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#351 RCH

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 23:49

My enthusiasm for collecting began with those iconic Dinky racers back in the fifites, while my serious collection started with early Brumm models in the eighties. As the years go by the quality of the models just gets better and better. I have just taken delivery of the latest offerings from Spark: Peter Gethin's BRM P160 from the 1971 Italian GP, and Jim Clark's Lotus 30. Both are absolutely gorgeous, although I rather fancy the 30's steering wheel should be bound in red leather rather than black.

The point of all this is that I am concerned by the steadily increasing cost of the models. Spark and Bizarre are now charging between £45-£50 per model, while Mattel, Ixo and Minichamps are not too far behind. Of course I appreciate that quality costs money but clearly these manufacterers are no longer producing their models in the numbers they once did and my supplier has frequently been unable to obtain models I order as they have already sold out. Consequently with prices rising and casual trade dropping off he is considering closing his business down. He is clearly not the only one. As a regular at westcountry toy fayres I have noticed that several long standing stall holders are sadly no longer present. The financial climate it seems is taking its toll.

Happily there are still bargains to be found. At Exeter Westpoint last summer we came across a dealer with a huge stock of 1/43 Alfa Romeos which I think were originally produced for an Italian magazine. This chap was offering three models for tenner, so to get quality models ranging from Sivocco's 1923 Targa winner, Nuvolari's P3, a Fangio Alfetta, and loads more right up to Mario's 1981 F1 car was terrific value. I just hope the increasing price of other brands won't drive too many dealers and collectors away.


Hi Tony, In some ways Spark are cheap! I tend to regard them as the successors to the resin kits from the likes of Starter and PM only already built if you see what I mean! When they first appeared on the market they were at the expensive end of the "diecast" market but then they were not diecasts. More significantly they were roughly the same price as a kit and they were bought by the people who struggled to build the kits, meaning that they ended up with a much better finished product. I think that they effectively put an end to many of the kit makers. As you will be aware a built kit from the likes of SMTS is around the £100.00 mark so £45.00 for a Spark is quite a good deal.

As you know I am only really dabbling in the model car market these days and getting hold of Spark or any diecast can be a nightmare. You tend to have to order almost before you know what the manufacture is going to release if you want to get them. It always used to be that way with Minichamps but Bang, Best, Vitesse etc were always available from ModelTime, now very sadly missed.


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#352 Barry Boor

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:04

I am currently a little upset with a company who call themselves AutosportModels.

I am getting very near to completing my collection of cars from the 1966 Le Mans race, although I know I will probably never get a few of the cars. However, one I am short of is the #29 Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari 275.GTB. Although it is a Bang or a Best model, (can't remember which) it seems to be pretty rare. This company have one on their listing so I ordered and paid for it.

They took the money pretty well straight away, and that's as far as it has got. My order was placed on December 1st and although I have received communication from them a couple of times, it's all gone very quiet since December 30th when they informed me that they would let me know "when delivery is expected".

It seems to me that they are selling things that they don't have and I am somewhat disappointed at this scenario.

#353 RCH

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:31

I am currently a little upset with a company who call themselves AutosportModels.

I am getting very near to completing my collection of cars from the 1966 Le Mans race, although I know I will probably never get a few of the cars. However, one I am short of is the #29 Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari 275.GTB. Although it is a Bang or a Best model, (can't remember which) it seems to be pretty rare. This company have one on their listing so I ordered and paid for it.

They took the money pretty well straight away, and that's as far as it has got. My order was placed on December 1st and although I have received communication from them a couple of times, it's all gone very quiet since December 30th when they informed me that they would let me know "when delivery is expected".

It seems to me that they are selling things that they don't have and I am somewhat disappointed at this scenario.


Just had a look at their website. The prices they are quoting for Best models seem very low, around 2000/1 prices, they would be rather higher now. I used to buy Best when I was still in the volume diecast market directly from the manufacturer. They offered this to a few dealers in the UK I believe because they were frustrated by the attitudes of UK wholesalers/importers after ModelTime wnt out of business. Any item which was still current (their website www.m4modelcars.it shows this as current but is a little out of date) were almost inevitably available from stock. Things may have changed from then of course. I suspect they may have just kept all the Best models listed, assuming they would be available from the manufacturer straight away and have hit a supply glitch or even are reluctant to supply at the price they advertised?

You could try ModelMania in Bristol, again I may be out of date but they used to bring in Best direct as I did and were a friendly, helpful bunch to deal with.

