REVIEW: TopSpeed Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake • DiecastSociety.com

REVIEW: TopSpeed Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake

It’s no secret that resin cars are flooding the scale model market with successful entries from model manufacturers like BBR, MR, and TopSpeed. Resin has gained popularity for several reasons that are important to those of us who like to display our collection. The primary benefit of a resin model car is that they display better compared to traditional diecast metal. Resin models are sealed so there’s no reason to worry about panel gaps ruining the lines of the car. The paint has a higher gloss on resin and these models are more detailed overall. All of us know every collector wants the highest level of detail they can get in a model.

So after seeing more and more resin models on scale model reseller website Diecast Models Wholesale, I decided to get one and see what the fuss is about. Soon after, my $150 1/18 TopSpeed Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake arrived. Now I understand why resin models are getting all the hype! The Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake looks stunning from all angles, and TopSpeed did a great job recreating it.

Nothing makes a stronger initial impression on this consumer than product packaging. In the case of the Shooting Brake, the packaging is some of the best I’ve seen yet. I’d go so far as to say that it is second only to AUTOart’s Signature line One-77. It is elegantly minimal with well-thought-out branding. The very nice extra touch of packaging the car’s box in a light plastic bag pleased me. That is great for those of us who like to save the model’s original boxing.

Upon initial visual examination, I found the detail to be immaculate. Almost all of the carbon fibre is consistent and realistic, the vents and exhaust have the depth to them, and the shut lines are perfect. Resin models usually have no opening parts, such as doors, hoods, and trunk lid, because the body is often formed in one mould. No openings mean no gaps and that makes it easy for the paint to fill in and dry smoothly. Luckily, that didn’t happen with this model. TopSpeed knocked it out of the park with this casting. The Lava Red paint is very consistent, with no orange peel. I must say, the two-tone paint job looks fantastic, with carbon fibre accents matching the black roof. Well done, TopSpeed.

Beginning my exterior look-around with the nose of the car as always, the carbon fibre splitter is as authentic as it gets on a model. The grille also is moulded superbly. I’m surprised at how well this car pulls off such a large grille. On the hood, the carbon fibre continues with two large air vents. My favourite part about this car is the choice of wheels. The gold and dark grey five spokes compliment the red paint very nicely. The wheels face straight and are fixed in a perfectly upright position. Other than a few minor imperfections that I will elaborate on in a new section lower in this review, the reproduction is solid. One of the best at this price that I have seen.

I couldn’t get a super-close-up examination of the interior because the doors don’t open, but my view through the windshield and side windows show that TopSpeed worked wonders with the interior. The seats look spectacular, with Z’s covering most of the seating area as well as the door sills. The brown “leather” interior is fabulous with carbon fibre accents.

Given the slightly messy painting on the center console, my positive thinking assumption is that it was hand-painted. If my assumption is correct, I applaud TopSpeed for going the extra step. If not, it could have been done cleaner. And last, to tie everything nicely together, the center console buttons are labelled clearly and neatly.

As you can probably tell by now, I am a detail-oriented guy and I look at all of them, big and small, in my reviews. Here are a few of the fine details that if corrected would make this Shooting Brake nearly perfect.

Unboxing: I would have liked an actual base plate for the car to rest on such as those provided by other resin brands such as BBR and Fronti-Art. Yes, models by those manufacturers can cost more than double the $150 spent on this Shooting Brake, but still.

Paint: Love the paint finish on the resin but upon close inspection, I found a small air bubble on the hood. Nothing I can’t Photoshop out, but knowing it’s there irritates me. What can I say?

Wheels: Not all the Shooting Brake’s wheels touch the ground which I found odd. I figured something may have gone awry during the drying of the mould. Additionally, the Aston Martin wings on the center caps aren’t straight. That bums me out because the wheels are in a fixed position.

Carbon fibre: You know how much I like carbon fibre. Unfortunately, the carbon fibre above the left-side exhaust looks “warped” as if it didn’t dry correctly.

Badges: Unlike the metal-plated logo on the hood, the Aston Martin wings badge on the back of the car is merely a sticker.

Interior: My only main complaint is about the gauges. Even though the car is sealed, I could still tell that they look like they came directly from a low-end Bburago. Nothing against Bburago, I’m just pointing out that this car deserved better.

$150 is a lot of money for sure. And as a diecast metal fan, I still consider resin to be the “dark side” of 1:18s. But I’ve got to say, this model is astounding. Sure, there are a lot of small things I would change if I could but as a display model, it’s pretty darn good. Plus, at the risk of getting crucified by your comments, it’s a shooting brake which I believe is the best body style! All in all, I recommend this model to both resin and diecast collectors alike. It is still available in this shooting brake body style, and as a convertible in black. Get it while you still can!

