When we talk about diecast models, what’s really popular are cars. However, there are also diecast aircraft or airplanes that can be collection-worthy. As I’ve researched this topic, I found more about diecast airplanes and I would like to share the information I got.
Diecast planes are items that are made of durable metal and are highly detailed. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, including general aviation planes, jetliners, WWII bombers, modern jet fighters, and more. These models are replicas of real or imaginary aircraft.
A diecast plane is a model plane that is unmanned and can be a replica of a real or imaginary plane. Usually, it comes in different sizes, and the larger the model, the more detailed it is, and the more expensive it is. They are also available in a variety of shapes and sizes.
This article will talk about diecast planes. We will answer what is a diecast plane, different types of model aircraft and where are they being used for.
If you are interested in the best commercial airplane models, feel free to check out this article: Best Commercial Plane Models.
What Is A Diecast Model Airplane?
A diecast model airplane is a miniature plane made from metal that can be a duplicate of a real or fictional plane. The nearness of the model to the actual aircraft is called detail. Because most aircraft models are well detailed, there are enthusiasts who love collecting diecast planes.
These aircraft models can be classified into 2 categories which are flying and non-flying.
Static, display, and shelf models are all terms for non-flying models. Wind tunnel models are created by aircraft makers and researchers to test aerodynamic features, conduct basic research, and develop new designs.
A die-cast model or collectible plane is made using the die casting method, which involves pouring molten lead, zinc alloy, or plastic into a mold to create a specific shape.
Metal toys containing plastic, rubber, glass, or other machined metal parts are common. Toys constructed entirely of plastic are created using a similar injection molding process, however, the two processes differ according to the material qualities.
The reproduction die-cast planes are constructed of durable metal and are finely detailed. You can choose from a variety of general aviation planes, jetliners, WWII bombers, current jet fighters, as you see fit when buying because they are a perfect gift for airplane lovers.
Diecast is made of non-ferrous metals, such as zinc, copper, aluminum, magnesium, lead, pewter, and tin-based alloys, which are used in the majority of die castings. A hot-chamber or cold-chamber machine is employed depending on the type of metal being cast.
Non-ferrous means that it doesn’t have iron. Most diecast models don’t want iron because iron is prone to rust.
Other flying models vary from minor toy gliders made of sheets of paper, balsa, card stock, or foam polystyrene to powered scale models made of balsa, bamboo sticks, plastic (also including molded and sheet polystyrene, and styrofoam), metal, and synthetic resin, either alone or in combination with carbon fiber or fiberglass.
What Are The Different Types Of Model Aircraft?
Model airplanes are divided into three categories: free flight, control line, and radio control, with various subtypes within each category. In terms of skill development and personal fulfillment, each one has something special for a collector.
Free Flight Model Aircrafts
Free flight (FF) models are intended to be flown without the use of a “piloted” control system. Rubber-band motors, CO2 motors, electric motors, internal combustion engines, or no motor or engine at all can be used to power them.
When the model is in the air, it is guided by minor angles integrated into the airframe during manufacturing. Free flying can be an economical approach to acquire fundamental construction skills as well as model aircraft flight and trim characteristics.
Diecast Aircraft Models are included in this category
Control Line Model Aircrafts
Control Line (CL) models are designed to be flown in a circular course around the pilot on a line or lines. Because the models are usually solely manipulated on the up and down (pitch) axes, basic control is relatively straightforward.
The pilot holds a handle with the aircraft’s lines attached to it and controls the airplane’s altitude by moving his or her arm or wrist forward or downward.
Once a pilot’s basic flight skills have been honed, he or she can learn to do a variety of beautiful maneuvers.
Radio Control Model Aircrafts
There are two types of Radio Control (RC) gliders: powered and non-powered gliders. The RC airplane follows the same flight principles as a full-scale plane, but its design and operation are more complicated.
It is strongly advised that a newbie hires the services of a qualified RC pilot or instructor. You might want to use the RC glider as a beginner’s first flight experience.
If you want to appreciate the time and money you spend on the activity, you’ll need a high-quality system. Make no attempt to fly an airplane with an engine that is too tiny and lacks any “cushion” of power.
What Are Model Aircraft Used For?
Model aircraft are used for prototyping and developing new designs. In fact, only a portion of the airplanes is actually modeled. Common uses of modeled aircraft are when they are used for presenting a new design, souvenirs for airlines, or a collection for enthusiasts.
A miniature Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is also known as a model airplane. It could be a replica of an existing plane or a completely fictional plane.
Flying and non-flying model aircraft are their two most common categories.
Static, display, and shelf models are all terms for non-flying models. They include everything from mass-produced toys to highly detailed museum models.
Flying models range from tiny toy gliders to scale models driven by electricity. Some can be quite enormous, especially when used to imitate real-life flight conditions.
Wind tunnel models are used by aircraft makers and researchers. They are used for prototyping and developing new designs.
