Hobbyist Forums banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
61 - 77 of 77 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
38,291 Posts
Excellent! I was just formulating in my mind about how to make a post on how the paint development process had evolved during your tenures with Zyll and then Maisto!

I dont have a Gold Medal Grippers casting of the P375 design but I do have a "Wind Racers" '84 Vette casting. Did the production delay at Chevrolet for the 1983 Corvette result in the base plate having to be revised for this model as well? And normally a barred out place on the base indicates a production location change. Is that the case for this model as well? I have another casting example where Hong Kong is located where the bar is on this model.


Zee Toys Wind Racers '84 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


Zee Toys Wind Racers '84 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
38,291 Posts
Going off of your post above though, I will ask first about the evolution from stickers and decals on casting models from Zyll to the modern day of what I understand to be an 'ink jet' type of printing at Maisto.

As an example here is pull back design in a 7" model IIRC with both stickers and decals.


Zee #1047 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


And 2 examples of the IMSA GT 1 Championship Corvettes in 1:24 scale, that I found at a local car show back in 2015. The graphics on these are just extraordianariy executed!


Maisto 2009 Corvette ZO6 GT-1 Championship Edition
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


Maisto 2009 Corvette ZO6 GT-1 Championship Edition
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


Maisto 2009 Corvette ZO6 GT-1 Championship Edition
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


Maisto 2009 Corvette ZO6 GT-1 Championship Edition
by Milton Fox, on Flickr
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
38,291 Posts
Another production area of interest to me are the wheels sets. I noticed the Wind Racer example I posted above has the same front wheel sets as those used on the Grippers production documents you showed. The casting shown below is my 'variation' with the Hong Kong base plate. My questions here are extensive but since we are entering the home stretch of our 48 hour window for this AMA I will start out with a general broad question starting with Zee as - did Zyll design and make their own wheels sets or were they sourced from other makers? Did that change over your time with them? If time allows was this different in anyway while you were at Maisto?


Zee P375 '84 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


Zee P375 '84 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
38,291 Posts
And back to the paint process. In general and as above how did the painting process evolve over your tenure with Zyll and Maisto.

But first again were these "Wild Cars" painted by hand or mechanically? I worked as a graphic artist during my later college years and can really appreciate the effort and process behind achieving this effect - at this 3" scale size!


Zee P364 '63 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Excellent! I was just formulating in my mind about how to make a post on how the paint development process had evolved during your tenures with Zyll and then Maisto!

I dont have a Gold Medal Grippers casting of the P375 design but I do have a "Wind Racers" '84 Vette casting. Did the production delay at Chevrolet for the 1983 Corvette result in the base plate having to be revised for this model as well? And normally a barred out place on the base indicates a production location change. Is that the case for this model as well? I have another casting example where Hong Kong is located where the bar is on this model.


Zee Toys Wind Racers '84 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


Zee Toys Wind Racers '84 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr
That's a good question. I don't remember but I agree with you that the tooling folks must have been told to change the year after it was first engraved. All of my loose P375 show the year like the one on yours.

Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Car Vehicle

The white one at the left was approved by Intex in August 1983 and has the Hong Kong lettering. This would have been before production moved to China
The middle one with a different color/deco was approved by me at Intex in September 1989. It has the old wheels with a "wrong wheels" note on the tag and a blanked-out country of origin. In production it would have had a China label.
The one on the right has no info but it is probably also a sample from 1989...and it has the correct new style wheels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Going off of your post above though, I will ask first about the evolution from stickers and decals on casting models from Zyll to the modern day of what I understand to be an 'ink jet' type of printing at Maisto.

As an example here is pull back design in a 7" model IIRC with both stickers and decals.


Zee #1047 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


And 2 examples of the IMSA GT 1 Championship Corvettes in 1:24 scale, that I found at a local car show back in 2015. The graphics on these are just extraordianariy executed!