#354 Paglesham

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 14:00

I've only just discovered this sub forum and this thread.
It's fascinating to see how the 1/43rd scale world has changed.
Back in 1997 I started working abroad as a clay modeller for the full size car industry, because I despaired of finding any meaningful work any longer in the white metal/resin world as a patternmaker.
The cheap diecasts were already coming in thick and fast from people like Vitesse, etc. Indeed I was so impressed by their Mini Cooper, I paid the princely sum of £4 for one from a Peterborough swapmeet. I still have it.
But along with the ever increasing prices of the once cheap diecasts is the ever decreasing number of specialists in wm/resin. Time was you'd fall over professional kit builders at every turn. I can think of three in Essex alone. Casters have disappeared by the dozen. Now, there are relatively few left. Resin moulders are numbered in fingers of one hand. And where are all the swapmeets these days? There used to be one in Wisbech every few months.

I have made brass masters for this old industry since 1971. I made Brian Harvey's first ever master and because he disputed the cost I still have it!
I've just found a list of all the masters I've made. I did it when I was in Germany in 1998 and it numbers over 500!

I did 20-odd for Mikansue, the same for Bellini Piccolino, in 1/76th scale. They were all in brass and Tony Bellm (the boss) insisted I painted the polished brass, including lettering, so he could see what they'd look like. I used to deliver them to him in a room at the Brabham suite at Brands Hatch, so I always got VIP hospitality! Sonny boy, Ray was usually driving his new toy.

When I think what we patternmakers used to get for a brass master, I'm amazed. I wonder if whoever makes Lansdowne and Crossways masters still commands those prices (£2500 was normal).
I now make slot racing body shell patterns for a very great deal less than that! But these days I don't have a family to pay for or a mortgage!

Does anyone know what happened to Gearbox Models from Kenilworth?
Cheers,
Martin

#355 RCH

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:19

Does anyone know what happened to Gearbox Models from Kenilworth?
Cheers,
Martin


Went the same way as most of the rest I guess. I still have some Triumph 2000s and Austin Rubies on order from them, don't think I'll see them now!

As you've probably noticed masters tend to move around the industry, I believe Crossway bought up some of Pathfinder's, would love to know what happened to the Provence Moulage stuff although I guess most of it went to Spark. Lansdowne/Brooklin do a lot of revising of masters these days to come up with "new" models.

#356 Paglesham

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 13:52

Hi Rod,
I know Crossways got the most out of my old Dolomite Sprint Master. I made it for my range, then sold it to R&J Miniatures and he sold it to Crossways, as far I know.
I sold the XJ13 master to Gems and Cobwebs, who simplified it massively, then discontinued it.
Someone has stolen the Piper GTR and remade it.
And so it goes on. I never got the Ginetta G15 master back or the Healey 100 and to be perfectly honest, I can't remember where they even are! I believe they were done by Barton Miniatures, for whom I made 1/35th tank masters in brass, so he's put some bits in a mould for me, but he went away and I've not heard from him since.

Like most trades, this one has always been in flux. With some good guys (Mikansue) and some demons(??????) :rolleyes:

I remember the Pro-Mod guy was Graham Ward. He took on Gearbox Models, but to what extent, I've no idea.

Cheers,
Martin


#357 RCH

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 16:16

Hi Martin, Interesting about the XJ13, it was one of Gems & Cobwebs better efforts, good shape but rather crude in the detail presumably the simplification you mentioned. They managed to produce some truly awful stuff though! I liked Bernie and Graham, I bought my business from them, but they seemed totally unable to tell the difference between good and bad. Another manufacturer long gone now.

Graham Ward bought out Somerville when Doug McHard died, promised to continue the range, and then nothing. The cynics amongst us said that he wouldn't be able to do it and that's what happened.

#358 Paglesham

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 17:42

Hi Rod,
I knew Model Garage was familiar!! :rolleyes:
Forgive my memory

I wasn't happy with G&C's simplification of my XJ13, so I refused to do it for them. I told them to get it done elsewhere and not even mention my name.
I was very proud of that model. Brian Harvey gave me the only ever 5 star review for an English company in FSW magazine and called me the British Bosica. He even bought me a drink in the bar of the Guild of Motoring Writers at Silverstone! I couldn't make enough for him. My first delivery to Radlett was 70 kits and another 70 for that little shop in Ilford. I thought I'd made it, but it took 40 minutes to pack each kit and suppliers always let me down with tardy delivery.

I did have the delight of being in Lambert's of Ley Street when none other than Norman Dewis bought a kit right out of the box of deliveries!
He was a keen collector of Jaguar models. He would not take it for nothing, so I later sent him a built model gratis, considering he was the only man entrusted with the real car.

