REVIEW: One Model Honda NSX-R GT •

REVIEW: One Model Honda NSX-R GT

Words and photos courtesy of XSquareStickIt


It’s been way too long since I’ve added to my 1:18 scale model collection. While most of that can be chalked up to not having much spending power or real estate, it’s also actually gotten to a point where I thought I have just about every car I like in 1:18.

Then along comes One Model, who suddenly decided to make the Honda NSX-R GT in full 1:18 glory. One look at it, and I knew I was getting it, regardless of the cost. It’s no secret that I’m a huge NSX fan, and the R GT is THE Daddy of all NSXes. Only five were ever produced as homologation models by Honda to comply with Super GT regulations. As such, it looks race-ready fresh out of the factory, sharing many familiar iconic parts with its GT500 counterparts, such as the roof snorkel, flared side intakes, and elongated bumpers. All five were sold to private buyers, and it remains unclear to this day what changes, if any, were made underneath the sheet metal by Honda over the “standard” NSX Type R. This then, is a proper unicorn, complete with its own modern-day mystique, and perhaps even mythical status.

Hopefully, then, it’s clear by now why I would pay an exorbitant amount of money to buy this sealed composite resin model. Not many know of this car’s existence, and for One Model to release their rendition of the legend in full 1:18 glory is something I cannot pass up in good conscience. Not only is this my first One Model purchase, but it’s also my first 1:18 sealed resin model. As another first, this entire batch of photos was shot with a smartphone; specifically the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which has an astounding camera that I’m tempted to say bests my aging and damaged DSLR.

I bought this model TECHNICALLY second hand from Carousell, after being fed up with One Model representatives and their local distributors alike. The seller assures me that the box has never been opened, and is thus as good as new. The model was handed to me in person exactly as you see in this first shot, in an unpainted cardboard box. I’m unsure what else would’ve come with the model had it been bought first hand.

The box WAS rather large compared to what I’m used to. Here’s a Nintendo Switch placed on top for size comparison.

Inside the cardboard box lies another cardboard box, this time in One Model’s signature red. You might need a third cardboard box to store all this if you’re one of those hardcore collectors that buys a second item to stow away and never open, as even the outer box is rather bespoke, complete with the item description, colour, and bar code. Boxception!

The top surface of the inner box, of a very simplistic design, prominently featuring One Model’s strangely appealing logo.

The length side of the box. I’m not sure when exactly a model is made of resin became a selling point you’d want to advertise, but here we are. I’m also very unsure what it means by “handmade model”. I’d like to think my model has been machined with accuracy beyond what the human hand can manage.

Bottom of the box, with some legal mumbo jumbo nobody cares about. I actually like the rather awkward and broken English, as is telltale of a small Japanese company trying to make a name for themselves on a bigger stage.

The red casing actually opens like a smartphone box, with magnets of just the right strength sealing the box when not in use.

Showcasing the plaque on the fully plastic base. Even the freaking logo of the R GT is hard to come by in good quality (trust me, I’ve tried to make an SVG out of this logo before). I really envy people proficient in Japanese and professional enough to get in touch with a big company like Honda and have them supply the official logo… OR maybe they just grabbed a jpeg online and winged it like me, WHO KNOWS?!

A small piece of rather unsightly Styrofoam block separates the car from its base. The car also came bundled with a long and narrow microfibre cloth, presumably for handling and cleaning use.

Optional acrylic case removed. Yeah, you spring in excess of 400 Singapore Dollars (SGD) for a freaking model and they don’t even give you a case for it.

Upon undoing the four screws that hold the model to its base, I was shocked. Even during the unscrewing, I could feel bits of fine debris through my screwdriver. With all four screws off, this ghastly sight greeted me: this… this… how do you even describe it? This off centre, incorrectly sized, paint smudged screw hole poking out of the flat underbody of the car (did the real NSX-R GT have a flat underbody?), and, when the model was turned right side up, all the debris from drilling the drill hole came falling out! If you zoom this shot to its original size, you can see some of the white debris near the drill hole has already come flying out.

