Lothar Wunsche’s Extraordinary Journey: Building Exquisite 1:5 Scale Porsche Models from Scratch
In the world of model making, there is a distinct difference between constructing scale models from pre-existing kits and creating highly detailed replicas from scratch. Lothar Wunsche, a talented model maker from East Germany, has taken his passion for Porsche race cars to a whole new level. With unparalleled skill, remarkable patience, and the use of tools like drills and jigsaws, he has built over 20 impressive 1:5 scale replicas of iconic Porsche race cars. Wunsche’s journey into the world of Porsche and model making began in the late 1970s when he had a chance encounter with the renowned German racing team. Since then, he has dedicated his life to crafting these miniature masterpieces.
The Genesis of Wunsche’s Passion:
Growing up in East Germany, Lothar Wunsche had limited exposure to motorsports and renowned race car manufacturers like Porsche. However, in the late 1970s, he had a unique opportunity to attend a race in the region during the Soviet era. It was during this event that he had a chance encounter with members of Porsche’s race team. The experience left an indelible mark on him and ignited his fascination with Porsche cars. From that moment, building Porsche models became his passion and a means to express his creativity.
Building a Foundation: Kits and Career:
As Wunsche pursued his model-making hobby, he began by building Porsche models from pre-existing kits. Alongside his growing interest in model making, he also built a successful career in the construction industry, specializing in elevators. His meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship in his professional work undoubtedly influenced his skill in creating precise scale models.
Stepping Up the Game:
After honing his skills with kit-building, Wunsche embarked on a new challenge in 2007 – to create his own models entirely from scratch. This marked a significant milestone in his model-making journey, as he aimed to produce highly detailed replicas that rivaled Porsche’s wind-tunnel test cars. Working at a larger 1:5 scale allowed him to incorporate intricate details and breathe life into his models. Using molds, precise cutting, grinding techniques, and an astonishing level of patience, Wunsche crafted the plastic bodies of his models to perfection.
The Art of Precision: Meticulous Details and Time-Intensive Process:
To achieve an unparalleled level of realism, Wunsche equipped his models with an array of intricately crafted parts. Porsche estimates that some of his models feature over 1,600 meticulously assembled components and take an astonishing 500 hours to complete. Each model is a labor of love, a testament to Wunsche’s passion for race cars. The artist painstakingly researches every detail, ensuring accuracy in even the most minute elements.
Passion Fuels the Collection:
Race cars hold a special place in Wunsche’s heart, and his collection includes a plethora of iconic Porsche models. While a few classic models, such as the 1956 RS Coupe, find their place on his shelves, the dominating presence comes from famous Porsche race cars like the 917 and 908. Each model represents hours of dedication and a deep appreciation for motorsports history.
The Enigmatic Blue 908/02 Camera Car:
Among Wunsche’s collection, one model stands out – the blue 908/02 adorned with the iconic number 29. This particular replica holds immense significance as it replicates the race car modified to serve as a camera car during the filming of the legendary Le Mans movie, starring Steve McQueen. The accuracy of Wunsche’s model is astounding, considering the lack of clear imagery of the specific camera setup. With meticulous attention to detail, he recreated the camera equipment, the modified rear frame of the car, and even added specific lettering for the camera control box.
Ongoing Dedication: A Work in Progress:
Now in his late 70s, Lothar Wunsche shows no signs of slowing down. While his process has undoubtedly evolved over the years, he continues to create his models with unwavering dedication. Assisted by a local body shop and a talented artist for paintwork, he embarks upon new challenges. Among them is his current project – a replica of the 1971 Porsche 917, driven by Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep. With over 60 feet of piping incorporated into the chassis, this model promises to be an exceptional addition to Wunsche’s collection.
Lothar Wunsche’s journey from constructing scale models from kits to creating exquisite 1:5 scale replicas, all from scratch, is nothing short of extraordinary. His passion for Porsche race cars, coupled with his relentless pursuit of perfection, has propelled him to create detailed masterpieces that captivate automotive enthusiasts worldwide. Wunsche’s commitment to accuracy, his meticulous attention to detail, and his unwavering love for motorsports exemplify the indomitable spirit of a dedicated model maker. As he continues to expand his collection and take on new challenges, the world eagerly awaits the unveiling of each new marvel from his workshop.