REVIEW: Almost Real McLaren P1 GTR James Hunt 40th Anniversary • DiecastSociety.com

REVIEW: Almost Real McLaren P1 GTR James Hunt 40th Anniversary

We finally made some time to sit down and review the first model from Almost Real since the 2018 review of their fabulous and DiecastSociety.com 2018 Model of the Year award winner, Land Rover Defender 110 “Camel Trophy”.  The Land Rover was an outstanding piece, it brought us back to the glory days of scale model collecting, something truly missing in the overall hobby today…  An era when diecast metal, full 360 access and great details were all strong pillars.  Collecting today is becoming more static, less dimensional and somewhat soulless.  That being said the model under the microscope today is the new, and recently released 1:18 McLaren P1 GTR James Hunt 40th Anniversary Edition.

The model itself is crafted in diecast metal along with plastic parts.  Full access to the interior, front and rear make it a very appealing alternative to the AUTOart (sealed front and rear section) option released back in late 2017.  Note AUTOart hasn’t officially released or announced the same James Hunt car they have released the P1 GTR example in a handful of colour options.  Read our review HERE.

As you remove the model from the styrofoam shell you definitely notice the weight of the P1 GTR vs a typical AUTOart composite example – this one is the heavy weight! At first glance the model does look sharp, detailed, fined tuned and ready for business.  Exterior paint is sharp as well as the full-body arsenal of decals.

Based on the images we studied of the exterior we give Almost Real high marks for the overall execution in capturing the bodylines, the various styling ques of the design and transitioning them to scale.  This is no easy task.  We are no authority of McLaren or the P1 GTR in general, but we did see some difference in the James Hunt livery, some photos did show more or less decal work.  We have to assume there are slight differences or changes to the exterior since initial release, customer modifcation and so forth.

The front of the P1 GTR is met with a very large lower chin spoiler.  This and the side fins are crafted in moulded carbon fibre, similar to our friends at AUTOart.  All three lower opening go deep into the interior and do show some of the inner working of the cooling apparatus.

Another neat feature of the design is the detailed opening on each side of front facia assembly.  Opening are capped with perforated metal grilles.

The front hood section is removable – panel gaps and shutlines are excellent on our example.  Removing and repositioning the hatch are completed with easy.  Before we comment on the internal section, we needed to mention the lack of quick-latching apparatus on the hood.  There is none defined; zero representation on front and rear.

Moving back to the front internals the exterior housing is executed in moulded carbon fibre.  Dual cooling fans are present but not much else.  Based on the photos, and there isn’t much reference material out there Almost Real missed a few key components.  Question, why would they provide access and not complete the look or not try to render at least a high-level representation of the 1:1 internals.  We’ll reach out to Almost Real for comment.

Moving to the rear the large upper spoiler takes centre stage along with the James Hunt livery in full affect.  Two large arms crafted in moulded carbon fibre connect it to the body/chassis of the car.  The lower section is nicely detailed to mirror the original.  Deep inside you’ll find average detail for transmission hardware – similar to AUTOart’s technique.  More photos are provided below.

The rear hatch is removable, this is a good thing, since the AUTOart replica is sealed.  One neat feature from Almost Real was to cover the back side of the rear and front hatch pieces with carbon fibre weave.  It looks great and provides another level of realism.  Another treat is access to the apparatus underneath the two small access panels at about centre roof line position.  Each side is accessible.  Sorry, we have no pics to share as at the time of the photo shoot we thought these were static pieces.

The motor isn’t as detailed as we would like based on the execution of the award-winning Land Rover Defender 110 “Camel Trophy” package.  It isn’t bad and it isn’t excellent, it is average with some levels of excellence, the best element in our opinion is the exhaust system; colouring and protective heat-shield are terrific!  The detail or effort of the motor levels off from here especially the surrounding components.  In their defense the McLaren if $60 cheaper retail wise than the Land Rover.  But from a collector perspective, I think one would pay $259 over the $199 price tag to achieve the best overall level of excellence throughout the motor the exhaust system one could provide.  Do you agree?

