p4newstreet logo

road vehicles


british-carsRoad vehicles are a good distraction from all the other projects on the layout and are also quick.  By building them this way you can amas quit a lot without really noticing it.  I have a 3 drawer Ikea box full so far, which as a project on its own would be quite a daunting task.  The cars above are nearly finished except for number plates and tax disks.  They are (left to right)

Austin Princess, from Oxford Diecast.  I was concerned that the tyres looks too big but on looking at the real things, if the are, it’s not by much.  Handily its screwed together so it’s a simple disassembly, matt varnish, add people and weather job.  No excuse really for the tipped straight from the box onto the layout thing that (for me) ruins so many nice layouts.  I also tided up the window frames while I was at it.

Mini – from Corgi but with new wheels and a more modern front grill from the Springside kit. I also enlarged the rear window and replaced the rear lights as well as removing the external door hinges.

Morris Marina – again from Oxford and treated as per the princess.  Nice to see well proportioned tyres on the newer Oxford models.

Austin 1800 – this one is an old Minic model with wheels from a Cararama Mini (tip borrowed from Kier Hardy’s website).  The tyres were cut in half as they were very wide as supplied.

All of these will be kind of old for my layout (the 1800 especially) and there’s still a big gap for 1980’s cars . However I believe a layout should have a good proportion of cars from at least the decade preceding the date it is set and really I probably should have at least as many cars from 1972  as models released in 1987.


Oxford Diecast’s VW transporter

Recently released is the Oxford Diecast model of the VW Transporter (or type 2 (t3) or type 25).  As these were introduced in 1979 and continued in production during the ’80s and into the 90’s in Europe its an ideal candidate for a brummy trader to be pottering around in on the layout.

The model features the end capped bumpers and round headlights that date it between 1980 and 1985 which means it could be either the earlier air cooled or the later water cooled variety.  I don’t know if anything externally differentiates the two. (Hey i’m no expert I’m just reading this from Wiki!) My immediate first impression was that it looked too wide but checking the dimensions it seems to be spot on.  For some reason the van version is left hand drive (the bus version isn’t) but features the seat configuration for right hand drive.

A quick hack

The steering wheel was removed (the model is screwed together by the way), the console above it cut off and both parts were relocated to the right hand side. While I had it in bits I added a driver. The inside of the window frames were painted black (the rubbers are printed on but the insides are white which looks a bit weird) and the bodyshell given a quick coat of matt varnish. I use this one by the way!

Once reassembled the model was given a wash of grime (dark grey for the sides and front, light brown for the roof and back) and the tyres sanded a smidge to give the van some weight (having glued them up solid first).  I just need to sort out the rear view mirrors now.