Die Cast X http://www.diecastxmagazine.com The Ultimate Diecast Magazine Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:14:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hot Wheels Elite “Dirty” A-Team Van http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/22/hot-wheels-elite-dirty-a-team-van/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hot-wheels-elite-dirty-a-team-van http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/22/hot-wheels-elite-dirty-a-team-van/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:14:25 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/?p=205900

TV fans are hardcore when it comes to collecting images from a favorite show. Viewers of a certain age will remember the misfit semi-criminal do-gooders in the A-Team series back in the 80s. The show featured an a-list of TV actors, including Mr. T as B.A. Baracus, who drove the team from job to job [...]

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TV fans are hardcore when it comes to collecting images from a favorite show. Viewers of a certain age will remember the misfit semi-criminal do-gooders in the A-Team series back in the 80s. The show featured an a-list of TV actors, including Mr. T as B.A. Baracus, who drove the team from job to job in his 1983 GMC G-series van. We saw a 1:18 version in the Spring 2012 issue of DCX, and we even had the 1:43 in hand a while ago in all its pristine glory. Now, Hot Wheels Elite is throwing mud — actually, very judiciously applied airbrushing — to the model to create this “dirty” version. The wee truck beneath all the crud is the same highly detailed piece, with every crease of the G-van done in high-grade diecast, with wire antennas, flawless windows, complete lensing, and even a full interior, visible through the sunroof and dirty “glass.” The turbine wheels and tires are crisp and completely filthy. This isn’t just a slap-on job; the quality of the medium used and the technique are actually very good (check out the masking on the windshield to replicate the arc of the wiper blades). Like the other versions we’ve seen, the exhaust is wrong, but that nit aside, this one is filthy fun. — DCX Staff

1:43 | $125

hotwheels-elite.com

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Sunstar 1955 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/20/sunstar-1955-pontiac-star-chief-convertible/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sunstar-1955-pontiac-star-chief-convertible http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/20/sunstar-1955-pontiac-star-chief-convertible/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:11:43 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/?p=205897

Pontiac’s 1955 Star Chief convertible was the upper-crustiest offering from Flint, and though it wasn’t exactly a performance machine — remember, Bunkie Knudsen and the “wide track” days were still in the future — it was a great-looking car. Sunstar thinks so, too, and this isn’t this mold set’s first time at the rodeo. By [...]

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Pontiac’s 1955 Star Chief convertible was the upper-crustiest offering from Flint, and though it wasn’t exactly a performance machine — remember, Bunkie Knudsen and the “wide track” days were still in the future — it was a great-looking car. Sunstar thinks so, too, and this isn’t this mold set’s first time at the rodeo. By our count, there have been more than 10 iterations, including a special I Love Lucy version with resincast figures of Lucy, Desi, Fred, and Ethel, as seen in the “California, Here We Come” episode. If that’s a little too past tense for you, consider this: given the palette of colors and two-tone combinations available in ’55, and the different body styles that Sunstar will offer — hardtop, top-down ragtop, and closed convertible — there’s plenty of life left in this old Poncho’s bones. And that’s good news; Sunstar’s gotten everything right, from the browed headlights to the stylized “V8” badges on the car’s nascent tailfins. Everything opens on real-aspect hinges, including spring-and-scissor units under the hood. The first-year OHV 287 V8 is all there, and it’s got enough detailing and markings to keep fans of “mint”-level replicas entertained. This pre-production sample’s Persian Maroon and Avalon Yellow paint contrast beautifully with the white boot and seat tops, and at the end of each spring-loaded axle, the wire wheel covers and whitewall tires set the whole thing off perfectly. Sunstar always gets these all-important notes right in its top-shelf “Platinum Collection,” but somehow, the clear and red lenses look even prettier and more authentic than usual on this one. Keep ’em coming, guys. — Joe Kelly, Jr.

