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WHO'S BEHIND THIS SITE?

WHAT QUALIFIES AS A PRECISION MODEL?

WHAT SCALE SIZES DO WE COVER?

HOW CAN I FIND A SPECIFIC POST ON ONE OF THE FORUMS?

IS D4C MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED IN ORDER TO REGISTER ON THE ZONE?

WHERE WE RECOMMEND PURCHASING SCALE MODEL CARS

HOW DO I KEEP TRACK OF MY COLLECTION?

HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY MODELS?

CAN I GET REPLACEMENT PARTS FOR A BROKEN MODEL?

WHERE CAN I GET PARTS TO CUSTOMIZE A MODEL?

WHAT OTHER PUBLICATIONS EXIST THAT PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR HOBBY?

WHAT DETERMINES HOW MUCH A MODEL IS WORTH?

WHAT INFORMATION DO PRICE GUIDES PROVIDE?

GLOSSARY

HOW DO I DISPLAY MY COLLECTION?

WHERE CAN I GET ACCESSORIES TO CONSTRUCT DIORAMAS?

MAY I REPRODUCE IMAGES FOUND ON THIS SITE?

WHAT IS THE BEST METHOD OF PROTECTING A MODEL THAT HAS NO STYROFOAM PACKING OR ORIGINAL BOX FOR SHIPMENT?

HOW DO I DISPLAY IMAGES ON THE FORUMS?

WHAT ARE THE RULE FOR FORUM POSTS

THE AUCTION DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO ME

 

   

   
 

WHO'S BEHIND THIS SITE?

The Diecast Car Collectors' Club

The D4C is dedicated to the collection and display of precision diecast cars, trucks and motorcycles. We are also interested in their preservation, restoration, and customization. Our motto is a quote from a 12th century philosophical text,

"Dieth with the most toys, and thou winneth."

Jay Olins founded the Club in 1994 by starting a newsletter as a means of exchanging hard-to-get information concerning new releases by the Franklin and Danbury Mints. As the publication gained subscribers its scope broadened to cover precision vehicles by a number of companies. With the growing popularity of the Internet as an information source, Jay who had been approached by the advertising firm of Gennera, Knab & Co. to establish a presence there, agreed that it was an excellent method of expanding the Club's audience. This website is the result.

The Club Journal

Two-thirds of the organization still receives information solely by mail via our now bi-monthly twelve-page Journal. It contains expanded reviews and features beyond the scope of the website. Annual memberships go almost exclusively to support its publication but also help subsidize the development of this highly interactive website.

Back issues of the Journal are available for $1 each by contacting Jay Olins at jay@diecast.org. You may also request a free sample using a SASE with 55 cents postage addressed to:

Diecast Car Collectors' Club
Dept. FAQ
PO Box 67266
Los Angeles CA 90067-0266

The Zone Website

Gennera, Knab & Company [GKC] in collaboration with Jay created this site. GKC is an advertising and marketing communications agency that had been responsible for the Creative Masters line at Revell prior to Revell's retrenchment from the precision end of the diecast business. Early in its development the programming, maintenance and improvement of this sophisticated site were completely underwritten by GKC. Their talented staff continues to design and program the site, as well as lend a much appreciated guiding hand to help give it direction.

Proceeds from our Auction, donations to our Web Fund, special fundraisers, and advertising revenues are applied in their entirety to funding the website's operation and evolution.



 

WHAT QUALIFIES AS A PRECISION MODEL?

The perfect precision model would be one that could be enlarged to full size, started up and driven away. We realize that isn't possible (at least most of us do), but you get the idea. We want the replica to be as accurate an example of the real thing as it can be. Two vital ingredients go into that recipe.

First, good research by the manufacturer is critical to ensure historically correct representations of the exterior and interior, authentic factory color schemes and appropriate optional equipment.

