REVIEW: OttOmobile Ford Racing Puma •

REVIEW: OttOmobile Ford Racing Puma

The world has become a very strange place lately! Almost all of humanity seems to be obsessed with crossovers & SUVs, so much so that everyone from Mini to Lamborghini has started making them. So, obviously, someone at Ford thought it was a brilliant idea to resurrect the Puma nameplate and turn a fun little coupe into a compact crossover. 

Thankfully, the folks at Otto chose their subject matter wisely and gave us the Ford Racing Puma, the model which I will be reviewing today. As a brand, Otto specialises in resin 1:18 scale replicas, aimed at the low end of the market. So, of course, it is sealed. Of course, the grilles are not replicated using perforated metal mesh. Of course, the wheels don’t steer. In short, all the qualms that you normally see on a budget resin replica plague this model as well.

As a collector, I can be as picky as a bride shopping for her wedding dress. I love models that come packed with little details, but this model doesn’t offer much. So what possessed me to add one to my collection, you may ask? The sole reason is that it is as unique a specimen as you can get. Since no other manufacturer makes the Puma, Otto was my only option.  As a kid, I always aspired to be a car designer, and this was one of the cars that blew me away with its fun, curvacious design and beautiful, compact proportions. Heck, even Jeremy Clarkson loved it!

Onto the review shall we? 

The model comes packaged in a styrofoam box which feels quite cheap, to be honest. There aren’t even screws to secure the model to the base. A feature that you will immediately notice on opening the box is the roof-mounted antenna that sticks out like a sore thumb. The darn thing is so delicate that you will need the dexterity of a surgeon’s hands to carefully unwrap the tissue paper and plastic sheet covering the model to avoid knocking it down. Included in the box are some spare photo-etched Ford badges, which I think is very thoughtful. 

Lifting the model, you will notice it feels as heavy as most diecast replicas that are comparable in size. The shape and stance look spot on. The shut lines are very well-defined all around, thanks to the consistent paint application throughout (which has no noticeable overspray). Like the real car, the model is finished in metallic imperial blue to signify the special racing edition status. In fact, all Racing Pumas left the Ford factory in this colour.

In the front, the headlights are reasonably detailed. The bulbs and indicators are finished to look fairly realistic and the black outline around the clear headlamp covers further adds to the overall realism. The Ford badge on the front grille is photo-etched. As mentioned before, all the grilles and openings here are sealed. That being said, the groove patterns and textures used to mimic them are well executed. Moving up, you will notice the windshield washer nozzles (painted black) are present, and the wipers are finely replicated. The windshield and the rest of the greenhouse come with neatly integrated black surrounds. The plastics used are quite thin but fairly clear. 

As you move along to the side, the wider track, muscular wheel arches and multi-spoke rims are some of the notable differences you’ll find compared to the regular car. The wheels seemed static at first, but after some fiddling, I was able to get them to roll. As for the execution, they look pretty good. The rims are finished in silver and details like the lug nuts and Ford badges printed on the centre caps are included. The metal discs look realistic and the callipers in the front are painted blue, while the rears are silver. Some details that are missing here are the tyre branding on the sidewall and valve stems. 

Like the shut lines, the character lines and the outlines for the door handles are well-defined and not ruined by paint overspray, like on some budget models. Little details like the Ford Racing badges on the B pillar and painted keyhole further add to the overall realism. To my disappointment, however, the side indicators on the front fenders are painted orange (one of my biggest pet peeves on a model).

The model does an excellent job of capturing all the important details in the rear. Everything from the lights within the clear tail light housing, the brake lights in the bumper, the exhaust, down to the keyhole to access the trunk have been faithfully represented. Like the front, the Ford badge in the back is also photoetched. The rear windshield comes with a defogger pattern printed on it. On top of it sits a neatly reproduced rear wiper. The rear windshield washer nozzle located on the roof is also present here.

Normally, at this stage, I would be eager to open the doors and access the interior. Unfortunately, with the doors sealed, my only option was to imitate a child with his face pressed against the window. Like a little detective, I’ve tried my best to scan the interior and take in every detail.

On peering inside with curious eyes, I found the interior execution to be decent for a model at this price point. Although there isn’t any use of different textured materials, the various painted bits help enhance the overall effect. The dashboard material appears more premium than the scratchy plastics you will find in the real car. Apart from the air vents, the rest of the centre console appears to be a well-detailed decal applied to the dash. Even though all the buttons and knobs for the stereo and climate controls aren’t represented with raised surfaces, the decal does a decent job of imitating the real car. My only complaint is that the colour used to mimic the plastic panel in the centre console should be silver and not white.

