|Name:||Saiful Hasan Tariq|
|From Saiful Hasan Tariq|
It started in a fine evening at a kid’s shop, which we visited to get some stuff for our new born. A cute little car (3” in length), having all metal body and chassis, with an opening hood and moderately detailed engine bay (cast in metal), grabbed the attention and it was taken to home. The car was 1:64 scaled model of 1967 Chevy Camaro, produced by ‘Hotwheels’ (a renowned toy manufacturer under Mattel, USA). It was found after a little research that, Camaro had five generations and Hotwheels have made the metal casting for all five of them. Every car is unique to its styling of its own era, and the cars from different generations represent the design evolution of the automobile through technological development and styling evolution. That was the beginning of my collection of die-cast scale models, especially from Hotwheels. The concept behind the collection was to collect the models from all generations of the cars, manufactured by different automakers like Volkswagen, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Nissan, Ford and models from different generation of their iconic lineup, like-Nissan Skyline GT-R, Ford Mustang, Corvette from General motors, Chevy Camaro etc.
The evolution of a particular line up, like Ford Mustang, is evident in the Hotwheels scale model of their production model from 1965 to 2015. During their 50 year long journey, Ford Mustang had gone through 6 different generations. Each generation had multiple different models with development from the previous one. Each model from different generations represents the design styling of its era. Often this evolution of a car is related to the technology, styling and even global economic condition.
However, Hotwheels does not look like the real car in photographs while taking shots for documentation. They are not much detailed and sophisticated, as they were made for durability and track racing. Hotwheels are not meant to display as the proper replica of a real car. From that perspective, 1:64 cars made by Tomica Limited Vintage and Kyosho has much more details and looks like the real ones. Although, these 1:64 scaled models from these two makers are 10-15 times more expensive than Hotwheels.
Photographic documentation of these tiny (only 2.5”-3” long) yet extremely detailed scaled models need surrounding scaled environment to do proper justice to their details and precision works. These miniature scaled environments are often called as ‘Diorama’, which are much like the studio setup, but suits the appropriate scale of the subject.
These dioramas are often not much larger than our cell phone. But bigger dioramas are also made to photograph bigger scaled cars like 1:18s. They need much more precision and details, as bigger cars come with tiny details, original paintjob and finishing like their 1:1 scaled one. Auto Art is a renowned maker of 1:18 scaled model replicas of the cars, that comes with detailed engine bay, interior and even precision details of center console and meter clusters.
Photography of the scaled models requires perfect lighting and a moderate DSLR having a good lens. Garage type diorama often requires skylights or light source from above to get the proper exposure. Garage diorama for bigger scaled cars need much details in the ceiling and wall elements like having truss system on ceiling and wall textures to replicate the material. Often retro posters and signage are used to give the flavor of a particular era.
Dioramas are not always a studio like set for die-cast scaled model photography; rather sometimes a glimpse of an event can be created by creating scaled surroundings, ground, gravels, terrain and background. These types of dioramas, which hold a static moment of a historic event, require both patience and skill to make and to photo shoot it.
All these collection and dioramas are the outcome of the combination having a passion for die-cast scale models, model making, photography skills and unoccupied holidays. Such hobbies keep us active and help us to be more creative with self development.
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