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Jaguar E-Type (A55009) 1:43


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Jaguar E-Type (A55009)

1:43 Airfix




The E-Type is perhaps Jaguar’s best-known type, and was one of their most successful too.  Based on, but very different from their D-Type racer, it introduced a number of modern features that we take for granted today, such as a monocoque-type body that removed the weight and bulk of a ladder-chassis, adding disc brakes, a powerful engine, and a modern steering rack that gave the driver excellent feedback on which to judge their performance.  It was beloved by purchasers, and even competitors, one of whom rated it as the most beautiful car ever made.  It retained its popularity through the years and there are still many examples on the road, and even a replica that costs many hundreds of thousands more than the original - go figure.  It was in production from 1961 to ’75, known as the XK-E in the USA, and was available first overseas, with drop-top and coupé versions, a choice of engines, fit and finish, and the occasional special edition throughout the Series, which extended from 1 to 3 with over 72,000 made before it was replaced by the “Marmite” XJ-S that polarised Jag lovers, although time seems to have softened the opinions of those that disliked it initially, as did the improvements over the years before it too was replaced by the soap-bar shaped XK8.



The Kit

This is another newly tooled 1:43 kit from Airfix in what is shaping up to be an excellent range of smaller-scale vehicle kits from our favourite British manufacturer.  The initial release is a Gift Set boxing with a substantial header at the top of an end-opening box that has a digital painting of the Jag in racing green on the front, and the painting option on the rear.  Inside is a single sprue and two separate parts in an olive-green styrene, a separately bagged clear sprue, decal sheet, instruction booklet, a bag containing four thumb pots of acrylic paint and a short tube of glue, with a #2 paintbrush in a clear protective sleeve completing the set.  Yet again detail is excellent for the scale and it should build up pretty quickly due to the parts breakdown and intelligent choices made during the design process.






Construction begins with the underside, which is a monocoque rather than the typical chassis of the day, although some ironwork is visible around the suspension mounts.  The undertray has the rear axle dropped in place loose (no glue), and is pinned in place by the rear transaxle and suspension assembly that is moulded into the twin exhaust pipe.  The axle has the inboard brake discs that were typical of the type, which was a surprise when first seeing it dismantled.  The interior is moulded integrally to the floor pan, which has the upper portion of the front suspension and the load area at the rear.  The passenger compartment is painted a medium brown, and has the dashboard and left-hooker steering wheel inserted, along with two dial decals for the instrument binnacle.  The interior is glued to the underside, trapping the front axle in position if you’re not over-zealous with the glue, then the bodyshell is prepped.




The glazing for the bodyshell is split into two portions, the aft section incorporating the rear screen and the quarter-lights on a T-shaped carrier that is inserted into position from the inside, with two scrap diagrams showing how to get the side panes into position during the process.  The bodyshell can be joined to the underside now, taking cues from the blue areas on the diagrams where to put the glue.  Once the glue is set and the seamline dealt with, the front bumper iron inserts into slots in the front, with a Jag logo decal in the central bulge, while the rear bumpers are split either side of the number plate recess, and all of the bumper parts should be painted the best chrome paint analogue you can muster.  The windscreen is installed in the same way as a real one, from the outside but without the rubber gasket of course.  There are a pair of overflow tabs moulded to the bottom of the screen with sprue gates attaching them, so take care to cut these off and sand them back to profile before you start slopping the glue about.  With the glue out, the conformal headlights are delightfully clear and have the raised border moulded into them, but don’t forget to paint the interior with your best chrome paint while you’re doing the bumpers.  There are decals for the sidelights and rear light cluster, as well as for the logos on the rear to be applied after you’ve painted, of course.  The wheels are each made from two halves, and a really good rendition of the wire spokes is moulded into the rear part along with the inner portion of the tyre.  The outer half of the tyre is glued in place, and if you paint the things carefully, you can get away without masking anything, although you may need to repaint the contact patch of the tyre if you have to do any sanding.




As usual with vehicles you can paint them any colour you like, but this boxing has an attractive Racing green scheme included as an example, plus a pair of black and silver E-Type number plates, the front one the often-seen self-adhesive type.  You can build this scheme:






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.


The paints are intended for brush-painting the major colours with the #2 brush that’s provided, but you’re at liberty to use or dispose of them sensibly if you elect not to.




This is another great release from Airfix that has a prodigious amount of “build me” factor, which says a lot.


Very highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of



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7 minutes ago, Chief Cohiba said:

A "Marmite" XJS and a "Soapbar" XK8? :angry:


Mike, we need to talk...

Might have known that would upset someone :lol: It's all a matter of taste ;)

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11 minutes ago, Mike said:

that would upset someone

You couldn't resist, did you? 😉

Ok, I see the point, I would prefer a E-Type over a XJS or a XK myself, if it wasn't for the money. But I must admit that both are a pleasure to drive, and both could work as daily commute, if one has the heart. 


But wait, this is a modelling forum, right? Sorry, I almost forgot, I'll wipe the grease of my hands right away and go and splatter some glue and paint across the room... :whistle:

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Looks like a very nicely engineered kit, and based on the pics I have seen of built up ones, the shape is really good too.  Pity about the lack of a correct hand drive dash, but the 4.2 badging decal is a real oddity given that the kit has the 3.8 interior.  At this scale, easily identified by the seats, which are very different to those fitted to the 4.2.

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  • 1 month later...
On 20/09/2022 at 01:08, Paul H said:

Looks like a very nicely engineered kit, and based on the pics I have seen of built up ones, the shape is really good too.  Pity about the lack of a correct hand drive dash, but the 4.2 badging decal is a real oddity given that the kit has the 3.8 interior.  At this scale, easily identified by the seats, which are very different to those fitted to the 4.2.

Agreed, although Airfix is by no means the only company to make this mistake.



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  • 2 months later...

The mold it seems to me very fine.... frankly, I don't understand the choice of a one-piece interior, that will be very hard to paint, as well as the exhausts/rear suspensions block...


I'm sorry for my english, I'm Italian....

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