New Beaufighter for Aviation Archive

New Beaufighter for Aviation Archive

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. The announcement of the latest Corgi model range at the beginning of the year, included details of a mighty haul of new tooling projects, more than had been announced for many a previous year. As we have yet to feature any of the development details from these latest projects within Diecast Diaries, we are going to rectify this situation in this latest edition – with a host of never before seen images, we will be taking a closer look at the much anticipated new 1/72nd scale Bristol Beaufighter TF.X as our lead feature and seeing how this is one Aviation Archive announcement many collectors have been waiting a long time for. We will also be bringing you a review of the recent Classic Car & Restoration Show, but more from the perspective of the impressive Corgi display stand, which made its debut over the weekend and one which we are hoping many of our readers will have the opportunity to visit over the coming months. We also have a host of the latest product updates to bring you, news of an interesting Superhaulers Easter competition for collectors to get involved with and the latest Diecast Diaries blog competition, which offers one lucky reader the opportunity to win a sell out VC action Consolidated Catalina model. As usual, we have a lot of information to bring you, so we had better make a start straight away.

Heavy fighter becomes a Torbeau

When Corgi released the Aviation Archive range back in 1998, little could they know just how popular these scale aircraft models would become and how more than 20 years later, collectors still have a long list of models they would like to see joining the range. With the first models produced in 1/144th scale, it would not be long before their popularity necessitated the growth of the range and the first foray into what is generally regarded as the most popular model collectors scale - 1/72nd scale. With such iconic aircraft as the Spitfire, Messerschmitt, Mosquito and Lancaster going on to be produced in diecast metal in a relatively short period of time, these delightful little models became the standard by which all other models produced in metal would be judged and allowed people who did not have the time, skill or inclination to build plastic model kits of their favourite aircraft, the ability to construct a spectacular collection of the world’s most famous aircraft. As the range grew steadily, collector’s were never shy about making their opinions known on which new models they would like to see added to the range and indeed there were some subjects which were regarded as being squarely in ‘Corgi territory’. One aircraft which many have long regarded as being a ‘must’ for inclusion in the Aviation Archive range is the Bristol Beaufighter and its announcement as a new tooling project in the 2019 range will have come as a pleasant surprise for many. We are pleased to be in a position to bring readers an overview of this fantastic new model, one which fills an important gap in the range and marks the most heavily produced version of this famous fighting aeroplane.

New Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

The rugged qualities of the Bristol Beaufighter were also appreciated by the USAAF during WWII, who used the heavy fighter in a nightfighting role. This picture has been used as it is a particularly detailed example of a wartime Beaufighter

The idea behind the development of the Bristol Beaufighter was a relatively simple one – the need for range and firepower. Although Britain’s Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfires were two of the most capable fighter aircraft in the world in the late 1930s, they were both designed as interceptor fighters and range, or their lack of it, would always be an issue, especially when it came to mounting operations across the channel. As effective as both of these fighters were, the design team at Bristol Aeroplane Company were determined to build an aircraft with the capability of striking out from British airfields and able to take the fight to the enemy. Building on the success of their Blenheim light bomber (and makeshift heavy fighter) which was in widespread service with the RAF at that time and the Beaufort torpedo bomber, which had been accepted for further development, the team began work on the Beaufighter, which would follow the heavy fighter doctrine of allowing wide ranging missions to be completed, bringing heavy firepower to bear. If the aircraft did not need to travel great distances, the twin engined Beaufighter could mount lengthy standing patrols and certainly far in excess of those possible by either the Spitfire or Hurricane.

The Bristol Beaufighter entered RAF service during the height of the Battle of Britain, with Nos 25, 29, 219 and 604 Squadrons each initially receiving a single aircraft apiece on 2nd September, beginning the long process of training and conversion to the new type – the first of these aircraft would go on to see combat by the end of the month. Fighter Command’s success against the attacking Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain forced Germany to switch its bombing operations from daytime to a night offensive, with the cloak of darkness allowing their crews a modicum of protection from fighter interception, whilst at the same time also exposing Britain’s lack of an effective nightfighter force. The aviation attributes of the new Beaufighter made it an idea choice for this specialised role, with the size of the aircraft enabling it to be equipped with an early version of airborne interception radar and its fuel capacity allowing long standing patrols to be mounted by these nocturnal hunters. It was certainly much more suitable as a nightfighter than either the Spitfire or Hurricane and even the hastily modified Blenheim’s which had been forced into the role and resulted in the Beaufighter being classified by the Air Ministry as a high priority production type.

