Old Cars Weekly News & Marketplace, Dec. 28, 2006
“If you are like me – a Ford fan and a model car collector – Ford in Miniature will be an invaluable part of your reference material … This one’s highly recommended.”
MCM, April 2007
“...a very worthwhile reference.”
The International Plastic Modelers' Society, USA
'Ford in Miniature' is billed as the first book ever devoted to handbuilt model Fords. In its 128 pages and over 400 color photographs, the author has attempted to provide a comprehensive listing of all the 1:43 scale handbuilt model Fords, Edsels, Mercurys, and Lincolns available for the model years 1930 through 1969. What are 'handbuilt' models, and why would IPMS members be interested in them? According to the author, a handbuilt model is built entirely by hand out of white metal or resin. They are normally sold pre-built, but are occasionally sold as kits. They generally contain far more detail and are truer to scale than the die cast toys one finds in many stores these days; they are built in limited numbers (generally 1,000 or less); and they are fairly expensive, ranging between $75 and $300. Traditionally they have been 1:43 scale, although recently several manufacturers have been offering them in 1:24 and 1:18 scale as well. The accuracy and detail are what make them interesting to IPMS members: they provide, ready-made, what many of us strive for in our own models. While I tend to build 1:24 scale cars, I have a small collection of these handbuilts as well, which I purchased for all of the above reasons as well as the fact that they offer subjects that I can't get in 1:24 scale. I'm sure I'm not the only scale modeler whose interests include handbuilts. But I digress.
The book in question is organized into six chapters. After an introductory chapter, the next three are each devoted to one of the makes produced by the Ford Motor Company in the US: Ford (and Edsel), Mercury, and Lincoln. Each chapter begins with a brief summary, decade-by-decade, of some of the more significant models available. The summaries are then followed by page after page of photographs of models arranged by model and year. The photos are of high quality and provide an interesting look at not only the models themselves, but at the improvements in model details and quality over the years and from builder to builder. Chapter five is devoted to a brief description of many of the companies that have produced these handbuilt models over the past 30 years or so. A brief history of each company is provided, along with a list of Ford models they have produced. Chapter six lists suppliers where one can purchase handbuilts. The text is generally well written. It is obvious that the author has not only a deep affection for his subject, but also a good understanding of the hobby and its history. The photos are numerous and of excellent quality. My only complaint is that too often the same view of the same model appears in numerous photos: first alone, then with one or two similar models, or maybe with the box it came in. Most photos show the front three-quarters view; rear-end shots are few, and interior shots are very rare. All in all, I found this book to be quite interesting. While I have no intention of getting into serious collecting of handbuilt models, I enjoyed learning more about them and seeing all the models. I will definitely refer back to this book now and then for inspiration on color schemes and occasional detail information. My thanks to Veloce publications for providing this review copy.
If you are into the collection of hand-built 1:43rd scale models and North American Fords in particular, including Lincoln and Mercury, this is for you. Die-cast manufacturers such as Corgi, Dinky and Matchbox are thus not included. This is not just a review of North American products as more than half the current builders come from Europe. The book is largely pictorial and is also an interesting way of showing the history of Ford from the 1930s to the 1960s.