Hope you got what you wanted for Christmas this year! I’ve reached the age where I buy myself a present and hand it over to the family to give back to me on Christmas Day. They never know what to get me (and in truth, I don’t need anything) so everybody wins!
This year’s non-surprise gift was a set of 20 Formula 1 Ferraris in 1:64 scale, which arrived in the form of the minimal-assembly kits from a promotion by Japanese drinks company DyDo in 2004. These models, all made by Kyosho, span more than 50 years of F1, from the 375 F1 of 1951 to the F2003-GA of 2003.
Some of these models were later released blind-boxed in one of Kyosho’s many Ferrari Minicar sets. Others, so far as I can tell, and especially the cars from the 1950s and 1960s, have never been seen since.
I’ve written before about assembling a Kyosho 1:64 Ferrari. These single-seaters all follow a similar pattern to the 575 GTC I did before: slot the axles into the chassis, add body and screw together. But they all have slight differences – the chassis may be in two or more parts, for example, or the rear wing or driver’s cockpit is a separate piece.
Mostly, the kits go together pretty easily, but some of the plastic-to-metal push-fits need a lot of pressure and a few tires needed re-seating on the rim. The more modern cars, with barge boards and other intricate aerodynamic parts, are the fiddliest.
Quite often, a car won’t look right until the two screws are fully tightened; the trick is to not question Kyosho’s design skills, as things have a habit of coming together beautifully if you simply persevere.
And so to the models themselves. Overall the quality is high, as you’d expect from Kyosho, but there is some variation in the detail of the models. Some of the older cars, in particular, don’t rival the more intricate newer cars. Examples would be proportions, wheel detail, or Schuco Piccolo-style painted silver screens in place of transparent plastic. If like me, you’re an F1 fan who’s just happy that someone made these cars in 1:64 scale, you’ll love them anyway. Here are all 20 in number order, as per the card back shown earlier.
It’s hard to pick a favourite from so many great cars but I especially like the 1964 158 F1 (modern models of 1960s F1 cars are almost non-existent), the 1975 312T (probably the best detailed of the series), 1984 126C4 (been after this one for ages) and the 1956 Lancia-Ferrari D50 for its unique style.
Having completed the builds over a couple of holiday afternoons, I decided to revamp my displays to accommodate them. I pulled the rest of my 1:64 F1 cars out of the bigger race car display and rehoused them with the Ferraris in an old display case that had been sitting unused in the basement since we moved to Canada six years ago. Arranged chronologically from 1951 to 2017 (Nico Hülkenberg’s Sparky 1:64 Renault R.S.17), they all fit, just!
With Kyosho no longer producing new F1 castings, it’s my hope that we’ll see more 1:64 F1 cars this year. Mini GT has said it’s making some, including the Tyrrell P34, but we’ve heard nothing for nearly 12 months. As I’ve said before, there’s a gap in the market here waiting for someone to fill it!
(follow me on Instagram @diecast215)