Second, and of equal importance is superior model design. That means including as many operational features as possible: opening doors, hoods, and trunks, a fully wired engine compartment, steerable wheels, a detailed trunk and interior, working suspension, etc. It also means a model with superior fit and finish. A quality build should have no door gaps, paint drips, glue marks, chips, etc.

Some of the diecast manufacturers that we feel uphold this level of quality are: AUTOart, CMC, Creative Masters, Danbury Mint, Exoto, Franklin Mint, GMP, Highway 61, Kyosho, Lane, and Paul's Model Art.



 

WHAT SCALE SIZES DO WE COVER?

This website was established primarily as a place where information on precision diecast could be exchanged. At that time it was felt the models from the Danbury and Franklin Mints among a few other companies best fit that description. Since that time several other manufacturers, working most notably in 1:18 scale, have produced models that equal and sometimes surpass the Mints. Companies such as GMP, Exoto, Lane Exact Detail, AutoArt, Kyosho, Carousel 1 and the Precision 100 Collection from Ertl, among others, are now prominent competitors for the precision collector's dollar. Our members collect many scales and 1/24 scale still offers a good size/detail compromise, but it no longer has the clear cut lead it once did. Accordingly, the Zone has expanded our coverage to include these manufacturers' products as well.

In an effort to recognize excellence amongst other smaller scales the Zone has also broadened its coverage to acknowledge contributions from companies such as Motor City USA, Durham and Brooklin whose products are manufactured mostly in 1:43 scale. Though largely devoid of operating features and thus dubbed "static" or "curbside" models, the variety available is significantly greater than in larger scales and as a result many collectors stick to them exclusively. In most of the world it is the scale of preference. Other aficianados use them to fill holes in their collections which are unlikely to be produced in larger scales.



 



 

HOW CAN I FIND A SPECIFIC POST ON ONE OF THE FORUMS?

How Can I Quickly Find A Specific Post On One Of The Forums?

While looking at the main page, press the Crl and F keys simultaneously. In the dialog box which appears type in the number or fragment of the title of the post you're looking for and select Find Next. Your browser will search the page for the desired information and highlight it.



 

IS D4C MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED IN ORDER TO REGISTER ON THE ZONE?

No. The Zone is a comprehensive website including many features, only one of which is the Diecast Car Collectors' Club (D4C). You do not have to be a D4C member to enjoy the Zone, nor is Zone registration a requirement. However, participation in the Zone Bulletin Board, Forums, Auction, Online Poll and Wish List is only available to those who are Zone registrants. Future features will also require registration. It is currently free, although donations are encouraged.

How To Become A Member Of The Club

Membership in the Club requires very modest annual dues and is strongly recommended. You will receive our bimonthly 12-page newsletter featuring articles on our hobby, expanded Reviews and letters from our computer-less members (only 1/3 of our members have access to cyberspace). As a member you will also receive our Membership Directory enabling you to get together with others in your area who share your interest. In addition members are eligible to receive a spreadsheet program containing the relevant information from our Car Lists to help you keep track of your collection (see below). Finally, acquisition of our Club special-issue limited edition Franklin Mint model, such as the 2003 release of an Inca Silver '97 Fiberglass Corvette manufactued by FM, is an opportunity open exclusively to our members.

The cost of membership is only $30 US ($35 US foreign) for a one year membership. You may join or renew your membership online using your credit card - just click on "Clubs" on the menu at the top...OR mail a Check or Money Order payable to Jay Olins to:

Diecast Car Collector's Club
PO Box 67266
Los Angeles, CA 90067-0266



 



 



 

WHERE WE RECOMMEND PURCHASING SCALE MODEL CARS

The Diecast Zone community of collectors rates Legacy Motors #1 in customer satisfaction. The online store consistently ranks at the top for customer service, ease of use, competitive pricing, reliability and secure shipping.

A related store, Legacy Display Cases offers display cases for all kinds of collectibles.

Loyal customers earn Legacy points which are redeemable for free models.

Visit at Legacy Motors.



 

HOW DO I KEEP TRACK OF MY COLLECTION?