God, it seems so long ago in some ways. 1986 to be precise.

Cheers,
Martin

#359 RCH

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 22:27

Lamberts of Ley Street. Model Garage bought a load of their stock when they closed, much of it still there in 1992 when I took over. I was selling old kits with the Lamberts price tag still on for years.

I'm sure our paths must have crossed.

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#360 Paglesham

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 00:18

We attended every Modelex with a stand, so we might have met.
Last one we went to was a disaster. We shared a stand with Cheshire Scale Models. We ended up doing everything. He hardly appeared, to the embarrassment of his parents from Australia, who didn't know what they were doing there! then he hadn't finished any built models so we had nothing to sell!

My wife and I decided that the whole shebang was going to the dogs and I drifted out of the business, then went to Germany clay modelling.
Much more lucrative till computers took over.

Cheers,
Martin

#361 EDWARD FITZGERALD

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:25

Great reading , I have an unmade XJ13 still in the box all these years later , the Ginnetta may have ended up with SAMS , they produced a few differenet models , I would love to see your list of 500 masters I am sure there are many masterd that never made it into production , keep the memories coming .

#362 Paglesham

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 10:45

Hi Edward,
I don't think I ever sold the Ginetta master. I have a painted resin one and an unmade white metal body. The chances are the brass master of the Ginetta is still with CMA Mouldcast, who are now a big outfit, but my XJ13 was their first car when they were a back garden operation in Harbourne, Birmingham. The white metal one would have been cast by Barton Miniatures.
Interesting you mention SAMS, as I made all their bubble car masters. SAMS was (is) R&J Miniatures, run by "Little" Richard Hutchins. He used to be Richard Briggs' sidekick at Minimarque 43 for years, until Briggsy died. Little Richard now runs a car valeting company and does a few of his old models, but not with any gusto.

I dare say most of my kits ended up still in their boxes. They were a mission to build. But I sold over 130 built ones and about 300 kits in all.
Not being big on marketing, I let a friend, Diane Davies of Piper Developments take it all on. I made the patterns and the idea was that she would market the stuff and take a cut on what she sold. Unfortunately, she pushed the range even less than I did and I had to fetch it all back which led to her getting stroppy and we parted company. I was a member of the Piper Sports and Racing Car Club which she ran with her husband Clive. Between them they restored Piper sports cars. I had a very early Piper GT at the time. Oh, how I wish I still had it!
Everything tended to fizzle after that with Guild Master Models, although I am considering reviving the name for a small range of 1/32nd scale slot car shells in resin, which I will make myself. Work began last night on the Mallock U2 Mk18 master.
I scanned in the list of masters yesterday. I could e-mail that to you if you PM me your e-mail address. It was done in a quiet moment at Wolfsburg when I was a clay modeller for VW and is in pencil, but you can just make it out. It should be added to now as in the last couple of years I've knocked out about 23 more masters for slot racing, model railways and giftware.

I'm pleased that my memories of the wm world are twanging some heart strings out there!

Cheers,
Martin

Great reading , I have an unmade XJ13 still in the box all these years later , the Ginnetta may have ended up with SAMS , they produced a few differenet models , I would love to see your list of 500 masters I am sure there are many masterd that never made it into production , keep the memories coming .



#363 vince klokkou

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 00:41

Well, the little cheap 1:43 Brumm turns out to be a more accurate representation of the actual car than the much more expensive 1: 18 Maisto. The Brumm even has outboard front brakes! (I’m fairly sure I can replace the model’s four-spoke steering wheel with a more accurate three-spoker (gotta have one somewhere) and possibly even do something to put the correct S Moss pale blue tartan pattern on the seat.)

Posted Image

Meanwhile I’ve repainted the numbers on the Maisto to the correct black.

Posted Image


(My apologies if by now I am boring you...Your not boring me at all....................your boring others! If i don't see you through the week i shall see you through the window!



#364 Barry Boor

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 08:50

Further to my post #352 here is the latest update....

Two weeks ago on Feb 24th I received word from Autosportmodels that my Ferrari would be with me "within two weeks."

Well, the two weeks are up today and guess what!

I have just sent them an e-mail requesting my money back, given that it is well over three months since I placed the order and they took my money.

Will I get it? I'd be amazed if I did.

The good news is that thanks to a fellow model collector from this very forum, I now have the Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari 275.GTB from Le Mans 1966.

Only three cars left to complete the 55 car line-up.

