Friday, September 25, 2015

Collectibles Review: Masterpiece Collectibles: SCDF Ambulance Models

Collectibles Review: Masterpiece Collectibles: SCDF Ambulance Models


Today, I am reviewing my collection of SCDF ambulance models made by Masterpiece Collectibles, a local Singaporean company.

SCDF Ambulance Models by Masterpiece Collectibles
SCDF Ambulance Models by Masterpiece Collectibles

About Masterpiece Collectibles.


As stated on their website, Masterpiece Collectibles pride themselves in our high quality products. They are well known by collectors for making Singaporean emergency vehicles in limited quantities.

Masterpiece Collectibles Facebook
Masterpiece Collectibles Official Website

Their models in particular are made of resin and are mostly on a scale of 1/43.

For this article, I'll be reviewing my 1/43 SCDF Box Ambulance, 1/43 SCDF Box Ambulance A111 and the 1/43 SCDF Sprinter Ambulance.


My Collections


I came to know about Masterpiece Collectibles ever since they made the 1/6 Yamaha Diversion XJ900P Traffic Police Motorcycle. But their exposure at that time wasn't that high and was known to a few people outside of social media. I did however saw the model on someone's Facebook page and was dying to get it. It was quite expensive, SGD $250 for one model, but highly detail. I only got into it when Masterpiece Collectibles were on Facebook and purchased my first model from them, a 1/43 Fast Response Car.

1/43 SCDF Sprinter Ambulance


1/43 SCDF Sprinter Ambulance
1/43 SCDF Sprinter Ambulance in the display case
The model is an exact replica of the current SCDF Alpha a Mercedes-Sprinter 516CDI based ambulance. Sold at a retail price of SGD $88, only 88 examples are produced and it sold like hotcakes as described in their Facebook page.

Front and back profile of the model.
Side profile of the model.
Only the front windows are real while the rest is all decals. The callsign, which they provided decals for you to select and paste which callsign you want is in the incorrect color, a minor oversight for me, given that at that time, the new ambulance was in trial mode and the livery was changed yet again by the SCDF after public feedback. I presumed the livery change was a last minute modification to the model itself.

1/43 SCDF Box Ambulance A111


1/43 SCDF Box Ambulance A111
Numbered base for the display case.

In tribute to A111, a Mercedes-Sprinter 515CDI based ambulance that was burnt and destroyed during the 2013 Little India Riots, Masterpiece Collectibles released 111 examples of the model at a price of SGD $111. It came in a special box which I had already threw away and a plastic display case which is numbered. Mine was number 51 out of 111.

The box came with the inscription, telling the history of A111.

"This ambulance Mercedes-Sprinter 515CDI, was built in 2009 by ST Kinetics and put into service since 2010.

This batch of ambulances spots a different livery from it's previous generation and was also the first type of ambulance thaat uses "Red & Blue" strobe lights and also the last "box" version of the ambulance that SCDF uses ever since then.

On 16 December 2013, of of these ambulances QX454X, was perished in the fire of riot. Those who worked in Central Fire station would know this ambulance well.

In order to commemorate the ex A111, therefore we decided to roll out 111 pieces particularly for this model."

Do take note that they got the date wrong, the riots were on 8th December. This model is an downsized version of Mercedes-Sprinter 515CDI based ambulance that many other countries such as Germany and some UK cities also used. As my pervious deployment in Aetos was ST Kinetics, they really did indeed custom made this ambulance based on the Sprinter chassis. The livery was a newer version, lacking several red lines and using blue and red strobe lights.

Front and back profile of the model.
Side profile of the model.
Like the model of the current ambulance, the windows at the back part are just decals. But the box ambulance do feel plasticy upon holding them. Must be the matte color of the white surface. But I do appreciate the little little details they went through to replicate the actual thing.

Once again, another disappointment is that the lines of the doors are rather thick and could have been more fine to add a bit more realism to it. I do like the grill mesh on the rear lights of the ambulance.

1/43 SCDF Box Ambulance (Older Livery)

1/43 SCDF Box Ambulance
1/43 SCDF Box Ambulances in their respective cases
This is actually my favorite among the other ambulance designs the SCDF has. Anyone on the street will instantly recognize that it is an ambulance due to its distinctive shape and livery as it matches the international standard and played a huge role in popular culture. This older variation of livery was made because they received feedback from collectors that A111, which was launched earlier, was due to bad luck, no thanks to the incident it was involved, and the need to put other callsigns. Costing SGD $98, it is slightly cheaper than the A111.

This livery has much more detail and lines unlike its succeeding counterpart. Other than that, there is virtually no major differences in shape and design to the A111 ambulance .

Front and back profile of the model.
Side profile of the model.



Miscellaneous 


Roof detailing
Front detailing
Front detailing
Rear and side detailing 
Rear and side detailing 
Front cab detailing 
Strobe lights and antenna add to the realism.
Light bar and fine decal printing.

I like how Masterpiece Collectibles has took note of the little detailing in their models. Despite being on a scale of 1/43, most of the detailing isn't compromised and it's really worth your money in the long run. The price range for Masterpiece Collectibles' models are comparable to medium to high end range of models from famous manufacturers such as Hot Wheels and Sunstar. Despite the high price, you also have to put into consideration that no other die-cast car manufacturer makes Singaporean related emergency vehicles.

The down side is that these models must be handled with extreme care and caution. Even over rubbing the colored or decal areas may peel them off. I highly recommend using clean cotton gloves while handling and leaving them inside their display cases. Masterpiece Collectibles also advises collectors on their Facebook not to put the models under direct sunlight due to the resin material used may damage the the models. Models are also made in limited quantity. Means that models they have already made such as the Traffic Police Yamaha Diversion are really hard to come by and collectors may resell them at a premium.

To prevent the decals from damage by the itchy hands of collectors, I suggest that maybe a glossy/matte finishing may be applied at the factory as a protective layer of coating. Many other collectors may not agree with me but the display boxes do take up a lot of space in my display cabinets and cases. Since pre-orders are taken, Masterpiece Collectibles should take note of options of individual collectors and minus packaging or display cases to further reduce cost to the collector and wastage. After all, only the models that matter in the end.

I would say that I'm very impressed by the work and dedication of Masterpiece Collectibles to serve the collectors, even to the point of preserving the history and livery of some vehicles. Now we each have our own dream emergency vehicle as a keepsake and will be looking forward for more models to come.

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