There been a lot of noise with this particular manufacturer as of late. For one, they are currently leading the DiecastSociety.com 2017 Model of the Year race. And our team has previously reviewed their brilliant, 1:18 Bentley Continental GT3-R back in December (one of their first 1:18 production models). The brand, the manufacturer is Almost Real. Suggested retail for this model is $188US. It is currently distributed by Minichamps in North America and Europe.
Almost Real continue to stir the conventional norm with their latest release, the 1970 Land Rover, Range Rover. Our example is finished in the OEM Tuscan Blue. Right out of the box the exterior paint is simply striking. Application for the most part is completed with care and attention. Our example however has somewhat paint build-up or thickness area around the passenger side aerial. This is nothing overly large, and only visible under certain lighting conditions. The model itself has some bulk. It doesn’t feel fragile or cheap while you play and admire all the bells and whistles it has to offer.
The exterior lines of the Land Rover, Range Rover is true to form, and represents the 1:1 well. The little details are found throughout the exterior. Some of which include the roof section with metal indents, exterior hinge work, and all the way to the precision crafted little key-hole on each door. These guys are all about attention to detail and it shows!
The Land Rover is 100% fully accessible. With that our example proved excellent in visual shut-lines and panel gaps throughout. It seems to us everything is measured to a fault, perfection for lack of a better word.
Moving to the front you will notice the quality is evident in all elements. First off the fit and finish is near perfect. Materials used for headlights and turn signals are top notch. Centre grille is clean and crafted with care. We enjoy seeing the cross-member bars and horns apparatus in behind the grille, adds to the over realism of the piece.
The top section of the hood features a vented scope with perforated grilles, beautiful hinge work and mirrors at the tips complete the section. And finally we have the included hole/opening in the centre of the bumper for the starting handle.
One element that exemplifies their attention to detail is the front metal antenna. It is fully functional. Something that is rarely if ever seen in scale. Operation here was flawless as well. Note the quality Range Rover decal underneath.
The rear section has even more to offer than the front. Again we find quality components that encompass the rear package. This includes taillights, bumper, decals, and more. Where this model excels once again is the full access to the rear storage compartment. Almost Real completes entry with a two stage system.
First you open the upper glass section, and second you move the lower tailgate down. The hinge work and applicable engineering here is off the charts and operation is seamless and smooth. While some manufacturers would have taken a cost effective approach, Almost Real goes that extra mile! The only thing we see wrong is the missing lighting apparatus for the license plate assembly and toe hook (underside, rear driver side).
Note the model does ship with a full spare tire. Almost Real does take caution to wrap and separate the wheel within the styrofoam housing to minimize any chance of damage to the model or spare itself. The spare sits on the inside/left in applicable cavity. The right features complete hardware/tools. Attention to detail is excellent.
Access to the motor is granted, and what a special offering this is. We’ve reviewed many models here at DieastSociety.com in the last few years, many unfortunately of the sealed variety. It is sooooo refreshing to see something so authentic and real. With their use of materials, colours and attention to the little things the team has created a truly complete engine compartment.
There is also a fully functional and removable prop-rod. Some would regard this as the icing on the cake, but no there is more. Note the two stage hinges, OEM badging and magnet. We believe the magnet aids in completing a smooth shut-line. Read on…
Flip this model over to enjoy an array of detail for the senses. Possibly a sensory overload due to the overwhelming views of the cookie cutter sealed/resin undercarriages as of late. Note the fully detailed working suspension front and rear. Yes I said working!
The drive train is amazing too. The team at Almost Real utilized metal pieces with various paint and texture techniques to provide the collector with some truly remarkable representation of the actual 1:1. The kicker, as you rotate the rear wheels the centre drift shafts rotate in sequence. We haven’t seen since since the Kyosho Cadillac CTS V. So cool! Honestly some of the best work we’re seen in awhile here at DiecastSociety.com.
The wheels on the Land Rover, Range Rover are simple and to the point. Almost Real’s representation is flawless and executed well. Top marks would have been given here if there was some script was added to the side walls. Unfortunately there is none.
Inside the Land Rover the quality assurance is once again the main theme. Flocking is found throughout. We suspect even the overall quality of flocking found within this model is elevated over the typical scale piece. The remaining interior elements, this includes dash, seats, door cards, and centre console mirror the original well. You can definitely see the use of colour and quality material throughout. Finish work is superb.
One thing that is evident and missing is the seat-belt hardware is not where to be found. We understand the Range Rover, Land Rover is pushing 50 years. Was this an option back in the day? We are unsure.
Hinge work on the doors is excellent as well. And operation is flawless once again with almost 180 degree swing. Makes taking photos a lot less challenging too!
We thought the Almost Real Bentley Continental GT3-R was a well rounded offering. Well it seems the Land Rover, Range Rover is taking it up a few more notches. The model excels on all fronts, and dare we say almost perfect? Yes there are a few minor oversights, and we probably missed a few others.
