Monday, 6 July 2015

Kyosho 1/64 Toyota Crown (S210)

Yeah, I love the big JDM bruisers.

The are far and few between within 1/43 realms - J-Collection models are not that great TBH, just a distinct lack of quality and weight about them.

So once again, I have turned to Kyosho to add this to the Garage. I have blogged about the misgivings of such castings like the Bentley Conti Spur and the 930 Turbo - and yet again I am like a sucker for punishment and have plonked for yet another addition from the stable.

But whilst Tomica look to build on their excellent base, they don't focus really on post 1994 JDM - which I am huge fan of. So the best option I have is Kyosho and thus the addition.

I am pretty sure that this is a Crown Athlete by the looks of it, but Kyosho only states that it is a Crown..........anyway, it is a JDM Crown............no more to be said!

What you notice straight away is that the model is light - it does not have the weightiness of a TLV. Plastic base......is this really meant to be aimed at the premium 1/64 market? And for some reason there just feels a lack of quality about the model - it does not have a shine or a glow that you get from a Tomica..............which takes the gloss of the car. The paintwork has a couple of flaws............

But soft!

Bitching about it, does not make me feel better - just frustrated a tad. There are are lots of good points to the model - perspex lights , good body shape, decals applied.

It is a modern day JDM. So Get in. Something which no other manufacturer does at the moment.

And just having a look at http://www.curitibacustoms.com.br/, there are some other JDM that have caught my eye:


So it is not all bad - and I can't get all hung about it as Tomica may never re-create.

So perversely I a, happy about the car - not ecstatic, but happy.  And this it enters the Garage..

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Sunday, 5 July 2015

Bburago 1/43 2014 Corvette Stingray

More 1/43 additions to the Bburago stable and this time Americana.

Whilst I appreciate that they have included this latest version of the Corvette and it is nicely detailed for a Bburago, it is flawed.

The wheels are far too small for the body - it looks a little out of place. The body just hulks over the wheels making it over-bearing and thus the car looks out of proportion.

Which is a shame really. It is a decent effort.

For the small person, this won't make a jot of difference, and I shouldn't be bothered - but I am, and it is a niggle that is annoying me.

Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Bburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette StingrayBburago 2014 Corvette Stingray

Saturday, 4 July 2015

A Farewell Tour Of The Whitgift Centre

An excellent article about the one glorious Whitgift Centre................let's hope Westfield do a good job with the re-development.


The Museum of Croydon proudly proclaims: “When The Whitgift Centre was first imagined, the idea of a shopping centre was new and unnamed!“
Now, this landmark is on the cusp of a metamorphosis that will see it altered beyond all recognition. The forthcoming Westfield shopping centre will consume the concrete shopping mecca and neighbouring Centrale. Despite being on death row, there’s an atmosphere of restrained optimism. Shops are opening (and closing) all the time, and the impending redevelopment feels more ‘reincarnation’ than ‘oblivion’.
The centre has more than 140 outlets, but it’s more than a collection of retail spaces. Like any institution that’s been part of an area for decades, it’s now part of the furniture — an ever-present piece of central Croydon’s social and architectural backdrop.
Springing to life amid much fanfare in 1968, The Whitgift Centre is built right into the heart of central Croydon.
The design is not entirely coherent. You can tell that it’s been added to and improved on in stages. The upstairs toilets are impressive and modern, whereas the ones by the entrance near Poundland are more of a throwback to the 1980s. They have  something of Mordor about them:
Something of Mordor about these lavs.
You shall not pass?
Some of the darker areas on the centre’s periphery have wilted due to a lack of sunlight: upstairs especially. Off the main forecourts there are many quiet, not-quite-hidden-but-certainly-not-easy-to-find alcoves where vacant lots squat. These are good spots to retreat to if the press of humanity has become too much — they’re peaceful, if a little sad.
It’s a long time since The Whitgift was at capacity. Despite the empty shopfronts, many concessions have taken up residence on the forecourt itself, where they can take advantage of the footfall. And so, out on the forecourt, the likes of Subway and Prêt are as islands among a sea of grey and beige.
Mixed in with the multinational chains are cut-price concessions that change so frequently it’s almost impossible to keep up with what’s there. It’s the familiar purveyors of phone bling you expect people to buy only on an ironic basis, or scarves that don’t look comfortable if worn for any extended period of time. Another more long-standing stand sells sweetcorn which peddles an elaborate backstory (but it’s just sweetcorn — we’ve tried).

