02 March 2011
With St Patrick's Day looming, Mike Forbes looks at the current trend for models in the liveries of Irish hauliers. ...
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(pictured: Corgi's DAF 95 Fridge Curtainside and Oxford Diecast's Volvo FH Curtainside)
There have been a number of trends over the years when it comes to the model trucks being produced and collected. Going back a few years, it was almost entirely lorries of the early post-war years up to the 1960s and then the 1970s which formed the mainstay of collections of model commercial vehicles in the UK. Modern trucks were produced by the Continental manufacturers, but only a few British hauliers’ liveries were included up to the millenium.
This changed after Corgi introduced what became its ‘Hauliers of Renown’ series in 1/50 scale. Eventually, more or less all the major truck makers’ current products were modelled, with the Continental model makers now enjoying an increasing interest in the UK. A good range of trailer types became available, although the basic curtain-sider has always seemed to be the favourite, presumably as it offers a good base on which to show an attractive livery.
This has been one of the constant key points. Going back to the older lorries, hauliers based in the north-west of England, whose colourful liveries were seen all over the country, seemed to be the favourites. Only British Road Services, with its nationwide appeal, could beat them. With the modern trucks, as many of the major operators took to simple white-based liveries, largely because their leased trucks went back after three years, the model companies soon looked to the smaller operators with more colourful liveries.
The use of ‘shrink-wrapped’ schemes in recent times, like that of Eddie Stobart, has made a difference, but even the fuel companies’ tankers have become somewhat bland these days, while the ‘supermarket trolleys’ – again mostly with plain white cabs – don’t seem to have excited manufacturers or collectors and seem to be produced mainly as cheaper toys.