at Manchester’s Heaton Park made full use of the exceptional weather we have enjoyed this summer and attracted thousands of people with the promise of some transport delights guaranteed to bring back some fond memories.

We collectors are a funny breed. What one person would claim to be their lifelong passion will hold no interest for others and some of the machines we love to study are relatively anonymous to most people. That is certainly the case when discussing buses, both modern and classic, which most of us must surely admit to taking very much for granted. Both now and certainly in years past, these vehicles will have been a significant part of most people’s daily lives, whether we like to admit it or not. Taking us all to work, school or on our first date, these hard working vehicles got us to where we needed to be and as our current public transport network continues this important work, many of us are guilty (or certainly have been in the past), of sleepwalking through various eras of British transport history. For others, the sight, sound and smell of these magnificent vehicles is indelibly etched in their minds and drives an enthusiast passion which is all consuming and thankfully leads many to become involved in the preservation of these classic vehicles, once they have been superseded by more modern incarnations.

AEC Regent III Trans Lancs Transport Show at Heaton Park on the die-cast diaries blog

Proving to be a definite highlight of the show, this trio of regional AEC Regent III buses provided a nostalgic photo opportunity for those making the trip to Manchester’s Heaton Park

AEC Regent III Trans Lancs Transport Show at Heaton Park on the die-cast diaries blog

The enjoyable aspect of attending a transport show is that you will find all types of people enjoying the same experience – hardened enthusiasts rubbing shoulders with those who have just a casual interest, however they are all helping to preserve Britain’s Public Transport history in their own small way. The recent Trans-Lancs Transport Show at Heaton Park was just an enjoyable day in the sun for some, but for others, undoubtedly one of their highlight events of the year. The confirmed enthusiasts would have been hoping to capture some unique images at the show and would have been delighted with the one which unexpectedly presented itself relatively late in the afternoon. Gathered together for an impromptu photoshoot, this trio of early 1950s AEC Regent III double-deckers commanded quite an audience on the day and whether people counted themselves as an enthusiast or a casual observer, all will have been captivated by this majesty of this beautiful sight. The AEC Regent III bus was originally built for intended operation outside London, which makes it a popular vehicle in towns and cities across the rest of the UK – many will remember the bus wearing the operator liveries of companies in the North of England, which probably explains the popularity of this impressive show grouping. Over 4,500 of these buses were produced and even though initially intended for operation outside the London area, many would also go on to grace the streets of the capital. Like many classic vehicles however, the genuine affection for these distinctive buses probably only occurred after their withdrawal from service and has much to do with the getting on with life and taking it for granted paradox mentioned earlier. This extremely enjoyable show underlined the enduring popularity of these events, with the AEC Regent III trio being the undoubted photographic highlight for many.

'All aboard' for a fantastic Corgi competition

Corgi competition New Routemaster London bus exclusive on the die-cast diaries blog

Catalogue image used in support of the 2016 released OM46616A/B New Routemaster in its heritage ‘General’ livery

All this talk of buses had us thinking about the possibility of running our latest Corgi competition, this time with a definite British road transport leaning, but what could we possibly offer as a suitable prize? If ever in doubt, a quick rummage through the storage room at Corgi HQ can usually throw up a couple of interesting options and this time we most definitely came up trumps. We discovered a handsome bus model from the 2016 Original Omnibus range but with a difference - this was no ordinary model and had been specifically prepared as a distinctive and highly desirable presentation item. Produced in support of the dual destination ‘New Routemaster’ OM46616A/B model release, in Go-Ahead London Heritage ‘General’ livery, this beautiful model is set on a unique Perspex plinth, embellished with the logos of companies linked with this project and is protected by a substantial Perspex case, which sets this apart from any other model in this release run. Clearly, this is a highly desirable item not only for bus collectors, but also for anyone interested in rare die-cast models and we are pleased to be able to offer it as a prize.

