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You had your say on the future of Aviation Archive

You had your say on the future of Aviation Archive

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. As we are fast approaching both the end of this centenary year for the Royal Air Force and the 20th anniversary of our Aviation Archive range, aeroplanes and aviation history will unashamedly be front and centre in this latest blog. We will be heading down to the Imperial War Museum’s Duxford site, to see how two Corgi models acted as props for several priceless items of aviation history during their latest September Airshow weekend, before catching up with a replica Spitfire which has already appeared in a previous edition of Diecast Diaries, but this time, we report on how it was a very special guest as a formal RAF 100 dinner. We bring you the results of our Aviation Archive ‘Have your say’ initiative announced earlier this year, where we gave our readers the opportunity to potentially influence future development of this popular brand and we announce our latest competition with a classic sell out model from 2018 as our extremely desirable prize. We end with a little bit of festive fun, by asking members of the Corgi team to name their ‘Christmas Crackers’ and nominate which model from the current 2018 range they would most like to find under their own Christmas Tree on the big day itself. As you can see, we have a lot to fit in, so let’s get stuck straight in by looking at an unusual assignment for a pair of classic Corgi models.

Duxford display duties for Corgi pair

original Dambusters attack briefing maps and Corgi Lancaster model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Guarding history. Our RAF 100 Dambusters Lancaster watches over the actual Eder Dam briefing map used prior to the famous wartime raid

As one of the most popular aviation venues in Europe, the Imperial War Museum’s Duxford site can usually rely on people making several visits each year, whether this is to attend one of the trio of successful Airshows they hold annually, or to simply spend a fascinating few hours discovering the many delights of this unique former RAF airfield site. Home to some of the most famous preserved aircraft in the history of aviation, a trip to Duxford also offers the possibility of seeing a restored classic Warbird being dragged from the protection of its hangar and taken for a test flight and if you are lucky, experiencing something of your own private Airshow in the process. Similarly, for the thousands of people who regularly attend Duxford Airshows, they have the added reassurance that they will always have something interesting to see and do at this historic airfield, no matter what the good old British weather may throw at them. It would be true to say that Duxford has a unique combination of exhibits and attractions which keeps people coming back time after time.

Although many Diecast Diaries readers will no doubt be familiar with the fascinating exhibits on display at Duxford, they may not be aware that the museum also stores and preserves thousands of additional items across a number of UK sites, many of which are priceless items from the nation’s military history. In a welcome recent development, members of the museum exhibits team have been allowed to display some of these artefacts during Airshow weekends, not only throwing the spotlight on their important work, but also allowing the public to see items of significant historic importance, items which most will never have been close to previously. We are proud to say that as both displays had links to models which were included in the Corgi 2018 release schedule, two sell out Aviation Archive models were also allowed to make a die-cast contribution to these fascinating displays.

As 2018 marked the centenary of the establishment of the Royal Air Force, the subject of aviation has been receiving much more attention than usual during the year and resulted in attendance figures at this summer’s Airshows receiving a welcome boost. This also ensured that more people than usual would have had the opportunity to see the two special displays arranged by the IWM exhibits team in their Conservation in Action hangar (Hangar 5) at Duxford this year, one from the Great War and one from WWII, but both commemorating significant anniversaries in their own right.

Manfred von Richthofen's original Fokker Triplane engine the Red Baron on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

When we started work on this special commemorative release of Manfred von Richthofen’s final Fokker Triplane, little did we know that we would have the opportunity to display one next to the actual engine which powered this famous aircraft 

