Passion

<em>Illustrations: Gioia Marchegiani Photo: Tim Hall</em>

Modelling perfection

Bristol-based Amalgam has been making scale models of Ferrari cars - including highly personalised Atelier models - for 20 years. Demand is high, just like the level of precision in the work
Words

Mark Dixon

Despite what one might think, not all Ferrari cars are made for driving: there are some models which are just for looking at. We are talking about scale models – miniature versions of ‘the real thing’ -, the speciality of Bristol-based model-making company Amalgam, which for the better part of 20 years has been building scale models of Prancing Horse cars for the most discerning of customers.

“Our objective is that you shouldn’t be able to tell a photograph of our model from a picture of the real car,” says Sandy Copeman, an Amalgam founder. “Clients do sometimes confuse the two, and when that happens we know we’re getting it right!”

Amalgam - set up in 1985 as an architectural and prototype-modelling service - made its first, handcrafted 1:8 Ferrari model in 1998, which is when Sandy first visited Maranello. But it wasn’t until the year 2000 that the two companies started working together in earnest, and the British company has now modelled every Ferrari F1 car made since 1998 and every road car from the F430 onwards, plus most of the GT and Challenge series race versions, too.

No fewer than 122 modern and classic Ferrari models can be found listed on the company’s website - amalgamcollection.com - with more being introduced all the time. The partnership extends beyond models of series production cars and F1 racers, for Amalgam also collaborates with the Ferrari Atelier programme realising 1:8 scale models that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.

Amalgam's artisans precisely reproduce Ferrari Atelier models, like this 488 Pista (top) and GTC4Lusso   <i>Photo: Tim Hall</i>
Amalgam's artisans precisely reproduce Ferrari Atelier models, like this 488 Pista (top) and GTC4Lusso Photo: Tim Hall

For example, if your car is painted a unique colour – perhaps with contrasting brake calipers – or maybe you have a special plaque on the dashboard, or even a set of matching luggage, then you can purchase a superb replica that exactly reflects your individual taste.

Working at the large 1:8 scale allows a phenomenal amount of detail, which requires clever use of materials. For example, real leather is unsuitable for use in a 1:8 scale model car. “It’s too thick, it requires overscale stitching and the texture is all wrong, giving a toy-like effect,” Copeman explains. So Amalgam uses decals to represent the stitching. The result is indistinguishable from the real thing. 

For the paint, Amalgam uses the same formulas that are specified for full-size Ferrari cars, making only small modifications to some versions of metallic paint, whose metal flakes would appear oversize on a scale model car. 

The SF90 Stradale by Amalgam is identical (except in size) to the original <em>Illustrations: Gioia Marchegiani; Photo: Tim Hall</em>
The SF90 Stradale by Amalgam is identical (except in size) to the original Illustrations: Gioia Marchegiani; Photo: Tim Hall

“One of our customers has a trademark colour scheme that involves a lot of blue-tinted carbon fibre, and our skill with paints means we can replicate it perfectly,” Copeman explains.

Quality of this calibre doesn’t come cheap, of course. A standard Amalgam model of a Ferrari typically costs between £7,000 and £10,000, and a bespoke model reflecting an original Atelier specimen about a third as much again.

Delivery time once an order has been received is approximately 12 weeks, and barely a handful of models are produced each week, meaning that they will always remain extremely rare and – in the case of bespoke replicas - absolutely unique. 

 

 

Models depicted in the article are available as collectibles:

Ferrari Monza SP1 - 1:8 scale

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider - 1:8 scale 

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso - 1:8 scale 

See more Amalgam Ferrari Models at  https://store.ferrari.com/collectibles/models-and-scales

 

 
 
 

All p​hotographic and video content of the above article was created prior to the Covid-19 emergency and related Government decrees

 

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