#365 Mal9444

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 09:26

Re post 363

:confused:

#366 Kitkent

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 19:54

[quote name='Paglesham' date='Feb 28 2011, 10:45' post='4870101']
Hi Edward,
I don't think I ever sold the Ginetta master. I have a painted resin one and an unmade white metal body. The chances are the brass master of the Ginetta is still with CMA Mouldcast, who are now a big outfit, but my XJ13 was their first car when they were a back garden operation in Harbourne, Birmingham. The white metal one would have been cast by Barton Miniatures.
Interesting you mention SAMS, as I made all their bubble car masters. SAMS was (is) R&J Miniatures, run by "Little" Richard Hutchins. He used to be Richard Briggs' sidekick at Minimarque 43 for years, until Briggsy died. Little Richard now runs a car valeting company and does a few of his old models, but not with any gusto.

I dare say most of my kits ended up still in their boxes. They were a mission to build. But I sold over 130 built ones and about 300 kits in all.
Not being big on marketing, I let a friend, Diane Davies of Piper Developments take it all on. I made the patterns and the idea was that she would market the stuff and take a cut on what she sold. Unfortunately, she pushed the range even less than I did and I had to fetch it all back which led to her getting stroppy and we parted company. I was a member of the Piper Sports and Racing Car Club which she ran with her husband Clive. Between them they restored Piper sports cars. I had a very early Piper GT at the time. Oh, how I wish I still had it!
Everything tended to fizzle after that with Guild Master Models, although I am considering reviving the name for a small range of 1/32nd scale slot car shells in resin, which I will make myself. Work began last night on the Mallock U2 Mk18 master.
I scanned in the list of masters yesterday. I could e-mail that to you if you PM me your e-mail address. It was done in a quiet moment at Wolfsburg when I was a clay modeller for VW and is in pencil, but you can just make it out. It should be added to now as in the last couple of years I've knocked out about 23 more masters for slot racing, model railways and giftware.

I'm pleased that my memories of the wm world are twanging some heart strings out there!

Cheers,
Martin
Did you make the masters for SRC? I managed to get an original box BRM Marlboro 1972 recently from ebay for £18! I am still very impressed with the metal castings on these kits. I see Spark now have this car listed for future release. Oh well.


#367 Barry Boor

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 23:14

What do you know? The reply to my money-back e-mail elicited a reply that tells me the model I ordered is actually on its way this very day!

#368 Paglesham

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:41

Hi Kitkent,
no I never made any 1/43rd scale masters of F1 cars.
I did a few for Bellini Piccolino in 1/72nd scale and one of a McLaren (Hunt's and Regazzoni's cars) in 1/24th scale. It never got released due to it being at the heart of a legal argument between the guy who commissioned it and the guy he'd bought the company from. I have about the only single set of castings somewhere, probably incomplete. The master was quite something to look at being entirely in polished brass.
I went to McLaren's museum to measure it all up.

Martin

#369 werks prototype

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:55

Hi Kitkent,
no I never made any 1/43rd scale masters of F1 cars.
I did a few for Bellini Piccolino in 1/72nd scale and one of a McLaren (Hunt's and Regazzoni's cars) in 1/24th scale. It never got released due to it being at the heart of a legal argument between the guy who commissioned it and the guy he'd bought the company from. I have about the only single set of castings somewhere, probably incomplete. The master was quite something to look at being entirely in polished brass.
I went to McLaren's museum to measure it all up.

Martin


:up: :eek: Sounds beautiful!

#370 Paglesham

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 18:35

Yep and like a klutz I didn't take any pictures! Doh!!

Martin

#371 werks prototype

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 16:05

Yep and like a klutz I didn't take any pictures! Doh!!

Martin


Not a problem! It is enough to know such a thing exists!

#372 Paglesham

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 21:17

It's frightening to think how much stuff I've made but never photographed.
I have a dodgy photocopy only of a solid silver Bentley Blower I made for Rolls-Royce in 1/12th scale.(Pre-takeover by Pietsch!)

I thought if I could do that through a silversmith company I should have my own hallmark, so I registered with the London Assay office and
got one , my own punch and all.
Never made anything in silver since!

Cheers,
Martin

#373 werks prototype

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 22:51

It's frightening to think how much stuff I've made but never photographed.
I have a dodgy photocopy only of a solid silver Bentley Blower I made for Rolls-Royce in 1/12th scale.(Pre-takeover by Pietsch!)

I thought if I could do that through a silversmith company I should have my own hallmark, so I registered with the London Assay office and
got one , my own punch and all.
Never made anything in silver since!

Cheers,
Martin


:stoned: :)