As far as famous aviation personalities are concerned, there can be few who earned such widespread and enduring notoriety as Manfred von Richthofen, the feared ‘Bloody Red Baron’ of the Great Air War. Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen was better known to many as the Red Baron, perhaps the most famous aviation celebrity of all time and a man who’s exploits became the stuff of legend, helping to create the public perception of the Great War’s aviators being regarded as something like jousting knights of the air. In this deadly duel for aerial supremacy, von Richthofen became the most prolific air ace of WWI, but despite his 80 confirmed victories and earning the admiration of airmen on both sides of the trenches, he would ultimately befall the fate suffered by so many men involved in this terrible conflict and not live to see the armistice signed and the guns falling silent. On 21st April 1918, von Richthofen and the rest of his Jagdstaffel were flying above the Somme region, preparing for combat with British units. Flying in a relatively new Fokker Triplane, the all red aircraft served as a highly visible reference for his own pilots during the melee of combat, several of whom were inexperienced, whilst also serving as a visible deterrent for enemy airmen, who will have been uneasy at the thought of taking on this expert fighter ace and his capable unit. Despite his undoubted reputation, von Richthofen would end this engagement lying dead on rough ground behind Allied lines, shot by a single bullet fired from the trenches below, as his distinctive aircraft chased a British Sopwith Camel, the pilot of which must have surely thought he was about to become the Baron’s latest victim.

Manfred von Richthofen's original Fokker Triplane engine the Red Baron on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Without doubt, one of the aviation highlights of our year. It was a proud moment when we saw our Red Baron Triplane displayed next to this priceless piece of aviation history

Although managing to successfully land his Triplane behind Allied lines, von Richthofen was to almost immediately succumb to his injuries and by the time troops reached the stricken aircraft, the Red Baron was dead. With his body dragged from the cockpit and clearly aware of the significance of this incident, Allied troops stripped von Richthofen’s aircraft of anything they could quickly remove, with the trophy hunting later resulting in an official report of the aircraft supposedly being damaged by artillery fire whilst on the ground. As a feared, yet respected enemy, Manfred von Richthofen was buried with full military honours at Bertangles cemetery on 22nd April 1918, where he was laid to rest amongst the fallen of his enemies, just eleven days before what would have been his 26th birthday. In the years which followed this famous incident, numerous people have come forward claiming to have parts of von Richthofen’s stripped Triplane in their possession and whilst establishing the authenticity of these claims is undoubtedly a fascinating story in its own right, the RAF Museum is unquestionably in possession of arguably the most significant single piece of this famous aircraft – its engine. Von Richthofen’s final Triplane was powered by an Oberursel UR2 rotary engine, a German manufactured copy of the French Le Rhone 9J engine and the one which powered his Fokker Triplane on his final, fateful flight was recovered from the crash site by an RAF team and presented to the Imperial War Museum in 1919.

Manfred von Richthofen's original Fokker Triplane engine the Red Baron on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

A sight we never get tired of enjoying. This meeting of real v Corgi allowed us to see if we had done a good job on representing the Oberursel UR2 rotary engine in 1/48th scale

To mark this centenary year of the end of the Great War and 100 years since the death of Manfred von Richthofen, the IWM allowed this fascinating piece of aviation memorabilia to be on public display in Duxford’s conservation hangar during the September Battle of Britain Airshow and for those who were lucky enough to see it, this will surely go down as one of the aviation highlights of their year. Now restored and in impressive condition, this was an opportunity to be in the presence of aviation history and as such, we were obviously privileged to be allowed to display one of our scale die-cast models next to the engine. A special commemorative release for 2018, AA38308 presented von Richthofen’s final Fokker Triplane 425/17 in 1/48th scale and included a scale representation of the engine it was fortunate enough to be displayed next to – produced in response to a Corgi US request for a model to mark this centenary, relatively few of these models were available in the UK, ensuring they were snapped up almost immediately.

original Dambusters attack briefing maps and Corgi Lancaster model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Die-cast mission accomplished. Corgi Dambusters Lancaster AA32625 flies over the actual briefing model of the Eder Dam and surrounding area, during a rare public display outing at Duxford Airshow

If that stunning piece of aviation history were not enough, the Imperial War Museum also allowed Duxford visitors the opportunity to inspect three more unique aviation artefacts, each one used in preparation for one of the most audacious bombing raids of the Second World War – the Dambusters Raid. In this 75th anniversary year of the raid, the IWM allowed three of the beautifully detailed briefing maps used to train the crews in preparation for the dams raid to be put on show and as you can imagine, they came in for plenty of attention over the Airshow weekend. These maps allowed the Lancaster crews to assess the surrounding terrain of the target areas and spot any noticeable features which may have helped them during their attack run – clearly, for the raid to succeed, they were going to need all the help they could get. These three dimensional relief model maps were the most accurate representations of the area surrounding the target dams the crews could hope to examine in advance of the raid and are a fascinating piece of Britain’s wartime history.

