While many of us grew up with building models of some sort, whether they be cars, planes, boats or even robots, Philadelphia-born Andy Mathews has taken that passion and obsession with detail and made it both an art and his profession. Known for his 1/12th scale models of F1 cars both old and new, his commitment to perfection has rightfully earned him praise as being perhaps the best model maker in the world. Just an example of how much he goes the extra mile in ensuring accuracy and precision, his replica of a Lotus 49 requires handcrafting and assembling of 3,600 pieces, or about 240 pieces per inch. These in turn, include “every nut, every bolt, every washer, every wire, every lever, every spark plug insulator, every bracket. Some of the pieces are 1/3000 of an inch–about the width of a hair.”
As the level of detail in his models will attest, his work is constantly in high demand, with many of his clients happily waiting up to three years for his finished pieces. And that’s not all – instead of risking trusting his precious creations to chance with couriers or the postal service, he actually takes the model, slips it into a black bag and personally flies it to his clients (mostly in Europe) before returning to his workshop to start on another.
For more information on his craft, this article has extensive coverage of his research and work as well as interviews with the man himself.