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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently wrote a letter to Scalemotorsport to see if they had anything new for 1/18th. For those that don't know, they make (mostly for 1/24th scale) detail kits, carbon fiber decals, photoetched parts, etc. I've used a few of their products and loved them. Here is the letter and timely response I got from them.


Hi. I talked to a representative of yours about a year or so ago and we discussed briefly the growing interest in diecast 1/18th scale models. I've been a collector of diecast for roughly 10 years now and have jealously watched as the Plastic "side of the house" got all the attention. I was fortunate enough to pick up a detail kit for the '70 Camaro, of course in 1/18th, at the particular show I attended. I asked if there was any possibility of more kits coming out for other subjects in the larger scale but no information was known at the time. I've since found an online forum diecastXchange.com-Diecast Collectors Message Forum and it has people from around the globe interested in diecast model collecting. Not everyone collects 1/18th, but there are a huge number of questions asked as to how to get further detail out of the models and if there are any companies that sell products to help with this. Do you as a valuable company have any interest in 1/18th scale? I hope so. I've said it before, "the diecast collector and customizer is just waiting for the right company to offer the products he/she needs and it will grow in popularity, alot like the plastic world". Alot of common things asked for are brake details, calipers, decals, grills, wheels, engine detail, carbon fiber, just to name a few. I've used your products before and love them. Please contact me or stop by the forum sometime and let us know how you can not only help our members there, but the entire diecast collector/customizer community. Thanks in advance.
Here's the response:
Thanks very much for your email I did spend some time on the diecastXchange.com site this afternoon, the group sounds very involved. I am not sure if you realize this but many of the products we currently have will work very nicely for the 1/18th scale diecast rebuilds that the members are doing. Our carbon fiber decal series 20 or 24 make great surfacing details especially for any race car subjects or high tech sedans. Our Faux Fabrix Textured Spray Paint is fabulous for creating cloth surfaces or textured metal surfaces, it can be painted over with Enamel or water based paint to change the color, in March we will have Faux Fabrix in Red and Black. We have photoetch sets for 1/20th scale racing harness' while its not 1/18th the small percentage in difference would hardly be noticeable. We also have a photoetch fastener set containing over 500 washers, nuts, bolts, nuts and bolts together and Dzus fasteners.

Several years ago we introduced a line we call Diecast Details for people doing 1/18th scale re-builds, we thought this to be an important emerging market. We developed a line of photoetch sets and decals for a number of late 60's and early 70's Camaro's. The Camaro's are the largest selling diecast subject so this would be the best one to start off with to get a sense of how big the market would be, we soon found out unfortunately, the market was very, very small. Initially there was a flurry of interest but it soon died off and we are still sitting on three year old inventory. Now I am sure perhaps we could have approached the marketing of the products differently, hindsight is always 50/50 but to be honest with you I never got the impression, after talking to a number of different people, spending money of inventory and advertising that the market is large enough to invest anymore money in it.

I am always interested in finding new markets, but despite what you might think all the sings I have seen regarding 1/18th scale tell me it is too small for us to invest anymore money in. Please don't get the impression that we are a large company that is not interest in small markets, we are a very, very small home based business whose current product lines serve small market niches. The 1/18th scale market appears to me to be a micro-market, even too small for Scale Motorsport. If you can show me some evidence to contradict what I have seen I would be very interested in pursuing it. However, at this time if builders are that interested in further detailing they could use many of the products we already have. If I know that 1/18th builders are purchasing our products for re-builds we would definitely pursue developing more products. One thing I would be willing to do is to put a question on our web site that asks people what type of project they are purchasing our products for perhaps that would give us some direction.

Thanks again for your feedback I wish my comments could be more positive, but the evidence I have to date shows me the market is not big enough to invest anymore money in.

I realize it may not look that way from your perspective, but the clearest perspective is from seeing how modeling dollars get spent.

Matthew Wells, Scale Motorsport

Live Long....Build'm All!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A couple of things really gave me some hope in Matt's email. 1. He said he spent some time here at DX, which says he gave an effort to poke around and see what was going on. 2. He said there's a possibility he may do a poll on his site to see just what kind of things there is an interest in. I have to remember to write him back, thank him, and encourage him to come and stay as a full time member.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Where do you go when you have ideas like these? I've tried "jump starting" an interest of new ideas to different companies, but Scale Motorsports seems to be the only company to give me a response (which was a good one), other than one other, "WE DON'T OFFER THIS SERVICE". I would probably customize every street car I owned if there was a resource for it. Unfortunately there's not a centralized major source for it and that makes things a bit discouraging and buying a complete car just for 1 or 2 pieces has gotten expensive. I'm determined to find Someone or Someway to get this ball rolling. True, it may not be a billion dollar a year industry like the 1:1 aftermarket world, but you've got your "bread and butter" which consists of your largest profit bearing products and then your higher end products, which MAY be more sought after or desired, but they don't yield such a large profit margin. Maybe I'm ranting a bit, but as many low end, unusable products we see for other scales or textures (plastic), we've seen almost Nothing for 1/18th diecast.
 
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