If you’re looking to get some diecast models, it is common to see the Minichamps brand on the shelves. This is because one of the known brands that make diecast models is actually Minichamps. Minichamps is a German company known for its production of 1:43 and 1:18 scale models.
Minichamps is a German company that was formed in the 1990s. They are now famous for producing good quality models at a cheap price. One of its reasons is that their manufacturing process has been transferred to China and is very good in mass-producing models.
This article would talk about Minichamps. The company as the whole and their products. We are going to see their strengths and how they were able to produce model cars that are cheap but of good quality.
Are Minichamps good?
Minichamps is actually good when it comes to providing model cars that are cheap but surprisingly sturdy. But take note that Minichamps don’t have as many models as other brands such as AutoArt and Maisto. However, they make it up by producing models with quality, durability, and craftsmanship.
Minichamps are among the best 1:18 scale diecast models available at a reasonable price.
The MINICHAMPS automobiles feel nicely put together due to their sheer weight.
They’re the heaviest of the lot, which is essential to me because weight equals quality.
They’re sturdy, but their models are open to reveal textured seats and steering wheels.
The exposed cables from the cockpit to the engine are made of actual rubber and are cable tied just like the real thing.
The motorsport center brake light, as well as the rear engine lower crossbar and red tow hook, are composed of independent sections.
The hood pins are also separate.
That’s why when it comes to raw materials, I can say that Minichamps are doing their best to produce high-quality models.
In fact, they are good in model manufacturing that multiple luxury car brands allowed them to produce replicas of their cars.
Many vehicle manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, Opel, and BMW, have allowed Minichamps to produce official promotional replicas due to the high quality of its die-cast models.
Furthermore, Minichamps recently started using Resin in their manufacturing process.
Compared to Traditional Zinc Diecast, Resin diecasting is way better at producing highly detailed models because curves and smaller parts can be easily done with resin diecasts.
So in the future, we can hope for more detailed and quality models from Minichamps which is quite exciting especially if we’re looking at their price point.
Also, take this as my 2 cents but in my opinion, Minichamps are very good in mass-producing models.
This can be easily seen since they don’t have as many models as other brands like let’s say Hot Wheels or AutoArt.
I also think that it’s the reason why they were able to produce good quality models at a cheaper price since the more they produce, the cheaper they produce them.
Where is Minichamps made?
Minichamps are now made in China. Although it is a German company, they started outsourcing their labor to China in order to compete with other companies. Even if they outsourced their products, they still make sure to use quality raw materials. This made their brand known for producing durable models.
Minichamps, originally known as Paul’s Miniature Art, is a German die-cast model vehicle manufacturer founded in 1990.
The name Minichamps was inspired by one of their models, a DTM Audi V8.
They began to use the moniker on occasion soon after.
Minichamps began producing German Touring Cars.
Real-life racing sponsors and teams began to sponsor Minichamps with models once their models gained media notice.
They changed their name to Minichamps in 1996. Minichamps also produces diecast Formula 1 car, Le Man’s cars, and WTCC, BTCC, and DTM models.
Minichamps began competing with Onyx in 1998 since they both produced Formula 1 and Touring Car models.
Minichamps have been noted for the meticulous detail in their 1:43 scale miniatures since their inception.
They’ve begun producing European saloons and hatchbacks. Minichamps also produces 1:43 models for Opel, BMW, Volkswagen, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Porsche, among others.
However, while Minichamps is a German diecast model company, they started to outsource their production in China.
One of the reasons why Minichamps started outsourcing to China is because it would reduce the cost of labor which allows them to compete with other brands.
Actually, it is one of the things that made their products cheap.
That’s why right now, Minichamps is known for producing products at competitive prices. Even if they have a cheap price, they were able to maintain using metal alloys in the production.
This produced models that are very sturdy.
Furthermore, they started mass production which significantly reduced its price even more.
That’s why on 1/18 scale models, Minichamps is actually known for its cheap but good quality products.
Of course, you can’t compare their product quality to other premium brands such as AutoArt.
If you’re interested in high-quality diecast models, then I suggest you read my article about AutoArt. Here is the article: Why is AutoArt Expensive and Valuable?
But I am not alone in this.
In fact, I made a poll asking for the best diecast car brand and AutoArt once again won. It is a fun experiment and I am sure you would also like reading it. Here is the article: Which diecast car brand is the best? A survey from a community of 24,300 collectors
Minichamps is a German die-cast car manufacturer best known for its 1:43 and 1:18 scale models. It was formed in 1990 as Paul’s Model Art GmbH in Aachen.
During the 1970s, the company grew out of the Danhausen trade catalog of miniature cars and custom-made Danhausen diecast releases.