I usually forget to shoot the underbody of models I collect, so I thought I’d get this out of the way first (no way I could just save the underbody shots for later after I’ve seen THOSE disasters of screw holes. Even I could do better than that!). Due to the… uh… feature roof scoop and protruding side mirrors, I couldn’t lay the car down on any surface and not fear to break anything on this resin model, so you’ll have to edit out my fat sausage arm in your mind.

I am very happy to report that One Model did seem to correctly size the width of the front and rear tyres, with the fronts narrower than the rears. The NA2 Type R came with 215/45R17 up front and 255/40R17 in the rear, and I’ll have to assume the R GT sticks to that. I also feel the need to mention how shockingly realistic the tread patterns on this model are. I can’t quite place my finger on why these look so realistic, but my gut tells me they are.

The underbody of this model is easily the Achilles’ Heel of the model, with shoddy, dodgy screw hole drilling. Not only that, but if you zoom any of these underbody photos to their original sizes, you can see that some white paint from the car’s body has leaked over to the black underbody, and vice versa. Not to mention, I’d say that the finishing of any body panels that stretch underneath the car is shockingly awful, but I can’t, because these darn things don’t even look like they’ve even been finished, to begin with. They are visibly rough even in the photos.

These are all of the remaining debris that fell out from the screw holes when I turned the car right side up after releasing it from the base. I wish I were kidding.

The rubber mounts that separate the car from the base don’t even look to be of the same height… not to mention, some of the screws seem outright broken off! What the heck One Model? I can’t even accept glaring flaws like these in a toy model a quarter of this price, let alone a collector’s item! I get it. Maybe these are small issues where most people wouldn’t look, but gosh is it really so much to ask for some basic engineering competence when I’m paying this much for a pretty hunk of plastic?

I’ve never seen the underside of an NSX in real life before, but judging by how sliced off the exhaust is in this model by the flat underbody of the car, I’m inclined to think that the real car doesn’t have a flat underbody, thereby making One Model the laziest butts to have ever attempted a 1:18 scale model.

Right side profile view. You might think I’m OCD enough to line the wheels right side up for this shot, but trust me, I’m not. The wheels don’t rotate.  In a 450SGD 1:18 collector’s scale model, the freaking wheels don’t rotate.  I’m sorry, but WHAT?!

A closer look at the front license plate of the NSX-R GT. For some reason the plate itself has a rough texture that’s even visible in a photo, not to mention the lettering looks a little uncertain as to if traced from a jpeg file, and there are white splotches all over. No, they didn’t come off when I wiped them; they’re structurally integral to the license plate.

Left side view. I’m very pleasantly surprised to learn that the R GT has “NSX-R” lettering on its wheels. Not even the NSX-R itself came with these wheel letterings to my knowledge. It’s amazing that scale model manufacturers nowadays even go as far as to model in the valve stems on each wheel. I don’t think any of my old man diecast cars have them (edit: my Maisto Viper GT2 has them… ouch. What a comparison.)

Rearview. Most of the vents are solid plastic, but there are some larger ones that are properly perforated. The rear license plate suffers the same issues as the front, though a lot less noticeable thanks to how much overhang the car has even from the license plate onwards.

One of the highlights of this model is that the hood radiator vent is not only perforated, but the radiator itself underneath is visible, complete with its own warning labels intact. When One Model does well, they really do take one’s breath away. Unfortunately, it also means that it’s easy for them to take press shots for marketing and slack on the other unseen areas of the car *COUGH THE UNDERBODY COUGH*

Also, it’s not just the underbody; the entire freaking car doesn’t feel like it’s been filed down AT ALL after being cut. You can see how visibly jagged the vent openings are where they meet the netting. It’s nothing short of obscene. Again, for an 80-ish, 100 dollar toy that isn’t touting itself off as a precision scale model, I can easily let this slide. But at 400 SGD? Hell no! This is wholly unacceptable!

