The devil is in the Corgi detail
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. It has been an incredibly busy time here at Corgi over the past few weeks, as every member of the team has been devoted to putting the finishing touches to the 2019 model range, work which also includes preparing the catalogue design and copy ready for its impending January 2019 launch. For this reason, the latest edition of our blog is going to be a little different and straying somewhat from its usual format. Gone is our popular ‘What’s on the desk’ look at the latest sample model arrivals (as we have been working so heavily on the 2019 samples range), however, this will be replaced with a series of slightly more unusual features, looking at some Corgi related developments from the past few months. We will be going inside a recent Vanguards model release, to see how the development team are constantly striving for greater detail, before moving on to the recent Scale Modelworld show at Telford and a pair of die-cast interlopers on the Airfix display stand. We will also be announcing both the winner of our previous Die-cast Diaries competition and launching another one, with more unusual and exclusive Corgi models to be won. We start by heading ‘North of the Border’ to look at an interesting Corgi development from Scotland’s other capital city.
New ‘Collector’s Corner’ in Clydeside store
Glasgow Hamleys has a fantastic display of Hornby products and can now boast a new ‘Collector’s Corner’
Corgi collectors of some years standing will probably share the view that it can now be quite difficult to see displays of the models we all love ‘in the metal’, so to speak, in advance of making our latest considered purchase. With the high street continuing to witness a steady decline and traditional hobby shops all over the country closing their doors with rather upsetting regularity, it is becoming quite a challenge to find a major stockist, without having to travel relatively long distances. Undoubtedly, the internet is both extremely informative and incredibly convenient for almost everyone, however, there is still something special about visiting a store to experience the latest model releases in all their die-cast glory and to interact with pleasant and knowledgeable staff members. For these reasons, a recent development at the impressive Hamleys store in Glasgow will be of interest to Corgi die-cast collectors in the area, as they announced the launch of their new ‘Collector’s Corner’ - a member of the Corgi team was on hand to record the occasion.
With a number of excellent stores across the country, Hamleys are known to many as one of the premier toy retailers in the UK and whilst this would generally conjure up images of teddy bears and the latest must have action figures, they are also stockists of a wide range of Hornby products. With train and Scalextric sets, Airfix kits and paints, the stores also feature a selection of Corgi products, usually based around TV and Film related releases and lines such as our Showcase and Superhaulers ranges. In an attempt to provide a service to the more committed Corgi collector in their area, the Glasgow store has recently devoted a section of their secure display case to some of our more specialist die-cast models, which from this day forward will be referred to as their ‘Collector’s Corner’. Usually reserved for displays of Hornby locomotives and accessories, this area has been expanded to include a selection of Aviation Archive, Vanguards, Original Omnibus and Hauliers of Renown models, in this attempt to provide local collector’s with the opportunity to come and see some of the latest releases in these ranges. Speaking with the knowledgeable staff at the store, they were quick to point out that a number of traditional local hobby stores have closed over recent years and it has become increasingly difficult for collectors in the area to find a reliable stockist for their favourite models. As they already have impressive displays of many other Hornby Hobbies product lines, it seemed sensible to further enhance their reputation by looking at providing a service for Corgi Collectors – this represents a significant move in that direction.
The new ‘Collector’s Corner’ is a first attempt at trying to provide local collector’s with the opportunity to view some of the latest Corgi releases in the metal
Initially, much of this product is displayed under lock and key, however, the Glasgow staff are always on hand to provide assistance
Speaking with the manager at Glasgow, it quickly becomes apparent that she runs an extremely tight ship and her staff pride themselves on the presentation of their store, which is absolutely spotless and a really pleasant place to spend a few minutes in the world of Toys and Hobbies. On opening the new ‘Collector’s Corner’, she said that they are 'always looking at new and innovative ways to make a visit to their store more rewarding and this was just the latest initiative towards that goal'. She did want to stress that these were just tentative first steps and that local collectors should be aware that the initial availability of models will be quite small, with just a selection from across the current range, however, this could grow in the future and she and her team are looking forward to discussing what local collectors would like to see the store stocking in the future. It is basically an open invitation for local Corgi collectors to go into Hamleys Glasgow and speak to the team about their new ‘Collector’s Corner’ and whether this is something that will be of interest to them.
