Ah... The Lancia Stratos, the stuff of every gearhead’s dreams. The perfect combination of design and race winning pedigree - something crafted out of passion. There is hardly anything like it.
Up to now, I have been showing 1:43 models from AUTOart and a couple from Kyosho, but this one is different. This Stratos is made by HPI Racing, a Japanese business founded in 2006 that manufactures 1/43 and 1/18 scale model cars as well as a range of RC products. Unfortunately, the brand decided to shift away from diecast vehicles and focus on their RC products. Luckily for us, the same people from the diecast branch founded Ignition Model and continue making precise car models.
Now back to the model, I was amazed the first time I looked at it. In reference to AUTOart and Kyosho, HPI models are a tier above these two brands in certain areas; parts separation and paint application are step above. Wings and spoilers on AUTOart models can sometimes be rounded off at the edges, lacking the sharpness and crispness the HPI one has. Gaps between separate parts, especially between around windows and windscreen, are much closer and fitted better. Some of the AUTOart models I have gaps on the window as if to let in air for the occupants. It’s all the small tiny details that make HPI models so pleasing to the eyes.
While HPI models are definitely something I would like to collect more of, but being an orphaned brand, their range might not be as wide as its competitors and priced high due to its rarity. On the other hand, HPI models are still more affordable than Ignition Models and hopefully stay that way.