original Dambusters attack briefing maps and Corgi Lancaster model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

In this 75th anniversary year of the Dambusters raid, the sight of these three original briefing maps used both in advance of the raid and in the 1955 feature film, was without doubt one of the highlights of Duxford’s September Airshow.

original Dambusters attack briefing maps and Corgi Lancaster model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

If you ignore the hand, the static propellers and use a lot of imagination, this Lancaster could almost appear to have made a scale bombing run on the Eder Dam (model, of course)

Just as these beautifully produced models proved crucial during the meticulous preparations for the Dambusters raid itself, they were also to play an important role in the 1955 feature film of the raid, which starred Richard Todd as Wing Commander Guy Gibson and Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis. This classic war film was digitally remastered for this 75th anniversary year of the raid, meaning that these fascinating maps can be seen with much more clarity in the film, although this can hardly prepare you for a sight of the real models themselves, which are in truly magnificent condition. Once again, we were proud to be able to display one of the models from our 2018 range near this unique display, in the shape of our 100 Years of the RAF Avro Lancaster B.III (Special) AA32625, a 1/72nd scale representation of one of the nineteen specially modified Lancaster’s which took part in the raid. Lancasters have always been one of the most popular releases in any Aviation Archive range, since the first example appeared back in 2001 and in this 75th anniversary year of the raid, this latest model proved no exception and is now sold out and much sought after. As the pictures used to illustrate this feature prove, this was also the first of our ‘Operation Chastise’ Lancaster models to have the opportunity to ‘fly’ over the actual briefing models used by RAF planners and brave airmen of the actual Dambusters raid. We would like to sincerely thank the Imperial War Museum and their knowledgeable exhibits staff for allowing us to place our models hear their priceless aviation artefacts and for looking after them in the face of thousands of admiring visitors inspecting the displays during the course of the weekend. Hopefully, this hugely successful feature of Duxford’s September show will be allowed to continue in the future and visitors to the Airshows will be able to look forward to inspecting more gems from the extensive IWM collection. In any case, it is always worth a quick visit to the Conservation in Action hangar at Duxford, as there is always something interesting and historic to be seen.

A cracker of a Christmas competition

Corgi Avro Lancaster B.III (Special) Dambusters AA32625 on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

As Christmas is the season for giving, we could not let this latest edition of Diecast Diaries pass without giving our readers the chance to win something really special to add to their collection - one of our sell out Operation Chastise RAF 100 Lancasters. AA32625 was one of the model announcements which formed our 100 years of the RAF collection and as it was also released in this 75th anniversary year of the raid, it was one we fully expected to be popular with our collectors. The crew of Avro Lancaster ED929 AJ-L took off from RAF Scampton at 21.47 on the night of 16th May 1943, as part of the first attack wave heading for the Mohne Dam. Heading out over East Anglia and then on to the Dutch coast, the aircraft and its crew were orbiting the Mohne Dam awaiting the instruction to begin their attack run, when it was successfully breached. They immediately set course for their secondary target, the Eder Dam, which was a further 45 miles deeper into German territory and a notoriously difficult target to attack. With steep wooded hills surrounding the dam, the pilots would have to make steep dives and severe turns to line up correctly on the target, before dropping their ‘Upkeep’ bomb at the optimum height to affect a breach. Fortunately, the Eder was not defended by Luftwaffe anti-aircraft units and the Lancaster crews even had the luxury of being able to drop flares to mark the optimum route to target. In spite of this, the pilot of ED929, Dave Shannon, was forced to make at least five aborted attack runs before finally releasing his bomb at around 01:40, which struck the dam at the extreme right-hand side. The Eder Dam was finally breached minutes later following the successful attack by fellow pilot Les Knight in Lancaster ED912, with both aircraft managing to make it safely back to Scampton.

