Well, more like slow weeks at the office… You must have noticed that model reviews have become somewhat scarce around here. Well, that’s because my toys & candy fund has been a bit limited lately. You know, because of stuff like coffee, car insurance, clothes for the kids and other grown-up issues 🙄. It honestly sucks to be a responsible adult. Any how, I expect that things will get better by next month (fingers crossed!), and then I’ll have new stuff to show. Even so, I will upload a new review this next Friday. Yay!
In the meantime I’m going through my previous reviews, fixing broken links, proof-reading and sometimes remaking photos. Today, for instance, I made new shots of some of my Silver Arrows. It’s been a long while since I photographed a Silberpfeil.
This is the story of Charlie Mack, and his 42,000+ (!!!) collection of Matchbox cars and toys. As a kid, I grew up on Matchbox, at a time that Hot Wheels were the el cheapo toy cars and Matchbox was the good stuff. Good times… 😊 Anyway, it’s nice to see such passion (obsession?) in a toy collector.
By the way, who else still have their old Matchbox and Hot Wheels? I still have quite a few of mine. Though all are stored away and not on display, I’m proud to say that most are in very good shape.
Do I have all the Gulf 917? Not even close. Missing from that shot is one of the Gulf 917LH from 1971. It could be either the#17 or #18, I would be happy with either one – I’m not picky. And of course, the 1971 Daytona winner… The problem is that all three are hellishly rare to find, specially the Daytona car 😣. I’m aware that there are quite a few other 917s in Gulf colors, however the Le Mans cars and the Daytona one (because of the story of that race) are the ones I really covet. Lets hope that Spark reissue those, like they did with the 917K #20 and very recently with the winning 1933 Alfa. If Spark did, a LOT of collectors would go ballistic with joy (like yours truly). Besides, I’m certain they would sell like hot cakes.
I have to say that compared to 2021, 2022 was a much better year. The COVID-19 pandemic was almost over and in general things got better. And in the 1:43 collecting front I think I can say it was a pretty good year. I got some nifty-good models for the W-143 Garage, even some very meaningful ones. The bad part is that my collection, as of now, has 483 cars 😲. I’m not at my limit for display space yet, however I’m getting close. So if 2023 is as “eventful” as 2022, for 2024 I may be in trouble…😣 That’s one thing I’ll have to start thinking about. Well, since 2022 is history, it’s time for what I consider the best five models I got last year. And here they are, the Top 5 models of 2022 (in chronological order):
1️⃣ The car of the worst tragedy in the history of motorsports. Nonetheless, a fantastic model that means a lot to me exactly because of it’s history.
2️⃣ This year I got into my head that I needed a Beetle in my collection. Well, though I went a little over one model, I think this set was the coolest. Yeah, yeah, it’s a set, TWO models, yet you can’t buy the two apart.
3️⃣ Being honest, I’m not sure if I like more the model or the history behind the model. Even so, Spark a-c-e-d the car in scale.
4️⃣ The coolest of the pre-war Alfas, and a model that I thought I would have to do without in the W-143 Garage.
5️⃣ I’m a HUGE 917 fanboy and also a Le Mans nut. However, The 1970 Daytona winner has possibly the coolest of all the 917 stories that I know of. And, the Spark version is very rare in 1:43.
From time to time, I redo some of my older photos. Well, at least after July 2020. That’s when I got my Sony A7 III, replacing my old Nikon D70. Since the A7 III was a HUGE upgrade, I could do a much better job in showing my models. Besides, this year I made three new dioramas, two race tracks and one “parking lot”. With the better camera and better scenery, I could do better shots. That being so, once in a while I will re-shoot some of my older cars.
And this time I photographed the coolest MacF1 of all times, the 1995 BBA Compétition #42 art car. I recently made a new guardrail, and I thought #42 would look good with it as a backdrop. Without a doubt, the new photos came out much nicer than the previous ones.
In August I finally got a proper shop. After nine years since we moved to our new house, I now have a decent workplace. And as expected, it wasn’t 100% done (will it ever be?). Courtesy of my dad, I now have a bench vise, something that I consider fundamental in any shop.
I also installed a curtain beneath the work bench. I would rather have the shelf below exposed, however I quickly realized that was not good. Every time I drilled, sanded or worked on wood, it was a pain to clean the wood chips and dust below the workbench. So I installed one of those plastic bathroom curtains on a rail below the bench. Not exactly handsome but saves me a lot of work during cleanups.
And as you can see, there are new tools 😊. Oh come on, don’t give me the same look my wife gives me… Of course I had to get more tools. Of special note are two Japanese saws (a Ryoba and a Kataba), which made me think about why I ever used Occidental saws before. And a new (and better) jigsaw and a nail gun, both battery-powered. Unless it’s some sort of bench-top tool, I’m going cordless 100%. Next on the list is a random orbit sander and a (plunge?) router, cordless of course.
And this is the first diorama project I made in my new shop. A couple of years ago I bought a guardrail like this, though it was shorter and frankly poorly made. So using chopsticks, a strip of MDF as base, water-based paint, wood glue and LOTS of sanding and cutting, I made another one. I already made some photos using it, and it turned out pretty good. I think.
When we built our new house almost 9 years ago, one thing that I wanted was a dedicated workspace for tools and crafts. A room to work on my hobbies, bikes and store my tools. And I got the space. However, as you can see in the shot above, it was kind of shabby in terms of a workspace. All right, let’s be honest: it was an utterly pathetic excuse for a tool shop 😣.
So in the last month, I started to work on it, transforming it into a proper workshop. And by “working on it” I mean buying what was needed. Of the highest priority was to have a work bench, and that was the first thing I bought. I also bought those wall panels to hang all my manual tools in the open, at easy reach.
The yellow drawer was from my daughter’s old bedroom, which works perfectly as a space to store supplies and small stuff. The yellow chair (and yellow table under the workbench) were also from her bedroom. If you care to know, that small chair is perfect to wash my car’s wheels 😁. I also installed more power sockets, both in 110 and 220 v.
I had an old office desk that I didn’t use any more, and it fitted perfectly in that niche in the back wall. It’s a fantastic station for the delicate stuff, like working on models or making dioramas. The whole space came out as a true carnival of styles, furniture and parts. Yet, I for one dig the “repurposed look”. Can’t say why, though I think that mishmash style makes the tool shop look homely.
Of course I’m not 100% done yet, with some things still missing. For instance, I desperately need a Nº 5 bench vise, as I need a bench grinder. And I would love to have a small belt sander… Nonetheless, I’ll eventually get there. Most important of all though, now I finally have a decent work space. 😊😊😊