Shocktober Surprise!

It’s late but, yes, that’s my weak attempt at some October title humor. My search for better employment (including job fairs, workshops, etc.) takes up an annoying amount of time.

So, just get to the photos!

October 2018

Original Ken snags this sweet Articulated Truck by Matchbox. Its base states that it’s actually at 1:115 scale.

Let's be honest: It's all still 1:64 in our hearts.

Let’s be honest: It’s all still 1:64 in our hearts.

Doug presents:

 A Work! in! Progress!

A Work! in! Progress!

Seriously, though, please take time to appreciate the effort Dough puts into these builds. Each of those pieces is hand-cut.

Large Harvester Michael shows how he maintains his Sizeable Combine certification, by bringing these, um … big tractors.

I'm particularly curious about that blue fellow at the left, there.

I’m particularly curious about that blue fellow at the left, there.

Hey, look, it’s– Oh, wait….

Not exactly Optimus Prime ... But, eh, close enough.

Not exactly Optimus Prime … But, eh, close enough.

Just in time for Hot Wheels’ 50th Anniversary, Mike Corey had this 40th Anniversary custom-edition GMC Motor Home.

Of course, the GMC looks good in *any* paint scheme.

Of course, the GMC looks good in *any* paint scheme.

Even though it was Saturday, Big Rob brought in a little #ThrowbackThursday by wearing his old Hot Nuts T-shirt. I’ve mentioned before that Hot Nuts was the predecessor to Suncoast Diecasters.

Having a Flame Sprite emoji in the logo is what doomed the club.

Having a Flame Sprite emoji in the logo is what doomed the club.

“He’s the Hot-Movin’ Guy/With his hands on the wheel/He’s the Fast-Drivin’ Man/With the–” Okay, that’s not really a theme song from anything.

I know for a fact you were trying to sing along, though. Don't deny it.

I know for a fact you were trying to sing along, though. Don’t deny it.

In reality, this is a super-sweet find by Big Rob. It’s a 1965 Strombecker Cheetah slot car. It’s 1/25th scale, which gives you an idea how small those cars really were. Its chassis is by Dynamic, typical for the ’60s. Original Ken, who knows a thing or four about slot cars, advised Rob to not try to make it run again. He (O’Ken) says “it will never be as fast as today’s slowest cars, and many original parts like threaded axles and wheels are no longer made.”

Hey, mister! Your thing is dragging!

Hey, mister! Your thing is dragging!

What can I say? Big Rob, thank you, and thank you again, and thank you once more. He RAOK’d me with these two large-scale RC replicas of Twin Mill and Sweet Sixteen II. These massive rides are over 12″ long!

"Vroom-a-zoom-zoom!" -- Speed Buggy

“Vroom-a-zoom-zoom!” — Speed Buggy

It was one of those meetings where practically everything stood out in its own way. I’ve made it a rule for the site not to have multiple FotMs; so after careful consideration, I have selected Big Rob’s Strombecker Cheetah, and his box-busting Hot Wheels RAOK to me. Congratulations, Rob; both of our Dual Finds of the Month(**) for October 2018 are yours!

See you at our November meeting! –Which is this Saturday!

~WM

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September’s Sweet Surprises

As I mentioned in our previous update, I’ve had a cutback in hours. Ironically, one of the days I now regularly work is Saturday. So, I had to miss our September meeting. Thus, Original Ken again stepped in for photo duty. I chose the best for this update.

We’re introducing an interesting new feature this month: in-caption links. I won’t bore you with the technicals of not being able to create hyperlinks in photo captions in our old hand-coded version of the club site. It’s something I’ve seen on other “blog platform”-type sites, and I found it intriguing. The Holy Spirit told me to give it a shot, and voila!: functional hyperlinks in our own photo captions! This obviously gives me more options for the placement and, as it were, “timing” of off-site links.

So get to the photos!

September 2018

I wish I had more information for you about this item. Big Tractor Mike bought it from Spare Mike. The side reads “O’Neill Family Produce”. But I’m fascinated by the richly sculpted and individually painted food items.

0201809-007

Now that’s some farm-fresh produce!

You can tell it was a successful meeting, because…

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Say it with me, boys and girls: “Ken bought garbage trucks!”

…From Bill. He bought them from Bill.

A pair of Redline-era Turbofires (Scott’s stock). I first thought these were Toreros (Toreroes?), but no, they are Turbofires.

These are Turbofires, not Toreros. Just want to be clear on that.

These are Turbofires, not Toreros. Just want to be clear on that.

That Ken is a funny guy. He takes this here photo, and edits a copy of the front end into the pic to make it look like the car has two engines.

