Thursday, February 10, 2011

Horsing around with Jaguars

That old saying about watching out for getting "more than you bargained for" happened to me the other week, but in a good way. Yes, I was looking for a 1:43 model of what I think is probably the prettiest Jaguar ever made, the XJ6 (yes, I like it more than the E-Type). No, I wasn't looking for an XJ6 with a horse trailer attached, but that's what I bought anyway. Why not, when the price is so good? And besides, I had always wanted to have at least one Vanguards model somewhere, as I like the idea of having as broad a spread of model-makers as I have a broad spread of cars. And so I bought a Vanguards model, mint in box, of a Series 1 XJ6 with a horse float attached for $Au25 delivered to my door.

This is what I was really after, a Series 1 XJ6 Jaguar, the start of that lovely line of Jags that
looked so good from the late 60s and all throughthe 70s. Of course they still look great today, but
I did a lot of stopping and wishful staring back then, when a beautiful XJ6 Jaguar purred past me.
Unfortunately, as time went by I grew accustomed to the sight of too many XJ6s broken down somewhere, with the roadside assistance guys going their best to help get the thoroughbreds home. Such a sad thing to see beautiful cars let down this way. When in good fettle, they must have been a joy to drive. I've never been in one. This Series 1 car has the most popular engine, the 4.2 litre DOHC straight six, which developed 180hp @5500rpm and was good for about 120mph. They sold over 59,000 4.2 litre XJ6s, out of the total sales of a bit over 82,000 for the whole model run. The other engines were the 2.8 litre six and the 5.3 litre V12.

As I mentioned earlier, this Vanguards model came with a very nice horse trailer in the box, so here's a little diorama I've made to celebrate the undoubted fun of horsing around with an XJ6, for those who could afford it.

I'm just a bit extra pleased with this diorama, as I have learned a new skill in Photoshop this
morning. All this original background photo lacked was some horses in the paddock, and so
after a bit of trial and error, I managed to figure out how to copy a horse from one photo and
paste it into another one, to complete the scene. This is going to open up a dodgy new world
of tricked-up photos, but that's diecast dioramas for you. Nothing is real!


  1. What a diverse collection. Question: What is the ground/dirt composed of? I've noticed that the ground in the various dioramas are all different- and very realistic.

  2. The dirt road is a piece of sandpaper, onto which I have very very lightly sprinkled some more grainy sand (the sand is from my garden shed, it's horticultural propagating sand). The odd bits of green (which are meant to represent weeds) are the foliage off a railway modeller's plastic tree, which I snip up very finely with a pair of scissors.

    The tarmac roads in other dioramas are just a sheet of emery paper (not sure what you call it, but it's the sandpaper equivalent used for smoothing off metal surfaces.)