Another highlight of the car is its engine compartment, readily shown off in press shots released by One Model. The rear windows are properly marked, the engine compartment looks to be painstakingly crafted and recreated, and the netting in between is just sublime.


This might be asking too much, but the “NSX-R” plaque on the doors do seem a little wonky upon close inspection. I’ll give this a pass though, seeing as something this small is a nightmare to get right when scaled down to 1:18.

Close up of the front side intakes, prominently featuring ugly solid plastic intakes, rough finishing, and even some… dirt? Debris? Stuck into the paint!

The main front bumper opening is perforated, but it doesn’t go very deep before hitting a radiator wall.

It’s very difficult to tell, but I think One Model actually gave the R GT some degree of camber (ahahaha, get it? Degree? Camber…? Nevermind. Maybe I should get a degree in comedy first). A very nice touch.

Trying very hard to show off the interior of the R GT. I love the seat materials, looking very much like cheap, early 2000s leather, backed by exposed Kevlar. I’m not entirely sure if leather seats were an option, but I could’ve sworn NSX-Rs came with cloth seats.

Interior, from the front. The seatbelts have hilariously large braids, but I’m willing to overlook them. I’m not sure if it’s my imagination screwing with me, but the A-pillars look WAY too thin on this model. Without a 1:1 for comparison though, I can’t say with absolute certainty.

A very nice little detail is that the shade on the front windscreen has been properly detailed in. The cockpit flooring, however… is entirely red, if this model is to be believed, which I find hard to trust.

Front headlight detail. I’m starting to think “handmade” means hand painted. I never knew the NSX-R had arrows in their headlights though!

AUTOart’s 1:18 diecast NA1 NSX Type R side by side with One Model’s 1:18 resin NA2 NSX-R GT. While these are very different cars, and therefore not a fair comparison, I thought it’d be fun to compare and contrast, anyway. Treat this as a preliminary appetizer until AUTOart releases its recently announced NA2 NSX-R, which, come what may, I am buying as well.

Just as I thought, the A-pillars on One Model’s version are WAY too thin, though it should be mentioned that AUTOart does not have sun shades detailed into the windscreen, so points to One Model here.

Front view! The NSX to me has always been meant to come with pop up headlights. I get that stricter and stricter laws now mean that we can’t have pop-ups anymore, and Honda did their best at making the NSX fixed headlight, but it just looks… awkward, like eyes permanently taped open, especially when you’ve seen an NA1 before.

Side view. Apologies for my AUTOart NSX-R being so yellow; it’s been sitting in my display cabinet for years… or maybe Honda revised Championship White between 1992 and 2005.

Rearview. Ten years does a lot to a person, and to a car, doesn’t it? Yet, the NSX has always stayed so faithful to what made it great, one of which is its simplicity and purity. It’s really amazing to behold how something, or someone, can change so much, yet still have so much remained the same.

Now, Honda DID change the rear light cluster of the NSX JUST BY A LIL’ BIT from NA1 to NA2, so I’m not entirely sure if this is a fair comparison or not, but the AUTOart light cluster seems to have more texture in its light cover than the One Model one. I also need to mention how unfinished the rear light cover of the One Model NSX is; while wiping it to clear some dust, the supplied microfiber cloth kept getting caught by the rough edges of the light cover.  I wish I were kidding.  I really do.

Comparison of the rear hatch between the two models. The AUTOart example lacks the detail in the Kevlar seats of the One Model variant, but hey, the AUTOart one opens. I’m almost tempted to say that this is a victory towards AUTOart just on principle alone.

The engine cover netting is also a lot finer on the AUTOart NA1 model in comparison to One Model’s NA2. Not sure if this is a difference in attention to detail by the model makers or a difference in the real cars. The AUTOart car also has a glass panel separating the engine compartment from the cockpit, which the One Model specimen lacks entirely. Again, I’m not sure if this is a lack of detail or a real-life difference. It’d be pretty rough to have a roof snorkel feed air directly into an engine behind your head with no separation though (I mean, the roof snorkel is non-functional on the real car but pshh we’re talking about the principles of things here).

