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Well, when I looked at the poll for my next review, the XJ-13 was in the lead, so I started the review. Now it isn't! So, I'm sorry! Here's my XJ-13 review...The Exoto Shelby Cobra 1st logo will be my next...Hope everyone enjoys this:

AutoArt Jaguar XJ-13 Prototype
I'd like to start this review off by saying that I am really impressed with AutoArt as a company. This is the only AutoArt model I have so far, but I am very pleased with the companies level of customer service. Customer Service is important to me, and I really don't like it when companies think their products are so great that they don't care about customer service (hmmm, who could that be?). Anyway, they answer my emails promptly and with detail, and, you can actually order models through AutoArt themselves, albeit, it's a convoluted process. You have to get an order form from them via email, get a certified check, and mail it to Hong Kong, and then wait for the model. But, at least they offer that! I think that's nice, especially if they have a model in stock that you can't find anywhere else.

Paint: 7.5 out of 8
The paint on this model is an awesome British Racing Green. It's a very dark green and perfectly smooth and shiny. This to me says something because this model in particular has so many molded in rivets and openings (vents). As an example, just on the hood, I count 91 openings; 90 of them being vent slats (real openings), and 1 larger scoop which is actually open also. Plus, this model has hundreds of molded in rivets all over the body, and they are perfectly rendered through the paint. On thing to note is that many model manufacturers paint their rivets silver. The rivets on this models body are body color, but in viewing photos of the 1:1 actual car, which resides in the Jaguar Museum in England, they are body color also, so they are accurate. The model does however, also have silver painted rivets, they are used to represent trim around the headlight covers, 6 for each cover. The only problem I have is that the undersides of the front and rear covers are not painted very well. They are completely painted, however, it is thin and uneven in places.

Why 7.5 out of 8? Simply because of the undersides of both compartment covers.

Exterior: 7 out of 8
As has become my custom, I will split this into 3 sections, the Front section and Rear section will be covered here, and the Interior section will be covered in the Interior section.

This car has 7 opening parts, the front hood, both doors, the glass engine cover, 2 slated vents (1 on each side of the car right behind the doors, and the rear trunk. As it is a Jaguar, this car has a very sexy, muscular stance, where the body work flows over the wheel wells, looking like a Jaguar's haunches.

The Front section:
The front section is comprised of 5 body panels which are separated by lines of rivets. There are two beautiful opaque headlights in "tunnels" here that are covered by perfectly clear flush mounted lenses. These flush mounted covers have black trim around them, and on the black trim, there are 6 silver colored painted, flush rivets. My feeling is that they are supposed to be flush, as you will see later on in this review, that there are other plastic parts that have raised rivets. The headlights do have mounting posts, but they are rendered so that they look like the headlight bulb, honestly! Below each headlight are oval shaped, clear amber plastic marker lights which are perfectly flush with the body. They have a silver background behind them which is textured, giving them a nice appearance. Mounting posts however, are visible but they don't look bad, but they don't look like bulbs either.

There is a sweet oval opening in the bumper area (below the headlights) that runs the length of the space between the two headlights. You can see a large silver pan which I believe is used to channel the air to the radiator, which is silver in color and perfectly visible. The radiator is textured authentically. (It is not photo-etch, but my opinion on photo etch radiators is that their slightly over blown). On the drivers side front fender (remember, this is an English car), there is a molded in, riveted cover for something. It doesn't open, however, it is rendered well. Let's open, or shall I say, remove the hood:

The hood itself has 91 openings, 90 of them being individual vent slats, and 1 air scoop. All are see-through. The hood has two silver painted latches at the top most section, near the windshield that are rendered and painted well. On this model, they are used for your finger nails to lift up the hood, unless you're lazy and want to just turn the car over. See, the front and rear covers are not hinged, they lift off. I have no idea as to whether this is authentic or not, so I won't judge that part. All I know is that they fit perfectly, and I wish they were hinged, but again, maybe they aren't supposed to be, this was a prototype after all.

The underside of the hood is flat British Racing Green. It is completely painted, however you can see different thickness' of paint here. It's like a cursory painting of the underside, not smooth and perfect like the other side. But the area it covers up more than makes up for this!

This area is predominantly silver in color, not gloss, yet not flat in color either. This color is simply beautiful, it really sets off the car In this area, you see a white colored washer bottle, with a teal lid and a "Kelly green" tube going away from it. There are 2 silver pipes running from the front of the car to almost the firewall. I don't know if they are pipes or braces, but they look good.

