Thursday 16 July 2020

Model behaviour

Finding something to fill an hour or two probably isn’t much of an issue for most of us, with home schooling, and things to fix, fettle, or fine-tune. Lockdown, however, has sometimes meant spare time is unavoidable, sending us searching for something fun or entertaining … and preferably not too tricky.

Enter paper craft! Covering a multitude of areas, today, we focus on the print-and-make 3D variety; printable sheets containing patterns with cut, fold, and glue marks that can be formed into 1D, 2D, or 3D objects.These exquisitely designed creations have become quite a movement of late, and can fill time perfectly. We take a peek at just a few of the automotive models that have caught our eye recently, each of which can put you on the road to paper modelling nirvana!

With models to suit the absolute beginner and the extreme engineer alike, all interests, ages, and genders are catered for. Most models need just a few simple tools to make; a printer. cutting rule, craft knife or scissors, and glue or tape. You can supplement these with cutting mats, circle cutters, and maybe markers to customise your creations, should you get the buzz. To get an idea of how they 'work,' check out Loony Toons Crafts' YouTube video, below, taking you through crafting a Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 model. You can download the free template from a link on the video page:

First up, is, created by paper artist Jesse. You’ll likely see Jesse’s models on a number of sites for auto clubs and groups, and he even creates bespoke templates for a fee. There are pages for Ford, International, Willys, and Toyota, among others, and Jesse offers some great free templates that you can download from the website. His YouTube channel has plenty of instructional videos to help you get to grips with the models. Free models include a wonderful VW Westfalia Vanagon (the star of this post's header pic), and a SpotMini, Boston Dynamics’ four-legged utility robot.

Give your creation a workout with these paper rocks, free from

You’ll also find categories for Easy, Intermediate, and Advanced difficulty. The range is quite diverse, taking in everything from a Tesla Semi and Trailer, to a Willy’s Jeep woody, and even some boulders and a jerry can; there is a leaning towards more rugged vehicles and off-roaders, which suits us fine. If you’re feeling particularly brave, why not try your hand at a rolling model of a FJ55 Land Cruiser, or an open-top Jeep Rubicon?'s homepage hints at the range of models he sells

When you consider the skill and work required to create the template designs, you'll be pleasantly surprised to discover that the most expensive is a mere $6.50 (£5). Models also come in a choice of colours - up to 20 on some. A bespoke model is quite a bit more expensive, but that's hardly surprising when you consider that a design can take up to 40 hours to create. Check out the website and facebook page to see and buy these amazing creations.

PaperCraftSquare is our next stop, a site offering links to many paper craft models, from a huge range of sources, with a vast number of free models. Its Vehicle section alone has 400 pages, and you'll find aircraft, military vehicles, motorcycles, railway locomotives – even a Husqvarna Rider 316 Ts AWD Snow Removal machine. Non-vehicular models are just as diverse, ranging from an ancient Roman Villa, to a Star Wars moisture evaporator ('vaporator' for all the die-hard fans reading this … and, yes, there's a Millenium Falcon). 

Bugatti Type 35B in paper form

As you'd expect with so many templates, motorsport vehicles are in abundance, and you'll find F1 cars from every era, as well as rally, touring, and other disciplines. PaperCraftSquare is particularly good for finding models of old or obscure vehicles, as well as military and commercial rarities. 

A paper Valentino Rossi pilots a Yamaha YZR-R1 (also paper)

Last, but by no means least, we have a site that's both inspirational and fun, and guaranteed to get kids and adults crafting. Canon, the camera and printer manufacturer, created the Creative Park website to provide free craft activities for owners of its colour printers, and covers all manner of art and craft activities, with instructions for each. Its Paper Craft section is full of high-quality marvels of paper engineering, some of which feature working mechanisms
Every Creative Park model is expertly designed and comes with instructions

Its range of automobile models isn’t the largest, but it does boast three classic Jaguar models, an MG TC, and a wonderful Mercedes-Benz 500K. The site has too much to list here, and it really does cover everything; it even has paper costumes, models that help to teach the natural sciences, and educational and fun games and puzzles. Oh, and DINOSAURS!