What a funny, funny guy. By the way, this is Bye-Focal.

What a funny, funny guy. By the way, this is Bye-Focal.

From Ed’s stock, this array of … Er, these vari-colored, uh … Field of, um … All these multi-hued … Hmph. I’m not sure what I could say about this….

Ooh! I just thought of what I could say about this!

Ooh! I just thought of what I could say about this!

Scott had this vintage (ca. 1960s?) slot car case (with space for Name and Racing Club)…

The "puzzle piece" edge is due to having to rotate the photo to straighten it; the bottom was cut off.

The “puzzle piece” edge is due to having to rotate the photo to straighten it; the bottom was cut off.

…With two controllers and three sweet classic slot car models neatly tucked inside.

0201809-001

I guess they’re from the Italian racing circuit…

For its wonderful “retro” vibe, its great contents, and its overall good condition, I declare Scott’s vinatge slot car case to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for September 2018. Congratulations, Scott!

Scott had a second case, but its cars were upside-down, which is just embarrassing.

Scott had a second case, but its cars were upside-down, which is just embarrassing.

And with just over an hour of September left, our September update is actually posted in September! I should treat myself to a pizza! (But I have some bread to finish off, so I’ll treat myself to some deli slices instead.)

See you at our November meeting!

~WM

Customs! on! Parade!

A situation at work required my presence, so once again Original Ken provides the photos. We have several nice customs in this update, so get to the photos!

June 2018

I apologize for both the haziness and smallness of this first photo. OKen took a wide “group photo” of some of Big Tractor Mike’s Tomica stock. Thus, no particular item was really in focus. Also, since the pic was comprised of such a large number of boxes, even at full resolution (which this is) each box was smaller than our standard photo size. nonetheless, I was intrigued — not to mention a bit creeped out — by this freaky spider crane model. I swear, it looks like something that could be part of ROTF Devastator.

Or, maybe it'll be Spidey's new ride in "Into the Spider-Verse".

Or, maybe it’ll be Spidey’s new ride in “Into the Spider-Verse”.

Here’s something that will make your eyes happy again: Ken’s beautiful photo of BTM’s Custom T-Bird (original Redline).

Much better.

No, it’s not a garbage truck, yet I’m still surprised that Ken did not buy this Viking street cleaner.

Some nice mechanical detail on the rear panel.

Some nice mechanical detail on the rear panel.

Renault 5TL and Ford Group 6, both by Matchbox.

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2 Matchbox Citroen S.M. models, and a Citroen CX, via Mike’s stock

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Actually, Ken had all three of these models staged in a single photograph. However, somehow this ’77 edition was accompanied by a sweeeet reflection — on the pleather pool table cover, yet! — and I just had to showcase it.

Original Ken: Le Artiste Photografique.

Original Ken: Le Artiste Photografique.

1983 Extras Series Upfront 924 — the extra being the snap-on ski rack. As I pointed out back in August of 2010, the ski rack isn’t merely some vaguely ski-shaped pieces; there are two pairs of poles with baskets, and two pairs of skis with boot bindings. And thanks to Ken’s hi-rez camera, you can see this even more clearly now.

The fact that the rack is shot through the rear window is, apparently, of little concern.

The fact that the rack is shot through the rear window is, apparently, of little concern.

Two Tyco Corvette slot cars, which Ken sold to Scott.

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And now, we get to the customs. These first two photos feature another farm display by BTM, which includes two custom handmade trailers.

???

The original of the above photo had quite a tilt, which sharply cut off the road piece. I was able to rotate it, but had to crop out the sharp road end because it looked like it was just falling off into space.

I appreciate how a few pieces of green shred appear to be shrubs when in context with the vehicle models.

I appreciate how a few pieces of green shred appear to be shrubs when in context with the vehicle models.

An M2 Machines pick-up, customised by Doug for Mike.

"For show only".

“For show only”.

And for our Find of the Month(*): ’76 Hot Wheels Corvette Stingray, with custom paint and tampo by Jim. Bought by Bill. Nicely done, Jim, and well-chosen, Bill!

Click below for larger image.

Click below for larger image.

1000h X 556v X 168kB

And with half a week of June left, I shall treat myself to a cheeseburger in celebration!

See you at our July meeting!

~WM

September 2016

Hey! I got our September update done while there’s still one whole day of September left! Sweet, sweeet Victory!

Now go enjoy the photos!

September 2016

We start off our September update with Original Ken’s Most Favoritest Thing in the Word: a Willys model. He purchased it from Big Tractor Mike.