An extremely powerful aeroplane, the Beaufighter was not without its vices and pilots operating the first service versions began to report some rather disturbing directional instability issues. This came in addition to the more obvious issue of having two massive Bristol Hercules engines positioned ahead of the cockpit and restricting the pilots view during critical phases of flight, a problem which would persist throughout the service career of the aircraft. Thankfully, the directional instability was solved by adding a 12 degree dihedral to the tailplane of the aircraft, a modification which was applied to all new aircraft, but one which resulted in Beaufighters with both flat and angled versions of the tail being in squadron service simultaneously. The rugged nature of the Beaufighter’s construction, combined with its impressive range and firepower made it ideally suited to its use in conducting long Coastal Command strike missions out into the North Sea, where it would take a heavy toll of Axis shopping, a role for which the aircraft would become famous.

New Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

This dramatic Airfix box artwork shows something of the savage fighting Coastal Command Beaufighter’s were involved in during WWII, many miles from their home bases and with huge expanses of ocean between them and safety

The marriage of the Beaufighter Mk.VIc airframe with the new Bristol Hercules Mk.XVII engine, optimised for low altitude performance, resulted in the TF.X (Torpedo Fighter) which was referred to as the 'Torbeau', a battering ram of an aeroplane which would become the main production variant of the Beaufighter and account for almost half its total production numbers. Operating from bases on the East coast of Britain, swarms of heavily armed Coastal Command Beaufighters would target Axis shipping, developing tactics which saw their success rates increase to such a level that enemy movements could only be risked by night and any vessel caught at sea during daylight hours was in danger of being attacked. Operating in tandem, Beaufighters equipped with rockets and cannons (the Beaufighter was also known colloquially as the ‘Ten gun terror’) would attack first, disabling any defensive armament carried by their targets, before the Torbeaus would come in at low level to deliver their torpedoes. These attacks could be so frenzied and inflict such terrible damage, that the strike wings of Coastal Command effectively closed down Germany’s ability to re-supply by sea during the final months of WWII. In conjunction with the de Havilland Mosquito, the Beaufighter helped to prove the concept of the heavy fighter, especially in the demanding environment of these offensive coastal missions, flying for many hours over open water.

Beaufighter for Aviation Archive

New Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

This image was created by one of our talented graphic designers for inclusion in the 2019 Corgi catalogue. It is important to stress that the model release will not be presented in a weathered finish and this image was intended for illustrative purposes only

As one of the most heavily requested new tooling suggestions in the history of the Aviation Archive range, the announcement of the new 1/72nd scale Bristol Beaufighter TF.X was a real boost for this popular scale and introduced an aircraft type that many Corgi collectors had been patiently waiting for. The new model also benefits from the fact that it has shared much of the detailed research information compiled in support of an earlier 1/72nd scale Airfix kit release, with the designer having access to the specialised CAD data produced for that project. Indeed, and in a development which will undoubtedly delight Corgi collectors, the same design engineer responsible for producing the magnificent 1/72nd scale Airfix Beaufighter was also design lead on this latest Corgi diecast project. Over the past couple of years, the ability to closely access Airfix research data and general product design expertise has resulted in the production of several models which have propelled the Aviation Archive range to a new level of detail and authenticity and the Beaufighter is a continuation of this exciting development. First manifesting itself in diecast metal with the production of the hugely impressive 1/48th scale English Electric Lightning F.6, this cooperation across the different mediums delighted model collectors and resulted in the new Lightning receiving rave reviews from those either inspecting one, or adding one to their collections, with spectacular sales performance underlining its overwhelming popularity. The new Corgi Beaufighter is a continuation of this successful formula and we are pleased to bring Diecast Diaries readers the first exclusive look at images from this new models development.

Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

This exclusive first look at CAD data screenshot images from the new Corgi Beaufighter project show the second set of data files, before final changes were initiated

Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

This magnificent image will be of great interest to Aviation Archive collectors and shows how the Corgi design team split construction of the Beaufighter for production in diecast metal