Who could resist a paper T-Rex?
It's well worth taking a look around Creative Park, if only to wonder at the sheer range of items, and the ingenuity of its artists and designers. You'll also find projects for home and living, and, for the parents among you, there are dozens of fun and educational models, activities, and construct-your-own toys to keep them occupied and entertained, and group activities to include family and friends.

We asked a few Velocisti, which paper craft model they would choose to make … here's what they said:

Rod Grainger (Publisher)
Rod's choice is a Chevrolet Confederate Deluxe Sports Roadster, and Dr Who's TARDIS ("To get away from CV19")

Jude Brooks (Publisher)
Jude's choice is a Cockatiel (presently under construction!), and a Unicorn.

Geraldine Cetin (Marketing Co-ordinator)
Geraldine chooses the iconic (desktop-friendly Sagrada Familia, and an Exotic Shorthair. ("Because it looks like mine!")

Emma Shanes (Office Administrator)
Emma, who is always up for an art or craft challenge, decided to make her choices, and opted for the Statue of Liberty, and Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs.

Caught the paper crafting bug? Made your own paper masterpieces?
Share your crafty creations with us on twitter, facebook or instagram with the hashtag #papercraft.

Wednesday 15 July 2020

New DB5 has the Midas touch

Aston Martin is a marque that has a special place in many enthusiasts' hearts. The company has a long history producing cars, dating back to the pre-war era, and is known for its quality, stylish, fast cars. Of course, for many, it's also the iconic James Bond car, and that's where we hand over to Aston Martin to tell you about a very special DB5 …


‘Job 1’ customer car is completed on schedule as DB5 Goldfinger Continuation production gets into full swing at Aston Martin Works 

The first in a strictly limited run of 25 customer cars is finished after around 4,500 hours of meticulous construction 

In association with EON Productions the new car features a broad selection of working gadgets familiar from the classic James Bond film, Goldfinger

6 July 2020, Newport Pagnell, UK

Many of the UK’s most talented craftspeople and engineers put the finishing touches to the first in a new but very familiar series of Aston Martin sports cars, as the first customer car in the DB5 Goldfinger Continuation programme left the production line last week.

The ‘Job 1’ DB5 represents not only another significant design and engineering success, but also becomes the first new DB5 to be built by Aston Martin in more than half a century as the British luxury sports car maker’s Continuation programme once again makes history.

Dubbed ‘the most famous car in the world’ and renowned as being among the most desirable and sought-after classic Aston Martin models, the DB5 has become a byword for timeless style and sports car desirability. Fewer than 900 saloon examples were built between 1963 and 1965, with by far the most famous of the original owners being the world’s best-known secret agent – James Bond – who first drove the car that is today inextricably linked with him in the 1964 film, Goldfinger.

Now, 55 years after the last new DB5 rolled elegantly off the production line at Aston Martin’s then global manufacturing base in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, work is ongoing there on a strictly limited number of new DB5 models.

Created in association with Bond filmmaker EON Productions, and featuring a broad suite of working gadgets first seen in the film, the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation cars really are history in the making. The new cars include an array of functioning devices created by Bond film special effects supervisor Chris Corbould OBE.

The list of Bond-inspired gadgets includes:

Rear smoke screen delivery system
Rear simulated oil slick delivery system
Revolving number plates front and rear (triple plates)
Simulated twin front machine guns
Bullet resistant rear shield
Battering rams front and rear
Simulated tyre slasher
Removable passenger seat roof panel (optional equipment)


Simulated radar screen tracker map
Telephone in driver’s door
Gear knob actuator button
Armrest and centre console-mounted switchgear
Under-seat hidden weapons/storage tray
Remote control for gadget activation

Each of the 25 new cars are meticulously detailed authentic reproductions of the DB5 seen on screen, with some sympathetic modifications and enhancements to ensure the highest levels of build quality and reliability. All the Goldfinger edition cars are being built to one exterior colour specification – Silver Birch paint – just like the original.

The cars feature original DB5 styled aluminium exterior body panels cloaking an authentic DB5 mild steel chassis structure. Under the bonnet there’s a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated inline six-cylinder engine with a six-plug head, three SU carburettors and oil cooler, that’s capable of generating in the order of 290 bhp. This is mated to a five-speed ZF manual transmission in the rear-wheel drive DB5, which also features a mechanical limited slip differential.