Whitgift Square: The ‘heart of the action’

If you want more ‘excitement’, Whitgift Square is right in the middle of the centre. It’s got everything you need (provided you don’t need much).
furniture4u
Not far from a forecourt Starbucks lives Furniture4u. Here you may, if so inclined, ‘test’ the settees and recliner sofas indefinitely — the roving salespeople are super chill about it.
A short walk further is Superdry, thumping out Spotify’s latest EDM playlist — unintentionally (or intentionally) providing a soundtrack to this ‘Cronx-pastoral’ scene. On the other side of Starbucks you shall find the Visitor Information Point (AKA the ‘VIP Desk’…because: “everybody’s a VIP here!”). It consists mainly of cheery middle-aged ladies and a job board.
The one fountain (a decades old relic from we know not time) has been converted to a tiny garden. Now the lions are rusting, palm trees and wood chips take the place of coins and chlorinated water.
The one fountain (a decades old relic from we know not time) has been converted to a tiny garden. Now the lions are rusting, palm trees and wood chips take the place of coins and chlorinated water.

The Mall

Heading towards M&S Court and Chapel Walk, takes you architecturally back to the 70s, and physically in the direction of West Croydon. This area is perhaps characterised by the colour green — green emergency exits that lead to nowhere (unless there’s an emergency of course) and green clocks with their otherworldly chimes.
Passing Superdrug (In 1968, Croydon was the location of one of its first stores), you’ll find people selling afro hair accessories and leather bags before you arrive at Tashi Sushi and its tasty Katsu curries. Savvy sushi purchasers wait until closing time when Tashi starts offloading everything at half price. It’s worth the wait.
the mall
Here you’ll also find some of the centre’s stalwart stores. Boots first started trading here in October 1968 and Marks and Spencer, has been here for as long as most people can remember.
Near the Allders Square entrance is another culinary spot worth a stop: Uncle Lim’s Malaysian Kitchen — ‘culinary survivor’ and purveyor of large portions of pretty good Malaysian food at reasonable prices. Cheap and cheerful, you couldn’t call it a Malaysian greasy spoon, but you get the idea. Come for the curry laksa, stay for the huge portions of curry laksa.
aquazoo
On the other side of things, tucked away in a neglected corner of Trinity Court is Aqua Zoo, which is not a zoo, but a shop for aquarists. Low light, portholes, purple glowing fish and everything. Entry is free but you run out of stuff to look at pretty quickly.
From here it is easy to get to the stairs which take you to the lofty heights of floor three — there’s not much up there, but it’s worth a visit to see The Whitgift from on high, plus there’s a little-visited art and photography exhibition.
shakeaway
One floor down, past a line of hair and beauty outlets is Shakeaway and all its incredibly gratifying, yet incredibly unhealthy milkshakes. If you have not yet been, you must. If anything just so you can try liquidised combinations of food that, by all rights, shouldn’t even exist (black forest gateau milkshake with extra mini Oreos, Milky Way stars, Smarties and maple syrup please).

What does the future hold and does anyone care?

When work on Westfield starts next year, The Whitgift won’t disappear entirely. It’s going to evolve. Evolve beyond recognition, although Allders’ listed facade will stay.
Which leaves us with the question of posterity. Is the Croydon we know and love, being stripped of all of its imperfect, concrete jungle charm and familiar rough edges? Or has the town finally upped its architectural game?

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Art of the Brick comes to Zurich

Latest article from brickfanatics:


Art of the Brick comes to Zurich

Eye in Europe: Construction Super Set @ in TRU Swiss

Latest article from brickfanatics.co.uk:


Eye in Europe: Construction Super Set @ in TRU Swiss 

The CAR Top 10: Bond girl cars (and vans and bikes…) by CAR Magazine

I have been fortunate enough to catch some of these in the metal at Bond in Motion - but a car always looks good with a Bond girl inside...............

Some classic moments here as per CAR magazine.

The CAR Top 10: Bond girl cars (and vans and bikes…) by CAR Magazine



Ferrari 355 in Goldeneye. Top wheels, madam!
From Leylands to Ferraris, James Bond’s female acquaintances – friend and foe – have shared an eclectic taste in wheels. We look at the best female leads' cars in 007 movie history. Click here for a video preview of the car chases in 2015's new film, SPECTRE.

