At last a new model in production and I hope you like it. For those of you who thought I was getting a bit racey and more interested in speed than making accurate (ish) models I hope this belays any fears. I dont think the Bentley will be the fastest round the track but it is a lovely looking model and a Le Man car to boot. Just going back to my comment about accuracy, we have to be honest about this. A lot of times we make models of cars that dont exist any more. In the case of the Embiricos Bentley, I have never seen this car in the flesh so all the information that went into making it came from research in books and the wonderful internet drawings, which do have to be viewed with skepticism most of the time. However, having worked this way for many years I am hopefully now experienced enough to make a damn good representation of this car. The thing to remember when researching is do not take it as gospel. The dimensions vary from book to book and I am sure some people just make them up, after all who is going to check?
It is also key to find photos of the car at the time and in the race. Even these can conflict sometimes. You can be looking at a picture and think the information about it is completely wrong. Wrong car, wrong race etc. So you do have to check and double check. A lot of old cars have been restored as well and now bare little resemblance to how the car originally was. I think a lot of car restorers should be shot. Just my opinion. Not all of them, I think there are some unbelievably talented restorers who can do incredible work. But some, well, when I made my Maserati 300S I made ten variations. So I got to know them pretty well and believe me there are a couple of 300S out there that a monkey could have restored better. They are all lovely and shiney but the effing shape is wrong. But I suppose if you are restoring a car for an aging rock star with more money than sense and no eye for accuracy you get what you are given. Yes you silly old farts keep taking the drugs, do another best of album, another reunion tour and they will take your money and I dont blame them I wish I could do the same.
Car restoration is an art and most do it with passion and love, but unfortunately it is also down to the client to take more interest in what is being produced. If you are handing over wads of money, make sure what you are getting is correct.
Oh yes, getting back to research. You always find another photo or even more annoyingly some one will send you a pic with a pic you did not notice. And it is always just after you put the model in the mould. Recently with the Bentley one photo was from the begining, when the wheel spats were on, and another from later on with the wheel spats off. Do you make the model from the start of the race or the end? Do you put the dents in? With my Auto Union from the Donnington race I did put little dents and imperfections into the casting and it looks great. Also a lot of body panels will not match up, I always try and to achieve this with on a model but I dont think many people notice. With old car doors and bonnets the fit was terrible in a lot of cases. When the car is restored everything is made to fit perfectly, this is good for the new owner but not for me trying to make a model a model, warts and all.
If you use a 1/43 or 1/18 scale model for reference, as sometimes we do, it is probably wrong. Well all models are wrong really, just some are closer to being right. In the end all you do is end up copying someone elses mistakes. Also research is unpaid, it is done at weekends and in the evening. I dread to think how many hours I spend ranting at the computer or at a book... "Why are there no pictures of the other side of the car or the back, wheres the bloody exhaust pipe!?"
With my full blown hand carved prototype, such as the Bentley, I do spend a lot more time researching than say something like the Chap 2, which is a modified Revel/ MRRC/ Monogram shell. These cut and shuts as us modelmakers calls them are more for fun. They are not a big seller. If I sell 20 worldwide I will be lucky. So you have to weigh up how long you want to spend on such a project.
With my next two prototypes, the Corvette and the Talbot, a lot more time will be spent on research. Again with the Talbot this car does not exist in its original form as it raced at Le Mans. I believe it has been rebodied twice. If I was lucky enough to own this car I would have it looking exactly like when Levegh drove it for 23 hours at Le Mans. But even this car was rebodied from an open wheeler.
Getting back to the Bentley the first kits should be finished later this week. So if you would like to order one it should not be long, the Chap 2 is also now on the car page (SPGT-23001).