The joy of making Model Cars

Most of us soon begin to realise that the dream of owning a McLaren F1, E-type Jaguar or Porsche 911 is never going to happen. All we can do is take a corner of our Dad or Grandads Workshop Bench and have a good go at making a model version. If Dad or Grandad are the organised type, we can add it to the garage shelving they will have thoughtfully purchased through .

Model making remains a massive part of childhood even with the continued rise of the computer game, where you can at least pretend to drive an F1 and the sound effects are supplied. It is not just a past time for children. Increasingly more adults are modelling as it becomes away for focusing the mind away from the stresses and strains of daily life.

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Most car models are available in kit form but there is growing number of modellers who hanker back to the old days where you built something from scratch. There are guides but essentially you have to research the vehicle you want to make thoroughly before you attempt to put knife to plastic. One of the most difficult and time-consuming elements is working out the scale by which you have to factor down you model. If it’s not universally correct you may then up with odd pieces. It is a very daunting process and one that requires the deepest commitment. You will need to have some skill in technical drawing. The dimensions must be spot on. Study the subject that you want to make. It might be an idea to get hold of an old Haynes manual.

Which all rather sounds a bit too much like hard work.  A more immediate solution would be to just get a ready-made kit. It’s a lot easier and all you’ll need is glue and paint. Buy a nice big one as the small ones can be a fiddle. Airfix, based now in France as model making remains very popular on the continent, still produce beginner’s kits. In these you get the model car, the paint to go with it and a brush for the application. You also get some modelling glue. This is usually the real gloppy type, it can show through around the connection points for the model and seep through gaps. They don’t take the paint very well. There are other types available such as liquid poly glue which is a lot less messy.

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Once you’ve made your model why not think about making a vignette to go with it? You can incorporate more models and bulid a display like these guys at The Motor Museum in Miniature to see how it’s done.