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    • Dave Ambrose

      Board Status   07/20/2018

      Maintenance completed, but there is still more come.
Anglia105E

Hooper & Co Diorama

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It is early morning at Hooper & Co and Osmond Rivers is standing at the window of the ground floor showroom, looking out onto St James's Street. Across the street he can see a fine looking Bentley MKVI Franay Drophead motor car, and he cannot help noticing a distinguished lady standing beside the car. Outside on the street we can see there is a Rolls-Royce Phantom III parked a short distance ahead of the lady's Bentley.

What is the lady waiting for? Why are the cars parked there on this beautiful sunny morning?

David

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The director looking out the window is my favorite!

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My favourite too Gary..... he really looks the part.

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These most recent photographs show the 1938 Alvis 4.3 litre motor car, driving along St James's Street in London, with the early morning sunlight filtering through the leaves and branches of the mature trees that line the pavement. The Hooper & Co building does photograph well in this light, which is actually not natural daylight but simulated light using a 100 watt daylight bulb. The Alvis is a 1:24 Franklin Mint diecast model.

David

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There are two coachbuild jobs being carried out for customers of Hooper & Co at the moment, and here they are photographed during the early stages of the work. One is the 1951 Talbot Lago T26 Record Cabriolet, resplendent in it's cream bodywork that is awaiting final polishing, and the other motor car is the 1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III that is being given a change of paint colour. No longer sporting the burgundy paintwork, this Phantom III will be finished in grey-blue with dark grey fender tops and spare wheel casing. Can you spot the conspicuous vehicle that could not have been parked outside Hoopers in 1958 ?

David

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Very early indeed Eric, although the first Land Rovers were produced in 1948 as you probably know, so a 10 year Land Rover could have been parked outside Hoopers in 1958. The vehicle that should NOT be there is the 1994 Mitsubishi Pajero which is my daily drive as we speak.

Here are a few photos of the completed 1951 Talbot Lago Record Cabriolet T26, which has been the current work in progress for the Hooper & Co craftsmen most recently. This is a fine motor car from the French company Talbot, who also produced cars in England which is why this example is a right hand drive version and sporting British registration plates.

David

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Pleased to hear that you like the Talbot, Gary....... and since I took those photos I have fitted the two chrome side mouldings, one of which was broken in three places out of the kit box. There is another Talbot on the workbench at the moment, which is a 1949 SMER Talbot Lago T26C GP car. There have been builds of this model done by other members covered here on MCM and I have noticed there is a huge amount of information on the Internet about the real 1:1 Talbot, as well as the scale model kits by Heller, SMER and Merit.

David

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Just outside the showroom window on St James's Street, a bowler hatted photographer is lining up his camera on a tripod.... but what is he hoping to capture on film? The managing director of Hoopers is standing in the shadow of the large bay window, taking in the air on a hot day in August. He seems to be unaware of the furtive photographer who is positioned a few paces to his left. A businessman in a light coloured suit is tucked in close to the wall near the corner of the building, as though he is attempting to peer round the edge of the wall without being seen himself. Around the corner, on Bennet Street there is a Police constable standing motionless, staring straight ahead at something across the street. Both the constable and the hidden businessman are not aware of nearby witnesses. Could there be a lot going on here.... or maybe there is nothing going on?

David

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The pictures are outstanding David.  And the figures....very realistic.

Reference Talbot Lagos,   I have long planed on doing the two seat Le Mans version which means widening the Heller body.  Its been several times before and I have good reference material but just need to finish other projects first.  Just noticed SMER calls the F1 car a Lago Talbot and Heller labels it a Talbot Lago.

Edited by Gramps46

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David, you have an outstanding ability to capture realism in your diorama...especially your figures!  The buildings and little details throughout are excellently crafted as well as the vehicles you are portraying!  Well done overall!  If I may ask, do you create your own figures?  They seem to fit the scene perfectly and capture the moment so well that I am intrigued as to how you accomplished this difficult task. 

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Thank you Gary and Bill, and here is a reply for each of you separately.....

Gary: - I believe the tool for this model is now owned by SMER, please correct me if I am wrong, and was previously manufactured by Merit and Heller. Your plan to build the two seater Le Mans version sounds very interesting, and I am sure you can turn out a good car, with plenty of reference material available as you say. SMER label their box art as a Lago Talbot, but I think the correct name is Talbot Lago, although Lago was the important brains behind the Talbot project at that time. I do appreciate your comments about the figures and I have been careful to use my best figures for these shots. I did scratch build the vintage camera on the tripod, which came out fairly well

Bill: - I am constantly striving for greater realism with this diorama and certainly the figures are the most challenging aspect of the scenarios. The Policeman is a diecast Corgi Icon figure, the businessman and the photographer are from the ICM Henry Ford 1910 kit which I assembled and painted, while the Osmond Rivers figure, the MD of Hoopers, is a Shapeways 3D printed figure. I converted the colour photos by removing all the colour to produce the black and white effect, and there are two sources of lighting, one of which is a 100 Watt daylight bulb. I do like to play around with the shadows and the reflections. There are not many 1:24 scale figures that are suitable for this 1950's setting and I am always on the lookout for better ones. Shapeways seem to be the best source overall.

David

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David,

It is my understanding that the Merit/SMER are the same casting but the Heller is totally different mold and much more detailed.

Gary

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Actually, you are quite right Gary.... the Heller kit is recognised as being better than the Merit / SMER equivalent, and the greater detail provided by the Heller kit is what was needed. I did read an article about a scale model builder who heavily modified the SMER Talbot Lago GP, and he was able to add all the missing detail. What I have decided to do, is to build this one out of the box, with no modifications and then see if I could put together a second one, but with much more attention to detail. Now that I have studied all the research material it makes me want to build a really accurate version of this car, in exactly the same way that I did with the Rolls-Royce Silver Clouds, using the basic Minicraft kit ( also by Revell ).

David

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I have managed to source a photograph from 1951 of a Hooper and Company advertisement, which is taken from Country Life magazine. This shows the building in much more detail than a previous photo that I have, in which most of the image is blacked out. You can see the Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Daimler motor cars in the ground floor showrooms, with the horse drawn Daimler carriages in the first floor showrooms.

David

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