The staff at Glasgow are looking forward to seeing how this new initiative is received by local collectors and how it can grow in the future
The new Hamley’s Glasgow ‘Collector’s Corner’ is situated in the display case near the distinctive Hornby layout diorama and whilst the models are displayed in a locked cabinet, a member of the team will be only too happy to help with any request for more information. The initial model selection includes a pair of modern trucks sporting local haulier liveries, some aircraft which are, or were based at airfields north of the border and a small selection of Vanguards cars, some of which are already proving difficult to get hold of. If you are in the city, please pop into the store and let the team know what you think of the new display – if there is anything you would like to see them stock in the future, they will be more than happy to listen to your suggestions. Let’s hope that this idea proves successful and Corgi collectors in the Glasgow area can look forward to having access to a much larger model display in the future.
Anyone for Eddie?
The Corgi Superhaulers range are amongst the top selling products in the various Hamleys stores
One of the product lines which has always been popular at all Hamleys stores is the Superhaulers range of models, 1/64th scale trucks which boast a robust construction and feature some of the most famous liveries to be seen of Britain’s roads. Although these hard wearing models are intended for younger collectors and designed to be played with, they do also find their way into the collections of more committed die-cast collectors, who take a longer term view that this type of model will become highly desirable if retained in pristine, boxed condition. These serve as fantastic introductory models for the more collectable Hauliers of Renown range, which are definitely not to be played with and form the heart of many a modern truck collection.
For our latest competition and in support of the new Hamleys Glasgow ‘Collector’s Corner’ launch, we have a fantastic 'Dad and his lad' truck competition for our readers to enter (although in this politically correct age, this should perhaps be more accurately described as an appropriate adult collector and their youngster, competition). Either way, our prize consists of two Eddie Stobart liveried model vehicles, one from the Hauliers of Renown range and the other one of our popular Superhaulers. The main prize features a highly desirable production sample model of CC16004, a Volvo FH cab wearing the extremely famous Stobart livery, with its collector’s certificate not printed with a number, thus identifying it as one of the few production sample modes we receive. This will be supplied with a letter of authentication, officially identifying the nature of its production and ensuring its enduring collectability in the years to come. This will be accompanied with Eddie Stobart Curtainside Superhauler truck TY86646, which will hopefully plicate one of our winners younger family members and keep them away from their unique and highly collectable prize model acquisition.
Our latest competition prize is a production sample of Volvo FH cab CC16004 in Eddie Stobart livery. It is fully certificated, however, the certificate has a blank number panel, making this an extremely collectable model
CC16004 - Volvo FH, Eddie Stobart - Florence Isabella
After working with his father in agriculture, Edward Stobart started his haulage career using his father's delivery trucks and formed Eddie Stobart Haulage Company in 1976. From this point, Edward was able to grow his business into Britain's most recognised haulier, employing over five thousand people. The FH Series is a larger, but more aerodynamic truck from Volvo. It boasts increased drivability and an overall more futuristic design and looks great with the instantly recognisable and world famous Eddie Stobart logo and livery.
To be in with the chance of winning our unique Eddie Stobart model pairing, please head for the Corgi Competitions Page of our website, where you will find all the relevant competition details and a simple Die-cast Diaries related question for you to answer. We will announce the lucky winner in the next edition of Die-cast Diaries and hopefully have your model prizes with you before the Christmas holidays – good luck to one and all.
The devil is in the detail
The latest Vanguards Ford Capri release marks one of the most desirable cars to grace Britain’s roads in recent history
Although Vanguards collectors will undoubtedly be familiar with the impressive levels of detail which comes as standard with these models, they may not be aware of the lengths the Corgi research and design teams go to in order to ensure the boundaries of authenticity are always kept moving forwards. With this range currently celebrating its 22nd year, the development processes linked to these models have changed dramatically during this time and production techniques have improved to such a level that much finer detail can now be incorporated into these popular little models, some of which may not be as obvious as you might think. Some of the most challenging detail for the manufacturing factory to replicate if found in the interior of the models and as this is collector product and it does not incorporate the opening doors, bonnets and boots associated with less accurate models at smaller scales, these innovations can often be overlooked by many collectors.
