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Small Wonder

04 novembre 2020

Chris Rees

This Ferrari SF90 Stradale 1:8 scale model by the master crafters at Amalgam looks precisely like the real thing. Here’s the inside story of the creation of a miniature masterpiece

A scale model so accurate and so detailed that it’s indistinguishable from the real thing – that’s the aim of the creators of this amazing new 1:8 scale version of the Ferrari SF90 Stradale.

“It’s all about attention to detail,” says Sandy Copeman, co-founder of Amalgam, the Bristol, UK-based company behind the model. “When you see the car, you should say ‘snap!’. You should see no difference between the model and the full-size car.”

Amalgam – whose name represents a partnership of different strengths and skills – started out in 1985 making models for architects and designers, for whom precision is paramount. Ferrari has been a partner of Amalgam since 1998, beginning with models of Michael Schumacher’s Formula 1 cars; every Ferrari F1 car since has been immortalised in scale form, including the SF90.

Now it’s the turn of the SF90 Stradale – part of an exclusive new ‘option at time of specification’ programme just launched, whereby you can order a model as an official optional extra when you order your new Ferrari Roma, 812 Superfast, 812 GTS or SF90 Stradale at your Ferrari dealership. There’s a choice of two sizes – 1:12 and 1:8 – as well as a choice of whether to personalise your model.

The 1:8 scale model featured here, measuring around 60cm (24 inches) long, is an item of extraordinary accuracy, detail and quality. “We see things through the eyes of the designer, so we understand their intentions,” explains Sandy Copeland, “and our desire to deliver the very best enables us to engage with the right people.”

Ferrari at Maranello has shared with Amalgam the full set of CAD data for the SF90 Stradale. Another amazing detail is that colour cards and materials samples come direct from Maranello too, enabling absolutely exact matches.

The most important part of the process is creating the master patterns. From start to finish, this takes no fewer than 3500 painstaking hours. And just how many parts are there in the SF90 Stradale 1:8 model? Around 2,000, including opening passenger doors and engine cover.

The finishing process for each and every customer model is every bit as meticulous. Something like 350 hours are required to build and finish each 1:8 model.

To recreate the look at 1:8 scale sometimes means using different materials than on the real car. For instance, genuine carbon-fibre can’t be used in the model because the weave would not match the scale; instead, unique decals are developed with different weaves and colours to match the genuine article, and then carefully lacquered. The tyres, meanwhile, are made from unique resins developed in Japan, while the solvent-based paint is specially polished to give it a true hand-finished feel.

Astonishingly, an even more accurate level of detail is available: Amalgam offers a ‘Bespoke’ service where it can match the full and exact specification of your car using build sheets from Ferrari. Each Bespoke model is finished in the precise paint colour, interior specifications and optional extras of your car. Even the smallest details are reproduced, like number plates, wheels and calliper colour; but we think the most impressive example is that even the colour of the cabin upholstery stitching is matched.

“Every one of the models we make is the very best we can achieve, with no effort or expense spared,” declares Sandy Copeman. “We are continually striving to reach new levels of craftsmanship and to create masterpieces of model-making art with enduring value.”