Diecast collecting and why I do it.
When someone asks you if you have a hobby, much probably the answer will be "yes" and it can be anything, from playing sports or music to painting or building and restaurant stuff, but it can also be related to collecting stuff and there are collectors for anything and some of them are quite crazy...
I am a collector, but not a crazy one. I don't have a thousand stamps of the London bus or a collection of three hundred pennies from 2005 and I don't want to go to Guinness Book as the owner of the biggest collection of airline napkins. I just collect diecast cars, because I like cars, and this is one way that I have to move my passion and increase my knowledge. If I can't have an enormous garage full of cars like Jay Leno, at least I can have a half of it in a smaller size with more affordable prizes, and it is great.
Since one of the things that started my passion for cars were the Hotwheels models that I had when I were a kid, nothing more natural than kipping that interest and changing the term from "toys" to "diecast models", from scratching and crashing them into walls and fences to keeping them in my shelfs and cleaning off the dust. Things that I do with a big pleasure!
And of course, there are always those common questions and misconceptions about what I have as a hobby...
"Why do you still have toys?"
The answer is simple...
What we see above are an 1:43 scale (11 centimetres long, 04 centimetres wide) scale model of the car that Rubens Barrichello drove in the 2016 season of the Brazilian Stock Car championship, when the 11 times F1 GP winner ended the championship in second place, with just a few points from his second title in the main motorsport series in Brazil. As a diecast collector and a fan of Stock Car, I always wanted to have model cars of that series, but they weren't made until nothing more than two years ago and since I knew that they were about to be sold, I knew that I couldn't let the opportunity pass away!
Collecting is (as I said earlier) about moving your passion for a certain subject, having a time for yourself doing something that you like while learning with it and even making friends! - I have made some of them and in other cases, the "whooa!" faces that the few friends who have seen it for the first time made it worth, even if my collection aren't the biggest one... it is far away from it (and I don't want to go to Guinness) and it isn't about showing myself to them with "toy cars", it is about showing them something that I like, that it is a part of my personality, the opportunity to talk about cars using miniatures and maybe even creating the interest in someone else, and talking about that diecast model... look at it!
Mirrors, antennas, wings, decals... how could such a detailed thing be a toy that a kid would destroy in minutes or seconds?
It is a scale model made for collectors and that's why some of them came in a base with the name of the car on it and the note: "model for collectors. Not suitable for children under 14 years".
"And what do you do with it?"
Well, if you're questioning that right now, the answer is simple: Nothing, you just keep it in your shelf and just remember that that thing exists when someone says that you must clean your toys!
No... I'm just kidding - Actually, I can learn a lot of motoring stuff with them. In a very well detailed model car, I can understand details of a car that I can't have in front of me right now in a way that a YouTube video can't show and that's the reason for brands like Autoart (a premium diecast models brand) to send a small magnifier with your car, so you can see the details of the gear lever on your 1/18 scale Bugatti Veyron and also, it works very well as a decoration object for your home. A nice model car can give your personality to your living room, to your bedroom and even for your garage.
But it isn't all the model cars that are that rich in details as an Autoart or a Minichamps... no problem, those things don't make the simpler model cars useless because of that, they're still a way to move the passion and in some of them, the collector receive a little magazine or a card that tells the story of that car.
My 1991 Mclaren MP4/6 in 1/64 made by Kyosho. It is extremely detailed and it is in a base display (normally, under a plastic cover) and have a card that tells a brief history of it
And the detailing level aren't that important to everyone, otherwise the Hotwheels cars wouldn't be that popular between the grown people, but they're very popular and a lot of things helps in that, being some of them the low price, the colours and how they looks while at the same time or even the memories of their childhood, while other people don't care about them and prefer to pay higher prices for bigger models with moving parts.
And there are also the DIY models, made by well-known brands as Tamiya and Revell (and others), that sells the parts of a full model and an instruction manual and a lot of people likes to do that. Painting, cutting and customising the parts of their models DIY or even customising diecast models that are already done and what to do with them comes from the mind of the creator. It can be the perfect replica of a race car (a post-race Formula 1 car with dust, scratches, used tires and even broken parts, for example) a movie car,, an old and rusted car, a car crash scene, your first and/or actual daily driver... you name it!
Some of my favorite videos of 'Do It Yourself' model cars:
And if you are still a bit clumsy to do the whole job, there are simplier models
Simpler than that? - OK!
The work of assembling your own model are great too. I tried a Revell some years ago, but I weren't that ready for this kind of work yet, so the highest step that I had until now were with some of those Maistos, that are very simple. Actually, every single model has his assembly guide divided into six simple steps (as you can see in the video above), that are almost the same for every car model that Maisto sells (in that scale) and made the job of assembling one of them very easy and quick, actually when you're already familiarized with those steps, five minutes are enough to have your scaled car done, without even looking at the assembly guide!
How to collect, keep and preserve them?
Actually it is very easy and I can resume in the following tips:
There are a lot of stores that sells die-cast cars, planes, boats, trains... what to collect depends of you and your interests and tastes, so when you have that stablished it is just about looking for it. So, let's say that you are looking for sport cars in 1/18 scale and you want a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. You can go to collectors stores to look for it or go into the easier way, looking in the internet and I'm not talking about eBay (although it is a possibility), but about actual online die-cast stores, where you can make deeper searches (as they-re speciallized in that kind of thing), places where you can find your so dreamed Lambo.
And now, you have bought your die-cast cars, lined up your collection in your shelfs but haven't bought a closed shelf and because of that, have some dust in them... so, what do you do?
How to clean your Die-cast models:
First of all, no water (and no soap)! - you are just cleaning dust and the water will destroy your collection!
If you haven't a close and protected space to keep your collection and some dust appeared afer a month, there are simple ways to clean them, what includes dry towels, napkins, flexi swabs, flannels... everything depends of the size of the part that you're cleaning.
Keeping and organizing them.
Since you have a thematic collection, you can order your shelfs in categories, where I have my own shelfs as a example - I collect mainly, race cars and sport cars, so I organize them in "sport cars shelf", "Lamborghini shelf", Ferrari Shelf" and "Ford Shelf" and some mixed shelfs in the middle of them, where the car line ups have a specific order too.
There are some videos on youtube that gave tips related to collecting and preserving die-cast cars and they're really interesting!
Depending of the kind of model that you're looking for, collecting can be cheap or expensive, but in both ways it can be very pleasurable, you can enjoy it and I trully recomend it!