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Bugatti Chiron (A55005) 1:43


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Bugatti Chiron (A55005)

1:43 Airfix




The Bugatti name was first synonymous with famous racer Ettore Bugatti in the early 20th century who founded a company that created luxury cars and even the occasional aircraft or two before WWII.  The name was used by Volkswagen at the end of the 20th century to establish a luxury sports car division that would create the legendary Veyron as their initial offering, taking for a time the mantle of fastest street-legal production car in the world.  Various versions of the Veyron were made, and in 2016 the Chiron was unveiled to replace it, keeping many design cues, but with a sleeker outline, and even more advanced mechanics that surpassed its predecessor in most aspects.  Running a 16-cylinder W-format engine that originated as two V8s that they glued together (I’m kidding about the glue), the engine outputs an eye-watering 1,500bhp, getting to 60mph in around 2.5 seconds, enough to give anyone a temporary face-lift.  It structure is predominantly made of carbon-composite materials that makes for an incredibly rigid chassis, and is driven by all four wheels with technologically advanced suspension and down-force generated by its advanced aerodynamics keeping the wheels on the road at all speeds, although if you take it up to the maximum speed its capable of, you’d better be prepared to pay many thousands for a new set of bespoke tyres that it uses, as they get used up incredibly quickly at maximum speed, which is electronically limited to a weirdly specific 261mph, which probably makes more sense in Km/h.


Every scheduled vehicle in the Chiron range has already been purchased, which at around 2.5m Euros isn’t to be taken lightly, and just goes to prove that at least some people have plenty of money.  There have been several variants during the production run, some more expensive and capable than others, such as the La Voiture Noire that has a customised body and a row of six exhausts lining the rear, just below an illuminated Bugatti logo, which coupled with the extended nose and racy alloy wheels makes for a stunning-looking vehicle that is a little more road-friendly with more forgiving suspension, which possibly limits its top speed.  It sold for just under $19m, which is a staggering figure to spend on a car, especially as it took a further two years to complete the rebuild of its road-going mechanics from its lashed-together electrically driven show appearance in 2019, finally registering in Zurich in 2021.  How the other half live, eh?



The Kit

This appears to be a brand-new tooling from Airfix, although 1:43 cars aren’t exactly my forte.  It has been released in a small Starter Set format that arrives in a modest-sized box with upstanding header card, and contains four thumb-pots of paint, a short tube of glue, and a #2 Humbrol paint brush.  Also inside the box are two sprues and a bodyshell part in red styrene, a clear sprue, small decal sheet, instruction booklet and a single glossy page of simple instructions for the novice modeller on how to make models, which is good to see in a starter set, although it caters to the air modeller, but the skills are transferrable to any genre.  Detail is excellent for such a relatively small model, and although it doesn’t include much engine detail, the exterior, the cab, the wheels and brakes are all very well done.










Construction begins with the vehicle’s interior floor, which has the quilted leather seats and the door cards glued in place along with some detail painting that includes an approximation of the tops of the cylinder blocks and the wheel wells according to the colour call-outs.  The instrument binnacle is made of two parts plus a decal, then the steering wheel and column are joined and attached to the underside of the binnacle, which slots into a curved hole in the sweeping dashboard, which is left-hand only for this kit.  A Bugatti logo decal is supplied for the centre of the steering wheel, and more colour call-outs are given as appropriate.  The dash is mated with the floor, a surround is glued around the engine, and a clear partition is fitted behind the two seats, which will form the small rear window later on.  The floor pan is separate, and has excellent detail on the underside, including airflow shaping strakes, grilles, NACA ducts and rivets, and on the upper side the two simplified axles are clipped into their supports front and back, capped off at the ends by very nicely detailed brake discs and callipers that have microscopic dots on the front face.  The installing of the interior into the underside traps the axles in place, which if you have glued the brake discs to the pan and left the axles free of glue, should allow you to go “brmmm, brmmm” round your desk later on.






The bodyshell is almost a complete rendition of the exterior, with the exception of the two ducts behind the passenger doors, which are glued in from inside the shell.  The front and rear bumpers are also installed, and these also have excellent detail with grilles nicely rendered.  A central keel is glued into the roof, then the main glazing is inserted around it from inside, comprising the windscreen and side windows.  Another clear part slips inside the nose to portray the front lights, and at the rear the twin exhaust pipes with central splitters are fixed into the bumper and painted as shiny a silver as you can find.  The wing mirrors are added later after the main assemblies are joined.


The Chiron’s wheels are differently sized front and rear, with the smaller ones at the front as is usual on top-flight sports cars.  The hubs are separate from the tyres, and can be painted an appropriate metallic shade before slipping the low-profile tyres over and gluing them in place.  There’s no tread on the tyres, and at this scale that shouldn’t notice, but if anyone mentions it just tell them it’s wearing slicks for a track day.  The wheels are glued into the axles and that’s almost it, save for joining the bodyshell to the lower, with blue markings showing where the glue goes, which is a common theme in the instructions that will be of help to any modeller, not just the beginner.




The Chiron can be painted any colour the owner wants from the factory, as money is no object for the filthy rich.  The box art shows the vehicle in red at the front with dark metallic grey on the rear panels, which is possibly bare carbon-fibre under clear lacquer.  I don't own one yet though, so I can't be certain.  The decal sheet is fairly sparse as you'd expect, having logos for the front and rear, the afore mentioned dials and steering boss, plus a long red strip to depict the full-width rear lights.  The full colour scheme can be found on the rear of the box, depicting the following vehicle:






Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.






I’ll level with you here.  This is the first 1:43 car model I’ve ever held in my hands, and it’s really quite impressive for the scale.  The detail is excellent throughout, including the depictions of the mesh panels, the undertray, the alloys and the interior. 


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of





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  • 3 weeks later...

It's excellent Airfix have decided to do these kits and this is quite impressive for the scale... but why would they not make them in the same scale as the rest of their range? Seems silly. Also very much a shame it isn't 1/24 as nobody else makes one do they? I'll be buying one anyway 🤪 



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