New Corgi model range now LIVE!
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. There really could only be one subject for this 41st edition of our blog, the announcement of the latest July to December 2018 model range – twice each year, Corgi model collectors around the world are excited to get their first glimpse of a new half yearly model range and to see which future releases will be earmarked for inclusion in their personal model collection. This current edition of our blog will be unashamedly devoted to a selection the latest Corgi model announcements, where we will pick out several highlights across all the ranges and bring you exclusive pictures featuring decoration guides, hand built sample models and page views of the catalogue itself. We will follow this with a fascinating look at a major development at the old Hornby stock warehouse site in Margate and how it is destined to play host to some rather larger examples of the models it used to protect. More on this a little later, but let’s start by looking at the latest model announcements now gracing the Corgi website.
All new range of die-cast delights
There are some occasions when the content of a Die-cast Diaries blog almost looks after itself, which is especially true of the edition immediately following the launch of a new model range. In January and June each year, we announce a new collection of exciting and interesting models, with additions across many of our ranges and a number of releases celebrating specific occasions or anniversaries. On the day of release, die-cast collectors everywhere are always keen to find out which new models will be tempting them over the coming few months and which ones stand a chance of being added to their personal collections. The latest July – December 2018 range was unveiled on the Corgi website at 10am on Monday 25th June and if you have yet to inspect our latest die-cast offerings, please head over to our website now for all the details you might need. With additions across many of our ranges, let’s take a look at a small selection of the new models which seem destined to be amongst the most popular items over the coming months.
As iconic as it is nostalgic, the Beatles Yellow Submarine CC05401 will be the most impressive example of this much loved model we have produced to date
When inspecting the latest Corgi catalogue for the first time, one of the most striking features you will notice is how colourful it is, with some truly eye-catching announcements to commemorate significant anniversaries in the world of TV and film entertainment. The return of one of our best loved models from our die-cast archives will delight collectors of all ages and add a welcome splash of psychedelic colour to many a display shelf – it will also be our most accurate representation of this much loved model to date. Without doubt, one of the most distinctive models in the history of the Corgi brand is the Beatles Yellow Submarine, which not only made for a uniquely collectable item from this 1968 animated musical fantasy film, but also played a huge role in the childhood of a great many people and started many thousands of collectors on their die-cast journeys. First released in 1969, the model drew on the success of the film to become one of the most heavily produced models in Corgi history and a famous item in the collections of thousands of Beatles fans. This latest incarnation has been produced to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Yellow Submarine film release and features moveable hatches, under which figures of the ‘Fab Four’ are residing – also included is a rotating periscope which moves as the model is pushed along. This model has been produced following meticulous research of the original film, to ensure that this will be a faithful and extremely colourful commemoration of this famous animated mode of transport. A fabulous piece of die-cast nostalgia for every Beatles fan.
Roll up for the mystery tour! More die-cast nostalgia for Beatles fans, with this unique Bedford VAL with the ‘Fab Four’ written all over it
Before we leave the subject of the Beatles, the new Yellow Submarine will also be joined by another iconic vehicle from their film back catalogue, in the form of the Bedford VAL coach which appeared in the film ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, first shown in 1967 and accompanying the double EP music release with the same title. Although the film did not enjoy overwhelming acclaim at the time of its release, the double EP (Album in the US) was a huge success and further enhanced the seemingly limitless reputation of this talented foursome. Over subsequent years, like most things Beatles related, the film has gone on to achieve cult status with Beatles fans, who are not simply restricted to those born in the 50s and 60s, but continue to attract new younger devotees with each passing year, as the enduring quality of their music continues to inspire and enthral. Interestingly, the original coach which was used in the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ film (URO 913E) is now preserved at the Hard Rock Café in Orlando. Both models are now live on the Corgi website and are available for pre-order, with the Yellow Submarine (CC05401) scheduled for a September release and the Magical Mystery Tour Bus (CC42418) arriving the following month.