1:18 | $90

sunstarmodelcars.com

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TSM Model Pit Crew “John Player” http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/17/tsm-model-pit-crew-john-player/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tsm-model-pit-crew-john-player http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/17/tsm-model-pit-crew-john-player/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:09:22 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/?p=205894

We can’t recall who it was who wanted to thank the “little people,” but we’re happy to see this bunch of small folk, thanks to TSM Models. This is the latest iteration of their very cool pit crew accessory set, done in “John Player Special Lotus” costume. The cold-cast resin maquettes are caught in mid-move, [...]

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We can’t recall who it was who wanted to thank the “little people,” but we’re happy to see this bunch of small folk, thanks to TSM Models. This is the latest iteration of their very cool pit crew accessory set, done in “John Player Special Lotus” costume. The cold-cast resin maquettes are caught in mid-move, crouching, grasping, holding a pit signal board, talking on the radio, or holding a clipboard. The two radio headsets are neat, with steel microphone booms, and the hand-painted faces and small details on the clothing, right down to the “Valvoline,” Good Year,” and John Player team markings on their shirts, add a lot to the visual. All you need to add is an appropriate model car. Here’s the best part: the sets are also available in 1:43, and in other teams, too. Little people is a big idea. – DCX Staff

1:18 | $66.50

tsm-models.com  

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Minichamps BMW Z1 http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/15/minichamps-bmw-z1/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=minichamps-bmw-z1 http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/15/minichamps-bmw-z1/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:03:32 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/?p=205888

The BMW Z1 was built as a design study for the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show, but the crowds loved it so much that BMW decided to take the car into production. As the first drop-top roadster to emerge from Ingolstadt in 30 years, it was loaded with groundbreaking design features, including doors that dropped down [...]

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The BMW Z1 was built as a design study for the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show, but the crowds loved it so much that BMW decided to take the car into production. As the first drop-top roadster to emerge from Ingolstadt in 30 years, it was loaded with groundbreaking design features, including doors that dropped down into the sills and a sleek aerodynamic body with swappable body panels that allowed for damage repair or color changes at (almost) a moment’s notice. A bit more than 8,000 were built between early 1989 and mid-1991. Minichamps’ latest 1:18 offering of the Z1 is painted a deep metallic “Swimming Pool Blue.” Only one Z1 was painted this color, and it was presented to Dr. Ulrich Bez, the leader of the Z1’s design team at BMW Technik GmbH. This is a sweet little model with the Z1’s signature doors fully scaled and operable. The stance and paint are close to perfect, and the badging, glass, and wheels are dead-on. Open the articulated bonnet and the engine is beautifully detailed with wires, hoses, cables, and a hyper-realistic fuse block. The cockpit is a muted black, but the detailing on the console and central stack is quite nice. Under the short rear deck, the boot is flock carpeted; flipping the car over reveals a textured black undertray covering most of the car’s bottom, with a few “alloy” pieces of the drivetrain and suspension finished in flat aluminum. Altogether, a very nice model. Dr. Bez, your ride is waiting. — Bill Bennett

1:18 | $139.95

carvillemodelsshop.com

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GreenLight “Hollywood” Series 5 http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/13/greenlight-hollywood-series-5/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=greenlight-hollywood-series-5 http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/13/greenlight-hollywood-series-5/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:01:06 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/?p=205884

We’re pretty convinced that nobody ever gets a moment’s rest at GreenLight, what with their incredible knack for coming up with the coolest little (and some not so little) cars. On the small side of showbiz is this latest batch from their “Hollywood” series, and it’s a riot. Not only are the castings for each [...]