Maisto 2009 Corvette ZO6 GT-1 Championship Edition
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


Maisto 2009 Corvette ZO6 GT-1 Championship Edition
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


Maisto 2009 Corvette ZO6 GT-1 Championship Edition
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


Maisto 2009 Corvette ZO6 GT-1 Championship Edition
by Milton Fox, on Flickr
The green Corvette plastic friction (not pull-back) car was one of about a dozen in the LeMans line. They were made by an outside company, Boville, and branded as Zee Toys. Apparently the line was handled directly by Intex since I don't see it appearing in Zyll catalogs. It looks like the LeMans cars all were decorated with stickers (but not decals) in the 1979 catalog. Newer decos in the 1980s were applied by pad printing (the same process as the trade name Tampo*).

Here are the decorating terms as I understand them:
Stickers, labels — Ink printed on clear, white, colored or other (such as metallic) self-adhesive material that is usually die-cut to a shape a little larger than the art. In production, workers peel the deco off the backing and apply it to the item.
Decals — A shortened form of decalcomania (what a fun word!). For our use, it means ink printed on a special paper that has a thin layer of a weak adhesive that separates from the paper when soaked in water. The decals in model kits are an excellent example of this. It's a labor-intensive process so it generally was not used on toys unless the deco could not be applied any other way.
Pad printing — It sounds weird, but imagine an egg sized and shaped piece of silicone rubber (called the pad) on a mechanical arm. The arm moves the pad to a flat plate with wet ink in the shape of the decoration on it. The pad comes down, picks up the wet ink then moves over to the toy that was placed in a holder. The pad comes down on the toy transferring the wet ink deco to it. The operator removes the toy and sets it aside to dry and repeats the process with the next toy.

I don't know what process was used to decorate the Maisto Z06 GT-1 but it was probably pad printing. It's really tricky when there are multiple colors printed close together. On your photo of the roof of the yellow car you can see over at the right (driver's side) that the colors for the flags are out of register a little when compared with the flag decos at the left (passenger's side).

I've heard of the ink jet technique but I don't know anything about it.


* TAMPOPRINT USA | Home
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Another production area of interest to me are the wheels sets. I noticed the Wind Racer example I posted above has the same front wheel sets as those used on the Grippers production documents you showed. The casting shown below is my 'variation' with the Hong Kong base plate. My questions here are extensive but since we are entering the home stretch of our 48 hour window for this AMA I will start out with a general broad question starting with Zee as - did Zyll design and make their own wheels sets or were they sourced from other makers? Did that change over your time with them? If time allows was this different in anyway while you were at Maisto?


Zee P375 '84 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


Zee P375 '84 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr
I don't know if the wheels were sourced from an outside company or made in-house by Zyll. I'll speculate that if they were made by another company it would only have been in the early years of production.

Product Handwriting Material property Body jewelry Silver

I have a bag (about a gallon size) of wheels and axles. Some are labeled, such as the ones above, and some are not. These "swirl" style wheels were approved by me in 1990. Some, perhaps most, of the early wheel styles seem to be common among several die-cast manufacturers. I don't know if all came from the same supplier(s) or whether they were widely copied and made in-house. What do you think?

I've seen various descriptions of wheel styles online but I haven't looked into it too much. Can you or others suggest which descriptions by collectors are generally accepted?

Here is one. Ricardo Saracho Espinoza posted Zyll wheels with names here:
www.facebook.com/SarachoDiecast/photos/a.115203164079273/115196084079981
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
38,291 Posts
That is a pretty amazing job on the GT-1s if it was pad printed. From a normal viewing distance the slight out of register doesnt really show and looks wonderful!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
38,291 Posts
I've communicated with Ricardo on Flikr before and understand he is documenting a Zyll history. IIRC he has used a few of my castings to fill in blank spaces in his research. (Hopefully; he has found better examples now as most of mine are play worn models.) I havent seen his Facebook page as of yet though.