There are several ways to organize the records once your collection gets big enough to require it. A simple ledger with an entry for the model, manufacturer, date of purchase and price are adequate. This can be accompanied by a folder which contains the paperwork (owner's registration and unpacking instructions for example) for all your models. If you like to keep information on the 1/1 version you may wish to create a folder for each model. Some of our members place aperwork, photo scans and 1/1 information for each model into sheet protectors and incorporate everything into a single three-ring binder. By adding a table of contents they create a diecast encyclopedia for their collection.

Thanks to the heroic efforts of our member Tom Struckman, we have constructed an Excel spreadsheet covering the product lines of the Mints and several of the companies specializing in 1:24 scale based on our Car Lists. As a club member it is available to you free of charge through email by request. Members contact Jay Olins at: jay@diecast.org.



 

HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY MODELS?

Very little is normally required to maintain the finish of most models especially if they are kept out of direct sunlight and in display cases. Occasionally a less than perfect finish may be significantly improved with wax or polish. . This is particularly true of some metallic finishes which may lack the usual sheen one expects to find. We have an excellent comprehensive article in our "Diecast Nuts" feature written by diecast designer and consultant George Bojaciuk which can be found HERE. Our members have several other suggestions as well.


When you receive a model polish it with a brand of wax, particularly in its paste form, called "The Treatment". The most useful applicators are a small piece of flannel, along with a couple of Q-Tips to reach into smaller areas. Applying a light coat of this wax on your cars will not only add depth to the finish, but also remove all fingerprints and some minor paint imprefections. Waxed cars also seem to efffectively repel dust. "The Treatment" comes in a glass jar which, while not large, will last a long time. It is available at most hobby shops for a few dollars.


Periodically dust using a brass instrument polishing cloth available at any music store. They are treated with a light wax designed to remove fingerprints from the lacquer finish on a brass instrument. These cloths are super soft so they don't scratch and leave a "just waxed" look and feel. The ones I use are by Selmer.


  1. Get a bottle of Eagle One Wet (liquid, not paste)from any automotive store
  2. Clean the car with damp towel and 10/1 water/hand soap
  3. Apply very thin coat of wax with soft damp cloth
  4. Remove wax with cotton cloth (not chamois - it plugs the pores of the chamois)
  5. Detail crevices and tight spots with Q-Tip or take a thin plastic spatula, cover with cloth, and run down seams. (Like non-opening doors, hoods, etc.)

Pledge works well, but any good household spray furniture wax will do. The spray can variety works best since only a thin coating is necessary. Paste wax is prone to build up in crevices, etc. Do NOT spray directly on the model. Into a small container spray enough wax to create a small puddle. Apply wax with a Q-tip, then buff out.


Tamiya Model Car Polish is designed specifically for use with replicas. It can be obtained from quality hobby stores and is applied in a manner similar to those outlined above. It is non-abrasive and will not remove the chrome from plastic parts.



 

CAN I GET REPLACEMENT PARTS FOR A BROKEN MODEL?

Due to the enormous inventory problem it represents, it is difficult for the manufacturers to provide every part for every one of their models. For larger parts to repair that junker, your best chance is either to post a notice on one of our Forums or monitor our Auction page where "distressed" items are frequently placed for sale.



 

WHERE CAN I GET PARTS TO CUSTOMIZE A MODEL?

Chrome Tech USA: A source for chroming plastic parts. Phone: 608-274-9811. Address: 2314 Ravenswood Rd., Madison, WI 53711



 

WHAT OTHER PUBLICATIONS EXIST THAT PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR HOBBY?

Check our Hot Wired links page for connections to several scale auto magazine websites. Here is a list of other newsletters and pertinent publications.

Cars & Parts
PO Box 482
Sidney OH 45365-0482
513-498-0803 Fax -0808
Monthly $24. Classified ads include occasional DM/FM.

