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Modelling is one of my favorite pastimes (although I don't practice it very frequently).
I just love to sit myself down at my modelling desk and forget everything around me and get on with some modelling.
I love building the most. Painting is a bit of a mixed bag. I have a good enough airbrush space but as I'm always wary of ruining a paintjob I'm generally a bit reluctant to start painting.
A bit of a paradox, because building is only half of the modelling job...

I have quite a lot of projects and ideas for projects on my (to-do) list.
Modelling has been slow the last couple of years because of my duties as daddy.

A lot of the models I have can be divided into categories:
  • Gigi Galli
  • Kamui Kobayashi
  • Nelson Piquet
  • Minardi F1 Team

Gigi Galli because:
Since about 2004-2005 I've been following the WRC more closely. Mainly through the coverage on Eurosport (although that has stopped in 2010, sadly), and later through the internet (more recently through a subscription to the WRC+ content).
Back then I wasn't really following a particular driver and was just amazed at the breakneck speeds at which they drove through the countrysides...
One incident, during the Rally of Australia in 2005 (I think it was) caught my attention. It concerned an Italian rally driver, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC. At first he didn't seem to agree with his co-pilot. And when he didn't respond quickly enough to the remarks made by the driver, the driver slapped the helmet of the co-pilot several times, while driving at breakneck speed through the Australian forests, one hand at the wheel.
That's when I thought "I think I like that man".
Here's a short Youtube clip. It's the same rally, but not the moment suprème, yet entertaining anyway...

Since then I'm a bit of a fan of Italian rally driver Gigi Galli. And not stopping there with my admiration I have taken the task upon me to build as many of the rally cars that he drove in his career to date.
I started my collection with the beautiful Pirelli sponsored Peugeot 307 WRC which Gigi drove during his 2006 season. You can find the build report and gallery on this site.

Kamui Kobayashi because:
After Timo Glock had an accident in the free practice session for the Japanese GP in 2009, Kamui Kobayashi, test driver for the Toyota F1 team, was drafted in to replace the injured Glock in the final two GP's of the season.
And what a debut it was. A breath of fresh air, especially after his great performance in the final GP on the Yas Marina circuit of Abu Dhabi.
Finally a driver who isn't afraid to take a bit of a risk to pass another car.
Sadly, the skills of a driver don't matter as much as the amount of money he (or she) can bring along, so I'm afraid that his stint with Caterham this year will be the last we see of him.
A shame in my opinion, but that's the current state of F1...

Nelson Piquet because:
As with Gigi Galli, it was a bit of a violent act of this driver which prompted my interest.
I fear there seems to be a bit of a sleeping violent personality trying to find it's way out...
I was a bit of an F1 follower by that time anyway (we're talking 1982 here), but wasn't really following a particular driver. But at the time I was about 10 years old, so that's not very surprising.
During the GP of Germany in 1982 one incident peaked my interest. During that season the Brabham team, led by a certain Bernie Ecclestone, was the first (and only) team to adopt a refuelling strategy. By sending out their cars on a lower fuel level they gained a speed advantage compared to the other competitors. And they used this advantage to good effect in (amongst others) the German GP.
Nelson Piquet was leading by quite a margin when he came up on a backmarker named Eliseo Salazar. And where this backmarker first appeared to leave enough room for Nelson Piquet to pass him, he than seemed to think otherwise. And suddenly there were two cars going for the space of one car.

Final result was a showcase of some (admittedly sloppy) martial arts action from the Brazilian driver.
For the interested I've posted a link to a youtube clip of the incident.
But after this incident, I've started following the career of Nelson Piquet. His highs and his lows and ultimately his final race in 1991 for Benetton.
A sad moment to see such a great driver leave the arena, really.

As a kind of tribute I've decided to try and build all the F1 cars he ever drove.

Minardi F1 Team because:
Having a modelling project dedicated to the Minardi F1 team might seem odd. However I've always had a soft spot for the underdogs.
And where Minardi started as the laughing stock of F1 (and pretty much ended that way too), gradually I've begun to admire the team. Especially their perseverance in an environment were the big manufacturers threw millions of money onto their cars whereas Minardi, with just a fraction of the budget, could sometimes surprise the big teams. And not only resultwise but also with several technical innovations that were pioneered by them.
One of the high points I remember well was in 1991 when they used Ferrari engines. Reportedly their engines were several development steps behind the Ferrari team's engines. But they beat them several times during the season in spite of this. Although this might say more about the mess Ferrari made of their car, than about the Minardi being a good car...
Nevertheless, I think Minardi is a team with a fighting spirit rarely seen in F1. That's why I admire them so much. And although Minardi wasn't Minardi anymore when Paul Stoddart took over in 2001, I still thought it a shame to see the name disappear from the grid at the end of 2005.

Although the Minardi team doesn't capture the imagination as much as Ferrari, Lotus or McLaren, there are more than enough model kits on the market to make all the Minardi F1 cars as a model.
Not all cars are available in the bigger 1/20-1/24 scale though. However, more kits are appearing still, with several resin kit manufacturers planning the release of a Minardi F1 kit in the near future. So, although the team doesn't exist anymore, there is still plenty to watch out for from a modelling point of view.

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