Wheels are nicely crafted in all Black with Silver centre nut.  Tires are low profile and feature Pirelli logo too.  In behind the rotors are solid units with Black calipers front and rear.  Both feature the McLaren logo.

Getting into the interior is provided through two up-swing doors.  Operation here is flawless and both stay in any position you choose.   Perfect for photo shoots!  The doors themselves feature mesh opening in the upper section of the door (see above photo) , this feeds cold air to the monstor motor in the rear.  Well done!  The cockpit lining or outer shell is aided in decal sheet of carbon fibre – it looks very good.  Once inside the interior is bare bones and all business, the business of racing that is!

As for the interior it is completed in all Black with carbon firbre elements throughout.  F1-like style steering wheel, detailed centre console and dash, single seat with fabric racing harness are in check.   Our favorite part of the interior is the addition of Alcantara-like fabric pieces on the dash.  Definitely a cool feature that isn’t usually seen on many models we’ve reviewed.  Overall the interior gets a solid B.

We’ll be honest, based on the execution of the Almost Real Land Rover Defender 110 “Camel Trophy” we were expecting a lot more from their McLaren P1 GTR James Hunt 40th Anniversary Edition.  Not that isn’t a terrific model or lacking effort, it just isn’t on par, that is the simple truth.

As for the comparison of AUTOart vs. Almost Real, the winner by defining margin is Almost Real.  The main reason, we have 360 access at a lower price point.  (we’d love to know what AUTOart is banking margin wise on these McLarens).  The remaining touch points between the two are similar or detail is exceeded by Almost Real.  In the end you decide what moves you best.

There also are some elements in the Almost Real presentation that makes one scratch their head, that for us is the lack of finish under the front bonnet.  Let’s hope future projects from the team continue to evolve and a greater focus of speed to market.  In our opinion Almost Real should not take lessons from AUTOart rather forge their own path.   We don’t want to see the inconsitancies from one release to another.  MAKE ALL YOUR MODELS AS BEST AS POSSIBLE STOP THE YO-YO EFFECT.  If this requires more time and a higher price point, so be it.  Be a leader and market share will follow.  Enjoy the pics!

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18 Responses to "REVIEW: Almost Real McLaren P1 GTR James Hunt 40th Anniversary"

  1. Karsten says:

    Thanks for the review of this first Almost Real model in ages. I still have not received my dirty version Camel Trophy and by the time the Mulsannes hit the shelves the real Mulsanne will have been discontinued (which will be soon).

    AUTOart´s green AMG GT-R has already overtaken AR, not only speed-wise. I have bought the AA and compared it to pics of the AR available on the net … and I am now about to cancel my pre-order for AR´s version. In contrast to the AA it does not have break-thru vents in the hood and apparently now carbon fibre imitation on the centre console and vents.

    That is why I most definitely subscribe to your bold print comment on the strange yo-yo-policy. If it´s taking as long as it currently does, I at least want to be sure that it´s worth the wait and the best I can buy. While the McLaren obviously still is, with the AMG GT-R apparently is not. Not being consistent discredits a manufacturer and if a solid competitor delivers the same model, first they´ll get the money instead.

    • DS Team says:

      I think they have a good thing going. Don’t be AUTOart with decent, average, good, great models. BE CONSISTENT. It is as simple as that.

    • Tammy Wang says:

      Tough crowd….I don’t have the money nor the time to go after some of these models.,,,somehow it makes me happier.

  2. Lausambaychua says:

    @Karsten: I’m really sorry to hear that you still haven’t got the dirty Camel Trophy Defender 90. Don’t lose hope, I’m sure eventually it will be in your hands soon.

    @DS: You guys are starting to make me worry about Almost Real. Still, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for now.
    This car isn’t on my wishlist and never will. That said, the model’s engine compartment, and the overall execution in general – is leagues above that of AUTOart. And now that you’ve mentioned the engine compartment, yes, from above, the Camel Trophy Defender is definitely icing on the cake, but from below, well, I can’t say the same. If you want more details, you can refer to my comments on the Camel Trophy Defender review.

