MODEL CAR REVIEW: MAISTO 1/24th SCALE "ASSEMBLY LINE" SERIES FERRARI 430.
Two 1/24 scale Maisto Ferrari models on a scanner bed: a Ferrari 550 Maranello (top) and a Ferrari 430 Berlinetta.
When I discovered that California-based model manufacturer Maisto
sells a series of low-priced large model Ferraris, in 1/24th and also 1/18th
scales, I undertook a search at many different Zellers, Toys R' Us, Wal-Mart, Sears, and the Bay stores in the Ottawa/Hull area, searching for my own personal scarlet red holy grail: a 1/24 or 1/18 scale 1961 Ferrari 250GT California, the car seen (in replica form, built on a MGB frame by a company called Modena, which Ferrari eventually sued and put out of business)in one of my all-time favourite movies, Ferris Bueller's Day Off
. But, when I couldn't find it anywhere, I decided to give up that search and just have my mother order a 1/18 scale Mattel Hot Wheels "Elite" Ferrari 250GT California
off the Internet as a present for my upcoming birthday (still a month and a half away, yes, but I'm playing it safe because I don't know how long it takes to ship a model via international mail to Canada).
However, I've found a Ferrari model that will keep me satiated for the time being, and, ironically, after all the near fruitless searching from store to store, travelling around by bus and foot, I found it at the local Merivale Zellers.
It's a model of a Ferrari 430 Berlinetta1
, the model that was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 2004, and which is the direct descendant of the Ferrari 360 Modena (which is the Ferrari that I've photographed the most often in real life, mostly on the racetrack at the Ferrari 360 Challenge races in Montreal on Canadian Grand Prix weekend
, but also, very occasionally, on the street
). Like the Ferrari 250GT California, the Ferrari 430 also has a connection to a movie I like: it was the model of car brought to life by John Lasseter and company and voiced by champion Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher (as "Michael Schumacher Ferrari") in a cameo scene in Disney/Pixar's Cars
As is the case with all of Maisto's "Assembly Line" models, the car is a kit that has to be assembled. They're called "kits", but they're almost nothing like a regular car kit. You don't need any paint or glue, and there are no annoying plastic racks with a million tiny, easily-breakable and hard to find should you accidentally drop them parts to detach. There are also a couple of labels you have to stick on (though the most important exterior labels, like the Ferrari logo on the hood, are pre-attached), but they're just normal stickers, not those thin film decals that traditional model kits have that you have to soak in water to get them off the sheet and then apply to the model with tweezers, and, when they're soaking, they often have a tendency to fold or tear.
The difficulty level of assembling this model is "2" (out of 3, I think), but the difficulty levels represent how difficult it is for a child to assemble it. A normal adult can put the pieces in place and screw the chassis to the exterior in half an hour or less. The only difficulty I had this time around was snapping the inside of the trunk below the front hood (since, like most Ferraris, with a handful of "upfront" exceptions like the 550 Maranello and the classic 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the engine is in the rear). I could more or less get it in place, but it was interfering, for a while, with the ability of the hood to close properly. Eventually, I got it so I could close the trunk properly, but it's still a bit loose and opens up when I turn the car upside down (so I had to tape it in place when I scanned it in the top photo in this article).
Let me be absolutely honest: this is not a model Ferrari you're going to mistake for a model Ferrari built by the super-elite model geek companies like BBR Models or Kyosho, companies that are essentially the "Ferraris" of model car companies which build cars that look virtually indistinguishable from the real thing save for size, though they're generally only available at speciality model stores and are usually really expensive, even for the small sizes. There are a couple of visible imperfections: the trim on the little triangular rear side windows behind the door doesn't quite match up with the trim on the frame, the windshield wipers are just part of the windows and are only black because the trim around it is black (even 1:43 scale Mattel Ferraris have the windshield wipers moulded separately from the windows), and the central rear-view mirror is just a transparent projection from the window itself.
But, for a large-ish-sized model available at most stores for only about $15 Canadian, the level of detail is almost fantastic. On both 1/24 Maisto Ferrari models that I have thus far, the exteriors look great, with the Ferrari red (which I'd draw using the Poppy Red (#922) Prismacolor pencil) being bright and cheerful and all the Ferrari logos being in the right places. But the interior detail on Maisto's 1/24 scale F-430 kicks the ass of the interior detail of Maisto's 1/24 scale F-550 Maranello, since Maisto actually bothered to use a few drops of paint on the inside of the car. The seats are still straight brown plastic without seatbelts, but Maisto painted the various controls on the central panel between the seat where the gearshift would be if it wasn't behind the steering wheel now, they painted silver around the rims of the air conditioning/heating vents and on the radio dials, and they put silver trim on the steering wheel and a small yellow-and-black Ferrari logo on the centre of the steering wheel, plus small black details on the interior of the doors. The Maranello model just had a straight tan-and-black plastic interior with no painted detail other than the decal you attach for the dashboard.