1) Ford Mustang, Goldfinger

Ford Mustang in Goldfinger
Conniving Bond waves Tilly Masterson’s Mustang through on Switzerland’s tortuous Furka Pass before using his DB5’s knife-edged wheel spinners to slice through the Ford’s flanks as if they were some flimsy cardboard facsimile bashed together in a shed at Pinewood studios.

2) Leyland Sherpa, The Spy Who Loved Me

Leyland Sherpa, The Spy Who Loved Me
Agent Triple X struggles with the vagaries of the Sherpa’s manual gearbox while Bond sits smugly in the passenger seat throwing in snarky one-liners that make him sound only marginally less misogynist than a Saudi lawmaker.

3) Toyota 2000GT, You Only Live Twice

Toyota 2000GT, You Only Live Twice
Japanese secret service agent Aki hogs the driving seat of one of the sexiest Bond cars of all time, proving that she’s easily a match for Bond behind the wheel – and every bit as unconvincing in the green-screen shots as Connery and his Sunbeam Alpine were in Dr No.

4) Mercury Cougar, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Mercury Cougar, OHMSS
Diana Rigg swaps her four-cylinder Avengers Lotus Elan for a thumping 7.0-litre V8 Mercury Cougar as she takes on the role of Teresa di Vicenzo and dispatches a host of Minis and Ford Escorts so easily after gatecrashing an ice race, 007 knows he simply has to make her Mrs Bond.

5) MGB, The Man with the Golden Gun

MGB, Man With The Golden Gun
Hottie halfwit Agent Goodnight drives a golden puke-coloured MGB in The Man with the Golden Gun, but at least had been paying enough attention to CAR magazine’s 1970s scoops to know to order her company car before Bs were blighted by ugly rubber bumpers.

6) BSA Lightning, Thunderball

BSA Lightning, Thunderball
Appropriately, Fiona Volpe, the baddest Bond girl of the lot, isn’t a car driver at all, but a leather-clad biker chick who probably spent weekends blowing up mods’ scooters on Brighton beach with her BSA Lightning’s rocket launchers.

7) Citroen 2CV, For Your Eyes Only

Citroen 2CV, For Your Eyes Only
After an over-zealous car alarm obliterates his Esprit, Bond is forced to ride shotgun with Melina Havelock in her bright yellow Citroën, fortified in this case by four-cylinder GS power for a better chance of escaping the villains’ Peugeot 504s.

8) Renault 5 Turbo, Never say Never Again

Renault 5 Turbo, Never Say Never Again
Barbara Carrera ought to be driving a 911 with a name like that, but instead battles Bond’s scary Yamaha XJ650 Turbo in Renault’s bargain alternative, the mid-engined, wide-body 5 Turbo for this toupee-tastic Thunderball remake’s stand-out chase.

9) Ferrari F355 GTS, Goldeneye

Ferrari 355, Goldeneye
Famke Janssen’s hopeless-driver baddie could crush a man to death with her thighs, but struggled to squeeze past Bond’s creaky DB5 in her then state-of-the-art Ferrari, wildly spinning out and almost ending up Onatopp at one point.

10) Land Rover Defender, Skyfall

Land Rover Defender, Skyfall
It’s hard to work out which is the most implausible: that MI6’s Eve Moneypenny is able to keep pace with a modern Audi A5 in a Land Rover Defender, or that she manages to get through the whole chase without having to return to the dealer for a product recall.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

LIKEable



I run matchbox1-75.co.uk - it is a resource site for the Matchbox 75 range over the years.

I also set up a fan page on FB some while back. FB is more now in tune to try and get business promoted via monetary means, but I have no need to do this - it is a hobby site, and I invest £50 a year for the hosting.

But over time the fan page of FB has grown and on Monday, the infamous 'like' count tipped 1000.

I don't know if this is a good thing, BUT there are at least 1000 people (out of 6 billion) who appreciate and like what I do via social media.

Not bad I think. Just another 70,999,000 more and I have matched Taylor Swift...........

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

June's offering's

Well the month is almost over and these packages dropped on my desk

The two Skyline's are from a different supplier and I will go into this when I get around to reviewing the models.

And the Supra.................oh yes................!

And July approaches in the next day..................that means a few more to enter the Garage hopefully...............or should I just save up for LEGO?