We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak with the product designer behind the new Corgi Beaufighter, a man who already has some serious design expertise to his name – one of his most recent projects was the 1/24th scale Airfix Grumman Hellcat kit, which was unveiled in a blaze of glory at last year’s Scale Modelworld show at Telford. Chris gave us details about the work involved in producing the new Beaufighter and also sent us the fascinating CAD screenshots we have used to illustrate this feature. At the beginning of the project, he had access to the huge amount of information compiled in support of the earlier Airfix kit release of the Beaufighter TF.X and whilst the manufacturing processes between plastic kit and diecast model production are very different, there was much of this front end information which proved invaluable in the production of a highly detailed model. The CAD files were painstakingly produced by the Airfix team after assessing genuine Bristol design drawings and data, converting them into digital computer files necessary for the production of accurate kit model tooling. As you may well imagine, there are some significant differences between the production of a plastic kit and a diecast model and whilst there are some shared similarities at the outset of the design process, the two go in different manufacturing directions very early in each project. With regard to the new Corgi Beaufighter, the original Airfix CAD data files were tweaked slightly, but much of the conversion work was done by the experienced diecast toolmakers in the Far East, who assessed the files and made alterations necessary for the production of a diecast model tooling. These altered files were then sent back to the Corgi designers, who assessed every aspect of the files, making their detailed suggestions at this early stage. It is important to point out that the fascinating CAD images illustrating this feature are from the second set of data files created, before final changes and alterations were included – we are sure that you will agree that they are an attractive and informative illustration of how the Beaufighter was created, even though they were still subject to change at this point.

At this stage, the design team use their experience to assess each individual part of the model and how it will be constructed, including the position of construction joints, which are unavoidable on diecast models. They coordinate their efforts with the Corgi Hong Kong office who also help with improvement suggestions, using their vast experience in this area and helping to push the boundaries of what is possible in the production of a diecast model. After much assessment and some design toing and froing, it is time to release the files for tooling production and instructing the manufacturing plant to produce the first metal shots from the new tooling. A crucial stage of the process, the receipt of this first metal model will signify another period of assessment and report writing, as every aspect of the model is inspected for accuracy, fit and finish – at this stage, quite a list of suggested alterations and improvements can be requested, before the model tooling can be cleared for the production of a sample model and the culmination of all this highly technical work. A new Aviation Archive model is a step closer to becoming a reality.

Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

First of the many – the very first metal shot through the new Corgi Beaufighter tooling. This model represents first opportunity the Corgi team had to see results from the new tooling and to spot any changes needed to the tooling blocks themselves

Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

The latest Diecast Diaries exclusive, this next series of images feature the latest pre-production sample model, which has been sprayed all-over grey to allow the design team a clearer view of the models construction and any potential changes which may be required

Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Exclusive new Aviation Archive Bristol Beaufighter TF.X new tooling on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

When Chris inspected the first metal Beaufighter model produced by the Corgi tooling, he was surprised at just how close to the look of a built Airfix kit it actually was. Obviously very familiar in appearance to the Airfix kit, he was impressed with the level of detail and overall accuracy of the diecast model, feeling that the two were pretty closely matched, especially when considering the very different manufacturing processes required between plastic kit and diecast model production. In yet another exclusive for our readers, we are also in a position to let you all see the latest pre-production sample model pictures from the project, showing one of the early models which has been completely sprayed in grey paint, an exercise which allows the designer a better view of the general fit of the new model. Please note that we are still at the pre-production stage and these images feature a model which the design team are still using to assess the accuracy of the model and may be subject to further change. We think you will agree, the new Corgi Beaufighter is looking magnificent and a valuable future addition to the Aviation Archive range. We look forward to bringing you more details from this fantastic project as it progresses towards its scheduled summer release. One thing we have been asked to stress is that the model will not be released in a representation of a weathered finish, despite the appearance of the catalogue product artwork – this was simply a representation produced by one of our talented graphic designers, who is clearly a fan of the Beaufighter’s Coastal Command heritage.

We would like to thank Chris and the Corgi design team for supplying us with the images and details used in this new Bristol Beaufighter TF.X review – we are all very much looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labours.

New Corgi display stand debuts at NEC show

New Corgi display stand at the National Exhibition Centre on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

The new Corgi stand before the NEC crowds descended on us. Hopefully, many more people will have the change to visit the stand during the summers busy events schedule

There is nothing quite like getting out and about and showing the great British public all the latest Corgi models we have to offer in the metal so to speak, something the Corgi team are looking to do more regularly in the months to come. To that end, our events team have invested in a spanking new Corgi display stand, which made its show debut at the recent Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show, held at the National Exhibition Centre over the weekend of 27th – 29th March. In fact, the stand was so new that the team picked it up from the manufacturers on their way to the show, so this really was the first time it had been used in anger. As this was a classic motor show, our display was very much Corgi Vanguards focused and included many examples of models taking their place in the current range of these popular little 1/43rd scale models. We were delighted to have so many people drop by to introduce themselves and to hear all their stories of how collecting Corgi models has brought them so much pleasure over the years. We were also pleased at the response we had to the rather unique model display we had prepared especially for the show, which served as something of treat for anyone who took the trouble to come to find us.

