MRO F1 Engineering photobooks produced to date:
The First Twenty Years, (completed May 2013) see here
Volume 1: Hesketh 308, (1975), (completed August 2014) see here
Volume 2: McLaren M23, (1974 and 1976), (completed November 2015) see here
Volume 4: McLaren M19C, (1972), (completed August 2013) see here
I hope to start on Volume 3: Matra MS 10 and MS11 (1968) in January 2016 and thereafter God-willing, those that will follow are Volumes 5, 6 and 7 which will cover the Brabham BT44/44B which raced in 1974/75, the Gold Leaf sponsored Lotus 49 of 1968 and the 1973 Tyrrell 006 respectively. Matra MS10 and 11 is in ‘slow’ progress (30% complete), casualty of otherwise severe competition from other demands (March 2017).
These photobooks are available to view on-line and can be purchased from Photobox (or from myself at a little discount Vol 1, Vol 4 and ‘- The First Twenty Years’ are £70 each excluding postage and packing, whilst copies of the much larger Volume 2 are £95 each).
The Photobox on-line viewing experience and the beautifully produced photo books, far exceed any images presented here which are merely photographs from a photobook or screenshots from a Mac monitor. I have produced these photobooks to ensure my experience working with these cars and on the models themselves is preserved in hard copy, before it becomes too difficult to access original data or my memory fades. My original intention was to produce a copy of each for my own library, however via Photobox this work can be shared with you too. Choices of standard paper, premium paper, a gloss or semi-matt laminated cover, removal of the Photobox logo from the rear cover of the photobook and the request of a sturdy slipcase, can all be made via the Photobox website.
Introduction: during the latter half of 2013, I produced a 70 page photobook summarising my work making models since the early 1990’s. This book is called ‘MRO F1 Engineering – The First Twenty Years’. Buy the book from Photobox, or from myself at discount (see final paragraph ‘To purchase a copy’), or you can just continue reading about it below.
Background: the main subject matter of the book are the 1/12 scale Formula One models I have made, mainly using a limited number of parts from Tamiya models (usually the wheels and tyres, along with the engine block). The rest of the model will have been constructed as scratch-built items and thereby resulting in a model of a car not commercially available or seen before, in 1/12 scale. The period of interest are the late 60’s and 1970’s, although cars outside this era are also represented. No labour has been spared in order to represent all the visible engineering in the real car, for it is this aspect that especially interests me, ie how it works. These museum display models therefore educate and fascinate as they illustrate how the various designers brought together the necessary ingredients in as concise and organised way as possible, so as to achieve performance at world beating level. The evolution of the Formula One car is evident, as are the trends and variation in design characteristics as seen during the late 60’s and 1970’s in particular. I have managed to maintain authenticity of appearance and technical detail by merit of having spent time researching the real cars at Race Preparation workshops. There, I would visit every week or two during a six month restoration program for example, taking photographs and also drawing and measuring as much of the detail within the car as possible.
The book itself ‘MRO F1 Engineering – The First Twenty Years ‘
Photographs of the front cover and a selection of pages are shown within the following text, whilst at the end of this article, screenshot images of the front covers of the subsequent individual model volumes are shown for completeness.
Overview: this exciting project was achieved using Photobox having looked at other photobook opportunities and found them limiting, particularly re photograph and text placement. Photobox enables me to have essentially Carte Blanche with respect to numbers and positions of photographs and text blocks on any one page, thereby maximising the potential for informative and interesting photo’ explanations. The contents are arranged chronologically from 1990 (with references as far back as 1974), until the present day. The flow of the book takes the reader chronologically from 1990 with each numbered page set in historical terms by means of the current year (1990 through to 2013) placed top right on each page. This enables the contents to be framed in time with respect to each other, my age and other activities (work, family life and motorsport history) and also for the viewer to have a feel within their own time-frame, as for when the material was gathered and brought together.
Within the 70 pages, I have covered every 1/12 scale Formula One model I have built and necessarily had to limit these to a single photo for the early ones (1990 – 1998), followed by ten major sections, each covering one of the ten significant cars which followed, built between 1998 and 2012. These latter presentations between pages 12 and 62 enable more complete descriptions and multiple photographs of the models, mainly represented by studio-type photographs of the completed models, or with parts of the bodywork removed, along with relevant text panels.
