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  1. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Hello there! I have been for the most part, sifting through all the interesting threads and postings of this site, very inspiring, with nothing as of yet to share. I have been involved with models my whole life. I built everything I could when I was a boy, and from the age of 19 -38, I was the manager of what was the best of the scale model shops in California. Paul Freiler's Historical Models. Changing times, economies, and the movement of industries out of California, doomed our shop and many others. I then for a very short time made movie models, then to Northrop, for an even shorter time ,doing presentation models, and finally, into the concept car field, were a model is 1 : 1. I pride myself on researching our hobby and maybe I can contribute in this way? Many of us have probably had to defend our enthusiasm for models with our families, or others. Models and model making is a very old occupation. Model ships, miniature architecture, miniature everything! prototype everything! artists study models, ... Everything that has been made, was probably first made as a model! Even today very little ever goes from computer screen to production without a model being made. Google, Apple, SONY, Chrysler, HONDA, Dodge, Paramount, they all prefer having something to hold, or walk around, or sit in. With some industries model making is still part of the process. Art directors, Designers and Engineers depend on model makers to give their visions substance. Enough said?

    What about our past? Who went before us that we might be on the brink of forgetting? Some pioneers: Harold Pratley, wrote one of the first books on scratch building model cars, and many magazine articles with 3 view plans.

    Rex Hays, was a journalist covering the racing scene, who also created models to be used as trophies, wrote about modelling, wrote a very good book about making models, and was approached by his home town to produce a model for presentation to the Queen of England, then to be asked by Jaguar to make a model of the, at that time, Le Mans winning D Type, for Prince Charles. This he did in record time, when they, Jaguar, provided him, Hays, with a D Type in his drive way the next day! Mr. Hays preceded Mr. Wingrove as a modeler, working for the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

    Henri Baigent, pronounced Henry, another Englishman, wrote articles, a machinist modeler, made his own camera, to document his work, vulcanized his own tyres, was in part or whole the developer of Slot-Cars! And, is the only model maker whose work received a three page spread in Playboy with an article written by Sterling Moss! His son has created a web site to honor his father's life.

    Well that takes us up to the end of the fifties, and into the sixties. But there are three more modelers to remember, Manual Olive Sans, of Barcelona, Michele Conti of Turin, both who produced fabulous models for another thirty years. (More on them later?) And one American. A television actor, Don Oreck. Find a copy of MODEL CAR SCIENCE, Sept. 1965, and you'll see a 1/8th scale Watson Roadster, that's perfect! He also did a Type 35 Bugatti that is equally beautiful. (He used a Unimat SL lathe when they were new!)

    From the formative years, have I missed someone? -I'm sure I have. Ever heard of John Hagerty, of Cohasset, Mass.?

    And there are many one time master-pieces, and some times models, industrial models are actually the work of several people, pattern maker, machinist, sheet metal, composites, surfacer, and painter. Its a very interesting field and it has a legacy.

    What do you think? Who do you want to remember?


    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 12-10-17 at 05:30 AM.
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  2. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    This video was posted to the web two years ago, the original film was from fifty years ago, and its in Spanish, . . . but it is definitely worth the look!

    A friend of mine informs me that while showing the interior, it is mentioned that the leather used in making that interior was taken from the jacket of a friend!

    Enjoy!

    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 01-08-18 at 10:12 PM.
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
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  3. southpier's Avatar Active Member
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    I think it's wonderful to remember "how the old guys" got things done with the technology we consider limited, even primitive, compared to what is available for today's model-maker. at one time I had a collection of Model Railroader Magazines dating to the late '30s. fellows would clear off the kitchen table after the evening meal, clamp on a small vise, and turn out a locomotive smokestack with an eggbeater drill and file from brass, then put everything away for the night.

    the early 'how-to' magazines fostered imagination and skills which could carry through to other things in life. I certainly don't suggest not using the technology at our fingertips, but neither should we discard something because it's "the old way". the Hobby wasn't always $500 multi-media kits; sometimes a block of wood and a jackknife fit the bill!
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  4. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Of course I agree whole heartedly! When I was a very little Don, I was starved for tools and techniques. My father, a very good provider was however a very poor model maker. To the point my first "Lay-up" like fiberglass, was actually paper-mache over a buttered toy. -I learned this technique from a TV show about crafts for kids. - The result was a short series of car bodies, helicopter domes, and a few stamped toys. All were of white glue and newspaper, with a buttery smell.

    But the potential went unexplored. Too many distractions in a kids life.

