One man’s love for Indy racing and Indy models, continued
In the first part of this story I introduced the reason for my building many Indy car models in a continuing project. To reiterate, one man has a 1/43 Indy car model obsession that I am helping to satisfy. I should mention that he also has a modeler in South America converting diecast Indy models as well. The Alexander Rossi NAPA Indy winner is being worked on as this is being written.
If you missed part one of this story, click here.
Michael Andretti might not have won the Indy 500 as a driver but he has had great success winning the 500 as an owner. The late Dan Wheldon brought Andretti one of those wins.
The first win for Andretti’s team came in 2005 with the Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara. This model was produced by Formula Models and as usual has great detail baked in. The model was pretty much a straight-ahead build. The red color is a Tamiya spray and although it’s a tad dark it looks great in person as the paint has metallic in it. The darker color also brings out the contrast to the white sponsor splashes.
Wheldon would again win in 2011 for Bryan Herta’s new team with this William Rast sponsored car. Again the kit came from Formula Models and again it was a fairly easy kit to assemble. Similar to other kit makers, Formula supplied most but not all of the orange markings the car had. But finding an orange paint that perfectly matched the decal orange proved impossible without a custom mixed paint for a few small pieces. I began saving extra orange decal from where it was not being used or visible instead of mixing paint,. I then patched together enough orange decal to do the rest of the pieces. Wild celebration ensued punctuated by wild cursing.
An un-Ganassi Dario and Will Power phones home
Dario Franchitti’s first Indy win of 3 came at the wheel of an Andretti team car. The race memorably ended in pouring rain with Dario’s slick-shod car crawling across the yard of bricks. He was greeted in the winner’s circle by then-wife Ashley Judd. Both were there getting soaked in the rain and as happy as anything. Dario would go on to win 2 more times for Chip Ganassi (see those models at the bottom of this page). This is another Formula Models kit, although the decals came from Indycals. The pinstriping was cut from a white decal sheet. They seem a little heavy but I could only reliably hand-cut stripes no smaller than 1/64″ wide.
Yet again Formula Models supplied the kit used as a base for the Verizon car. Will Power drove this car to a top-5 finish in the 2009 Indy 500 driving for Roger Penske’s team. He had been hired to drive as a temporary replacement early in the season for Helio Castro-Neves who was fighting a major tax problem with the IRS. Penske rewarded Power with a drive in the 500 with an extra team car. The great finish for Power led to a full-time drive in 2010 for Penske’s famed team. Again Indycals supplied the decals.
Please note that Formula Models is no longer in business but you might find these kits on Ebay or on Facebook.
Into the DW12 era
Both of these models were built right after the original MA Scale Target car. Again I pondered the meaning of my life as I fashioned another pair of MA models into something approaching acceptable. Many X-Acto blades died in the creation of these two.
The first of the Helio cars I would model came out of that tortured model building but it actually looks pretty decent as does the Ryan Hunter-Reay DHL car. As I did on the Target car, I fabricated the front suspension to replace that which was on the car as it came out of the box. I chromed the suspension on the Pennzoil car using Molotow chrome markers. Those markers are a godsend! I also replaced the kit rear wings with delta-shaped wings fabricated from plastic sheet. Indycals again provided the sponsor decals for both models and I used their wonderful tire decals as well.
Aeroscreen DW12s too!
The next 3 models were constructed from IMS/Brickyard kits. These 3D-printed kits were available for an incredibly short time and were created in Japan to celebrate Takuma Sato’s win for the RLL team. I suspect that these kits were made “undercover” by Model Factory Hiro (MFH). That should be all you need to know to try to obtain one of these kits any way you can. You can read about the Helio/Penske /Pennzoil model build here and the AutoNation build here.
In the photo at the top and at right is the imagined Indy 500 car of Conor Daly. Daly never ran this decoration at Indy but the kit only was available as a speedway version, so…….
The model uses some adapted decals from Indycals, some decals from Patto’s Place and some I drew. The light grey color is a military color from Tamiya (USAAF grey!) while the dark grey is hand-cut from a decal sheet I obtained on eBay and using a self-made template.
There’s more to come too!
Currently in build is the Sato People-Ready car the IMS kit was actually made for.
Our collector with the 1/43 Indy car model obsession is thinking up new and even more challenging models for me as I write this. Stay tuned.