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We’re pretty convinced that nobody ever gets a moment’s rest at GreenLight, what with their incredible knack for coming up with the coolest little (and some not so little) cars. On the small side of showbiz is this latest batch from their “Hollywood” series, and it’s a riot. Not only are the castings for each model dead-on, but the cars themselves — the ’79 Trans Am from Rocky II,  the Ford Crown Vic from Twilight, the ’87 Mustang GT from Ghost, the Crown Victoria from CSI: NY, the 1977 T/A from Old School, and even the Dodge news van from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy are detailed and decorated with a great eye for completeness, right down to the eye-scrunching little wheels they roll on. We like the packages and card art, too, because it replicates the movie posters associated with each film or show, and gives an almost-complete view of the models. Even better, we scored a “Green Machine” — a special chase car with green wheels and chassis — in the factory-boxed assortment. Yep — it’s the Rocky II car. Can we get a “Yo”? — DCX Staff

1:64 | $5.99 each

greenlighttoys.com

 

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Sunstar 1960 Plymouth Fury Hardtop http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/11/sunstar-1960-plymouth-fury-hardtop/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sunstar-1960-plymouth-fury-hardtop http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/11/sunstar-1960-plymouth-fury-hardtop/#comments Sat, 11 Oct 2014 14:57:16 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/?p=205880

A while back — Summer, 2012, to be precise — we got a late pre-production sample of Sunstar’s then-new 1960 Plymouth Fury convertible, and there was much rejoicing among the masses (okay, there were only a couple of us here, but we were really happy to see it). The reasons for the bliss were simple: [...]

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A while back — Summer, 2012, to be precise — we got a late pre-production sample of Sunstar’s then-new 1960 Plymouth Fury convertible, and there was much rejoicing among the masses (okay, there were only a couple of us here, but we were really happy to see it). The reasons for the bliss were simple: this company makes killer models of American iron, stuffed with detail and features, in a scale that makes all the finger fun easy to enjoy. And frankly, the real ’60 Plymouth’s predilection for crumbling into a pile of rust makes these outrageous looking rides a rare sight on the street. With opening doors, trunk, hood, working steering and suspension, working visors, and articulated seats, this Turquoise Poly and Oyster White hardtop version of the car has all the features of the ‘vert, of course, save for the front seats; on the ragtop, they’re swivel-mounted buckets, and here, the front perch is a split-back bench with a high backrest. The model’s got a huge helping of detail, with a carpeted floor, an “Aero” style steering wheel, and even a floor-mounted record player. Under the hood, the 361cid/305-horse “Golden Commando” V8 is mounted with all the wiring, plumbing, and markings of the real car. From the grille to the tail fins, the chrome trim is done with well-fitted hard plated plastic, photo-etched steel, and foil badges (attached better than on Sunstars of yore). That top looks great, but it’s still being test fitted at the factory; once sorted for production, this one will make the perfect partner to any of the hard-to-top “Platinum Collection” models that Sunstar offers. Great stuff. — Joe Kelly, Jr.

1:18 | $90

sunstarmodels.com

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Automodello 1938 Packard Twelves http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/05/automodello-1938-packard-twelves/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=automodello-1938-packard-twelves http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/05/automodello-1938-packard-twelves/#comments Sun, 05 Oct 2014 14:44:11 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/?p=205865

Automodello makes impeccable models of well chosen subjects — like this pair of Packard Victorias. In 1938, Packard only made a handful of the gargantuan Model 1608 drop-tops, powered by a 473 CID / 175 horsepower V12 engine so refined that a nickel could be balanced on the motor’s intake while it was running. “Convertible [...]

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Automodello makes impeccable models of well chosen subjects — like this pair of Packard Victorias. In 1938, Packard only made a handful of the gargantuan Model 1608 drop-tops, powered by a 473 CID / 175 horsepower V12 engine so refined that a nickel could be balanced on the motor’s intake while it was running. “Convertible coupes” like these proved to be the rarest — and we’re happy to report that Automodello has crafted an exceptionally well done homage to the penultimate Packards. The resin body castings are flawless, and the finishes on the Ivory White and Chinese Red samples have been accented with a mix of hand-applied detail castings, photo-etched metal, and sharp tampos. Out front, the car’s impressive prow is a masterful recreation of the Packard’s ox-bow radiator shell and grille, done in relief-detailed photo-etched metal, and set between Trippe “safety lights” and individually-lensed head and marker lamps. Inside, the pleated seats, micro-scaled handles, and a more than convincing steering wheel and dash look great, and out back, more lensing accents the car’s grace — and speaks yet again to what wonderful  models this maker provides. From the whitewall-shod and beautifully trimmed-out wheels to the jewel-like red inserts in the bumpers, these special edition releases are amazing to behold — and they’re getting scarce. Don’t miss out. — Joe Kelly, Jr.

