We're excited to show collectors images of the recent development prototype samples we've received of our 1:18 Scale 2023 Ford Mustang GT and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Gen3 Supercar models which are currently in development.
Both of these models are being developed to be produced in die-cast with opening bonnet and both doors.
Let's start with images of the Mustang. This sample is a 3D printed hand sample and is the first time we've seen the Mustang S650 Gen3 model in physical form. It allows our research and development team an opportunity to make comments to our factory on areas which need to be addressed or improved prior to committing to the various die-cast, ABS and PVC injection moulds required to produce all the parts of the model, and how they're assembled.
Note: Both our Mustang and Camaro models will have a sealed boot section. We've made this decision for a few reasons. The first is there's nothing in there to show! The second reason, and more importantly, the rear boot assembly doesn't have a traditional rear hinge to open and close on the Gen3 Supercars, the whole section is just removed. This presents challenges with tooling the model and having that section not only sit in place correctly and look right, but to also not get damaged during shipping. So we made the call that the overall appearance of the model, and ensuring we've done everything we can to avoid damage in transit, was more critical than including that specific opening feature.
Due to the fact that the Mustang is a little behind the development of the Camaro model (due to delays getting approved data due to the Supercars parity situation) there weren't as many comments required for this sample because a lot of the 'kinks' were ironed out in previous revisions of the Camaro.
'They're different cars though' is what we bet you're thinking, and you're right, but there are numerous shared parts between the two models given the new Gen3 rules including seats, shifters, various interior parts not including the dash, wheels, tyres, brakes and even more. So since they've been handled once, they (shouldn't) be areas which require our attention again.
It's also important to note that a lot of time is spent by our R&D team reviewing and revising the 3D data of the model before it even gets to this hand sample stage. So the less comments you have to make here means the better we've done our jobs in the initial stages of development.
Nevertheless, the devil is in the details and there's almost always areas that we want to address. This sample had around 20-30 comments of various things we want to improve, including the air jack inlet, window vents, engine bay detail, control arms and wheel hub detail, interior detail, general undercarriage detail and more.
The pale white/cream finish makes some areas a little difficult to distinguish in the photos, but there's lot's of nice features already apparent in this sample. You can get a pretty clear idea of how this model is going to look in completed form. Overall, we're really happy with how it's progressing.
Note: The big air box covers from previous generations of Supercars are no longer required in Gen3, so that means more engine detail for collectors with both the Mustang and Camaro featuring their unique characteristics.
Moving on to the Camaro, this is the 1st shot die-cast prototype and it's essentially the bare metal die-cast model and parts put together without any further finishing.
This is the sample we receive after we've reviewed the 3D hand sample like the Mustang version above. We received the Camaro version a few months ago, so development is moving along nicely.
The 1st shot die-cast sample is essentially our point of no return - to an extent - where we're given a final opportunity to make comments regarding things like part fitment, stance and details like that prior to green lighting the model tooling for production.
Around 20 main comments have been provided to the factory relating to this sample and what needs to be improved including wheel fitment, window cutouts, attachment areas, a missing piece of roll cage and more. These comments are detailed, specific and ultimately are made with the view of producing the best model we can for collectors.
Once this stage is finalised we will then receive our first decorated prototype samples with proper paint, part finishing and liveries applied for us to review and once that stage is approved, we give the green light to go to production.
Note: The new Gen 3 models will feature photo etched bonnet pins which will be a nice change from previous generations - hopefully no more bonnet pins popping off and getting easily lost! Other parts including the brake rotors will also be photo etched for high detail.
Note: Can you spot the missing piece of roll cage? One of the numerous things which have been commented on and requires correction prior to production!
That brings us to the end of this update. We hope you share our opinion that both the Mustang and Camaro Gen3 models are looking like they're going to be great collectables when finished and they're not too far away now.
Based on current progress (and this timeline is subject to change) we're currently expecting the 1:18 Camaro to start arriving in the 1st qtr of 2024 with the Mustang a little after that.
We will provide updates regarding other scales in due course.
Stay tuned for our first range of 2023 Gen3 Supercars announcements next week which will include a variety of teams from different events raced this year.
And one last thing, our Gen3 Samples will be on display at the 2023 Diecast Model Expo in Melbourne, come and check them out. You can find out more info about the expo and purchase your tickets here.