    -Don
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
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  5. Bugatti Fan's Avatar Active Member
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    Hi Don. Nice to wander down memory lane. Your mention of almost all the old time greats of the scratch built PAST MASTERS and PIONEERS car model world of the 50s and 60s brought back some memories. Way back in 1969 I entered a model into a competition being run by the Bugatti Owners Club GB at Prescott in a marquee where the Bugatti Trust Museum now stands. I was lucky enough to win and I was presented with my prize by the late great Rex Hays. He was most encouraging and we had a nice chat about model car making in general. I never did get to visit his studio workshop at Steyning, West Sussex, but during the 1970s I had the great pleasure of meeting Gerald Wingrove at his first workshop studio at High Wycombe. I have since met Gerald on a couple of occasions when he used to display at the London Model Engineering Show. Have been in occasional touch with him over the years and he has always been encouraging. A couple of years ago I emailed him a picture of my first scratch build PAST MASTERS and PIONEERS , a Type 59 Bugatti. Got an email back to say that he thought that it was fabulous..I was well pleased!
    Harold Pratley drew many car model plans in the 50s as did Rex Hays for MAP Model and Allied Publications for their plans service.


    I
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  6. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Merry Christmas, Noel!!

    Do you have a picture to share of your prize winning Bugatti? -I'd love to see it.

    I envy you, your meeting with two of the modelers on my mentor list! Had you the chance to meet Henri Baigent? - Most of the really smart model makers that I've had the pleasure to know have been into aviation exclusively. And, none are known outside of the modeling community, and that restricted to those that are into aircraft. So? to name just one who I have known for a long time, Allen Hess. An excellent model maker, and all around nice guy! He had more than one hundred models on display at our shop, twenty or more, completely built from scratch, and most of those IPMS PAST MASTERS and PIONEERS National winners. His penchant was for experimental aircraft, as he was in real life a wind-tunnel model engineer, and had spent most of his career on the space shuttle, and then of course those projects that he could not tell me about! And while you were aglow with your victory, he, Mr. Hess, had been, as a teen, working on his model to enter into the Fisher Guild Model Car Contest, but took one year too long to perfect his entry!!! the contest was discontinued the year that he would have won! (I'm sure he would have won! I did mention that he and I are friends?) -An aside one of my "Big" bosses, (recently retired) had his collection of his fathers entree's into that same contest. (Fisher Guild) in his office, and my recognition of what they were, no doubt helped me to secure my job.

    I know that I learned from my encounters with better builders, and frankly I believe that there is something to learn from everybody, I am glad to hear that you found your meetings encouraging!

    Again!, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! -Don
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
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  7. Bugatti Fan's Avatar Active Member
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    Happy Christmas to you too Don.
    I placed a few pics of my Bugatti T59 on the galleries of this site some time ago....2013.....I think?
    Hopefully they are still up for you to have a look at.
    Best regards
    Noel.
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  8. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    And Happy New Year! to you too! . . . Noel, I was not being exhaustive in my search, What scale is your Type 59? And, by the way !! I love the Type 59's wheels but I can't imagine tackling them in any scale smaller than an eighth. . . . I know that several have; Wingroves 1/15, Pulido 1/18, but my eyes are not that good, nor my machining ability. -Again HAPPY NEW YEAR!! -Don
    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 01-07-18 at 03:47 PM.
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  9. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Finally a day off for me! -and I have a few images from the past to share. -This was the first of Mr. Hays "Trophy Models" , and was completed after the driver, a friend of Mr. Hays, had died. -I am not sure of the scale?, he worked in both 1/12th and 1/10th.

    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 12-25-17 at 06:18 PM.
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  10. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    These two pictures are from a relatively recent auction. - Pretty good idea!, to make models as trophies! And it seems to me that his "Trophy" models were perhaps a little better than those he made for just himself? . . . While rereading my references, I discovered that this car was the one in which Mr. Fry had died in, and that the car had been a complete smash. -It was specifically built for hill-climbs. And though this model had been made in the mid-fifties!, it has held up pretty well.

    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 12-26-17 at 11:25 AM.
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  11. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Another image from the sixties, a cover picture of the works, and worker, John Hagerty. (1966)

    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
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  12. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    A local hero for me, though our paths never crossed. -Don Oreck.

    So far I have only two articles on his work, and the few pictures found in the galleries of this forum, of the recent condition of his Watson roadster.(At the Peterson Museum) My copies of the magazine articles are very yellowed and I'm afraid that they will not photograph well. But here is enough to tantalize?

    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
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  13. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 12-29-17 at 06:16 PM.
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  14. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    The scaled plans had nothing to do with the model of the Bugatti. -And the evaluation was of its value in 1964!

    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 12-25-17 at 06:32 PM.
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  15. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    This was one of those research moments, when just as I'm wondering? "Did these guys ever meet?" and I turn the page of a magazine! BINGO!

    I first became aware of Sr. Sans from the articles written by Marshall Buck, in Vintage Motorsport, and started to acquire magazines in reverse order. Each installment mentioning a previous. -I might be making too big a thing about two modelers, but for me it is a little like a "Michaelangelo/Da Vinci moment" . . . though I hope they were on better terms?

    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 12-25-17 at 06:48 PM.
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