Philippe de Lespinay started with Heller, the French model kit company in the 1960s as a designer and project engineer. He also also worked for Cox, who are now known for their remote control and gas powered vehicles, but also created many kits over the years. More recently, he was the curator of the Los Angeles Slot Car Museum. And he’s on the hobbyDB Advisory Board, so yeah, he’s our kind of guy.
hobbyDB will be regularly sharing his insights on particular models he has worked on including production kits, never-produced projects, and his own custom builds. We hope you enjoy the journey through his career as well.
Read more about his history in the toy and model business here.
Another fun project was the Magblaster, an exercise in camouflage of a huge engine flywheel that had been devised so as to allow easy starting and idling of the .049ci engine.
The original chassis powered a van that was very popular, and the same chassis was used for this GT car I styled with multiple air intakes so as to hide the implement. The design is not based on a specific prototype car. The original drawing with a hand-built prototype made of a vacuum formed styrene body set over the chassis.
The Magblaster was also produced as a two-channel radio controlled model called the Interceptor, molded in yellow with contrasting blue graphics.
The radio signals worked a non-proportional steering system and the engine’s throttle. The cost of the radio was $2.00, a fantastic achievement in 1975.