Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps

Illustration for article titled 1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps

After waiting one week for the car to arrive, here it is. My second 1:18 review.

Illustration for article titled 1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps
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It came down to either this, or Minichamps’ new Williams FW14B Championship edition. Nigel Mansell’s gloriously advanced Williams Renault will have to wait for some other day, because this example was from North Carolina and the Williamses were all in Europe. So the McLaren it was.

Illustration for article titled 1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps
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The MP4/6 was Mclaren’s standard-bearer for the 1991 Formula One season. It’s somewhat of a logical evolution of the 1990 challenger, the MP4/5B. There were major differences, however. The aerodynamics were heavily improved, which in turn made the car look far better than its predecessor. Honda made an all-new 3.5 liter V12 for the car to keep ahead of the rapidly evolving Williams Renaults and Ferraris. At its peak of development for the car, that Honda RA121E made 720 horsepower at 14,800 RPM. Despite the engine’s extra weight compared to the previous V10s, it eventually produced enough power that it overcame the deficit. The car featured Mclaren’s tried and tested six-speed manual, preferred by Senna. These two factors make it unique in F1 history; the MP4/6 was the last car to win a championship either with a manual transmission, or a V12 engine, in the hard-fought 1991 season.

Illustration for article titled 1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps
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The car took 8 wins and 10 pole positions over its one and a half season career, as Mclaren used a slightly modified MP4/6B version in the early 1992 season, but replaced it with the dual-clutch MP4/7 when they had their asses handed to them by Williams. The car is still popular amongst F1 fans due to its stunning good looks and its soulful yet violent V12 wail. Now, onto the model.

Illustration for article titled 1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps
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As you can see, Minichamps has captured the car and its skilled pilot incredibly, with precision details. All decals, except for the Marlboro ones which I’ll probably add anyway, are present and accounted for. They even went to the trouble of adding the wing-mounted TV camera, putting a small gearshift handle in the car’s interior, and modeling the Senna figurine so that his shoulders are realistically squeezed in the car.

Illustration for article titled 1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps
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Look through that steering wheel that moves as the front wheels do, and you can see the dashboard decals, an indication of how much effort was put into the car by Minichamps.

Illustration for article titled 1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps
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The brakes even have brake ducts, along with the wing extensions that go right alongside the wheels. It’s also incredibly wide- look at it compared the F40 LM.

Crappy picture but it’s serves its purpose
Crappy picture but it’s serves its purpose
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There’s even exhausts mounted in the diffuser, as well as those cooling vents in the sides being see-through, which is pretty cool.

Illustration for article titled 1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps
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Illustration for article titled 1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps

Overall, I’d give the car a 90 or 95 out of 100. It’s nearly perfect- the paint is great, the details abound, the decals are crisp - but there are a few flaws, like the suspension movement at the front and one solitary paint bubble, or at least what I think is a paint bubble. In closing, a great job done by Minichamps, and if you have $130 to spend on an F1 model, this is the way to go.

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Illustration for article titled 1/18 McLaren Honda MP4/6 by Minichamps

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