|Le Thanh Dat with his collection
At 8 pm, after back home from work and spending time with his family, Le Thanh Dat started his daily work again in a room filled with stationary model cars (which are miniature versions, simulated designs, and styles of the real car in a certain proportion).
According to Mr. Dat, aside from collecting stationary model cars, collectors are required to have some knowledge of vehicle structure and detailed maintenance skills as well as paint.
“Hue weather with a temperature environment that is sometimes too dry and sometimes too humid will easily affect the paint of the cars; therefore, I often have to clean the details and adjust the temperature of the lamp properly to avoid damage," Mr. Dat said.
Introduced and developed in Vietnam for the past 15 years, the hobby of collecting stationary model cars requires a lot of special factors, which are passion as well as economic conditions. Therefore, although he has known about this hobby since 2007, it was not until nearly 10 years ago, when he was stable in economics and family, that Dat learned more about the hobby of collecting stationary model cars.
In his collection, Dat selected mid-level design firms such as Auto Art, Kyosho... As for high-end brands such as CMC, BBR, and MR Collection…, the quantity remains modest. These are the overpriced and rare car models, many of which even cost as much as an expensive high-end scooter.
To date, Dat has owned more than 100 stationary model cars of all sizes such as 1:8, 1:10, 1:12, and 1:18... Through the conversation, these cars are known to have an average price of 5-7 million VND; the most expensive one costs more than 45 million VND. Notably, the two car models collected most by Dat are Ferrari and Lamborghini.
| Le Thanh Dat does daily cleaning of the details of stationary model cars
“Collection is one thing, but how to display to highlight the cars we own is also of paramount importance. Personally, I would choose the Timeline layout (according to the timeline of the car models born from the past to the present) combined with the appropriate background and design," said Mr. Le Thanh Dat.
For those who are new to this hobby, they will often choose cars manufactured by brands such as Bburago, Welly, and Maisto.... because of the low price and easy access to the majority. Of course, for low-priced models, the details are not sophisticated, even a bit rough.
However, when having more money, they will buy model cars with more exquisite details. These cars will be made more carefully from the interior to the paint color. The price will of course be proportional to the detail and level of likeness to the parts of real cars.
Because each stationary model car is a synthesis of hundreds of tiny and delicate details made of iron, plastic, rubber, or mica…, it is easy to lead to risks in transportation. These vehicle models must be specially imported from abroad. Le Thanh Dat added, "Because of these risks, plus the fact that the collector buys a rare car model, holding the complete car in his hand will sometimes give him a burst of joy."
In addition to collecting stationary model cars, Dat is also an administrator of a Group on Facebook that gathers people with the same passion for this hobby in Hue. Besides, he also regularly interacts offline with clubs for stationary model car collectors in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Truong Thanh Tuan (a member of Hue Club for Stationary Model Car Collectors ) said, “I found out about this hobby just over a year ago because I was still in school, so I only collected a few small-sized cars. However, when in the club, I was guided a lot by the seniors, so my knowledge of model cars gradually improved, and became more and more passionate about this hobby."
Le Thanh Dat is on the point of finalizing the Panda Café (84 Truong Chinh Street, An Dong Ward) dedicated to stationary model car enthusiasts in Hue City. This promises to be a place to display and connect the young people who love this enjoyable hobby of collection.