Welcome to my blog. Since a very little person, I have been fascinated with diecast cars. Over time I have been able to afford to graduate from 99p Matchbox to the bigger & more detailed models in 1/43 scale. However if I like the look of something then that is another addition to the garage, irrespective of scale or brand. I also blog about Lego, cars, sport and anything else that seems to pop in my head. Happy reading
So whist the Mini Cooper has been completed and I am now looking how to modify the model with front spots and a internal roll bar (WIP BTW - a start has been made), there are sets that are just stacking up that I have not built yet - including a full suite of SW Hoth models.
So I am not which one I am going to pick next -
But I need to stop sitting on them and start building - no need for them to gather dust.
So continuing the TLV-Neo garage expansion, also sees this addition of the classic F30 Nissan Leopard.
I have now a real soft spot for JDM's from the 80s and 90s - just their blocky shape and general staticness has some how a design elegance about them. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I love them.
So as I progress in my collection, I look to add the harder to find models within The Garage. Some of these are commanding money now - the Corolla 1500SE is one of them, and the earlier models are getting quite difficult to find.
So I am glad that I got this one which was one of the first models issued under the TLV-Neo range.
Once again, we have a re-created marvel here - I am particularly happy that the interior has two different plastics used to give it that proper leather and vinyl feel of the interior. All the tampos are in the right places.
What I do think is missing are the wing mirrors - whilst tricky to place on the front wings, I think would have added extra kudos to the model.
But this is a small aside - we have another mini marvel in 1/64.
It is interesting to note that JDM's of the 80s and 90s are quite easily created in 1/64, yet in 1/43 it is near impossible to see cars like the Leopard or Camry cast. And possibly why I have lost interest in 1/43 (for the time being) as well as the pricing of such models.
Although this little one set me back around £10 - which if you think about it is quite a lot for a Matchbox sized car, you can get 3-4 of them in one hit for the price of a 1/43.
Decisions, decisions - I know what I will be getting!
The 1/64 garage continues to expand more so than the 1/43 one now......and TBH, it may well be time to call it quits for at least a year on 1/43, whilst there is so much quality about the TLV-Neo range.
In this example of the Nissan Sunny, we see the usual top notch quality standard that you come to expect from this exceptional range.
Here is the Nissan press photo:
And here is the Tomica version.
As has been blogged before, this is near on perfect.
The detailing you get in 1/64 within this range is just stunning. Tampo's on the sides, recreated at the rear and have a look at the front end of the car - like for like to the 1:1.
So where the Matchbox garage has come to a grinding halt as well as the 1/43 garage, the TLV Neo one is going to get bigger.
And here we have it - the completed build of set 10242. It has taken a while, but I have found that taking my time rather than knocking out the set in one sitting does not aid to the building experience.
So what of the completed model?
I like it. It is a very good interpretation of the actual car. But it is not without its flaws.
The steering wheel is stupidly sized - almost the size of the actual wheel......and looks out of place within the interior of the model. As I mentioned before the gear stick is just daft looking - a little more ingenuity should have seen a more appropriate part used to bring a little more scale to the design.
Why are there only two front fogs? MkVII's normally have a row of four........
I am also not a fan of the Minilites - they look a little off in re-creation and I personally think that they could have done a better job.
The car overall is fragile - you could re-create the scene from Ryan O'Neal's 1978 film 'The Driver' when he takes apart that orange Merc with great ease. Front bulkhead and wings can come off easily and the front seats need a little TLC when 'using' them.
However, in saying that, there are some good things about this model.
The water bottle and picnic hamper are wonderful little additions. They shoe great invention in terms of build and use of parts. Very smart. I never took out the blanket cloth, which is kept safely, but materials such as that are a nice touch.
The details are good considering the scale of the model - I am thinking that bigger wheels and therefore scaling up would have meant additional features and detail could have been added, but from what we have here, it is a damn fine effort.
What I really like is that this model has massive potential for customisation. And I am already thinking ahead of what to do - and here are a few ideas:
1) Convert from a MkVII to a MkII Cooper 1275S Racing spec - (rear end is very easy to change)
2) Full roll cage by taking out the rear gubbings
3) Racing bucket seats
4) Fire extinguisher in footwell,
5) Twin tanks - possibly a racing rear tank
6) full rally spec front external lights
7) revamped front engine
8) front sump guard...............
The list goes on. (For a little bit, I have run out of ideas for the time being).
I have a box of spare parts that I will look to use, and yes there will be a mis-match of colours, but that is what a trial is for, and then into "production".
I talked about adding suspension within the first part of this review, but I do think it will be a struggle and will take a lot of time and patience.
You have the real nerds on Farcebook banging on within the AR Online group that there are design and shape flaws, but FFS, I did ask a few of these armchair critics to showcase their creations. Sweet FA came back, and thus the grumblings stopped.
I never got the T1 Samba that was released as part of the Creator range - I am not a big fan of the van, but I do note that the level of detail carries over to this model, just as it is part of the T1. And for a long time, we have not really seen such vehicles since the Model Team vehicles of the late 1980s
And it is easy to see why Lego have got the Speed Racer range lined up for 2015 with licensed models from Porsche, Ferrari, et al.
Overall, for a car nut, this is a good buy, albeit on the little expensive side - £75 for a Lego Mini when Kyosho, Norev et al can do a highly details one (in 1/43 mind) for half the price and more displayable. But in saying that at around 7p per part, then this could be seen as good value within some eyes. (But I am a tight wad, so anything over 3p per part, needs a mortgage taken out to buy the set). It is not going to appeal to everyone - some will certainly spend their cash on LOTR or Hobbit sets over this one, but as a car enthusiast, as soon as I saw this as a model that was going to be available I had to get it.
And thus as I have mentioned the work starts on MOC'ing the model to something a little different. Not a full MOC, but this set gives me a great platform to start. And get back in using the creative thinking that has been long absent from me.