While One Model’s engine bay is amazing to behold in its own right, AUTOart hasn’t exactly slacked off in the engine compartment, either. In fact, with all the details on full display, unhindered, it only makes the sealed resin nature of One Model’s NSX hurt more. I for one would love to behold the beautiful engine bay in all its glory.

Yes, we all love our models diecast and opening, but some of the desperate marketing scraps touting the benefits of resin do make sense, such as the finer, more accurate panel gaps in comparison to diecast. I’ve never had a problem with my AUTOart NA1 NSX, but besides the One Model resin NSX, the panel gaps are HIDEOUS.

Comparing the bonnets of the cars. Points towards One Model for detailing the washer fluid jet openings, though at this point I’m not even sure if it’s a deliberate detail or stray paint splotches…  Brothers!

Final resting place! Gosh, help me how the heck am I supposed to make room for AUTOart’s upcoming NA2 NSX-R.

I might sound like I’m really mad and disappointed in my purchase of One Model’s NSX-R GT. Don’t get me wrong, I AM very appalled by how many problems a casual collector like me has been able to identify, especially when the astronomical price would suggest the opposite. I don’t regret my purchase at all, actually. I’d much rather be this disappointed with the model than to never have been able to scratch that itch, to satiate that “I’ll never be able to unsee it” voice. I may be fine with it, but I suspect by this forum’s standards, by this hobby’s standards, this model is nothing short of a travesty, even without considering its astronomical 450SGD asking price.

My disappointment comes not only from the shoddy quality and literal rough edges of the model but also because someone at One Model is clearly, painfully, passionate about JDM cars. The very fact that this model was pitched and produced, to begin with, should already be testament to that fact, not to mention the drop-dead gorgeous engine bay, bonnet vent, etc.. The disappointment comes from the fact that, in equal measure, someone at One Model is horrendously disinterested in their job, as evidenced by the license plates, the painting, the fit and finish, etc.. This is SUCH a wasted opportunity, in my eyes. I bought this sealed resin model confident that no other Scale Model manufacturer would reproduce the daddy of all NSXes. In essence, I believe that One Model has no competition in this extremely niche market, which I daresay is its specialty.

However, with a model this expensive as my first purchase from One Model, I’m afraid it hasn’t left a very good impression on me, at all, and it is a very strong case of “Once bitten, twice shy”. Just as the NSX-R GT is a once in a lifetime unicorn, I suspect my patronage of One Model products is also once in a lifetime. One Model heavily specializes in salivating JDM examples, as has been proven by their NSX-R GT. Where else are you going to find other unicorns, like Mugen’s Civic RR? That is to say, while I’m flabbergasted by their NSX- R GT, I would probably buy from them again, if they release something I am deeply interested in, that is so niche that no one else would attempt it, such as the JC Cosmo 20B for example, or even an RX-7 GT-C *hint hint*

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1 Response to "REVIEW: One Model Honda NSX-R GT"

  1. DS Team says:

    Thank you for the review! This is your second post since 2016, and it is an impactful one, to say the least! I love reading reviews from owners, especially those who just purchased their first resin, sealed piece.

    As for resin, welcome. There are some good and some bad elements with resin/sealed. As for the undercarriage details, that’s about as good as it gets in many cases. As for the mounting points, this is typical. Also, the variance in screws and rubbing washers, again typical depending on the model. Helps with preventing flat spots on tires and guarantees as best as possible secure fit to the base.

    As for the fit and finish, at this price point, it is unacceptable. Period.

    Resin models are a double-edged sword, on one hand, you get pieces, rare specimens that others or most other manufacturers will ignore. I’m like you, I rather have something in scale that nothing at all. I call them place holders. Hopefully, the likes of AUTOart will make a fully opening and more refined example. And this might be the case too, AUTOart already has a terrific base model of the NSX as you pointed out.

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