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!