If you aren’t aware of the brand HEADLINER, or top star, as Kyosho likes to define it, you will know now. HEADLINER is a collaboration between Kyosho Corporation and TK Company Ltd., aka Ignition Model. HEADLINER’s primary focus is racing, rally and road cars of Europe. These are handmade resin models with a high level of detail and craftsmanship. Initial offerings have been 1:43 scale, though the Lancia Stratos HF (#1) 1977 Monte Carlo in 1:18 scale will be hitting stores soon. Our first review of a HEADLINER model will feature the 1:43 the Renault 5 MAXI Turbo (#27) 1985 Tour de Corse. We’ll soon review a second piece, the Alpine Renault A110 1800 (#7) 1973 Tour de Corse.
Let me preface this review as follows. The HEADLINER series of cars are made to the same standards and thresholds of your typical Ignition Model replica, there are no differences. That being said, if you know Ignition Model, they are considered one of the best in the business in 1:43 scale production cars.
Since this is our first review of a HEADLINER model I will start off with the packaging. Each 1:43 piece ships with a complete independent display, typical of what most 1:43 manufactures use today. Where the differences are seen is in the quality of materials. The base is wrapped in leather and is labelled with a metal plaque – featuring the name of the subject. The plastic display cover is much thicker than the typical display too. And finally the package is wrapped in a paper housing which features HEADLINER logos and informational literature on the rear. The entire combination is quality and it shows.
At first glance the exterior of Renault 5 MAXI Turbo overwhelms the senses; they pack so much detail into such a small package. Body lines are true to the original car. Paint work and decal application is near perfect, I can’t find a blemish anywhere! Even the aerial antenna is crafted to scale, so small in fact it looks like it can pierce the skin.
The fascia of the Renault 5 MAXI Turbo is crafted with care. The eight lighting sources are the first to grab your attention and rightly so. Quality materials are used and the centre light lenses have a predominant yellowish hue. The mid-centre grille is not perforated, but based on size and scale this delicate piece most likely could not have been crafted to Kyosho standards. Even the windshield wipers are executed to perfect scale.
The rear features opening slots for engine cooling (see image below). Black inlets and other cooling elements are solid bits of material. The decal work on even the smallest level is truly remarkable and executed perfectly. Note these are water based decals throughout the model.
Unfortunately this replica is sealed, so access to the rear is not permissible. Not much if anything is shown of the heart of the beast, as the motor cover/housing is obstructing the view. There is full featured spare on top with accompanying details, all of which are nicely crafted.
The wheels are painted in gold with each tire finding script around the perimeter. The “turbo” style wheels are a favourite amongst car tuners today and are executed with class. You can see the defining different offset from front to rear. Based on the style of wheel no braking components are visible that I can see.
The interior of the Renault 5 MAXI Turbo is beautifully addressed. All elements are there are crafted with care. Dual fire extinguishers, racing harness, roll-cage and seats, as well as the integral dash detail are here. Though on the flip side based on the models price point we wish the side windows had better execution of the sliding windows, and the harness was executed with fabric.
All in all the Renault 5 MAXI Turbo (#27) 1985 Tour de Corse is a force to be reckoned with. The overall detail and craftsmanship is top notch, and well it better be! With a retail price around the $200 mark one would expect nothing less. Kyosho’s first foray into this high-end 1:43 market has started off well. Aligning their expertise with the Ignition Model is another great move. Looking forward to reviewing more from this brand. Welcome to top star, you know them as HEADLINER. Enjoy the pics!