John Eva’s


A couple of Harrogates ago MEWS reported on a model by John Eva of a truck that had been in a serious collision with a pub, coming to rest in the four ale bar. He was back in 2014 with the same model, plus a couple of dozen others to make up a whole scrapyard at the back of his workshop.

John Eva is an extraordinary model maker. While most strive to obtain a perfect finish, and often achieve a far better finish than was ever seen on the prototypes of their models, John strives for authenticity.

John is from a family of fairground showmen and that provides the inspiration for many of his models. Others include wartime military themes and mobile workshops.

The new scrapyard is a wonderful model.

Amid all the pristine, shiny new pin models on display, this was different. Very different. As visitors walked by it, there were puzzled expressions and double takes before the penny dropped bringing first a smile and then that ‘how is that done?’ look. Imagine a crashed lorry cab with crunched metal that looks as if it has lain outside for a few years, or a pile of discarded engines, or a trailer whose plywood sides are peeling apart. It is a different approach to modelling with its own set of skills.

The finish on these models is brilliant. They completely look the part - damaged, dirty, and unloved. The finish on them is as authentic as everything else and achieved in much the same way. Ask John how to get that layer of dust and the answer is “leave it under the workshop bench.” Or how to get that peeling plywood effect will be “look around for something suitable. You can find most things if you look.”

The display included the well fitted workshop of J.M. Eva & Sons complete with a lorry waiting to receive a new engine. Outside is the firm’s A30 van and a couple of pristine lorries that look as if they are waiting for customers. The rest is a yard full of wrecks in varying states of decomposition, from just taken off the road to a tree that has grown up through a cab.

Smaller wrecks sit on other wrecks, all to 1:12 scale. One has been parted out into a collection of  re-useable spare parts. Next to that is a pile of about a dozen engines. Among the lorries is a woody estate wagon, tractor, car and a jeep.

It is all very different and quite wonderful. It must have had the judges reaching for their marking notes. But, in the end, they came to the only possible conclusion and gave it a First Award.