This Audi Ad Was Shot Using 1/43 Scale Models and a Homemade Desert

Most car commercials involve big budgets, test drivers, and excursions to exotic far-away lands—unless, of course, you hire miniature photography master Felix Hernandez. For his latest assignment with Audi Middle East, Felix created his own personal desert and roadway right in the comfort of his own studio.

For this particular project, Hernandez was tasked with making 1/43 scale models of Audi’s new Q2 look like the real deal. This is, of course, what Hernandez is an expert at, but the assignment was challenging even for him.

“Were I normally work with 1/18 scale models, for the Q2 launch I was commissioned to do a series of photographies using a 1/43 scale model,” explains Felix. “This was my first time doing this kind of photography with such a small model.”

The smaller models meant creating realistic sets and making the cars look full-sized was even more difficult, but Felix was able to pull it off. He used foam core, LEDs, and sand paper to create an indoor roadway for the little Audis, while his desert was made from polvo fino (a fine powder) mixed with water and moulded into makeshift sand dunes.

Finally, he did spend SOME of Audi’s budget on a trip to Dubai, where he and fellow photographer Adrian Sommeling captured this base plate in order to create a shot of the Audi in front of an iconic Middle Eastern cityscape:

The final images are, like all of Felix work, impressive creations. Mixing practical crafts work with focus stacked photography and some serious Photoshop skills, he makes teeny tiny Audi models—smaller than he’s ever worked with—look life-sized.

Check out the BTS video below to see how Felix built his desert and road scenes from scratch in his studio in Cancun, Mexico. And then keep scrolling to see all of the final images from the campaign.

To see more of Felix work, visit his website or give him a follow on Facebook, Behance, and Instagram.

Image credits: All photographs by Felix Hernandez, used under creative commons.