Tell us what this hobby means to you? 14 questions answered by you, Evert Delanoye from Bornem, Belgium.
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1) What first got you collecting diecast? How long have you been collecting? What is your total model count as of today?
I was 7 years old when I got my first 1:18’s. They were a gift from Santa but I chose them myself with the budget he made available. You know, he’s very busy sometimes so you have to do some things yourself. In the following 30 years, I’ve added about 150 other 1/18 models to make my collection what it is today.
2) What was your first diecast or memory?
A red Ferrari F40 and a black Lamborghini Countach diecast by Tonka models. The third one was a Maisto Jaguar XJ220. I adored that car and still do today. I remember racing these cars in the living room around the table when I was a kid and I always let the Jag win. Not racing them around anymore though.
3) What is your favourite scale, and why?
1:18 because 1:43 is too small for me and 1:12 is too large and doesn’t offer a lot of models. There’s a huge variety in 1/18 and prices are acceptable most of the time. I do have 1 model in the 1:12 scale: the XJ220. Unfortunately, the XJ220 is one of the most difficult cars to make into a scale model, so I’m saving for a 1:1.
4) What are some of your favourite models to date? Did you share any photos with us?
I have a lot of favourites. I was lucky to find my all-time favourite Spark Jaguar XJR-14 in Brazil after searching the whole world (wide web) for two years. I also have a Century Dragon Jaguar C-X75 which is very rare. Unfortunately, Almost Real Models are going to release the C-X75 as well somewhere in the near future what ‘ll make it less unique but because of the well-known delays mine will still be very exclusive for another year or two. I also have a handmade customized version of the Jaguar XJ220 LM 1993 #50 (the Coulthard/Nielsen/Brabham car that won its class but then was disqualified for anther car to win it with the same issue so after all still should be considered the actual winner). The man I bought that one from really put in an effort so I’m very fond of it because it’s a one-off. I also was very happy when Autobarn released the Jaguars XJR-12, XJR-11 and XJR-5’s in a lot of liveries that apparently nobody was interested in but that’s actually pretty good so I have 6 of them. Pictures are included.
5) Is there a model that has eluded you, a holy grail of sorts?
I’ve been lucky to find the holy grails I was looking for in the past, so I have to update my holy grail list from time to time. At the moment I’m searching for the Mercedes AMG Project One by AMC that I read about on this website. Don’t think it has been released so far (if there’s any news, plz let me know asap). I’m also awaiting the Jaguar XJR-15 but nobody has made it in 1/18 up until today, which really is a giant opportunity for scale model manufacturers. TopMarques said they’re working on it for the past 2 years but still no result. The Aston Martin Valkyrie will also be in my collection as soon as it’s released by anybody as well as any Group 44 Jag.
6) What is your favourite brand/manufacturer, and why?
I don’t care that much about the model manufacturer but more about the car itself. Of course, it’s always nice that the model is detailed and accurate, but I make no difference between resin or diecast. Because of the way my models are displayed, it’s more important that there’re no door gaps instead of the models having opening parts or a detailed engine. Overall I think Spark and Norev have released the most models I’m interested in but I always like to be surprised by less known brands that make a very rare model like Century Dragon did with the C-X75. In that case, you’re so happy somebody made that car which makes you go easier on possible flaws.
7) Describe your current theme and what your overall goal is?
I first focused on Jaguar, but because I have almost every interesting Jag there is, I recently switched my interest to Mercedes and Audi starting with the pre-war race cars. The Streamliners are so elegant. I also have a special place for Ford GT’s and I like Le Mans prototypes, especially Group C. Furthermore I’m looking for figures and items for a 1:18 diorama.
8) Do you display your collection? If yes, how?
There’s a large room in our house that I describe as the ‘multifunctional room’ but my wife calls it the Mancave. All my models are in glass cabinets in this room.
9) Do you have any other hobbies, passions or addictions?
I used to do a lot of sports, but I have my own business and a 2,5 year old daughter so there’s not much time left. I still play indoor soccer and like to watch NFL games, boxing and movies. Of course, I also watch the Le Mans 24h and most F1 races (lately falling asleep a lot). Starting last season I also watch Formula E which I first didn’t like but actually turns out to be really exciting. Of course, I support the Panasonic Jaguar team. I also hope to build a very large diorama for my model cars, but construction is behind schedule. Just as in real life.
10) What do you think about the diecast hobby as it stands today?
I like the fact that many models are released in limited numbers. It makes me eager to follow the latest releases. It’s only a bummer if you missed out on one and have to find it later because the price has often gone north. The fact that more resin models are released has opened up a lot of possibilities for less popular cars to be made, which I consider a very good evolution. I prefer 2 very good looking and rare resins over 1 super detailed very expensive diecast however I do think that popular cars should still be made in diecast.
11) If you could change one thing about the diecast hobby what would that be?
There are some missing pieces in 1:18 so I hope there’ll be made in the near future. In 1:43 almost everything is available. Also, the delay in announced models is often very inaccurate. I don’t mind waiting, but if the delay is prolonged every time and gets over a year it’s kinda ridiculous to make a preorder. I even had to change my credit card once on a preorder because the card had gone expired during the wait. Still waiting at the moment. My current card is valid for another 4 years, so I hope to have the model before I have to change the card again.
12) Do you modify cars? If yes, what are some examples?
I don’t modify them myself but I’ve bought a few modified XJ220 models. If it’s decent work then these can be really great and unique addition to a collection. I’m looking forward to building a diorama for the models rather than modify the models themselves.
13) What does your spouse, partner or significant other think of your hobby and your collection?
It’s a part of me, so there’s no way around. I’ve been collecting since I was 7 so it wasn’t a secret. Because all my models are displayed in a separate room, they’re not bothering anybody. I sometimes like to sit down and look at the cars to find some rest, so they have a positive influence on my mood. Especially when it’s been a hard day at work.
14) What is your daily driver?
I drive a Jaguar F-Pace in real life and I have one in 1:18. Both are black. The black 1:18 is pretty rare, the big one isn’t but I’m very proud of it because I’m a Jaguar fan for life. It’s a versatile car that’s both elegant and functional, as a Jag should be. Still dreaming of that XJ220 though, but I haven’t had any luck with the lottery so far.