While we're waiting for the next round of the series, why not look at some of the fine modelling demonstrated by this year's VRAA entries? Before I reveal the winners in this competition, I thought you might enjoy some closeup detail shots of the craftsmanship on the grid.
First, the drivers... Undoubtedly, the quality of presentation of driver heads has improved markedly since the arrival of the Immense Miniatures offerings.
Datto's Fangio in the Mercedes #10
David Mitcham's Stirling in the Maserati #7
David Mitcham's Tony Brooks in the BRM #5
Datto's Surtees in the Ferrari #7
Old23's Clark in the Lotus #28
Some suspension detail has long been required in the VRAA GP1.5 Class, but some builders really go the extra mile in replicating the intricate web of rods, hubs, spring/dampers and brakes found on these cars.
Slo1quick's 1964 Brabham BT7
Andi Rowland's 1961 Lotus 21-Climax
David Mitcham's 1961 BRM P48/57
Datto's 1964 Ferrari 158
Stubbo's 1964 Brabham BT7/11
Fastwagon's 1965 Honda RA272
And, even though the same level of detail isn't required in the GP2.5 Class, it is most welcome when something as beautiful as this appears...
David Mitcham's 1954 Maserati 250F
There are some tough decisions ahead for the VRAA Concours Judge (that would be me!). I hope you are as inspired as I am to bring this level of quality to my next build.
It has been a very frustrating day waiting for Photobucket to come back online. Hopefully, they'll be back soon. But it does give me pause to wonder... If this company suddenly disappears, millions of pictures in web posts around the globe will be gone forever. Naturally, I have the original files of all my pictures on my own hard drive (and backed up on at least one other). However, I would never have the time available to upload all those photos to another hosting site and then re-link them in thousands of web posts on multiple forums. So they would be gone forever. Just shows how fragile a web we weave...
The time has come to announce the winners of the VRAA 2016 Concours D'Elegance.
I should explain that this is a very personal judgement based on my own experience and knowledge of model-making and of historic Grand Prix cars. I don’t claim to be an expert on either topic, but as no experts were at hand, I volunteered myself for the job!
I must point out that these studio pictures were not shot until after the first race of the season. Unfortunately, this resulted in some minor “race wear” (and the odd fur ball) being captured in some photos. My apologies to the builders.
There were many fine looking cars entered in the Proxy this year and some fantastic model-making skills in evidence, as you will have seen in the photos above. All deserved an Honourable Mention in this competition, but I had to narrow it down to just three prize-winning cars. So, here they are in order from 3rd to 1st place:
Stu’s Brabham BT7 Climax is very precisely crafted from top to bottom. The suspension detail was neatly done (note that all the radius arms were present at the outset). The only shortcoming in that area was the absence of any front uprights. The driver (Dan Gurney) is nicely painted but limited to head and shoulders. The body shell paint job is excellent, in a subtle metal flake green with a gold stripe. The gearbox is a vacuform construction, hiding the crown gear from top and rear views, but exposing it from the right side. However, the crown is painted to match the colour of the gearbox and the resulting effect makes for the appearance of a reasonably narrow gearbox. Though I do not normally judge the chassis construction visible only on the underside of the car in a this type of competition, the design and level of workmanship evidenced on Stu’s chassis approaches the “Swiss watch” engineered creations of Chris Walker. Finally, it needs to be said that all the above appearance detail does not come at the expense of on-track performance. This is the car that was victorious in seven of eight races and ran away with the GP1.5 Championship!
Andi Rowland’s Lotus 21 Climax demonstrates some extraordinary suspension detail. In addition to the springs, A-arms and radius rods, Andi has replicated uprights complete with brake discs, brake lines, anti-roll bars and steering arms (see the photos in Post #1 of this thread). Quite incredible work indeed! The body, while accurately simple, wears an excellent paint job and interesting rivet details along the base of the windscreen. On the negative side, the driver (Clark) wears an incorrect helmet for 1961 and there is no evidence of a gearbox inside the opening at the tail of the bodywork.
For the second year running, the Concours D’Elegance Gold Medal goes to a BRM by David Mitcham. This year the master modeller has carved a P48/57 from a block of wood and had it cast in resin (by John Warren). The result is a unique model of a race car that was, until now, unavailable to us. A very nice representation of BRM blue/green is somewhat diminished by a few stress lines. A clear coat might have saved the number decals from flaking, but as initially presented the BRM was beautiful to behold. The suspension detail is top notch and very complete (see the photos in Post #1 of this thread). The driver, though not full length, is a very convincing “flat” torso from Immense Miniatures. Bravo David! You are the VRAA 2016 Concours D’Elegance winner.