Automobile Models

 

MODEL AUTOMOBILES

A world-class model, when photographed properly, aspires to be indistinguishable from the real thing.  So, while it has been suggested that our visuals on this web site are of the real automobile and not the model, we’re honored to prove otherwise.

Michele Conti from Turin, Italy, considered one of the very best modelers of his time, coupled with a short-lived, 1:8 scale, all metal, limited production Bugatti Type 35 model, was the inspiration and foundation of our model automobiles.  And while our enthusiasm, was at an all-time high, this category would prove to be the most difficult, as the market was overflowing with automobile models of all kinds (although again, none at a level we were interested in producing).

We initially found some folks in France that had a passion equal to ours, and the skills necessary to push the envelope.  However, we began to understand why it is sometimes so difficult to do what we do in the industrialized West.  With our trains, ships, and aircraft - the entire focus was on being the best, and once this was achieved, the money followed.  In the industrialized West, money and complacency have a unique way of dampening one’s passion and stagnating the growth process. 

Our Bugatti models are, no doubt, great models (and they all sold out).  They are made entirely of brass with real leather seats, hand engine turning on the firewall, and real rubber tires with inner tubes so the weight of the model creates the side wall sag of a real tire.  The wood steering wheels are made of six pieces, just like the real steering wheel.  But there is no question in our minds that they can be better. 

Since then, with the help of some additional model makers we were able to find, we have explored the 1:5 scale area with some fantastic Mercedes models.  We are now moving forward with some 1:8 scale models at the same level of excellence we are now accustomed to.  While this has become the most challenging area of our business today, the passion is back and the journey will, no doubt, be interesting.

AUTOMOBILE DEVELOPMENT

The development of our automobile models, while not as difficult as our airplanes, is the least fun for us.  The vast majority of the automobile plans we need, usually don’t exist.  Therefore, we have to measure the real automobile.  In addition, we have to capture all of the subtle details such as curves and radiuses (if we mess this up, nothing else matters).  And, in most cases, we make all of our own scale nuts and bolts.

Leather proved to be a challenge for us early on.  Finding leather that scales, with respect to grain and thickness, was not easy.  In addition, curing the leather (so it wouldn’t dry out and crack over time) proved just as difficult.  As with most challenges, we were able to find a solution.  And, while we’re not sure our leather will last four hundred and fifty years, but the process we use has been known to at least one hundred years without cracks (assuming it’s not abused).

Paint was another issue.  Or rather, finding a scale paint in a thickness that did not dilute the detail nor give away the fact that it was a model.  The process we developed for this was shear accident, but works remarkably well.  As you look at our automobile models, make a point to look at the paint in comparison to the smallest details, and notice that these details remain just that - details.

As we push forward, we continue to develop new techniques, as this is what ensures that our next model will always be better than the last.