Shop tour!

Been a while since I posted an update about how my small shop is shaping up. The big news is that I finally (!) bought a router 🤩! From Makita and battery-operated (18v), the DRT50Z is a very decent piece of kit. I also bought a set of bits from Bosch, which I think will cover most of my needs. However, these bits are 1/4″, and Makita ships the DRT50Z with two collets, in 6 and 8 mm sizes 🙄. Therefore, I had to order a 1/4″ (6,35 mm) collet, that arrived today. This afternoon I tried it out on some scraps of wood and the end result looked great.

Can’t say I have any specific job for a palm router right now, yet I’m looking forward to making wood chips fly 😁.

And how is Forza Motorsports doing?

Sauron’s ride at Road Atlanta.

Well, Turn10 fixed most (all?) of the stability issues. Therefore, currently it’s totally playable without you wanting to throw the XBox out the window. There still are some “missing” features, like no damage in single player – if you flip (!!) the car nothing breaks 🙄. Frustrating, if you want more realism. Graphics are still sketchy in some parts, and the livery editor is the same neolithic thing of 10 years ago. Yet, worse of all, is if you setup a race session with multiple cars, sometimes a few cars are rendered like a chassis base with four wheels with the pilot sitting inside 😣. Totally ridiculous.

With all that, and specially having EA WRC at hand, I’m not playing much. The game is (now) essentially OK, however I got so pissed at it in the beginning that currently I can’t be bothered about it 😕.

Ixo: I’m impressed

Ixo

As a 1:43 model manufacturer, Ixo is one of the so-called “budget brands”. That group consists of brands like Altaya, CMR, Schuco (they also have a premium line), HighSpeed, Brumm, Herpa, etc. Its a long list. I’m never shy in saying that you shouldn’t judge the model by the brand, however in general terms, budget brand models are not very good. In fact, they’re usually poor. Of course, to be a rule there has to be exceptions (I always cite Brumm in this case).

Ixo, however, has been consistently the exception to the budget-brand-means-bad-model rule. Their current models are truly good, to the point that they can rival Spark, in terms of bang-for-the buck. Click HERE if you want to read a little more about this.

Top 5 – 2023

Another year gone, my hair is whiter, my back complains more and it’s time for the Top 5 models of the year. The 2023 collecting year was pretty good, and I got some VERY nice models. And at the time of this writing, the W-143 Garage now consists of 531 models 😯. I guess that the biggest news is that I officially added a Rally Wing to the W-143 Garage. I can’t say that now I’m a “rally collector”, because I won’t buy a lot of stuff. However I will try to get some specific models that speak to my heart. So, to list them in chronological order, here are my Top 5 Models of 2023:

1️⃣ The 1992 905 is a Le Mans winner (= must buy) that eluded me for a few years. One of those models that are hard to find for no obvious reasons – it looks the same as the 1993 winner 🤔. Nonetheless, I finally got one!

2️⃣ Ooooh, a Looksmart. Considered to be one of the top premium brands in 1:43, I was dying to see what it offered. A beautiful model of a class-winning car, however just Spark-good at 150% Spark’s price. Very nice, but too expensive.

3️⃣ When Minichamps wants to, they make a killer Silberpfeil. In this case, Bernd Rosemeyer’s Typ Lucca. Just when I thought I wouldn’t get any more Silberpfeile, Minichamps comes out with this gem.

4️⃣ The Breadvan. Didn’t even finish one Le Mans race, yet it represents a few guys that got fed up with Old Man Enzo’s wife 🤣. Only in Italy… Comedy aside, the model is g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s, possibly THE nicest I have.

5️⃣ Of course I had to put a rally car in this list. I got some nicer models this year, no doubt (Mini, Quattro, etc). However, the “Safari Delta” made the list because it was the first Ixo rally car I bought. And I was thoroughly impressed by what they can offer at a very low price.