Angels with Dirty Faces

Amalgam’s remarkable 1:8 scale models

Amalgam’s remarkable 1:8 scale models are now available in a new “Weathered” range. Here’s how they’re made to look so authentically mucky

Mercedes-Benz W196 Monoposto - 1955 British GP Winner - Moss

It’s a thing now; manufacturers and race teams preserving their winning cars exactly as they crossed the finishing line. And although the cars tend to pick up extra fingerprints and smudges over the years, and will never be raced again, everyone loves them.

Porsche 917K - 1970 Daytona Winner - Gulf Livery

So the logical next step is ‘dirty’ models, isn’t it? You’ve probably seen the stunning models that Amalgam has been making for 25 years, from the 1.2m-long (48in) 1:4 scale monsters to the more regularly sized 1:18 models. Well, now the company has added a ‘Weathered’ range…

Ferrari 330 P4 - 1967 Le Mans - 2nd Place - Class Winner

The specialist’s most intricate, exclusive models are built in its ‘artisan’ department in Bristol, UK. This is where the Weathered models are created, based on the condition of a specific car at a particular moment in time – usually as it wins an important race.

Every detail of the weathering is hand produced in minute detail: tyre wear, body damage, hasty repairs, stone chips, insect splatters, oil stains and brake dust.

Audi R8 - 2005 Le Mans Winner

As with all Amalgam models, the Weathered creation process starts with detailed digital scans of the real thing, with more than 1000 images taken. From these, the team creates CAD designs of every component, all of which need to fit together perfectly.

Ferrari F1-90 (641/2) - Mexico GP - Mansell

Those components are then produced by 3D printing, machining or handcrafting, if possible out of the original material used in the full-size car. They’re finished with automotive paint and decals to represent carbonfibre, polished aluminium, leather or patinated surfaces.

And then the weathering begins, bringing new life to the models. The techniques are explained on these pages, where we have focused on the 1:8 scale 1995 Le Mans-winning McLaren F1 GTR, the 1970 Daytona-winning Porsche 917K and James Hunt’s 1976 championship-winning McLaren M23D. The detail is mind boggling, and each model takes around 20 hours just to weather.

McLaren F1 GTR Ueno Clinic - 1995 Le Mans Winner

The 1:8 scale Weathered range also includes a Ferrari 250LM, McLaren MP4/4, Ferrari 250TR, Audi R8 Le Mans car and, now in development, Nigel Mansell’s 1990 Ferrari

F1-90, with prices starting from £9000 each.

There are also 1:18 scale models (25cm/10in long) available in the Weathered range, which start at around £1000 each. They’re smaller but still deeply impressive – and dirty!