To be in with the chance of winning this spectacular prize, please head over to the Corgi Competitions Page, where you will find a Dambusters related question for you to answer – should you need any help with the answer, the RAF 100 Operation Chastise Lancaster product page on the Corgi website contains all the information you might need. As usual, there will be three possible answers for you to select from, with just one being the correct answer – all you have to do is choose the right one to be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize. Our lucky winner will be selected at random and their name published in the first edition of Die-cast Diaries in 2019 – a great start to the new year for one fortunate reader. The competition itself will remain open until midnight on Sunday 13th January, so you will have plenty of time over the Christmas holidays to register your interest - good luck to everyone who enters!

A dinner guest of distinction

Exclusive Spitfire display at RIAT 2018 on the die-cast diaries blog

The aviation guest of honour at the 2018 RIAT Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Gala Dinner has previously appeared in Diecast Diaries

In the 39th edition of Diecast Diaries, we featured pictures of a magnificent full scale replica Spitfire Mk.IIa which is owned by the Ulster Aviation Society and commemorates the unusual story of ‘Presentation Spitfires’ during the Second World War. In particular, the project was intended to mark the campaign when the Belfast Telegraph newspaper launched their own initiative to raise funds to buy a Spitfire for the war effort and how local communities rallied around the call with real enthusiasm. Initially hoping to raise £5,000 from all sections of the local population, their campaign slogan ‘A Spitfire a day keeps the Nazis away’ captured the imagination of its readers, who eventually raised enough money to buy no fewer than seventeen Spitfires, a sum equivalent to around 3 million pounds in current monetary terms. Each aircraft carried the name of the fund which purchased the aircraft, along with the Ulster name of the area that had contributed to its phenomenal success. Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa P7823 was one of these seventeen presentation Spitfires and proudly carried the name ‘Down - Belfast Telegraph Spitfire Fund’ after the communities in County Down who helped to  finance her.  Flying with RAF No.504 Squadron, this Spitfire proved to be significant as it was the only one of the seventeen aircraft purchased through the fund to be based in Northern Ireland, as it was stationed at RAF Ballyhalbert. It was involved in a tragic accident on 7th January 1942, when young Canadian pilot Walter McManus was killed when the aircraft crashed during a flight back to his home station. Illustrating the human cost of conflict, Walter McManus had only left his native Canada six months earlier, four days after celebrating his marriage to his sweetheart Kate – although promising to return to her at the earliest possible opportunity, the couple would only have those four special days together. A full size replica of P7823, the ‘Down Spitfire’ was commissioned by the Ulster Aviation Society in 2013 and this popular aircraft serves to commemorate the sacrifice of P.O McManus and his wife, along with the fascinating story of when the people of Northern Ireland raised the money to buy seventeen Spitfires. For more information regarding the Down Spitfire and Pilot Officer Walter McManus, please head for the Ulster Aviation Society website.

Exclusive Spitfire display at RIAT 2018 on the die-cast diaries blog

A meal of distinction. The replica Down Spitfire provided a unique backdrop to an RAF evening of celebration

The full scale replica model of Spitfire P7823 is now a popular display item in its own right and not only attends events in Ireland, but has started to spread its wings somewhat and now has some significant overseas appearances in its impressive log book. Of particular note over the previous few months was a formal dinner date to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force, where the Spitfire acted as a high profile event centrepiece display and whilst this event took place during the height of summer, these pictures prove that the backdrop prepared for the UAS Spitfire certainly had something of a festive feel to it and would not look out of place at this time of year. This popular formal occasion was the annual Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Gala Dinner held in a hangar at Fairford and several members of the Ulster Aviation Society were fortunate enough to receive invitations to the event. They were therefore also in a position to keep a watchful eye on their beloved Spitfire, which was not only serving as an impressive centrepiece for this event, but also effectively representing its owners in this, their 50th anniversary year.

