This was my first attempt at a 1/20th scale model. I've since realised that black is the most difficult colour to spray paint as it seems to show up every tiny piece of dust that lands on it. These days I use a large cardboard box, with the sides cut out, as a spray booth. I use this to spray the bodywork of any models I make. As soon as the spraying is finished I cover the painted items with the model box cover or something similar, this way I donít get to much dusty debris onto the wet paint. This really makes a big difference to the quality of the finish.

Lotus 78

The car itself was one of Colin Chapmans innovative designs, one of the first to utilise the ground effect principle. The Lotus 78 first made an appearance at the Argentine Grand Prix of 1977. The car utilised skirts which closed the gap between the ground and the side pod's of the car. These were originally made of draft excluder, this was later changed for thick plastic lips. These lipís allowed a negative pressure to be developed under the car which literally sucked it to the ground. The faster the car was driven, the greater the suction.
The rival teams of the time put the fantastic cornering abilities of the car down to the downforce generated by the side aerofoils.

The Lotus team were second in the constructors championship, with Andretti taking third place in the drivers championship of 1977. The other teams had no idea what was responsible for the 78ís amazing performance and so were unable to copy any specific idea's. The secondary benefit of the side skirts was the fact that no one could look under the car and sneak a look at the secrets of the design. Eventually of course they did realise, and before long every team taking part needed to use the ground effect principle pioneered by Team Lotus.

Return to home page