Static model airplanes cannot fly and are used for display, education, and data collection in wind tunnels for full-scale aircraft design.
They can be made out of any acceptable material, such as plastic, wood, metal, paper, or fiberglass, and they can be built to a certain scale so that the original’s size can be compared to that of other planes. Models may be ready to paint or assemble, either with glue, screws, or clipping together, or both.
Many airlines throughout the world allow their planes to be modeled for publicity purposes. Airlines used to order big-size models of their planes to give away as promotional items to travel companies.
They are used to advertise an airline or commemorate a new route or achievement, desktop miniature airplanes may be handed to the airport, airline, and government authorities.
In contrast to commercial airplanes, which are meant to transport people and cargo from one location to another, small planes are created as transportation equipment.
Model airplanes, for the most part, are not designed to fly; instead, they are used for exhibition, education, advertising, and data collection in wind tunnels in preparation for full-scale aircraft design.
Model airplanes, like airplanes, come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the aircraft’s job. Model airplanes, on the other hand, are miniature copies.
“Only the things I love”
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So, here are the things I love when taking care of my Diecast Models.
Cleaning the Models
The first we are going to talk about is cleaning the models.
- Air Brush – For me, this is the best since it not just removes dust but you can use it in painting/clear coating.
- Air Duster – This is a good alternative to Airbrush
- Normal Brush – If you are short on budget, you can use a normal brush. However, make sure that the brush has soft bristles because there are some hard brushes than can cause scratches. That’s why I recommended a good brush that can do the job properly.
Cleaning and Shining Hacks
Well, here are some of my cleaning hacks for removing scratches, oxidation, and so much more.
- Removing Decal Adhesive – Use Goo Gone on those hard-to-remove decal adhesives. It works fast and works like charm!
- Waxing and Polishing – Here is something a lot of people don’t know. Waxing protects the clear coat and paint while polishing shines the model. Instead of buying it separately, use a 2 in 1 to save money. Get this instead.
- Beginner Wax – The wax I recommended earlier is good and provides the best results based on my experience. But a beginner might have a problem especially if they’re not good at applying wax. Solid wax reaching hard to reach surface can be hard to remove. You have two choices here. One is to use a qtips to reach those surfaces, another is to use a liquid wax I recommended.
- Cleaning Wheels, Rubber, Plastic – Do not forget that rubber and plastic surface are quite different, especially in the cleaning process. Just wiping it down won’t do the job. That’s why I use Meguiar’s Vinyl and Rubber Cleaner and Conditioner. Works like charm!
- Make the Wheels Shine! – Making our models look good won’t be complete without tiny details such as shiny wheels! Do not forget this because however small this is, the difference can be as big as night and day.
- Remove Scratches Easily – Tiny scratches are not the end for your model. Here is a simple trick I’ve been using to make my models look scratch-free even without repainting. Use T-Cut.
Painting the Models
Make sure when you paint models, have these ready.
- Tape – A tape is important if you are painting a straight line. Furthermore, it will prevent your paint to scatter on other parts. I recommend Tamiya Tape since it is really made for models. Furthermore, they stick really well preventing paint splatters.
- Brush (Beginner) – Find a good set of brushes to paint your models. Of course, you can opt for an airbrush but it’s quite expensive.
- Airbrush (Intermediate/Expert) – This will yield a significantly better result than an ordinary brush because you can easily spray the paint evenly. I recommend this if you know what you’re doing.
- Stand(Optional) – Stands are good because it can be hard to manually hold the models while painting. It is optional but in my opinion, the price is well worth it for the comfort it gives.
- Drop Cloths – Drop Cloths will protect your surroundings from the paint.
- Primer – The most common beginner mistake I see is painting models without any Primer. A primer will prevent imperfections such as bubbles or paint not sticking to your models. It is a small price to pay for quality results.
- Clear Coat – A clear coat will protect the paint of your models. This will make the paint last longer. Also, it is the one responsible for making your models shine.
Of course, you can’t do painting properly without paint. So here are the ones I recommend.
- Acrylic Paint – Good for beginners because it dries quickly. However, it doesn’t produce results as good as enamel paint.
- Enamel Paint – Provides a good quality finish and longer-lasting paint. However, it takes longer to dry and requires expertise to use.
- Simple Wood Cabinet – While it doesn’t let you display your models, wooden cabinets are good storage for these models. For one, they are not heat conductors which means that the temperature inside will remain constant and remain cool. Furthermore, they prevent light from reaching the models which can cause oxidation.
- Clear Cabinet with Lock – If you want to display your models, then I recommend this. It closes so dust won’t easily get to your models. I also recommend you don’t put more than 1 model in each compartment since metals are good conductors of heat.
So you want to show off your models to others? Well, I got you covered.
Here is my beginner-friendly model photography tutorial that teaches everything from taking pictures to the editing process.
You will also see me doing hands-on photography in that tutorial.