The wheel rims also have the tiny yellow-and-black Prancing Horse logos. The headlights look slightly better than the Maranello, because they used a little orange paint for the turn indicators. And, while the engine is still part of the same single piece of plastic as the lower part of the interior, they actually painted it using four different colours to represent the various portions of the engine, so that the detail is about the same quality as the 1/43 scale Ixo/Mattel Hot Wheels F-360 Modena Spider I have, while the Maranello engine was just moulded plastic painted straight silver with no detailing whatsoever, though, to be fair to the Maranello model, the engine is hidden upfront under the hood (save for the tiny portion that you can see through the scoop), while the F-430's engine is very much visible through the rear window, so putting detail onto the F-430's engine was far more crucial than it was for the Maranello.
The finishing touch I really appreciate is that they included a mock European license plate decal for added realism, while the Maranello just has a decal telling you which model Ferrari it is in place of a license plate.
If you are a thrifty Ferrari fan who doesn't even have the money to buy a top-end model, Maisto's "Assembly Line" series 1/24 scale Ferrari 430 Berlinetta model gives you a lot of detail for a low price and would be a handsome addition to your model Ferrari stable.
OVERALL SCORE: 8.5/10EDIT:
By the way, while I'm happy to own this model and would definitely recommend it to others on its visual merits, I noticed something slightly misleading in the page for the 1/24 scale F-430 on the Maisto website
(and also in the page for the F-550 Maranello
): they claim, in the list of features, that these model cars have "working steering". If Maisto really wants to split hairs on the definition of "working steering", I suppose it's true in that you can position the tires to face left or right manually, but there's no steering mechanism that connects the steering wheel to the front wheels the way that there is on the 1:18 scale Mattel Hot Wheels "Elite" Ferrari models that I have (and, presumably, Maisto's 1:18 scale "Assembly Line" Ferraris as well, but I don't own any of those since they only sell F50's at that scale so far and I already have a very nice 1:18 scale Ferrari F50 from Mattel
).1 "Berlinetta" is just the term used by Ferrari for all their hardtop model variants, it's not a name for a particular series of car the way that the 550 is also called a Maranello or how the 512's built in the mid-80s are much better known as the Testarossa.
MONTREAL TRIP PHOTOS PART 1: I'VE FIGURED OUT HOW TO END THIS LETHARGY...
...I think I'll post my Montreal pics in groups of ten, maximum. That way, it won't seem like such an intimidating task, which is discouraging me from doing anything else with my blog.
It's not really an excuse for procrastinating so badly, but, on Sunday, I picked up the other roll of photos from Shoppers Drug Mart, and, in some ways, it's good I waited, because the pictures I got on Sunday were the best ones I took in Montreal.
Here are the pictures I took on Friday, July 14th
, roughly in chronological order, plus some commentary.
Some kind of road surfacer on a blocked-off-for-construction portion of the eastbound 417 (Queensway) somewhere around Casselman.
Here we were, entering Quebec, my first trip outside Ontario since picking up the dogs from Possumplace Kennel in Pointe-Fortune, right on the Quebec border, the day after we moved to Ottawa in December 2004. (I hadn't even crossed over the Ottawa River into Hull/Gatineau until this past weekend.) It was technically the first time I had left the boundaries of the Ottawa megacity since getting the dogs as well... prior to that, the farthest out I went was to the Diefenbunker in Carp, some 50 kilometres or so west of central Ottawa, but still well within the new 2001 boundaries.
This photo is kind of boring, though, and I didn't frame it too well. It would look much better with a Ferrari in it.
A "drive-by" shot, taken from Highway 40, of the McDonald's in Rigaud. I feel so old remembering the days back when the only McDonald's in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area between Montreal Island and the Ontario border was the one in Dorion.
This is the first of many different McDonald's photographs that I took that day.
My brother was meeting some friends and couldn't take me all of the way downtown, so I decided to have him drop me off in Beaconsfield, since that's early enough on the 211's route that I'd actually get a seat on the bus, and since I wanted to drop off my July GST rebate cheque at the Royal Bank in the Beaconsfield Shopping Centre. The Beaconsfield Shopping Centre was, as it has been since the Canadian Tire store, which anchored the western portion of the mall, moved to larger premises in Kirkland in the mid-1990s, fairly depressing for those of us who remember when it was a thriving neighbourhood shopping centre, , with a lot of vacant storefronts west of the Metro supermarket and Pharmaprix (almost wrote "Shoppers Drug Mart" there... damn, Ontario is beginning to change me), and especially west of the doors in the middle of the length of the shopping centre, though they had actually moved, since the last time I was there, the Royal Bank to part of the space once occupied with the Canadian Tire so I dare say that foot traffic to the western portion of the mall might have modestly improved, though that could possibly be counterbalanced by the move of the SAQ alcohol store to a new standalone building in the parking lot.
Since I was on Saint Charles Boulevard anyway, I decided to take a couple of photos of the Beaconsfield McDonald's, the West Island McDonald's I ate the most at by far.
