Building The Southern Cross Maserati 450s Zagato/Costin - Le Mans 1957

by Stuart Tye


Sometimes I think and so do my friends that I live a charmed life. I work from home for myself, I have everything I really need, I have a great family and I work occasionally for a top formula one team on a contract basis (and get paid well for doing it!) and then our editor asks me to review the latest Southern Cross kit which I get to keep afterwards. My friends are right I do live a charmed life.

Editor note: This kit was reviewed by the author, time ago. You can look at Maserati 450S Zagato/Costin Coupe Le Mans 1957 


As promised in my initial quick review of this kit I now am able to give my thoughts on the instructions, which are excellent as usual from Southern Cross. They give an interesting short piece of history surrounding the car, with photographs of the model itself and one of the actual car itself. The building instructions are very detailed and give a step by step guide to fitting each part (with a couple of small parts not mentioned) together with very clear drawings of the more detailed areas.

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I found this model very easy to paint, with the paint adhering well, I used Halfords Ford venetian red for the body with one coat of lacquer to give a better depth to the red and for the chassis and wheels I used Vauxhall Tiffany silver. This silver is a metallic paint and would normally require a lacquer topcoat but I omit this to give a more aluminium finish. I finished spraying the bottom of the chassis matt black after masking the topside.

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Building and detail painting

The build up of this kit went very well with the instructions guiding me throughout, the only slight problem I had was in drilling the firewall for the secondary gear lever because of the restricted access for the drill.
The instrument panel is superbly etched with high detail and the dials after fitting and painting the rear white can be easily seen from the exterior of the finished model.
I chose to ignore the instructions for build up of the steering wheel, which suggested using the two included rims or to spray filler on the photo etched spokes and outer ring, choosing instead to apply a bead of microscale glue to the rim. I find this gives a nice rounded finish and once dried can be painted in the usual way.
Fitting of the rear fuel filler through the vac formed window was achieved not by drilling a hole but by heating an electrical screwdriver over a match and then simply pushing it through the vac form and twisting. This method melts only the area the diameter of the screwdriver and any residue can be easily trimmed away.
All of the vac forms fitted extremely well and posed no real problems.
One slight error was spotted on the colour of the front spotlight which, according to the instructions was silver (polished) but in the ACO photograph 'bible' showing the car on the dummy grid this was dark green.

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Final thoughts.

The model is of exceptional quality and value, if any model is going to make you addicted to the hobby it will be this one. Well detailed but easy to build with clear and concise instructions. The one big problem I have is waiting for the next model from Southern Cross and can I have it to review please.

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