Die Cast Diaries – Chapter 13
Hello family, friends and followers,
Welcome to the luckiest number chapter of my Die Cast Diaries, number 13!
It has been a long time since the last chapter was dropped, but I am starting the new year right and with a new look to the Die Cast Diaries logo. Just one of my custom designs for my new custom apparel store that I have started to help expand the SRQ Die Cast brand. I will make sure to bring you another year full of awesome stories from some of the world’s best Hot Wheels customizers.
In this chapter, I will be introducing you to a customizer that is well respected in the customizing culture and hobby of Hot Wheels and other die cast cars and trucks. This mans customs are clean, creative and cool. He has a wide range of types of castings that he likes to customize. Meaning, he doesn’t have a niche or specialty in customizing. He can do it all and does it all on any kind of casting. Cars, vans, trucks, muscle cars, classic cars and gassers all get his special touch when it comes to customizing them. He has a great eye for paint, details and creates beautiful builds that any collector would be proud to own. I have not had the privilege of buying any of his customs to add to my collection, but I hope that I get the chance in the near future. With that, I would like to introduce you to this chapters star, Aaron Tadych of Diekast Kustomz.
Me: What is your name and where are you from?
Aaron: My name is Aaron Tadych. I live in Fertile, Minnesota, way up north.
Me: How old were you when you started playing with Hot Wheels?
Aaron: I started playing with Hot wheels and Matchbox toys as far back as I can remember. I hav 5 older brothers and one younger. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up so all of our toys were very well played with.
Me: How old were you when you started collecting Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Aaron: I’ve always had die cast cars around. I started really collecting around 1996.
Me: When did you start customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Aaron: I started customizing in 1998.
Me: What got you interested in customizing diecast cars and trucks?
Aaron: My wife was pregnant and I needed an indoor hobby. At that time I didn’t realize it was an actual thing that people did.
Me: Who was your inspiration or influence that got you into customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Aaron: I really didn’t have anyone that inspeired me. I was however one of the very first people that started the customizers forum on matterl’s website.
Me: Do you have a background in working on cars and trucks which helps make customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks easier and helps with your creativity on them?
Aaron: I do have a mechanical background. I always have and will continue to work on vehicles myself. I tend to have a photographic memory when it comes to anyhting automotive.
Me: What is your specialty in customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Aaron: I don’t know that I have an actual specialty when it comes to my customs. I’ve been doing it since 1998, so I tend to take things for granted that I shouldn’t. I suppose I am best known for what I call “hack jobs”. Using parts and pieces from multiple casts to create something truly one of a kind. Also, I’m told that my bodywork skills are pretty good.
Me: What makes your customs stand out from most of the other customs out there?
Aaron: A lot of my work stands out mainly because most people don’t have a clue what they are looking at! I can usually put something together that looks like it came that way. Making something truly custom with a good amount of bodywork and having people not be able to tell what has been done is challenging!
Me: Is customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks a hobby or a full time job for you? If it’s a full time job for you, what is the name of your business? If it’s a hobby, what are your social media outlets where people can view and possibly buy your customs?
Aaron: Custom die cast is just a hobby for me. I hadn’t used the internet since around 2000. My wife talked me into FB about 2 years ago. Up until then, I hadn’t realized just how much this hobby has grown! I’m currently in about 100 die cast enthusiast groups. I help run a few and have my own little customs only group. It is called Diekast Kustomz. Also, the name I gave myself in this hobby many years ago.
Me: How much success have you had selling your customs?
Aaron: I don’t set out to sell my customs. I have sold a few dozen in the past few years. If someone wants to buy something, they usually have to love it as much, if not more than me! I tend to price my customs a bit higher than average. When I do sell them, it is mainly to invest back into the hobby. I could easily sell more if I really wanted to, but some of my stuff takes 40 to 60 hours to create. So I tend to get attached to them. I have had good success selling when I actually try to sell them. But I don’t try very often!
Me: Which casting is your favorite to customize?
Aaron: It’s hard to have a favorite casting for me to customize. I may do a few of one, but I like to expand my horizons and try different castings as much as possible. The ones I’ve done the most of are probably ’55 – ’57 Chevys, ’32 Fords and Rodger Dodgers. I always say my favorite one is the next one!
Me: Finally, what are your top 5 Hot Wheels of all time?
Aaron: My top 5 favorite castings….boy, that’s a tough one. I’m partial to vintage stuff. Both collecting and customizing. There is just an awesome feeling taking a severly beat up cast and giving it new life. Definitely one of my favorite way to customize is restomods. Ok, back to my top 5…..they are the OG Blackwall era ’57 Chevy, the Rodger Dodger, cliche, but the ’55 Chevy Gasser, the ’32 Ford Coupe and the ’70 Buick GSX.
Me: Thank you for participating in my blog and helping spread the world of customizing Hot Wheels and other die cast cars and trucks to the general public. I appreciate you, your time and your customs.
In closing, I just want to say that what you’re about to see is going to prove that customizing die cast cars and trucks is an art and it takes talent, skill, imagination, passion and creativity to make these little cars and trucks look so cool. These customs are incredible works of classic hot rod culture in 1:64 scale and would be awesome additions towards the ultimate collection. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some pics of Aaron Tadych‘s builds.