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RoadworkUK

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RoadworkUK last won the day on August 2 2021

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  1. Soon before I moved house I recieved a support package from our Norn Iron correspondent and diecast tat Tzar, @Datsuncog. Now that we've been established in the new digs for a few months and much of the unpacking has been tackled (or at least all the untouched boxes have been stowed where they're out of the way), I feel that I can gingerly bring some bits down from the loft and play with them a bit. So. Johnny Lightning. Of the selection that the Cogmeister provided, I think this '62 Chevy Bel Air is my favourite, although that's subject to change without warning. It's absolutely glorious. My only reservation from this angle is that the front track looks excessively narrow, but after taking this pic I noticed that the wheels could have been slid a wee bit farther along their axle. Otherwise, it's absolutely glorious. The casting is really crisp, the paintwork is deep and lustrous, the tampos are vivid and straight and the proportions are spot on. And, unlike Hotwheels, the wheels wouldn't scale to something crazy like 26" or something crazy. It sits at a sensible height, too. The inside's lovely, too. I mean, there's a limit to what can be done at this scale, but there are suggestions of a gearstick and an appropriately deep-dish steering wheel, all colour-matched to the outside as would probably have been the case with the original. And there are opening bits. Or one, singular, anyway. With a gorgeously captured and accurately orange painted V8 engine lurking beneath. Really lovely stuff. Perhaps best, though, is the weight that these things pack. They feel really substantial in the hand, moreso than Hotwheels. Johnny Lightning is my new favourite brand of 1:64. Cheers, Tim!
  2. My Solido Cossie has gone straight in among my top five 1:18 models. I mean, I'm not entirely sure what the other four are, but the Cossie's definitely in there.
  3. Cheers. Yeah, I really wish Bburago had rendered some of their 1:24s in 1:18, especially (off the top of my head) their Merc 190E and Peugeot 405 Turbo 16 rally cars. I regularly think back to receiving and unwrapping my first Bburago 1:18. A red E-type. I was eight. It might as well have been a real car, so detailed and heavy did it seem at the time.
  4. The Artz and VW Golf side-by-side comparo looks rather like comparing the Matchbox and Majorette 1:64 models.
  5. That Matador is a lovely thing. Dog-dish hubcaps look a treat.
  6. If nobody minds awfully I fancy sharing another 1:18 that I've been sitting on for a while. Yup, the Renault 5 Turbo, original mid-engine stylee. This is another one of those models that punches well above its weight when it comes to accuracy, quality and attention to detail for the money. Especially if you snagged it on eBay for £suprisinglylittle. l always liked the 5 Turbo for its sheer unlikeliness. Pert little wobbly French economy voiture suddenly sprouts enormous, American football shoulders and gets infused with 100 extra horsepower. Madness. This model is labelled as a Revell, but it's been marketed under a variety of names over the years, including Universal Hobbies and, I think, Solido. The only thing I can really criticise this casting for is that the radiuses are a bit on the chunky side. I'm talking about the door shuts and the corners of the opening panels (of which there are four). Basically, if this was scaled up to life size, the body panels would be wrought from half-inch steel. If this were an AutoArt release, those grilles would probably be perforated, but it isn't, and it doesn't really matter. Other than a slightly skew-wiff tailgate, there's precious little to complain about. Crucially, they captured the RENAULT script on the badges to virtual perfection. And check out the reverse light-cum-foglights. Anything else? Yes: The boot and parcel shelf. Nicely captured. But wait: Niiiice. Plug leads would probably be about an inch thick in real life, but hey, maybe they're designed to handle super high current. So, what's it like inside? Fairly marvellous, really. Everything is in exactly the right place, the switches are labelled properly, there's a little map on the gearknob, and the plaque on the dash denotes this one as being number 1467 of the 1820 Turbo 1s built in reality. Of course, the later "2" went without the wild dashboard of this version. One little quality lapse evident here is that the binnacle of said dash is parting from its fundament. I'm willing to forgive them. I could probably strip it down and do some mending if I felt so inclined. "What can we see through the round window?" Speed, revs and ancilliaries. There's more openability up front. Under the erstwhile bonnet is a (accurately non-matching) spare wheel and a fnnnhuuge intake duct for engine cooling, which is fed by a bonnet grille that actually is perforated. Made me ever so excited when I noticed that. That's it, really. I think I paid about £15 for it 'cos, for whatever reason, this model doesn't seem especially sought after. It's not as if eBay is heaving with them, but those examples that do turn up don't seem to attract fierce bidding wars. Mind you, that was about a decade ago. I bought this one and squirelled it away. Like Mr Cog, it's great to get these things out after a long absence and give them a good prodding.
  7. One more gratuitous picture of the RS500 because the sun was out.
  8. All this talk of Bburago 1:18s is quite timely, given what arrived today, more of which anon. 1:18 will always be "my" scale. Ever since Christmas 1988, otherwise known as The Christmas of Two Bburago E-Types, I've loved them. Bburagos were my gateway drug, and then, as the scale became more popular and more brands joined the fray, my collection grew and continued until deep into adulthood (I'm deeply an adult). DC is dead right about their general worthlessness; our local antiques emporium / junk shop has a selection of unboxed examples of the most commonplace types (Porsche 356A, Mercedes SSKL etc) with £30 paper tags on them. They're unlikely to ever be sold and elicit a LOL from me every time I see them. Bburago models did gradually improve. They were rather shown up circa 1992 by what newcomers Maisto could offer, with such novelties as spring suspension and generally rather more detail. The first Maisto I bought was an XJ220, while on holiday in Florida at age 12, and my jaw dropped. Actually, until they grew more widespread at places like Tesco several years later, subsequent visits to Florida yielded further Maistos, with a C4 Corvette, a Dodge Copperhead, a VW Export Sedan (Beetle) and Boxster prototype all originating from KayBee toys at the Florida Mall, Kissimmee. 'Twas around the turn of the century that I discovered AutoArt, and their models kind of put everything else into perspective. I snagged a VW Phaeton from the Ian Allan book / model shop in Birmingham, and that was it. Since then, I became increasingly obsessed with detail. The earlier Bburago releases that I own still have masses of nostalgia value (especially the E-Type, whose proportions are just wonderful). Alas, AutoArt models cost a million pounds each now, and I've missed out on certain incredible releases of theirs (Porsche 928, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Mazda RX7 etc). But on the other hand I still have a house to live in. Anyway. Enough preamble. My model Sierra obsession is well documented among these pages, and today it rather reached a head. Yep. Among alerts that make my phone explode from time to time are the weekly discount notices from CK Modelcars of Germany. As it happens I was quite interested in a Renault Fuego, and I was umming and ahhhing about whether to go for the Turbo for Those Graphics or the GTS for Those Wheels. And now there's a version with louvres over the rear screen. And all were handsomely discounting, making choice all-but impossible. And then I scrolled past – and then rapidly back to – this Sierra Cosworth RS500. I had no idea that Solido made such a thing. I immediately put it in my CK Modelcars basket, went to check out, and then got an error message that said something along the lines of "We won't import to the UK unless you spend more than £135, because of VAT rules and that" So I went on eBay and found another supplier for actually slightly less money, and it arrived this morning. It's pretty bloody spectacular. Proportionally, I reckon it's more or less bang on. I'm really pleased that key lines have been captured, including the concave section to the front wings, and the really subtle surface that starts at the door mirror and eventually forms the bootlid. Basically it looks like a Sierra Cosworth. Yeah, the casting could actually be better – the front wheelarches are very slightly malformed, and the joins around the wheelarch extensions, sills and bumpers could be a bit more crisp. Plus, as is the fashion these days, there aren't many opening features. Just the doors. Terrible shame there's no engine on display, but never mind. Yeah, the headlights are ever-so-slightly bulgy-out, and I'd like it if the grilles were open, but the details are generally fantastic. Most particularly the decals, which absolutely nail the Ford typefaces of the 80s. It's generally great inside, too. The centre console, shifter gaiter, handbrake, coin tray and cassette box are great, and check out the little plaque between the electric window switches. The button count for the radio, with amplifier below, is correct for the Ford ECU2 sound system – except reversed! Another oddity: Look at how gorgeously modelled the electric mirror adjuster on the driver's door is. But why is there one on the passenger door, too? The dashboard is a little boxier than it should be, but details like the correct red lines at 30 and 70mph on the speedo make up for it. Anyway. There we have it. Until somebody does the decent thing and makes a 1:18 1983 Sierra Ghia in Glacier Blue, this is as close to peak model Sierra as I'll ever own.
  9. I just can't abide the idea of losing money to depreciation every second of the day. If I'm going to own something, I don't want it to piss away all its value. The bottom of the depreciation curve is my favourite place. EDIT for honesty and common sense: I'm not counting company cars; I'm lucky enough to get a modern that I can throw most of my mileage on, and it's renewed on a regular basis. So the actual cars that I own basically sit around and don't really have to work for their living. I pretty much run them for pleasure only. However, my wife's 27 year-old 306 is still her daily commuter, and makes a 30-mile round trip probably four out of five days a week. She possibly has even less interest in replacing it than I do.
  10. Had to run the 800's number plate through TAXDISC to see if it was another 825Si, but nope, it's a two litre.
  11. I have that Eastern National National! (because of course I have)
  12. Goodness me this is superb. My mate's dad had a 2000GL that was later replaced with an 1800L. For some reason the feature that sticks with the me most distinctly was that the illuminated nearside vanity mirror's on-off switch looked like a woodlouse.
  13. RoadworkUK