This is a great model period. Almost Real is pushing the status quo, and we like it! I think many have forgotten what a truly GOOD scale model offering is all about. Sorry folks, it isn’t all about a stagnant visual perspective either. The team is bringing back memories of what this hobby was in the mid to late 90’s. If and when they enter the supercar arena their market share and popularity will gain even more momentum. Is this sustainable? We sure hope so. Looking forward to future releases from the brand, Almost Real. Enjoy the pics!
You forgot to say that when you turn the wheels the driveshafts front and rear also turn!! I haven´t seen anything like that anywhere before, also the shock absorbers are working pieces!!
Almost Real really hit it out of the stadium with this one. availability so far has been very limited but they accepted to take my order directly through facebook messenger, that is another new one!!
Thanks for pointing this out. We will revise the review some what. Also we will highlight the function in the accompanying video shortly. One thing Almost Real should consider is provide the end-user with a manual that highlights all these goodies!
The Bauer Bugatti 41 Royale has this feature as well on the rear driveshaft (car is rear wheel drive only). Nonetheless it is a much more expensive model so hats off to Almost Real for providing this function.
Besides the fact the tires have no marking (and they are way too clean!) nothing to complain about this model. Waiting for more goodies from AR.
rotating driveshafts had also lot of Highway 61 models in the past, as so as some GMP releases I think.
This looks like an absolutely superb model. The level of detail is right up there with AA’s Signature range, yet in the EU they’re likely to cost at least €100 less. (Yeah, we know that AA are cheap in North America!). The panel gaps are incredibly tight for an opening model, and you can tell that AR have made a lot of effort to get the details right.
I’m not 100% certain on this but the lack of seat belts may be accurate – they weren’t mandatory in the UK until 1972. AR would have had plenty of access to this car as it’s the exact one on display at the British Motor Museum. It’s only about 90 minutes from where I live so I’ll have to pay a visit some time to check! :-)
I have found the following regarding the seat belts: “Front seats with integrated safety belts integrated in seat back and anchored to seat frame” at http://www.range-rover-classic.com/Home/land-rover-brochures/range-rover-1970-s#TOC-1970-Range-Rover-Production-Year—VIN-Suffix-A—Released:-June-17th-1970- It is pictured in original sales brochures https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/S4C4Xow6epwzWDb6HWT6qJEzdZcd4onixGWK_HwhQtI8OSL4U683Rt0NOIacg3w2uWNxnyReGoStqEOEMr9B3qQxpasSK2LPVvSk_9rFapwKP5oiPbLxp-uDw2D07Vu7W6_COmpTVUs=w1239-h882-no
Interestingly, the number plate makes the model a specific factory registered car that really existed in this colour bearing this particular registration. http://www.range-rover-classic.com/_/rsrc/1468850931251/Home/land-rover-brochures/range-rover-1970-s/1970%20Range%20Rover%20Front.jpg What attention to detail! Wow!!!
This is what I call a really great model! I wish their Bentley GT3-R was at the same level of details, especially with regards to its engine and suspension!
How much is one of these ?
Get your wallets out ladies and gentleman – don’t forget to buy these EXCELLENT models and help make Almost Real a dominant player in the model car world like they deserve to be.
It will be joyous to see them stripping revenue from Autoart and other manufacturers who have been giving us much less detail for much more money over the last five years.
I love this subject matter, execution and have one of these on order. I am glad Almost Real has entered the market, my only concern being that, after perusing their catalog, there’s a lot of copycat models coming. Models that lack the creativity and exclusivity of this model.
Yeah that last bit is what I meant about it being at the British Motor Museum, it is the specific car that AR have modelled – registration YVB 153H is in a museum 90 minutes from where I live.
Although seatbelts were used on the full production version, this wasn’t really a full production car. In the UK at that time, the last letter of the registration indicated the year of release (running August 1st-July 31st). All customer (full production) cars had the last letter J or higher, so were delivered some time after August 1st 1970. The production cars had seatbelts, but this may not have – and given AR’s attention to detail it would be a surprising thing to miss.
(that was meant to be a reply to Karsten, no idea why it’s posted down here…)
I also meant “year of registration”, not “year of release”. So much brain-fail today…
Never mind the brain-fail, mate, it´s the weekend after all, innit?
Concerning the seatbelts, the YVB 153H clearly had them for the front seats, as the first commercial reveals https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=286&v=Fha8KmAcq2Y , while it remained optional to strap in the kiddies on the back seat and the poor little ones in the commercial family are clearly left vulnerable while mum in the driver´s seat is properly belted up. There were mountings behind the rear bench to add seatbelts, and I believe, I can spot them on the model in the pictures. I am sorry to say, though, that the missing seatbelts for the model´s front seats are an ommision on AR´s part.
If you live so close to the museum, why not drive down and do a detailed model versus real steel comparison in pictures? I´m sure DS would be more than happy to publish it and we all would love to see it.