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18 Responses to "REVIEW: TopSpeed Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake"

  1. Aaron says:

    On the contrary, I prefer the beauty of opening parts and rolling/steering wheels. In my personal opinion, resin is not for me. All this sealed/resin nonsense is at least saving me money

  2. DS Team says:

    Young Jedi, thanks for your review, passion and enthusiasm. Love the images! But we need to disagree, TopSpeed is average at times below average for those playing in the resin and static replicas. They label themselves a “premium” resin brand but they continually fall short on important details such as using perforated grilles as opposed to solid plastic, which today is a continued theme. And that interior dash, OMG how does that pass QC?

    “I would have liked an actual base plate for the car to rest on such as those provided by other resin brands such as BBR and Fronti-Art. Yes, models by those manufacturers can cost more than double the $150 spent on this Shooting Brake, but still.”

    If you know the brand, they started with an applicable base initially and carried this for the first couple of years. We, DS, championed them to remove such filter from day one and take their saving and incorporate a more complete model. Well, they eventually did but the saving did not translate into a more refined model as your example shows here.

    • Mason Bloom says:

      Haha, thank you. And now that you point these out, you’re correct for sure. OttO has some great offerings, maybe I’ll try one out to compare and contrast!

      • DS Team says:

        I think you need to research the brands and evaluate resin overall – low to high-end; TopSpeed cannot be considered in the same tone as MR or BBR. But these niche brands cost considerably more. If you have questions, you know where to reach us.

        OttOmobile is a great brand for budget concise collectors, about 59 Euros a piece, 50% less than TS. They also touch the rare and obscure, something most on brands and especially diecast metal with full access would not, it’s too niche!

        • Mason Bloom says:

          Yes, when looking at higher quality brands like BBR or even Spark sometimes, TopSpeed is at the low end of the scale. OttO has the best selection in my opinion. Nevertheless my knowledge of diecast metal models far exceeds that of resin…

          • spikyone says:

            I know a lot of people like Otto but I would not recommend them. They often get the shape of the cars badly wrong, and the paint is almost always too thick, so you don’t get the sharply-defined panel gaps that you should with resin. Same goes for GT Spirit. Yes, they make models that no-one else will but I just can’t bring myself to buy one.

    • Eric Rossignol says:

      Totally agree with that. Despite being great at first sight, many TopSpeed models have some serious quality issues.
      For instance, and striclty speaking about their Aston Martin range :
      The internal rearview mirror is missing on the all of their 1/18 AM DBS Superlegerra (yes, simply MISSING !) . Their break calipers are constantly missaligned or badly positionned. Thanks god, their wheels are not supposed to turn as TSM do not seem to be able to machine a straight axis. Internal paint job and decoration are usually average, safety belts are nowhere to be seen, and some parts are badly glued. Having said that, and from a distance, their models usually shine. Proportions are very good, extrenal paint schemes and application are usually great. Rim renditions are above average in most cases. I also see some improvment on recent AM models such as the DBX and the V8 Vantage, the finishing level seems higher to me.
      One personal thought to conclude :
      I do not agree with their decision to get rid of bases, though. I know it’s been said many times on the very website how coslty and useless they seems to be. I think bases participate in the differentiation between scale models, meanted to be exposed, and toys. This diffentiation is also ported by the fact that the models are sealed, as opposed to toys that can be played with, opening the doors, the boot and so on.
      Resin sealed models force to concentrate on the lines and shape of the model, not on the mecanic. That is why I tend to think that sealed models are for “design lovers” and open models for “car lovers”. Both being highty respectable, of course. There are place for everyone…

  3. jason says:

    Hi Mason, nice review. You mentioned the wheels not turning. I own multiple resin cars and what they do is hot glue the wheels. I don’t know why. You can get the wheels to turn. You just have to carefully tun them to break the hold of the glue. Both wheels are connected by a metal rod, so it is bst if you turn both at the same time. I have done it on every resin car I have so I can position them where I want them.

  4. Aston says:

    Decent money for a plastic blank with an awful interior and crooked wheels? This is complete nonsense. In addition, the very controversial design of the car itself does not cause the desire to buy (although I really love the “Aston Martin”).

  5. Aston says:

    We can talk about the quality of plastic Autoart models, but the prices for them are completely stupid. Where is the modeling business heading ?????

  6. Veneno says:

    Lovely model, been thinking about getting one, thanks for the review.

  7. SamtheCat says:

    I already disagreed greatly on your praise about the “high quality” of the Minichamps Porsche 956k and decided not to say anything, but I like the real Zagato too much not to intervene here. So I’m going to speak both as an Aston Martin fan, and a resin and diecast collector.

    “The primary benefit of a resin model car is that they display better compared to traditional diecast metal.” Well, not necessarily. If we compare an Ignition with a Bburago, sure, but my Autoart Aventador LB Works displays waaay better than my GT Spirit Aventador LB Works, and I have them both side by side.

     “Resin models are sealed so there’s no reason to worry about panel gaps ruining the lines of the car.” While I agree that some models have horrendous panel gaps, most resin models, and what’s worse, many high-end brands, do not apply any kind of paneling to their shutlines so in the end they end up looking like uniform blobs where you can’t discern where the doors or hood are, thus depriving the model from a certain amount of detail. This is a little bit the case with the Aston. Ignition does paneling, and I’ve started to do it on my otto and gt spirit, and the jump in quality and displayability is outstanding.

