There been a lot of banter about Almost Real for the last little bit. The team keeps a slow pace with their assortment of select releases. And fans of the brand keep shouting for more! Patience in this hobby is a good thing, it allows one to save and direct monies on other important priorities. As you all know today a good quality diecast will set you back north of $250.
Almost Real’s focus as of late has been SUVs in 1:18 scale. There was a hi-cup in-between, we saw the Bentley Continental GT3-R in a number of exterior colours, this is one we already reviewed here in detail – click the ‘Reviews’ link above to see more. The team was gracious enough to forward us a sample of their latest release, the 1:18 Land Rover Defender 110 “Camel Trophy” Edition. We don’t know much of the history of The Camel Trophy but from what we gather it was a vehicle-oriented around competition that was held annually between 1980 and 2000. Land Rovers, in general, excelled here, hence the model in scale.
Inside the box, Almost Real includes a host of accessories which do amp the realism factor a few notches. Multiple sheets of decals are provided. They feature teams from various parts of the globe. The fun doesn’t stop here, four Black storage cases, one large Silver storage box along with four gas cans round out the larger accessories. In addition to the tools that are already affixed (they are uber cool BTW) to the front hood, the continued arsenal comes in the form of a large axe and rope with a metal hook on each end. Basically, there is an enough here to load up and go on your own Camel Trophy adventure! And if that wasn’t enough Almost Real provides a certificate of authenticity and as well very large Camel Trophy decal to boot. They call it the “Gift”.
The exterior views of the Land Rover Defender 110 “Camel Trophy” Edition are just majestic. No matter the angle the model looks all business, there is something new you discover upon a second or third glance. Exterior paint work is excellent throughout; consistency is definitely the name of the game.
There are so many variants of the particular model one doesn’t know which or what was the actual model specimen. From what we gather the overall design of the Land Rover Defender 110 is here and done extremely well, however, from a purists perspective, there are some not so obvious misses that I will get into detail later on.
Exterior shutlines and panel gaps on this particular piece are excellent. Fit and finish on the exterior are completed well. The diecast metal shell does provide the rigidity and finish elegance of yesterday. It is nice to see some manufacturers still embracing the material in full scale.
What decal work is factory installed is executed well with quality material. However, from a purists perspective, the decals on the windows aren’t period correct. We’re not an authority on Land Rover or Camel Trophy, knowledge was gained via conservations we had with various fan club members.
Moving to the front of the model you will notice an array of goodies. Quality craftsmanship is apparent throughout. As mentioned earlier you will see the tools affixed to the upper fender area, they are static and not removable. The spare tire is present. The engine compartment does provide access more on this very soon! Note the metal defector just under the bumper. Beautiful!
The fascia is mated with a large protective grille (made of plastic) and bumper with winch. Note the toes hooks on either side of the bumper with metal pins; very cool. As for the winch, it doesn’t fully operate, though the line is functional up to a certain point and locked into the toe hook driver side. The winch itself is not period correct, what is shown here Husky Superwinch (installed since 1991), but to be period correct it would need to be a Warn Winch.
Headlights and side signal lights are too executed with quality materials; however, the integrated fogs are slightly less defined. Note the uber cool detail in the metal-braided lines that lead from the massive grille to the upper storage rack. The rack work itself is crafted in heavy plastic. In our opinion, it is executed very well as for the fit and finish but the overall look is a little too “plastic” looking based on the level of execution of the other components of the model.
For the storage rack Almost Real provides the end-user with real authentic wood base/bottom liner. Installation here is a breeze and fit and finish is top notch. You can see there are compartmentalize areas for gas cans. The remainder of the accessories and be placed at will.
Metal sand tracks are fitted to each side, neither can be removed, a shame. As for the sand tracks, once again these are not period correct, in true likeness they would have integrated teeth on the long side of the perimeter. Funny though, most photos you review you see similar vehicles fitted as provided by Almost Real.
The rear of the Land Rover Defender 110 does have a functional door. Love the beefy and authentic three hinge design, operation here flawless on our example. Note, the spare tire isn’t period correct, this is more in line with a modern Land Rover. Inside the rear section is fully carpeted in Black with a roll cage that extends to just behind the front seats. Taillight and various other lighting elements are crafted again with precision and quality materials.
The engine is fully accessible. Hood operation on our example works without issue. Do note the two clamps are not functional on the exterior side of the hood, but workmanship or each clamp is definitely quality. The team secretly hides and small magnet in the hood to keep her safe. Thumbs up for the overall detail of the motor. The use of layers, colour and textures provide the realism we collector’s graves. Prop-rod is available and locks into an open and closed position.
On the flip side, thumbs down to Almost Real for not using the correct motor. Seems they re-issued the motor from the last Defender.
All four wheels spin and the front two steer. There are a number of workining compoenents that make-up the steering instrument. Wheels are executed well. We like the definition of the lug nuts and air nozzle. Braking components are visible from the back section as well.
As we take a closser look underneath the model you can see a plethora of detail. The model is equipped with independent and working suspension. How cool are the metal springs and rear struts! Note the defined exhaust, transmission and centre differential. One thing I did notice, the Camel Trophy isn’t on par as their earlier release of the 1970 Land Rover, Range Rover. Most undercarriage instruments were metal and fully functional. Meaning as you turned the wheels the diff apparatus would be in full swing as well.
Interior is fully accessible via the four doors. Love the quality hinge work here! Our example did arrive with the rear passenger door open and pin in the upper hinge missing. Thankfully it was found within the packaging and re-installation was a breeze. Seems the shipping tape from the factory gave way. We did send a note to Almost Real to beef up the tape on future releases.
The interior is completed in all Black. Carpeting is found through and well as the rubber matting. Dash, centre console, and doors cards all present well and definition is good. The miss here the team re-used the interior of the Heritage Defender 110s, which are powered by the Ford Puma TDCi engines, and not the actual interior of a 200Tdi Defender. From a purist perspective, this would be a big no-no.
The Almost Real Land Rover Defender 110 “Camel Trophy” Edition is an exceptional model, no doubt. Based on the current buzz and our DiecastSociety.com 2018 Model Of The Year potential candidate list she is getting many nodes from collectors across the globe. The photos don’t lie she does present well, execution is solid throughout and the list world-class character bits is long. The addition of the added gift is a nice touch too. What Almost Real does right is excel on the realism factor, bringing us back to the finer days of diecast metal scale models. On the other hand, it does fail from a purist’s perspective; the wrong motor and interior are hard to swallow… The Land Rover Defender 110 “Camel Trophy” Edition does come recommended, but I/we are not a Land Rover Defender 110 Camel Trophy purists at heart. Enjoy the pics!