Amalgam in the UK celebrates one of the most iconic partnerships in motorsport history at a range of scales from 1:18 to 1:8
Bristol, UK, 10th of May 2022
Amalgam Collection today released the first images of their latest Formula 1 project at 1:8 scale: the McLaren MCL35M. Dressed in a famous and evocative livery, this model precisely captures the car that reached the podium at the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2021 in the hands of Lando Norris. The Gulf livery, one of the most recognisable and admired in the history of motor racing, celebrates the deep-rooted and successful racing partnership between McLaren Racing and Gulf Oil International.
McLaren and Gulf
Gulf’s link with McLaren started in 1968 and continued until the end of the 1973 season, with Gulf and McLaren enjoying success in both Formula 1 and the Can-Am series, in which the partnership won over 40 races. In the mid-90s the collaboration was renewed with the iconic McLaren F1 GTR running in Gulf colours at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and in global GT racing. The collaboration was revived again in July 2020 when McLaren announced the brand’s return as an official partner. The iconic blue with an orange stripe was a tribute to Gulf’s enduring brand value, while reflecting a racing connection that began in the days of team founder Bruce McLaren. “The passion and enthusiasm for the Gulf livery on the MCL35M has been clear from the moment we announced our intent to develop a collection of models” says Sandy Copeman, one of the founding partners of Amalgam Collection. “Demand has been huge from McLaren and collectors alike.”
The 1:8 scale Gulf Livery Model
Amalgam’s model at 1:8 scale precisely captures every detail and aerodynamic aspect of the MCL35M and its iconic Gulf livery. Working from CAD data supplied directly by McLaren, Amalgam’s engineers developed a prototype, meticulously interpreting the data to ensure that the details were accurately brought to life in miniature. Master patterns were created for each piece of the complex assembly, using 3D printing followed by meticulous hand finishing. Moulds were then taken from each pattern and used to create a small batch of cast components, each one fettled and fitted to make a complete set, before painting finishing and assembly. The edition of MCL35M, strictly limited to 50 pieces of each driver livery, necessitated over 2500 hours of development and the resulting prototype only received the approval of the McLaren designers and engineers once they were fully satisfied with its accuracy of representation. Measuring over 71 centimetres (28 inches) long, each subsequent model took 250 hours to cast, fit, fettle, paint and assemble, as Amalgam’s team of artisans focused on ensuring that every minute detail was accurately captured.
McLaren’s 2021 Season
Norris’ podium was just one of the highlights for the McLaren during the 2021 Formula 1 season. The British driver also claimed third place in Imola and Austria, bringing his tally to five podiums for the team. “It has been fantastic to see McLaren back at the front, battling for podiums regularly during the last couple of seasons” continues Copeman. “Seeing them contest with Ferrari is a refreshing continuation many historic Formula 1 battles.” McLaren’s highlight of the season was undoubtably the Italian Grand Prix, where Daniel Ricciardo led Norris past the chequered flag for the team’s first win since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, and their first one-two finish since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix.
The 1:8 Monza winning car
The model engineers at Amalgam have also developed a 1:8 scale edition of that Monza-winning car, and the sample model has recently been met with approval by the design and engineering teams at McLaren. Limited to just 50 pieces, Amalgam is now accepting deposits on these models, with a view to delivering the first batches in the summer.
The 1:18 Gulf Livery Edition
Completing the MCL35M Collection is a 1:18 scale version of the Monaco car, along with a 1:12 scale replica of the car’s nosecone as raced at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The 27cm (10 inches) long edition of 1:18 scale models is limited to just 500 pieces, and required over 800 hours of development time. Each model is delivered with a booklet designed by McLaren Racing’s design team. The booklet adds a powerful piece of visual design DNA and insight from the heart of the McLaren Racing design team.
MCL35 Nosecone at 1:12
Each nosecone replica measures 16 centimetres (6 inches) wide, features a certificate of authenticity and is entirely removeable from its mounting frame, itself inspired by the real garage storage racks in the Formula 1 pit line.
“Our full collection pays tribute to the success of McLaren during the 2021 season” says Copeman. “Having made such progress from their self-confessed poor performances a few years ago, we’re hoping McLaren continues this trajectory into the 2022 season.”
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ABOUT AMALGAM COLLECTION AND THEIR HISTORY
- Amalgam are recognised worldwide as makers of the finest hand-made large-scale models. Their work is unique in its attention to detail, with a focus on creating models that truly capture the style and spirit of each car. They have dedicated all their skill and passion to achieving a level of excellence that raises the impact and value of each finished piece to a level far above anything previously created.
- For owners of cars they have already modelled at 1:8 in a limited edition, for which the tooling already exists, they offer a tailormade service, customising a model to perfectly match the specification of the real car.
- For owners of unique very high value cars, Amalgam Collection offer an even bigger 1:5 or 1:4 ‘one-off’ model build from their UK workshops in Bristol, England. They will digitally scan the car wherever it is in the world and take up to a thousand pictures of every detail, allowing them to perfectly and accurately replicate everything at scale. Given the significant number of hours required to develop a unique model the costs are high, so the model is built at a very large scale to maximise the impact and detail, and to deliver the ultimate finished piece.