1:43 | $119.95

automodello.com

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Auto World “True 1:64” Mustang and Camaro http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/03/auto-world-true-164-mustang-and-camaro/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=auto-world-true-164-mustang-and-camaro http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/03/auto-world-true-164-mustang-and-camaro/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 14:48:23 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/?p=205869

Auto World keeps re-inventing themselves in the smaller scale. First, it was the “True L.E.” series, with its promise of the model’s tooling being destroyed after each production run. Now, it’s this neat “True 1:64” series of painstakingly scaled miniatures of classic muscle cars. To which we say, “wow.” These little beasts are extremely nice, [...]

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Auto World keeps re-inventing themselves in the smaller scale. First, it was the “True L.E.” series, with its promise of the model’s tooling being destroyed after each production run. Now, it’s this neat “True 1:64” series of painstakingly scaled miniatures of classic muscle cars. To which we say, “wow.” These little beasts are extremely nice, and if our specially-carded Car and Driver 1971 Mustang Mach I and  2013 Camaro ZL-1 top-up convertible are any indication of what the rest of the line will bring, we’re in for owning them all. The models are tightly cast — sharp edges, great decorations, and crisp paint and tampos — and have incredible chassis and interior detailing. Interesting to note that the Mustang has an unpainted metal base and the Camaro rides a black plastic one. Nothing prepared us for the great engine detail under each car’s tightly-fitted hood. Coolest detail? The correct, beautifully scaled wheels and tires these roll on. Little things really do mean a lot. — DCX Staff

1:64 | $3.50 each

autoworldstore.com

 

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M2 Machines “Moon Pie” Haulers http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/01/m2-machines-moon-pie-haulers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=m2-machines-moon-pie-haulers http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/01/m2-machines-moon-pie-haulers/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:41:32 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/?p=205861

Southern folks love moon pies. Mobile, AL, is so enamored of the chocolate-covered graham cracker and marshmallow confection that they hoist a 12-foot-wide replica of one to celebrate the new year. You’d understand if you tasted one. We were laughing out loud over this trio of classic trucks — a ’56 Ford COE, a ’58 [...]

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Southern folks love moon pies. Mobile, AL, is so enamored of the chocolate-covered graham cracker and marshmallow confection that they hoist a 12-foot-wide replica of one to celebrate the new year. You’d understand if you tasted one. We were laughing out loud over this trio of classic trucks — a ’56 Ford COE, a ’58 Dodge COE, and a ‘58 Chevy LCF — all hauling “Moon-Pie Brand” trailers. The tractors are typical M2 — outrageously well-detailed in this scale, with great chrome, delicate grilles, and sharp, tamped-on decorations. All three have great wheels and tires — another M2 trademark — but it’s the black and chrome Chevrolet that gets the nod as the snappiest looking, thanks to the bright truck rims and redline rubber. Mopar fans will love the retro-feel  Dodge the most, thanks to the Moon Pie Race Team Charger Daytona parked out back; the other two trailers — one distinctly vintage, suggesting Moon Pies as the best lunch in town for 5 cents, and the other more current, right down to the symbolic “I Love Moon Pie” slogan, spelled out with an eye, a heart, a crescent moon, and the symbol for “pi.” It doesn’t matter what part of the country you’re from, these little haulers are sweet.

DCX Staff

1:64 | $25.99 

m2machines.com

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Got You Covered http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/01/got-you-covered/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=got-you-covered http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/01/got-you-covered/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:28:54 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.diecastxmagazine.com/?p=206617

Tom Norpell’s scale-realistic car cover There’s something intriguing about a covered car … a magnetic pull that draws our eyes reflexively closer. And if we happen to catch sight of a fender, or a glimpse of chrome peeking out from beneath a folded-back shroud, our motor- driven minds can’t help but run off and start imagining [...]

