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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The community that collects metal cars, in this case, 1-18 scale refers to them as "diecast". That's because the moldings are typically a zinc alloy cast in a die, thus, diecast. However, is the term "diecast" becoming less relevant in terms of collecting 1-18 scale, or other scale, metal cars? I think (and hope) this will become an interesting discussion.

If you look at some high end companies, the diecasting process is becoming a smaller portion of a model. Take CMC for example. They use pressed copper for most of their body panels, and honestly, even some of the glue on/screw on accessories (like a mirror) are actually pressed also - not diecast or even cast. Exoto is going towards this trend also, utilizing pressed panels. Think of it as a high tech way of making a tin plate car if you will, as an analogy.

Then, there are 1-12 scale models, like as an example, Corvettes, which have an accurate fiberglass body. How long will it be before 1:1 fiberglass bodied cars are accurately replicated in fiberglass in 1-18? It wouldn't be too difficult. AutoArt could do that with their Corvettes? Another example would be Exoto's 1902 Ford 999 racer. Original plans were to make the chassis out of actual wood. That didn't happen, but from what I understand, this simulated wood is not metal.

Do you gals and girls see where this is leading? It seems the term "diecast" is a generalization of a term used to describe metal cars, actually of all or most scales. But as we all know, new technologies start off expensive and as they become cheaper to make with new technologies, the results are cheaper...thus, it wouldn't neccesarily be more expensive for a budget model company to manufacturer in a new technology. Yes, pressed plates aren't new technology, but their somewhat new to mainstream diecast cars.

So, at least from my standpoint, I see a trend where diecast cars will no longer be "diecast"...what is everyone's thoughts? And in all honesty, is say, the CMC Audi Type C and CMC McLaren technically diecast or not? I'd say no...

I'm hoping this topic will generate some good discussions!
 

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The term diecast, along with Zamac, were coined in the beginning of the hobby, when everythig was actually diecast. Nowadays, as you said, the manufacturing process is much diverse, according to the part in question. I think that the term diecast will stay as a generalization for model scale cars that are NOT made totally of plastic.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The process and materials could very well change as technology usually catches up and defines everything.

However, the term 'diecast' will more than likely remain as most don't realize or care about the materials used to produce a model. Particularly new faces to the community.

I do understand what your saying about the term 'diecast', for whatever reason it does seem a litle impersonal. I prefer the term 'model car' or 'model'. I also toss around the term "piece(s)" as well.

Will we ever see a fiberglassed bodied model car in 1:18, I doubt and hope not. Why? Because 1:1 companies have hard enough time with paint on fiberglass pieces without having noticeable orange peel. I seriously doubt any model car company could take on this task with great success, taking into account some of the quality issues that plague diecast models these days.

Nevertheless, I hope the future is bright and technology catches up to the industry and provides us some quality pieces that is captured on 1:1 cars.
 

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That's an excellent topic for discussion. I stopped exclusively collecting diecasts when I ventured into 1:43. Many of those cars I've bought are made of resin. So, I have since referred to them just as "models".

The move that CMC and Exoto are going towards reminds me of wheels. They're either cast or forged. The copper pressing process sounds a little like the latter.
 

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I don't think that it will change as the budget models that feed the hobby will probably not change the process.

Good topic!
 

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Franklin Mint has been doing Fiberglass Corvettes in 1:24 for years and I think they look better than the metal ones.
The first complaint about them was how light they were but nothing about the quality.

They did a 1963 Vette maybe 10 years ago and a 1957 vette about 4 years ago.

Which Exoto bodies are being done with stamped panels?
I was unaware that things had progressed so much but this will be a great thing if thay are able to master the technology.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't plastic, metal and resin cars all be die-cast since the raw material is squished in liquid form into a "die" when it then hardens and is ejected, so technically even plastic models are die-cast?

Thoughts?
Kevin Pickell
http://www.scale18.com
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Kevin,

I believe that to be true technically. When I was doing some research on materials, I learned that all metals that forged in casting molds are called "diecast".

It lead me to believe that the term "diecast" was relative to all metal castings using molds.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And I completely agree with that suposition, but these new ways (stamping copper plates - actually like how real cars are made) would not, in my opinion, as it's not molten metal being cast...I was just thinking, in the future with how technologies spread...will cars still be "called" diecast (the market segment), when they no longer are cast via dies?

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would guess, yes.

Same with "kits", nowadays most of them come with the body complete as well as painted, all that needs to be assembled is the engine, interior and wheels. Yet they are still referred to as kits.

Whe I was a kid, I recall having to build the entire model which included painting.
 

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From what I understand, the term diecast refers to the process, not the materials used. So since almost all plastic and resin kits are made by injecting the material into a mold, I think the term also applies to them as well.
 

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That's what I seem to think also.

I thought the forging process involves taking a chunk of metal (sometimes called "billet" I think?) and pressing it from top and bottom to squish out a shape. Unlike the casting process, it doesn't not involve the pouring/injecting of a molten liquid.
 

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Forging uses pressure, from a press or a hammer blow. The material is not melted and then injected into a mold. In forging, it's the pressure that will give the final object it's form, while in diecasting the form is given by the mold.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Very interesting topic! :goodpost Fibreglass modeled to shape seems very appealing, albeit it might lack the 'solid' feeling of other models.

This was also the case with the SMTS Volvo 850Rs that were produced (in very limited numbers) which were made from resin :cool But it seems good that the "diecast" industry is progressing somewhat in the footsteps of the real car industry.

Who knows, maybe sooner than we know we'l be seeing GT and exotic scale models being replicated in carbon fibre true to the real thing!
 
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