Diecast Model Review: AutoArt 1/18 991 911 GT3RSin Miami Blue
I've done a few quick 'rundown' reviews of models in my collection in the past as Instagram posts, but thought it's time so start using my collection for more than just reference material in my artwork! So here's the first in what may become a series of reviews of models that cross my desk.
EXTERIOR / PAINT
The biggest bone of contention (other than the rear wheel concavity) when Autoart announced their colors was the color accuracy of the Miami Blue paint version. This is far and away my favorite color of any 991.1 GT3RS, so I had pre-ordered it many months ago. However when photos were released of it, I was sad to see that Autoart had seemingly missed the mark by a wide margin in color accuracy. See below:
Porsche-nerds are nothing if not sticklers for accuracy. Autoart has been VERY responsive these days on their Facebook pages (yes they have two) though, and when poked vigorously about the color accuracy of Miami, they mentioned that Porsche had 'okayed' the color, and it was matched to a swatch provided by them. Having first-hand experienced Porsche's excellent reputation for accuracy, this calmed some of my worries about throwing down $200+ hard earned Canuckistan rubles for a model like this.
I'm happy to report after receiving the model that the color is quite accurate to Miami blue... in person. The issues were with either the pre-production sample used, or more likely the near-impossibility of cameras to capture Miami blue properly. Miami blue is a notoriously difficult color to photograph as it changes from a more pure blue to a blue-green as the paint goes from bright daylight into shade. Just Google it, and you'll see a seemingly endless spectrum of slightly different blues. My photos were shot in bright sunlight, so I was frustrated when I brought the model inside to assemble this review and comparing my images to the model on my desk, they all looked 'off'. I spent significant time re-touching the colors on a calibrated monitor, and still found it near impossible to match perfectly. In person the blue shows a bit darker, and with more green. Especially in shade. My bright daylight photos washed a lot of the green out of the paint that is especially apparent in shade. Just trust me, it looks beautiful and matches Miami blue in real life right down to the annoying inability to capture it.
Alright, color discussion over! I'm also happy to report that by most accounts this is one of, if not the most, accurate 991.1 GT3RS models available. Body proportions, wheels, gap & tire proportions, all present better than the GT Spirit, Minichamps in person, and possibly even the Spark renditions of the car. Shut lines are great with the exception of the leading edge of the door, but it's not distracting.
Since it's a composite model, body creases are quite sharp where they need to be also. There are nice badging details across the car, and the grilles both up front, out back, and in the trademark fender vents are all beautifully reproduced.
Other exterior elements like windows, lights, wipers, wing struts, mirrors, tires and wheels are all nicely detailed to my eye.
The Michelin sidewall is a decal/tampo so I'm not sure how long it will last though. The brakes are the red caliper steel variant on the Miami blue car. While other colors do get the yellow PCCB calipers, it seems an odd choice to put red on the blue car, when yellow calipers would have looked much nicer against the blue paint. Personal choice I guess.
The interior of the car is adequate, but not the best I've seen Autoart turn out by any measure. Even opening the passenger door is a stressful affair, the door handles don't feel like they'll stand up to much interaction so definitely use the provided plastic pick to carefully pry the doors open! Composite body models definitely do not provide the same interactive feel that metal ones do.
Seats are quite good, although the seat belts are rubber not fabric it's not a big issue on the Miami car since they're black rather than a bright red or yellow. In most photos I'd seen the gear lever looked rather comically phallic but in reality it's not that silly looking. It's actually quite accurate. The centre console, chrono, gauge cluster and roll cage all present well, and there's even some nice GT3RS badging detail visible through the rear window where the seats would divide on a non-RS model 911.
The engine bay is as detailed as it would be expected, but there are some annoyingly visible glue marks on the upper edge of it where the rear window is held in place. This is one of the only glaring issues on an otherwise excellent model. Autoart has even gone the extra mile and included magnets to hold the now-very-light-composite hood and trunk closed.
I keep my diecasts on the shelf to enjoy - I rarely pull them out to poke around them so for me my primary concern is the overall proportion and accuracy of the exterior. In that regard, Autoart yet again has beaten their competition. Try as fans might to poo-poo Autoart, there isn't another brand who can create a model as tightly put together as this, at this price point. It's a difficult thing to consistently turn out products at this caliber, and I applaud Autoart for not sacrificing quality in order to get a product to market first. Here's a snapshot compared to the Almost Real 991.1 GT3 in Birch Green.
This model may not appreciate as much in the future as many other more limited or esoteric types, but it's one that a true 911 lover will be able to enjoy and come back to and be consistently surprised and impressed by the 'feel' of the model. It's a great buy at MSRP and I'd leap on it since I have a feeling they may sell out quickly...