We do seem to have the same observations and questions about wheel sets. Most of the comments and positions I have read about seem to trace back to the documentation made in The Diecast Encyclopedia (2006). If you overlay that with the also cited there frequent sharing and reaquistion that occures in China and the lax copyright compliance - my personal theory is that wheels sets most often came from an outside supplier and they sold their (or were required to give their) over stock and discontinued wheels to start up companies over time.

The information you have provided here will at least help me and others better organize our collections to be closer to year date issue. Ricardo may have already provided further insight for us!

I know you are curating the HobbyDB Zyll pages but do you know of other sites that a Zyll brand collector or Maisto collector may want to visit for more information and casting examples?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
38,291 Posts
:Do you have any background to share on these D76 castings. It is one of my favorites and I consistently picking them up when I find them. Zee is the only brand I am aware of who has made this "Spyder" type model.


Zee D 76 '84 Corvettte Set
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


I often wondered about the base plate finish on this one and how it came about? I've heard it referenced as a 'pebble finish' at times.


Zee D 76 '84 Corvettte
by Milton Fox, on Flickr
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
38,291 Posts
As our AMA window is nearing closure I wanted to thank @chepp for his time and sharing of information with us. I hope as you have the time you continue to share that with us here at HobbyTalk!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
As our AMA window is nearing closure I wanted to thank @chepp for his time and sharing of information with us. I hope as you have the time you continue to share that with us here at HobbyTalk!
If it's OK, I'll keep answering questions here after the official end of the AMA. If this thread gets locked, we can start new threads elsewhere on HobbyTalk.
This has been really interesting. Researching questions has brought back many pleasant memories and let me test my organization of many tubs of Zee/Zylmex die-cast.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
38,291 Posts
Glad you have enjoyed the experience. In accordance with the AMA structure it will probably be closed in the near future. You can though use the quote icon on any post you want to follow up upon still and then start a new thread in the appropriate section or in the general diecast section as perhaps 'Follow up with chepp'

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
And back to the paint process. In general and as above how did the painting process evolve over your tenure with Zyll and Maisto.

But first again were these "Wild Cars" painted by hand or mechanically? I worked as a graphic artist during my later college years and can really appreciate the effort and process behind achieving this effect - at this 3" scale size!


Zee P364 '63 Corvette
by Milton Fox, on Flickr
Oh, man! That one sure looked rough in production. Although it wasn't shown on the car, internally this line had a "W" in front of the style number, such as WP364 to denote it as a Wild Cars item.

Tire Automotive parking light Vehicle Car Wheel

It was supposed to look like this hand-made sample shown in the 1990 Intex catalog. As far as I know this was made with spray masks. Even the yellow flames on the hood look like they were masked and sprayed because the color extends onto the edge of the hood. The masks would provide the hard edges but airbrushes would be used for the soft transitions.

The white body would have been painted mechanically like the regular die-casts. It was a crude process but it was cheap, fast and effective. Bodies were clipped to vertical rods that were about four feet tall. Those rods were hung on an overhead conveyor that rotated them as they moved along. Inside the paint booth was another rod fixed in place at the top. It had a spinning disc that traveled up and down the rod from the lowest of the clipped-on bodies to the the highest. As the bodies moved past and rotated, paint was dripped onto the spinning disc as it moved up and down on the rod. The disc changed the dripping paint into a spray that coated the bodies. To minimize overspray and loss of paint, the paint had one electrical charge and the bodies the other. Further, there was a waterfall flowing down the back wall that picked up overspray that got past the bodies.

After the body paint enamel had been oven baked the bodies were taken off the clips and workers on a conveyor line would fit a specially-made brass mask onto one part of the car and spray a color with an industrial type airbrush using air-dry paint. That worker would put the painted car into a tray. As soon as it was dry it would go to the next worker with a different mask who would spray the desired color. This was repeated until the whole car was painted.

