Oxford Models 1/76 Bentley Blower 1930, Model Review

Over the years the Bentley Blower has been popular with both die-cast and plastic kit manufacturers. Everyone from Airfix to Franklin Mint has had a version available. Additionally, scales from 1:76 to 1:12 are represented. So how does the Oxford models 1:76 scale model fair?

The prototype Bentley Blower

The first 4.5 litre Bentley cars appeared in 1927 and were fitted with various body styles. At the time a race win made for a good marketing boost. Hence the 4.5 lire was given a racing body and supecharger.

The Bentley Blower was developed from the Bentley 4.5 litre car, to win at le Mans. Consequently, The car won the 500-mile endurance race at Brooklands in 1929, with a top speed of 137mph.

The 1930 Bentley Blower, image Autocar

Bentley Blower Models and kits

Minichamps Bentley Blower

Diecast models of The Bentley Blower have been produced by several manufacturers. Minichamps have a 1:43 scale and 1:18 scale version.

The Minichamps 1:43 scale version of the Bentley Blower

The Minichamps 1:18 blower has spectacular detail

The Minichamps 1:18 scale Bentley Blower

The Franklin Mint Bentley Blower

For around £200 you could have a spectacular 1:24 scale Blower from Franklin Mint.

The Franklin Mint Version of the Blower

The Spark 1:18 Bentley Blower

Perhaps the most expensive version of the Blower was produced by Spark, at £249.

Plastic Kits

Airfix Bentley Blower kits

Various plastic kits of the Blower have been produced, one of the earliest was the Airfix 1:32 scale version, issued in the 1960s.

Airfix 1:32 scale Bentley Blower.The earlier version of the bagged packaging artwork.
The 1970s , bagged version of the 1:32 scale blower.

The Airfix 1:12 scale blower kit is still available for About £100

The Revell 1:24 scale Bentley Blower

Revell also produced a 1:24 scale blower for around £40.

The Revell 1:24 scale Blower

The Heller Bentley Blower

Finally, Heller produces another 1:24 scale version for around £30.

The Heller 1:24 scale blower

The Oxford models Bentley Blower.

The Oxford models version is a lovely little thing. The body and wings are die-cast metal while the radiator and wheels are plastic. Wheel spokes are represented by painted embossing on clear plastic. This looks fine at this scale.

The number on the radiator is well printed. Even the mascot is present. Dashboard dials are present but are not detailed.

The racing number is present as is the mascot.

The rear lights are picked out in red.

Conclussion

There is a remarkable amount of detail for such a small scale, including minuscule hub caps and bonnet belts. For the price, you cannot go wrong.

The Maxichamps Mercedes Benz 200, 1968 in Yellow, Review.

Introduction

Mercedes Benz first produced cars in the 19th century.

Karl Benz was the first to use an internal combustion engine in a car. This was the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen

The prototype

The Mercedes Benz 200, 1968 version

Confusingly, Mercedes Benz issued a number of vehicles with the “200” designation. The model reviewed here represents the 1968, smoother look version, without fins.

The Earlier 200 model with fins.

In 1968 Mercedes Benz released a finless version of the mid 60’s W110. The fins were a fifties design feature that was beginning to look outdated. Consequently, the new design had smoother looks. The four-cylinder version of the car was marketed as the 200. Design changes included the headlight cluster and the radiator. The headlight and indicators became one unit while the radiator was less rounded.

The model

The model has a diecast body with plastic wheels. The overall look of the vehicle is captured nicely. Door handles are separately fitted and a rather fragile radio aerial sits on the wing.

The 200 model number and logo are present on the boot. As with most Minichamps models, no number plates are provided. However, after-market decals are available.

Overall these are good value for money .

Norev also produced a 1: 18 scale model of the 1968 200. This has opening doors.

The Hornby LSWR, Drummond T9, the verdict.

Introduction

The Hornby LSWR Drummond T9 originally came out in 2008 and has been issued in four different Liveries, the most recent being in LSWR light green. There is also a brass masters kit of the T9. The latest Hornby model represents the only survivor of the class, No 120. The model was issued in late 2020.

The prototype T9

The most common type of passenger locomotive at the turn of the 20th century was the 4-4-0. There was a remarkable range of designs and liveries. The Drummond designed LSWR T9 went into service in 1899. The cylinders were 18.5″ in diameter with a 26″ stroke. Additionally, the coupled wheels were 6′ 7″ in diameter.

The best known and fastest 4-4-0 ‘s were probably the GWR City class, for example, City of Truro, modelled by Kitmaster, later Airfix, in the 1960’s.

120 T9’s were built. The Hornby model represented was stabled at Nine Elms from 1899 to 1947. After 1947, in BR ownership, it was renumbered 30120. It is now the only member of its class in preservation.

