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Volvo FH Globetrotter prototype model arrives

Volvo FH Globetrotter prototype model arrives


In the latest edition of Diecast Diaries, we are going to take a slight diversion from our usual format to bring you some news that really is hot off the press – possibly a more accurate description would be ‘the polymer is still warm!’

This blog was intended from the outset to give the Corgi collector an interesting insight into how the models we all love to collect progress from being an idea in a development meeting, to a model proudly sitting in our display cabinets.  This week, in a rather exciting development of this idea, we are showing you a stereolithographic prototype model that has only just been delivered from the model maker – you are seeing this model before we have even had time to construct it!


Volvo-Mini-ImageA-2CAD screenshot of the new Corgi Volvo FH cab


You may recall that the third edition of Diecast Diaries began with the announcement of a new tooling in the Hauliers of Renown range – the magnificent Volvo FH Globetrotter XL.  At the time, we were only in a position to show you CAD image data and computer rendered CAD screenshots of the new model, but the project has progressed and we can now bring you images of the prototype model itself.  As you can see from the series of images below, the model is in the hands of our design engineers at the moment and it has not yet been fully assembled, but we have decided to show you exactly what arrived on the desk yesterday.


Volvo-Mini-ImageBSpecial Delivery – A new prototype model arrives on the Corgi design desk


Volvo-Mini-ImageCComponent parts from the Volvo FH tooling project


Checking the prototype model against the detailed information on file


Volvo-Mini-ImageEWorking in detail.  The Corgi design team check every aspect of the newly delivered prototype sample


Working in detail.  The Corgi design team check every aspect of the newly delivered prototype sample


This is a critical stage in the production of any new model tooling and is where the experience and attention to detail of the Corgi engineers really comes to the fore.  Every individual part of the prototype sample will have to be checked for scale shape, size and thickness, with any issues being noted for alteration.  Once this has been completed, the components will be carefully assembled to produce the prototype model.  Again, this will then be exhaustively checked, before the prototype model can pass on to the next stage of the process, where it will form the basis of the tooling design itself.

This collection of images really does illustrate the very latest stage in the development of the new Volvo FH Globetrotter XL model.


A Mini Marvel – Four Million and counting!


Catalogue image of the 4,000,000th Mini 1275 GT VA13505


When discussing the subject of iconic British designs, there is one classic vehicle that has to be considered above most others - the British Motor Corporation Mini.  Designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, this small family car was designed from the outset to provide the maximum internal space, in the smallest overall package and even though it was clearly an extremely effective design, they could hardly have imagined the popularity that this little car would enjoy when the first vehicle rolled off the Longbridge production line in 1959.  Not only was this a highly effective and extremely affordable family car, it also became something of a fashion icon – the little car to be seen in!  When production of the Mini finally ended in 2000, no fewer than 5,387,862 vehicles had been built and with them, the creation of a popular motoring phenomenon.

The success of the Mini was not only built around the quality of the original design, but also by the use of clever marketing.  As production levels began to reach some significant milestones, the marketing department made sure that the nation at large were fully aware of this motoring phenomenon and did its best to convince Britain that they really should have a Mini of your own.

An impending Corgi Vanguards release marks one of these significant Mini landmarks in 1/43rd scale and makes for an interesting and historic addition to any vehicle collection.  In November 1976, Mini production numbers reached a staggering 4 Million vehicles, making it the first British vehicle to reach this landmark figure.  Cleverly, the British Leyland marketing department ensured that the actual vehicle to receive this accolade was a Mini 1275GT, which was the flagship model of the range at that time.

British Leyland organised a national press release to document the occasion and invited Mini owner and current Miss Great Britain Sue Cuff to drive the four-Millionth vehicle off the production line.  She was then asked to pose for pictures sitting on the bonnet of the Mini, which can still be viewed by searching the internet.  Things were rather different in those days and following a request to have Ms Cuff wear a mini skirt for the picture, she actually obliged by cutting down her own skirt!


