Vadim Stepanov - April 2023 •

Vadim Stepanov – April 2023

Tell us what this hobby means to you? 14 questions answered by you, Vadim Stepanov from Tomsk, Russia.

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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?

One of my major interests is the history of motor racing, and collecting seems to be an immanent addition to that, although time and resource intensive. As a child, I had some road car models, mostly as toys. My first F1 model was bought much later, and my collecting activity developed through ups and downs. I started to build my collection seriously in the late 2000s, then a decline followed, and a new wave began four years ago and continues to this day. Currently, my collection counts around 1900 models, mostly in 1:43.

2) What was your first diecast or memory?

My first model was Johnny Herbert’s Lotus Mugen Honda by Onyx bought at Estoril when I visited the 1994 Portuguese Grand Prix, the first Formula One race which I watched on site. This model is still in my collection.

3) What is your favourite scale, and why?

1:43. Historically it was the scale with the most variety and options in the 1990s – and still, it is now, especially, in the segment of pre-war Grand Prix cars, my favourite epoch of motorsport.  It is also important that a large collection in 1:43 fits a reasonable amount of space.

4) What are some of your favourite models to date? Did you share any photos with us?

Difficult choice – each model in my collection fills some fragment in history, even a small episode. Perhaps I will choose a few models that were built to my special order in one or very few copies – for example, the racing Russo-Balt from the first Grand Prix race in Russia in 1913, the Mercers that raced in the USA in the 1910s, or a couple of Bugattis driven by Elizabeth Junek in Targa Florio in the 1920s.

5) Is there a model that has eluded you, a holy grail of sorts?

There are too many gaps in the model range representing the early history of motor racing. For instance, no one has yet made a correct model of the winner of the first Grand Prix in history, the 1906 Grand Prix of the Automobile Club of France. From what was once produced, still unsuccessfully looking for models of East German Formula Easter cars.

6) What is your favourite brand/manufacturer, and why?

In my collection, models of 223 brands are presented. As a rule, I focus on the prototype, not the brand. However, I appreciate very much the approach of Spark, which tries to cover maximal variety, including rare or less-known makes and drivers. Looksmart and BBR invest an Italian passion in their Ferrari models. Replicarz embarked on a difficult path with his own line of high-quality Indycar models in 1:43.

7) Describe your current theme and what your overall goal is?

My theme is Grand Prix and Formula One history in scale models. Some obvious offshoots include Indycar and minor open wheels formulas. The general task is to make the collection most representative with respect to various periods, cars, teams and drivers.  An ultimate goal probably is to have any car, any team in each season. This can be achieved for Formula 1, but not for the pre-1950 Grand Prix.

8) Do you display your collection? If yes, how?

Yes, I suppose that in the matter of collecting scale models, the aesthetic component is one of the main ones. Models are beautiful. And so they deserve a corresponding attitude. Models should not stand on the old sideboard among the muddy glasses, and, moreover, gather dust in boxes in the attic or in the garage. I display the collection in two ways. First, in a big display cabinet at my home. Second, at my website,, which I started around three years ago. Now, most of my efforts are spent on filling the site, photographing models and writing mini-articles about each of them. All models also are catalogued in excel files.

9) Do you have any other hobbies, passions or addictions?

Even too many. Travel. Sport – tennis, alpine skiing and cycling. Plane spotting. Motorsport history writing.

10) What do you think about the diecast hobby as it stands today?

In my view, collecting scale models is a very interesting, developing, exciting and time-consuming hobby. But not the main thing in life. Do not let the collection control you.

11) If you could change one thing about the diecast hobby what would that be?

Globally, nothing. As to little things, tobacco advertising ban.

12) Do you modify cars? If yes, what are some examples?

No, except for applying decals and minor damage repair.

13) What does your spouse, partner or significant other think of your hobby and your collection?

My wife treats my hobbies patiently and tolerantly, that’s enough. Skiing, for example, bothers her much more.

14) What is your daily driver?

Volvo XC60, Toyota Camry.




7 Responses to "Vadim Stepanov – April 2023"

  1. Kostas says:

    Congratulations Vadim for your colossal collection. You have many interesting and historic models amongst your beautiful F1 cars, which cover all the eras of racing and they are very nicely displayed too. Respect for taking care and properly maintain this massive collection. All the best!

    • Vadim says:

      Kostas, thank you very much for your opinion about the collection. As for the displaying, it seems to me very important that the collection looks worthy.

  2. Steven Weiner says:

    A beautiful and very interesting collection. I love all the drivers included in many of the cars! Nicely displayed, too. Congratulations, Vadim!

  3. Aston says:

    My congratulations, Vadim. A mono-collection is always difficult, quite expensive, but very interesting. Your site is very informative, although some issues can be argued. I was very surprised at the rate of growth of the collection. Although under certain conditions in M1:43 you can “grow” to infinity. Once again with recognition!
    Sincerely, Vyacheslav.

  4. Vadim says:

    Vyacheslav, great to hear your words about my collection. I am trying to do my best to make the website helpful and interesting. I am open to any comments and suggestions. As to the rate of growth, for last few years the average is more than one model per day. Of course, it requires some resources, as well as the work to maintain the collection physically and to update the website regularily.

  5. BILL says:


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