model cars

COMING SOON: THE 2014 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX-WINNING RED BULL RB10

spark RB10 resizeThough the 2014 Formula One season will be remembered primarily for the dominance of the factory Mercedes team, the emergence of Daniel Ricciardo as one of the sport’s top drivers made for compelling viewing. The young Australian was the only driver on the circuit who could threaten the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg with any regularity, claiming three race wins for Red Bull Racing in a year that otherwise saw the Silver Arrows of Mercedes run the table.

Spark Models has just released their 1:43-scale version of the Red Bull RB10 that carried Daniel Ricciardo to his maiden Formula One victory at the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix. This highly detailed model is an essential addition to any collection of modern F1 cars, as it commemorates the rise of a driver who is almost certain to be a future champion. We anticipate arrival at Carriage House Models by the end of February, with pricing to be around $80.

Please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates, and sign up for our e-newsletter to receive monthly notices on upcoming new 1:18- and 1:43-scale models.

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COMING SOON: TSM’S 1:18-SCALE LE MANS WINNING BENTLEY SPEED 8 EXP

TSM Bentley croppedThroughout the the late 1920s, one name was synonymous with dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance classic: Bentley. Beginning in 1924 and continuing from 1927 through 1930, the dashing British team piled up victories with their fast, rugged roadsters and their crew of rakish young drivers who would become known internationally as “The Bentley Boys.” These archetypical playboy sportsmen burnished the image of Bentley as the sophisticated choice for well-heeled bon vivant drivers for decades to come.

With corporate partner Audi taking a year off from factory-backed competition in the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans, the time was right to resurrect the legend of the Bentley Boys. A pair of closed-cockpit prototypes would be entered in the LMGTP class, powered by a turbocharged, 4-liter Audi V8 and crewed by superstar team Joest Racing. The result: modern-day Bentley Boy Tom Kristensen would claim his fourth consecutive win at Le Mans in car #7, partnering with co-drivers Rinaldo Capello and Guy Smith to finish two laps ahead of the second place car…also a Bentley.

After a lengthy wait, TSM has finally released their 1:18-scale resin model of the 2003 Bentley Speed 8 EXP Le Mans-winner. Featuring TSM’s customarily excellent level of detail, the Speed 8 will be an essential addition to any collection of 1:18-scale Le Mans prototypes, and with a production run of only 750 units, we expect to sell out quickly! Our allotment is scheduled to arrive around January 23rd; please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates.

THE FINE DETAILS: How Autoart Sets The Standard In 1:18-Scale

GBartlett Aventador 2K EditOver the holidays, I had a few of my old Bburago 1:18-scale models out of storage for photography at my wife’s family’s house. My mother-in-law, who up to that point had never seen one of these cars up close, marveled at the level of detail that went into them. I explained that as charming as these 30-year-old pieces are, they appear rather quaint when compared to the modern precision replicas we sell today at Carriage House Models (such as the 50th-Anniversary Lamborghini Aventador pictured above.) She wondered what set the newer models apart, to which I could only answer “modern manufacturing processes, more precise tolerances, laser-cut parts, etc.” That’s when her eyes started to glaze over, and we both reached for our mimosas.

autoartfitmentI could have offered a better explanation by referring her to Autoart Models’ Facebook post of January 6th, in which they laid out the method by which they obtain a flush wheel fit on their racing models. Using what can only be described as an exhaustive process, Autoart manually grinds the zinc metal of their models’ fenders to achieve a thinner “sheet metal” effect that allows wide racing tires to fit under the body, giving a properly scaled clearance. This is the sort of detail that a casual observer might not consider when examining a model car, but I guarantee that they would absolutely notice something “off” about the model if Autoart did not go to all this trouble.

AgeraSideOpenWhen Autoart first appeared on the diecast scene in the late 1990s, it was apparent that the rest of the model car industry would have to raise its game substantially to compete with this new level of detail. Fifteen years later, Autoart continues to set the standard by which other 1:18-scale model cars are judged, and while other companies can now match the accuracy of their products, Autoart remains at the cutting edge of miniature car craftsmanship.

COMING SOON: Top Speed Record-Setting McLaren F1 in 1:43 Scale

TSM XP-5 CropWithin the next two weeks, we anticipate arrival of TSM’s 1:43-scale McLaren F1 XP-5, the exact car that set a world record for top speed among production vehicles in 1998 by reaching 243 miles per hour at the Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany. The McLaren F1 is widely regarded as the ultimate road car of the 1990s, if not of all time, and claiming the title of “Fastest Production Car In The World” was surely the achievement that cemented its legend forever.

