Like anything that is worth showing off, die-cast models need to seem as if they are a miniature exact replica of the original. When buying a pre-built die-cast model, it is imperative that attention to detail is adhered to. If the model is built in the exact likeness of the original, it makes it much more appealing and possibly worth more to collectors.
If the pre-built model is that of a car, the doors, hood and trunk should open. This gives the admirer a feeling of being in the car. The seats need to be painted in the exact design of the original vehicle and the motor needs to look like it could start up at any time. In many of these cars, the dash is so realistic that the numbers can be seen with a magnifying glass. In the trunk is the spare tire with a matching rim. Even the Goodyear written on the side of the tire is legible. This realism is what makes die-cast models so popular.
Then, of course, for the military enthusiast there is the pre-built die-cast aircraft, ships, weapons and vehicles. The aircraft range from the first airplane flown at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina by the Wright brothers in all its glorious detail to the current fighter and bomber aircraft flown today by the world's various militaries. As with vehicles, the detail in which the model is cast is what makes the model most desirable. The more detail in the cockpit and to the weapon systems, the more likely it is to sell. Therefore, the craftsman puts many painstaking hours into getting it just right.
Ships are of a different sort due to the nature of their design. It is extremely hard to get minute details right about the inside of the ship, so the outside needs to stand out. Even though the smallest details about the inside of the ship are not focused on, the ship has many details on the outside to draw attention to. The exception to this is the cut-away view of a ship. In this case, detail is extremely important so as to show each compartment as it truly is. Some examples of such a cut-away die-cast model are of an aircraft carrier, a submarine and possibly a luxury liner such as the Titanic. Although the Titanic was not a military ship, its cut-away view is very popular due to its size and the theories surrounding its demise. One of the most notable features in a cut-away view is the people that are put in various sections as if they belong there. In an aircraft carrier the hanger deck is a prominent feature and in a submarine, the torpedo room is one of the featured parts.
When looking to buy a pre-built die-cast model, the purchaser should determine what the intent for the model is. Is it just to admire and say that they own it? Is it to collect and some day sell for a profit to another collector? If the owner just wants to look at it and admire it, then the detail can be negligible and weighed by the desire to pay more or less for the quality of the model. If the latter is the reason for purchasing the die-cast model then price is usually not an object and the detail should be extravagant. This will bring top dollar in the future from the next purchaser.