Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

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aBelga
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Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by aBelga » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:29 am

Hi guys,

I am a big newbie, having just purchased 2 1/18 cars over the last week.
I have been trying to inform myself by doing a lot of reading on the matter, however my head is fried now and I still don't understand what all the different materials are.

Basically, there are 4 materials in scale models that I know of: diecast, composite, zamak and resin.

Would you be able to provide me with a basic explanation of each material, detailing the pros and cons of each, as well as give an example?

Sorry if this has been asked for earlier on the Forum, I couldn't find the topic.

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[KRAFTIG]
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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:09 am

I'm no authority on the topic, but the high-level explanation is simple:

Die-cast/Zamak - The original building block of scale model cars. It was the principal material(s) used to manufacturer each piece. I believe Zamak is an alternative metal/alloy that was used by some.

Composite - This is a plastic-type of material that is now mainstream AUTOart, well they use composite exterior with diecast metal internal frame, there is a very detailed article DS posted, search through the AUTOart link on the main website page. I believe the first model to use a composite material was Revell with their version of Artega GT.

Resin - Resin is now the mainstream material of choice. The main reason it lowers production costs considerably and aids in speed to market. Spark was one of the original here, they were issues strictly resin when diecast metal was still very mainstream. Today, it seems everyone and their brothers can produce resin scale replicas. Price points brands included OttOmobile, GT Spirit and Spark. Higher priced models are MR and BBR.

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StratosWRC
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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by StratosWRC » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:15 am

I think the composite term is misunderstood. I think what Autoart was saying that the models are made using Composite construction, meaning more than one material (diecast inner corre, plastic shell). It’s just good old mold injected ABS plastic. I’m not sure if they’re doing that to make plastic sound fancy or what

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:16 am

StratosWRC wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:15 am
I think the composite term is misunderstood. I think what Autoart was saying that the models are made using Composite construction, meaning more than one material (diecast inner corre, plastic shell). It’s just good old mold injected ABS plastic. I’m not sure if they’re doing that to make plastic sound fancy or what
LOL for sure they are :D

Like I said there is a good article from AUTOart within the archive news link READ IT!

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by aBelga » Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:42 pm

Thanks guys for the explanations.

Are any of the materials superior than others? For example if I'm not mistaken, I've read people say resin models are sealed. What does that mean?

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Sat Apr 18, 2020 4:26 pm

aBelga wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:42 pm
Thanks guys for the explanations.

Are any of the materials superior than others? For example if I'm not mistaken, I've read people say resin models are sealed. What does that mean?
Sealed = No opening parts, the model is static. Note, sealed isn't just linked to resin material only. KK Scale and Minichamps offer diecast metal in stealed example.

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by JamesonsViggen » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:01 pm

[KRAFTIG] wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 4:26 pm
aBelga wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:42 pm
Thanks guys for the explanations.

Are any of the materials superior than others? For example if I'm not mistaken, I've read people say resin models are sealed. What does that mean?
Sealed = No opening parts, the model is static. Note, sealed isn't just linked to resin material only. KK Scale and Minichamps offer diecast metal in stealed example.
Autoart did sealed too for a few years with their racing cars :)

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by aBelga » Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:48 am

I know this is all subjective, but which material type do people seem to prefer? Also, are sealed models looked at 'inferior' to those that have openings?

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:16 am

aBelga wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:48 am
I know this is all subjective, but which material type do people seem to prefer? Also, are sealed models looked at 'inferior' to those that have openings?
It seems diecast metal is still the material of choice. However, there are fewer and fewer releases each year. Brands continue the tradition of metal with plastic parts and opening bits are Almost Real (won DS Model of the Year two years in a roll!), LCD Models, GMP, ACME, I'm sure there are a few others.

I'm not sure if inferior is the right word. As some high-end sealed, resin models are exceptional in the exterior department, far exceeding most diecast metal. I think there is resistance, as the hobby was created in metal which evolved into the opening, with extremely detailed exteriors and interiors. Why would you want a static piece after?

