Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Clearing the cobwebs

Have you ever wondered for a moment how many miniature cars are there in your collection? I can presume there are more than a hundred of them. Some of us have thousands of these tiny cars in various scales! Honestly, I don’t have any exact inventory of mine. Got lost in the joys of collecting itself, thereby lost count of the enormity (LoL) and the extent of addiction! Weeks back, I had time to go through the ‘overlooked’ part of the collection. Cleared the dust and the cobwebs running through the display shelves. In the process, rediscovered a Spyder in there!
More precisely, the Porsche 936 Spyder chassis #001.

The 24 hours of Le Mans 1977 winner rendered in 1:43 by PMA…
driven by Hurley Haywood, J├╝rgen Barth and later by Ickx.

#4 is viewed as unlucky in the East…

This Porsche Spyder clearly debunks that!

And one more thing…

2 of a kind…

2 Martini 1:43’s

Monday, September 06, 2010

Whale Wonder

Whales are impressive creatures. Having said that, I feel that might be an understatement too. Enigmatic might somehow do justice to describe them. Of the vast (sadly endangered species) varieties, three famous whales have one thing in common. Their names!

Moby-Dick, an epic 1851 literary masterpiece of Herman Melville. The novel is also known as ‘The Whale’, aptly being the center of the engaging tale revolving around the hunt for a white Sperm whale.

Moby Dick, a 1967 adventure cartoon by Hanna-Barbera. It is part of the back to back series; ’Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor’. Of course, Moby being a white Sperm whale protagonist character. Kids (at heart) my age, saw and enjoyed the re-run decades after.

Moby Dick, an extreme Porsche 935/78 racing behemoth. Nicknamed due, to its white color and distinctly unique long tail shape. A powerful mechanical white Sperm whale at that! A testament to its brute raw force is claiming the ‘fastest car on the straight in Le Mans’ by doing 235 mph in 1978! Earlier it won in Silverstone Circuit driven by Mass and Ickx. An imposing reminder of the glorious car racing days of pure mechanical (not bland electronically aided gizmos) dynamics.

This particular 935/78 is one of the legendary cars of the equally legendary 24 Heures du Mans .

Now, that’s a white whale of a tail!

Complex aero-bodywork, for a 911 derivative racer.

Detailing is typical of 1:43 Paul Model Art, which I have a certain fondness.

Personally, the Martini livery adds to the irresistible appeal! It’s a fav!

The real 1:1 is in the Porsche museum.

This one resides in my miniature (read: modest) museum :-)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Yellow Decadence

How time does fly!
It was like a decade has passed so fast- in reference to collecting 1:43 accurate scale car miniatures. Due to shifting interest towards much smaller scale cars and vintage (any scale) diecast, they have since been given the attention deficit. Last week though I got sick; nothing serious, just one day rest was all I needed. I was able to check my 1:43’s that day. All of a sudden, some realization nudged me and a retrospect is in order.
For one, the ‘accurate’ connotation needs a bit of re-assessment. “Back then” standards (of mine) were easily pleased by the Porsche 911 GT2 model subject. I was then awed by the detail, the livery decoration and presentation case. Decades later, examining and seeing it again, made me realize the rather crudeness of the detailing. Taking macro photos of it was the culprit. From just the naked eye (unassisted) everything is well enough. One lesson is thus learned; never macro-examine an old ‘accurate then’ stuff.
The other realization is that things, yellow with age. Occurrence often glaring with this phenomenon afflicts white paint, paper, bare white plastic and clear ones. Checking the GT2, the decal decorations have shown its yellowing state. It’s like decay! I don’t mind this happening to a period toy car or vintage diecast, as a yellowed decal or sticker adds to its old world charm and authenticity. This doesn’t apply to an accurate scale car though in my opinion; yellowed decor detracts from the overall look of perceived accurateness. Another lesson learned; choose tampo decoration over decal!

Case in point: I got this Vitesse Porsche 911 GT2 in Singapore late 90’s.

Albeit the macro scrutiny, I feel the model still has some appeal.

Maybe because- it serves as a reminder of my yearly tradeshow visits to Singapore. A memento of a bygone era. Now tradeshows (I’ve attended) have shifted mainly to Shanghai, Beijing or Guangdong.

A parallel is the Paul Model’s Art GT2 received from my friend last year.

The signs of yellow ageing are apparent.

Of course, since this came from a good friend, elevates this to ‘priceless’ category. RAOK, gifts received…I hold with great personal value!

Macro photos won’t flatter the GT2 details…
…but pulling back a bit and brighter light could get the eye fooled :-)

…or B&W, maybe…