It is indeed remarkable to recall the extraordinary variety of styling, and still more so the sartorial elegance in which the basic British inside-cylinder 4-4-0 was clothed in the early years of the 20th century

British locomotives of the 20th century Vol. 1, O. s. Nock, Pub. 1983
A lovely painting of the T9 by C Hamilton Ellis , the Bournemouth express. Note the salmon and brown carriages.

(LSWR) Passenger locomotives,(were) light green, growing yellower in tinge as the present century (20th) advanced, with chocolate bands and black and white lines

Up to about 1859, LSWR engines were Indian red with black bands; thenceforward to the early Seventies, chocolate lined-out with black and white (also in vermilion on the best express engines)

The London and South Western probably held the record for the variety of its locomotive liveries and for the number of times they were changed.

C Hamilton Ellis the trains we loved pub. 1947

Get you Metcalfe kits ready made

The Hornby LSWR, Drummond T9

The Hornby T9 model has been in the range since 2008, Early T9 models suffered from motor mounting rot. However, Later models were OK. They also had some short lived, over complicated packaging. Additionally, connecting the tender was fiddly. As well as individual locomotives no. 312, in Southern green, also appeared in a train pack R.2813. At over £150 they are not exactly cheap but the level of detail is amazing.

Buy the train pack on eBay, Affiliate link

First impressions

The level of detail impresses although the pipework is rather fragile. The smokebox door has a separately fitted dart and the buffer beam sports sprung buffers. Lamp irons are fitted and prone to breakage. Moving along, Under the boiler the valve gear is nicely represented

The Livery

The rather unforgiving green livery is well applied, as is the banding. The splashers have a very fine white outline. There are no glue marks and the finish is a silky mat. There is also some fine moulded detail on the boiler. The design aesthetic of the original is lovely. Note the outline painting of the recess for the connecting rods. The copper pipework is plastic but well represented. However the safety valves are made of metal.

Buffer beam detail includes the running number and vacuum pipes.

The chassis

The front bogie is centre sprung which helps to hold it on to the track on bends. As a result this gives much more realistic running.

There are also some substantial pickups on the front bogie.


Detailing

The tour de force of this model is the cab detailing. For example the gauges are legible and have glass! Additionally there is some very fine individually fitted pipework.

Running

Running is excellent with a five pole motor. Early versions may have mazac rot, however you can obtain new brass motor mounts.

Conclusion

Most versions of the model are still available on eBay. The most recent is probably worth the money considering the finish and level of detail.

Oxford 1/76 Morris J Ice Cream van -Rossi’s , Review.

The Prototype

The Morris J type van first appeared in 1949. It was produced until 1961. They were commonly supplied in chassis form to external body makers. Hence the Ice Cream van. Power was provided by a pre-war 1476 cc side valve engine. There was a three speed gearbox. The Post Office was another big user of this van.

The model

This is a delightful little model. Printing is colourful and excellent, even the windscreen rubbers are represented. Additionally a full interior enhances the appeal.

Rossi’s Ice Cream Parlour was founded in 1931 and still exist in Southend on Sea They continue to operate modern Ice Cream vans.

There is a rear number plate and the stop lights are represented with painted dots.

Any 50’s or 60’s layout would benefit from this model. The Oxford range are still great value!

The Austin K2 ATV Fire Engine from WW II, history and models.

During WW II an assortment of commercial vehicles were pressed into service as fire vehicles. They were to tow the 20,000 trailer pumps that were expected to be needed. This proved to be a mistake as the vehicles were unreliable and not cost effective. In a raid on Manchester so many were out of service that pumps had to be pushed to the bombed areas by hand.

In 1941 2000 custom built Austin K2 vans were ordered these were fitted with seats for the crew and hose storage. After the war they were termed auxiliary towing vehicles or ATV’s. Many fire services used them including private companies. 1941 was also the year that the fire service was nationalized, becoming the National Fire Service.

The Austin K2 Van conversions

The Austin K2 short wheelbase 2 ton chassis was used, with a steel body and reinforced roof to deflect shrapnel. The engine was a six cylinder 3650cc, 28 HP, unit. Storage was available under the bench seats that ran down each side.

The officer in charge and driver sat upfront while the crew sat in back, which was open. A tarpaulin was provided to keep out the rain! Some Austin K2’s remained in service until the 1970’s.

National fire service vehicles were painted grey to conform with British Standard Shade No. 32.

The models

The Austin ATV has been produced by Oxford Die-cast in a range of liveries. The scale is 1/76 suitable for 00 model railways. These are great little models with fine detail at a great price.

The original NFS ATV in Grey.

The RAF also used the K2 at airbases.

The RAF version of the Austin K2 ATV.

The London Salvage Corps was tasked with saving as many goods as possible at fire scenes. Oxford also produced a model of this version.