I've been in this hobby since the early '90s, seen it all... I prefer full opening, well-executed models in any material. I don't care if diecast, composite or wood. As long as the model presents well it is okay with me. On the flip side, my collection does contain a number of sealed/resin examples. I see them as place holders, meaning hopefully there will be an opening model soon. Something in scale is better than nothing!

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by aBelga » Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:45 am

[KRAFTIG] wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:16 am
aBelga wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:48 am
I know this is all subjective, but which material type do people seem to prefer? Also, are sealed models looked at 'inferior' to those that have openings?
It seems diecast metal is still the material of choice. However, there are fewer and fewer releases each year. Brands continue the tradition of metal with plastic parts and opening bits are Almost Real (won DS Model of the Year two years in a roll!), LCD Models, GMP, ACME, I'm sure there are a few others.

I'm not sure if inferior is the right word. As some high-end sealed, resin models are exceptional in the exterior department, far exceeding most diecast metal. I think there is resistance, as the hobby was created in metal which evolved into the opening, with extremely detailed exteriors and interiors. Why would you want a static piece after?

I've been in this hobby since the early '90s, seen it all... I prefer full opening, well-executed models in any material. I don't care if diecast, composite or wood. As long as the model presents well it is okay with me. On the flip side, my collection does contain a number of sealed/resin examples. I see them as place holders, meaning hopefully there will be an opening model soon. Something in scale is better than nothing!
Oh, okay.. I see your point :) I'm sorry, inferior might have been a poor choice of words. Since you've been in the industry for so long, are there any tips you'd want to share with a newbie collector? Any brands I should stay away of?

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:03 pm

My advice, but what YOU like. What level of detail satisfies you? This might differ by category - example your love supercars and the odd classic. May the supercar require the best example and the classics not so much.

Use others and this website as a tool to educate you on your buying decisions. And PATIENCE is key. Don't get sucked into eBay pricing, a model is only worth what someone else is willing to pay not what you think it's worth.

Don't look at each piece as an investment, making money is not what this hobby is about. It's about PASSION, the love of the automobile. Happy collecting!

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by aBelga » Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:07 pm

[KRAFTIG] wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:03 pm
My advice, but what YOU like. What level of detail satisfies you? This might differ by category - example your love supercars and the odd classic. May the supercar require the best example and the classics not so much.

Use others and this website as a tool to educate you on your buying decisions. And PATIENCE is key. Don't get sucked into eBay pricing, a model is only worth what someone else is willing to pay not what you think it's worth.

Don't look at each piece as an investment, making money is not what this hobby is about. It's about PASSION, the love of the automobile. Happy collecting!
Thanks for all these :) I don't plan on collecting cars as an investment, but as another means to fulfill my car passion. Once I graduate in the summer, I plan on setting up a small corner in the house and start customising 1/64 models, but who knows what tomorrow brings :D

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by StratosWRC » Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:31 pm

Buy one and see how you feel.

My first resin experience (Spark Porsche 956) - I saw it at a local diecast store (remember those?! LOL) and thought wow the shut lines look so crisp and tight! I bet the engine detail is amazing. Wow only $150? So I bought it, brought it home and realized that nothing opened. I literally had no idea that sealed models existed up to that point and I honestly didn’t see the point. So I returned it the next day.

My second attempt at buying a resin car was a GT Spirit 911 Sport Classic. I really liked the 1:1 so I was willing to try a resin car for the second time and give them another chance. After receiving it and looking at it, I again sold it the next day. Then again, I often joke about how I love engines more than the models. If I can’t look at the detail, if I can’t modify and detail the engine, there’s no point.

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:13 pm

Wow only $150? So I bought it, brought it home and realized that nothing opened.
LOL Wes. I wonder how many others :rotfl:

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Re: Diecast, Composite, Zamak, Resin... I'm confused

Post by ihorses » Mon May 04, 2020 12:57 pm

Technically, diecast (die-casting) is a process, not a material. Its literally comes from the description of the process of metal casting that is characterized by forcing molten metal under high pressure into a mold cavity. The mold cavity is created using two hardened steel dies which have been machined into shape and work similarly to an injection mold. But the material that they use to do that is Zamac - and alloy that all diecast models are made with. Its an acronym for zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium, and copper.

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