The front wheel tie-rod is visible here, running across this compartment. It is silver, with flat black colored corrugated "rubber" connectors. It is not functional, i.e., does not move when you turn the wheels. Many model manufacturers simply wouldn't put one in, let do with the steering "guts" of the model. But here, the non-functional tie-rod is perfectly rendered, and the steering "guts" are not visible. On each side of this compartment, there are black round objects which have 4 rubber wires protruding from them, going to various areas. Towards the front of the car, you see 3 silver colored bottles with bright yellow textured caps. Textured so that you could twist them off with your hands if this was full size. Ahead of that is the radiator, which is angled not quite 45 degrees but close. It has a white fan behind it that is attached to a silver motor with 3 black colored bolts. This is housed next to the radiator via a silver colored bracket. The pipes coming from the radiator are silver in color and have imitated rubber connectors, i.e., painted flat black connectors-same piece of tube, just a different color and texture. Rendered well. The radiator on the side of the compartment, the side you see from within the compartment, is silver, and is comprised of horizontal tubes.

The outsides of the doors are nicely curved, and have awesome recessed chrome door handles.

The Rear Section:
The fender flares really flare up here, their actually much more than flares, the whole body curves beautifully over the wheels. The rear section is comprised of 9 body panels, held together by molded in rivets, body color in color. At the rear center of the car is a beautifully sharp tampo'd "Jaguar" logo. It is white in color with a red outline, and "Jaguar" is spelled out in red, capital letters. To each side of this logo are the rear tail lights. They reside in chrome housings that protrude out from the body. Within these houses, there are 3 lights on each side. Per chrome housing, there is a clear amber light, and 1 clear red light, and 1 painted red light. The amber light is somewhat triangular in shape, 1 red light is rectangular, and the other red light is round. Why they painted the round red light I do not know, they would have been able to do this in a clear red plastic. The round red light is surrounded by chrome trim (it's still within the main chrome housing, but it's separate somewhat and protrudes out slightly from the other lights).

The model has 4 exhausts. They are chrome and hollow. These are some of the best exhausts I've seen. If it makes sense, the body work sort of curves up over them, giving them a "tunnel" to poke out of. They are stacked, 2 on top of each other on each side of the rear, with the top exhausts protruding farther out than the bottom exhausts. The exhausts themselves do not protrude out from the body, the farthest out exhaust is about a half an inch in from the rear most of the body. They look astounding! Let's open the trunk:

Again, it lifts off, no hinges, and I've already said the stuff about the hinges, don't know if they should have them or not…The trunk interior has the same silver color inside, not gloss, not flat. Both the front and rear compartments have a wonderful sheen to them, like they were hand rubbed metal. The underside of the trunk is a flat British Racing Green, and it is applied better than the front cover. Inside, there's not much to see, just a trunk with a protrusion in the center, and you can see the "tunnels" where the exhausts come out. The trunk while not having a lot to see, is perfectly finished. No "guts". There is a raised silver lock or handle towards the rear of the trunk; it has a tiny, almost minuscule amount of over spray. So miniscule that you have to be 6 inches from the car to see it, but it's there.

Ahead of the rear wheels and behind the doors are two additional opening compartments. These compartments, 1 on each side of the car, flip up on basically invisible hinges. They have 8 vents each, and are see through. The drivers side compartment houses the battery, which is red in color, has a white colored section, and a white and baby blue label tampo'd on. There are no battery cables that I can see. The other side houses a beautifully rendered gas cap, that nice silver sheen color to it, neither gloss nor flat. The cap doesn't open, and personally, I think it's great that AUTOart went to the effort to have these two tiny compartments. I must say, you have to use something tiny to open them, I can't do it with my best fingernail! The shut lines are that tight.
The engine is a V-12 engine, and it resides right behind the passenger compartment. It is covered by a clear "glass" (plastic in this case) canopy, which has rivet detail. However, I have never seen clear rivets in my life. They are molded into the clear plastic. While it's great effort that they put the rivets there, they were not clear in real life! The clear plastic cover is trimmed in the BRG paint along the edges; the frame of the glass. In this BRG colored area, at the very end of the cover, towards the trunk are 4 beautifully rendered vents, which are see through.

