"Aston Martin calls it the Vanquish. We call it the Vanish."
- Q, Die Another Day (2002)
Sadly though, this beautiful 1/18 scale model by The Beanstalk Group does not come with an adaptive camouflage function. But it more than makes up for it in many ways. Welcome, everyone, to the special Q Branch-tuned Aston Martin V12 Vanquish.
Taking the car out of the box, you can immediately feel the heft of it. It is far more substantial than an AUTOart model, and feels as sturdy as a Maisto. The sleek bodywork catches your attention almost instantaneously. Never mind that some panel gaps are less than stellar, and that its paint is not as refined as that on a premium model- this is an Aston Martin! Now, this is not a premium model. This is made by "The Beanstalk Group", mainly to cash in on the film. As a result, some details are not done to millimetre-perfection. However, this is an impressive attempt for a mere "toy", and it shows.
Check out the proper British number plates, identical to the one found in the film. If you look closely, there are some small writings at the bottom, representing the Aston Martin dealership details. Fantastic. The lights are well-constructed, and mounting posts are well-hidden. The grilles at the front are not perforated, but they do have a party piece that will make you squeal with delight.
The tyres are thick - very thick. In fact, it seems a tad oversized. It would have been better with lower profile ones. The wheels, on the other hand, look amazing and lifelike. The cross-drilled rotors are a nice touch as well, although the calipers could have been made slightly larger.
Side signal indicators are painted, and the vent is merely a textured piece of plastic. The faux chrome bars are not properly aligned, and they seem to be peeling off.
General bodywork is above average. The actual V12 Vanquish is a beautiful beast; meaty yet elegant. This scaled representation has emulated it well. All the lines and curves are correct, and the Aston Martin "magic" is not lost.
The tail lights at the rear seem convincing at first glance, but begins to fall apart if you closely examine it. The red hue seems to be creeping in to the silver signal/reverse lights. Very odd.
On the upside, the chrome bar at the centre seems alright. Same goes for the number plate. The exhaust pipes are well-made, but my model shows some of the chrome paint peeling off. The left exhaust is noticeably lower than the right as well.
Opening the boot, you are greeted with flat plastic panels with no carpeting to speak of. However, you do find a small fire extinguisher tucked to the left corner. A nice touch, methinks.
At the rear left corner of the car, there is a small fuel cap. It is a separate piece, and has a chrome finish. The cap seems well-detailed, but cannot be opened.
Opening the door on the driver's side (operated via a dogleg hinge), we are greeted with an interesting interior. It is not carpeted. The materials used are entry-level, to put it nicely. The centre console, however, is highly detailed for a supposed toy, as is the steering wheel. There are also flappy paddles present, although they seem a tad too thick. The pedals, like the dashboard, seem plasticky but passable.
Opening the passenger door, we are greeted by a seemingly normal seat. Nothing strange h— what's that?
A small plastic lever is situated just by its side. Pushing it to the right will cause the seat to eject immediately, shooting through the roof literally. The seat, however, is not completely removable. But the roof is.
The mighty V12 engine is revealed once the bonnet is opened. It is well-replicated, and even comes with a plaque at the front, stating that it is handbuilt in England, and had passed a final inspection by an Aston Martin employee named Stuart Bull.
It is all standard affair until you pull the bonnet vents to the side and prop up the target-seeking shotguns. And at the flick of a switch, the missiles are now present. The missiles cannot be removed, but they can be seen clearly. The shotguns on the bonnet can be rotated around 180 degrees.
The shotguns are pieces of flexible pieces of rubber, but they do look passable. Again, this is a model meant to be played with, so realism is not of top priority.
This is clearly one heck of a model. I am amazed at how much detail this car is full of. It is not meant to be displayed, but I strongly disagree! It definitely feels at home next to the AAs and other high-end manufacturers. But if you insist on playing with it, by all means.
Prices are in the low to mid $100s on eBay right now, but I managed to snag this for approximate SGD$60, albeit second-hand. Still a relatively good value, as the car is quite rare to come by at the moment. Now I can picture some of you asking me,
"Do you expect me to pass on this model?"
No, my dear reader, I expect you to buy.