Category Archives: Diapet

A Bronze Mystery

By Frank Koh

All text and photographs are copyright of the author.

I have owned this “bronzed” Yonezawa Diapet 1/40 scale Mitsubishi Galant A-II coupe from the early seventies for two years now, but I have yet to find out what material it is made out of.  Could it be some specially treated zamac (zinc) alloy, white metal, brass or brushed anodized aluminum?  And what would be the logic behind the production of this rare and special piece?  Was it some sort of special dealer promotional model, or simply the product of a creative imagination?

The finish is unpainted, and there does not appear to be any form of “clearcoat” to protect the surface of the metal. If it were unpainted zamac (zinc), the finish would have been well-oxidized after more than 45 years sitting totally untouched in its mint box.  Brass oxidizes too, so could it be some sort of brushed anodized aluminum?

Just like the “regular” painted variants of this Diapet Galant A-II, the lines and proportions are very, very convincing. Why this particular model was rendered in this esoteric treated metal alloy of still-undetermined origin remains a mystery.

And like most Yonezawa Diapet models of the sixties thru the very early nineties, this proudly Japan-made piece features opening doors, hood and trunk, plus reclining front seats! Tremendous play value for what was originally intended to be a toy car, but hey, when rendered in this mystery material, was it some sort of special dealer promotional model or just the product of a creative imagination, resulting in an interesting, if not frivolous adult conversation piece?

A friend who knows how to read Japanese said the literal translation of what’s written on the box is “Antique Color (Bronze)”.   The photo on the box is the exact same “bronzed” piece as the actual model, whereas the “regular” painted Diapet Galant A-II variants had a painted car in the photo. What is the real intent of the manufacturer in producing this bewildering model?


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The Scooter in Miniature – An update

By Will Roe

All photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author except where stated.

Looking through this site I happened on Dave Turner‘s article ‘The Scooter in Miniature – Other makes‘ from July 6th 2017.

Photograph by Dave Turner

The photograph of the ‘WS’ plastic battery driven Chalmy Rider toy shown above  from Hong Kong looks very similar to the Yonezawa Diapet model that I have in my collection.

I purchased my model from a swapmeet back in December 1986 so it was probably from a Coventry Toy Fair. Daipet catalogue No A3, it is certainly larger than 1:43 scale but no scale is given on the base.

This scooter is totally different to many others in as much as it is a three-wheeler. Diapet have cleverly emulated the tilt and steer action by the ‘front seat’ half’ being connected to the rear ‘engine’ half by a flexible joint. The front wheel has limited steerage movement, but when the steering is pushed to the left or right, pressure is put on the connecting joint and the vehicle leans and steers in the desired direction.

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