...Most favorite, except for garbage trucks, that is.

…Most favorite, except for garbage trucks, that is.

This nicely-sculpted model with its white-to-pink washed flames and bright yellow– Hold it… What the heck is going on under the front end of this thing? Is it buck-toothed? Are those fangs?!?

All I want for Chwifmaf if my two fwont teef...

All I want for Chwifmaf if my two fwont teef…

Okay, I’ll let you in on the secret: It’s a slot car. Which is Ken’s other, other favorite thing.

Ridin' the rails, boys!

Ridin’ the rails, boys!

BTM explains that this slot car is an Autoworld model. But, not the old Autoworld, rather the modern one. Yet, Ken says it’s an HO Johnny Lightning, Thunderjet series, which was previously known as Aurora and/or Cigar Box. So, which is it?

Turns out it’s both. The Internet was actually useful this one time, in providing this well-written article which explains that, long before the ‘Net, Autoworld was a mail-order catalog supplying the slot car market. AW closed eventually, but was re-opened by Playing Mantis. The new AW re-issued new productions of the old models. Because everything old is new again.

O’Ken also bought these Willys models from BTM. All four are Johnny Lightning; the display cases are from a Lexmark promo. Ken put in his own background cards.

Ken wikes Willys models.

Ken wikes Willys models.

He weally, weally does.

He weally, weally does.

Willyshoemaker.

Willyshoemaker.

Ha! ''Willyshoemaker''. I'm hilarious!

Ha! ”Willyshoemaker”. I’m hilarious!

Here, you can see how simple geometric alignment can make for an attractive display.

Creative background cards may create the illusion of a showroom, raceway or other diorama-like appearance.

Creative background cards may create the illusion of a showroom, raceway or other diorama-like appearance.

Tom bought this Greenlight “Hitch & Tow”-series from Big Tractor Mike.

The Ram 1500 looks good, but that Dodge II sure is clunky...

The Ram 1500 looks good, but that Dodge II sure is clunky…

From BTM, Big Rob bought this sweet custom Johnny Lightning Cheetah, as well as this classic TootsieToy Cheetah.

Toot, Toot, Tootsie -- Good buy!

Toot, Toot, Tootsie — Good buy!

And now, because you’re “good people”, here is a better view of the two vehicles. C’mon, you didn’t think I’d cheetyah out of a nice close-up, did you?

See what I did there? ''Cheetah'', ''cheetyah''? This is good stuff!

See what I did there? ”Cheetah”, ”cheetyah”? This is good stuff!

Note: Please follow all instructions carefully.

Remember to run safely with safety scissors.

Remember to run safely with safety scissors.

So what’s with the paper guidance? Well, it goes along with this here fellow here. This is the Peterbilt Hauler. More specifically, this is from the Steering Rigs series. Can you see that large, clear plastic steering wheel on the back of the trailer? No, you can’t, not in this shot. Anyway, that was connected by a linkage to the tractor, thus allowing the child (or Bill) to “steer” the toy.

And yes, I am totally regretting not photographing the loose, unbagged one.

And yes, I am totally regretting not photographing the loose, unbagged one.

Per Big Tractor Mike, only two Steering Rigs sets were produced: An oil refinery, and this Sand & Gravel set, which was purchased from him by Terri and Robert. This set is complete, and its inner bags of this set are all sealed, making this a doubly very rare find.

Heck, the previous owner hadn't even colored it in!

Heck, the previous owner hadn’t even colored it in!

Ah, the natural, unspoiled beauty of a Hot Wheels set in the wild.

Mike engages the wild Set while I stay safe up here in the helicopter.

Mike engages the wild Set while I stay safe up here in the helicopter.

Classic Mattel: Soft paperboard buildings topped by hard plastic roofs.

Or, maybe they're by Ikea...

Or, maybe they’re by Ikea…

For its completeness, great condition, wonderful conceptual playability, and absolute rarity, I very happily declare this Hot Wheels Steering Rigs playset to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for September 2016!

'Tis a rare thing of beauty.

‘Tis a rare thing of beauty.

See you at the October meeting!

~WM

Slot ’em up!

Most of you know that Original Ken is co-President of Suncoast Diecasters. What you may not know is that Ken also is involved in slot car racing. Methinks he does the electrical wiring for the tracks, or some such. You can read more about the Pinellas-based race shop in this article from Bay News 9:

Fast Eddie’s: Tampa-area slot-car raceway feeds fans’ need for speed

Click on the image below for a full-size flyer you can print and share:

Fast Eddie's Slot cars & Raceway, LLC

Fast Eddie’s Slot cars & Raceway, LLC