While I haven’t been much active lately, what with all the crap going on and around Brazil, I’ve recently managed to locate and acquire my 1:43 scale Holy Grail.

It’s... not this, but I figured it was as good a reason as any to step up my 1:43 scale game and start a real collection, and what better place to start with than a Formula One car?

Now, I’m pretty sure we’re all familiar with the McLaren Mercedes MP 4-28, and how much of a pile of shit it was. A strong contender in the pre season testing, the MP 4-28's pace was soon found out to be due to a suspension strut being mounted upside down. Once corrected, the car fell to the back of the pack, barely scoring at all, and failing to achieve a single podium, let alone win.

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It was McLaren’s weakest challenger since the early 80's, but by god, is it good looking. In na era of platypus noses, funky engine covers and messy paintjobs, the MP4-28 had a strong, simple shape, sharp nose contours and a beautifully sculpted engine cowl, all enhanced by the gleaming silver paint job with red accents, which, while nowhere near as iconic as the old White and Reds, still made it look very much like a silver arrow ready to fire at its target. And miss.

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As for the model, this is classic Minichamps. The shape and proportions are all pretty much flawless, and so is the paint and finish. I’m not sure if this is common for the brand, but this specific model has a smoother finish than many real cars out ther, and the pictures just don’t do justice to the chrome sheen, even with tacky Instagram filters on. The decals are perfectly placed, as opposed to older models I own where it was common for them to be stretched out or torn or bundled up along rounded edges. One thing that did surprise me, is how much sturdier than expected the model is. It feels solid, and seems to be far sturdier than the IXO F1 models available as a partswork series here in Brazil. Brushing a hand or a sleeve wouldn’t break or bend and antena, for example, and the wings are well anchored with 4 to 6 pins, as opposed to the 2 used in the IXO cars.

All in all, great model, makes you wish the real car ran as good as it looked. It’s a beautiful representation of a pile of shit... But a pile of shit I may have some affection for.