I’m a fan of Mercedes-Benz, any time I can get my hands on 1:18 scale AMG and it’s a presentation/street model I’m all in. I took a chance on the new composite/resin line from Minichamps. Their new offering is a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 ‘Street’ model, cost about $65CND shipped. This is a limited edition model only 1000 units in yellow will be produced. The only catch is there is no certificate included and the car isn’t numbered as far as I can tell. Future releases by Minichamps will see this model offered in black, silver, gold and orange. Depending how the public receives the initial run of presentation and race livery their future could be suspect (so far feedback on the livery cars isn’t looking good). The model is presented in a cost effect box similar to that of AUTOart, cardboard exterior with plastic frame. The quality of the Minichamps does pale in comparison thought to the AUTOart. The model is also fixed to a plastic display base, one thing that struck me was the over length. Typical model in box is around 13 inches in length the Minichamps stretched a whopping 14.5 inches. Not sure if this is standard issue or one-off to house the massive rear wing of SLS.
Minichamps did a good job on the overall exterior lines, no panel gaps to complain of here as the model is completed sealed. The weight of the model I would measure up against most new diecast releases of today, but it does feel somewhat fragile. All the exterior finishing bits (this includes front grille, front and rear venting, and rear section) are solid pieces of plastic, no perforated or extra value found here. Again this is a budget model and the price is reflective of it. One surprise the steering is functional though and works without issue. The car is actually painted and clear coated as well, overall good job. The chrome work is a little suspect in spots, not sure how well it will hold up.
The wheels finish is better than I expected. For me this is one area that grinds my gears when manufactures try and cut corners, thankfully Minichamps did not here. Rim is nicely executed, with brake and rotor replicated well. This adds the best overall realism to the model. Well done Minichamps.
Not much going on underneath the model other than some aerodynamic slots and plastic that is trying to mimic carbon fibre. Nothing too exciting but it gets the job done.
One of the negatives of sealed models is I can’t comment on motor or storage compartments execution, sorry. The interior photos were difficult to take I do apologize in advance for the lack lustre images. Overall interior is sparse, from what I can see it mimics the 1:1, though the overall look and feel has a “plastic” look, especially the added roll-cage. Acceptable for the price point but nothing more.
I’m still a die-hard diecast fan and would prefer my models this way, BUT I’m also a car fan at heart. So weighting both sides I would give the thumbs up to this model based on specimen, cost and overall execution. It will display well and hey if someone in the future makes or produces a more detailed version I can decide to upgrade then, but for now I’m happy with this one as a place holder until then. Enjoy the pics!