Miniatures News

Sir,

I have followed with considerable interest —and amusement—the correspondence of late concerning collectors' model vehicles.

As I originated this type of model in the Sixties and have watched the huge growth of interest in this hobby over recent years, I hope you may give me the opportunity to put the matter into perspective.

Mr. Xuereb seems to be totally mixed up in his mind, OK he has not got the ability to make models—that is fair enough, hut to then condemn this hobby for his own shortcomings really is childish. Nowadays most collectors are also model makers—many have forsaken the large mass-produced plastic kits for the more manageable 1/43rd collectors' models. They do not buy such models just because Corgi or Solid°, etc., do not make a particular model. We find that enthusiasts who have already twilight their Dinky Toy MGS. and Austin Healeys want white metal or resin examples as well.

Mr. Xuereb then condemns price. Well the world price of white metal is creeping close to £4,000 a ton whereas Zamac and plastics are calculated in hundreds of pounds per ton! Further, small manufacturers can only produce a few thousand models per year as opposed to the hundreds of thousands of the large toy makers.

At least your contributor Bill Baxter has brought a little sense to the argument. Of course his •company's products, good .though they are, are aimed at children and it must now be accepted that the business of manufacturing models just for Collectors and enthusiasts is a totally different market than that of the toy makers. The two complement each other, although they differ and one just cannot condemn one by comparison with the other.

Where I do agree with Mr. Xuereb is when he complains about the standard of many collectors' models. in any new hobby, the market becomes flooded with those trying to get onto the "bandwagon". Incredible though it may sound, there are still expensive models offered without rubber tyres, chrome Plating, etc., and with the general appearance suggesting they were rushed onto the market in a few days!

The hobby will settle down and the standards that my company has set will become the norm. About 90% of our production is exported and we are still the only company in this line of business to he awarded the coveted Quattroruotine Diploma Speciale.

Auto Replicas, Parkstone B. K. LESTER