17/06/2004 Autodromo - 1/8 Scale Ferrari Championship Cars
1970 Ferrari 312B
If you think you’ve seen just about everything in the world of modelling, then think again. With most mass-market manufacturers producing models in China to a level of intricacy that only a few years ago would have been the preserve of skilled European artisans, it was something of a revelation to discover the best models I have probably ever seen, coming out of a small workshop in Bristol, in the west of England.
Carrying the official ‘Ferrari License’, these 1/8th scale works of art made by Andy Cann, Harriet Addyman and Russell Harper are manufactured to a level of detail that only some 3-4 months tool- and pattern-making, combined with 50 hours assembly-time, can produce. All three have strong artistic and industrial design training (Cann Studied BA Industrial Design at Central St. Martins), and every aspect of these exquisite miniatures shows it; from the component parts, to the finished models, the packaging and the superb website - ‘attention to detail’ is a phrase oft-used but in this case it’s an understatement.
Manufactured in resin with all ancillary parts made from white metal, ‘mazak’, photo-etched copper and nickel, rubber and nylon, the cars are correct to the smallest detail. The front brake ducts on the 312T for example appearing exactly as original in the semi-frosted natural fibre-glass finish with the shape unbelievably formed so it envelopes the upper wishbone. How do they do that! The correct paint finish is superb and all manner of artistic tricks and wrinkles are used to replicate the sponsors decals, instruments, and labels on various engine components.
Ferraris are their passion, so when they produced the initial 1970 312B model for approval by the factory they were delighted - and somewhat awestruck - to be asked to produce a complete set of every F1 car for both the Constructors and Drivers championships from 1952 to 1983. The first ‘Championship Car’ to be produced is Niki Lauda’s 1975 312T; this will be followed by Phil Hill’s 1961 156F1 ‘Sharknose’ and Gilles Villeneuve’s 1982 126C2 machine that won the Constructors but not the Drivers title. Just 100 examples of each car will be made, and all are mounted on a black marbled ‘Corian’ base, bearing plaques with the official 'Ferrari License' logo, the model type and its edition number. A museum-quality clear acrylic case protects the model from dust and damage, yet still allows its detailing to be seen.
And sports car fans will not be forgotten. Seen in its prototype stages last week was the incredible Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ chassis, already a mass of tubes waiting for Andy Cann to work out the exact way of putting this into production. This, and some other projects they are working on, will mean Autodromo will have a lot of work to do over the next few months.
Both the 312T and 312B cost £4,350 each (incl. VAT) + postage/shipping.
The full list of Ferrari ‘Championship Cars’ is as follows -