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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some 1/18 models wear their excellence and intrigue like a final coat of paint; some take a little looking into. The former could be said of every Exoto release dating back to their very first image.

But the latest F1 car to emerge from the minds at Moorpark is a 1992 Williams-Renault FW14/B that stands as a testament to subtlety - and to this maker's ability to render details, both singular and sweeping, faithfully.

It had to be a hard call. Despite the brothers Keusseyan's usual proclivity for holding forth models jammed full of neat finger fun and all manner of fastidious gewgaws (like those on Exoto's 1902 Ford 999 - what a party!), the real Williams' relative lack of topside gee-whiz things to see and a dearth of potentially entertaining scale bells and whistles might have kept Exoto from delving into the racer whole-heartedly.



But, thankfully, it didn't. This particular first release (of a planned two in this livery) is Ricardo Patrese's car from the 1992 Grand Prix season, in the deco it wore during a dramatic showdown between the Italian veteran and the unflappable Ayrton Senna at the German Grand Prix. Aggravated by pit stops and an ill-timed need for new tires, Patrese saw his race slipping away, and drove the Williams hard in an effort to overtake second-place Senna and finish behind his teammate, Nigel Mansell. Ultimately, in the last lap, Patrese lost the rhythm that had given him the fastest lap of the race, and spun onto the grass. Mansell won (becoming champion), Senna took second, and a fellow by the name of Michael Schumacher placed third. Patrese recovered sufficiently to roll across the line eighth.



The Exoto model is a real eye-grabber on display, and wears the neat yellow, blue and white colors on a well-prepped body casting. The upper rear half of the shell is removable (once the side view mirrors are pivoted out of the way), as is the air horn atop the engine and the bit of bodywork placed just above the car's active front suspension. This last piece is held in place by a tab and a tiny, almost invisible magnet - pretty slick stuff - and like the rest of the removable sections, it fits well when in place.

At the end of delicate suspension struts, "Fondmetal" road wheels are shod with scuffed Goodyear rubber that's so detailed, warnings against using the tires on the highway (seriously) are clearly legible - in letters less than 1/16th of an inch tall. And you can doff the wheels by removing the central nut - which will get you a great view of the car's brakes and suspension.

It's at this point, when you're close in, that you begin to realize that there's faux carbon fiber everywhere. And then it hits you - here is the model's hook.



The woven pattern is cast into every blessed piece that warrants it - and that's a lot of crunchy little castings, indeed. The airfoil up front, the upper regions of the car's belly pan, the engine intake horn and every area of the chassis that's revealed as panels are removed is shot through with the tiny diamond-shaped cris-crosses. The repeat is minute, and the rhythm of its angles follows the contours of the sculpt perfectly, even in the tightest corners. Whoever did the etching here most certainly has one <no profanity> of a case of eye strain.



This being a racer, nothing grabs me like the engine. It's a beautifully done V10, with carbon valve covers, a decuple of short intake stacks that only appear after the horn's been removed, and, of course, every wire, pipe, and cable that the Williams folks and their French friends needed to get the thing screaming to its 14,000-odd-RPM redline. What makes the miniature 800-horse motor all the more remarkable is the reflective heat shielding that it rests on - a great contrast to the symmetrically fashioned and folded headers that wind away from its sides. Really neat photoetched radiators add even more authenticity.



The various and sundry control boxes and all of the side mounted wiring and plumbing are harnessed under the car's skin. That makes the model far more entertaining on display when halved, than when joined, with its body parts.

The good news is that a release of Mansell's almost-identical winning car is coming soon, for those who ultimately decide&#8230; that they can't decide.

The bad news is that these carry a thumping price tag - close to three hundred bucks (MSRP: $289.00), after a recent Exoto price rise - and that places them into territory that the average 1/18 collector won't dare enter.

Well-heeled chaps and fans of the FW14/B won't blanch at that vig, but it's not for me to speak to the demographics. Exoto is arguably the originator of truly high end diecast, and they know their collecting base. There's no doubt that the quality is there, and that Exoto has given the car a star turn.

Whether or not this gorgeous little high-ender is a car you'll swing for this season? Well, that's all about your heart - and your pocket.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is awesome! I love it! As soon as I saw it I knew I was in deep trouble! Great review thank you for putting it up! :cheers
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the review! This model continually nears me toward slipping into non-Ferrari based F1 diecast world. I'm afraid that eventually, this model will end up perched amongst the sea of red.
 

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Excellent review and superbly well written. :nicejob However, at that price I'm afraid the review will be the closest I'll ever get to the model.

I note the model carries the livery for Camel cigarettes but the word "Camel" does not appear. Do you know if this is true of the 1:1 or is this another case of editing? :confused I also note that Exoto continues to sell John Player Lotuses and L&M appears on their Porsche 917/10, but they won't put Silk Cut, Marlboro or other brands on their other models and I don't understand the diference. :confused
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for sharing your pics and your words about this stunningly beautiful Williams F1 car! Man do I wish the F1 cars could still look like this. It's too bad that Exoto priced it that high though :(

Btw, the original car has Camel written on it..
 

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My God that model is elaborate!!!

It's a little out of my brice range, which is unfortunate because this model is a real gem.

Great purchase and an even greater review!! :cheers
 

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I can't see the pictures! I'm going to get the Carbon Version!
 
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