‘Gentlemen, Start your Engines!’
A Die-cast Diaries exclusive image, showing the entire July – December Vanguards collection in finished ‘Hand Decorated’ form, courtesy of Mr Mark Pinnigar
Over the past few editions of Die-cast Diaries, we have included several features looking at both the history of the Vanguards classic motor vehicles range and some of the interesting releases throughout the previous 22 years, since these highly collectable models first burst onto the die-cast scene back in 1996. With several high profile releases from the January – June 2018 range selling out almost as soon as they were released and an impressive collection of new models due to arrive over the coming few months, rather than look back at Vanguards history in this edition, we are going to feature a handful of the new models which are already destined to be amongst the most popular future releases.
VA13507 Mini 1275GT Special Tuning, Press Launch Car, Auto Car Magazine
The 1275GT modelled here was the sixth vehicle produced, being completed at Longbridge on 9th September 1969 – as the previous five have all now been destroyed, this is now the oldest surviving example of its kind. It was allocated to British Leyland’s press office and was the first 1275GT ever road tested, conducted by Autocar for their 13th November, 1969 edition. It was then transferred to Leyland Special Tuning (ST) at Abingdon to be modified and used as a PR car, showcasing ST’s performance upgrades, including a big-valve 1293cc engine with a 649 cam and LCB manifold. Autocar tested it again a year later, in comparison with a standard 1275GT, apparently not realising that this heavily modified car was the same one they had previously tested.
VA11509 Triumph TR5, Jasmine Yellow
Surely qualifying as one of the best looking small British sports cars ever built, the Triumph TR5 may not have been the most practical car ever produced, but made up for that with copious amounts of motoring style. The TR5 modelled here was built at Triumph's factory in Canley, Coventry, on January 3rd, 1968 and is one of only 2947 TR5s produced in the model's short 15 month production run before it was replaced by the TR6 – this production scarcity makes TR5s extremely sort after today. It was supplied new to first owner Francis Duffy of Kingston, Surrey, and he must have enjoyed the car because he kept it until April 1975. Restored to a high standard in 2012 by Yorkshire resident Peter Moffat, it was purchased in 2017 by German, Rudolf Grotefels, a British sports car enthusiast who enjoys bringing it to classic car events in Britain such as the Goodwood Revival.
Restorer, Moffat, bought the car in late July 2010, having been tipped off about it at a TR event. It had been standing under a tarpaulin in a field in Cornwall for over 12 years and was very rusty. However, it had also been partially dismantled so he started what must be considered an extremely brave restoration by completing that process, assessing what components he had, then deciding if they were usable. Moffat is a long standing TR enthusiast who knows them well and tackled most of the work himself, although the respray and tasks such as crank regrinding were done professionally. The results are extremely impressive and this TR5, which many would have used only for spares, is a credit to his workmanship.
VA12612 Ford Escort Mk2 RS Mexico, Signal Yellow (Tarmac Arches)
This magnificent new model has sell-out written all over it. Ford continued to use the Mexico model name on a 1600 version of their high-performance Escort when the Mk2 range was launched, but used a 'Pinto' engine similar to that of the RS2000 rather than the 'Kent' unit in the Mk1 Mexico. The genuine factory Mexico modelled was first registered in November 1976 and has had over twenty owners but has been with the Rotherham-based Murphy family since 2003, when it was bought by Mark Murphy for £1000. Although in reasonable condition mechanically it had rusted extensively and required a great deal of welding but was restored with help from older brother John, and father John senior, then returned to the road in 2005.
Yet another image exclusive for our readers, with this close up view of the hand decorated sample model of the new Signal Yellow Ford Escort Mk2 RS Mexico
The 2-litre engine, running on twin Weber 45 DCOEs connected to a Type-9 5-speed gearbox, had been fitted prior to the family's restoration but during their welding marathon they fitted the distinctive Rally Design tarmac wheel arches and matching Superlite wheels. The family did nearly all the work themselves, including the painting, which was done by professional sprayer John senior. However, the fitting of the original specification vinyl roof was undertaken by a specialist. Having enjoyed the car for a year, Mark emigrated to Thailand and actually runs a business there specialising in Mk1 and Mk2 Escorts through the website www.m11rf.com. Unwilling to let the car leave the family, brother John bought it, uses it regularly, and has continued to develop the car.
