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Shite in Miniature II


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Here’s a quick roundup of stuff ‘on the bench*’ at the moment for those interested.

The first Sierra I did is being detailed. Bumpers etc are being done in British Rail Executive dark grey! Seems to work quite well as a grey plastic bumper sort of colour.

Sierra estate. Front end cured well and it seems to have stuck well. 
I’ve reinforced the joint underneath with some chemical metal putty just to be sure. 
I’ve filed down the joint to get rid of any slight difference in height then sprayed several coats of primer over the join, rubbing it down in between each coat to use the primer as filler in the line of the joint. Normal filler just wasn’t fine enough to do the job. 
 The front bumper and holes in the roof (from the roof bars) have been filled and need sanding back. The roof also had cast roof ribs on under the roof bars so these have been filed down smooth as a low spec car should be.

I’ve had a Ford F100 short bed in bits for ages, so finally decided what to do with it! 
Metallic black paint job, and the light bar taken off the Dodge RAM pickup used on this. It’s loosely mocked up here while the paint hardens off.



Dodge RAM pickup is dry and had a quick polish up.


Battered Vanguards Escort mk1 has been stripped and re sprayed in its new colour. 
This is a Mexico free zone so it’s been done in a nice period correct colour for a normal everyday style mk1… as almost all of them were!


And a new project started…

A Lada Riva estate! 
Was a Belarus cop car. I’ll fill the holes in the roof and do it as a standard estate version. 
These are a really nice casting. Buffed up well with the wire brush!

The others - trucks I was doing etc, are sat waiting finishing off too but I like to get a good few on the go at a time instead of just one or two.


*bench - by bench I mean, a big cardboard box!

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Bit of an oddity I happened to spot earlier today, sat atop one of those pop-up stalls that sells phone cases and chargers in the middle of the shopping centre concourse:


Seems to be a plastic model of a 1955 Pontiac Star Chief that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. Of course.

It reminded me a bit of those terrible 'classic car' radios and telephones from back in the 1980s.

I didn't see it out of the box, but it looks like it might be quite large. And the headlights seemingly come on.

Possibly 'inspired by' the rather spendy 1/18 Sun Star version?


I didn't see a price on the shopping mall example - but some light internet searching indicates that the 'WSTER WS-598 Music Car Speaker' can be obtained via AliExpress in the sub-tenner price bracket...

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Thanks ^ got some goodies in the post via a slightly convoluted deal involving @RichardK and @2110, as the former listed a bunch of partwork cars which the latter bought before I'd spotted these among them. Luckily a deal was agreed and they arrived while I was out working yesterday















The Mrs has also bought me one I've been hunting for for quite a long time, ETA tomorrow...

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Got the Lada filler rubbed down, primed and wet flatted off.


Rubbed the filler down on the Sierra estate too. The roof was easy and went well but the front bumper was a pain in the arse. I got it very close to perfect then the front edge chipped! 
I think the filler Im using is going funny. It’s dregs in the bottom of a tin and I think it’s started to dry out and not mixing well. 
After a second coat it seems fine.

Ive given it a good wash off in soapy water since the pic and it’s looking good enough to prime now. 




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4 hours ago, Tenmil Socket said:

Anyone remember these?


I think they've been mentioned on here before but I've never seen a set. Odd that they made two sizes smaller than a Superfast rather than a Superking, Superfast and then a smaller one to make up the three

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A while back I mentioned the larger Hot Wheels that are now available in a few different scales, but they were mostly Mattel's own creations rather than licensed castings. Well I found one today I'd not seen before


And I just happened to have its little brother handy in the to-be-customised box



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Been a funny old week, kids - could be that the effects of market tat withdrawal are kickin' in.

As planned, I did head out on Saturday morning, early-ish, to see if I could happen upon a fresh case of Matchbox or Hot Wheels that had been newly stocked out.


Also because out-of-town retail parks are famously lovely* places to be on a damp Saturday morning.

I've been heartened by some UK sightings of the K-case Jaguar XJC and Chevy C10 longbed, and had high hopes that today could be my day of days...

However, after scouring some twenty-six stores in the Greater Belfast area which carry Mattel diecast to a greater or lesser degree, I'm forced to conclude that, for 2024, it's probably only Poundland which are likely to be stocking any Matchbox mainlines - and even then, I don't think they're all that arsed about carrying them.

God help me, I've started divvying the city up into clusters of retailers, so I can carry out precise, targeted strikes on stores.

I know.

What has my life become?


Cluster 1 takes me the furthest away from home - focusing on Holywood Exchange and environs, allowing me to smack a Tesco Extra, a large Home Bargains, a big Sainsburys and an independent Toymaster store plus a Tesco Metro - should I wish to push my luck trying to park in Holywood town centre.

