Volume 1 of my Photobook series will cover the wonderfully charismatic Hesketh 308, specifically James Hunt’s chassis 308/2 raced in 1975 and the winner of the Dutch Grand Prix ahead of Niki Lauda’s Ferrari 312T.
The book is about 90% complete and is likely to be 70 pages long, crammed with the usual spread of photos supported by informative text. It deals with the initial concept desire for this 1/12 scale model and the various experiences of trying to get the research data necessary to build such a model accurately – before the time when historic F1 racing was common and before I had ever set foot in an historic F1 Race Preparation workshop. Naturally it was in the earliest days of my work converting or semi scratch-building parts of cars, not to mention many of the photos were taken on 35mm film with an SLR and have needed their negatives scanning etc. I have witnessed this chassis from its first emergence from storage after 1975/6, through its historic racing period (2000’s), its appearance on the ‘Rush’ set and to its current racing ownership (where it competed in this month’s Monaco Historic Grand Prix – one day, I hope to go to this event). I have only to complete some final pages relating to its historic racing appearances and then a gallery of photos before final editing and approval for sharing on the internet via this website. Along with vol 4 (McLaren M19C), I am producing this Photobox photobook for my personal collection whilst the data is still retrievable and the memory remains keen, however should anyone wish to purchase a copy from myself, it is likely to cost the same as the others, namely £70.
When this work is done, I will need to assess how time should be apportioned between busy work and family life, the work in progress (Honda RA300 1/12) and the next book, vol 2: McLaren M23.
Ideas for the future – I have an external drive with saved video from many Goodwood Festival of Speed events and my visits to historic F1 Preparation workshops. This hard drive data has been produced for a Mac I believe and needs to be looked through and have short edited film clips (a few minutes long perhaps?) prepared and periodically released through this website to increase interest and share my experiences. At the moment, this hard drive has not even been unwrapped, let alone looked at, so if there is anyone out there with these skills and interest to help, I would be glad to hear from you.
Thanks for your interest and support. Mark
If anything I have made brings pleasure and a degree of wonder, do give God the glory and praise, for it is merely the talent He has given, that I am exercising. Amongst the F1 designs I have incorporated as wall tiles in my workspace, are two with the Bible texts John 3 v 16 and Romans 10 v 9 which help me keep my mind focussed on what really matters. Do give them a read. These models are built as one-off, hopefully unique cars of the 1970's mainly (some late 60's and fewer 90's/later) which are not for sale and are part of a personal collection. I am unable to accept commissions due to lack of time and over indulgent approach. They are museum-display and are not in any sense 'working models'. I have built 1/12 scale F1 models almost exclusively, each being in the order of 12-14" (30-36cm) long. My aim is to increase in a small way the 1/12 scale representation of Grand Prix car entries to the F1 World Championship that are not available commercially as kits to be built. They are to be retained as indefinite loans to museums for others to enjoy, for one's home is never large enough. The models perhaps represent my desire to own the the full-scale car, yet that is not feasible or practical (unless you are Bernie Ecclestone) and each of my models feels like the real thing to me, having often spent so much time with the actual car. The photographs of the original cars were taken by special permission and in respect of the owner of the actual GP car or race 'shop owner are not available for further distribution, nor are my own engineering drawings. The models are built with the idea of 'no effort spared' and to look as realistic as possible. I will go to eccentric and sometimes otherwise unreasonable lengths to replicate every detail of design and engineering in order to satisfy myself that I have something properly accurate. This includes the concept that all bodywork should be removable in the same way as on the full-size car and therefore reveal the engineering within; additionally the underneath of the car is modelled, for there is much to be enjoyed regarding 'how it all works' from seeing what is not normally visible. I have felt that in this way, these models may serve to educate interested folk as to what makes a Grand Prix car 'tick', for such rare access to the real thing, makes this aspect somewhat mysterious. I have shown some of those I consider the better models at shows, but do so relatively infrequently due to the effort and logistics of getting to often far-flung venues, not to mention the accelerated ageing effect on the models themselves, in transporting them. Inspiration comes from the great model makers such as Henri Baigent, Gerald Wingrove, also my friends involved in the same hobby and in particular folk like John Shinton here in the UK and especially Andy Matthews from America who produces 'gems', which are wonderful to study. Hopefully that covers everything; now all it remains is to enjoy! MRO, August 2010