Servo-assisted hydraulic Girling-type steel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering – which does not feature assistance – and a suspension set-up comprising coil over spring and damper units with anti-roll bar at the front, and a live axle rear suspension with radius arms and Watt’s linkage, complete the dynamic package.

Scores of world-class Aston Martin craftsmen and women, technicians, development engineers and designers have been involved in the project, working carefully with a suite of handpicked suppliers from across the world and ensuring that each new DB5 matches not only the aspirations of its owner, but also the duty to the brand’s proud 107-year heritage. 

Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, said: “The DB5 is, without question, the most famous car in the world by virtue of its 50-plus year association with James Bond. To see, the first customer car finished, and realise that this is the first new DB5 we have built in more than half a century, really is quite a moment.

“It is a genuine privilege, and significant responsibility, to have been involved in the shaping of this new DB5 and to be helping to lead the creation of new versions of this automotive icon. I’m absolutely certain that the 25 lucky owners who are beginning to take delivery of these cars will be thrilled with them.”

First deliveries of the DB5 Goldfinger Continuation to customers have commenced and will continue through the second half of 2020. 

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Back in Black - The return of Formula 1

It's official: #F1 is back! With the first eight races of the 2020 season confirmed, this coming weekend sees teams return to the track in what will be a very different F1 season than anything previously experienced.

The big news is, that with countries still in the grip of the CV19 epidemic, safety measures have meant a serious shake-up to the calendars of every sport. The immense logistic requirements of the F1 circus means that, inevitably, cancellations and changes have had to made, but the first 8 races of the 2020 F1 season are now confirmed.

At the start of the season, certainly, races will be quite unlike the spectacle we're familiar with. Project Pitlane, F1's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has meant that whilst racing can at last return, there will be many things familiar to F1 fans absent this year. With no spectators present, and venues hosting races over multiple weekends, drivers and teams won't benefit from the boost that cheering fans brings, and the typical festival atmosphere will be missing.

Those aren't the only big differences you'll see. There's nothing new about new liveries, of course; pre-season always brings the excitement of seeing new cars with new colours and designs. However, this year, one livery in particular will be standing out … and for all the right reasons.

Over the last month or so, world events have shown just how much action is still needed in the fight against all forms of discrimination and racism. In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, as part of its #WeRaceAsOne initiative, Mercedes-AMG Petronas will be running an all black base livery on its cars, transforming the Silver Arrows. It's sobering to think that in the 70 year history of Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes' number-one driver, is still the only black person to race in Formula 1. Ever.

The black liveried Mercedes-AMG Petronas W11 will be raced by both Hamilton and Bottas.

Here's what Lewis had to say about the initiative.

“It’s so important that we seize this moment and use it to educate ourselves whether you are an individual, brand or company to make real meaningful changes when it comes to ensuring equality and inclusivity. I have personally experienced racism in my life and seen my family and friends experience racism, and I am speaking from the heart when I appeal for change. When I spoke to Toto [Wolff, CEO and Team Principal Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team] about my hopes for what we could achieve as a team, I said it was so important that we stand united. I would like to say a huge thank you to Toto and the Mercedes Board for taking the time to listen, to talk, and to really understand my experiences and passion, and for making this important statement that we are willing to change and improve as a business. We want to build a legacy that goes beyond sport, and if we can be the leaders and can start building more diversity within our own business, it will send such a strong message and give others the confidence to begin a dialogue about how they can implement change." 

There's no doubt that, were fans, spectators, and other attendees to be present, there would be outstanding visual and audible support. But even without this, this powerful statement will echo across F1 and beyond. We wouldn't be at all surprised to see other F1 and motorsports teams making similar statements over the coming weeks. Find out more about Mercedes' return to racing, here.