Having already stopped off at the big Sainsbury's on Friday night, and made the fateful discovery that they carry Matchbox 5-packs and Majorette premiums (but not mainlines), I didn't bother going back in there again - though their two-5-packs-for-£15 offer was kinda tempting.

However, the dark seed had been planted that there could be stuff out there, unbeknownst to me, hence taking an uncompromisingly rigorous and systematic approach to the act of procuring cheap mass-produced children's toys.

Because, as any Fule Kno, this are Serious Bizniss.

The big-ish Home Bargains proved a disappointment - no Hot Wheels mainlines at all, and only a handful of HW monster trucks huddled at the end of a shelf. No Matchbox whatsoever.

I'd held out some faint hope that a few bargainous Matchbox Action Drivers sets might show up on the shelves, as they did this time last year, but nope.

The big Tesco Extra at Knocknagoney had a few Matchbox left in a dump bin, but again it was the same early-to-mid-2023 dregs in torn boxes that my local store continues to carry:


Not that these are bad - but I just have all I need from this range.

There were quite a few late-2023/ early 2024 Hot Wheels in an adjacent tub, including the slammed VW T2 dropside which I probably should have picked up - but ultimately, I left the store empty-handed.

Having hit up the Stewart Miller Toymaster store in January and again in February, with diminishing returns, I felt it more prudent to focus my attentions to stores I hadn't visited for a while.

So it was over to Cluster 2, in East Belfast - Connswater Retail Park.


There's the original but much-modified Connswater Shopping Centre on the site, dating from the 1980s - and the Poundland in the mall was the first stop.


Okay, so five pegs of various 2023 case releases - though none of which I was mad keen on.

So, so many of those pointless little luggage cart things.

I very nearly picked up the blue Goodyear Tyres release of the Renault Kangoo - but I dunno, it just seems like quite a flimsy little thing. I kinda like it, but don't really love it. Especially not at £2.

The few Hot Wheels left that weren't daft fantasy releases were ones I already have, too.

Just across the concourse, Poundstretcher beckoned...


With a dump bin crammed full of import 2021 Hot Wheels longcards they're plainly having trouble shifting, and a shamelessly lying sign.

These are not 'great value' at £2.50 - not when Poundland directly opposite are knocking them out for £1.50.


Looking closer, these seem to be Japanese-market releases, curiously with no import distributor details stuck to them.


Well, okay then - I'll do my best to refrain from putting it in my mouth, or using the sun. No promises, mind.

I'm still hoping these will go down to half-price, as Poundstretcher have done before with their slow-selling Mattel stuff, but maybe their corporate buying team cut a dreadful deal to acquire these, and Head Office won't authorise a reduction.

They'll be sitting for a while yet, in that case.


Further round, in the toy aisle, their 2023 Power Grab Matchbox mainlines were still kicking about, too.

I really like these rectangular boxes, better than the blister pack equivalents, but again - I already have all I want from this selection, and I'm not buying any more duplicates just cos they're in different packaging...

There used to be a mid-size Tesco store as Connswater's anchor retailer, but it packed up a few years back and there's now a branch of The Range where it used to be.

The Range used to have Hot Wheels shipper displays prominently placed a few years back, but now they only had a handful of mid-2023 releases swinging forlornly on some sparse pegs.

Other than the little Mighty K pickup in bluey-grey, with the skateboard in the rear bed, they were all mostly fantasy castings and so didn't really appeal... and I already have the teeny-tiny pickup in its earlier metallic pink iteration. I'm not gonna fall down the every-casting-in-every-colourway collector trap...

Not today, anyway.

So I bustled out past the checkouts, clinking my keys and trying to look confident - as I'm afflicted with this fear I'm going to be challenged as a shoplifter because I'm leaving without buying anything, despite my years in retail teaching me that minimum wage staff don't care - and made my way across the car park to the newer big-box stores.

This branch of Home Bargains had a small number of Hot Wheels mainlines on about three pegs - once again, that coppery-coloured Ford Coupe gasser and the Cadillac Seville in two-tone blue were prevelant - but again, nothing I really fancied.

The Connswater branch of B&M is one of the larger stores, with several aisles of toys, but they make relatively little of it available for diecast.

Instead, there's a few pegs just inside one of the emergency fire exits, which are easy to miss as you approach it from the main entrance.


Eh... nothing new, and although a Matchbox Subaru Forester in black and a Hot Wheels Dodge Ram in white did raise my pulse slightly above tickover, they just felt like I'd be settling for something out of desperation, rather than finding something I really wanted.

So I left them.

While wandering the aisles just in case I happened upon any clip strips, I thought these 10-packs represented quite good value for money, at £20 for two...


Good to see the first release version of the Volvo 240 Drift Wagon making it into the multipacks now - although, with a high proportion of them either fantasy or exotic castings, I can't say I was very much tempted.

So I left, still without anything small and with wheels.

There were other places to try...



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