Exclusive hand decorated sample Vanguards models on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

An unusual Vanguards sight. Our NEC display featured all the models included in the 2019 range, but in hand decorated sample form

Exclusive hand decorated sample Vanguards models on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

This exotic Capri trio shows VA13312 in hand decorated sample, pre-production and signed sample form, highlighting the development stages of this popular model

Classic cars on the Corgi die-cast diaries blog

This beautiful Escort Mk.I Mexico looks very similar to the Vanguards model (VA09519) we included in our 60th Anniversary range

Classic cars on the Corgi die-cast diaries blog

In this day and age, you are nobody unless you own a classic VW camper van

Classic cars on the Corgi die-cast diaries blog

There is so much to see at a Classic Car & Restoration show, including the opportunity to see talented artists producing their latest motorsport masterpieces

Regular readers of Diecast Diaries will be familiar with the way each of our respective  Vanguards model ranges come together and how our talented motoring expert Mark researches and then hand decorates the models destined for any future range. Once these models have been produced, they are sent to Corgi HQ, where they are first photographed to appear in the new catalogue and on the Corgi website, before next embarking on a whistle-stop tour of the early season preview and toy fair exhibition events Corgi are attending. After their starring roles, many of the models are in need of a little restorative action, as this hectic period can often result in them sustaining a little damage, but their important position in any new range usually results in this work taking place. For the first outing of our new display stand at the NEC, we were determined to give visitors a Vanguards model treat and had all of the 2019 hand decorated sample models on public display for the very first time, grouped together and showing what we all had to look forward to over the coming few months. In addition to this, we also included a further unique display, where we had arranged the hand decorated sample, pre-production sample and signed sample of several model releases, in a fascinating visual representation of the important development stages these models go through on their journey from announcement to release – again, the first time such a collection of models had been seen in public.

Some last minute Chitty checking

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang restoration on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

Richard Skinner brought his magnificent Chitty Chitty Bang Bang project to the show for its first public outing and must have been delighted by the number of people who cane to admire his work

Although we were expecting to see a spectacular collection of classic cars on display at the show, we had not been expecting to have the opportunity to get close to a vehicle on which one of the most successful models in the history of Corgi is based, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Positioned not too far from the Corgi stand was a magnificent full size tribute to the world’s most famous flying car, a project which is the brainchild of Richard Skinner. After meeting people associated with the original Chitty build and the film itself, Richard sourced plans, drawings and original patterns, intending to use them to produce a faithful representation of this iconic vehicle.

The car has been completed using aluminium wheels which were cast using an original wooden pattern, at the same foundry near London which produced the casts for all the vehicles used in the movie – this also required sourcing a company with a lathe large enough to machine the wheels and finish them in the same manner as the famous film wheels. The vehicles wooden body was built by Richard, again using original patterns, with his work being checked by one of the craftsmen involved in the production of the movie cars over 50 years ago – when checking the dimensions of the bodywork, it was discovered that there is less than 1mm difference between the width of Richard’s bodywork and those of the original vehicles. The wood used on the ‘boat tail’ body were originally Afrormosia and Obeche, but in the 50 years since the original vehicles were built, one of these has now become an endangered timber and is not readily available. Many months of investigative work had to be carried out in order to find a licenced supplier who could source timber for the project, just one of the many hurdles facing Richard in his quest. With the wood safely in his workshop, all he now had to face was the daunting task of recreating the unique shape of the cars bodywork, a shape which was familiar to many millions of people and would require a high degree of woodworking skill to complete.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang restoration on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

Corgi and Chitty are inextricably linked and this was just too good an opportunity to pass up. Thanks to Richard, two members of the Corgi team were able to do their best Caractacus Potts and Truly Scrumptious impressions

Everything about this impressive project is on a grand scale, from the cars maximum length of 7 metres when the front and rear wings are attached, to the huge 36 inch diameter wheels and their unique rubber tyres, which had to be specially ordered from Lester in the US. The project is now nearing its triumphant completion and after a lifetime of wanting to build a Chitty, Richard reflected on the challenge – “It has been a dream come true to meet so many interesting people throughout this build and to realise my ambition of owning my very own Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. Although Richard has decided not to change his name to Caractacus Potts, adding a final touch of authenticity to the project, some members of his team have nevertheless christened him Caractacus Potty Rich – he doesn’t seem to mind this at all! We would like to sincerely thank Richard for spending quite some time with the Corgi team over the weekend and for allowing two members of our team to sit in his beautiful creation for a memorable picture or two. This was the first public outing for Richard’s Chitty build and judging by the amount of people who were crowded around it taking pictures all weekend, he will have been delighted by its reception. You can find out more about Richard’s Chitty obsession by visiting his website at www.chittychittybangbangcar.co.uk. The latest film faithful representation of our classic Chitty model (CC03502) is now due for imminent release. 

