Nic Pezzullo is one of those pure Matchbox nerds. I know a few of them. DLM extraordinaire David Tilley is one of them. In Nic’s collection covers many brands, but it starts and ends with Matchbox.
For as long as I have known Nic, it is obvious that he is a Matchbox guy. He has always been about realism, stock cars, and the machines you see most on the road. His passion for all models Matchbox has always been a bit contagious.
But Nic is also a passionate person in general, and a talented one at that. He has a lot of interests, and I am the proud recipient of one of those interests. A few weeks ago a package arrived at my doorstep, and inside was this:
This is a most cherished gift to be sure, and even if I didn’t know the artist it is something so stoked to have. Nic didn’t intend for this to be shown on the blog, but I want to show it, and I asked Nic to write a little about the Skyline and his work in general:
Watercolors were completely new to me about two years ago. My first serious foray into paints produced a very rough version of Greenlight’s Chrysler 300 SRT, done in about a couple of hours. I posted it online for diecast communities to see and most members were very encouraging—a surprising result to me now looking back at the work. Nonetheless, over the last two years I have practiced painting with watercolors, and have spent much more time on them, so that now I am comfortable with where I am in regards to the process and the product. I really have those members to thank for motivating me to continue painting.
Most of the pieces have been of diecast cars. I have always loved trucks, trains, and cars since I was little, and diecast (well, now mostly plastic) cars allowed me to own Evoras, Corvettes and Panameras at age 13. I was very fortunate.
One day, however, I found an even better way to enjoy these little cars: paint them. It all started with that Chrysler, and now my latest work is of Matchbox’s highly-anticipated Nissan 2000GTX. Matchbox has been and likely will remain my favorite brand, but as far as the classic JDM car? Not so much. But, knowing how popular the Skyline would be, and how different of a car it would be for me to paint, I decided it was the perfect choice. Matchbox has undeniably needed a classic JDM model for quite a while, and I am pleased that they have finally included such a pretty car with a magnificent history.
The piece took only around 20 hours to finish. This is my quickest work and also—I believe—the best so far, although I still have much more to learn about watercolors. I spent about two hours a time when I worked on it, listening to archived radio shows and comedic bits to help entertain myself during the process. I expected the gray to be more difficult to use than most colors, but the body of the car turned out to be one of the easiest parts, and I have become much more comfortable with using the color. The front fascia was the most satisfying part of the car to finish, although the whole model was really enjoyable to paint. I have not yet decided what my next piece will be, but if there is enough interest, I will happily make prints available to the community.
Matchbox did an admirable job designing and executing the Skyline. I am particularly happy to see the small disk wheels; they fit the proportion of smaller vehicles such as the Nissan perfectly. I look forward to having more licensed, accurately-replicated cars for me to keep painting. A lot of people have faith in Matchbox’s new team, and if this model is any indication of the future we are all in for quite the ride. I doubt I will ever find this model in stores due to its popularity, but fortunately I have the watercolor of it, and that will have to be enough for me. I hope you all enjoy the artwork and, more importantly, enjoy collecting these little cars.
I am being completely sincere when I say that one of the greatest joys of writing the Lamley Blog is meeting so many talented people. It starts with the many designers, marketers, and others from all these diecast brands, and it most certainly extends to customizers and other artists. I hope to feature more amazing extensions of our hobby like Nic’s paintings, so if you know artists whose work merits some coverage please let me know.
Honestly, with the collection I have, and with the limited space I to house it, I have always maintained the policy that customs and other works are better as photographs on the blog instead of in my possession with no place to deservedly display them, but this painting is one of those things I will cherish. The Matchbox Skyline takes a special place in my collection, and this gift from Nic compliments it well. Plus I am honored to have a print of his work.
Contact Nic on Instagram if you are interested in a print.