Another view of the new Vanguards range in hand decorated sample form
There are some really collectable models in the latest Vanguards range, all of which are now available to pre-order on the Corgi website or reserve at your usual model store to ensure you don’t miss out. We look forward to bringing you further details of the July-December Vanguards models in forthcoming editions of our blog.
Six Lightnings thrill at Bruntingthorpe
New Lightning F.6 AA28402 is proving to be even more popular than the first release from this impressive tooling
Although the latest Aviation Archive range is perhaps one of the smallest for some time, it does include some real classics and models which many AA collectors will undoubtedly be keen to get their hands on. The first model we are going to feature here is one which was announced as a Breaking News item at the beginning of the previous edition of Die-cast Diaries and has since gone on to post some spectacular pre-order sales figures. As the second release from our popular new 1/48th scale English Electric Lightning F.6 tooling, AA28402 was always going to attract a lot of collector attention, however, it seems as if this stunning natural metal interceptor wearing its iconic RAF No.74 Squadron ‘The Tigers’ scheme has really found favour with Aviation Archive collectors. As readers will no doubt be aware, the first release was a sell out on the day of release and we are pleased to say that this latest Lightning announcement is heading in exactly the same direction, posting even greater ordering levels than its predecessor.
In an exclusive for Die-cast Diaries readers, we are pleased to report that the attractive hand decorated sample model of this second release has already enjoyed its first public outings, as it appeared on the Airfix/Corgi stand at the hugely successful Cosford Airshow earlier this month and then at a very special ‘Four Lightnings’ event at Bruntingthorpe the following weekend. Organised by the Lightning Preservation Group, this fantastic event offered enthusiasts the opportunity to see four examples of Britain’s most famous supersonic interceptor displayed next to each other for the first time in many years and was the LPGs own contribution to the current RAF centenary commemorations, marking 30 years since the mighty Lightning retired from RAF service. The three famous aircraft owned by the LPG were joined by former Royal Saudi Air Force (and Samlebsbury gate guardian) Lightning F.53, which has been undergoing restoration to static display standard and is being finished to represent an RAF No.74 Squadron machine XR768 – these are very similar colours to the marking applied to our second Lightning F.6 model release.
Lightnings on tour - Our early hand decorated sample of the new 1/48th scale Lightning F.6 model is pictured with the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre Lightning, which now wears similar RAF No.74 Squadron colours
The aircraft was one of the stars of the RAF Cosford static display and was seen to receive some additional markings over the course of her stay in Shropshire. By the time she arrived for a very short stop-over at Bruntingthorpe, the aircraft was looking magnificent and allowed enthusiasts this rare viewing opportunity, before returning to her home in Newquay. With two of our Lightning pre-production sample models also in attendance on Saturday 16th June, this quickly turned into a six Lightning event, although our two examples were just ever so slightly smaller than the real stars of this unique event.
Attracting plenty of admiring inspection and some brisk pre-ordering activity in the Lightning Preservation Group shop, our new lightning was extremely well received by the enthusiasts in attendance, many of whom were keen to also take one of these real vs Corgi photographs which were uniquely possible during this event. English Electric Lightning F.6 AA28402 is scheduled for an October release.
