Maserati 450S Zagato/Costin Coupe Le Mans 1957

by Stuart Tye


When I was told Southern Cross were issuing another model this year I automatically ordered it without really knowing what the subject matter was. Experience of their first two models, the Talbot Lago 1950 and the Birdcage Maserati, have shown me what excellent models these were and how enjoyable and involving they were to build with very good detail and easy to follow instructions.
So when Peter (our editor) asked me to review this kit for the magazine I jumped at the chance, eagerly awaiting the postman's delivery. (Sad considering my age).


Finished model


The kit is presented in the usual size cardboard box with clear labeling and the interior is protected with foam packing to protect the kit in transit. All of the smaller parts are well protected and secure in strip seal bags with the main resin model well protected in bubble wrap.

The Kit Components.

The main car body is extremely well moulded being very clean and all the panels and cut outs well defined. Of particular worth is the way in which the screen uprights are rigidly formed, occasionally these are brittle and prone to breakage. There is very little cleaning up of the model required even the wheel arches are almost flash free. The chassis moulding is of similar quality with very well cast hoses around the tunnel and the other resin parts are also well produced. In contrast to the Southern Cross Birdcage Maserati the tyres are of flexible rubber, which in my opinion looks much better than resin for this purpose. The wire wheels are of good quality as are the cast white metal parts showing an excellent amount of detail. The axles are made from thin metal, which is easy to cut and fit. The photo etched sheet is as usual with Southern Cross very detailed but also strong enough to stand up to some manipulation, too often kits have detailed pe sheets which look good but have a tendency to have some of the smaller parts disintegrate occasionally. The vac formed windows look fine, as are the decals, which have a clean matt finish to them. Also included in the kit are steering wheel outers, a turned metal light, an acetate printed with the backings of the dials (this looks really good when fitted behind the pe dash) and a piece of bare metal foil which is adapted to fit where the chrome parts would be.


Due to the early dispatch of this model from the manufacturer for review purposes there are as yet no instructions to review (they are in production at time of writing this article) but I would expect them to be of the same quality and standard as their previous models, which were the best instructions I have currently worked with on any model, showing step by step diagrams with extensive text and colour photographs. I will review these properly when they arrive and include their proper review with the build review, which you can expect to find on this site in a few weeks time.

Overall initial impressions

I can see no faults with this model as yet and I just hope it is going to be as enjoyable to build as the previous Southern Cross kits, which have been my favorites to date.

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I would also like to thank Southern Cross for the supply of the review model and to Peter Radcliffe for entrusting its build and review to me (brave man).



Editors Notes Southern Cross Maserati 450S Zagato

If we instigate a kit of the month this should without doubt be the first candidate. Since our initial review of the pre-production sample I have just received my first batch of kits. I have taken some pictures and added a few notes to supplement Stuart's initial review.


The instructions are beautifully printed on four sides of A4 paper. One side has a history of the car with a picture of the car during the race and three of a built model all in colour. The other three sides cover the building. The only real fault I could discover was that the instructions do not clearly differentiate between the front and rear brake drums. The front drums are the beautifully cast finned drums.


The kit parts are in sealed bags, and the photographs are taken on a cutting board marked in one centimetre squares which will give a good idea of the size of the Zagato badges The parts are all beautifully cast, there is flash but it is far less than normal. The front screen pillars are as thin as any I have seen. CMA casts the parts and they must be the best in the trade anywhere. There are no air blows under the front valance and this area has minimal pre painting preparation.


I am sure the kit will build beautifully, a report will come from Stuart when he builds the kit on his return from holiday. It is almost impossible to fault this kit but the only suggestions I have for improvement would be an extra set of decals, some are very small and a second set of vacform parts as these are the most common areas for mistakes in the assembly of 1:43rd kits. Many more manufacturers are now including extra decals and vac forms and this practice is to be encouraged as we are amateurs are lees confident than the experts who produce the factory built models.


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