Carl Greatrix (Brictrix) is mostly and rightfully known for his excellent minifig scale train models. However, the train layouts he brings to shows also often feature beautifully constructed buildings and classic cars. It is no surprise to me then that, now he has turned his attention to building a scale model of a car, the end result is superb. The car in question is a seventies motorsport icon: the Ferrari 312T4 Formula One racer. The model was inspired by the highly detailed plastic scale models in old catalogues by the Japanese Tamiya brand. I used to have one of those too, as a teenager, and spent many hours pouring over it looking for inspiration for my models.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Ferrari Formula One cars. Some of them are beautiful. Others, not so much, although I suppose that on a race car, “form follows function” has a certain attractiveness on its own. As far as I am concerned, the 312T4 isn’t particularly pretty either, but Carl’s rendition is definitely spot-on.
Remember the Alfa Romeo racer I posted a while ago? In that post, I made a remark about the truly hideous nose of the Ferrari F14 T, which is their Formula one car for the 2014 season. To get more air under the car, where it is accelerated to create down force, race car designers want to raise the nose far from the ground. This led to the noses on Formula 1 cars steadily creeping upward over the years. In fact, they were getting so far off the ground that they were beginning to pose a danger to other drivers in case of a crash. Consequently, this year, new regulations were introduced that limited how high the nose is allowed to be and this has led to some ‘interesting’ engineering solutions.
Ferrari’s method resulted in a decidedly crooked shape. Nathanael L. has built a model of the F14 T, but at first I didn’t even really notice the small kink. It’s a beautiful car. Mind you, Ferrari’s solution is by no means the ugliest. I can’t imagine anybody building Torro Rosso F1 car any time soon…
Yesterday, the Scuderia Ferrari racing team announced their new car for the 2014 Formula One season and it is hideous. It looks like a fat bloke sat on its nose. Of course, what looks right and what is right in terms of aerodynamics doesn’t necessarily match up. What also doesn’t help are stringent rules aimed at keeping the speed of the car down. There used to be a time when things were different though. Back in 1933, the shape of a racecar wasn’t yet determined using wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics. There were also far fewer restrictions. Ferrari didn’t yet produce their own cars, but raced cars such as the Alfa Romeo 8C 2600 Monza, recreated by bobalexander!. This car won the 1933 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, with drivers Tazio Nuvolari and Raymond Sommer.
Just look at the fenders and the boat tail. I’m all the more impressed with this model because it was built in dark red. The number of different parts available in this colour is on the increase, but it is still a lot harder to work with than, say, regular red. The end result is truly gorgeous.
Once every two years, the Danish Ferrari owners club have a meeting in LEGOLAND Billund. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the former LEGO CEO and current owner of the LEGO Group, may have something to do with this, as he is known to have a soft spot for these Italian beauties. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of his own cars were present. However, this blog is about LEGO rather than about cars. Fortunately, Stephan Sander, whose movie cars were a major inspiration for my own, combines a passion for the famous cars with the prancing horse with a passion for LEGO.
He was there displaying his impressive collection of LEGO Ferraris, photographed here in front of the LEGOLAND model of the Amalienborg Palace. The collection is built to the 1/20 scale used for LEGOLAND cars and includes models of classic Ferraris such as the ultra-rare 1962 GTO and 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 LeMans. My favourite, however, is his model of the much newer 2009 Ferrari 458 Italia.
I love how he has painstakingly sculpted the vehicle’s extremely curvy shape by using clever combinations of half-stud offsets, curved bricks and slopes (and am more than a little jealous of his collection of rare trans clear elements).
Wait a sec., that isn’t a Matchbox car…
Angka Utama creates quite possibly the cleanest little LEGO car of all time. With highly efficient piece usage, he achieves the lines of the 250 GT in near perfection!