    ” The paint has a higher gloss on resin and these models are more detailed overall.” With the paint again it depends. Autoart’s paint is amazing most of the times. My LCD red huayra has a beautiful shade of almost candy red that faithfully replicates the real car. Resin cars should have all amazing paint since they don’t offer much more, and many times do, but then you see examples like the silver paint for Otto/GT Spirit and… Plus, “resin models are more detailed overall”…where? By having blind grilles, air intakes, outlets, etc? By not showing the engine, and when they do, many times it’s just below old-Bburago quality?

    ” The wheels face straight and are fixed in a perfectly upright position. ” So why is one of them not touching the ground? Plus they should have a little bit of negative camber, and actually in your pics they seem to have POSITIVE camber. Ugh. And don’t get me started on the rock-crawler ride height, when you see this car in real life something that strikes you is how low it is to the ground.

    ” Given the slightly messy painting on the center console, my positive thinking assumption is that it was hand-painted. If my assumption is correct, I applaud TopSpeed for going the extra step.” So you would applaud them for doing a messy job? How is making something by hand better if the results are worse? And let’s talk about the bubbles on the decal around the large knobs, making it float. Or how the decal is warped on the sides making it coke-bottle shaped instead of straight against the leather wall?

    ” the carbon fibre splitter is as authentic as it gets on a model.” So we’re ignoring the wrinkles and how at its price range it should be clear coated and shinny? 

    ” I’m surprised at how well this car pulls off such a large grille” Ehhhh…. And are the day running lights just two white decals?

    ” My favourite part about this car is the choice of wheels” Yes, they’re my favourite wheels for the Zagatos too, but they have less definition than a low-budget brand wheel, and oh god the tire fitment against the rim.

    I’ll also add that the air outlet behind the front wheel, and the almost golden blade with the Z, such an iconic part of the car, is horrendous and lacking definition.

    Plus, I agree with the DS Team opinion about the base. Some brands should either apply the cost of a base that many times the car would be taken out off on either more detail, or making the cars cheaper. And I’m looking at you, Top Marques. 

    • Mason Bloom says:

      Fair points, as I said in a reply higher up in the comments section my resin knowledge is not the best.
      For these being better for display, it really comes down to the manufacturer. AUTOart has some great models for display, but something like their Vulcan that I have has poor shut lines.

      As for the shut lines, again some manufacturers do, some don’t, and some make a small amount of effort. When I said that the wheels are straight and upright, I mean the first of the five spokes is pointing up, etc. There is no positive camber, though at the same time not enough negative camber as well.

      Yes, the center console paint is not anywhere near what it should be. Think of it like this: on an actual car, Bentley hand stitches all the leather. Therefore the stitching isn’t straight. People will prefer crooked hand stitching because the company went the extra mile to hand stitch the leather. That is what I meant here, assuming IT IS hand painted.

      Last, for the carbon fiber, mind you I have a camera that is far from “professional” like what you’d find with the DS Team’s LCD vs AUTOart Huayra article. The flash that I have mounted to the camera makes the carbon fiber look matte rather than glossy. I can assure you it is glossy!

      Thank you for taking the time to read the article. I don’t mean for this comment to sound passive aggressive, I always like talking with other diecast collectors!

      • DS Team says:

        “professional” like what you’d find with the DS Team’s LCD vs AUTOart Huayra article”

        LOL, we truly don’t know what we’re doing, lens guy has never taken a camera course. All trial and error LOL!

        • Tippertruck72 says:

          You guys from DS Team, no matter what your actual experience behind a camera is, you end up with great results! And we all benefit from that. Thank you for your investments to the hobby.

      • Tippertruck72 says:

        Hi Mason,

        Even though I have to agree with most of the comments from Samthecat, I think reading your review and looking/analysing the photos is interesting, and very informative. I welcome your passion, energy and efforts invested in this hobby, and look forward for your next review. We all grow by sharing our point of views and experiences, and as a side effect, raise our consciousness.

    • spikyone says:

      I wouldn’t compare AA with Otto/GT Spirit though. I’d compare Maisto/Bburago with those resin brands, I don’t think Otto/GTS are a very good benchmark. IMO they’re cheap and you don’t even get what you pay for.

      For blind grilles etc, take a look at something like a Spark, they’re perforated all over the place and usually have something behind them. It needs to be a comparison of an equivalent resin with a diecast, not cheap resin vs. AA. I get that AA are ridiculously cheap in the US, but for the rest of the world even the cheapest are north of €200 nowadays and you can get very nice resin models for that money. It really isn’t as simple as “pick a random diecast and compare it to a random resin”; there are good and bad in both materials.

      Incidentally, I thought the LB Aventadors were composite rather than diecast, so they should have an advantage in terms of sharpness and panel gaps vs. diecast (objectively speaking, from an engineering perspective).

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