Rocket science, brain surgery and parenthood are all incredibly difficult things. But, as challenging as they are, they pale in comparison to the awkward job that is model making. And yet, demanding as these tasks may be, they all share one common trait: a sense of pride and satisfaction upon completion.
This is very much the case with the Revell McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25 model replica, which, after several weeks of painting fiddly bits of plastic and applying cumbersome decals, now takes pride of place on my office shelf.
Consisting of approximately 100 parts and a similar number of decals, German plastic model maker Revell has produced what is a highly detailed kit of the MP4-25, which is available in Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton spec. How good the finished article looks, however, depends largely on your proficiency with a paintbrush and pair of tweezers.
My initial reaction upon emptying the contents of the box was one of “what the hell have I got myself into here?” The instruction manual only compounded my fears when I discovered that there were 33 lengthy stages from start to finish – a daunting prospect for any model making novice.
But the truth is that actual construction wasn’t all that taxing as most of the pictorial steps are easy to comprehend if you follow them closely. Although, there are a few stages that defied all logic.
What, for example, is the sense in trying to insert the front pushrods after you have already pieced together the wishbone arrangements? And why would you want to attach the front wing main planes before painting the endplates, both of which are entirely different colours?
Aside from some instances of impracticality, building the model is relatively straightforward so long as you take your time and digest what’s being asked of you.
Painting is another relatively simple task, albeit one that requires an abundance of patience between applications, as three coats is not out of the question. No, the hardest part of all comes when you begin applying decals.
Let’s just say that I am glad there wasn’t a swear box around as I was making it as I would be stony broke right now.
From the ridiculously shaped carbon fibre flooring, to the Vodafone logos that point-blank refused to follow the contours of the sidepods – I don’t think I have ever encountered something so awkward, so frustrating, and at times seemingly impossible, in all my years.
And let’s not discuss the Bridgestone Potenza logos that don’t stick properly to the tyres, despite lashings of the recommended ‘Decal Soft’ solution…
But, for all the problems a few pesky decals may cause, there’s no denying that the finished product oozes attention to detail. The front and rear wings look absolutely fantastic, as does the rear suspension along with the true-to-original underfloor which includes the diffuser. If you squint hard enough it looks like the real thing, albeit in 1:24 scale.
Everyone else, however, will discover something that offers fantastic value for money, and if ever there was an ideal Christmas present for F1 fans and model aficionados alike, then this is most certainly it.
So, should you buy one?
Well that really depends on you as a person. If you lack the patience, concentration and perseverance that is required, then it’s probably best that you stay as far as way as possible.
What’s more, if you can’t decide who your favourite driver is, a gift set featuring both Button and Hamilton’s MP4-25s is available for the princely sum of just £34.99.
Ferrari fan and can’t bring yourself to buy an official McLaren product? Well the Revell F1 range also includes Ferrari’s F10 and the Mercedes MGP-W01. If they’re as comprehensively detailed as the McLaren, then you’re in for small scale treat.