Exclusive Spitfire display at RIAT 2018 on the die-cast diaries blog

Marking 100 years of the RAF, the Spitfire is arguably the most famous aircraft to ever wear the roundel of the Royal Air Force

The aircraft which the UAS Spitfire replica commemorates has also joined the Aviation Archive range during 2018, a 1/72nd scale release in our popular Royal Air Force Centenary Collection. AA39213 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa P7823 / TM-F ‘Down Belfast Telegraph Spitfire Fund’, RAF No.504 Squadron, Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland, March 1941 was one of the seventeen Spitfires purchased following the successful fund raising efforts of the Belfast Telegraph, telling a fascinating story of how ordinary people showed their resolve in the face of wartime adversity and clearly demonstrated their defiance to Britain’s enemies.

Aviation Archive 20 – Our readers have spoken

Aviation Archive models are 20 years old on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

In what has been a significant year for the Aviation Archive range, we have seen a collection of models produced to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force, as well as a model specifically releases to commemorate the 20th anniversary of these popular aircraft models – a 1/72nd scale example for the very first 1/144th scale release from 1998. As part of this important year for the range, we thought it would be interesting to see what readers thought about the future of Aviation Archive and specifically, to ‘Have their say’ on what aircraft types they would like to see added to the range in the years to come. Right from the outset, we issued a couple of important caveats, along the lines of we make no guarantees that any models proving popular in the poll will definitely be included in a future range, however our collectors are quite a pragmatic bunch and clearly understood this position. Nevertheless, the Corgi development team have been watching developments with interest and have been presented with the results of the three separate polls we initiated. Significantly, we were left in absolutely no doubt as to the enduring popularity of this range, as we were inundated with your votes from the very first day of the initiative, with thousands of suggestions being received from every corner of the globe, exceeding even our most optimistic expectations. In fact, the size of your response created something of a problem, as emails continued to flood in week after week and even after we announced the poll was closed, suggestions were still being received and have continued to arrive to this day. We are more than happy to announce that the Aviation Archive range is alive and well, as we fast approach its 21st year.

Attempting to bring some structure to the poll, we asked readers if they would be good enough to let us have their suggestions in each of three specific categories – 1/72nd scale, 1/48th scale and anything goes, where they can suggest any aircraft type in any scale, even reaffirming one of their previous selections, if they so wished. It will not come as a surprise to many that 1/72nd scale attracted the most suggestions, however, following the extremely positive response to our new 1/48th scale Lightning and the continued popularity of our WWI aircraft series, 1/48th scale was not too far behind. The result which proved most interesting was that despite a lack of releases in 1/32nd scale over recent years, there still seems to be a significant appetite for models in this scale and several aircraft new tooling suggestions appeared high on the list. Our intention is to publish the results of the incredibly well supported 1/72nd scale poll in the next edition of Die-cast Diaries (which will be our Review Edition on 28th December) and to concentrate on the other two categories this time. In time honoured fashion, we will announce the results in reverse order, beginning with our ‘Anything Goes’ poll.

Aviation Archive 20 – ‘Anything goes’

Underlining the popularity of the Aviation Archive range and the fact that people have been collecting these models for over 20 years, all scales were represented in this section of the poll, including the call for us to re-visit the original 1/144th scale in which the range was launched. Models which proved to be popular suggestions for 1/144th scale were the Vickers Super VC10 and the earlier Vickers Vanguard turboprop airliners, however, it was the larger 1/32nd scale which went on to dominate this poll. Models which made the top ten included the English Electric Lightning (which would be a handsome beast in 1/32nd scale) Stuka and Spitfire Mk.IX, however, the top five suggestions proved to be:-

5th place – Focke Wulf Fw190(A or D) 1/32nd scale
4th place – Hawker Typhoon 1/32nd scale
3rd place – BAe Hawk T.1 (Red Arrows) 1/32nd scale

Concorde and Hawker Sea Fury on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

Joint 1st place – British Concorde 1/72nd or 1/144th scale

Joint 1st place – Hawker Sea Fury 1/32nd scale

We had two clear winners in this category, which jointly occupied first position and between them polled a massive 38% of all suggestions received. Concorde is one model which has regularly featured in die-cast forum polls over the years and it should not have been a surprise to find it doing well on our list. What is interesting is that most respondents included that they would not mind if a future new tooling were to appear in either 1/144th of 1/72nd scale, although we suspect the size of the larger model may pose one or two display headaches. Sharing the top spot with Concorde was a 1/32nd scale version of the Hawker Sea Fury, one of the best looking aircraft ever produced and one which represented this zenith of piston powered fighter design. You people really do have good taste when it comes to aeroplanes and if either of these models were to be announced in a future Corgi range, they would surely prove to be extremely popular additions.