The Sparko racing seats are well-appointed. While the centre cushions are painted blue, the bolsters are finished in grey and even include the black inserts and Sparko and Ford Racing branding as seen on the actual car. Other blue Alcantara elements on the steering wheels and door cards have also been represented in blue semi-gloss paint. Perhaps a different texture to mimic the Alcantara would have enhanced the aesthetics.

One important detail missing in the interior is the seat belts. While the buckles for them are present, the seatbelts themselves have been very sneakily omitted. Additionally, the floor of the model does not come with any flocking either. 

The bottom of the car is not even worth talking about. And so, like with all resin models, the excitement of exploring a new model is short-lived, as there is not much else to see. 

Before I conclude the review, I must point out some of the QC issues I noticed on mine. One of the clear headlamp lens covers on my example doesn’t sit completely flush with the bumper. Also, the right-side front window appears to be a bit short. As a result, it doesn’t cover the opening entirely, leaving a teeny-weeny gap just after the rearview mirror.    

Now, to wrap it up, the Ford Puma is one of those fun, everyday cars with plenty of character. I find it really surprising that it has taken nearly 25 years for someone to make it in 1:18 scale. Production of this model is limited to 3000 pieces. If you are somebody who is not opposed to the idea of sealed resin models and is fond of the subject matter, you will surely appreciate it. It may not be perfect and may lack the details you find on more expensive models, but for approximately $150 CAD, you are getting a fairly decent replica that will no doubt look great on the shelf. 

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7 Responses to "REVIEW: OttOmobile Ford Racing Puma"

  1. DS Team says:

    Thank you sir for the review. I was going to ask you why this particular model presents so much interest. You answered the question below. Yes, the budget can be double-underlined here, but as you noted what makes OttOmobile special is its not afraid of niche models. Like this one. Likely never to be seen in scale again.

    “The sole reason is that it is as unique a specimen as you can get. Since no other manufacturer makes the Puma, Otto was my only option. As a kid, I always aspired to be a car designer, and this was one of the cars that blew me away with its fun”

    • Scenic's View says:

      My pleasure! It’s the first and only Otto model in my collection. Yep, I made the exception to add it only because it’ll probably never be made again.

  2. SPhilli911 says:

    Always liked the Puma, it’s another one of the forbidden Fords we never got in the US. As for the model, I am one of those “budget” collectors who does not mind sealed resin models one bit, however, I do have 2 Otto models and both suffer from QC issues and I was shocked at the quality of the packing material used. Compared to the many GT Spirit models I have, the Ottos seem to be a bit lower in quality overall. I do still think they are great display pieces nonetheless, if the price is reasonable. Thanks for the review!

    • Scenic's View says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read the review. I agree, in terms of quality, GT Spirit is definitely better. I would anyday spend an extra few bucks on a GT Spirit model for better QC, packaging and details.

  3. spikyone says:

    Otto have made a mess of the shape of this, as they (and GT Spirit) often do. In profile, the rear is far too dumpy. Although it has a minimal rear overhang in reality, the overhang at the rear is bigger on the real car. The rear of the model is squashed. I think the wheels are oversized on the model too, so in the rear view you see far too much tyre. In fact, looking at the front wheel I’m sure the wheels are oversized and it contributes to a weird bonnet line (not enough metal above the wheel arch) and an undersized front overhang.
    I can’t work out if it’s just the camera angle but the rear lights look oversized in that view. I also think the quarterlight window is the wrong shape – getting the window lines and roof shape wrong is a common issue with GTS/Otto.

    As mentioned in the comment above the QC doesn’t look great either; that close-up photo of the headlight shows really poor fit. There’s a huge gap underneath it that you could fit your fingers in if you scaled it up.

    I will give them credit that this doesn’t suffer from the problem I see on most Otto/GTS models of the paint being too thick (often making them look like toys), but otherwise it’s a typical Otto. Every now and then they – or GT Spirit – release something that might interest me. And every time I see photos the execution puts me off.

    • Scenic's View says:

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts about the model. I compared pictures of the model to the real car and honestly, to me it looked pretty close. The lighting and camera angles can be deceptive. An additional light on the top would have helped in showing the shape better IMO.

      • spikyone says:

        There’s a profile photo at this link:

        The 4th one in the slideshow. It definitely shows how over-wheeled the model is and to me the model’s shape and proportions are noticeably wrong in your similar photo. As I say, it’s a common problem with Otto and GTS, I don’t know how they create their models but I’d put money on them not scanning the actual car because they get the shape wrong almost every time.

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