I'm a newbie to collecting diecast model aircraft and to this forum. So best I begin by introducing myself. My name is Rick, and I live in a little place called Ash Vale (where Samuel Cody used to live and from where he made his first flights). I'm also lucky enough to be just down the road from Farnborough airfield, within the pattern for airshow practice days, and used to be right under the flightpath of the superbly beautiful Concorde.
My interest in aviation and models has run throughout my life, starting with attempting to assemble Airfix kits without getting too much glue all over the Perspex canopy; on to applying basic paint schemes; leading to airbrush weathering, detailing, and kit conversions. Being a trained artist, I’ve also had the privilege of being allowed to paint the ‘pin-up girl’ nose art on a Canadian Avro Lancaster. And, of course, I was also an Air Cadet. I guess that explains my current job (if you can call it that) as a model designer.
I started collecting diecast model airliners about 6 months ago. I wanted to collect representations of all the aircraft I've flown in and started with military 1:72 & 1:144 scales, then civilian airliners in 1:200 scale, before realising the wisdom and beauty of 1:400 scale airliners.
However, with my history of detailing and weathering my models – where the object is to make them as realistic as possible – there are a couple of diecast model aircraft collecting areas I'd appreciate your advice on. Before purchasing any new model, I like to check out the reviews, photographs, and out-of-focus "unboxing" videos on the Internet. One comment that I keep hearing is people bemoaning that the diecast model manufacturers make the jet intake fans too silver and too shiny. The suggestion is that they’re made to look prettier for the not-so-serious collector. But, I keep wondering why serious collectors wouldn't simply brush some highly diluted gunmetal and black acrylic over the compressor fans to make their models appear as they say they want them? But, apparently, that's “just not done”. Can someone please explain why you'd not "improve" less detailed model with detailing seen on other manufacturers' models, to the standard you’d like it to be?
Another thing I've noticed is that there are two groupings of collectors: those who specialize in collecting models from a specific manufacturer versus those who collect models representing specific aircraft with specific liveries (like my collection of aircraft I’ve flown in). Obviously, if you're after a specific aircraft in a specific livery, you're going to have to collect models across a range of manufacturers. And with that goes a variation in the degree of detailing that each manufacturer applies to its models. So here's my second question: why am I told that I shouldn't add a Collision Warning Beacon to my 1:400 Aeroclassics A340-300, when all I'm doing is bringing this otherwise excellent model up to the standards of the Gemini Jets models it is sitting alongside – surely any collector would have bought a Gemini Jets rendering of the A340-300 if one was available in the appropriate livery and would, therefore, always prefer the ‘upgraded’ model? – so why am I hearing that this would be ‘heresy’ and would decrease any possible future resale value? (Remember, I'm talking about people who collect specific aircraft in a specific livery; not those who collect a particular model manufacturer’s products.)
Obviously, I've a lot to learn and would appreciate your thoughts. ...perhaps I'll post a picture of an "upgraded" 1:400 scale A320 to elicit people's views on whether they'd buy the 'box standard' or ‘improved’ model for their own collection. (Hopefully that won't get me branded too much of a heratic in my first forum posting?!)
In my experience improving a model does not necessarily decrease the resale value, in fact if you do a good job with the modification it can actually increase the value of the model. At the end of the day they're your models, if you think they look better with improvements then I say do the improvements. Enjoy your models, don't worry about how much they're worth!
Welcome to the forum. I have seen a decent number of modifications - usually people who have replaced inferior landing gear. However you are right I suspect it would decrease the resale value of the model if it is non-standard. I'm not sure why but people just prefer models to be 'as new'. I guess it is a bit like modifying a painting by someone else?
Partly it is probably because of the potential variability of any upgrades.
I don't think anybody collects models only from a single manufacturer - that'd be a bit bizarre. Lots of people only collect specific airlines, geographic or temporal zones and these often tend to lend themselves towards certain manufacturers outputs.
Having said that it is the overall model which determines the value of a model not a single thing (or at least not usually). Nobody should for example buy a Gemini Jets A340 over an Aeroclassics one even though Aeroclassics doesn't add aerials etc. The Gemini (or should I say JC Wings) A340, although ok, is nowhere near as good as the Aeroclassics one.
If you haven't you might find the mould reviews section of my website as a handy area to compare moulds:
Hi, Rick - Welcome over to the diecast side. As has been stated above, once a model is customized, it is no longer 'box standard', and the altered model may or may not be an improvement, depending on the skill of the modification. There's this thing about a model being 'as new in original box' which seems to maximize the value of the model, with that actual value being determined at relsale - and not an arbitrary 'virtual value' placed on the model. And you have moved from 1/200 to 1/400 which is home for me, too. Enjoy the family, Doug
Last edited by doug seeley; 11-08-2017 at 08:29 AM.