Thanks for the comments and pretty much what I expected to read..
FWIW the model does appear to be diecast from the weight (276g with wooden base) and the fact that it's described in Grand Prix Legends Diecast Monthly. So the twist (I think it is actually malformed having less height on the offside) must surely be a mould fault as dretceterini has suggested?
It's not just the body fault and misalignment of items on the front aspect (even the the headlamps are asymmetric to the centre line) and the chunky appearance, but the inaccuracies that are present given that there is plenty of reference material available (and I know SMTS had the JMH book to use with loads of photos). Okay, I am probably more critical here than most as I did watch the full size replica being built over 13 years to get it exactly right (except for a few items that were the builders specific choice not to replicate). What I see is:
1) A Jaguar Mk2 grille - so obvious a mistake as well! The grill itself is a different shape to the Mk1's and has a thick central divider as part of the outer moulding. In this example, the vertical ribs are also malformed/damaged, but looking at what other photos are available of this model that may be a one-off in which case it should never have got past QA inspection
2) The twin pipe exhaust is mounted centrally on the model and goes back underneath - I think centrally is impossible on this car as it would have to go under the diff and then foul the ground. They should be located closer to the nearside as per the original photo
3) The reversing lap is on the wrong side of the rear overrider
4) The chrome on the quarter lights is way too heavy - and the whole frame is chromed anyway on the original
5) The rear number plate isn't aligned horizontally - but in its favour it does at least have raised lettering!
Trying to be positive, the body colour painted wheel spokes are also correct, although Mike did have chrome ones as well. And it does have a four-spoke steering wheel and the seats/carpet are in green all of which is very good detail for this specific car - Mike's fiancee Jean Howarth who had travelled in the car many times confirmed all of this for the full size replica.
I've also always believed that SMTS made excellent models, as someone else remarked - does anyone have a different example for comparision? Maybe this is a one off problem and they'll replace it quickly with a nicer model??
There is also a 1:12 AUTOart of Mike's 1955 Le Mans D-type available now and from everything I've heard from proud owners, this is really excellent which it needs to be at 1p short of £370.
These are from AUTOart's web site and show another error - the car has a three spoke steering wheel instead of a four spoke one. However, this looks like it's been spotted for production as Grand Prix Model's catalogue shows it with the correct four-spoke. It also lacks the vertical white ID stripe Lofty England had painted on the offside of the rear fin on the web site photos but does have the matching white nose paint! Again, this has been corrected in the GPM photos.
If one wants to be really
picky, it has no internal perspex-mounted nearside mirror but that's only been really discussed publicly on this forum
in the past few days so we'll let them off. But the AUTOart site shows it with an offside rear side mirror mounted on the driver's door frame that wasn't there in 1955. Again, the GPM site shows it without though. Better get out of anorak mode I guess