When I was eight years old, my parents, my sister and my granddad made the first of what were to become annual pilgrimages to Silverstone. This was the first Grand Prix to be run on the circuit since it was redesigned on grounds of safety, with major changes having been made at most of the circuits fastest corners.
I didn’t know it at the the time (it was just a fun family day out), but that day was to change my life. I was swept away by the excitement, the speed, the colour and the passion that I saw that day. The race ended in a glorious home win for my hero, Nigel Mansell, in the Williams Renault. This also was the race where Mansell famously gave his rival Ayrton Senna a lift back to the pits after the Brazilian’s McLaren had run out of fuel on the last lap.
Now sadly, I didn’t actually see this with my eight year old eyes as Senna had made it past Maggots bend (where we were spectating), before he ran out of petrol, but I’ve always considered myself fortunate to have been “there”, when one of the sports most iconic images was captured.
About 10 years ago I decided that I wanted to capture this moment in a model. However, finding a 1/43 figure of a “side-saddle” Ayrton Senna is not easy!
So I was forced to try and build one myself. I am neither brave not skilled enough to build these figures from scratch, so I started by scouring the Denizen miniatures catalogue for figures that I could patch together, “Frankenstein-style”, to create what I wanted.
The figure I ended up with is an amalgamation of two denizen figures:
The useful sections of the crouching figure were identified, and then were cut. These cut sections were then joined together with thin wire, giving a very strange “blobby skeleton” appearance. The gaps were then filled with milliput putty, and left to dry. Once the putty was dry, it was sanded to recreate the folds and creases in Senna’s overalls. Throughout this process, the figure was offered up to the Tameo kit that I was using, to ensure a good fit.
And that is where work ceased in about 2005!
But last month, I at last found time to begin once again, and was able to finish the Senna figure:
More details to be uploaded in my next post.