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Tom Norpell’s scale-realistic car cover

How To Car Cover

There’s something intriguing about a covered car … a magnetic pull that draws our eyes reflexively closer. And if we happen to catch sight of a fender, or a glimpse of chrome peeking out from beneath a folded-back shroud, our motor- driven minds can’t help but run off and start imagining the rest of the machine underneath.

It was just that sort of peek-a-boo that drove professional miniaturist Tom Norpell to focus his considerable skills on a singular effect – a semi-covered car – for an upcoming diorama project. And because Tom is obsessed with scale, the results would have to be a perfect fit, in more ways than one. “The biggest pitfall in making any miniature accessory is scale,” Tom said. “Nothing kills an illusion faster than mixing scales. I didn’t want to merely drop a handkerchief over a car because it would convey bulkiness in the material and in its folds. That would be completely out of scale, creating an impression that was decidedly fake.”

Adding to the challenge was the intended subject for the hand-formed piece: a CMC Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta worth somewhere north of $300 – which meant that tacking a glued-down cloth onto the car was out of the question. The model would have to remain pristine during the making of its custom-tailored coat, and the faux cover would have to be removable.

What Tom did was simple – and simply remarkable. By using a shop-grade paper towel, some diluted white glue, and a protective barrier made of clear plastic wrap that clung to the surface of the car, Tom was able to poke and prod a lowly garage hand wipe into a more-than-convincing, scale correct car cover without harming the model. Here’s how he did it – and how you can too.

glue shop_towels

1. Getting a convincing “fabric” is critical. For Tom, that meant a plain paper towel without a printed or embossed design. A roll of paper shop towels turned out to be a perfect source, right down to the turquoise color, though Tom knew that spraying the piece a different color would be an option later on.

How To Car Cover

2. Next, the car got wrapped completely in clear plastic wrap to protect its surface, and to aid in the release of the dried cover from the car. Tom used a “clinging” variety of plastic – and was careful of delicate elements on the model to avoid damaging the pricey piece. He also placed plastic wrap beneath the car to protect the working surface while he made the cover drape realistically to the ground.

3. In a bowl, Tom churned up a fifty- fifty mix of ordinary white glue and water. When it was ready, he immersed the paper towel into the mixture and got it completely saturated.

How To Car Cover

4. Next, the glue-soaked towel got placed over the car. This is the fun part; get creative. Make folds and creases, drapes and dangles. You can reveal as much–or as little–of the model as you want. While the car is wrapped, try making a couple of covers with varying degrees of “hide.” As Tom notes, “Because we’re working with a paper towel and diluted white glue, material cost isn’t a factor. You can do a few different options, and decide which one you want to use later.”

5. This is the hard part: once you’re happy with your wrinkles, bunches, and sags, you’ll need to let the cover dry for a full 24 hours. Patience, young Jedi … patience.

How To Car Cover

6. If all went well, the next step will be to take the hardened cover off the car, and then remove the protective plastic from the model. What you’ll have is a perfectly fittedpiece that is formed to every curve of the car beneath – as if gravity, not scale trickery,was at work. Tom has had a lot of luck with trying different techniques, including paintingthe covers, and giving mixed media a try. “Remember to experiment along the way. Ionce sprinkled powdered tempera (paint) over a wet car cover, and it dried looking like itwas wearing years of dust.”

How To Car Cover

Like the paint and glue he uses so well, Tom’s ideas never stop flowing, and it’s plain to see that a little ingenuity can yield great results. Of course, loads of talent help, too.

How To Car Cover

Tom Norpell’s architectural miniatures have been commissioned by private and corporate collectors, including a miniature of President Lincoln’s Illinois home that is in the permanent collection of The White House in Washington D.C. Tom may be contacted at: norpell@comcast.net.

 

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