Tell us what this hobby means to you? 14 questions answered by you, Victor Felix from 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’ve always been fascinated by cars in general and racecars especially. When I was still a kid, I always asked for model cars instead of real toys. As of today, I have around 200 models in various scales and from various themes.
2) What was your first diecast or memory?
The first real model car I got that I remember is a Minichamps 1:43 scale Mercedes C-Klasse DTM presentation car. It’s either that one or an Onyx 1:24 scale Thierry Boutsen Ligier JS37, it’s been quite a long time ago… Before that, I remember getting some Maisto or Bburago cars, but I don’t really remember which ones.
3) What is your favourite scale, and why?
My preferred scale to collect is 1/18. I like it because it’s big enough to see how some nice refined details. On the other hand, it’s also small enough to be able to handle the model to see it from all angles and it doesn’t take up too much space either in the displays.
4) What are some of your favourite models to date? Did you share any photos with us?
My favourite model in my collection is the Gilles Villeneuve scale 1:18 Exoto Ferrari 312T4 from the 1979 F1 season. The model is packed with details, it’s a Ferrari and it’s a Gilles Villeneuve model, so what’s not to like? The level of detail is also exceptional, especially considering it’s made in 1998! Back then most model car manufacturers simply didn’t make such intricate models. It’s still the best version out there, around 24 years later!
5) Is there a model that has eluded you, a holy grail of sorts?
There are quite a few models I would still love to add to the collection. The one I consider a holy grail at this moment is the Sharknose Ferrari 156 from Exoto!
6) What is your favourite brand/manufacturer, and why?
I don’t really have a favourite manufacturer, although most of my models are Minichamps. In my opinion, they are the most consistent in the way that you usually pretty much know what you’re going to get. They have released some howlers too, however, Spark is very good at the sportscar models or the classic F1 cars and CMC is almost always very good, but a bit more pricy. All my Exoto models are also awesome, but the company is a nightmare to deal with apparently, so I don’t rank them among my favourite brands then.
7) Describe your current theme and what your overall goal is?
I mainly collect motorsports models. Most of the collection is F1 related, but I collect models from all kinds of motorsports like Indycar, Nascar, Le Mans, MotoGP and WRC. I also have a few movie-related models and might add a few classic road cars to the collection, but it’s primarily related to any form of racing. A very big part of my collection is the 1:2 scale mini helmets too. I don’t have a specific goal, I like to collect the models that appeal to me esthetically or that have a cool backstory.
8) Do you display your collection? If yes, how?
I have almost every piece of the collection on display. As you’ll be able to see in the pictures, I have 2 main displays that are filled with 1/12 or 1:18 model cars and sometimes a matching mini helmet. I then have a smaller cabinet for the Ferrari F1 models, a tower for the 1:43 cars and a wall display for all the remaining mini helmets. The rest is placed randomly around my desk and office space.
9) Do you have any other hobbies, passions or addictions?
My main hobby or passion is collecting racing models. I do enjoy watching almost every form of motorsports obviously.
10) What do you think about the diecast hobby as it stands today?
It’s always been an expensive endeavour to build up a collection. I do feel that nowadays the prices are getting a bit out of hand. I do understand the costs have exploded too for the manufacturers, but some brands seem to cope better with it than other. Take Model Car Group (MCG) or Solido for instance. They prove that you can make very decent balanced model cars for an affordable price.
11) If you could change one thing about the diecast hobby what would that be?
I would love to see modular models with manufacturer-made upgrade sets that are not too difficult to use. Let’s say that someone makes a base F1 car with simple details. If they then price the base model low, so that everyone can buy one and then offer some detailing sets for the more advanced collectors to upgrade their own models, that would be a total game changer.
12) Do you modify cars? If yes, what are some examples?
Yes, I do. I mostly apply missing decals to my models. I also upgrade the wheels and tyres with sidewall markings or add rim details like tyre valves. When a model is depicted after a car that finished a race, I then also add the race dirt to make it look more realistic. Also, all of my mini helmets have some upgrade parts to make them look more real.
13) What does your spouse, partner or significant other think of your hobby and your collection?
She thinks it’s an addiction, but sometimes joins me in the hunt for a particular item. She doesn’t share my interest in it though, but is supportive of it.
14) What is your daily driver?
As a family man, I don’t really have a fancy car, nor would I really want one. For me, a real car needs to bring me from A to B and must be practical for doing grocery runs or hauling stuff around. So I drive a 2012 Renault Kangoo, but I can’t be bothered with what car it really is, as long as it ticks all the aforementioned boxes.