This cover is hinged at the rear passenger compartment bulkhead and flips up. Opening this up reveals a nicely detailed engine (which by the way is visible whether you open this up or not). First I need to say something that might cause some questions to be raised. While this engine is beautifully rendered, Kyosho engines are better. Let me explain. Yes, the engine is completely wired and completely plumbed. But this is exactly where AutoArt took some cost cutting measures. First, the wiring. While really good, there are thicker wires that go to each of the 12 breathers on top of the cylinder heads. These wires are 1 piece, and when they come together, it is very obvious. While they have black colored "wrappers" rendered to keep them bunched together, those wrappers are also the same piece of these wires. Kyosho would use separate wires, Exoto and CMC would also. The spark plug wires are separate from what I can see, and look great connecting to the distributor, each black wire having a silver connector (same piece as the wire). My problem with this engine are those thick silver tubes that come together as one piece and it shows. All the wires and tubing are flexible. But really, overall, the engine is beautiful. There are 12 breather tubes, they are hollow, silver on the outside, and gold on the inside. In the engine compartment, I see black, silver, gold, red, copper and yellow colors. The yellow color is a tampo print on top of a cylinder head. It's partially covered up by a silver tube, but you can move the tube to see it in it's entirety. The black distributor sits almost in the center of the engine, on top of it. It looks like the center of a spiders web with the spark plug wires splayed out from it.

On each side of the engine, there are these HUGE flat black, really thick "pipes", which enclose the exhausts…it goes towards the back of the car, eventually to the rear exhausts. There are also two vertical tubes with rounded tops, black in color on each side of the engine. I do not know what these are for. Also seen towards the front of the engine is a silver colored "roll bar" or brace.

Why 7 out of 8? The round rear lights are painted (while the other rear lights are clear colored plastic). Also, this is AutoArt's "Millennium" series, which means, per AutoArt, if the actual car had opening parts or vents, then those parts should open, and the vents should be actual vents. There is 1 part that does not open on this car, driver side front fender. Also, the tiny over spray on the trunk handle.

Interior: 8
Whatever small qualms I had about the engine are erased when I look at the interior. This is absolutely beautiful, I can't stress that enough! This is an open top racer, no roof, so you get a great view of the interior, which is super detailed. It is better detailed than my Exoto Shelby Daytona Coupe, and is almost as detailed as my Exoto GT40 MK-IV. Some people would say as detailed…

The interior again is painted in that beautiful silver sheen, not gloss, not flat. There of course is not carpeting, as there shouldn't be. There are nice floor mats however. There are really wide door sills on each side, almost an inch in width. On the drivers side, the sill also includes a raised squared off channel for the gear shifter linkage, which is towards the drivers right side, between the driver and the door. The gear shift has a leather like boot, with a silver handle.

The seats are black and they are hard. But wait…is that texture? Yes, behind the red fabric seat belts, in the center of the seats is a suede texture. The side bolsters of the seat are hard, but they are supposed to mimic leather, as you can see creases here. The red fabric seat belts, 4 points each, say "TOTAL" in black letters on a white background. The fasteners are photo etch.

The steering wheel is one of the best in my collection. True photo etch chrome spokes going into a wood grain rim, which has silver painted rivets on it. The center of the wheel has a tiny Jaguar head tampo'd on in yellow and black, and it is surrounded by numerous raised black rivets. I think it's the best steering wheel I've got in my collection. On to the dashboard.

The dashboard is one of the most unique I've seen. There are no gauges in front of the driver (behind the wheel). They all reside to the drivers left side, and are angled towards the driver. I count 6 gauges. They are all legible and crisp. One thing really neat about this car is that there are tampo labels next to the numerous switches that tell what each switch is for. If I had a magnifying glass, I could read them, but with my eyes alone, I can make out individual letters. Awesome! In fact, there are a total of 25 tampo'd labels in the interior, with 20 of them being labels for switches on the dashboard. These switch labels have red back grounds with white lettering. There is a gold and white tampo right behind the steering wheel, and behind the driver, on the rear bulkhead, are 3 additional gold and white tampo's. These refer to who made the car, Jaguar. Also, the silver, black and red fire extinguisher on the drivers door has two red, white, and black tampo'd warning labels on it. So, the dashboard is absolutely incredible. Switches and gauges look awesome! There is a rear view mirror mounted on the dashboard, at the perfect angle.

There are numerous tubes coming through the front firewall towards the rear of the car, on the passenger side. The gas, brake, and clutch pedals are individually rendered in flat black, and hinge at the floor.

