Finding obscure, collection-filling 1/43 models

Consider the off-brands for 1:43 Ferrari models (and Porsche too!)

Manufacturers such as Brumm, IXO, Trofeu and Art/Best/M4 have been cranking out some obscure and hard to find otherwise models in one form or another for over 25 years. In the beginning, they were some of the very few manufacturers of 1/43 models. These days, they are just one of many. Thankfully, what they bring to the hobby is the ability to fill in the gaps of your collection when other brands can’t.

It’s well known in the hobby that Ferrari, Alfa, McLaren and others, who are protecting their brands, sometimes demand high licensing fees from model manufacturers. While production of Ferrari models seems to pass from manufacturer to manufacturer frequently, Brumm and Best have been producing Ferrari models continuously for quite some time. They produce esoteric versions in a seemingly endless supply of models that no other model maker would touch because of lower customer demand. Where else would you find Ferrari and Mercedes Indy cars, Vanwalls, Coopers, Alfas, Fiats, Lancias and other great subjects?

Only Brumm currently produces models of the Ferrari 312 T4 and T5. Available without driver, or with a frankly poor driver figure, they also produce a nice variety of pit crew accoutrement to go with the cars.

Less costly models can blend in very well

While Brumm , IXO and Trofeu use plastic parts exclusively, Art/Best/M4 uses some photoetched parts (wire wheels and some detail parts). Many critics will decry the imperfect adhesion to absolute detail within these brands. Have quite a number of models in your collection? You’ll find that the Brumms and IXOs blend in very nicely. Do you look at each model in your collection closely quite frequently? Bump up the detail of these models. Add aftermarket wheels and other detail parts with a quick look on ebay or other vendors.

IXO is the Chinese iteration of the old Portuguese Vitesse company. Selections run the gamut from LeMans to touring cars, rally, police cars and trucks. Running roughly $35-$40 each, they are quite a lot less expensive than other brands. Quality is a bit below Spark; which is fine considering their lower price. Until recently, IXO had the Ferrari exclusive diecast license. Examples can still be found on the web under the La Storia brand name. Under the brand name Altaya, IXO offers many Ferraris in blister packaging, making these models even less expensive. Look for Ferrari Can-Am, IMSA, F1 and LeMans models, some never sold under any other brand name.

There is one big plus, though. These models have been eschewed of late for the popular brands, so they can be had at some very nice prices. Check out the variety of oddly neat replicas. It’s worth the effort.

More model collecting fun!