Amalgam Collection’s design, management and development heart is in England, with extraordinarily skilled and dedicated teams producing the bigger editions in Hungary and China. They are a multinational, multicultural team of crafts-men and women, dedicated to creating the world’s most precise, beautiful and exclusive models. Inspired by the F1 teams and iconic luxury car marques of England and Italy that they serve and partner with, they take huge pride in their mission to perfectly capture the designs, and honour the designers, drivers and creators of the automotive art they love.
Originally a partnership of four talented model-makers formed in 1985, from the start Amalgam created finely tuned models for the most important UK and German designers and architects. Working closely with Norman Foster’s team on the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank and on the Hong Kong Airport project was a fast, steep learning curve which quickly opened their eyes to subtle aesthetics and refined engineering. Working with such gifted architects their passion and desire to model the very best designs was ignited, which in due course led them to Williams F1 and Adrian Newey who were dominating the F1 championship in 1995, then on to Maranello and to the massively important design heritage of Enzo Ferrari in 1999, and latterly to the works of Pininfarina and Ettore Bugatti.
The seminal performance and luxury car designers of the early to mid-20th century were obsessed with achieving ever higher speeds, lighter and more powerful engines, more streamlined bodies, an impassioned quest that inevitably resulted in elegant and beautiful solutions as a consequence of stretching the supreme excellence of the craftsmanship and engineering to the very limits of what could be achieved at the time.
The companies that today bear these iconic names continue to be inspired, and their creativity is still fuelled, by the extraordinary passion and genius of their founders. Amalgam Collection too find inspiration in the creations of the founders and their companies who continue to design and create automotive artworks.
Recognising the beauty and importance of these designs Amalgam Collection have utterly dedicated their energy and passion to modelling these cars to a level of accuracy, precision and excellence that raises the finished replica to a level far beyond anything previously created. Amalgam have chosen to work at a scale of 1:8 which is widely acknowledged to be the most satisfying scale to comprehend the entirety of a car’s design at a glance, whilst in addition showing the most minute details.
To create perfect scale replicas of modern cars they use original CAD data supplied by the manufacturer and work closely with the design team to perfect their rendition of the interior and exterior finishes.
With regard to classics, in their quest for supreme accuracy and authenticity Amalgam’s team goes to great lengths to locate the best examples of original cars and digitally scans them to capture the precise shape and proportions of every part of the car including the chassis, engine and drive train. In addition, 600 to 800 photographs of every aspect and detail of each car are shot, to ensure a complete understanding of the finishes and detailing. The resulting models beautifully and precisely capture the entirety of the original and are impossible to discern from a real car in photographs.
Amalgam is the only maker of model cars in the world that can be considered alongside a maker of luxury watches like Richard Mille or Hublot. In fact, Richard Mille is an Amalgam patron who recognising a shared passion for engineering detail and perfection has commissioned from Amalgam Collection many unique models of his own cars and those he sponsors.
HOW THE MODELS ARE CREATED
- The patterns are created using original CAD from the manufacturer, or extraordinarily accurate digital scans and hundreds of photographs of an original classic car.
- The patterns are used to create silicon rubber moulds that capture every detail.
- Prototyping resin is used to cast the parts from the silicon moulds. Around 20 to 30 parts can be cast from each mould and then a new one must be made.
- Each model is built from thousands of parts: castings, photo-etchings and CNC machined metal components.
- Genuine car paints and manufacturer or archive colour references are used to spray the bodywork.
- It takes between 2,500 and 4,500 hours to develop the tooling for each model.
- It takes between 250 and 450 hours to cast, fit, fettle, paint and build each model.
Every Amalgam Fine Model Car is made entirely by hand from thousands of parts. Detailed original CAD data is supplied by the car's manufacturer or the race team of the car to be modelled. The process of developing each model and creating the master patterns takes between 2,500 and 4,500 hours of skilled work depending on the complexity of the car, with classic cars taking the longest.
In the case of the classic cars an extremely accurate digital scan is made of the car, and hundreds of photographs of all the details of a carefully selected original car are taken, to ensure complete accuracy and adherence to the authentic finishes and materials. Many parts of the model are machined from metal with the major components hand cast from prototyping resin. Each model is individually assembled by a small team of highly skilled model-makers. In total the time taken to machine, cast, hand fettle, paint, polish and assemble each model is between 250 and 450 hours of highly skilled work depending on the complexity of the car.
The finished model is a very precise scale replica of the original car with every detail perfectly and authentically represented at an 8th of the original size. This is modelling elevated to such a high level that it becomes an art form.
Since 1995 Amalgam have been admired and hugely respected by leading designers and engineers in the European automotive industry, as well as F1 designers, drivers and team principals. Amalgam's models appear on the desks of CEOs and presidents of the world's most important car companies. Due to the extreme accuracy and authenticity of Amalgam's creations, made in small limited editions, they are also much sought after by devoted collectors of fine handmade objects across Europe and in the USA.