Volvo-Mini-ImageHPrototype model of the Leyland Cars Mini 1275 GT


Volvo-Mini-ImageJPrototype model of the Leyland Cars Mini 1275 GT


The latest Vanguards Mini release (VA13505) marks the production of this famous vehicle and whilst it does not include a scale model of Ms Cuff sat on the bonnet, it does include the roof mounted sign that was produced to proclaim the achievement of this significant Mini.  The Corgi design team have allowed us to see these magnificent development images from this 4,000,000th Mini project, which is a fascinating insight into the production of this interesting model.  Taking us back in time a little, they show the resin prototype model, originally created for the first Mini Clubman model release, which had been produced by a professional model maker, using the digital files supplied by the Corgi design engineers.  Using a process similar to that of a high-quality digital printer, the system uses laser technology to build up the required shape of the component, layer by layer, using a liquid polymer, which hardens on contact with laser light.  What is eventually produced is an extremely accurate three dimensional model, or individual parts that can be assembled to produce the desired model.  These prototype models are a critical piece in the production jigsaw and are used to check every aspect of the new model, before the project can proceed to tooling production.


Volvo-Mini-ImageKPrototype model positioned next to the pre-production sample model


We are also including a picture of the prototype sample next to the pre-production metal sample model of this fifth release from the tool, which illustrates how a model project progresses through the development process.  The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that the pre-production sample is now minus one of its windscreen wipers – this clearly illustrates just how hard these important models actually work and don’t simply sit on the desk looking pretty.  These models can be used for all manner of promotional work in addition to their main development duties, from catalogue photography, to use at roadshow events.

The 4,000,000th Mini 1275 GT in Glacier White (VA13505) is now available on the Corgi website and should be available in all good model shops from this coming weekend.


What’s on the Desk?

Fast becoming a die-cast institution in its own right, our ‘What’s on the Desk’ feature charges our roving photographer to find anything of interest on the design desk at Corgi HQ and capture it for our enjoyment.  This week, we have a pair of models that will certainly find favour with our Hauliers of Renown collectors.


Volvo-Mini-ImageLPre-production sample model of the Middlebrook Transport Ltd. Mercedes-Benz Actros (MP4) flatbed trailer CC15811


Volvo-Mini-ImageMPre-production sample model of the Middlebrook Transport Ltd. Mercedes-Benz Actros (MP4) flatbed trailer CC15811


Scheduled for release later in the year CC15811 is a striking Mercedes-Benz Actros (MP4) flatbed trailer, in Middlebrook Transport Limited livery.  Established in 1974, the Middlebrook Transport Company specialises in the transportation of steel products and as you can see from the images above, the pre-production sample model comes complete with a load of girders.

The Company operate a fleet of thirty trucks and one hundred trailers, from its base in Derbyshire and you can expect to see these distinctive vehicles on roads in Britain and continental Europe.


Volvo-Mini-ImageNPre-production sample model of the Barry Proctor Services Ltd Mercedes-Benz Actros (MP4) and curtainside trailer CC15810


Volvo-Mini-ImagePPre-production sample model of the Barry Proctor Services Ltd Mercedes-Benz Actros (MP4) and curtainside trailer CC15810


Further increasing the range of European road haulage vehicles, CC15810 is now due for imminent release.  Again presenting a smart Mercedes-Benz Actros (MP4) cab, this particular release comes complete with a curtainside trailer in the smart black and silver livery of Barry Proctor Services Limited.  The model also features a stunning representation of the airbrushed artwork on this cab, which depicts a knight on horseback and looks fantastic on the black paintwork.  This model is due for release over the next few days and is an extremely distinctive addition to the Hauliers of Renown range.


Volvo-Mini-ImageRResin prototype and pre-production sample of the newly released VA13505 Mini 1275 GT


Finally for this week, we leave you with one final look at the resin and pre-production models used in the Vanguards 4,000,000th Mini release.  Once again, this model should be available for collectors to pick up over the next few days.

Thank you for reading the latest edition of Diecast Diaries, which we hope you found interesting.  If you have any questions, or comments regarding the blog, or would particularly like to see something featured in a future edition, please do get in touch with us.  We have a dedicated section on our new Diecast Diaries forum, or you could drop us a line using either our Facebook or Twitter accounts, using #CorgiDiecastDiaries.

Until the next edition of Diecast Diaries, enjoy your collecting!


The Corgi Team


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