Aviation Archive 20 – 1/48th scale

This poll proved to be hotly contested and highlighted a desire for additions to both the established models in the range and a further expansion of the recently released English Electric Lightning in this scale. As many would have predicted, the top ten suggestions included such aircraft as the Hawker Hunter, Panavia Tornado GR.4 and Eurofighter Typhoon, with perhaps the Boeing Chinook being the most thought provoking selection amongst this group – this really would look fantastic in this slightly larger scale. Receiving many more votes than the previous category, we also ended up with a tie for first place in 1/48th scale, although the greater number of votes cast and much closer results saw a reduced combined poll popularity percentage of 30% for the two.

5th place – BAe Harrier GR.9 & Sea Harrier FRS.1 (both received the same number of votes)
4th place – Blackburn Buccaneer B.2
3rd place – British Phantom (RAF & Fleet Air Arm)

Corgi Bristol F2 Fighter on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog
New Corgi De Havilland Mosquito on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

Joint 1st place – Bristol F.2 Fighter

Joint 1st place – De Havilland Mosquito

This result spoke volumes about the Aviation Archive collector and the current state of collecting tastes. This suggests that collectors are looking for an expansion of the existing WWI aircraft range, which has been in place for many years now and always proves to be amongst the most popular releases in any Corgi product catalogue. Also, despite the obvious appeal of the new Lightning, collectors still hold the Mosquito as one of the most important British aircraft and one which deserves to be produced in this larger scale. With a definitive 1/48th scale die-cast version of the Mosquito still eluding collectors and the Bristol F.2 Fighter occupying the position of arguably the world’s first true multi role aircraft, we can only keep our fingers crossed and hope that both of these aircraft will one day take their place in our display cabinets.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to send in your Aviation Archive ‘Have your say’ suggestions throughout the year and assure you that each and every one was included in the respective polls. We are aware that we made things a little more difficult for you all in asking for e-mail suggestions, as opposed to a web-based list of suggestions to select from, however, we felt that this way would produce much more accurate results, as well as allowing all aircraft types to be suggested, not just the usual suspects. As it turned out, many of the usual suspects turned up anyway, but this still gave the Supermarine Spiteful as much chance as Concorde as appearing in one of our top ten polls. We look forward to bringing you the results of our 1/72nd scale poll in the next edition of Diecast Diaries, which resulted in literally thousands of e-mailed aircraft suggestions.

Corgi Christmas Crackers

English Electric Lightning F6 AA28402 on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

We would like to end this latest edition of Diecast Diaries with a little festive feature, where we ask some of the Corgi folks whose impressive work we have been reporting on all year round, to nominate their Corgi Christmas Crackers – one model from the current range which they would be delighted to find under their tree on the big day itself. Let’s begin with the 'big guns' and ask two of the most senior Corgi development personalities for their selections, the people who have been instrumental in producing the fantastic models we have all been collecting this year. Development Manager Martin worked long and hard in ensuring the new 1/48th scale English Electric Lightning F.6 was a spectacular new addition to the Aviation Archive range, taking the collector in a new and exciting direction and bringing all his experience in producing the most accurate die-cast model possible. He certainly managed to do that, so it would be rather fitting that one of these models should end up on his mantelpiece on Christmas Day, so he can admire his handiwork. 

