We all have a dream list, a list of cars that we would sell our own mother for. Lucky for Mom there are few used mother dealers in the world that take that trade. Lucky for us is that we can have all the cars we want and it doesn't take a 40 unit garage to stare them in. There is another trend that is occurring that has car lovers collecting wildly . Diecast model collecting is becoming big business. Many small specialty stores are popping up all over from big cities to small hometown villages. And with them is a host manufacturers that are willing to let us all own a Hemi convertible.
Understanding the scale is the most important thing to collecting the models. Several different scales are available which includes from smallest to the biggest 1/64 1/32, 1/25, 1/24 , 1/18 and 1/16 . The key thing to remember is that the smaller the number, the larger the model is- for example: a 1/18 scale is fairly large but a 1/16 scale is even bigger. The scale is based on the original car, however usually the wheelbase is based on this scale. The measurement is taken from the real car, and then is scaled down to the model. For example: a 1/24 model is 1/24 the size of the real car's wheel base. Note these measurements will not be precise, especially in the less expensive toy-like cars. But it will be close. The most popular scales are 1/64, 1/32, 1/24 and 1/18 and this what we will discuss.
Once you understand the scale, then you can decide what scale your going to collect. Are you going to specialize in the bigger 1/18 scale or the smaller 1/64 scale. Or are you going to be a general collector and collect all sizes? Each size has its advantages and disadvantages.
1/64 Scale- Advantages: Cost - These small models usually cost less than a couple of bucks, you may even get the for under a buck at Wal-Mart. Even the more costly version are usually under $25.00. Size: They are small so they are easy to store, or as most collectors do display. Readily collectible, you may have a common version of these called Hot Wheels stored in your attic from your childhood. Hot wheels, and to a lesser degree Johnny Lighting and Matchbox cars are becoming big collector items. Disadvantages: Size: Because of their small size there are usually well detailed and have the presence of a toy instead of a collectible and are hard to study.
1/32 Scale- Advantages: Cost- These items are twice as big as the 1/64 scale cars. Thus they're a little better detail such as doors that open and close. Disadvantages: Limited availability. There is a slight littler scale known as a 1/38 scale however this scale is usually less detailed and contains a friction motor. Hot Wheels has a limited selection of 1/43 scale models.
1/24 and 1/25 scale: This is the most common type. Most model kits are sold in this scale. Advantages: Well detailed, the best detailed models are usually in this scale. A large supply and models to choose from. Disadvantages: Some of the highly detailed models can cost a couple of hundred dollars.
1/18 and 1/16 Scale: Advantages: Big size allows you to study easily. Although they are big there are a large amount of models that are priced under fifty dollars. Disadvantages: Size, because of their large scale these models are hard to display. Just a handful of models will quickly fill up an entire shelf. If room is no problem then these models are the way to go especially Ertl Toys Mint models. These models have a higher price but are highly detailed.
Whether you collect muscle cars, or race cars or old cars or "it's a car, I'll collect it" way of life ,it really doesn't matter but the diecast models are ready assembled, although some companies like AMT are offering unassembled kits that are already painted and trimmed,-it makes the assembly much easier and easier to get professional results- that you can assemble, so all you have to do is place them on the shelf and instants satisfaction. In coming issues we give you reviews of coming models. Plus give you hints and pointers to make your models stand out from the rest.We will also give you ideas on how to arrange your collection for display. We hope you will enjoy it.