We’ve been waiting to get our hands on a 1:18 scale replica from this manufacturer ever since they made their first headline here at DiecastSociety.com back in April 2016. The brand in question is Almost Real. If you haven’t heard of the them maybe you know them from a manufacturing perspective? Under Sum’s Model Toys Company they been producing models for a number of years for a number of mainstream brands, the most prolific being Minichamps.
Almost Real’s slogan is “Dreams Get Almost Real”, with a promise of affordable diecast models, high detail, and fully opening specimens you know this brand resonated well with collectors from the onset.
Initial releases focused on 1:43 scale, though nice, the bread and butler is always 1:18. The first of these 1:18 specimens shipped just recently featuring the Land Rover/Range Rover marque. The models are so good they became a finalist for DiecastSociety.com 2017 Model of the Year (if you haven’t yet voted please do so!).
Our example is the new 1:18, diecast, Bentley Continental GT3-R in White. Yes we were conservative in our color choice. The Bentley Continental GT3-R will be offered in an array of colours, some breaking the typical mould. Which is a goof thing! Check our news feed for more details. We purchased our example for $119US, about $145CND.
So how did the brand do? Read on. In typical format for any new review from a brand we start with the packaging. The box for the Bentley Continental GT3-R is long, exactly 15″ in length. Cardboard material is decorated with various elements and logos. Typical cautionary bits and information is laced on the bottom. Inside the model is housed in a safety shell of styrofoam. Each model comes with ‘Collectable Certification’ and serial #, this model is noted as SN# 0553.
Once free from the styrofoam shell the model presence and hefty weight comes into play. This is old-school car scale craftsmanship here folks. For those of you who are new to the hobby you may not understand this. Since the we’ve seen a massive shift over the last several years from metal to resin modeling – this model brings back a good feeling and smiles off the bat!
Exterior paint is solid throughout. What is completed exceptionally well is the Green pin stripping and GT3R logos on each side. Carbon fibre work is very good too; all pieces are clear coded to bring out the high-gloss shine. Shut-lines and panel gaps are superb for the most part, though the front hood required a little finessing to fit just right. Overall the shape and stance mirror the 1:1 well.
The front of Bentley Continental GT3-R features a number of nice bits. Fully perforated grilles are found everywhere. Headlights are beautifully executed with proper LED surrounds, each provides depth and realism. Carbon fibre indents on hood are clean and crafted well, though provide no cooling on view to the internals.
The rear of the Bentley Continental GT3-R mirrors the front with clean and flawless execution throughout. Excellent taillight material elevates the model, also beautifully addressed carbon fibre work on the upper spoiler and lower bumper portion complete the package.
Access to the rear storage is available. The storage area itself is completed lined in carpeting. Note the silver finish trim work on the rear sill and the upper section of the hatch is finished too.
Where the model fails slightly is the lack of struts to support the hatch. The 1:1 actually has supports in check. Operation of the hood on our example does work relatively well, though it does require little more than the normal pressure to open of close.
A 4.0l V8 powers the Bentley Continental GT3-R and with most modern cars much of the detail is hidden with various covers and what not. Almost Real’s version is on point for the most part. We do like the layer affect of the covers due to the finish work with the carbon fibre material.
Painted elements are few and far between based on images we reviewed of the 1:1. Almost Real was very close. Nothing huge, but they missed out on a perfect mark for a few items they choose to leave unpainted. Boo!
Note the use of hood struts and hinges on each side. Something we did not see on the rear. Also the clean finish work on the back side of the hood. Well done!
Moving to the wheels the team at Almost Real keeps us impressed. Calipers are painted in Emerald Green and feature the Bentley script. Rotors are nicely crafted too; they excel with nicely detailed inner working which moves into the metal cross-drilled pattern.
Wheels are painted in a Glossy Black with Bentley logo in check. The entire package works well and is on par with the likes of AUTOart and GT Spirit. These brands usually set the benchmark.
The interior of the Almost Real Bentley Continental GT3-R even gets better! Where do we start!?! I don’t think we’ve since this level of detail on any mid-price brand to date. The seats and doors cards feature the lovely quilted pattern. Using the Green stitching along with the curved fabric-like material Almost Real literally provides a 3D image. Also the seats are adjustable – by pushing forward and back the seats will side on the rail. Amazing!
The carbon fibre accents bits found on the dash elements and doors is exceptional. They even included the cooling vents in the upper door portion. Nuts! Dash and centre console buttons and various instrument cluster elements all are heavily detailed in chrome and silver. The quilted pattern even extends to the rear where it is mated to full carpeting that extends to the front.
All this praise and no negatives? Well, our example has some challenges with a sticky driver side door. Seems the alignment was slightly off on the rear quarter glass. A little finessing and we seem to have corrected the problem.
It was a long wait to finally see and touch a specimen from Almost Real. The model did measure up on all accounts and promises from the team. The Bentley Continental GT3-R does come highly recommended folks. This is what scale model collecting is all about! It definitely could have been a contender for DiecastSociety.com 2017 Model of the Year.
At this price point ($119US) and at this level of detail the value here is ten fold. Dare we say this was AUTOart back in the glory days, when attention to detail was paramount. I’m sure recent offerings from Almost Real are making the mainstream re-think their value proposition. In our opinion if the brand continues down this path and provides a good assortment of models they will continually and gladly gain market share. If their current portfolio or should be say catalogue is any indication there are many good things to come. Dreams do get Almost Real. Enjoy the pics!