Collectible Automobile
1-800-777-5582
Bimonthly $39.95. Beautiful color photos of 1:1 autos. Each issue includes an article on scale models in their Collectible Scale Automobile department. Back issues available.

Journal of the Model Car Collectors Association
5113 Sugar Loaf Dr. SW
Roanoke VA 24018
Bi-monthly $15 including membership in Assn. Covers all makes, including Mints. Free classified ads for members.

Old Cars Weekly
700 E State St.
Iola WI 54990-0001
Weekly $34.95Only articles on 1/43.Classified ads include frequent DM/FM.

Traders Horn
1903 Schoettler Valley Dr.
Chesterfield MO 63017
Bi-monthly $12 No articles, just lots of classified ads - a great source for the secondary market, always some DM/FM products listed.

US Toy Collector
Box 4244
Missoula MT 59806
Monthly $21 Mostly ads for older car toys, etc. Not much on DM/FM. No classified ads.



 

WHAT DETERMINES HOW MUCH A MODEL IS WORTH?

Figuring out how much any particular model is worth depends on a lot of things. Price Guides, some of which are listed here, can help attach a value to your collection, but it is most affected by what people are willing to pay. Low availability in the market due to popularity, limited edition or discontinuation will increase value even when condition is less than perfect. Also, collectors can be expected to put a significantly higher value on a replica that has all its original packaging and paperwork. Here's a case where cardboard, paper and foam should NEVER be recycled. Highest value goes to a "MIB replica with papers". (See below for a translation).

After all is said and done a model's value comes down to what someone else is willing to pay for it. Our auction has a unique feature which may assist you in making a valid appraisal, an archive which keeps track of the five most recent bids for items put up for bids. You can access it from the header on the Auction page. A word of caution, you are much better entering the specific model in which you're interested than attempting to view the entire Archive. The file is huge and may take several minutes to download.



 

WHAT INFORMATION DO PRICE GUIDES PROVIDE?

Price guides determine values by polling toy dealers across the country. The best they can do in any single case, however, is to tell you whether a replica is selling at a significantly higher or lower level than other comparable items. They are very useful as a source of information about companies that produce diecast and what is available.

Collector's Guide to Diecast Toys & Scale Models, Second Edition by Dana Johnson from Collectors Books. Covers diecast replicas of cars, trucks, planes, trains, and other precision scale models produced in the last century. This exhaustive guide studies over 580 brands and manufacturers of these toys, from pot metal dime store toys to state-of-the-art precision models. 260 pages, over 600 color photos. To order visit Dana's site at www.toynutz.com/books.html

The Die Cast Price Guide: Post War : 1946 to Present by Douglas R. Kelly ISBN: 0-930625-27-7 $24.95. A resource for collectors of post-war die cast vehicular toys and models, from Hot Wheels and Matchbox to Tootsietoys, Dinky Toys, Bburago, Danbury Mint and Franklin Mint. The author explains how die cast vehicles are produced; what constitutes "near mint"; how to ask the right price and how to interpret today's market.

Transport Toys: An International Survey of Tinplate and Diecast Commercial Vehicles from 1900 to the Present Day by Gordon Gardiner, Richard O'Neill. A resource containing full-color photographs of tinplate and diecast toys, including trains, planes, automobiles, fire engines, trucks, and motorcycles.



 

