Diecast metal isn’t dead! The latest release from Almost Real proves good old manufacturing techniques utilizing diecast metal as the foundation can still provide a solid product with margin, all at a decent price? Under the microscope this week is the new, 1:18 Land Rover Defender 110 based on the recently released 2020 platform. Along with the mix of diecast metal and plastic parts, the team adds a list of special features, that we consider going that extra mile, all of which elevate the final result. Read on to learn more.
Out of the box the OEM Pangea Green is presented alongside a White roof and tons of Black accent bits. We personally love the subtle colour choice, which aligns extremely well with the prestige and Defender legacy.
Who said panel gaps can’t be exceptional with diecast models? Well, Almost Real definitely hits a home run with their execution, shutlines and panel gaps are near perfect on our example. We mentioned some added bonus features, well this Defender comes equipped with some optional equipment, most of which are functional too!
First off the roof rack is removable, and held in place with no less than six magnets. The driver side rear provides access to the top via a ladder system. What is uber-cool is the ability to transform the ladder into its full length. And this is no cheap add on piece, mostly made of metal, this ladder is top quality!
Need more storage? No problem, flip over to the passenger side, there’s an upper storage box. Not just for looks, it opens up to provide you additional storage and is removable as the ladder on the adjacent side is. And there is more, we’ll touch upon these features further down…
Moving to the front the Defender 110 continues on a good path. First, let’s start with the headlights, excellent attention to detail with the entire package, the perimeter of the primary beam is exceptional. The centre grilles all feature perforated mesh with the lower and outer sections completed with the multiple dot design. The complete package is on point.
Another additional feature is the removable bumper hardware. Fitment is great, the four magnets hold the piece tightly against the bumper with little to no gapping. Moving up the fascia of the Defender 110 you’ll notice the texture panels crafted into the hood. Each side of the fender also incorporates a venting structure that is meticulously honed. You can see it above – a more detailed photo is available below.
Raise the front bonnet and the motor is exposed. Note the neat hinges with strut hardware and the level of motor detail. We appreciate the use of colour to bring forward the internal accessories, as most of the engine here is done in Black. The overall vision is somewhat lacking though, the motor and surrounding bits are executed on a flat plastic panel. It’s not ideal, we think Almost Real could do better. A positive callout to the cautionary OEM badging in front and also the super-clean Land Rover badge on the front grille.
One of the last bonus items with the package is a decal sheet for the front bonnet that further enhances the exterior of the Defender 110 . This will require installation. Based on what we see it is a water decal, so installation is not extremely difficult – 5/10 on the difficulty scale due to the large size. Personally, we prefer the look without it.
Rear access is available. What is found inside is pretty decent too. Nice work on the surrounding trim pieces, each displays some level of engrained detailing. Note the inside of the door with exceptional finish work with trim and rivets. The upper glass also displays the heating elements. In the far back section of the storage area includes a full screen that covers the entire opening – access to the rear seating is not permitted.
Moving back outside there is a hidden feature that some might miss. The centre of the lower bumper provides a recessed trailer hitch. Not sure if it was necessary, but we do appreciate the effort! Taillights are on par with the front lighting and quality badge work complete the package here.
Before we get into the interior, we wanted to call out the wheels. Love the rugged look of the White steel rims. Tires are aggressive in nature, and naturally so, however, we find no tire branding on the exterior side. Massive Black brake calipers are a standard fit. We love the Defender branding on the front pair, and as you move the wheels the letters peek through the multiple openings.
Underneath the Defender 110, Almost Real did spend a few dollars dressing-up the undercarriage. Firstly, the suspension fully independent and operational at all four corners. Love the added attention with the exhaust system and heat guard, note the brownish toning of the system as a whole. Overall top marks for the effort guys!
All four doors are accessible here. Quality exterior door-handles are provided and meticulously crafted right down to the keyhole. And again, we wanted to mention exceptional work with the panel gaps and shutlines. Just lovely!
This is the LHD version of the Defender 110 with seating for two upfront. There is an option from Land Rover for a third seat which does alter the looks somewhat. Seatbelts are present in front and rear. There is zero flocking within the footwells. Almost Real does provide the weather lining but in reality, there is a mix of both textures.
Admirable attention to the door card detailing and we like the rear centre passenger control panel too. The seats are a little too plastic looking and would be better served with some texture. The upper roof lining is completed in a Light Beige and offers a mirror, hand grabs and more. Rear seating entry also includes the grab handles – a must-have here. Overall folks Almost Real does an exceptional job but the interior does stumble slightly over the brilliance we find on the exterior side.
The Almost Real Defender 110 (2020) is one word is FANTASTIC. The team has definitely found a niche is fabricating Land Rovers and or trucks in general, the Defender 110 is no exception. There is a laundry list of features here that generally aren’t found on competing brands. Fans of Land Rover or SUVs’ should definitely place this one on the must-buy list.
From what we gather, more colours are in the pipeline and optional wheel designs too with a possible dealer edition in the mix… Almost Real can be crowned the authority on trucks, we are amongst their many admirers. Definitely looking forward to the Pagani series… Enjoy the pics!