Added value: in order to vary the type of content, I have integrated throughout fascinating insights into the parallel worlds of maintaining this hobby alongside the real Formula One world relating to the F1 personalities involved with the cars being modelled in 1/12 scale. This has been centred on the opportunity to spend some time with the folk involved and give them appreciation for their part in Formula One history, which was a great honour and privilege for myself. Many of these great heroes of Formula One were pleased to sign a plaque relating to the cars they had either driven, owned, designed or been a mechanic for. It is the latter groups of people without whose involvement, history wouldn’t have been made and so the unsung heroes – the mechanics in particular, are celebrated. There are about six such special chapters mixed in between the main model sections of the book to bring to life the central theme of the publication concerning the models. Within the articles relating to the cars themselves, there are additional references to other famous personalities such as Lord Hesketh and Gordon Murray, validating further, the models I have made relating to them.
Towards the end are sections illustrating visits I have made to McLaren and to Gordon Murray’s current design studio, rounding off the book with the current work in progress (somewhat slowed down by the research and production for this book and those that are intended to follow).
Future aspirations: I have had a long held desire to produce a similar book for each of the models so far produced, but wasn’t able to go ahead due to lack of a suitable photobook program. Then when I discovered Photobox, I felt I should begin with a less ambitious program, limiting myself to a single project, from which sprang the idea of the current title, as an overview – initially at least (MRO F1 Engineering – The First twenty Years) finally produced in May 2013.
I have been asked on subsequent occasions ‘how did you make that?’ and so I felt I could now go on to complete my original intention of a more in depth book relating to each model built so far. From this, came the decision to bring to life in book form, the concept and realisation of producing the 1972 McLaren M19C model. I chose this because having seen the first title published in early summer 2013, I had been invited to present models at a couple of McLaren events in the later part of the summer and so felt the M19C was a good choice to start with. Although not the first major subject I had modelled, this car effectively represented ‘Volume 4′ within the new series of books to be worked on – MRO F1 Engineering Volume 4: McLaren M19C, (1972). I had a copy ready to view for the second McLaren event alongside copies of ‘MRO F1 Engineering – The First Twenty Years’. follow this link to view the McLaren M19C, 1972 Photobook The new book detailing the manufacture of the 1/12 scale McLaren M19C, was successfully received and at present I am gathering photographs of the cars modelled before the M19C for the earlier volumes. Therein lies a problem of modernity, namely the detailed building of the earlier subjects were either photographed partially or entirely with an SLR camera using negative film, early digital photos increasingly making-up the recording of this vital building process. I have now acquired a negative-scanner in order to transfer these former evidences of ‘how it was done’, over to digital.
The new series, starting with that of the 1972 McLaren M19C integrates photographs of the real car in period with those of the model as it was made, also including numerous photographs of the real car during restoration, all well supported by explanatory text and references. This first book covers the subject matter in 60 pages and the others in the series are likely to be similar or slightly more (especially as the McLaren M23 book will cover two chassis and that of the Matra MS series, two cars also). The photo quality is bound to improve in the later volumes (volumes 5-7) where digital photography was entirely relied upon. Nonetheless, it is the capture of the stages of each build that matters, giving detail and information about how it was done, for without these even I wouldn’t necessarily recall the results of my problem-solving strategies in every instance.
Each volume is to have a colour coded title, that of the McLaren M19C being orange, the Matras a mid blue, the Tyrrell a darker blue title and the 1968 Lotus 49 (GLTL) in red for example. Formats will be standardised with a quality representative photo of the model in question on the front cover, other relevant photograph/s on the back cover, a contents page, with an Introduction specific to each car, plus Materials and Methods (generic description common to each book), then the pages that follow (page 8 following) being specific and unique to the title subject.
To purchase a copy
Photobox: copies of the book can be purchased direct from Photobox either at their current standard price or one can wait for their periodic photobook offers with significant saving. The typical price including usual add-ons can be in the region of £80-£130.
From myself: I have pre-purchased a small stock of my own photo book at discounted/offer price, for selling on to others and passing on the majority of the discount. Current price from myself for the first title (MRO F1 Engineering – The First Twenty Years) is £70 including VAT but excluding postage which is currently estimated to be about £5-6 inland UK. This method enables speedy delivery and ability to have the book straight away without waiting for Photobox offers to come along. Please send me your request and postal address to email@example.com initially, or use the ‘Contact’ facility on this website. Having established the P&P cost depending on where to package is to be sent, I will then confirm with you the total cost (each are £70 plus P&P, with the much larger McLaren M23 photobook priced at £95 plus P&P) and on receipt of this via PayPal, I will hope to send out the book poly-bagged within an outer cardboard enclosure within 1-2 days.
Other Information: at some point the book may go out of print and become unavailable either due to Photobox issues (nothing on the internet is forever I suppose), or my inadvertent lack of maintaining it’s presence on Photobox servers (none of us is infallible) – this is why I intend to keep a small stock of each title.
Front covers of the individual volumes
Volume 1: Hesketh 308 (1975)
Volume 2: McLaren M23 (1974 and 1976)
Volume 4: McLaren M19C (1972)