GLOSSARY

Hand Assembled:
Hand assembled models are made from mass produced components. Typically the main parts are pressure diecast zinc castings which are automatically cleaned and deburred by "tumbling" them together before being painted. Plastic parts are produced in large batches in automatically fed molding machines. Models are then put together in assembly line fashion. Most products, from model cars to VCRs, have some hand assembly involved.
Hand Built:
This refers to models which are individually cast, cleaned up, painted and finally assembled, all by hand, frequently by a single individual from beginning to end. Hand built models tend to be higher in cost and are produced in smaller editions typically comprising hundreds rather thousands of units.
Limited Edition:
A limited edition is a release that has a predetermined number of copies. When that number of pieces has been reached the production molds are destroyed so that no further replicas can be made. True limited editions are rare for precision diecast companies to issue since their tooling dies are extraordinarily expensive to produce.
MIB:
An acronym for Mint In Box, which indicates a model in mint condition which includes its original box and foam packing material.
Mint:
A model is considered to be in mint condition when there are no broken or missing pieces, paint blemishes, fading, poorly functioning operating features, misaligned parts, extraneous glue marks from poor assembly or signs of owner neglect. Unless a replica is closely inspected for fit and finish when it is received even a brand new issue may not be in mint condition.
Out of Production:
A replica not currently being produced is placed in this category. . Once stock on hand is exhausted the replica will be unavailable except in the secondary market. The model is not necessarily retired however so it may at any time be reissued in a form identical to previous replicas.
Papers:
DM provides a Certificate of Title and Unpacking and Care Instructions with their cars. Franklin provides a Certificate of Authenticity, a Specification and Component Layout Sheet, Unpacking Instructions and a small ID. tag attached to the undercarriage of their cars. To maximize the value of a model don't throw ANY of these things away. If some of the papers are missing most collectors will be satisfied with DM's Certificate of Title and FM's Certificate of Authenticity and Spec/Component Sheet.
Retired:
A replica is retired when the issuing company stops producing the model in a specific configuration. Tooling dies are not destroyed however. The manufacturer may at some point reissue the replica but with some distinguishng characteristic such as a new color or some improvement in detail. The ability to distinguish between the two issues preserves the value of the older of the two and enhances its collectability.


 

HOW DO I DISPLAY MY COLLECTION?

Check out our official online store Legacy Motors for high quality displays. Our members use just about every conceivable method to display their collections. Among other things they employ old stereo cabinets, furniture breakfronts, department store showcases, custom designed wall units and rotating point-of-purchase display stands.

You may also get ideas for the Display section of Picture This! See Features Tab.

 

WHERE CAN I GET ACCESSORIES TO CONSTRUCT DIORAMAS?

If simply putting your collection "under glass" is too pedestrian an approach for your taste, there are a number of ways to jazz things up. Model railroading scenery combined with the large number of appropriately scaled railroad buildings offer many ways to create interesting layouts. Many companies manufacture accessories ranging from automotive garage tools and equipment to leather saddles and hay bales to place in the beds of your pickup collection. Legacy Motors carries an assortment in several scales.

Excellent sources for miniature 1/2" (1/24th) scale items are doll house catalogs which are loaded with items in both kit and built form.



 

MAY I REPRODUCE IMAGES FOUND ON THIS SITE?

All material on this site is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission. In some cases, the ownership of the materials is other than the authors of this site, who have been given special permission to reproduce the materials here.

If you wish to download images or copy editorial for other than your personal use, contact the Diecast Zone for permission and fee schedule. Personal use does NOT include use of this material on your own webpage or distribution to others. Current members of the D4C or the Zone may use photos for other than personal use if such use is accompanied by the phrase: "Photo Provided by the Diecast Car Collectors' Zone. Please visit their website at: www.diecast.org." We appreciate your using this exact phrasing.



 

WHAT IS THE BEST METHOD OF PROTECTING A MODEL THAT HAS NO STYROFOAM PACKING OR ORIGINAL BOX FOR SHIPMENT?

First, using rubber-bands, carefully and lightly attach styrofoam peanuts to areas immediately adjacent to mirrors, door handles and any other delicate protuberances which might be easily damaged. Do not however allow the rubber-bands to touch the painted finish; insulate with peanuts. Wrap the model with at least a one inch thick layer (four full wraps which is enough to obscure the model from view) of bubble wrap. Do not use clear tape to bind it however. Masking tape will hold adequately without being excessively difficult to remove and possibly cause damage to the model. (Unwrapping a heavily taped replica is often a source of damage.) If using a single box place the wrapped model inside with a generous layer of peanuts on all sides or at least 2 inches of crumpled newspaper surrounding it. Better still for extra protection, place the smaller box in a larger one with a generous measure of peanuts between the two.