Trivia: Wild Cars had an interesting origin. There was a line of die-casts with thermochromic (color changes with temperature) paint called Color Splash. Other die-cast companies were doing it and Zee/Zyll jumped in, too. The Color Splash cars were impossible to photograph as a group for the catalog, though, so I hand-painted them with regular paint to simulate what they would look like at room temperature and when icy cold. The boss, Mr. T. Zee, saw these and got the idea to make a line of multi-colored cars with regular paint. These became Wild Cars. The cars were popular so we expanded it to a fantasy decorated plane line called Wild Flites.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
:Do you have any background to share on these D76 castings. It is one of my favorites and I consistently picking them up when I find them. Zee is the only brand I am aware of who has made this "Spyder" type model.


Zee D 76 '84 Corvettte Set
by Milton Fox, on Flickr


I often wondered about the base plate finish on this one and how it came about? I've heard it referenced as a 'pebble finish' at times.


Zee D 76 '84 Corvettte
by Milton Fox, on Flickr
I think that it might have been my idea to tool the body separator with the interior as a cheap way to add some color but I'm not 100% sure. Other than that I guess that we just wanted to have an open car since there were fewer and fewer open cars being made in the real world.

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Vehicle Car

This silver car was the approved sample in 1984. It looks like the baseplate was originally lettered as '84. The later pearl white one has a blanked out name and country of origin like yours but this one has a China sticker. I don't know the reason for taking the car name off.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
38,291 Posts
Oh, man! That one sure looked rough in production. Although it wasn't shown on the car, internally this line had a "W" in front of the style number, such as WP364 to denote it as a Wild Cars item.

View attachment 322165
It was supposed to look like this hand-made sample shown in the 1990 Intex catalog. As far as I know this was made with spray masks. Even the yellow flames on the hood look like they were masked and sprayed because the color extends onto the edge of the hood. The masks would provide the hard edges but airbrushes would be used for the soft transitions.

The white body would have been painted mechanically like the regular die-casts. It was a crude process but it was cheap, fast and effective. Bodies were clipped to vertical rods that were about four feet tall. Those rods were hung on an overhead conveyor that rotated them as they moved along. Inside the paint booth was another rod fixed in place at the top. It had a spinning disc that traveled up and down the rod from the lowest of the clipped-on bodies to the the highest. As the bodies moved past and rotated, paint was dripped onto the spinning disc as it moved up and down on the rod. The disc changed the dripping paint into a spray that coated the bodies. To minimize overspray and loss of paint, the paint had one electrical charge and the bodies the other. Further, there was a waterfall flowing down the back wall that picked up overspray that got past the bodies.

After the body paint enamel had been oven baked the bodies were taken off the clips and workers on a conveyor line would fit a specially-made brass mask onto one part of the car and spray a color with an industrial type airbrush using air-dry paint. That worker would put the painted car into a tray. As soon as it was dry it would go to the next worker with a different mask who would spray the desired color. This was repeated until the whole car was painted.

Trivia: Wild Cars had an interesting origin. There was a line of die-casts with thermochromic (color changes with temperature) paint called Color Splash. Other die-cast companies were doing it and Zee/Zyll jumped in, too. The Color Splash cars were impossible to photograph as a group for the catalog, though, so I hand-painted them with regular paint to simulate what they would look like at room temperature and when icy cold. The boss, Mr. T. Zee, saw these and got the idea to make a line of multi-colored cars with regular paint. These became Wild Cars. The cars were popular so we expanded it to a fantasy decorated plane line called Wild Flites.
The only word that comes to mind is WOW!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,121 Posts
Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Many thanks folks! That'll be it for this AMA. Many thanks for everybody who came out and asked a few questions.

Chepp, I'd like to extend a hearty thanks on behalf of all the participants and the community for coming on here and answering as many questions as you did, and as thoroughly!

Take care and be well everybody!

- Dan
 
61 - 77 of 77 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top