    If what you guys said is true (Karsten included), this is a worrying development. However, I believe Almost Real will rectify (most of) these problems soon, because they seems to be receptive of constructive criticisms and capable of doing the right thing. The reputation they’ve earned for themselves is already sky-high for a brand with such few releases. And despite feeling kind of hit-and-miss with the Camel Trphy Defender in the authencity department, I can’t really complain because at that price point, you can get only an AUTOart G63 6×6 Composite. Plus, I also have the G500 4×42 and Range Rover 1970 in the collection, and they remind me that this brand has massive potential in today’s market.

    Still, does any of you at DS have any idea about the Brabus G550 4×42? I’d get that baby simply because of the much more suitably-looking 17-inch rims and Mud Terrain tires. Would definitely looks great beside my G500 4×42.

  3. Karsten says:

    I really do hope the best, especially as we know what Almost Real are capable of. As for the Camel Trophy, I am not worried, it will come my way some day. I am not worried about the AMG GT R either, I have got the decent enough AA now. What I am concerned about is what quality the Mulsanne Grand Limousine will be. That needs to be absolutely outstanding, spot on, top notch. I was going to casually recommend making Almost Real models the new manufacturer for dealership editions to Bentley themselves, when I meet their Head of Lifestyle Communications. Norev will be making the new Continental GT, but will that be good enough for the Bentley Collection? I’d say “no”, as decent quality and value for money Norevs are now. But AR would need to guarantee top notch quality and … bigger issue yet … to quickly enough deliver the up-to-date model range … and no sign of the Bentayga and soon to be discontinued (not to be succeeded!) Mulsanne, literally years after they were announced. As a long-standing collector, I don’t mind, I can patiently wait for decades. Especially for models of what is a vintage vehicle it does not matter. But the enthusiasm for contemporary cars cools off too quickly to take your time over delivering them, and that is bad for AR’s business.

  4. Astronat says:

    They forgot to make gap in the wing.

  5. smsr725 says:

    I have been a huge fan of the AR mainly because they started pumping out outstanding landy pieces one by one. i wanted to have one P1 GTR in my collection, and AA’s one with its sealed front and rear and a mammoth price tag did not appeal me. So when this news with all opening option hit, i happily waited. I felt very happy finding the price to be not too high, but only after landing my hand on it i realize why the price seems within easy reach. While the openings serve the purpose, and i dont regret the decision, the details do keep you wanting for more. If not wrong, we had been waiting for this all opening 1/18 since mid 2017… so when it takes 2 years to get one but leaves you somewhat wanting for more, it becomes a so so experience. I would have preferred to pay up to other Land Rover price tag but with Zonda kind of engine details. The central black piece (ref pic 25 above) and some maisto kind of interior finish should have been avoided. An option for AR could be to release an upgraded P1 GTR with more details. The outer casing is already quite good. All they need is to replace the inner bits, and that rear spoiler. And then AR can offer another top notch model with greater fan satisfaction.

  6. Tomcatters says:

    Quality over quantity, I know… but AR does need to speed up their development. I was so excited for their line-up, especially after they finally announced openable Pagani Zonda, which were set to release in the 3rd Quarter of 2018… yea well, we haven’t even seen a grey-wear model of any Zonda yet and that’s really disappointing

  7. DS Team says:

    Note to all, it came to our attention that the access panel at the mid-roof line is accessible. The review was edited as follows:

    “Another treat is access to the apparatus underneath the two small access panels at about centre roof line position. Each side is accessible. Sorry, we have no pics to share as at the time of the photo shoot we thought these were static pieces.”

  8. Richard says:

    Indeed what an excellent piece, Still, I’m holding out on them, probably going to wait for their release of the camel trophy, RANGE ROVER 1970 version, which I have desperately wanted even before their brand was established.

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