An exclusive first look at the decoration guide file produced in support of this beautiful ‘Fast Ford’
One of the recent releases which demonstrates this continual drive for greater authenticity perfectly was the Ford Capri Mk.3, 3.0S in Tibetan Gold (VA10818), a model which immortalises one of the finest restored examples of this classic British vehicle in die-cast metal. Whilst completing his research file, Vanguards guru Mark Pinnigar was admiring the distinctive seat cloth used on this Capri and in conjunction with the Corgi development team, decided to challenge the manufacturing plant to raise the bar somewhat with the interior detail incorporated in this release. Having produced the decoration guide file for the Capri, then hand finishing the prototype sample model, Mark did his best to replicate the seat detail using his graphic design experience and some of the most advanced printing technology available in the UK. This proved to him that it was possible to replicate an accurate scale version of the car’s interior, but would the manufacturing facility in the Far East have the capability to match his efforts when mass producing the actual model?
Images of the restored vehicle show how much time and effort (and investment) went into returning this beautiful Capri to its former glory
This particular Capri was purchased new from Ford agents M&M Services in Eastriggs, South West Scotland, by David Mulholland who had originally attempted to order a Capri from a Ford dealer in Dumfries. Unhappy with their response he found that M&M had one in their showroom, bought it, and requested the number plate XSW 24W because he was then a truck driver with the CB handle '24V'. He used the car for five years and it had two further keepers before being purchased in 1996 by the current owner, Cumbria-based Malcolm Rolland, for £700 without a current MOT certificate. It had covered 74,000 miles. He used it for four years, then embarked on an epic nine-year restoration.
Malcolm started the restoration believing it just needed A-posts, but dismantling showed that to be optimistic... Even though it had been Ziebarted it was extremely rotten everywhere! However, he had started by the time he realised the magnitude of his task so spent the next four years welding the bodyshell. He even drilled out the 200 roof-skin spot welds and fitted a new scrap yard sourced panel because he disliked the car's aftermarket sunroof. He also rebuilt the engine and other mechanical components, converted it to a later Type-9 5-speed gearbox, and did every job on this complete and superb quality restoration except actually applying the paint. The result, after over 3600 hours in the garage, is without doubt, one of the best Ford Capris in the UK.
Another exclusive image for Die-cast Diaries readers. This is the hand decorated Capri interior, which was produced by our talented Vanguards researcher and used on the sample model photographed for catalogue and website images
The hand finished sample model still on the workbench and awaiting delivery to Corgi HQ with the rest of the July-December 2018 range
After such a mammoth restoration project, the Corgi team were determined to produce the most accurate version of this car that they could in 1/43rd scale and after posing some specific challenges to the production factory, they were extremely pleased with what they managed to achieve. The internal detail is as impressive as the handsome good looks of the model itself and by including this feature, we are hoping that Die-cast Diaries readers who have already included VA10818 in their Vanguards collection might peer with a little more interest through the windows of their model at the internal detail contained within. With many sell out releases included in the range this year, this attractive Ford Capri Mk.III 3.0S is surely destined to join these ranks in the very near future.
Stealthy Lightnings on Airfix stand at Telford
A pair of Corgi Lightnings were stealthily placed at the end of the Airfix display at the recent Scale Modelworld show
The Airfix team have just returned from their annual attendance at the impressive Scale Modelworld Show, where modellers from all over the world make the annual pilgrimage to celebrate the continuing renaissance of the plastic kit building hobby. The main focus of attention at this year’s show was the announcement of a new 1/24th scale Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat kit from Airfix, which proved to be one of the highlights of the show and certainly dominated proceedings on the Airfix stand. Keeping the Hellcat company was an impressive display of built Airfix kits from the current range, which ensured healthy crowds congregated around our stand for the duration of the show, but amongst this cornucopia of Airfix delights, there was a pair of Corgi Aviation Archive interlopers. Occupying a quiet corner of the Airfix stand, the first two releases from the new 1/48th scale Lightning F.6 tooling had been stealthily placed on display to gauge the opinion of the gathered masses and whilst they were positioned at the very end of the layout and at right angles to the main model display, they did receive some extremely complimentary comments.
