McLaren MP4/25

Jenson Button

The V8 MP4-25 was the first machine used by the All England Dream team.

Designed by the combined talents of Paddy LoweNeil OatleyTim Goss and Doug McKiernan the car made use of the F-Duct, or Switchable Rear Wing – where air was used spoil the flow over the rear wing and create less drag by way of a ‘snorkle’, controlled in the cockpit by the drivers leg.

Fresh from his 2009 Championship win, Jenson Button teamed up with 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton in a line up that put all the other teams on the grid to shame.

It was a move that the majority thought would be the end of Button – he was stepping into the lions den, with the younger, and arguably faster Hamilton ruling the roost, having already seen off both Fernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen.

But the domination of Button didn’t happen, and he took a very competitive MP4-25 to Hamilton in a ding dong battle for points throughout the season.

Following on from Hamiltons 3rd place at the curtain raiser in Bahrain, Button took the MP4-25 to his maiden Mclaren victory in Australia, and then again in China, bagging the teams first 1-2 of the season.

Two more first/second place finishes followed in Turkey and Canada as Button and Hamilton enjoyed a brilliant season of racing, utilising the cars novel F-Duct to several impressive performances.

A number of reliability issues meant that the Mclarens early season performance began to tail away towards the latter races of the season, with Hamilton only managing to record 1 more victory for the MP4-25 in Belgium, but the podiums continued to arrive with solid results in Italy, Korea and a 2nd-3rd in Abu Dhabi.

The car eventually carried Mclaren to 2nd in the constructors championship, with Button claiming 7 podiums (2 wins), Hamilton finishing with 9 (3 wins) with 6 fastest laps between them.

Building the MP4/25

This particular model car was released at the end of 2010 by Revell, and you could buy it as a double or single kit. I was given the double kit ( Hamilton and Button version ) as a present, and built the first car with very modest skills. The second kit I saved, deciding that it would be better to re-build the model once my modelling techniques had improved a bit.

So, 3 years after I had initially built this model, I decided to have another go – this time making it harder for myself, by adding a detail set from Hobby Design.

The kit itself wasn’t too difficult, but like all these projects, building it twice really helped the second version.

Bizarrely, the kit includes a fair amount of engine detail, which ends up being covered by the cowling. You could leave this open I guess, but I’m not so sure it would complete the model – But that all depends on how much work you put in and how wanted to display it.

The photo etch set added some extra realism to the wings and other areas for the car, with thinner parts to replace unrealistic elements on the front wing, the rear wing and rear diffuser as well as the barge boards and some cockpit detail. Removing the moulded parts was tricky and needed a steady, patient hand, but the model looks heaps better for it.

Check out the image of the brakes and wheels also – photoetch discs and 1/24 tyre stencils give this project and really nice finish. I’m starting pay more attention to little touches that create additional realism – even though they can be very fiddly.

The carbon fibre was supplied with the kit in a very well fitting pre-cut set – but I found that lots of setting solution was needed to get them to conform to the cars curvy shapes. This was the same for all the decals, especially around the main coke bottle cowling.

Painted with Vallejo model air – which polishes up a treat once varnished the use of an airbrush to paint the car made a huge difference in the finish from my first attempt which was done with brushes – although I did manage to make a bit of a boob when I added the wrong decals to the cockpit… for the British Grand Prix in 2010, the cock pit sponsor should have been Silverhomes, not Maximum Adventure.

There is always something isn’t there…