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Diecast Delights: An ’89 Mercedes SL in 1:18 scale


One of the best things about diecast collecting and amassing a collection over the years, is that it becomes possible to forget that you own certain models at all. Then, when you rediscover them, you are transported back to the time you first opened the box.

This Revell Mercedes 500SL was a Christmas present in the early nineties, and aside from the nostalgia, looking at it now gives a fascinating insight into just how far diecast models have come since then. And also, strangely, how little that development actually matters.

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Diecast Delights: A Lancia Stratos in 1:18 Scale


What influences you to add something to your model car collection? Well, there are many answers that one could give to that question. Historical significance, technical prowess, physical attractiveness, colour, the list of justifiable reasons is endless.

Why did I add this Lancia Stratos to my collection? Well, I could have cited any of the above, but there was one far more important, over-riding consideration.

Yes, it has pop-up headlamps.

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Diecast Delights: A Pontiac Fiero GT in 1:18 scale


My model car collection, by and large, tends to eschew household-name supercars in favour of less obvious candidates for teenage bedroom wall poster worship, hence the Opel Manta and Citroen CX being among the treasures in my attic.

So, while bored on a train journey and idly browsing my Android mobile eBay app, which I have set to search only for 1:18th scale with price <£20, I was surprised, nay, shocked to find the model in these photos among the massed ranks of Bburago Ferraris. Yes, it’s a Fiero.

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Diecast Delights: A Messerschmitt KR200 in 1:18 Scale


Today’s model fits snugly into my collection under the sub-category of “Cars that I have always been intrigued by”. The Messerschmitt KR series belonged to that slightly elastic historical grouping we refer to as “Bubble cars”, machines beloved by Europe around the 1950s, and slightly forgotten today by most people outside a certain set of age parameters.

Every time I saw one I marvelled at its tiny size, the driver’s proximity to the ground and its frailty in the path of normally-scaled vehicles. I consequently had to have a 1:18 model of one so that I could stare in wonderment in the comfort of my own home.

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Diecast Delights: A 2003 Thunderbird in 1:18 Scale


This is a model that I’m still slightly angry about and have been since I bought it, second hand, from eBay. Owning as I did already another model by Beanstalk, the superb Ford GT, I was intrigued to see what their other early-Millennial Ford offerings were like. The Thunderbird was one and it was on eBay for a sensible price. I bid, I bought.

When it arrived I realised that I really never liked Ford’s final Thunderbird, so why the hell did I buy it? It stayed in its box and I didn’t look at it again for a few months.

When I finally came to revisit it I found that the previous owner had obviously broken a wheel off and glued it back in place so it no longer turned. It was also dirty and dusty from prior display. I was cross. So here we are now. Well, we might as well 1ook at the bloody thing again now.

I suppose.

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Diecast Delights: An XJ220 in 1:12 Scale. But is Bigger Better?


In 1993, when I was 12, I visited the Florida Mall, Orlando during my first culturally charged foray into the United States. While I was there, in a branch of Smoke ‘N ‘Snuff, I bought a ludicrously overpriced Maisto model of the Jaguar XJ220 in 1:18th scale. Whether it was a £/$ exchange rate SNAFU, or simply my naivity as to Smoke ‘N Snuff’s pricing policy, I paid about three times as much as I would have in the UK.

I love that car, and I loved that model. I admired it for the rest of my vacation and I fiddled with it on board the Delta L1011-500 which took me home at the end. Then, on returning home, when unloading our suitcases from the cavernous load bay of what would later become my first Rover, my beloved XJ220 tumbled from the parcel shelf onto the rough concrete below, losing a mirror, scuffing the glass and breaking the rear aerofoil in the process. I was heartbroken. My XJ220 ownership experience has been a tarnished one.

Up until now.

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Diecast Delights: A Jaguar XJS in 1:18 Scale


What I have for you today is a piece of hard-hitting investigative journalism. It was while browsing one of the diecast model forums a chap mentioned that there was a sale event going on with a German model car supplier, namely www.ck-modelcars.de. I thought that perhaps this was something worthy of investigation. To see whether the international diecast trade is worth having anything to do with.

Well, I’m not supposed to be spending money at the moment… but the pound is strong against the Euro…. and they did seem to have some remarkable deals on… and I did always fancy a model XJS….So I clicked the mouse a few times and OH LOOK I’VE BOUGHT IT. Oh well, no going back now.

A few days later it arrived via tracked DHL courier. And here it is.

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Diecast Delights: A Mk1 Ford Capri in 1:18th Scale


A strange phenomenon that seems to permeate through my entire model collections is that I seem prone to collecting the wrong versions of things. Looking on eBay to see just how luxuriously wealthy I would become if I was to begin flogging my models off, I am frequently disappointed to find that X model would be worth hundreds of quid, if only it was a different colour.

And so it goes with this Ford Capri I picked up for £19.99 in Norwich about a decade ago. If I’d bought an RS2600 or RS3100, or a 3000GT I would have been able to upgrade to a Gulfstream VI by now, but alas I plumped for 1969 1700GT instead.

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Diecast Delights: A Range Rover P38A in 1:18 Scale


The Range Rover has probably never had a higher profile than it  enjoys today. Far from being just a very accomplished SUV the current generation is seen as among the very upper echelon of super-prestige cars. Its the best of the best, the flashiest of the flash. For confirmation just turn to MTV Base and see how long it takes before you see one packed full of homies sipping on Henessey and rocking mad ice. Or something.

So far has it progressed that it can be easy to forget where the RR came from. The first of the breed, current from ’70 to ’94 was a true legend. The MKIII, heavy on BMW input, redefined the Range Rover and set it on the course it’s on now. And between 1994 and 2002 the P38 happened…. which is perhaps not quite so deserving of our adulation. However, for whatever reason it’s this generation which lives on in 1:18th scale in my collection. So here it is.

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Diecast Delights: A Renault Clio V6 in 1:18 scale


So, I thought I was doing well managing my intake of 1:18s. I had gone five weeks without a purchase, not quite cold turkey, but pretty good. Then, suddenly, the eBay app on my phone jingled at me and boasted about how many diecast conquests I was potentially missing out on. So the addiction lives on.

With the Renault 5 Turbo safely stashed away in my collection and looking pretty marvellous, it seemed only right to find a reasonably priced copy of its descendent as a garage buddy. The model you see before you is branded under the Eagle Collectibles banner, which is part of the same group as Universal Hobbies, who, in turn, marketed a version of Revell’s Renault 5.

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