English Electric Lightning F6 AA28402 on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

The second release from the 1/48th scale English Electric Lightning F.6 tooling features arguably the definitive scheme applied to this famous jet fighter

Our lead researcher Simon was also heavily involved in the development of the 1/48th scale Lightning and thinks that the latest RAF No.74 Squadron release is perhaps the ultimate scheme on Britain’s ultimate jet fighter. With the last few remaining Lightnings sure to be snapped up in the days leading up to Christmas, it is to be hoped that Santa has already reserved one for Simon’s present pile, or we might just have one disappointed Hornby researcher on the big day.

On to our hard working photographer and the man without whom most of the blogs on the Hornby website would be much the poorer. David has to shoot every model from every conceivable angle, in order to illustrate both the website and range catalogues - with this in mind, you might think it could be difficult to get him to nominate a suitable Christmas Cracker, but thankfully, that proved not to be the case. David used his extensive knowledge of TV and film to provide additional support for the impending Beatles Yellow Submarine release, which he feels will be the closest movie accurate representation of this classic model yet produced in die-cast metal. As this model is not actually due to be released until after Christmas, David’s reserve selection was Consolidated B-24 Liberator ‘Male Call’, because of the fascinating story behind it and the fact that this was the first Liberator he had ever shot for a Corgi range.

Social Media and Web Content Co-ordinator Adam has a rather impressive collection of models around his workstation and stated that he would not be against adding a popular model from earlier in the year to the group, even though it would present Santa with something of a challenge. Whilst adding many hundreds of picture submissions to the Customer Images section of the Corgi website, Adam remembered being particularly impressed by the look of the RAF Centenary Collection Chinook and even though this model has long since sold out, he would be more than happy to find one of these in the stocking at the end of his bed. Something tells us that he would have had to have been an exceptionally good boy all year, to be in with even the slightest chance of receiving one of these long since sold out models.

A Christmas selection of fantastic Corgi models on Corgi Diecast Diaries Blog

A montage of Corgi Christmas Cracker selections, as chosen by members of the Corgi development and marketing teams

Now on to the girls and the selections of our fantastic Assistant Brand Managers, ladies who do great work in supporting the Corgi brand in a multitude of ways. Emily had no hesitation in selecting her Christmas model, which was the Paddington Bus. She said, “I absolutely love Paddington Bear and he looks all the more impressive on this new Routemaster bus. The decoration is beautiful and having recently watched the new films with my nieces and nephews, I can see why the little bear is so popular”. We did see one of these models on Emily’s workstation, so this additional bus must be destined for display at home.

Sally, on the other hand, is definitely a lady who likes to collect model representations of the iconic aircraft she has been lucky enough to sit in or on over the years and for that reason, she would like to find a Showcase Sea King helicopter under her tree. She was lucky enough to be allowed inside the iconic Search & Rescue Sea King, which formed part of the impressive RAF 100 display at this year’s Cosford Airshow and was impressed by the size of this aircraft, which came to the rescue of so many people in peril. One of these models would allow her to impress her son with an example of yet another aircraft she has managed to mark in her personal logbook, although she would certainly let him have the model to add to his own growing Showcase collection – obviously after showing off a little first.

Thank you to everyone featured above for allowing us to disturb your busy days and letting us share your Corgi selections with our readers. This will be the last edition of our blog before Christmas, as the next Diecast Diaries will be the Review Edition, to be posted on Friday 28th December. All that remains is for us to wish you a very Happy Christmas from the entire Corgi team and to thank you all for your magnificent support throughout the past year. We hope that Santa brings you a couple of Corgi goodies on the big day itself and we hope you will join us again for our review edition, which will include the results of our 1/72nd scale Aviation Archive ‘Have your say’ poll and exclusive information regarding the 2019 range launch. We look forward to seeing you all then.

That’s all we have for you in this latest edition of Corgi Die-cast Diaries, however, we will be back as usual with more updates and exclusive Corgi model information in the Review Edition of our blog on 28th December. 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, where we will be only too pleased to hear from you.

If you can’t wait for the next edition of our blog, there is always plenty of Corgi model related news, views and conversation taking place on both our official Facebook  and Twitter  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 28th December.


The Corgi Die-cast Diaries Team


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