Despite the cancellations and changes, this is a welcome return for fans and teams alike. Great Britain and Austria will each be hosting two races this season, and here are the first 8 dates for 2020 …

2020 Formula 1 Calendar

Confirmed dates only

Race 1 – July 3-5
Formula 1 Rolex Grosser Preis von Österreich
The Red Bull Ring, Austria

Race 2 – July 10-12
Formula 1 Pirelli Grosser Preis der Steiermark
The Red Bull Ring, Austria

Race 3 – July 17-19
Formula 1 Aramco Magyar Nagydij
The Hungaroring, Hungary

Race 4 – July 31 - August 2
Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix
Silverstone, UK

Race 5 – August 7-9
Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix
Silverstone, UK

Race 6 – August 14-16
Formula 1 Aramco Gran Premio de Espana
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain

Race 7 – August 28-30
Formula 1 Rolex Belgian Grand Prix
Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

Race 8 – September 4-6
Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d'Italia
Monza, Italy

It's been quite some time since we last enjoyed a bit of on-track sparring, and the memory could be a little hazy after all this time, so now is the perfect time to gen-up and get up-to-speed with not only last season, but F1's entire 70 year history. As luck would have it, we can recommend a few books fit for the job.

First, check out our recently added  Formula 1 category at our web store: all our F1-centric books and ebooks in one place. With seven decades, countless drivers, teams, and LOTS of cars, where should you start? Let's take a look …

Formula 1 All The Races - The First 1000
Limited Edition of 1000 Copies
Roger Smith

Covering the entire history of Formula 1, this book contains details of every one of the first 1000 F1 races, from the first of 1950, to last year's 1000th. With a free 2019 Season digital update, covering the end of the 2019 season, and with the 2020 season not yet started, it's not only a complete record, it's a bang-up-do-date current record.

With so much covered, you'd be forgiven for thinking this is a hard-going read. However, every bit of information is presented in a superlative design that makes for not only a quick-access reference tome, but an historic record that's a joy to dip-in and -out of. It features specially developed 'Race Pods' each telling the story of an individual race, graphs, illustrations, rare photos, and charts ranking driver performance over the first 1000 races.

Not only is this a unique and highly accessible history, it's also a collector's volume, limited to only 1000 copies, each of which are individually serialised from 1 to 1000, making each copy a genuinely unique item.

The book costs £65, and you can request your favourite number (if available) when you order. With 1000 races covered, it works out at just 0.64p per race for all the facts you need to know. That's a bargain. But they won't hang around for long; get your numbered copy before they're gone for ever.

Limited edition of 1000 individually numbered copies
Hardback • 16.9x23.3cm • 720 pages

Formula 1 'The Knowledge' - 2nd Edition
David Hayhoe

Proving that you can never have enough knowledge, David Hayhoe's groundbreaking first edition of this book was an essential for F1 fans,  and motorsport pundits. David has been the statistician for Autocourse's Grand Prix Annual since 1991; as you can imagine, he knows a thing or two about F1 stats.

Revealing 'The Knowledge" about every driver and car to take part in F1 since 1950, this 2nd edition is even more desirable, and includes performance records and analysis covering every driver, constructor, and engine

You'll also find detailed insights into the differing qualifying procedures, anecdotes and stories – some humorous, some serious – making this so much more than simply a book of stats. Don't just take our word for it, though;

The most comprehensive compilation of Formula 1 ever. Simply outstanding - you may know a lot about F1 - but here you have more, completely undiscovered items, oceans of F1 trivia to explore.
Gran Turismo, Sweden

Hardback • 21x27cm • 544 pages • 90 pictures

Formula One - The Real Score?
Brian Godfrey Harvey

Did you know that, because rules stipulated that a country could have only a single F1 Champtionship race in a season, until January 1973 over HALF of Formula 1 races were not included in Championship results? Classifying these races as 'non-Championship' does a great disservice to drivers of the Moss / Fangio / Clark / Stewart era, skewing statistics, giving an unfair comparison to modern era races. 

If the same drivers, in the same F1 cars, compete at the same tracks, and over a similar distance, then surely each race deserves to have its place in the records as a ‘Championship quality’ event. Brian Harvey has included such races alongside contemporary Championship races and, combining them with known figures since 1980, to produce what is surely The Real Score of Formula 1 - a full and complete picture. 

Hardback or fixed format eBook • 20.7x25cm • 352 pages • 156 pictures

Any one of these books provide you with all you need to hone your F1 punditry prowess enough to get you through qualifying and near the front of the grid …  pole position, fastest lap, and top spot on the Pundit Podium is yours!