Slot Cars Rule !!!

New 2006 Artin 1/43 cars



After almost 2 years without a single new car, Artin finally comes out with 3 new models in 2006: a BMW Mini Cooper, a Lexus SC430, and a Mazda RX-8


• 3 new cars have been released by Artin in July 2006: a BMW Mini Cooper, a Lexus SC430, and a Mazda RX-8. Each comes in 2 colors, red and yellow for the Mini Cooper and the Mazda, grey and blue for the Lexus.

From left to right: Mini Cooper, Lexus, and Mazda

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• The first thing about all these cars is the level of details; much better than previous Artin 1/43 cars, mostly on the front/rear of the body. The decals are the usual stick-on, nicely done (although the SC430 decal was upside down on mine), but as they are not sealed water slide decals will peel off pretty quickly.

• The second thing is that all the wheels fit nicely under the body in the wheel wells. As usual, the ride could be a little lower (specially in the front on the Mini and the Lexus), but nothing that cannot be fixed with a little Dremel work. Also of note is the fact that the front and rear wheels/tires are identical (as opposed to most previous releases where front wheels were smaller than the rears) which adds to the esthetics of the car.

• The main new feature is that all the wheels are new designs, specific to each car as seen in the picture below. This effort means that the cars look much better than ever before, well done Artin !!!
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• Turning the body over you will find the traditional large magnet, pin guide and braids. The cars come equipped with a completely unmarked chassis other than a recycling logo. The chassis are all wide chassis, i.e. 33 mm wide in the middle as opposed to the I chassis used for the 2004 NASCAR cars, which is only 30 mm wide in the middle. No difference between any of these chassis and the traditional letter-number Artin chassis.

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• Opening the car is done by removing a single screw in the front while the body is also held in place with plastic tabs/inserts on the sides; the standard Artin 1/43 configuration. Inside the car, no surprises: same Artin 1/43 motor (2 mm axle) with 10-tooth, 64-pitch pinion. Rear and front axle are still the non-standard 2.16 mm diameter and the rear axle has a 28-tooth crown gear. A nice surprise with these cars was that all axles were already lubed up with grease, a first on a 1/43 car.

• Looking at the plastic light guide for the headlights, we can also see that these cars all come PowerPasser ready as the receptacle for the spring mounted pin guide can be seen there.

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• The tires are the same as the Nissan and the Mitsubishi 2004 cars and have a tread pattern that offers surprisingly good grip. They are also very round right out of the box and required little or no truing/sanding. Rear and front are 17 mm diameter for 5.3 mm width.

• I think the cars would have benefited from slightly smaller wheels, as these seem just a little big for the scale.

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• All these cars have the traditional "grain of wheat" lighting system with a plastic light guide for the front lights while the rear red lights are simply painted.

• The biggest surprise inside is that the windows are actually simply painted black directly on the body as Artin has done away with the separate plastic window piece. This is probably saving them some money and really does not take much away from the look of the cars.

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• Taking these cars on the track is the usual Artin 1/43 experience. They are very quiet and very smooth. The Lexus and Mazda in particular were faster than the Mini mostly due to their very low profile body.


In conclusion, more of the same in terms of performance with some small but very noticeable new features and improvements on these new cars. At less than $7.00 for each car, this is actually a LOT of car for the money.