Gilles

Gilles Villeneuve 1/20 scale driver figure – first Ferrari drive – Mosport 1977

Gilles

Another resin figure from GF-models which I’ve painted up; this time Gilles Villeneuve as he would have appeared when he had his first public outing for the “Scuderia” driving an F1 Ferrari 312T-2 in the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport park in 1977.  It’s reputed that when Gilles met the “Commendatore” for the first time, Enzo was reminded of another of my favourite drivers; Tazio Nuvolari.  A quote attributed to Enzo Ferrari from the time; – “When they presented me with this ‘piccolo canadese’, this minuscule bundle of nerves, I immediately recognised in him the physique of Nuvolari and said to myself, let’s give him a try.”  Whether it’s true or not, so what; it has a wonderful ring to it!  The helmet is a separate piece and like all the GF castings it captures perfectly the proportions of the Bell helmet Gilles wore in his early career.  The visor is cut from acetate and I’ve added the raised fastening studs on each side – from 3d paint (as used to decorate T shirts etc!).  Gilles also used a band of white rubber running along the top of the eye opening between the visor and helmet (I believe to aid air flow and to combat condensation) so I’ve added this from a piece of stout decal paper.  Finally as a “nod” to the meagre safety support systems of the day for the driver, I’ve added the metal tube (to which an emergency air supply would have been connected) to the left side of his helmet from a piece of paper-clip wire.  I have a few more pieces depicting Gilles during some of his more noteable Ferrari appearances coming up.  This first one is now avalilable on the “Bay”.  The next one up will be a figure depicting him when he achieved his first Ferrari victory in 1978; which appropriately enough was again at the Canadian GP on the Montreal circuit later renamed in his honour and to this day is still referred to as “Circuit Gilles Villeneuve” – Montreal.

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