Christmas Panels

These are the various Christmas panels I’ve used as “gifts” to visitors on the original club site. They would replace the home page from December to January.

Our 2008 panel is actually a scan of a gift bag I found at Dollar Tree. It’s what inspired me to do Christmas panels in the first place. Technical point: Unlike today’s modern gift bags, which have an adhesive-backed plastic tab for hanging on display pegs, this one had a machine-punched hole right in the bag — right in that radiator grill, in fact. (And we all know how bad it is to have a hole in your radiator!) So, after scanning I zoomed in on the hole, copied a small section from elsewhere on the radiator, dropped it in place … BOOM! Fixed! Then I charged myself $400.00 for parts and labor.



For the 2009 panel, I wanted to showcase all the “Christmas-themed” vehicles I owned at the time. I wanted (needed) something other than a plain desk or table, so I used a “Christmas-themed” vinyl window cling (which I think I got at Dollar Tree). Certainly you recognize most of these vehicles from the various Target, Wal-mart or Toys ‘R’ us special sets … but you might be wondering about li’l Sooo Fast* on the left there. It’s a Hallmark ornament. But, I hear you thinking, it’s clearly an actual Hot Wheels model! Yes, it is. It’s both. It’s a floor wax, and a dessert topping. Nowadays, Hot Wheels-themed ornaments from Hallmark are either larger-size replicas (such as Roger Dodger), or static displays (such as Custom Otto). this one, however, is an actual, rolling, track-worthy Mattel creation, which also happens to snap into a ring of flame, because that’s so holiday!



Inspired by 2010 (the movie), plus the fact that I had the “computer” font on my computer at the time (of course I had the “computer” font on my computer!), I replaced the December 2009 panel with this one in January of 2010, just to be silly.


2010 (give or take)

For our 2010 scene I was attempting for the first time to create a nighttime scene. But no matter my changes in lighting or camera settings, I couldn’t get a satisfactory result. So, I cheated by simply applying a blue tint over the best photo I had at the time. Not really satisfactory, but it got the job done.



Our 2011 panel, and my second favorite. The snow (a tree skirt), trees and LED lights are from Dollar Tree. You of course recognize the ’96 Christmas-edition Nomad. The service station is actually a Hallmark ornament. I don’t know if it was designed to be at a particular scale, but it sure fits the Nomad nicely. And what must be the teensiest manger display ever was found at a church rummage sale.



In 2012 I uploaded our club’s first-ever video. Since this WordPress blog is free, I can’t embed a video directly into a posting, so the video will open in a separate tab when you click on the image. Crank up the volume! (But please be patient, as it takes a while to load…) Note: I found, thank God (literally), a copy of the original video file on an external back-up hard drive, and uploaded it to Suncoast Diecasters’ Vimeo account. It’s now compressed, and loads much more quickly. Enjoy!

Christmas 2012 from Suncoast Diecasters on Vimeo.

You’ve already met our 2013 panel on the post for our December meeting. This is my most visually complex display so far, and my favorite so far. I achieved a very satisfying Christmas-y nighttime feel with this one. (By the way, this is the third time you’ve seen that “night sky full of stars” background. It’s actually a decorative cardboard filler that came out of a Christmas decoration’s box.)

Click for larger image. 2013

2013 – Click for larger image.

By the good grace of the Lord, the Snoopy car became available. As I already had the Red Baron, the panel idea for Christmas 2014 sort of built itself. The only issue was the background. As you’ve seen, I’ve used the “star-filled night sky” cardboard backer several times. However, I wanted a daytime scene this time. Again by the good grace of the Lord, I found a free stock photo site which had an image which worked perfectly.



I was struggling with what to do for our 2015 Christmas panel. I happened to notice that, unlike many of my vehicles which had been packed away, I had left the Holiday-edition Scorchin’ Scooter out (in a display cabinet). Recalling that I had several other motorcycle models, the idea for Santa’s Cycle Shop hit me. The figures, tree and snowman came from various decoration sets. The funny car is from a Hot Wheels ornament given to me by Original Ken. The yellow T-bucket is a Micro Machine. The teensy cars might also be Micro Machines as well; I’ll have to ask Big Tractor Mike about them, as I got them from him. The other cycles are (L to R) Hot Wheels Boss Hoss, and Matchbox Superfast Chop Suey, Stingeroo and Jumbo Jet. The “shop window” uses a winter forest scene from GoodStockPhotos. I built the fireplace out of a Dollar Tree foam board (also used as the walls and floor), covered in a brick pattern found in MS Word clipart. And, no, the text in the window is not backwards; it’s perfectly readable to people outside the shop! Also, the scene on the calendar may look familiar, if you check out one of the larger sizes below:

Original (1784) | 1600 | 1366 | 1200 | 1024 | 800 | 640



– Fini –

*Correction: I had originally misidentified Sooo Fast as Tire Fryer. My bad.


4 thoughts on “Christmas Panels

  1. Pingback: February’s OK(Day) with Us! | Suncoast Diecasters

  2. Pingback: December’s Winter Coolness | Suncoast Diecasters

  3. Pingback: A Merry Diecast Update to One and All! | Suncoast Diecasters

  4. Pingback: Happy New Year, New Photos and New Gallery! | Suncoast Diecasters

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