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Scale Model Car Photography: Insight

I am one of the latest writers to join the Motor Verso team, so I thought I would take the time to tell you a little bit about me. Although I am a motoring journalist, I actually am a hobbyist photographer as well. In the area where I live, supercars are quite uncommon, don’t get me wrong, I do see them from time to time, but not often enough to saturate my thirst for motoring photography.

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Model car photography, substitute for car photography

Which is why, as you can see above, I’ve started to shoot photos of model cars, although it might not be as authentic as a real Lamborghini Aventador, it’s still comparable. What you see above is a 1/24 scale Maisto Lamborghini Aventador, a very cheap model that you can get at fairly easily at the shops. The poor quality of the model can be apparent when compared to a high end AUTOart model, but beggars can’t be choosers.

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Time killer

If I have 30 minutes to spare in the evening, this is probably what I’d do. All you need to get those photos is a camera. I use an entry level DSLT, namely the Sony A58, I’ve had it for about a year now and it doesn’t fail to impress me, given the price point of the camera.

It’s pretty interesting to shoot these model cars, because as well as figuring out from what angle I should should shoot the car from, I also ponder on how to make the model cars look as realistic as possible.

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Unlimited possibilities

One thing I love about shooting these model cars is that you can pretty much get any model that exist in the market from model car manufacturers. It’s mesmerising how much choice you’ve got in terms of models. If I want to shoot an insanely rare car, let’s say a Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, I can shop around online and get it delivered to my doorsteps in a matter of a few days.

You don’t have to get a 1/18 model if you don’t want to, in fact, this Porsche you see here is a 1/34 – 1/39 scale model. It’s insanely cheap and because it’s made by a pretty renowned company, Welly, it’s one of the most well made smaller scale models I’ve ever seen.

Porshce 911 (997) GT3RS Watermarked

Favourite shot

If I had to choose one shot to use in a magazine cover, it would probably be the featured image you see at the very top. It’s one of those cases where you just happened to get the shot, purposefully or accidentally. Those Lamborghini shots took roughly 45 minutes, and boy are they worth it.

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Looking real

I’d say the most difficult part to make them look true to life is probably their scale to background ratio. You need to find an angle that’ll work for both the car and the background, which isn’t easy, I’ll say that much. I don’t reuse a background after each photo shoot, and it’s not a good idea to. You would want to find new places to shoot from after each session, be creative. If you keep restating the same backdrop over and over again, it’ll get boring, and eventually it’ll stop being enjoyable. Trust me on this one.

Ferrari F430 Challenge

Post processing

After you get those shots, it’s only natural to load them up onto your computer and start editing. Using Adobe Lightroom, I generally don’t do much in the post processing process, I usually only crop, add in my watermark and sharpen, also adjusting contrast, lighting and colours, if needed. Remember to clean your models before shooting, else you’re going to have a lengthy post processing process, believe me.


Despite all the advantages on shooting model cars, they will never outweigh the excitement of listening to a real car startup or seeing an extremely exotic ride for yourself. So don’t let model cars be an excuse to stop hunting exotic cars. But if they are hard to come by in your area, don’t hesitate to try model car photography out. Like I said, all you need is a camera, creativity and a basic model. Do check out my page; SPhotography, if you’ve any questions, ask me below in the comment section.

Porsche 911 993 Turbo

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