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Friday, December 19, 2014

Maisto 1:18 2004 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon 4x4's



In celebration of the new 2015 Chevy Colorado winning the 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year, it was wise to take a look back about ten years ago this month when I got the 2004 Chevy Colorado 4x4 and GMC Canyon 4x4 from Maisto in 1:18 scale.



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S-10 replacement

The Chevy S-10 and GMC Sonoma, while a favorite with many GM fans, was in need of a major overhaul since it was getting dated quickly.  In 2004 GM introduced an entirely new line of mid-size pickups with a new name: Chevy was Colorado while GMC was Canyon.  Both were based on concepts introduced in the S-10 Blazer's replacement in 2002, the Trailblazer.  This new platform was also designed with Isuzu, who got their own uniquely-styled D-Max truck in other markets, then was introduced as a rebadged Chevy Colorado for the US market in 2006-2008.  The GM trucks were larger than the old S-10 and more refined with offering regular cab, extended cab, and crew cab versions in 2WD basic, 2WD sport (with lowered suspension and unique wheels), and 2WD and 4x4 Z-71 (with flared fenders, raised suspension, and larger tires).  The crew cab can now be offered in 2WD form; something the S-10 could not offer.  Styling feature Avalanche-like grille and headlights at the front and teardrop taillights at the rear.  The interior was basic and simple, if not interesting or comfy.  Note the gauges and 4x4 wheel center caps that have a geared tooth pattern.




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Chassis was the same as before with control arms with coil springs (2WD) or torsion bars (4x4) at front, with live axle and leaf springs at the rear.  Powertrains used the same architecture as the Trailblazer's 4.2L I-6, yet it only offers I-4 or I-5, with the latter a 3.5L DOHC making 220 hp. and 225 Ib-ft. torque through a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.  Future engine upgrades increased the size and power output of the I-4 and I-5, along with the later addition of a 5.3L V8.  The transfer case is 2-speed and controlled by push buttons on the center part of the dash.  In 2012 the Colorado was redesigned for other world markets, and that finally transferred into the new 2015 Colorado and Canyon with improved styling updates inside and out, along with a new slew of powertrains.




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Maisto gets into the pickup arena in 1:18 scale

When Maisto started out their 1:18 scale line in the 1990's, it was mostly all cars with no trucks.  Then in 1998 the Mercedes ML350 was the first truck in the line, with the Ford F-350 being the first pickup truck in 2004.  The Colorado and Canyon, for some reason, look better than the Ford F-350 in terms of stance.  Sitting on the Z-71 (Chevy) or Off-Road (GMC) package gains meaty tires (that are really soft) on 5-spoke wheels, flared fenders that are gray (Chevy) or body-colored (GMC), and decals on the rear sides of the bed.  This is one aggressive-looking small truck!  The front has large detailed headlights with smaller signal lights above the bowtie bar (Chevy) or large central grille with GMC logo.  The lower bumper has a lip spoiler and integrated foglights.  The sides have detailed mirrors, lower door trim, flared fenders, and side steps; the latter was originally seen on the pre-production trucks but was panned out at the last minute on production trucks.  The rear has teardrop taillights, unique badging, chrome bumper, and chrome exhaust tip.  The bed is roomy and ready for gear in body-color (Chevy) or gray (GMC) form.  The only nitpick is the tailgate that doesn't have a latching area to stay closed, causing the tailgate to easily swing open even in the box!






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The interior shows off the unappealing details in gray and white two-tone (nice color combo?).  The 4-spoke wheel has GMC or bowtie logo, the gauges are nicely-detailed, switchgear on the left, column shifters, central stack, in silver, with radio and HVAC controls (note the 4x4 buttons above the radio); and glovebox with passenger airbag above.  The seats are flat, but do the job as a pickup, while the center console has the correct cubbies and cupholders.  The door panels have the correct details, while the brake pedal is way off from its normal position.  Unfortunately the rear doors do not open, and the rear area, while nicely-detailed with the seats and center console, is unfit for adults to use over a long ride.






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The engine bay opens up to reveal mostly an engine pan, but there are a few see-through holes to the ground.  Give credit for Maisto doing an excellent job with the engine details with the colored identifiers for the fluid resovoirs, throttle body, and battery cables, while the labels have the detailed information on them.  Why the underhood liner on the Chevy is painted over I don't know.  The chassis has coil springs on all-four wheels giving a neat off-road articulation over uneven terrain.  The drivetrain and frame details are there, but seem compressed in the center.  The rear exhaust tip from the muffler to the rear bumper and the spare tire add some detail to the otherwise black chassis.


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The Chevy was the first to come out, announced two years before the initial release if you can believe it!  It comes in Dark Cherry Red Metallic or, my personal favorite (and a hot one on Ebay), Sunburst Orange Metallic.  The GMC version was a later addition, which is no surprise given the lack of differentiation between the two trucks (it's now resolved on the new 2015 models); only the grille, badges, colored fender flares, and gray bedliner are the differences from the Chevy.  The Canyon is more common with Dark Blue, Dark Green, and Metallic Red colors.


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Canyon with 5-speed manual

A few years ago I ran across another Canyon in Dark Blue at a Tuesday Morning for about $20.00 (in which newer Maisto 1:18's are selling at a higher rate).  The driver's seat was much better-formed than the forward-tilted issue on my first one, but this wasn't the reason why I got the second one.  It was because I wanted to make a unique version using my first version: one with a 5-speed manual transmission.  It was a simple task: cut off the column-shifter for the transmission, add a needle pin with black round knob, electrical tape for the boot, and grind off the transmission pan and round out the transmission housing.  The last part was adding a clutch pedal, but as you can see the brake pedal was already the size of the manual's brake pedal, as was the parking brake next to it, so in reality it had both pedals to the left of the accelerator.  Granted I wanted another color, but I like how this same-old model was turned into a one-of-a-kind model all in just swamping transmissions!


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As for the future of the 2015 Colorado/Canyon, will anyone make it in diecast?  Probably, but right now its too early to tell.  Then again seeing another 1:18 scale Colorado/Canyon is highly unlikely with the high costs of making a large tool, but then again strange things do happen.  Who could've guessed we'd see a 1:18 scale 2004 Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon ten years ago!







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1 comment:

  1. Hello, I was interested in stripping the paint on the Chevy Colorado 04 diecast. However, I'm not sure on how I should go about it. Especially with the emblems on it. Any feedback would be completely fantastic.

    ReplyDelete