Friday 17 January 2014

A Corgi model list

Something I needed at the outset was a catalogue of all the models issued up to about 1971, what different colours were available and any known variations (like the type of wheel). I thought this would be easy to find. Searching for this, I landed on what looked like a hopeful link. Some very keen collectors had a forum of sorts and there was talk of this 'complete database' being completed in a few months' time. That was in 2011.

It also seems to be the case that all the Corgi collectors or experts I encountered were not very good at web design and I struggled with all sorts of strange and slow pages, getting nowhere fast. So I had to do something myself. All I wanted was a list of numbers, model name, colour versions with maybe a few notes on some so a spreadsheet would suffice. For the web site, though, I'd need pictures of everything. There is quite a good site that shows old auction prices. I don't know why it only shows them up to about 2007; maybe the chap that started it has given up. It doesn't matter too much because there is a good list of models and that links to pictures and some information which is all I needed at the start.

I have, therefore, nicked their pictures and set them out on my site. They are all a bit small so, gradually, as I build up my own stock I shall replace them with mine and hopefully not get into too much trouble for using theirs. I am sure I shall be paying Vectis quite a good amount anyway in due course through auction fees and they'll also get a few mentions in this blog over the years, no doubt! Did I mention Vectis? Oh, right. Yes, they're an auction organisation who deal with diecast models and seem to have lots of Corgi Toys on offer and to know quite a bit about them too. That's enough promotion for now.

The list is a straight 51 to 1100 and something with GSs at the end. So it starts with tractors, dips into racing cars and then through saloons and sports cars and back again before going into commercial vehicles, military stuff and then the big things like car transporters and combine harvesters. The numbers do have some underlying logic in places but there are several oddities!

I was going to add links from the numbers to the illustrations in the site but that looked like hard work so, on the site, the list stands alone and I can add more to it easily through Google Documents. I have used copies of sections to make links to the individual model pages.

Choosing sections wasn't as easy as it seems! Farm Machinery is OK, apart from the Land Rover which is more of a 'saloon' or 'commercial' but not quite either. Next came Saloon cars which I had to change to Saloon and Sports cars or I would have had trouble knowing where to put some like the Aston Martin or some American cars. Then there's a Racing Car section to which I had to add Rally / Competition models. Now some of these were very much like Sports but if they had numbers I put them in this section.

So far, so good, but now we come to things like police cars and taxis. And there are quite a few of each as Corgi enjoyed making Chevrolet Impalas in various guises like that. So I made a Public Service section. A Commercial section had the vans and things which might have been either.

Thank heavens the Military section was nice and simple and self-contained with no possible duplicates or is it this or that?! Similarly the TV and specialist items was easy to determine - James Bond, of course, leading the way but with The Monkees, The Saint and a whole pile of others in there too. I am really not at all sure I want to deal with the Beatles' Yellow Submarine or Popeye's Paddleboat but I had set a cut-off of when Whizzwheels came along so they're in at the moment. I am unlikely to go buying them but I may well pick them up in collections I suppose.

I was able to pick up quite a few different colours from the Vectis details and also from my own knowledge. I have been surprised at just how much I did know already! So the list has taken shape and I am now mainly just adding different colours that I find.

Just as I more or less completed this, guess what... I find the Little Wheels site! This is a great resource - a sort of museum according to its publisher whose name I must discover. What I particularly like is that he has pictures of any old models, scratches, broken windows as they come! There are beautiful models too but nice to see ordinary everyday stuff appreciated (more on that topic later). He is also clearly a man after my own heart and writes in almost exactly the same style as I do and with what appears to be similar knowledge of the cars at the time, backed up with nice extracts about the real models too. I would love to included that bit on my site but that would be cheating so I shall gladly include links to his place. Here I have discovered some new colours too. It isn't the simplest site to navigate but once you have a model page it's good with excellent, large pictures of many variations.

You can see my simple list as it develops at the MODEL LIST link in the menu above. [Update many years later! Apologies for only now noticing the previous old link to an ancient web site I started with!]

Just an idea I had

I can't remember quite when I had the idea but I think it was just a quick response when someone said there might be some support for setting up a new business and wondered whether I might be interested. I just came out straightaway with 'doing something with Corgi Toys...' and that was it.

My original idea was to buy old cars in tatty condition and restore them. I have found most of what I need on-line, including a way to choose the right paint shade, replacement windows, wheels, axles and reproduction boxes are also available, some of really high standard indeed. I wasn't too sure how to do the rivets but there is a set of tools available to help with drilling them out and replace with screws. That seems quite sensible so that it would be quite simple to take a model apart again if necessary!

I would also need spraying equipment, a compressor and an oven as well as some devices for holding the car bodies while they were being sprayed. And a drill, a tray to put some chemicals in for dissolving paint, thinners and cleaners etc. There is some paint available that is shiny when dry which could do for chrome parts as well as silver for most models features.

This is seemed pretty feasible and I quite fancied the idea of turning some old models into attractive new-looking ones again - and making some money at the same time.

So just before Christmas I started buying items - mostly on Ebay but also some other places where I have spotted what looked like bargains I could resell. I have lost count of how many I now have! That's a job that'll have to be done very soon as well as taking lots of photographs which I'll share here as well as on the web site I have made for this project.