Big things with little cars

Teutonic Tuesday: Martini Livery is the Best Livery

It’s been a couple weeks or so since I last got to play around with a brand new 1/18 toy, but it feels like forever. The short-lived wait is over, and I’ve got another one on my hands. Here is the Minichamps 1/18 Porsche 918 Spyder with Weissach Package, in the iconic Martini livery.

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Like I said, Martini livery is the best livery. I’ve never been a big racecar guy (which is why I didn’t opt for an actual racecar with this livery), but damn do I love the color scheme. That’s what prompted me to get one of these. The Porsche 918 is the most conservatively styled of the Holy Trinity, but it’s also got the cleanest design and is certainly a looker.

Just a few days ago, AUTOart announced that it will also be producing the 918 in various colorways, including this one as well as the black variant of the Martini livery. You can see the teaser photo on their Instagram @autoart_scale_models. The choice was between getting the Minichamps now versus waiting it out for the AA. The deciding factor was ultimately price. I was able to get this one in the $130's after shipping and tax. The AA will most likely cost $250+, which is more than what I’m currently willing to pay for any diecast piece not named the Nissan GT-R (R35) SpecV. I always stress quality over quantity, but I cheaped out on this one. Did I make the right call?

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Let’s just say it could be better. For the price, I’m not complaining, but it’s clearly a couple steps below any AUTOart or Kyosho for that matter. Detail-wise, it’s even a step below resin models from GT Spirit. I’ll just call Minichamps the diecast version of Otto. It looks good, even great, from the outside, but doesn’t have the fine attention to detail of its competitors.

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There are numerous areas where this model feels cheap. The grilles, front and rear, are all painted in. The badges are printed. Even the rear license plate is printed right onto the bumper, which isn’t the least bit realistic. I mean come on! This is a model that normally retails at around the $170-180 mark.

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I could go on.

The steering turns only halfway. The brake details are very basic. The lights have only a budget-brand level of detail. The roof panel that comes with the car is made of very cheap molded plastic. Some of the body panels are also plastic, such as the large chunk sweeping under the doors up to the roof. There’s no carpeting on the interior. I accidentally brushed my hand along the side of the car and snapped the wing mirror.

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I know this sounds like a rant, but honestly I’m not bummed about its shortcomings at all. There are areas where I feel like I’m looking at a Maisto, but take a step back and you’ll see it fits in just fine with other high-end 1/18 models. The car just looks right, from the wheels and stance to the body lines to the swooping red and blue stripes. If you’re looking for value and bang-for-your-buck, you won’t find it here. But if you like the 918 and you like the Martini racing livery, this could be one for you. It will be interesting to see how the AUTOart comes out. Who knows, I may even be tempted to get the black Martini version.

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