Go-Ahead London is the largest bus company in the Capital and employs approximately 7,000 staff in 18 locations, mainly in South and South West London. Their vehicle fleet currently stands at around 2,300 buses, including London’s first fully electric vehicles and some 160 of the New Routemaster buses. The livery presented on this model release is a scale representation of a contemporary take on the original ‘General’ livery carried on the company’s buses from the early 20th century, updated and adapted to reflect the shape and form of the new, less angular Routemaster bus. Working the famous Route 11, this bus is now employed on one of the capital’s most popular and iconic routes, which takes in many of London’s most famous sights and landmarks.

Corgi competition New Routemaster London bus exclusive on the die-cast diaries blog

This unique and extremely collectable prize awaits our lucky winner

To be in with the chance of winning this extremely desirable prize, please head for the Corgi Competitions Page of our website, where you will find all the relevant competition details and a simple London bus related question for you to answer. We will announce the winner in the next edition of Die-cast Diaries and we wish everyone taking part bonne chance!

What’s on the desk?

We end this latest edition of Die-cast Diaries in time honoured fashion, with a look at the latest sample models to arrive for checking at Corgi HQ, accepting that readers are now fully aware of the caveat we place on the publication of such product images. In a development which will delight Aviation Archive collectors, whilst causing others a little die-cast angst, the only two models available this time were aeroplanes, but as they are both proving to be extremely popular additions to the range, we hope they will be enjoyed by the majority of our readers. As both models have been covered extensively in either this or a previous edition of our Corgi blog, this is going to be a visual edition of WOTD, although we will still include product/feature links for those wishing to find out a little more. Both models are also due for imminent release, so this is also your final opportunity to reserve an example of either aircraft and ensure you can add one to your collection.

AA36111. Consolidated Catalina IVA JV928 ‘Y’, F/Off John Alexander Cruickshank VC, RAF No.210 Squadron, Sullom Voe, Shetland Islands, 17th July 1944 – the sinking of U-361.

This release marks an aircraft flown by Britain’s oldest surviving Victoria Cross recipient and true flying hero of the Second World war. The story behind this aircraft and its heroic crew was featured in edition 38 of Die-cast Diaries and the website product page can be viewed by clicking the title above.

AA36111 Consolidated Catalina RAF VC winner John Cruickshank on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

A selection of images showing the latest sample model of the soon to be released Cruickshank VC Catalina in 1/72nd scale

AA36111 Consolidated Catalina RAF VC winner John Cruickshank on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog
AA36111 Consolidated Catalina RAF VC winner John Cruickshank on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog
AA36111 Consolidated Catalina RAF VC winner John Cruickshank on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

The ‘B’ release of this model presents the bus working No.21 route to Brighton Marina & Queens Park

AA38808. Dornier Do17Z-10 Kauz II, R4+AK, I/NJG.2, Erich Jung, Gilze-Rijen airfield, Holland, October 1940.

This beautiful model was one of our feature subjects earlier in this mammoth edition, however, should you wish to access the Dornier’s individual product page, please click on the title link above.

AA38808 Dornier Do17Z-10 Kauz II Screech Owl Nightfighter on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

The sinister looking Dornier Do17Z-10 Nightfighter is without doubt one of the most distinctive looking aircraft in the current Aviation Archive line-up

AA38808 Dornier Do17Z-10 Kauz II Screech Owl Nightfighter on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog
AA38808 Dornier Do17Z-10 Kauz II Screech Owl Nightfighter on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

We are afraid that’s it for yet another feature packed edition of Corgi Die-cast Diaries, however, we will be back as usual with more updates and exclusive Corgi model information in four weeks’ time. In the meantime, we would be interested to hear your views regarding our blog, its content and if there is anything you might like us to feature in a forthcoming edition. Also, fellow die-cast collectors are always interested to see pictures of impressive model collections, so if you would like to give your Corgi model display a little international blog exposure, please send details to our usual diecastdiaries@corgi.co.uk, email address, where we will be only too pleased to hear 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  channels. We look forward to reading all your latest Corgi collecting discussions and seeing pictures of your favourite Corgi 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 16th November.

 

The Corgi Die-cast Diaries Team

 

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