Some of the first Minichamps automobiles were kits built in the late 1970s. The BMW 320 Turbo, for example, had 40 pieces. With a little planning ahead of time, the models were not difficult to put together.
In 1990, Minichamps produced the first Paul’s Model Art diecast automobile, a 1:43 model GTC Audi V8 piloted by Hans-Joachim Stuck.
In 1990, it was the German Touring Car Champion. Minichamps was producing over 110 different castings in several hundred distinct racing liveries and three different scales by 1995, and they were also sponsoring real racing cars.
In 1996, the company was renamed Minichamps GmbH. Minichamps is a manufacturer of die-cast replicas of Formula One and other racing automobiles, as well as civilian cars, 1:12 scale motorcycles, trucks and buses, and military vehicles.
Items like emblems in the middle of steering wheels and hubcaps, as well as separately molded pieces for windshield visors, door handles, air vents, headlamp lamp lenses, and hood badges are all included in 1:43 scale cars.
Again, the majority of models are made in China.
“Only the things I love.“
So, here are the things I personally love when taking care of my Diecast Models.
Cleaning the Models
The first we are going to talk about is cleaning the models.
- Air Brush – For me the is the best since it not just removes dust but you can use it in painting/clear coating.
- Air Duster – This is a good alternative to Airbrush
- Normal Brush – If you are short on budget, you can use a normal brush. However, make sure that the brush has soft bristles bacause there are some hard brush than can cause scratches. That’s why I recommended a good brush that can do the job properly.
Cleaning and Shining Hacks
Well, here are some of my cleaning hacks for removing scratches, oxidation, and so much more.
- Removing Decal Adhesive – Use Goo Gone on those hard to remove decal adhesives. It works fast and works like charm!
- Waxing and Polishing – Here is the something a lot of people don’t know. A wax protects the clear coat and paint while polishing shines the model. Instead of buying it separately, use a 2 in 1 to save money. Get this instead.
- Beginner Wax – The wax I recommended earlier is good and provides the best results based on my experience. But a beginner might have a problem especially if they’re not good at applying wax. Solid wax reaching hard to reach surface can he hard to remove. You have two choices here. One is to use a qtips to reach those surfaces, another is to use a liquid wax I recommended.
- Cleaning Wheels, Rubber, Plastic – Do not forget that rubber and plastic surface are quite different especially on the cleaning process. Just wiping it down won’t do the job. That’s why I use the Meguiar’s Vinyl and Rubber Cleaner and Conditioner. Works like charm!
- Make the Wheels Shine! – Making our models look good won’t be complete without tiny details such as shiny wheels! Do not forget this because however small this is, the difference can be as big as night and day.
- Remove Scratches Easily – Tiny scratches are not the end for your model. Here is a simple trick I’ve been using to make my models look scratch free even without repainting. Use T-Cut.
Painting the Models
Make sure when you paint models, have these ready.
- Tape – A tape is important if you are painting a straight line. Furthermore, it will prevent you paint to scatter on other parts. I recommend Tamiya Tape since it is really made for models. Furthermore, they stick really well preventing paint splatters.
- Brush (Beginner) – Find a good set of brush to paint your models. Of course you can opt for an airbrush but it’s quite expensive.
- Airbrush (Intermediate/Expert) – This will yield a significantly better result than ordinary brush because you can easily spray the paint evenly. I recommend this if you know what you’re doing.
- Stand(Optional) – Stands are good because it can be hard to manually hold the models while painting. It is optional but in my opinion, the price is well worth it for the comfort it gives.
- Drop Cloths – Drop Cloths will protect your surroundings to the paint.
- Primer – The most common beginner mistake I see is painting models without any Primer. A primer will prevent imperfections such as bubbles or paint not sticking to your models. It is a small price to pay for quality results.
- Clear Coat – A clear coat will protect the paint of your models. This will make the paint last longer. Also, it is the one responsible for making your models shine.
Of course, you can’t do painting properly without paint. So here are the ones I recommend.
- Acrylic Paint – Good for beginners because it dries quickly. However, it doesn’t produce results as good as enamel paint.
- Enamel Paint – Provides good quality finish and longer lasting paint. However, it takes long to dry and requires expertise to use.
- Simple Wood Cabinet – While it doesn’t let you display your models, wooden cabinets are a good storage for these models. For one, they are not heat conductors which means that the temperature inside will remain constant and remail cool. Furthermore, they prevent light reaching the models which can cause oxidation.
- Clear Cabinet with Lock – If you want to display your models, then I recommend this. It closes so dusts won’t easily get to your models. I also recommend you to don’t put more than 1 model in each compartment since metals are good conductors of heat.
So you want to show off your models to others? Well, I got you covered.
Here is my beginner-friendly model photography tutorial that teaches everything from taking pictures to the editing process.
You will also see me doing hands-on photography on that tutorial.