As the world prepares to see British superstar Lewis Hamilton (attempt to) equal the late great Juan Manuel Fangio’s five Formula One drivers’ world titles this weekend at the CoTA in Austin, Texas, I have here the 1/43 scale model of the Merc F1 car that he took to his second world title and Mercedes’s first of many in the current 1.6L turbo hybrid era...

This is a partworks magazine series by Panini called ‘Formula 1 The Car Collection’. It has been around in the UK and Australasia for over two years. Recently it just landed in Malaysia/Singapore shores, so I’m grateful my prayers were answered!

This is issue no.3, which features a 1/43 scale model of Hamilton’s 2014 Merc W05 Hybrid. The model itself isn’t of the highest quality, but for the price you pay it is acceptable. Minichamps, it ain’t, but hey, you get what you pay for. You get fairly accurate bodywork replication, decent tampos, and nice rubber tyres. Although if I want to nitpick, when you do see these models in your local newsagent, you do have to sift through a few of the issues to ‘select’ the nicest ones. That’s because most of the come with loose rear wings, wonky antennas, or bent axles. So you do have to choose wisely. Haha.

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But having said that, I can’t wait to see the other models come through. I’m fairly happy to get decently-prices F1 models through this magazines series. As a long-time F1 fan, I find it’s ridiculous to pay so much for Minichamps replica models. This is one way to satisfy the collectors while not burning a hole in the pockets...!

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