See, it's so amazingly different from every other standalone McDonald's, isn't it? You don't think so? Well, it has red roof ribs... I don't think more than 2000 or so other McDonald's worldwide have those.
I was feeling thirsty, but it was already about 3:30 p.m. or so, and I didn't want to waste too much more time in Beaconsfield, so I opted just to get a drink... I think it was a Crush Cream Soda... from a depanneur in Beaconsfield Plaza, behind the McDonald's, instead of having my usual fries and Coke at McDonald's.
I got on the 211 and got a forward-facing single seat. OC Transpo buses don't have those, just double seats, benches, and, occasionally, side-facing single seats. (I'll sit in a double seat if I don't think the bus will get too crowded, but, the moment the bus really starts to fill up, I'll move to a bench since I feel just too self-conscious to share a seat with just one person.)
The bus ride was uneventful, though it was very slow through Lachine because of construction on the approach to the Mercier Bridge. I took a few shots from the bus on the way.
The rear entrance to Dorval Gardens Shopping Centre. For some reason, that entryway is one of the more distinctive things I remember seeing routinely commuting downtown on the 211.
An STM (Société de transport de Montréal)/MTC (Montreal Transport Commission) low-floor Novabus parked at the Dorval terminus.
This is what happens when you stick a camera out of the window of the 211 bus just as it takes the Atwater exit off the Ville-Marie Expressway. I was hoping for a shot of what the downtown Montreal skyline looks like approaching from the west and I sort of captured it, but with a lot more sky than I anticipated. Still, it's an interesting shot nevertheless.
I got to Lionel-Groulx and spent quite a few minutes taking photos of places that I used to see routinely.
This is the exact same Esso station as seen in this photo I took in January 2002
, but in summer.
This Esso station is kind of a landmark for riders of the 211, mainly because it faces Lionel-Groulx Metro station, near where people travelling to downtown Montreal from the West Island disembark.
Esso's "On the Go" mini-convenience stores are known as "Marché Express" in Quebec.
The roof of the gas pumps looks kind of lopsided and distorted... I don't know what happened there.
The front of a STM/MTC Novabus Classic parked on Sainte Jacques.
An outbound 211 bus, another STM/MTC Novabus Classic, with passengers boarding for the long journey towards Sainte Anne de Bellevue.
Wow, the ad's for French-language radio talk show host, Gilles Proulx, subject of many a listener complaint
to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
A shot of the open terrasse area in front of Lionel-Groulx Metro station. You can see a couple of STM/MTC security vans. I think the guy standing in front of the orange wall to the right of the doors was handing out nutty Lyndon LaRouche for President
political flyers. I don't know how effective it is for them to be promoting LaRouche's perennial Presidential campaign in a Canadian
city, unless they're trying to convert Canada's political system from a monarchy to a representative republic just so that LaRouche can be a hopeless loser fringe candidate in two different countries.
Lionel-Groulx Metro station's "Butterfly doors".
Here I am IN Lionel-Groulx station. I was trying for a Wes Anderson
symmetrical composition kind of self-pic, and I more or less got it. I had to go to near the back of the station to do this... while I was gone from Montreal, they had built Couche-Tard and Dunkin' Donuts concessions in the middle of the concourses between the platforms, so you couldn't stand in the middle near the stairs and see all of the way to the back of the station like you could up to a couple of years ago.
Here's a Bombardier-made Metro car, on the Green Line heading "east" (Montreal orientation... northeast in the real world) towards Honoré-Beaugrand station. I should have used a faster shutter setting, but the problem is that the cheap Ricoh Caplio camera I took half of these photos with (when I wasn't using my Nikon F65 film camera) isn't too sensitive and if the shutter setting is too quick, the picture would be too dark, and, if I could salvage the shot in Photoshop after, it would be super-grainy.
I miss the floor of Lionel-Groulx Métro station, with the yellow, orange, and red circles... I should rent the Bruce Willis movie, The Jackal
, since Lionel-Groulx Métro station played a Washington D.C. subway (actually, I think it's called the "Metro" too, though without the accent aigue
) station in that film and you see the floor for like ten minutes.
This seems the obvious place to end the first installment of my long-delayed Montreal trip write-up. I'll try to have the second installment, which will probably be mostly photos I took along Sainte Catherine's, finished by Friday evening, but tomorrow afternoon, I'll be going along to the "Cheap As Free" opening day of the Super Ex (The Central Canada Exhibition)
, where I'm hoping to get some stage hypnotist show photos (unless I volunteer or follow along with Fernadez
's hypnotic induction from the audience more intently from the audience than I did last year
and actually get hypnotized, in which case, don't steal my camera) and I wouldn't mind taking a few horse photos as well. And there will be a few snakes there too, though not on a motherfucking plane. No elephants, though. (There weren't any elephants at the Shrine Circus either... what's a guy in Ottawa got to do if he wants to take a picture of an elephant dong?)