We saw TSM’s brilliant work at this scale last year with their wonderfully detailed Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale, and we expect that the F1 XP5 will be just as great. Pricing is expected to be around $80.

Please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates.

SHAMELESS PROMOTION (AND FORCED PERSPECTIVE): Special pricing on Autoart’s 1:18-scale Maserati MC12 GT1 for our Facebook fans

GBartlett MC12 Quarter 2K Edit A couple of weeks ago, we got together with Greg Bartlett, an automotive photographer/videographer whom we know from the SCCA Road Rally community. It seems Greg was interested in experimenting with forced-perspective photography on scale-model cars, and as we are always in need of new product photography we jumped at the chance to provide the subjects for his series. We spent a couple of hours at the weekly Million Dollar Breakfast Club car show in Marina Del Rey, California trying out various set-ups for shots; the results are pretty darn good, but Greg is confident that he can do even better…we hope to meet again in the months ahead to shoot newly released models as they come in.

GBartlett MC12 Front 2K EditAs it happens, one of the models we chose for our first shoot is also one of our current featured products in our Facebook Social Store: Autoart’s 1:18-scale Maserati MC12 GT1 2010 FIA World Championship winner. Each month, we select a handful of models to offer to Facebook fans of Carriage House Models at a 10% discount. The MC12 GT1 is one of our favorite recent Autoart releases, featuring some of the best, most flush shutlines we’ve ever seen in a diecast model car (although its beautifully presented engine compartment and ductwork might tempt us to display the car with its body panels removed in perpetuity!) Regularly priced at $295, we’re offering the MC12 through our Social Store for only $265.50…and as always, shipping is free to the lower 48 states on any purchases over $99 from Carriage House Models.

Some exciting new models are around the corner at Carriage House, and we can’t wait to work with Greg again to capture more great photos of them!

THIS JUST IN: Ignition’s Dazzling Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R Kenmeri

IG Kenmeri frontWith the recent rise in popularity of classic Japanese cars on American shores, it was only a matter of time before a wave of formerly obscure JDM heroes arrived here in scale model form. At the forefront of this movement is Ignition Models, a specialist in Japanese “nostalgics,” offering a seemingly bottomless well of vintage high-performance Nissans, Honda touring cars, and assorted Group C racers. With production runs of 150-300 examples, Ignition’s creations are as rare as they are detailed…and detailed they are, exquisitely. Cast in resin, their models feature no opening parts, but they more than make up for this in exterior precision, featuring some of the finest chrome brightwork and other small components we’ve ever encountered in 1:18-scale models.

IG Kenmeri rearFirst to arrive at Carriage House Models will be Ignition’s stunning 1973 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R (KPGC110) in classic white. Often called the Kenmeri (after a popular Nissan ad campaign featuring characters named Ken and Mary) the 2000GT-R was powered by Nissan’s lusty S20 straight-six, an engine reserved for their highest-performance models. The GT-R was bred for the racetrack, but Nissan withdrew from motorsport in the wake of the first oil crisis after only 197 GT-Rs were completed (all sold in Japan.) Consequently, the Kenmeri GT-R is among the most sought-after Japanese classic cars.

Supplies of Ignition’s ’73 Skyline GT-R will be extremely limited. We anticipate arrival by December 23rd, and interested collectors are advised to order quickly. Please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates.

COMING SOON: Historic 1:18-Scale Williams F1 World Champions

Spark FW07BCollectors of classic 1:18-scale Formula 1 cars have long had their pick of seemingly every Ferrari, McLaren, Tyrrell or Lotus to win a race, yet surprisingly, precious few Williams models have ever made it to market. Thankfully, Spark will remedy that in the next few months with the introduction of two World Championship-winning cars from one of history’s most successful constructors. Pictured above is an obvious choice for a scale model: Alan Jones’ 1980 championship-winning FW07B. Patrick Head’s design was perhaps the most well-developed car of the ground-effects era, with undercar airflow so perfect that it sometimes ran without a front wing (though Spark’s model will feature one.)

Spark FW11BSpark will also issue one of the most iconic F1 cars of the turbo era: the Williams FW11B, which carried Nelson Piquet to the 1987 Drivers Championship. Motivated by Honda’s 1.5-liter, turbocharged V6, the FW11 packed 800 horsepower (with up to 1000 available in qualifying tune) as well as an early “active” suspension system. Piquet and teammate Nigel Mansell dominated the 1987 season, winning nine races between them en route to a crushing victory in the Constructors Championship.

We’re very excited to offer Spark’s 1:18-scale replicas of these incredibly important Williams, which we expect to retail for around $200. Please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates.