He’s master of small

2016-03-22 06:00
 A 1:12 scale model of a ninth century Viking ship, built by Kommetjie model builder Marc Farham.

A 1:12 scale model of a ninth century Viking ship, built by Kommetjie model builder Marc Farham.

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“The details make all the difference.”

But adding details to something twelve times smaller than its original can prove both challenging and exciting, scale model builder Marc Farham says.

Imhoff’s Gift resident Farham has been creating small replicas since he left school in 1969, when he joined his uncle’s business.

“I was always building things. I had built guitars since I was eight,” he says.

Farham, who still builds the occasional guitar, has branched out since those days. Starting with architecture models for new homes and estates, his portfolio has grown to include some more unusual items.

Having held a contract with the South African Defence Force for many years, he produced miniature helicopters and vehicles for marketing purposes, working off military plans.

He was even requested to build a full-size model of a bomb for marketing purposes.

He is currently working on a fully detailed scale model of a ninth century Viking ship, one of four ordered by a French client.

The Viking ship is made of wood, but there are few materials Farham hasn’t mastered – the majority of his models are made from plastic, which he builds models for and then casts the various parts.

“There’s a right material to use for everything,” he says. “Today there are 3D printers, but they don’t say it like a model does.”

Farham has also created a working model of a mammogram machine and a replica of the largest gold nugget found in South Africa – weighing 2.73kg – which was gifted to Nelson Mandela.

“I had to make that mould in record time. You can’t leave a thing like that lying around!”

His favourite project has been a working miniature distillery made for Three Ships Whiskey.

“That one used every trick in the book,” he says.

Farham worked with a team from the distillery to ensure the electronic pumps, which blended different types of whiskeys, worked accurately. It also has lights and a smoke machine, he says.

“The more complex the project, the better I like it,” he says.

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