DNA Collectibles manufactures and sells resin models. Many of our clients ask us why we have opted to use resin rather than die-cast models. Ultimately we prefer the exquisite detailing and fine lines that are the key characteristics of our models, but let’s look at some of the differences between resin and 1:18 scale Diecast cars. As collectors, it is up to you to decide!
Alternatives to Diecast model cars
Even though the word “Diecast” means one of the materials used to produce replica cars, it can also be generally used to represent all the scale model cars without distinction by some collectors.
DNA Collectibles has always produced miniature cars in resin because it allows the precise replication of every little detail from the full-scale car. It’s more fragile than Diecast but far more accurate.
All our models, vintage, classic or modern have plenty of photo-etched parts, perforated front grilles, amazing interior details and stunning paintwork, especially for 1:18 replica cars. Owners of 1 18 scale Diecast model car collection may well find something to tempt them!
Resin casting is used to manufacture collectable and bespoke models and figurines, as well as scale model cars. They are generally produced in small amounts, rarely more than a few hundred at a time compared to the alternative of injection moulding which can cope with hundreds of thousands of figures at a time. Injection moulding is not as labour-intensive as resin casting. It involves soft moulds which are worn down after each cast. However, despite being more labour-intensive the low start-up cost of resin casting means that it is often preferred by small companies or individual hobbyists who can manufacture small runs for customization or personal, while larger companies can use resin to produce high-quality small runs for public sale. However, the level of quality in resin casting also depends on the skills of the creator and those involved in the casting process. Fortunately, the team at DNA Collectibles has high levels of expertise in all areas, which explains why our new company made such an impact on the collectors’ market.
Resin has a fine, smooth texture which paint adheres to easily allowing for a professional finish. Resin can have a better shape, offering the scale models clean and pure lines, which car enthusiasts love. And, of course, collectors do not have to worry about the dreaded zinc pest, which can affect the long-term preservation of Diecast scale model cars.
However, there are a few disadvantages to using resin. Car doors are sealed and cannot be opened. But this means you don’t have to worry about doors becoming loose over time which can detract from the model. Collectors in homes where there are children who can easily snap off a gear stick or steering wheel when fiddling with an expensive model, may not necessarily view this as a disadvantage! Resin models are typically very expensive – however, increasingly collectors are interested in them as investment prices, and if looked after, they can certainly hold or increase their value, making the cost worthwhile.
Resin is also structurally weaker than die-cast zinc-metal, but if the same cars are used as display items, this is also a very minor point.
Diecast scale model cars
The die-casting method is the older version of the two methods so vintage Diecast cars are popular collector items. In this context, the term die-cast refers to any collectable scale model manufactured using the traditional die-casting method of pouring zinc alloy or molten lead in a mould to make a particular shape. The resulting models are made of solid metal, with additional rubber, plastic, glass, or other metal parts added at a later stage. Completely plastic models are created by a similar method to injection moulding, but the two processes are regarded as distinct because of the characteristics of the materials used. The metal used in the die-casting process is either a lead alloy or Zamak, a zinc alloy with minute quantities of copper and aluminium. The most common types of classic die-cast models are scale versions of cars, buses, aircraft, military vehicles, construction machinery, and trains, although virtually anything can be made by this method, such as furniture handles or Monopoly game pieces.
In the collectors’ world, resin is often regarded as an acquired taste. Some collectors choose Diecast over resin because of the opening parts which allow a tactile dimension to the model. People who prefer resin love its exclusivity, don’t really care that it’s sealed and value the fact that resin scale models usually have vastly superior paintwork and shutlines to Diecast replica cars.
Both resin and Diecast scale models have their advantages and disadvantages; so it really is a matter of personal preference. Connoisseurs generally prefer resin for models in 1:43 and 1:18 scales.