FIRST SAMPLES: Minichamps Mullin Collection 1:43 Hispano-Suiza “Xenia”

FIRST SAMPLES: Minichamps Mullin Collection 1:43 Hispano-Suiza “Xenia”

Sorry, gamers: “Xenia” is not a warrior queen from some cyber realm, and we won’t be seeing any curvaceous armor-clad vixens by that name toting barbed swords any time soon.

What we will see, however, is this Xenia – a model of the one-off 1938 Dubonnet/Saoutchik Hispano-Suiza H6C that bore a body designed by Jaques Saoutchik, and the name of race driver/pilot/engineer (and heir to the Dubonnet spirits fortune) Andre Dubonnet’s late wife, from the nascent Minichamps “Mullin Automotive Museum Collection” in 1:43. As the second model from the collection, it’s a stunning Art Deco piece that carries this exciting new lineup forward strongly.

In a word? Wow. The resin body is cast perfectly, and looks exactly as it should: poised and fluid from the rounded grille – reminiscent of the “coffin-nosed” Cord – to its tapered, beautifully lofty tail, fitted here with red-lensed taillights and distinctive multi-ported twin exhausts. The paint is a deep metallic silver, very well applied and polished, and the car’s stepped-disk wheel covers and skinny tires look just right.

Small details, like the door handles and twin fuel filler caps, are separate castings, flawlessly applied; cast-in detailing, like the trailing-edge hood vents below the sweeping side grilles, and the panel lines all around, is excellent, too. Behind well-framed curved acetate glazing, the interior is fully realized and complete, from the clustered gauges and blue seats to the “bamboo” wrapped steering wheel.

As on the Delage we reviewed a couple of days ago (the first car from this collection), the coachbuilder’s badge is affixed to the model, as it is on the real car, and again, it’s a perfectly executed photoetched piece. Taken alongside the exquisite headlights (which reflect yellow only when viewed head-on), the deep gloss of the paint, and the convincing sweep of the glass, the details all over the piece make the model one well worth having.

This Xenia may not be a fantasy queen – but when it comes to goddesses in scale, it certainly fits the bill. Look for more on this series – and some video, soon – in the Winter ’13 issue of Die Cast X, and in the coming weeks.

Carville Models

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