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Here's the next review for you, guys. This one is for a very different car from the rest that have been reviewed - it's for Minichamps'



PAINT
The blue and white paint are very well applied without any rough areas although the blue paint has bled slightly on to the rear wing. The silver stripes of paint separating the blue and white paint could be applied better as they can clearly be felt from the blue and white paint. Some of the sponsor logos are applied by tampo-painting but many are applied by decal stickers and those on the rear wing are most vulnerable to peeling off, even when you keep the model in the best conditions to prevent peeling.
6/8

EXTERIOR

The model is to scale and proportionate. Rather disappointingly, there are no opening or detachable parts to speak of and the panel gap around the front suspension is rather large. The front wing section is reasonably well done - the element on the side of the wing is correctly colourless but the front wing on the real F1 car is comprised of two sections, where the wing sections are moulded from just one piece of plastic. The planes beneath the front wing however are well rendered. The Senna "S" logos are correctly placed on the insides on the pillars connecting the nose to the front wing however the dummy camera located on the side of the nose is missing.

The push/pull rods on the front suspension are nicely detailed and the Michelin logo is correctly placed. The carbon-fibre effect is simulated by fine grooves in the plastic surface - the grooving is much finer that of Maisto. The bargeboards are well done too - they are correctly shaped and their fitting is in the correct location. The antennae near the nose and on the right sidepod are placed correctly and have realistic shaped and colour.

The radiators within the sidepods are well rendered and the grille effect is done by grooving which looks more realistic. The opening in the airbox is only about a centimetre deep so it isn't hollow and doesn't lead to an engine. The dummy camera just above the airbox is quite detailed and it is shaped correctly.

The winglets on the rear of the sidepods are well formed and feel very sturdy. The winglets lead to the rear wing which can't really be faulted apart from the warning light - although it is has decent detail it is too large. Rather strangely the rods from rear suspension have no carbon-fibre detail even though the rest of the black plastic does.
6/8

INTERIOR

As this is a model of an F1 car you can't expect a Sistine Chapel of an interior but the interior detail of the can be much improved. The driver figures have some detail and the Montoya figure has the chrome coloured helmet with the Colombian colours rather than his dated white helmet with the Colombian colours. However the sponsors on the drivers' helmets are applied by decal stickers not tampo-painting and it is most noticeable on Montoya's helmet. The sponsors are correctly painted on the driver figure's overalls but sadly so is the racing seatbelt, which should have been a separate piece of plastic/fabric. There is also no detail of the tiny driver's seat.

The steering wheel is very detailed - it has moulded and painted buttons but the BMW logo in the centre of it can peel off and has done so on my model. The steering is functional.
5/8

WHEELS & BRAKES

The tyres are correctly branded (Michelin) and they are the correct size but the grooves on the rear tyres are incorrect - on the real F1 car, the gaps between the grooves on the rear tyres are larger than the gaps between the grooves on the front tyres since the rear tyres are wider the front tyres but on the model the gap between the grooves on the front tyres and rear tyres are the same size.

The wheels are very detailed and correctly branded (OZ Racing) and the spokes correctly sit further back in the rear wheels than in the front wheels. The wheel nut on each wheel is nicely rendered and they are correctly coloured - the wheel nuts on the right-hand side are painted blue and the wheel nuts on the left-hand side are left as magnesium alloy.
Brake discs are present as well as are the hubs that connect the wheels to the brake discs which are very detailed. Brake calipers are present too and in the correct place on the brake discs but because the brake discs and calipers are fixed together, the brake discs do not rotate with the wheels.
Brake cooling ducts are present on all four wheels too and they are realistically shaped however, the front-right cooling duct is placed closer to the wheel than the front-left cooling duct.
4/6

ENGINE & UNDERCARRIAGE DETAIL
Although one can appreciate that engine technology in F1 is shrouded in secrecy, most teams still release pictures of their engines' external features for the world to see so that the fact that the only modicum of engine detail is the exhausts that stick out through the rear suspension is unacceptable, especially for a $70 model.

The undercarriage detail is fair. The rear diffuser is quite well simulated but the wooden plank on the underside of the car is simulated only by a stripe of one-coloured brown paint, rather than paint that looks like wood.
2/8

COMPETITION
Hot Wheels also make the FW23 but their version is inferior in almost every way to Minichamps' rendition.
5/6

DESIRABILITY
Minichamps' version is much rarer than Hot Wheels's and it costs more too. Despite having far less detail than most models that are made by Minichamps, it still costs as much as them.
4/6

OVERALL
Minichamps FW23 model is very well made but its complete lack of engine detail is its major downfall. It is very expensive for its lack of detail but what you are paying for mostly goes towards royalties for Bernie Ecclestone and the sponsors of Williams GP Engineering. It is only worth buying if you are a devoted F1 fan.

Total Score - 32/50

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Really a great review Darren! :mrgreen:
Some of the things Minichamps does...... :x
Decals should never be a part of a $50 + diecast!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
FYI, BVR, the wooden plank underneath the real car is there because of rules stating that F1 cars have a minimum ride height of 50mm, with up to about 3mm leeway for manufacturing faults. The plank is placed underneath the car to tell the ride height during the race and it is allowed to wear away slightly during a race or qualifying session but if the erosion exceeds 3mm by the time that the race has finished, the driver and the team may be excluded from the final standings of the race.
The wooden plank was most notoriously known for an incident back in 1994 when Michael Schumacher won the Belgian GP but was later disqualified (and given a 2-race ban, I think) because the wooden plank beneath his Benetton had eroded too much due to his car having too low a ride height.
 
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