Get the kids Corgi creating this Easter

Corgi Super Haulers Easter competition on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

Ok kids, its time to grab those felt tipped pens that are lying unloved in your craft drawers and let us all see your Super Haulers creative flair. Our range of Super Hauler models have always been amongst the top selling products in any Corgi catalogue and whilst aimed at the younger collector, have managed to find homes with thousands of collectors young and old over the years. Possibly because of the iconic brands and colourful liveries which have found their way onto the trailers of these models, the Super Hauler range has been one of our most accessible brands, found in a multitude of sales outlets up and down the country and have probably been responsible for starting many people off in this great collecting hobby of ours. If you have ever thought that one of your own designs would look great on one of these models, here is your opportunity – intended as a vehicle for our younger collectors to express themselves, this competition will run until 12th May 2019 and will be an ideal way to spend a little creative time over the Easter holidays.

Corgi Super Haulers Easter competition on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

The design which is judged to be our winner will win this impressive selection of Super Hauler models

All the relevant details, terms and conditions and the all important pdf image file can be found on the competition page HERE and it is open to entrants living in the UK and aged 18 and under. The competition description reads - Get creative this Easter!

We are giving kids the opportunity the earn themselves a place in Corgi history this Easter! We are on the search for budding artists and lorry lovers to get creative and colour in this truck for us. The winner will earn themselves an impressive bundle of Eddie Stobart Super Haulers models, with two runners up also winning a selection of model goodies. The design itself can be absolutely anything you like and who knows, you may even find that your design ends up on a future Corgi Super Hauler release. We are expecting to see unicorns, Game of Thrones dragons and perhaps the odd football team design over the coming weeks and will certainly share some of the most creative submissions in a future edition of Diecast Diaries. Once again, all the details you will need can be found on the competition page HERE.

Stop Press - Latest product updates

We know that our readers love to see exclusive pictures of future Corgi releases and therefore, we are pleased to bring you this latest selection. Even though our superb Routemaster twin pack celebrating 50 years of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (OM46620) has been sold out on the Corgi website for many weeks now, it may still be possible to secure this special release by contacting your local model supplier. The undoubted popularity of this set already has hundreds of collectors looking forward to its release and as such, the sight of the latest selection of pre-production sample images will hopefully be of great interest, particularly as this will be the first time that decorated samples of these models have been published. To mark the 50th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the Regimental Association, in conjunction with the Go-Ahead Bus Group, has produced a special commemorative livery that is carried by two of the company’s Wrightbus vehicles, one based in Newcastle and one in London.

Corgi Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 50th Anniversary Bus set OM46620 on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

This exclusive series of images show the latest pre-production models in the development of this sell-out Royal Regiment of Fusiliers bus set, the first time these liveries have been seen applied to their respective models

Corgi Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 50th Anniversary Bus set OM46620 on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog
Corgi Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 50th Anniversary Bus set OM46620 on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog
Corgi Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 50th Anniversary Bus set OM46620 on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog
Corgi Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 50th Anniversary Bus set OM46620 on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

NL63 XCB is a Wright Eclipse Gemini 2, which entered service with Go North East at Percy Main Depot in February 2014, acting as a spare vehicle for the ‘Cobalt Clipper’ 309/310 services. Allocated to Glasgow in July 2014 to provide transport on behalf of First Group for the Commonwealth Games that year, the vehicle returned to the North East in August, continuing in service in a plain base red livery until April 2018, when it received the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 50th Anniversary promotional livery. The other bus, LTZ 1394, is a Wrightbus New Routemaster, which entered service with Stagecoach East London in March 2015 as LT394, operating over Route 15. In May 2017, Go-Ahead London announced that the company had won the tender from Stagecoach to operate the Route and operations commenced with Blue Triangle Bus Company on August 26, 2017. On June 5, 2018, the vehicle was unveiled in its new Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 50th Anniversary promotional livery at an event that took place at the Tower of London.

