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Modelling motors

Imagine a 10 X 10 sq. ft area that provides parking space for about 200 cars, over 60 motorbikes, a few aircraft and the coolest auto accessories. Don?t let this boggle your mind.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 03:48 IST

Imagine a 10 X 10 sq. ft area that provides parking space for about 200 cars, over 60 motorbikes, a few aircraft and the coolest auto accessories. Don’t let this boggle your mind. We are talking about the scale models available at Modelart, InOrbit Mall, Malad.

Replica models of all the top names in motoring — Lamborghini, Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche, BMW, Audi, Hummer, and so on — are arranged on the shelves of the shop, which belong to the country’s only chain of outlets selling die-cast metal (the authentic metal body replicas of the original models) scale models of motor vehicles. The other outlet is at The Forum, in Bangalore.

The authentic licensed replicas come in the scales 1:12, 1:18, 1: 24, 1:43 and 1:64. The concept is the brainchild of Avinash Agarwal, who operates Modelart’s parent company Creative Education in Bangalore. About a decade ago, motoring expert Adil Darukhanawala started featuring these model cars in his automobile magazine, Overdrive. As the automobile publishing industry grew, the idea of collectible scale models, too, gained ground. Around the same time, Overdrive started giving these cars as subscription gifts. As more and more readers got interested, a collectors’ club was formed, which continues to exist even today in Mumbai. In addition to this, the magazine has linked an online shopping option to its website.

“Creative Education is the sole importer of premier scale model brands like Autoart and Maisto. Autoart is a German company and Maisto is based in Thailand,” says Manish, one of the partners of Modelart. “These days, for the sake of economy, we have started importing these models from China.”

The signboard of the shop is made up of steel plates, on which cars with a rustic scraped out look are mounted. Inside, it resembles a new-age garage. Collectors can pick from vintage to ultra-modern models, concept cars, limousines, super cars, racing cars and off-roaders.

The range of motorbikes has just about everything from Harley-Davidson and Ducati to superbikes that compete in Motocross. The motorbike models are mostly products of Maisto.

Deepankar Sadekar, a 28-year-old graphic designer, is a loyal Modelart customer and owns over 65 cars in the 1:18 scale, of which 25 are Ferraris. He says, “I grew up in Dubai – a paradise for car enthusiasts. What appeals to me most is the great attention to detail that has gone into their design.”

Racing enthusiasts will also find plenty to choose from here. Modelart has an enviable collection of high performance remote controlled Formula 1 cars available in a 1:12 scale. They promise a top speed of almost 35 km per hour and can be upgraded as well. Radio-control model versions of the Subaru Impreza, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6, Le Mans Audi R8s, BMW Z8, Mercedes SLR McLaren and DTM are also available. The Carisma that has an operation range of 70-80 meters from its remote is priced at Rs. 10,500. The most popular model is currently the Hayabusa, says Bunty, a customer executive at Modelart. “We have been flooded with requests for this brand and there are a lot of pending orders that we have to fill as soon as the new stock comes in,” he adds. The 1:18 scale model is priced at Rs. 175 whereas the 1:12 scale model costs Rs 325.

The outlet also houses an exciting range of designer motor accessories. There is a line of exclusive key rings, paper holders, desktops, and watches designed using auto parts. The most stunning is the bike exhaust key ring and chopsticks.

So if automobiles or motorcycles are your passion then Modelart should definitely be a pit stop on your next shopping trip.

First Published: Feb 11, 2006 03:48 IST