The latest diecast and resin models reviewed

Posted by Chris Graham on 1st June 2023

Mike Neale takes his monthly look at recently released diecast and resin models of tractors, trucks vans, ambulances and fire engines.

diecast and resin models

Diecast and resin models: The large, Nuffield Universal Four tractor from Universal Hobbies.

New in 1/16 scale from Universal Hobbies is a 1958 Nuffield Universal Four DM tractor, with an RRP of £86. The 2WD Universal Four was generally fitted with a BMC four-cylinder, 45hp, 3.4-litre diesel engine, although I believe some of the early ones had a Perkins diesel. There were five forward and one reverse gears. These distinctive orange tractors were built from 1957-61.

diecast and resin models

County 654 prototype tractor in 1/16 from Universal Hobbies.

Also in 1/16 scale is Universal’s County 654 tractor prototype, a limited-edition of 1,000 pieces, priced at £99. The 4WD County 654 had equal-sized wheels, like many County tractors. Built in Fleet, Hampshire, it was launched as the Super-4 5000, before being renamed the 654. Produced between 1964 and 1968, it was fitted with a Ford four-cylinder, 65hp, 4.2-litre diesel engine. The standard transmission had eight forward and two reverse gears, while the Select-O-Speed full power-shift transmission had 10 forward and two reverse gears.

Solido has issued a new version of its 1/18 scale diecast Citroen Acadiane in an appropriate red and white Citroen Service livery. Retail price is £55.99. The Citroen Dyane-based Acadiane replaced the long-running 2CV van in 1978, and was fitted with the 602cc air-cooled engine. 253,393 had been built by the time production ended in 1987.

diecast and resin models

Smart Citroen Service livery on Solido’s 1/18 Citroen Acadiane van.

Spark has issued its Morris Commercial PV model in Metropolitan Police livery, dating from 1949/50. This version has a front bumper fitted, unlike Spark’s earlier Elva Cars and Michelin-liveried vans. It is a lovely model, although a Winkworth bell on the front bumper would have been a bonus. It sells for £74.99. The boxy, flat-fronted 15/20cwt PV (signifying Parcel Van) was announced after the war, although 52 had been built in 1939/40. It had an ash-framed body clad with aluminium-skinned plywood, and was in production until 1953, with 15,769 built.

This Morris PV police van was once a film star, as modelled by Spark.

I think of these as a typical Black Maria. Pre-release photos made it look black, but the model is, in fact, a very dark blue. I’m sure I’ve seen a preserved Morris PV police van in black, and my memory of them in films such as Two Way Stretch is that they were black, but then the films were black & white…  Were the Met vans originally dark blue or black? Incidentally the one in that Ealing Comedy had the same registration number as this model, JMU 319, and no bell on the front either.  

In 1937, Opel built a prototype 1-ton, 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, water-cooled, front-wheel-drive, cab-over-engine panel van, looking very modern for the era, over 10 years before the first VW Kombi prototype was built. Apparently, a 1.5-ton, six-cylinder version was also planned. For whatever reason, the van never went into production. However, you can now own a 1/43 scale resin version made by Brausi, a new model brand of German firm, Corptree, in a limited edition run of 200 models. The RRP is £129.99.

An advanced design for 1937, Brausi’s Opel 1-ton COE van.

Specialist German resin model manufacturer Autocult has issued a 1/43 scale resin model of a 1929 Magirus-Maybach KS25 Stuttgart fire engine, selling for £151.99. Five identical vehicles went to the Stuttgart fire brigade, each powered by a 100hp, six-cylinder OS5 Maybach engine mounted on a 4.5m wheelbase chassis. They were fitted with a 430-litre water tank and could accommodate 14 fire-fighters, including the driver.

The Magirus-Maybach fire engine as used in Stuttgart, by Autocult.

The models illustrated here can be found online and at various model shops, such as Hattons, Sheffield Transport Models, Jacksons Models, Scale Farm, Farm Models , Brushwood Toys, Diecast Legends or Oxford Diecast.

This feature comes from a recent issue of Old Glory, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE


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