By Maz Woolley
All photographs are by the manufacturers.
I recently stumbled over a company that I had never heard of before whose sales are targeted only at the richest model collectors. Amalgam models based in Bristol in the United Kingdom create large scale exhibition standard models to the orders of racing teams and wealthy car owners as well as a few batches of models of classic subjects for more general sale. These models are all to large scales between 1:18 and 1:8 and often include fine scale opening features and a very high standard of finish. The models are targeted at the wealthy who buy luxury brand chronometers and fine and classic cars as you can see on their website http://www.amalgamcollection.com/
The company was created in 1985 by four model makers making scale buildings for Architects practices, They still work in that field and for Naval Architects as well as making the Amalgam Collection of model cars. They focused on supplying the leading F1 teams and Europe’s luxury car manufacturers. It is now owned by a US media company, Motorsport Network. In recent years cars from Ralph Lauren’s collection have been modelled and sold in his flagship stores. They offer a bespoke service building a model of your car to order.
As might be expected these are very expensive models. A 1:8 scale racing Aston Martin costs about the same as a small new car in the UK. Their standard 1:18 scale models such as the one shown below are slightly more expensive than an equivalent hand built model model from BBR.
I have selected two cars they have modelled from different ends of the collection to look at. The first one has been modelled many times to different standards and is from their 1:18 collection. The Ferrari 250 LM #21 which was the overall winner of the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1965 driven by Jochen Rindt, and Masten Gregory. This model is to 1:18 scale.
The model appears from the photographs to be well moulded and detailed as one would expect. A lot of attention has been lavished on the box and all the luxury add-ons and presentation.
The interior appears to be detailed to the same standard as the exterior. The tiny Ferrari badge in the centre of the steering wheel is present and the wood effect wheel rim nicely modelled.
Perspex sliding windows are well modelled and the fuel filler and air inlets are nicely captured and convincing.
Front and rear detailing is well done and wheels and tyres are excellent as well.
Finally by way of comparison is a picture of the BBR model of the 250 from 1967. To my eye the Amalgam model is roughly on a par with BBR ones in standards as well as price though not marketed to collectors in the same way.
At the other end of the offerings from Amalgam are hand made 1:8 scale models such as this of the Aston Martin DBR9 which raced at Sebring in 2005. which is currently out of stock.
There are no opening or moving parts on this model which is made to be displayed. The model is finished to an extremely high standard with the wheels and brakes being particularly beautifully executed.
All the logos are incredibly well reproduced and details like the town point are captured well. The fine modelling of the rear wing is excellent though it looks fragile even in this large scale.
The overhead view on a plinth is the only view where it looks like a model rather than a real car.
All in all a wonderful scale model but then it needs to be one could buy a new Hyundai i10 for less money than such a model would cost!
Few collectors could afford these models or will see them unless they attend manufacturers exhibitions. However they are interesting as they show a corner of the model making industry not generally seen in the general press.
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