1/76 Oxford Diecast Vehicles & 1/72 Aircraft Dioramas – if mixing scales goes against your modelling ethos then you might not want to continue reading.
Note: if you are not sure how scales work, then my blog post A guide to choosing the right scale, will be a good place to start.
However, if you are happy to include 1/76 with 1/72 and are looking for a cheap and quick way to add some vehicles to your Cold War aviation dioramas, then read on.
For me personally, I’m not too worried about the slight size difference. Especially if I’m using the vehicles in a photographic situation. But more about that later.
Selecting the right vehicles
Oxford Diecast offer a great range of 1/76 historic vehicles for a range of historic periods. Which luckily for the Cold War period includes the 1950’s to the 1990’s.
So selecting the right vehicles comes down to a little bit of research (always fun). However Oxford Diecast do have a very useful filter on their website.
I’ll list some vehicles which I feel would fit in very well with Cold War aviation later in the blog.
Affordability and Availability
Compared to resin kits and 3D printed models, Oxford Diecast vehicle’s are quite reasonable. As of October 2023 prices start at £7.45 for a single vehicle with prices ranging up to £25.95 for sets and larger or more complicated vehicles. Considering you will be getting quite a sturdy detailed model, I feel this is very good value for money.
Where to get them from. Well obviously Oxford Diecast (they also have a list of distributers if you are not in the UK https://www.oxforddiecast.co.uk/pages/distributors. Amazon is another good option (I’ll list some links later in the blog). Also have a look on Ebay, some great bargains for Oxford diecast to be found, plus maybe some that are no longer in production. I would also imagine any local model railway shop would stock a selection, as 1/76 fits in well with OO scale for trains.
Quick and Easy Weathering Techniques
Oxford Diecast vehicles are obviously very toy like. So to reduce that appearance I would suggest firstly giving the vehicle a coat of flat/matt varnish, just to take the shine off.
Or if you prefer, leave the flat/matt gloss at this stage and add some washes, then apply the flat/matt varnish.
I would also suggest painting the tyres a flatter black, such as Tamiya XF85 Rubber Back (or similar).
Then you can apply your preferred weathering powders to get the desired look.
After doing all the above, hopefully your vehicles will have lost that ‘toy’ look.
I’ll post another blog at some point on how I did this on one of Oxford Diecast vehicles.
Using the mixed scales to your advantage
Incorporating both 1/72 scale aircraft and 1/76 scale vehicles in your dioramas presents an interesting opportunity. The difference in scales, with 1/72 being larger than 1/76, can be creatively utilized to enhance depth and perspective.
Placing the larger 1/72 scale aircraft in the foreground and the smaller 1/76 scale vehicles in the background can create a sense of three-dimensionality, closely resembling real-world depth perception. This scale difference allows for imaginative perspective tricks, such as positioning aircraft slightly higher in the scene, resulting in a dynamic visual effect that suggests they are flying above the ground-level vehicles.
It also adds realism and storytelling potential to your diorama. By leveraging the larger aircraft as focal points, you can guide the viewer’s attention and craft engaging scenes that convey intriguing narratives.
Suggested 1/76 Oxford Diecast Vehicles
- Oxford Diecast TACR2 RAF St.Mawgan (Amazon)
- Oxford Diecast Land Rover Defender Station Wagon RAF Northolt
- Oxford Diecast RAF Standard Vanguard
- Oxford Diecast Sherpa Van RAF (Amazon)
- Oxford Diecast RAF Land Rover Series I 80 Canvas (Amazon)
- Oxford Diecast RAF Green Goddess
- Oxford Diecast Commer Commando RAF (Amazon)
- Oxford Diecast Land Rover Series II SWB Canvas RAF Police (Amazon)
- Oxford Diecast Land Rover Series II SWB Hard Back Civil Defence (Amazon)
- Oxford Diecast 1/76 Land Rover Series III SWB Canvas Royal Navy (Amazon)
- Oxford Diecast Land Rover Lightweight RAF Police Akrotiri (Amazon)
As I said earlier in the blog, checkout Ebay for any other vehicles from the Oxford range. You may be able to pick some up much cheaper (not that they are expensive to start with). You may even fancy having a go at stripping civilian vehicles and re-painting as military, but that’s a whole other story.
Conclusion for 1/76 Oxford Diecast Vehicles & 1/72 Aircraft Dioramas
As I mentioned at the start of the blog, if mixing 1/76 and 1/72 does not bother you and you are looking for a quick and fairly cheap way to add vehicles to your aircraft dioramas, then vehicles from Oxford Diecast (or similar) may be a solution.
Lets face it, Airfix has in the past produced a range of airfield vehicles all in 1/76 and model makers have been happy for decades to use these with 1/72 aircraft and figures. I currently have the Airfix Bloodhound SAM on pre-order, which is, you guessed it, 1/76 scale. So some additional 1/76 diecast vehicles will add some interest to any Bloodhound dioramas I build.
Also, if you keep the display box and fixing screw, the models make great little display pieces on their own, especially if you have added some weathering.
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Stuart Fowle is a participant in the Airfix Affiliates programme , an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Airfix.This means that when you click on links to various products on this site/post and make a purchase, this can result in a commission that is credited to this Stuart Fowle. This does not impact the price you pay.