You may never have heard of Amalgam Collection, but amongst star automobile designers, Formula 1 drivers and team principals, and leading figures in the world of luxury design, their creations are revered and valued in equal measure. Important customers include Ralph Lauren, Richard Mille and Sebastian Vettel, along with a host of discerning collectors of outstanding and beautiful objects worldwide.
Amalgam’s roots back in the mid 1980s lie in the creation of complex and finely tuned models for leading European architects and product designers. In the mid 1990s Amalgam’s services were sought out by the leading Formula 1 teams located around Oxford in England, not too far away from the Amalgam HQ in Bristol. Superbly detailed models of their cars were supplied to the teams at 1:8 and 1:4 scale. Much of Amalgam’s work is at a scale of 1:8, widely regarded in the car design industry as the most satisfying scale to comprehend the entirety of a design at a glance, whilst showing the most minute details. The length of each model at 1:8 scale is approximately 24 inches (60 centimeters).
The handcrafted model cars by Amalgam are true pieces of art
By 2000 Amalgam were supplying Ferrari’s F1 team with models for all the stakeholders from drivers through to team principals, partners and investors. In recognition of the importance of the many seminal and beautiful classic designs within Ferrari’s star studded journey from the 1950s, Luca di Montezemolo asked Amalgam to make perfect models of these works of art. Amalgam’s team of craftsmen swiftly and passionately set about modelling the classics to a level of accuracy, precision and excellence that raised the finished replicas to a level far beyond anything previously created.
Amalgam continues to model F1 and Classic cars for the teams and collectors. In addition they now create to order, perfect bespoke tailor-made replicas for supercar owners. Each unique, precisely detailed replica of the owner’s real car, is detailed right down to the stitching on the seats and the license plates. These only slightly miniaturised wonders of the craftsman’s magic are delivered in around 12 weeks from receiving the specification.
The amazing craftsmanship and beauty of the work they create has brought leading luxury brands to Amalgam’s door too. Ralph Lauren offers a range of 17 models crafted by Amalgam that immortalises the cream of Mr. Lauren’s collection, encompassing many of the most important and valuable classic cars in existence. Richard Mille gifts Amalgam models to his most important customers, delivering large scale replicas of the racing inspiration for some of his astonishing watch collections.
Amalgam’s 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 are dedicated to achieving a level of accuracy, precision and excellence that raises the finished replica to a level far beyond anything previously created. In line with the mobile art objects they represent at scale, the value and price of Amalgam’s work is high, but the workmanship is extraordinary, and with so few examples of each model created, the value along with the pleasure will surely endure.
How the high quality model cars are created by British manufacturer Amalgam
At the core of Amalgam Collection is a highly skilled team of model-makers with a passion for car design and motor racing. The team takes around three months to research and create the master patterns for one of our 1:8 scale cars. Our clear aim is to make the finest possible display models at 1:8 scale, which capture the beauty and spirit of the original.
To start with a pattern is made for every component of the model, using a wide range of traditional engineering and pattern making skills along with leading edge techniques such as laser cutting and CNC machining. Epoxy pattern board, the material used by the race teams to create patterns for carbon composite components is used for the large components, and Amalgam uses cast acrylic or brass for the smaller items.
The patterns are used to make moulds from clear silicon rubber into which prototyping quality resin will eventually be poured to cast the components. These moulds faithfully reproduce even the most complex details and textures, providing supreme levels of accuracy in the casts.
To cast each component, carefully measured quantities of two part prototyping resin are mixed, and the mixed resin is swiftly poured into the mould. The mould is quickly placed under vacuum to remove any air bubbles before it cures and then each piece is left to fully cure before de-moulding. Each piece is then fettled and fine sanded ready for priming.
The master tyre patterns are CNC machined in pattern board to the exact specification and tread pattern used on the original car using CAD data from the manufacturer. After hand finishing and detailing the master tyre models are put into silicon moulds and each piece is cast with a two part liquid rubber.
For the suspension and some other small components, patterns are created in brass and are used to create a vulcanised rubber mould. Molten pewter is poured into the mould while it is spinning at high speed and the centrifugal force drives the liquid metal into every small detail of the mould. The resulting white metal cast components are carefully fettled and polished, and if they are to be painted they join the resin parts to be prepared for spray painting.
To ensure complete authenticity and accuracy in the paint finish the team uses the authentic manufacturer specified paints. Each component is hand sprayed with several coats of primer, then a colour base coat, and finally several coats of lacquer.
To get a superb gloss finish prior to assembly, the body and components are flatted with cutting paste and carefully hand polished using a lamb’s wool buff.
For race cars Amalgam uses the team’s original design data to produce artwork for the decals. Amalgam’s team uses both screen printing and litho printing to achieve superb print quality and accuracy.
Finally a team of around six skilled model-makers assemble the cars, usually in batches of five or ten, each model taking between 250 and 350 man-hours to assemble.
Discover more about Amalgam at: https://www.amalgamcollection.com