Model car displaying that’s heavy on atmosphere
In past articles, I have spoken about displaying a model collection in context. For instance, if you have a collection of LeMans or Indy car models, having associated art or memorabilia alongside adds “story” to your display. I am always wowed by those that take this idea to an impressive extreme. I am overly wowed by the Old Irish Racing Collection, to say the least.
The collection is the inspired handiwork of Jerry Liudahl. There are separate galleries for all manner of model race car marques, from F1 to Indy, LeMans to IMSA. What is so great is that all of the photos you’ll see are all posed shots. Not just a model car. It’s the model car with drivers and pit crew, pit wall and background photo. Or it’s a full-bore diorama with all of the minute details included. Mr. Liudahl then describes the history of that car and/or race in his photo for more context.
On the face of it, just the collection of associated model cars is impressive in itself. The collection shows much aforethought when obtaining models which includes 1/43 and 1/18 diecasts and handbuilts, as well as slot cars. It would be easy these days to just buy one of everything that comes out. The depth and quality that modern manufacturing has brought to the hobby is beyond wonderful. Thinking about where and how to display a new acquisition is always in my mind before a purchase.
But OH, those dioramas!
I’ve seen lots of dioramas online, in print and in person. The pit/paddock displays I saw at the LeMans Museum were exquisite. The Old Irish Racing Collection dioramas are standouts in that world. In essence, every model car or truck appears in a diorama small or large. So no matter how basic or detailed any model is, it’s placed in a scene that helps describe the race car place in the race car world.
The 50s LeMans display at left is complete with cars, crew and drivers. Also tools, refueling equipment, spares and hangers-on. Marque names and numbers as well as race sponsors appear just right. The pit stalls are lit, the roadway is realistic. Don’t forget: during this era at LeMans, the hot track was on the empty side of the dashed line.
Another era with a 24 hour race at Daytona shows a battle scarred Jaguar on its way to a well-earned victory. Just weathering the model car would have been enough for me, but Mr. Liudahl goes all out for realism with a full crew in their pit box. A full-blown refueling rig and gantry towers over the scene, crewmen using air tools to change the tires. A driver stands by debriefing and the team manager ponders the scene. Fuel drums, spare tires, tool box and timing stand complete the scene. That’s just plain great.
I could wax poetic about this site all day, but….
I’ll let you get to the fun part. A small fraction of what’s on the site is displayed below. To get the full picture, go to the Old Irish Racing Collection site. Scroll around. What you like is somewhere in one of those galleries. A little hunting will garner great rewards.