Tell us what this hobby means to you? 14 questions answered by you, Christopher Robbens from Limburg, Belgium.
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1) What first got you collecting diecast? How long have you been collecting? What is your total model count as of today?
My passion for 1:1 sports cars with their beautiful curves and shapes got me into collecting diecast cars. I get excited by the way a car looks and how it is construct. I am also interested to hear the history behind the car and the manufacturer. Collecting scale model cars gives me some impression of actually owing the real thing, with my scale model car collection I can make some of my dreams come true and gratefully there are no running costs for owing scale model cars. Unfortunately you cannot drive scale model cars nor have the sheer driving experience that the real cars offer but I think you can see it as the next best thing.
I started collecting cars (Bburago and Maisto) when I was a teenager, but I got seriously collecting cars during the last three years. I only collect 1:18 and 1:12 scale model cars. I have approximately 1300 1:18 cars and about 50 1:12 cars, it feels like having my own mini museum. Each time I enter my cabinet I get excited.
2) What was your first diecast or memory?
My first diecast car was probably a 1:18 red Ferrari F40 or a 1:18 white Lamborghini Countach from Bburago.
3) What is your favourite scale, and why?
My favourite scale is 1:18 because they are not too small to fill up nicely a shelf or a vitrine in a room and you still can easily see the details if you get closer, for me they also seem to have the best proportions. 1:12 scale models are real eye-catchers and get people’s attention very easy when they step into the room, even for the none collectors. They are really cool but they are quite big so you need to have a lot of space to store them.
4) What are some of your favourite models to date? Did you share any photos with us?
I have a big collection I have many favorites. Due to a lack of time I unfortunately did not share any photos yet with the society, I hope in the future to be able to share more photos with other collectors.
5) Is there a model that has eluded you, a holy grail of sorts?
From the resins I have I like very much my 1/18 Fronti-Art Koenigseggs and my 1/18 Tecnomodel of the McLaren P1 in gulf colours. From the diecasts I have I like very much my CMC Bugatti’s, Exoto Porsche’s and AUTOart Pagani’s.
6) What is your favourite brand/manufacturer, and why?
CMC and Exoto are my favourite brands, for me they really are the top, followed by the signature series of AUTOart. These manufacturers are expensive but in my opinion worth the extra money, if you can afford them. For the sealed cars it would be Fronti-Art, BBR and GT Spirit. I think GT Spirit delivers at this moment an excellent price/quality ratio. I consider the high end scale models true pieces of art, they have so much details and refinement.
7) Describe your current theme and what your overall goal is?
I mainly collect road cars, with a special focus on sport cars or how I’d like to call them “dream cars”. My goal is to give my children a true car legacy because the future might not look so bright for car nuts. A lot of new cars will become electric and car sharing will increase. Right now might be one of the most exciting periods to live in for car lovers.
8) Do you display your collection? If yes, how?
I display as much cars as I can, unboxed and displayed in vitrines. In my opinion you have to unbox your scale models to be able to fully appreciate them.
9) Do you have any other hobbies, passions or addictions?
I am truly addicted to cars, a real car nut. I try as much as I can to drive to the Nurburgring in Germany to do some laps with my car. I love to participate at drift track days, I have an old modified car for this purpose. I love to go to car musea and car festivals, I would recommend that to any collector because seeing the real cars makes you even more appreciate your scale model cars.
10) What do you think about the diecast hobby as it stands today?
I hope that the price of diecast will stay stable, because the price of many new released cars is getting steeper and steeper, especially AUTOart is getting much pricier. I hope diecast company’s like Bburago/Maisto can keep the lower price because that are the scale models that most collectors start with, especially when your young. I truly hope AUTOart will continue to make diecast cars and that there newer composite cars are getting better, at this moment I think they are too expensive and they feel fragile compared to the diecast models.
11) If you could change one thing about the diecast hobby what would that be?
Produce scale model cars with real engine noise! That would be awesome. That is of course impossible, but maybe adding a download of an mp3 with the actual engine noise from the car in high quality sound would be great! It would certainly add an extra dimension for the collectors.
12) Do you modify cars? If yes, what are some examples?
I do not modify my cars.
13) What does your spouse, partner or significant other think of your hobby and your collection?
Unfortunately my spouse is not really interested in cars, she has other interests, but I am thankful that she supports me and understands that cars are my passion. My kids are too young to understand the collection but they find dad’s collection very cool, they already ask if they can have some models when they are older. I have some friends who started collecting cars because of me, it all depends if they are interested in cars or not. Everybody has his own interests/passions.
14) What is your daily driver?
In the summer my BMW Z4M roadster, the rest of the seasons mainly my BMW e92 M3.