The doors are flat black in color and have flat white pull handles. There is lots of rivet detail here, and it's where you see the silver colored rivets…used to hold the side windows on. Very well rendered door interiors. The hinges are almost invisible, and they have a wonderful spring to them. In my opinion, these hinges are smoother than my Kyosho models.

The windshield curves around towards the side windows, and there is a single arm, single blade wiper there. The windshield is surrounded by a raised, rounded flat black gasket. Looks awesome!

Wheels/Brakes: 5 out of 6
The wheels tires are beautifully rendered, especially the tires. They are a flat color, not shiny. They are labeled Dunlop racing and look beautiful. . The tread pattern is wonderful, and the feel of the rubber tires is wonderful. The rear wheels are wider than the front. The wheels are silver in color with chrome center knock offs. The brake calipers are silver, and the brake disks are silver. The brake disks have no detail or texture at all, but they do spin with the wheels within the fixed calipers. The calipers themselves aren't really detailed either.

Why 5 out of 6? While the disks do spin with the wheels, they have no texture or detail. Also, the calipers aren't that detailed.

Engine & Undercarriage Detail: 7.5 out of 8
The engine is a V-12 engine, and it resides right behind the passenger compartment. It is covered by a clear "glass" (plastic in this case) canopy, which has rivet detail. However, I have never seen clear rivets in my life. They are molded into the clear plastic. While it's great effort that they put the rivets there, they were not clear in real life! The clear plastic cover is trimmed in the BRG paint along the edges; the frame of the glass. In this BRG colored area, at the very end of the cover, towards the trunk are 4 beautifully rendered vents, which are see through.

This cover is hinged at the rear passenger compartment bulkhead and flips up. Opening this up reveals a nicely detailed engine (which by the way is visible whether you open this up or not). First I need to say something that might cause some questions to be raised. While this engine is beautifully rendered, Kyosho engines are better. Let me explain. Yes, the engine is completely wired and completely plumbed. But this is exactly where AutoArt took some cost cutting measures. First, the wiring. While really good, there are thicker wires that go to each of the 12 breathers on top of the cylinder heads. These wires are 1 piece, and when they come together, it is very obvious. While they have black colored "wrappers" rendered to keep them bunched together, those wrappers are also the same piece of these wires. Kyosho would use separate wires, Exoto and CMC would also. The spark plug wires are separate from what I can see, and look great connecting to the distributor, each black wire having a silver connector (same piece as the wire). My problem with this engine are those thick silver tubes that come together as one piece and it shows. All the wires and tubing are flexible. But really, overall, the engine is beautiful. There are 12 breather tubes, they are hollow, silver on the outside, and gold on the inside. In the engine compartment, I see black, silver, gold, red, copper and yellow colors. The yellow color is a tampo print on top of a cylinder head. It's partially covered up by a silver tube, but you can move the tube to see it in it's entirety. The black distributor sits almost in the center of the engine, on top of it. It looks like the center of a spiders web with the spark plug wires splayed out from it.

On each side of the engine, there are these HUGE flat black, really thick "pipes", which enclose the exhausts…it goes towards the back of the car, eventually to the rear exhausts. There are also two vertical tubes with rounded tops, black in color on each side of the engine. I do not know what these are for. Also seen towards the front of the engine is a silver colored "roll bar" or brace.

The suspension is beautifully rendered. So beautifully rendered, one has to wonder, why doesn't it work? I mean, come on, the shocks have separate coil over springs, and their metal! But alas, the suspension doesn't work, but it looks beautiful The front wishbones are gold in color, the coil over shocks are black. The rear of the car is where the undercarriage detail really shines. Oh, I almost forgot…the chassis is metal, not plastic!

The rear of the undercarriage shows you the bottom of the beautiful engine, and all the braces, oil filter, the teeth on the engine flywheel, etc. There's a lot of color here…lets see, flat silver, shiny, burnished silver, chrome, gold, and black. Really beautiful down here. The rear coil over shocks are black here also.

Why 7.5 out of 8? Those thick silver tubes that are supposed to look like 12 separate tubes but don't. And it's 7.5 instead of 7 because the under carriage detail is so good…Picky, picky, picky…

Competition: 6
No one else makes this model.

Desirability: 6
I love it, it was in my 3rd purchase.

Overall: 47 out of 50
***Pictures added by DX Staff***

**Review added to the DX Model Review Database**
 

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:iagr: Many thanks again, mrmilo, for another outstanding review. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I've been pondering for several months about whether or not I want to buy one and I think that I will thanks to you.
Keep up the good work!!! :sm:
 
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