Great War classics light up Aviation Archive range
Marking the centenary of the end of WWI in the latest Corgi July – December model range
With the current Royal Air Force Centenary commemorations now in full swing, it is important to remember that this year also marks a much more significant centenary, that being the end of the First World War. To help commemorate this occasion from a die-cast collectables perspective, the latest Corgi Aviation Archive model range includes a pair of classic Great War fighters which were still in squadron service during the final days of WWI, both of which represented the stunning development of the aeroplane during a relatively short period of time. Both aircraft proved significant in the air battles above the trenches, with the Sopwith Camel responsible for shooting down more Axis aircraft than any other type during WWI, despite its relatively late entry into combat and the Fokker D.VII which is generally regarded as the finest fighting aeroplane of the conflict. Both of these model releases commemorate aircraft which were rather unusual during the air battles of the Great war, as both feature elaborate artwork which makes them as distinctive as they are attractive. For the purposes of this review, we are going to concentrate on the Fokker D.VII, which may just include the most complicated artwork we have ever featured on an Aviation Archive release to date.
AA38906 – Fokker D.VII (OAW) 4649/18, Wilhelm Scheutzel, Jasta 65 ‘Seven Swabians’, September 1918
The catalogue/website image showing the beautifully decorated Fokker D.VII of Wilhelm Scheutzel
Although the air war had turned inexorably in favour of the Allies by the late summer of 1918, the Luftstreitkrafte were still able to introduce an aircraft which is generally considered to be the finest fighter of the Great War, the Fokker D.VII. It was said that this new fighter could make a mediocre pilot good and a good pilot into an ace - once the usual service introduction issues for a new aircraft had been negotiated, this capable new fighter began to make its mark on the air war. Most new D.VIIs would be delivered from the manufacturing factory in standard overall lozenge camouflage fabric but were usually repainted in the field once they arrived at front line Jastas, or if its assigned pilot was influential enough to do so himself. Despite the desperate nature of the war, Fokker D.VII 4649/18 has to be considered one of the most flamboyantly decorated fighters of the Great War – adorning both sides of the aircraft’s fuselage, an elaborate scene featuring the ‘Seven Swabians’ from a famous Brothers Grimm German Fairy Tale must have made for an unusual sight. Brandishing an oversized spear which required all seven of the Swabians to carry, the story tells the tragic tale of the hapless group and their futile attempts to achieve greatness through performing great deeds. Showing an incredible level of artistic talent, the artwork was slightly different on both sides of the aircraft, but despite all this decorative effort, it is thought that this fighter was to achieve no more than two aerial victories during its service career.
The decoration guide clearly illustrates the complex nature of the scheme required for this impressive model
As the Sopwith Camels and SE5as of the Allied air forces had wrestled air superiority from the Germans over the Western Front by late 1917, the Luftstreitkrafte were desperate for a new fighter capable of once more gaining mastery of the skies. With some of their most successful aces sent to test fly a new fighter, reports soon began to circulate amongst front line units that such an aircraft was about to materialise. The new Fokker D.VII may not have looked as streamlined as the Albatros D.Va or as menacing as the DR.1 Triplane, but this was a thoroughbred fighting aircraft and Allied airmen underestimated it at their peril. Possessing ample power and exceptional low speed performance, it has been reported that the D.VII could almost hang on its propeller, firing at Allied aircraft from below, before diving away at great speed and preparing for its next withering attack run. As greater numbers of this capable new aircraft began to appear on the Western Front, so German victory tallies began to increase and Allied airmen were once more forced to compete for aerial superiority. In August 1918, Fokker D.VIIs accounted for no fewer than 565 Allied aircraft and it became so feared by Allied military commanders that it formed a specific requirement of the armistice terms that all remaining Fokker D.VIIs were to be surrendered to the Allies. In one final act of defiance, many German pilots complied with the order, but crashed their aircraft on landing, rendering these superb fighters unusable by their new owners.
Fokker D.VII (OAW) 4649/18 (AA38906), ‘Seven Swabians’, is scheduled for an October release, but can be pre-ordered now on the Corgi website, or by contacting your usual model supplier.
