I rarely ever buy 1/18's, but when it’s a GT-R, I have to make amends. Done up by GTspirit, a company which I’m not familiar with at all, this is a resin model. Thus, no steering (doh!) or opening parts. The wheels don’t even rotate unless you apply a good amount of force. But as eye candy, it fits the role quite well. This marks my third high-end piece, after a pair of wild R33's, and it certainly does not disappoint. You really never go back to budget models after getting something of this level.
Limited to 1500 pieces as stated on the base, I have number 978. Not that production numbers matter to me, but the moment I found out this model was on the market, I had to get it quickly. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased an expensive diecast model (of any scale) on a whim like this before - normally it takes me a few days to decide. But in the past few months, I’ve been quietly searching for a nice R35 GT-R replica, any form or trim, in 1/18. AutoArt and Kyosho no longer make theirs; resale prices are through the roof, easily into the $200-300 range. I lost out on a couple of auctions for each. Just a few days ago, I found this and all problems were solved. Though I still would very much love to acquire AutoArt’s R35 SpecV in Ultimate Opal Black one day, this will keep my happy for a very long time.
How does it compare with my AutoArt and my Otto? I’d say somewhere in between. I definitely prefer diecast simply for the steering, which is actually very useful for photography. I would say the detail on this resin model is better than Otto’s. It has photo-etch badges which the Otto R33 does not have. The carbon-fiber work is impressive; the brakes are glorious. The plastic window inserts are still paper thin. While none of my 1/18's are devoid of quality issues, it’s not something that bothers me too much.
One thing that I really love about 1/18's, however, is that they’re sooo damn fun to photograph. Just something about them makes the photos look completely different than with 1/64's, even with my poor lighting which I really need to fix ASAP. All that detail and realism really comes out. After that, it kind of just sits there on the shelf collecting dust and I question why I ever bought it in the first place.
However, this one likely won’t just be sitting on the shelf for eternity. I’m in the process of building and designing this exact car in LEGO form, fully R/C and all. It’s a project that I started early on in the year and has been on-and-off at times. I’ve been using my little TLV NISMO GT-R to judge proportions when working on my project - I no longer need to do that as this is a much better “guide”. Just another excuse for me to spend big money on toy cars!