How about both? Take the photos and then rework your own cars from the "textures."
More work, but then you can recolor or add designs that are more unique to you.
My thoughts exactly... in fact I just went over to Kmart across the way there and started looking at Hotwheels cars for like $1.60 each... then I got carried away after about 30 minutes of looking at toy cars and ended up going from $1.60, to $5.80, to $11.99, to $19.95 for these two 1/24 scale Chevys. I got a 1968 Camaro SS, and a Nova SS Coupe from the Maisto toys range... they look damn sweet.
I'll go get my friends camera tomorrow and try to take some snaps this weekend with the macro function. Ill also comendere my mates old record player so I can do a short video of the car spinning around so I can chop it out with FXhome and use it for a groovy car selection menu thing. Hopefully this will work out the way I want it to, otherwise my daughter now has two expensive toys to play with lol.
For the damage model... do I take a hammer to the cars after I have all the photos I need of it "not smashed"?? Or should I just Photoshop the damage? I think a hammer would be more fun!