Thursday, 5 March 2015

Scaling down

I have been doing some thinking and I need to scale down.

Regular readers will know that I have been getting more and more into 1/64's via TLV-Neo's - and it is courtesy of the John Lambert blog that I have got to where I am today.

So it is now time to pack up some of the 1/43 in the Garage and make space for 1/64. And it is a pure 1/64 scale - there is no room for 1/63 or 1/65. Matchbox (ha!) and HW do not and will not make the cut. Neither will some of the Tomica's that I have.

So this is a very strict criteria that I have now in place - there is no "ooo, I could............."

There is already a shelf dedicated to TLV-Neo's, but I have totally forgotten about my 1/64 Biante's - Falcon and Commodore are now added.

And just to ensure that there is diversity and inclusion I have just ordered a 1/64 AM DBS by Minichamps - you know what you get from them, so all good. And it is one of favourite AM's of recent times.

And this is the interesting bit: there is not that much around. I mean more in terms of European models. We have the likes of Greenlight which makes some good Americana, but I am not into US models - they will be the lowest priority for the Garage and TBH I don't think they will actually even make it in there.

So that leaves scatterings of Minichamps and AutoArt (quality cannot be compromised) and of course TLV-Neo. Although a smaller arena than 1/43, there is a wealth of models to add. I reckon I have around 50-60 to do over time. And Tomica will keep adding.

That means over the course of time it will take me around 5 years to ensure that the Garage is looking healthy - I have limited myself to 2 models per month from Japan Booster this is going to take some time. I am already adding models to a want list so that I can see what is left to get.

Interesting times ahead - and although they are more expensive, this is what I expect from a matchbox sized car, the detail and the quality - it is a shame that Mattel simply do not have the same vision.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)

I am not sure where there is an image of the Toyota Carina 1600GT-R on the web, but the below image from a 1982 brochure is the closest I have got.



Having been a Toyota owner - my first car was a AE82 Twin Cam so I know that they have a bloody good engine and very reliable.

Tomica haven't done a AE82 yet, so the A60 is done instead. A Japanese XR3 of the time.

I love the fact that the small details aer never missed with a model like this - 'Twin Cam 16' is emblazoned on the rear window as well as the rear doors. Touches that could be over looked.

I chose the yellow scheme, as I want the models to stand out when lined up - whites and greys are all standard, so this one really catches the eye. And the form is well captured.

I will be looking to add the base DX version to the Garage at some point. All that is JDM is good at this point - and so is my Garage.

Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)
Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)Tomica Limited Vintage Neo - LV-N59a Toyota Carina 1600GT-R (Yellow)

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Lego Star Wars: 75052 Mos Eisley Cantina

There was a stage where I wanted to just buy up all the initial Lego SW releases of ebay…….and I was willing to pay a stupid price for them. However, summat told me to hold fire.

Most of the first releases where quite crude – I mean they were created using the bricks available in the late 1990s. But today we see the style vastly improve as well as the inventiveness of pieces to create the respective models.

4501 Mos Eisley Cantina was one of those sets I wanted at the start. However looking at the pictures on the interweb now it seems a crude and small looking set that is a snapshot of the scene with Greedo and Han Solo, along with Luke’s Landspeeder.

Lego have done me a massive favour by releasing all the Rebels nonsense this year as well as other mumbo jumbo. I have absolutely no interest in this in the slightest so as I prepare to unleash the force that are the modular buildings – currently sitting waiting to be opened - very shortly, it is time to build two of the sets I have sorted for a while now. And that starts with the updated version of the Mos Eisley Cantina via set 75052. More importantly this was a birthday present, so quids in.

Ok, so I did wonder how long this would have taken me to build. As regular readers of my reviews I don’t hit these out in one sitting. So I reckon that altogether it was just under an hour. (May have been longer as I was watching the footy, but when it is 0-0 after sixty mins and neither side look like scoring, then the focus goes back on the building work……I digress). 

This is one that a Youngling could build with a lot of patience and some guidance. AFOL’s will have no issues, quite a relaxing build, not challenging in the slightest.

There are few unique parts (I believe) such as the cabinet drawers, but where the value comes in are the coloured parts which reflect well in the model – the sand coloured bricks work well to good effect.

I am not one (thank goodness) that ever got into this Minifigure collecting, so I have no idea how relevant they all are to a collector. The following characters are included:
Han Solo™, Luke Skywalker™, Obi-Wan Kenobi™, Greedo™, a Sandtrooper™ and 3 Bith™ Musicians. The Dewback is fine, but no improvement on previous versions.

In terms of the build, let me talk about the Land Speeder first. From what I have seen and I even think I have another version (will need to check Brickset), this is just an small update on what has been released in the past. It’s a bit like that car that is advertised : “all new parts from the ground up”, but in reality the touches just seem cosmetic. Interesting to note that stickers now place a prominent role here, but again the age old debate that if you use the stickers, then it renders – in theory – the use of the that part for another build.

So I am not that bothered by that model. Nor am I about the Dewback – a nice to have………….

What I am impressed with is the way that the Catina comes together which gives a sense of completeness.

By opening it up, you have a nice little playset that re-creates very well the Mos Eisley scene from Ep IV. Close it together, and there is a wonderful little building that has detail and exploration. The detail within is a hundred fold better improvement on the original and the sliding door and tables add to that as it would be very difficult to get the figures to sit down in the chairs properly it all static. Add the bar area with the way that the curved bricks come into play and the scattered lamps and torches make a good accent to the set. It has a strong personality – if buildings can have one.

Very smart and very neat.

Flaw? I think that having C-3PO and R2D2 would have been good, but if you have them already via another set, then nay matter.

However, at £65/CHF99, this is very steep for what you get - £40 would have been a decent price I think, but does the franchise give the ability to hit the consumer with exaggerated pricing? IMO, I don’t believe that you see good VFM here at all, so it pays to shop around to get a deal on this set. It is certainly no worth paying full RRP. I would really like to see the price per brick come down to 7-8p a piece – this stuff is expensive at the best of times, and I am sure with Supply and Demand, there will always be buyers.

So in summary this is a very good model, but premium pricing is a bit of a kick in the privates. Look for a deal and you will be more satisfied and better in pocket.