Volodymyr Sorokolat owns and operates VDM, a new brand for small runs of high-quality 1/43 Models. We are proud to host his Official Archive on hobbyDB.
What car models do you collect? The ones you saw as a child, owned or dream of owning? Whatever your answer is, as a model maker and experienced collector, I must warn you: playing with these adult toys can be unpredictable and even dangerous, especially when it comes to models of the cars from the beginning of the last century. Here are the five surprises that await you.
1. The ghosts of the past will appear before you
Models of cars older than 100 years can revive the past or dig the original vehicle owner’s story out of oblivion. Booo!
For example, the 1918 Cadillac Type 57 (and its VDM Models’ 1/43 Scale version) will remind you of the events of World War I when such cars crossed the ocean and took part in hostilities in Europe.
And the 1905 Cadillac Osceola by VDM Models can evoke the spirit of its owner — the founder of two world-famous car companies Cadillac and Lincoln — Henry Leland. Henry drove Osceola for almost 30 years! So do not doubt that from time to time, he will visit his love.
2. You will start to worry about unusual things
Cars of the beginning of the last century had a high suspension. Their mechanical components and controls could be seen even without lying under the car with a wrench. Springs, axles, rods, and levers were in sight and were a sign of the times and a business card of the vehicle.
Vintage car models are very sensitive to the lower part simplification, which some manufacturers allow. The flat bottom of the miniature will irritate you, and you will be looking in vain for the suspension and transmission elements on this Matchbox MoY Y-6 1913 Cadillac. So with such a limited choice of the 1900-1920 models, you will get a headache due to a dilemma: is it worth adding a simplified rough toy to the collection when such accurate, highly detailed miniatures as the 1905 Cadillac Osceola produced by VDM Models exist?
This model reproduces every part that the actual car had under the frame! In addition to the engine, you will see the flywheel, gearbox, exhaust system, cooling pipes, chain drive, springs, radius rods, steering system rods, locking mechanism rod, brake cables. And the list goes on! Overall, the model consists of 108 individual parts, 69 of which are located under the frame. The display case has a clear window on the bottom, so you can see all these parts without removing the model out of the box.
3. You will need new glasses
The earliest cars had many more exterior parts than the modern ones. Minified by 43 times, the elements of the structure and various mechanisms become so small that you risk impairing your vision by thoroughly examining individual details of the miniature.
You will need glasses or even a magnifying glass to find and admire the tiniest parts of the 1/43 Cadillac Osceola. It is not easy to see the pusher and the spring of the exhaust valve on the model or to find door handles and pedals inside the cabin. But they are there!
4. You will face significant financial losses
The laborious development, manufacture, and assembly of a considerable number of parts require skill, time, and effort. Therefore, an excellent-quality model can’t be cheap. I invite you to analyze what influences the pricing based on the following example.
In the manufacture of Cadillac Osceola, I used these computer applications:
- Adobe Photoshop (to process the photos of the car and measure its proportions);
- Adobe Illustrator (to develop the car drawings and templates for the photo-etched parts manufacture);
- 3D modeling program Rhinoceros (to build the Osceola’s master).
I used the services of contractors for these technologies:
- 3D printing;
- lathe machining;
- lost-wax casting;
- resin casting;
- plotter cutting;
And these materials in the model:
It took hundreds of hours to process the printed and cast parts, prepare the parts for painting and assemble the models.
Meanwhile, there are not hundreds of 1905 Cadillac Osceola from VDM Models, but only twenty-five. Each model has a serial number and comes with a booklet describing the history of the original car. It’s not cheap. But it’s worth the money!
5. Your reasoning can get impaired
If the previous four points didn’t stop you and you still decided to collect vintage cars models, I must warn you that this will not only end in spending money — such models capture the mind!
Consider yourself. You will never see a car that is more than 100 years old on the streets. Unless once a year you come to a party of crazy owners of surviving junkers. And very few have survived. Therefore, the model on the shelf will constantly bother you because you can’t see the actual car in person.
You will study the web of spokes, levers, and rods and try to understand how such cars could be reliable and withstand bad roads and long journeys? You will look at the thin lace moldings of the body and imagine the complex process done by hand in those distant years. And also wonder, how is it possible to make and neatly paint it on the 1/43 scale? Finally, you will want another model that recreates the spirit of a bygone era and reminds you of its owner. Then one more…
Caution! Old cars are addictive and can be dangerous. Don’t say you weren’t warned as I am planning to do this again!