I am happy to report that Almost Real have now added the seatbelts that were absent from this first production run. I received my Tuscan blue YVB153H today with seatbelts. It´s great how Almost Real react to criticism, immediately increasing their attention to detail. Brilliant! Thank you so much for being as passionate as your customers about the hobby!
Sorry to say, I found another mistake: Although it´s nice of AR to give it “elevated flocking”, the Suffix As didn´t have carpets.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJeCMcVIdZo Same video shows how seatbelts would have been somewhat awkward on the model: They WERE in real life!
Sorry, more relevant part is this https://youtu.be/aJeCMcVIdZo?t=198
looks sensational! I wouldn’t mind adding one to my collection.
I have this, and it’s amazing suv with great level of details. I would say that these models are above Autoart (pre plastic era) and just below CMC!
Amount of detail is what we truly seek, and these guys deliver!
This Almost Real definitly Almost Perfect, and if they make the bigger scale too, that would be Real Perfect haha
Waiting of the yellow color..
I can’t tell you how much finding a company of this substance at this time means to me ! While the diecast industry is sinking into a morass of ” cosmetic pretty” sans opening panels ,and cars with imaginary engines that wouldn’t fire spark-plugs , or the imagination have
become the growing segment of the Hobby!……..These “Almost Real builds however allow you to go back to believing in the real miniaturization of the whole car, and seriously I can’t deny that when it comes to my love of this hobby (and I don’t say this to denigrate myself, or anyone else) I’m just a boy in grown.up clothing……AND WHEN I HANDLE THESE CARS , I want to see carburetors, and I get a kick out of hoods with scissor hinges, and seeing a cars weight settle and compress the suspension as it’s supposed to……Well , those things beckon to the money in my pocket……..and that’s without even approaching the subject of authenticity which I know is of great importance to many of you!! Getting back to the manufacturer at the basis of my essay , I’m actually at the stage where I’m researching and reading anything I can find about “Almost Real ” diecasts. This was stimulated by my seeing The Bentley GT3 R in an outrageous what I would name a Metallic Raspberry . I could only call this color eye-grabbing !! Which is in my view is yet another positive aspect of “Almst RL”…….Sometimes I look over my collection ,and I tire of the standard Ferrari Red, silver, black White, B.R. GRN, they are tired. THAT COLOR is initially what what pulled me into a close inspection of this manufacturer……AND everything I’m learning has me saving my pennies, and hoping for an expanding catalogue of vehicles loaded with features of the kind that hopefully will make “Almost Real Diecasts” TOP SELLERS !!! Regards to all
Just to finish my thought about the paint colors that Almost Real are using……I received the Electric Rasberry Bentley ,and not only is the color superb , but the paint application and finish might actually be the deepest richest Highest gloss , and …DARE I SAY IT the best paint of my entire collection.Which includes ALL the best… The Luminaries of the hobby !!
What a superb model!!
I owned this actual car in 1987-1988, it was actively used on our farm some of the time, it was chassis number 00003. I love what I have seen here and intend to order it shortly. It is also now available in Bahama Gold and Davos White too. My car was fitted with a tow bar from its build date (December 1969, it was towing the Rover MD’s boat in the brochures!)), so technically that is missing. BTW it was registered on 2nd January 1970. The only aspect I would change is altering the rear boot floor from beige to black, the mats were indeed Palamino in the passenger compartment area (no carpets yet), but the rear boot floor was corrugated black rubber… Glad the safety belt issue has been addressed, and yes they were a pain, my then-wife’s nan kept tripping over them as she climbed in the back!
Best model of a 2-door Classic Range Rover I have seen…
I recently bought one of these through a dealer: I wanted one as I have owned several and started with an ‘M’ Reg. blue, 1973 vehicle.
The model, which had obviously NEVER been removed from the box or its protective wrapping, proved to be a factory ‘Mk.I’ with a very low certificate number and consequently, does NOT have seat belts fitted.
The model for all that is quite spectacular in detail and build quality, although there are one or two slight discrepancies, which I would like to describe..
1. There are – as has been already pointed out – the wrong colour of mats both front, rear and in the boot area (I might actually paint them black!
2. Again, as has already been mentioned, it would have been nice to see some ‘markings’ on the tyres.
3. It would also have been nice to see the spare tyre and the tool kit to have their respective covers fitted. Also, the groove for the spare wheel isn’t deep enough and to prevent it toppling over, I had to resort to putting a small piece of Blu-Tac on it to keep it in place.
4. Although the drive shaft operates to the rear wheels, the FRONT wheels turn independently and are not connected to the drive train.
5. The company has decided to fit a ‘Fairey’ Overdrive lever.
Although overdrive WAS, if I remember correctly, an optional extra, I don’t know anyone within my circle of friends who owned one, had such a unit fitted.
However, for all that, it IS quite a spectacular model. I have even managed to acquire some 1:18 scale Reg plates made up to match the number of vehicle I once owned.