All aboard the 'Yorkshire SHUTTLE'
Original Omnibus collectors will be pleased to see that the new Corgi range includes this dual destination release of a Wright Eclipse II (single deck) Transdev in their ‘Shuttle 662’ livery. ‘The SHUTTLE’ is the high-frequency, high-quality link between Keighley, Bingley, Saltaire and Bradford, giving over 1,000 journey options every week. At the end of 2015 it was given a £400,000 makeover - the service underwent a full rebrand in bright blue as the SHUTTLE and 16 vehicles were upgraded with new features including USB charging points, WiFi and re-upholstered seats.
This dual destination release features two routes on the SHUTTLE 662 route, with OM46713A being Keighley bus station via Crossflats, whilst OM46713B is Bradford via Bingley. The catalogue description is as follows:
LX59 DDU carried Fleet No. WV337 in the Go Ahead Group’s Blue Triangle Buses Ltd, joining the fleet from new in 2010 and operating across the East London Transit routes. On January 1, 2017, Blue Triangle operations were consolidated under London General Transport Services Ltd, and LX59 DDU was transferred shortly after, being noted on Routes X26 West Croydon/Heathrow Central and 405 Redhill.
This attractive release is scheduled to arrive in October and we look forward to bringing you exclusive sample model images as soon as we have them available.
A4 'Bittern' has new home in former Hornby warehouse
This historic steam locomotive now resides in the warehouse complex which contained Hornby model locos for many years
We end this latest edition of Die-cast Diaries with a rather topical look at an interesting development concerning the former Hornby warehouse in Margate – the sites new owners have just taken delivery of an extremely illustrious new resident. The distinctive and historic A4 Class locomotive 'Bittern' has been successfully installed in a new Locomotive Storage Limited Facility in Margate, following the completion of extensive engineering works in preparation for its arrival. The old Hornby warehouse can now boast seven railway tracks and access to loading docks, which allow for the loading and unloading of locomotives and carriages – significantly, it is destined to become an important venue for the future preservation and display of some of the most historic locomotives in the world.
The classic Gresley Class A4 ‘Pacific’ Bittern is famous for being the sister train to the record-breaking Mallard - built in 1937, Bittern can claim to own some speed records of her own, possibly even more impressive than those owned by Mallard, as they have been earned long after the locomotive was withdrawn from service. She was the first steam locomotive since the 1960s to be allowed to run at speeds greater than 75mph, having been awarded a special dispensation and went on to set a new speed record of 92.8mph for a steam locomotive in preservation.
A selection of magnificent images showing the arrival of ‘Bittern’ at her new Margate home and her finally settling in – what a poignant story for British rail enthusiasts
‘Bittern’ and her tenders arrived in Margate on the back of three low-loaders, having made the journey by road from the main LSL depot at Crewe earlier this month and must have made for a particularly impressive sight as she travelled the country’s motorways en-route to her new home. She will become one of the centrepiece attractions at this impressive new rail facility, which is only a short distance from the popular Hornby Visitors Centre, which is still resident on this famous site and open to visitors.
Locomotive Storage Limited and their director Frank Martin, invited a number of people from Hornby past and present, to be present for the historic arrival of 'Bittern' and also allowed the opportunity to see this beautiful locomotive being installed in a space most of them would have been extremely familiar with. On behalf of everyone who attended and indeed the entire company, we would like to sincerely thank our friends at Locomotive Storage Limited and wish them every success with what already looks like being a very exciting future.
The Corgi Rail Legends range marks some of the most significant British steam locomotives in 1/120th scale die-cast
Although clearly of more interest to our Hornby collectors and enthusiasts, ‘Bittern’ does have a link with Corgi die-cast, as she was one of the handsome models produced in our Rail Legends range of 1/120th scale classic British steam locomotives. Although this popular locomotive has now long since sold out, there are still a small number of other classics still available to be snapped up, but only whilst current stocks last.
We are afraid that’s all we have for you in this latest gargantuan edition of Corgi Die-cast Diaries, but we certainly hope that we managed to include 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 social media accounts. 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 27th July.
The Corgi Die-cast Diaries Team
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