WW II London Salvage Corps Austin K2

In 1938, the Auxiliary Fire Service was formed. Its main aim was for Civil Defence and to aid the regular fire service. Volunteers manned the service. It was absorbed into the National Fire Service in 1941 and reformed after WW II. It was not disbanded until 1968. The green livery became well know in the 1950’s when the Green Goddesses were introduced.

The Oxford Diecast AFS Austin K2.

Finally the Austin K2 was also used as a service vehicle to maintain the other appliances.

The Bentley 1/43 continental DHC from Yat Ming Models, Review.

The prototype

The Bentley Continental S2 was produced from 1959 onwards. It featured a new L series V-8 engine. Air conditioning and power steering made this a high end car with a high end price. Mint versions sell for close a quarter of a million pounds, today.

The Continental range was renowned for its Light weight chassis and powerful engines. Body styles included the two door convertible, as depicted by the Yat Ming models vehicle.

The model

Presentation.

The box makes this look like a high end model which it is not. Full marks for this, however.

Once the card cover is removed more delights await. The name of the vehicle is printed onto the base and there is a badge on top of the box. The model could be displayed on a desk without attracting dust.

The body shape is nicely represented and there is a minuscule mascot moulded into the radiator. The lighting cluster is well presented and the chrome work does not seem overdone. The metallic silver paint is well applied and does not have over-scale particles.

The red interior looks a bit plastic and there is a lack of detail on the dashboard. Unfortunate for a model where the interior is so visible. The windscreen wipers are separately fitted.

The rear aspect shows the Bentley badge and the folded down roof which is not painted.

The rearview mirror is part of the windscreen moulding.

Overall this is a great value model at only £14.99

The Warszawa 203 Polish automobile (223/224) -Mag Models 1/43 review.

Origins

The Warszawa was a Polish vehicle built from 1951 to 1973 by the FSO Passenger Automobile Factory in Warsaw. Originally based on the Opel Kapitan of 1938. The design similarities are apparent in the 1951 version.

They were popular due to their “bullet proof” design, capable of handling bad roads, bad fuel and heavy use, hence their popularity as taxis.

Now available is a 1/43 scale metal model of the Warszawa 203, that is accurate to the prototype.

Continue reading “The Warszawa 203 Polish automobile (223/224) -Mag Models 1/43 review.”

Hornby J36, British Rail – Review.

The prototype.

Of the more than 20,000 locomotives in use at the turn of the 20th century, over one third were tender 0-6-0 types. In Scotland , the NBR decided to replace a number of older 0-6-0 locomotives. The J36 was known as the C class and was introduced in 1888. They were very successful locomotives, with over 100 being built by 1900. From 1913 the engines began to be rebuilt. A number served in France during WW I and were consequently renamed with tribute names.

The J36 was mostly used in Scotland for goods and passenger duties. They could also be seen in North Yorkshire. 123 locomotives continued into British Rail Service. Two were still in use in 1967, with only one being preserved.

The model

All images, the author. The model is available in a number of liveries. LNER, two original North British liveries and an early British Rail colour scheme.

In March 2019 “Maude” was released with TTS sound. This has a more elaborate North British livery. It is only available with TTS.

The model we look at here is the DC version of “Haig”, R3622 . It is available for £99, at the time of writing.

The J36 is quite a heavy model with a good flat black paint application. The boiler and firebox are made of die-cast metal as are other components. There is no boiler banding, only the running number and name are printed. The front windows are glazed. The safety valves are made of metal, while the whistle is not. The running gear is blackened and the wheel axle ends are realistic.

All the locomotives have sprung buffers . The detail pack includes the brake rigging, vacuum pipes and the front coupling. There are some tiny separately fitted parts at the front of the boiler. The smoke box door has a separately fitted dart.

Cab detail

The Cab detail is nicely painted although the gauges are not marked.

The internal valve gear is picked out in red and the reversing lever is made of metal.

The tender is well detailed with sprung buffers and a pre-fitted NEM coupling.

The verdict and running.

The model is good value for money at around £99. It is a smooth runner and the amount of die-cast is a bonus. The DCC socket is in the tender. You will need to remove two screws to get access.

Buiding the Dapol Scammell Scarab lorry

The Dapol scammell, plastic kit is cheap and easily obtainable. The model builds into a nice vehicle for dioramas and station scenes set in the 1950’s and 60’s. It is based on the ex Kitmaster, ex Airfix kit and dates from the 1960’s so there is quite a lot of flash to deal with. There are some fiddly and minuscule parts to fit so you need a good magnifier and steady hands. The carpet monster ate the exhaust during the build!

The artwork mimics the original Kitmaster models

This kit comes with two trailer options but no windscreen. I used some thin transparent material to make one. You need to assemble the cab, deal with any seam lines and paint the cab,first. The colours for BR were cream and maroon. Railmatch can provide these colours, 2306 maroon and 2312 cream.

Continue reading “Buiding the Dapol Scammell Scarab lorry”