Fly's Lotus 78 was one of my most eagerly anticipated purchases of the year. First impressions are that it's a very nice model indeed. As usual with Fly though, a more leisurely and thorough inspection throws up a few small niggles.
First the good. The paintwork is flawless, the front and rear wings both look robust enough to cope with racing incidents, the wheel rims and tyres seem true (although I've yet to drive it) and there's enough small detail to keep most collectors happy.
I'm puzzled by Fly's use of Goodyear logos; at first I thought they were completely absent, possibly a result of licencing, but close inspection shows a single, small Goodyear logo on the nose of the car. I've not researched photographs of the real car so don't know if this is an accurate representation of how it raced, but a single decal does seem odd. You can also see that the mirrors are very badly aligned. Mine are glued or melted firmly in place and will need surgery to put right. It's not a difficult fix, but annoying none the less.
Dismantling the car requires removing the gearbox casing, which conceals a small screw that holds the rear wing in place and also clamps the top and bottom shell halves together.
A very nice touch is the green bottle at the rear, which is hollow and houses the drive crown wheel. Unfortunately on mine, the crown fouls the inside of the bottle moulding and causes drag, so it will need easing slightly before running the model.
The helmet, which is an acceptably accurate shape, is let down by poor alignment of the tampo print.
I've always liked slot cars with working steering and Fly's is a fair attempt, but mine toes in horribly in the straight ahead position and I'll probably need to chop a millimetre or so out of the centre of the steering arm so that the wheels run parallel. The simple three spoke steering wheel is fitted upside down on my car; accurate if Andretti is rounding the hairpin at Monaco, but wrong pretty much everywhere else!
With the ever increasing cost of slot cars and the relative lack of F1 models, Flyslot must be applauded for producing this Lotus wearing its iconic JPS livery. The model isn't perfect and will require a bit of modification to look right and run well, but I think it represents good value at £43.99 (Topslots'n'trains). A few more pictures here