It is certainly not common for die-cast models to be present at the largest plastic modelling event in Europe (and possibly the world), however, there has never been a model quite like our new 1/48th scale Lightning F.6, which we believe is perhaps the finest example of die-cast model aircraft production yet to be released. This offered a unique opportunity to see what people who are both passionate about the aircraft itself and proficient in the art of modelling, thought about a model which we are rightly proud of and confident that it could hold its own in this challenging situation. On the eve of the show, we spoke to one of the members of the Lightning Special Interest Group and invited them to come and inspect our model the following morning. To say they were initially a little dismissive of the outcome would not be an understatement, however, we were determined to let them see the model for themselves and we were happy to receive their comments, whatever they turned out to be.
We are extremely grateful to the members of the Lightning SIG for allowing our model to appear on their impressive display for a short while at this year’s Telford show
Although we were quietly confident of the outcome, it is always nice when a die-cast plan comes together and we are pleased to say that our contact was extremely complimentary about the model and obviously impressed by the weight of its die-cast construction. In fact, he described it as the best die-cast model he had ever seen and one which would not be out of place on their own display stand. As he had built a 1/48th scale kit of the first release of our Lightning (the former Binbrook Station Commanders aircraft, which is now at Bruntingthorpe), we were invited to bring our model across to the Lightning SIG stand to sit the two side by side, which was an unbelievable opportunity at this plastic modelling event. We gladly accepted the invitation and our model sat quite happily amongst the impressive layout of 1/48th scale Lightning models the group had prepared for their Telford 2018 display. The undoubted highlight for us, however, came when one of the team returned from a modelling shopping spree and was told that there was a Corgi die-cast model intruder on their display. Having looked at the display for a few seconds, he ‘asked which one is it’? That was, as you may well imagine, a rather special moment for us and vindication of the efforts our design team put invested in the production of this very special model. We were absolutely delighted to pass this news on to them.
Which one is the Die-cast model? Our 1/48th scale Lightning looked right at home amongst these beautifully produced plastic model kits. There was also plenty of inspiration for future releases on the Lightning SIG stand
We would like to thank members of the Lightning SIG for allowing us to place our model on their display for a short while and for their extremely supportive comments regarding this latest Corgi Aviation Archive tooling. Although this first release has now long since sold out on the Corgi website and is now quite a difficult model to source elsewhere, the second release AA28402, Lightning F.6 of No.74 Squadron ‘The Tigers’ is still available at the moment, although seems likely to join its earlier hangarmate in the very near future. Corgi Lightnings on show at an IPMS Telford show, whoever would have thought that this could happen?
Are you our presentation bus winner?
Our presentation Go-Ahead London New Routemaster was certainly a unique prize worthy of any die-cast model collection, but who is our lucky winner?
In the previous edition of Die-cast Diaries, we included a competition which offered one lucky winner the opportunity to own a rather unique piece of Original Omnibus memorabilia, in the shape of this highly desirable presentation ‘New Routemaster’. OM46616A/B was a dual model release and featured two handsome ‘New Routemaster’ buses in Go-Ahead London ‘Heritage General’ livery and our prize featured one of these beautiful models set on a presentation Perspex plinth, embellished with the logos of companies linked with this project. The model is protected by a substantial Perspex case, which sets this apart from any other model in this release run, making this not only a highly desirable item for bus collectors, but one for anyone interested in rare Corgi die-cast models. We are pleased to announce that the winner of this prize, drawn at random from the list of correct entries is Eloise McCarthy. Eloise has been contacted by e-mail and on receipt of her address details, we will be sending out this fabulous addition to her Corgi model collection. Congratulations to our winner and thank you to everyone who entered the competition.
We are afraid that’s it for yet another 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 email@example.com, 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 14th December.
The Corgi Die-cast Diaries Team
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