As an alternative to protect the model, a form-fitting piece of sponge or foam rubber can be cut with an Xacto knife and several smaller strategically placed pieces added to cushion the fragile parts. Additional uncut pieces can be placed on top and underneath to fill out the spaces in the box or an envelope of styrofoam peanuts will do as well.



 

HOW DO I DISPLAY IMAGES ON THE FORUMS?

On any of the Zone's forums you can add an image to visualize a point or to 'liven up' your posts.

HTML is currently enabled only for the body of a post, not in the header. We want to maintain consistency and continuity in the headers. Only images in fun and decent taste are welcome.

You'll always need an image-hosting site. There are many cost-free choices, such as snapfish.com, ofoto.com etc. Whatever you choose, the Photo site must allow Hosting. One way to tell is if they specifically mention that they are compatible with Ebay.

Each site usually operates with slight differences....different Tabs different Windows, but functionally all are the same. You are looking for the specific URL for your picture. (A URL is the address that starts with http://). Once you find it, select the entire URL with your cursor and click "copy" or "Control-c" on your browzer.

The following applies to those using Netscape:

1. RIGHT click directly on the desired image. It will give you a menu. LEFT click on "Copy Image Location". This will temporarily store the location of the image in your computer's memory.

2. Next return to the Forum and place your cursor where you want to display the picture in the body of your post by LEFT clicking your mouse. Then RIGHT click and select "Paste" from the menu.

3. Now here's the most important part, adding the HTML. It has to be done exactly or it won't work. Type in exactly: img src= before the URL. Then put brackets, <>, around the whole phrase and quotes around the URL. That's it! It sounds more complicated than it is. Try it!

The next procedure is appropriate for those using Internet Explorer:

When using a host site that doesn't definitively offer a URL tab, do the following:

1. Enlarge your picture. Then RIGHT click on the image of your choice. The drop-down menu will have an item called "Properties". LEFT click on that. This will bring up another small window. RIGHT click again, directly on the URL shown, and you will get one choice in that menu....."Select All". LEFT click on that and it will highlight the URL of the image. RIGHT click on the highlghted URL and select "Copy" to temporarily store it in your computer memory.

2. Next, go to the Forum and place your cursor where you want to display the picture in the body of your post by LEFT clicking your mouse. Then RIGHT click and select "Paste" from the menu to add the URL.

3. To put in the HTML, type img src= before http. Add quotes around the URL. Lastly put brackets around the whole phrase. (In other words, add < at the beginning before img src= and > at the end after the URL.) Voila!

If the image appears when the post is submitted, you did it correctly. If the image does not appear, select the "Edit This Post" button and give it another try. Only you and the Forum staff can edit the item.

At Picture Bay and Auction Watch, you merely upload an image from your hard drive to the Auction Watch site but follow the same procedure in embedding the image in your post.

At PictureTrail, (free for about a month), you click on the More Options tab. There is a clearly identified tab for URL identification. Highlight the URL, then press Control and c (at the same time) to copy it into your browser. Again, follow the same steps 2 and 3 above to imbed the image in your post.

**A couple notes of caution however. First, some browsers are picky when it comes to using capital letters. If you use them and the image does not appear, go back and use lower case letters. More importantly, you may use this method above to display photos here on our forums that you have found elsewhere on the web. Be mindful that there are copyrights on some images displayed on the Internet. If it is copyrighted, we advise against stealing it.



 



 



 

WHAT ARE THE RULE FOR FORUM POSTS

While we invite free-flowing discussions about our hobby, we do advise that personal attacks, provocative or suggestive postings or images are unwelcome. Unless you are a Forum Editor, kindly refrain from using ALL CAPS in your headlines or the body of your posts. The advertising or posting of private sales, retail sites or auction sites other than Diecast Zone auctions and Legacy Motors is prohibited.

   
   

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