    Rover P4

    Can relate... Gorgeous car, Dwb.
  14. 3rd-Gen Oldsmobile Toronado.
  15. I kinda think it's best for me not to ask myself what the appeal of die-cast is; it kind of borders on an existential question, and if my answer is "dunno", such interest becomes tricky to justify. HOWEVER. I think part of my interest lies in a subconcious desire to hold onto the past. Keep it alive despite the pressure of modern life and different ways of thinking. It's why I'd much rather find a surviving original MB Capri pressing in good nick than pick up the new one; somehow, the new one is just a product that you can go out, buy, and own, whereas owing a genuine original survivor is rather more against the odds, and your owning it means that its survival is assured. Yeah, silly, really, I know. I guess it's the same with my car brochure collection. A launch-edition Austin Metro brochure arrived through the letterbox today, having out-lived probably 98% of the cars that it describes. The Metro was everywhere when I was growing up; now it's nowhere, but I have the brochure so I can keep it real. Similarly, my Superkings XR4i, which is the original release with the same "Sierra XR4i" script as adorned the car itself, feels like an extension of the actual car, as if it were a genuine Ford production. If Matchbox was to release a new iteration today, it wouldn't have the sense of authority that the original's temporal link imbued it with. Actually, l'm looking around the room I'm sitting in right now. The car brochure rack is behind me, a 1970s hifi stack is to my left, below a quarter-scale amphibious car I made at uni in 2004. My bookcases are to the right, and they're groaning under the weight of reference books about cars, planes, trains, boats, buildings, Lego sets and electronics from times gone by. And next to those is a shelf with my Playstation 1 and Sega Saturn linked to a fifteen year-old Panasonic Viera telly. Essentially, I've made myself a nest that protects me in some kind of pre-millennium bubble. Bloody hell. I need to stop thinking about my condition right now before I worry myself.
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