Saturday, February 28, 2015

Johnny Lightning 1965 VW Transporter Ambulance - Found at Publix

This was found hanging on the pegs at my local Publix. It was a surprise, to say the least, so find Johnny Lightning product hanging on the pegs in a store, considering they went out of business a while ago.. There were plenty of cool models hanging with it tonight, but this is the only one that came home with me. 

I'm not a big "Veedub" fan per se, but I seem to be completely unable to leave a model of a classic Transporter behind. It'll go nicely with the new M2 Transporters I found recently. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Maserati Quattroporte - Model of the Day

Today's Model of the Day is a svelte Italian sedan, the fifth generation Maserati Quattroporte. The Quattroporte was unveiled at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, and was very well received. The past few generations of the car were not fondly remembered by most, and the all-new fifth generation car set to change those perception. With a Ferrari-derived 4.2 liter V8, it certainly succeeded in that mission!

The Hot Wheels version debuted as #29 in the 2004 "First Editions" series, and wasn't overly popular at first, they tended to sit on the pegs for quite a while if I remember correctly. It's amazing to think that that was over 10 years ago now!! Feels like yesterday.. Not popular new, but it is a pretty desirable model now, since it was only used once! This steel blue version is the only version of the car that Hot Wheels has done up to this point. A shame, as it is a lovely model. A quick check on ebay reveals typical prices of a mint in package car at around $8-$10. Not a ton of money, but quite a lot for a standard mainline car for sure. Is this the next Bugatti Veyron for Hot Wheels? We shall see, but I'd say it's a good time to pick one up if you don't own this little gem.

Mailbox Find - #61b Alvis Stalwart and #75b Ferrari Berlinetta

Another exciting day courtesy of my mail carrier! In addition to the two cars pictured below, I also received a box of beat up Greenlight cars that will be wheel donors for future projects, and a few more Lesney restoration candidates.

This nice Alvis only cost a few dollars shipped. It isn't mint, but very nice for the money. It is always nice to get a vehicle that still has all its tires! Rare thing anymore, that is. This truck(?) will pair nicely with the super rare, albeit custom made, yellow hub version that I'm finishing up soon. 

Next up, is this delightful disc wheel Ferrari. This variation has eluded me for ages. While not particularly rare, I tend to always come up a minute late and a dollar short on ebay auctions for these cars. They seem to be quite popular. But I finally won this one, it came in at just over $10 shipped. That is a bit more than I normally like to spend on ebay cars, but for a minty variation I've been after for a long time, it was well worth it. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nissan Xterra - Model of the Day

For today's Model of the Day, we have the lovely 1st-generation Nissan Xterra from Matchbox. This is a very well-done casting from the "Hero City" era of Matchbox, which isn't remembered as an era that gave us a lot of great models.. The Xterra made its debut as #32 in the 2001 1-75 lineup, in the "Sand Blasters" series. 

The Xterra has only been used a handful of times since its release. The example here is an example of the modified version of the casting, which removed the pair of kayaks from the roof. This nice brown truck is from the 2002 "Across America" series, where a car was released for every one of the 50 states. Vehicles were carefully selected to represent each state well, and the Xterra was most likely selected for Tennessee because of the large Nissan manufacturing plant located in the center part of the state. 

This is a great casting, and has lots of nice details when they aren't covered up with tampos. Check out some of the Superfast models if you want to see what this model looks like when done up properly. The Xterra casting really isn't all that plentiful on ebay these days, so I'd hang onto yours if you have one. Maybe I'll get an extra one to customize someday. 

Mailbox Find - #40c Farm Trailer Pair

Got a couple of new vehicles in the mail today from ebay!
I enjoy the challenge of finding good cars for $5 shipped or less. I've done pretty well with that in the past. Several #75b Ferraris, a minty Jeep Gladiator Lesney, but today brought one of my best "under 5" finds yet!!

Not the most desirable or collectable Lesney casting ever made, but a cool one nonetheless. I got BOTH of these Hay Trailers for right around 5 bucks shipped. Complete with tires, and the racks on either end. Pretty much dead mint as well.

(Tractor isn't new, just showing the complete set)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Foden Hoveringham Tipper - Model of the Day

Lesney #17d - Foden Hoveringham Tipper

This Lesney model was added to the 1-75 range in 1963. The livery was modeled after the Hoveringham Gravel Company from Northamptonshire. There was only this one main variation done, with the red body, orange tipper, and black plastic wheels. As with most all Lesneys of this era, there were quite a few small variations found, including a couple of different types of suspension, and various small changes in the casting itself. 

It's not an overly valuable model, but a nice one regardless!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

1 Year Anniversary of LA's Diecast Blog!

I was looking back through old blog posts here, and realized it's been a little over a year now since I got into customizing and started this blog! Pretty amazing, time has really flown by.

It's been a great year, I've gotten into a completely new side of the hobby that I love so much. Made new friends, and developed my customizing skills a lot, and in a relatively short time. So to celebrate, I pulled together all the cars I've done since I started, and took a group picture. A very diverse group of cars here, and it would be absolutely impossible to pick a favorite. Probably the silver 1/43 scale Volvo though, as it's a replica of my 1:1.. :)
A handful have been sold off, but the vast majority are here with me and not going anywhere!

Which one is your favorite? Drop me a comment below, and don't forget to +1 and share this post! Like us on Facebook as well: LA's Diecast on Facebook

Lesney #75b-Ferrari Berlinetta Restoration #7

Yes, another Ferrari. If you are not a fan of the marque, I apologize haha, this blog is a bit Ferrari-heavy at times. But here is another Berlinetta restoration to share with you today.

I've always been a fan of the green color these models came in originally. However, I always thought that a darker green, like British racing green, would look great too. I think I was right!!

Some other green variations

Monday, February 16, 2015

Corgi Jaguar Mark X Restoration

Hey there folks, hope the weather where you are is better than it is here!! We're really getting pounded with ice. So I'm staying in today, spending the day playing with toy cars! What could be better, am I right?

So here's an old Corgi I picked up on one of my trips to England. A bit bigger than the scale I normally work in, but this project has been a lot of fun. Here's what I started with..

I liked the dark blue on the original car, but I thought a color change was in order. I'm very happy with how it turned out. Only problem is I have one size of headlight jewels, and this Corgi came with two different sizes. Eventually I'll have to find the second size. But it looks great!

Posing with it's smaller brother haha

Thursday, February 12, 2015

#75b-Ferrari Berlinetta Restoration #6

Good evening folks. Here's another Ferrari for you! I love this casting, and I think this color has turned out to be one of my favorites... I forgot to take before pics, but it looked pretty much the same as all the other beater Berlinettas.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Lesney #31a-Ford Customline Station Wagon Restoration

So I was going through some older photos, and realized I never posted the photos from this restoration! I finished it probably 6 months ago. So here ya go, a rough but complete 31a Ford station wagon that I picked up at an antique shop in the UK..

Here it is now. I painted it white as I'm thinking at some point I may convert it to a police car! It would look nice sitting next to a 55d Mercury police car. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Matchbox Ford Capri Restoration

Good evening folks! Finally got another one finished, and it came out pretty nice. It started out as a pretty beat up old toy, coming to my workbench from an ebay sale. The pink paint was very faded, but all in all, a very solid car.

I decided it needed a bit of modernizing, so I threw some of those nice Matchbox knockoff wheels on it. 

And here it is now, looking sharp!!