Editorial – May 2017

Here at MAR Online we try to cover a wide selection of modelling subjects, but we depend upon contributions from collectors in those fields where the editors and regular contributors have little or no expertise. We particularly welcome submissions from collectors of specialist themes; racing cars, emergency vehicles, buses, trucks, diecast aircraft, agricultural equipment or even ships, to broaden our coverage here. Readers will welcome articles on these topics and any other specialist areas. We are happy to edit any submissions for you; a few photographs and some jotted notes can often be turned into an interesting article.

Popularity of 1:18 scale models is on the rise, with new manufacturers entering the market, as well as the revival of interest in older names like Bburago. The level of competition has meant a steady increase in the quality of models to this scale to the point where some modestly-priced models are as good as exhibition pieces.

1:24 and 1:32 scales also offer popular subjects at budget prices, and are pushing for collectors’ attention, where once they were clumsy models found in seaside tourist shops. Will the perceived value for money of these larger models encourage even further growth in this sector of the hobby?

In 1:76 scale I see that Northcord, having been rescued out of bankruptcy, will be producing models of British buses again in 1:76 scale, perhaps a timely re-entry into the marketplace, as Corgi Original Omnibus are releasing few new models this year, Bachmann are still absorbing EFE, and Oxford’s entry into this market is still developing.

I was browsing a table full of toy cars in a market recently where I noticed several Morris Minor models, the type of 1:32 scale models that have been sold in gift shops for quite some time and which many people have bought as they are cheap and cheerful. Looking closer I wondered if they had been re-painted. Then I noticed that the problem was cracks in the original paint, and what looked to me like bad metal fatigue (intergranular corrosion), something I have not seen on a new product for some time. So in addition to worrying if photo-etched parts are falling off your models in storage, and tyres being compressed to flat spots, metal fatigue is also back on the list of concerns.

You may have already seen elsewhere in MAR Online that this year’s US-based Diecast Hall of Fame event will be held in November this year and that they are looking for collectors to vote for their favourite models. We at MAR Online would be interested to hear your views on models that you think are really good, or which on the other hand you feel fall well short of the standard expected.

Following our recent requests for contributions to our web site hosting costs one reader send us a generous donation and you will see his name on our Charter Subscribers Hall of Fame page. We still need more contributions to reach the full cost, so please consider a donation to MAR Online to help fund our web hosting and domain name registry fees. Your contribution can be sent via Paypal to the editor, maronlineeditor @ gmail.com, or you can pay by a UK cheque in the post – please email the editor to be notified of the postal address.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor @ gmail.com.