19 January 2022
Aviation Archive range can boast the fact that no fewer than three exciting new tooling projects
DESPITE the fact that many of Corgi’s new model tooling projects are not marked as available for pre-order with the announcement of this first January to April 2022 range (see pages 22 to 26), they still underpin another significant year of investment in the Corgi range across the board. In line with the comapny’s new range format, they will take their place in the range once they have advanced a little further and Corgi announces more information. The Aviation Archive range can boast the fact that no fewer than three exciting new tooling projects are already underway, each one with a huge part to play in the ongoing Corgi story. In the traditional collector scale of 1/72, there will be not one, but two beautiful new Spitfire models to grace the range, one an accurate representation of the widely used Mk.IX variant, with the other being a fascinating offshoot of this famous fighter.
It may come as something of a surprise to learn that the air ministry actually rejected proposal to produce a two seat training version of the Spitfire during the war, even though the fighter was crucial to Britain’s fortunes in World War II and a constant supply of trained pilots to fly Spitfires was essential. It was left to the Russians to convert several of their Spitfires as two seat trainers, a move which finally resulted in a serious attempt in Britain to do the same, even though air ministry orders still were not forthcoming. It would be the Irish Air Corps who famously championed the two seat variant of this flying classic, but in recent years, the ‘Spitfire for two’ has enjoyed something of a renaissance. With members of the public now able to experience the thrill of flying in the world’s most famous flying aeroplane, the Spitfire T.9 is now a common sight at airshows and often in the skies above us, when the latest lucky passenger is gaining their Spitfire wings on an experience flight. Indeed, many of the Spitfires currently under restoration are to T.9 configuration, as flying in a Spitfire is now an incredibly popular ‘bucket list’ experience and big business for their operators. Corgi is confident that this unusual variant of Spitfire will be a worthy addition to the Aviation Archive range.
In its growing range of 1/48 scale jets, Corgi is adding another aviation classic to its existing line up of Lightning, Phantom and Eurofighter Typhoon, in the shape of the much-loved British Aerospace Harrier GR.5/7/9 (McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II). An aircraft that represented the Royal Air Force in many a combat situation, the Harrier is a marvel of aviation engineering and its withdrawal from service in 2010 was met with public disbelief - surely this was the most flexible and therefore useful aircraft in RAF/RN inventory. A relatively diminutive aircraft when compared to the three types already in the Aviation Archive range, this model is being produced having already undertaken a LIDAR scan of a donor aircraft and will look magnificent when displayed with its Corgi 1/48 scale predecessors, especially when loaded down with a full stores fit.
It has definitely been a good couple of years for Vanguards collectors when it comes to new tooling investment and they will be pleased to hear that there will be no let-up in financial backing for the range during 2022. With four new tooling projects signed off for the coming year, Corgi has two models which will slot perfectly into existing collections, with the other two perhaps described as being slightly more ambitious additions, but hugely appealing nonetheless.
The Ford Cortina series of cars has to be considered amongst the most recognisable vehicles to have ever appeared on Britain’s roads. A car intended for the masses and to get British families on the road, the Mark I version of the Cortina was originally launched in late 1962 and would go on to become one of the most successful cars in Ford’s impressive vehicle portfolio. Produced in five distinct marks over a twenty year production run, the final variant of this Ford classic, the Mark V, is the subject of Corgi’s latest Vanguards new tooling project, bringing the story of this instantly recognisable family car to its diecast conclusion.
First announced in 1979, the angular and purposeful styling of the Cortina Mk.V could be seen in the driveways of homes the length and breadth of the country and would also become the vehicle of choice for Britain’s army of travelling salespeople. More than 2.8 million Cortinas were sold during the car’s 20-year production run and this Mark V series variant is as important to Corgi’s Vanguards range as it was to the Ford Motor Company (in scale terms, of course).
This latest new tooling project is benefitting from Corgi’s ability to conduct a highly accurate LIDAR scan of a donor vehicle at the Ford Heritage Centre from the very outset of the design process, with the actual car scanned destined to be the livery option selected for the initial release from this tooling. Carrying the registration GHK IY, this Cortina Crusader is actually the final one manufactured in Britain and makes for a fitting subject for the first release.
Bringing the history of Ford cars a little more up to date, Corgi’s new Mk.III variant of the Focus model really does bring it into the territory of everyday Ford cars for the masses. Incorporating all the latest styling and technological innovations, the ethos behind the development of this car was that it should be a popular option in multiple markets all over the world, with minimal market differences making for a more streamlined manufacturing process. A car which has genuine widespread appeal, the Focus occupies a particularly competitive sector of the motoring market, one it shares with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, Mazda 3 and Vauxhall Astra, however, whilst these are strong competitors, the Focus often heads the charts for both performance and desirability.
Joining the two famous Fords featured above, Corgi has two more new tooling projects that will introduce two slightly more unusual subjects to the Vanguards range in 2022, the stylish Ford Transit Custom and the muscular Ford Ranger Raptor.