Our attractive two piece commemorative set which features both of these specially presented buses (OM46620) is already a Corgi website sell out well before release and looks set to be one of the most sought after model releases of the year. It is on target for a summer release.

If we were to ask readers to name the world’s most famous talking bear, we feel that most respondents would surely reply ‘Paddington’! The loveable fictional bear was created by Michael Bond and first appeared in children’s literature in 1958 and quickly became a firm favourite, selling over 30 million copies of his various adventures. For readers of a certain age, many will remember with great fondness the BBC TV series, which brought the antics of Paddington into Britain’s homes every evening, each one narrated by the distinctive voice of Sir Michael Hordern. It still raises a chuckle when remembering how Paddington’s latest escapade got on the wrong side of his grumpy neighbour Mr Curry and how he could be seen scuttling off with Mr Curry bellowing ‘BEAR’!

Corgi Paddington Bear London Taxi CC85925 on the Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

Stop press images – this exclusive trio of images show the latest sample models in our popular Paddington Bear series, including the new look packaging

Corgi Paddington Bear London Taxi CC85925 on the Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog
Corgi Paddington Bear London Taxi CC85925 on the Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

Continuing Corgi’s proud tradition of producing popular diecast collectables from the world of TV and film, everyone’s favourite bear is back again and this time he’s had his paws all over an iconic black taxi. With another feature film scheduled for 2020 this little bear is proving just how timeless he is, having made his debut in 1958. This latest Corgi Taxi model (CC85925) is the perfect accompaniment to our Paddington Routemaster, and even includes a resin figure of the bear himself. The production images exclusively featured above are again being shown for the first time and include the attractive packaging which will accompany this appealing release, which is due to hit the shops any time now.

Sell out Catalina competition

We would like to end this latest bumper edition of Diecast Diaries by announcing one of our popular competitions, with an extremely desirable model prize awaiting our lucky winner. Sitting majestically on the marketing desk at Corgi HQ is 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 proved to be a real winner with Aviation Archive collectors and sold out on the Corgi website before the date of release and remaining stocks disappearing almost as soon as it arrived – if you were not lucky enough to secure one of these models, this is an opportunity too good to miss.

Sell out Consolidated Catalina VC John Cruickshank AA36111 on the Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

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

As an Island nation, Britain would rely heavily on the contribution of long ranging maritime patrol aircraft during WWII, particularly the flying boats and brave crews of Coastal Command. Working alongside the mighty Short Sunderland, the American built Consolidated Catalina proved to be one of the most successful aircraft of its type, able to mount patrols which sometimes exceeded eighteen hours in duration and more than capable of destroying any enemy shipping they encountered along the way. During one such patrol on 17th July 1944, Catalina JV928, piloted by Scotsman John Cruickshank, was five hours into a mission west of the Lofoten Islands in the Norwegian Sea, when the crew obtained a radar signal from the sea below. Aware that the Royal Navy were reportedly in the area, the aircraft flew down for a closer look, only to be confronted by German U-boat U361 and its compliment of anti-aircraft guns. Immediately preparing to go on the offensive, Cruickshank executed a perfect attack run, only to see the depth charges to fail to release from the aircraft. Determined to press home their attack and with the weapon issue now resolved, the Catalina was brought in for a second run, this time into a hail of well-aimed shells from the U-boat crew now fully aware of the aircrafts destructive intentions. Taking multiple hits to the front of the Catalina and inflicting significant injuries on crew members, the attack resulted in the depth charges deploying at exactly the right moment, straddling the U-boat and causing its destruction. John Cruickshank had suffered 72 wounds during the frenetic attack, but despite the pain and loss of blood, refused morphine so he could remain alert to help his inexperienced co-pilot land the aircraft following the five hour return flight. For his part in this action, John Cruickshank was awarded the Victoria Cross.

So, how do you get your hands on this classic Corgi Catalina model? As usual, all you need to do to be in with the chance of winning is to head for the Corgi Competitions Page of our website, where you will find all the relevant competition details, along with a simple Aviation Archive related question for you to answer. The competition will close on Sunday 12th May, so you have plenty of time in which to place your entry – our lucky winner will be selected at random from the list of correct entries and we will announce their good fortune in the next edition of Diecast Diaries, due to be published on Friday 17th May. Good luck to all who enter – one of you will become the owner of this extremely desirable model.

Well, that turned out to be something of a blog beast! We are afraid that that is all we have for you in this latest edition of Corgi Diecast Diaries, however, 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 17th May.

 

The Corgi Die-cast Diaries Team

 

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