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Models to envy

Treena Mukherjee 19:19 IST
small wonder World War II 'Willys' jeep and 'Royal Navy Swordfish MK1'.
For Nandish Bansi, an IT professional, the fascination for automobiles turned into a hobby when he started collecting and making miniature models during his college vacation. He now has a great collection of models of bikes, cars, jeeps etc. What is interesting is his penchant for vintage vehicles.

The collection boasts of vintage ‘Harley Davidson’ bikes and ‘Indian Motorcycles’ from the 1920s and the ‘Vespa’ scooters of 1945 and 1950s. The ‘Ducati’ motorcycles, which include sports bikes and the Motogp collection, especially the ‘Valentino Rossi’ models (one of the Motogp Champion), are part of his collection.

The car collection includes the ‘Lotus Elise’, the ‘Mercedes Gullwing’ series from 1955, ‘SL300’ , ‘SLR 300’, the present ‘SLS AMG’, ‘Hummer H1 Wagon’, the US military ‘Humvee’ and a few Ferraris. Some of these models are US army vehicles dating back to World War I and II.

“I am very passionate about automobiles, especially motorcycles. During my semester holidays, I used to spend most of my free time flipping through the pages of automobile magazines looking for good colourful pictures of motorcycles. Slowly, I started making models with styrofoam and used to paint them with bright colours. Soon, I started making more models and with each model, my interest grew and the finishing became better,” he adds.

Nandish used waste materials like plastic pipes, refills of gel pens and covers of tablets for his models. “After making models of eight bikes, I started developing an interest in aeromodelling and wanted to know more about it.

I had done aeromodelling when I was in the NCC and learnt making Balsa wood scale models of aeroplanes. I used the techniques and procedures taught to me by the NCC instructors in the models of motorcycle and cars and started building a 1:16 wooden scale model of ‘Yamaha FZ250’.

The skeletal structure was done with the bicycle spokes and the small buttons on the wheel were made with wood,” he adds.

He says that his interest in making models does not end with just motorcycles and cars. He has also built a few Vintage World War planes. Some of them are the Royal Air Force refuelling jet, ‘The Swordfish’, ‘The Spitfire’, ‘The Russian Yakovlav Yak’ and the ‘US Air Force Mustangs’.

“Along with these planes, I have also built military ground vehicles like the ‘Willys’ jeep, the ‘RAF Bedford Q.L’ and ‘Matador’ refuelling trucks. Now, I have sufficient models of planes and ground vehicles for creating ‘The Battle of Britain’ diorama, which is a scene from the World War,” he says.

Currently, he has around 45 to 50 miniature models of bikes. He informs that he is always on a lookout for different kinds of models from all across the world. “I keep searching on the net and my friends who are staying abroad help me with my hobby.

I have also collected many blue prints and designs of some of the unique models and refer to them when making a model. My passion for automobiles has driven me to take part in various competitions. Through one such competition, I got an opportunity to go to UK, visit the design studio and the manufacturing unit of a popular sports car,” he informs.

His vast collection has a host of wooden bikes, which have been made by him. “Polishing the wood, painting it and then structuring it to a particular shape requires a lot of concentration. One of the wooden models that I have made (DUCATI 999) is one of the smallest models of a bike. It is 6.2 cms in length and my smallest creation,” he notes.

In future, he wants to collect more such models and focus on vintage pre-war
motorcycles.

“I take my time to finish a particular model and don’t give up on a model until I am completely satisfied with how it looks. My friends and my aeromodelling instructor have been very instrumental in helping me nurture my talent and hone my skills. From making models with styrofoam to visiting the design studio of a prominent sports car. I have been able to achieve all this with sheer will and determination,” he sums up.

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