I have been preparing to go to Longbridge town and take photos of a mix of model Minis where the factory used to stand. On that site, in a railway tunnel, Birmingham artist Stuart Whipps has an installation there called; Longbridge Colours. These are painted a archway doors in the colour of the 1979 Mini City range. Stuart was inspired by the restoration of a 1979 Mini which he had completed with help from some ex British Leyland workers as part of an interactive art project. See here Stuart’s website….Minis on this photoshootFor this shoot I have used Oxford die-cast 1/76 or 00 gauge Minis. To get the right colours I repainted three of them. The photo’s feature the following models:•A yellow 1971 Mini van (repainted from the original blue and white police livery)An orange with white roof 2009 Mini Cooper (repainted from red black).•A brown 1959 Mini (repainted from white with a union jack on the roof). I’m especially fond of this one as my grandad had one just like this in the 1970’s.•Cream and red 2011 Mini coupe. •White 1974 Mini 1275GT. •Lime green with a black bonnet 1959 Mini that some of you might recognise as Mr. Beans. This was my first Oxford die-cast, acquired when I was six some eight years ago. The front number plate is chipped from where my younger sister threw it down the stairs along with several iconic locomotives of the same scale from my model railway layout.•A blue 1972 Mini 1275GT.•A light blue with white roof 1975 Mini.
Video of Longbridge Colours
We have produced a short video to show how I took the photos. It is my first major YouTube piece and you can see it here…..
First … to where Land Rover Started…on the beach
My half term holiday with my family was camping in Anglesey. I took all my model ‘Landy’s’ with me as we were going to visit Red Wharf Bay, famous as Maurice Wilks came up with the idea of the original Land Rover on the beach there.Maurice wanted a rugged 4x4 for the British market, based on the Willy’s Jeep which he had on his farm in Wales while he also worked at ‘The Rover’. He drew the picture of his ideal car on the sand at Red Wharf Bay. What fun to take a range of his companies more modern cars back to the beach where it all started. Here I am also exploring making circles in Photoshop.
Models of cars really interest me. Especially British cars and even more Land Rovers. Perhaps it is because I live in Solihull and it is the car of my birth town! In Covid lock down I got interested in photos of my model cars and taking images to make them look like they were full size. I took the cars all over the place - to beaches in Northumberland, mud in the front garden, castles in Scotland and other buildings across the UK.For my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award project I worked with Birmingham photographer Jonathan Berg. He was just finishing a book called, Birmingham’s Public Art. I thought it would be fun to use my models on location where public art links to Birmingham’s car industry.
Car Art in Models
By Jonah Maybeck•Jonah has produced this blog page as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award. He has been mentored by Birmingham author and photographer Jonathan Berg.