1:18 Avanstyle Nissan GT-R R35 Nismo Review

Categories Models, Scale Model and Accessory Reviews

The Nissan GT-R R35 NISMO was introduced for the 2015 model year. Power was upped from 542bhp and 466lb ft to 591bhp and 481lb ft. Amazingly, the boffins at Nissan managed to reduce the 0-62MPH time to just 2.7 seconds which would give supercars two or three times the price a run for their money! In terms of hardware changes, additional front and rear brake cooling ducts as well as a full carbon boot lid and wing make an appearance – at 186mph the NISMO develops an extra 100kg of downforce! New forged 20 inch alloys are included and a new carbon front splitter at the front complete the NISMO aerodynamic package. On the inside, there are new black and red Alcantara covered seats, while the same material adorns the instrument binnacle and steering wheel as well. NISMO specific options are matte gray paint and a full titanium exhaust. In total, these changes reduce weight by 20kgs which along with the increased power, explains why it accelerates even faster than before!!

This Brilliant White Pearl 1:18 Nissan GT-R R35 NISMO is manufactured by Avanstyle, who are a sub-division of Frontiart – purveyors of fine looking opening and sealed models of various sizes (check out their 1:8 Koenigsegg One:1 and you’d want to sell an organ or one of your kids to have such a model in your collection!). This is my first model from either brand and not many Avanstyle models have been released as of yet, so we’ll start by looking at the model’s packaging.

The outer box is rather suave looking and has a lovely almost diamond-stitched like effect going on with the Avanstyle branding embossed in silver. When you lift the top part of the box off, you are greeted with the model inside an acrylic display case, which I find to be a really nice touch and elevates it a step above the rest in this respect.

Removing the acrylic cover we can get a closer look at the faux-carbon weave display base with contrast red stitching around the border. I’m a sucker for a limited edition model, and this one has an engraved plaque stuck to the base showing it is one of 500 produced. I believe there are three further colours produced – Dark Matte Grey and Ultimate Metal Silver, each produced in limited quantities of 399 apiece and Meteor Flake Black Pearl which is limited to just 200 pieces.

Like the Top Marques Lykan Hypersport I recently reviewed, the NISMO is attached to the base with 4 large screws with spacers. There isn’t much going on underneath the model, just the 4 screw holes, Avanstyle branding and a load of carbon.

Looking at the model itself now and I think the white paint contrasts really well with the carbon trim and rear wing. I particularly like the red accent that goes around the entire car. I bought this model about a week before GT Spirit announced their own resin effort and at first I was a bit gutted, because this model is at least twice the price of the GT Spirit version. Although I haven’t seen that one in the flesh, I have seen plenty of pictures and own a fair few of their models and the fit and finish is good for the price, but certainly not perfect (I have sent back many a GTS model due to excess glue blobs and paint issues, particularly on the finer details like the window surrounds) and I can say that apart from one flaw I will point out later on the rear wing, this model is fantastic – the paint is even all around, with no edges being missed out. There is no excess glue and the panel gaps look dark enough that you actually wonder if it might open for a split second! This is a really positive first impression for their first model in my collection. I am certainly looking forward to adding their upcoming sealed Koenigsegg Regera from the Avanstyle range.

The model has a mixture of photoetched badges and decals dotted around the body and I must say they look perfectly fine to me. The photoetched badges in particular are thick enough to look 3D without looking out of scale.

The lights have a real sense of depth and layers to them and you can see all the individual LEDs inside. The LED daytime running lights are also clearly visible and cut into the front bumper really aggressively. The NISMO just looks so much meaner than the standard GT-R and I love it!

Another thing you don’t generally get on a GT Spirit model is real mesh. Don’t worry, Frontiart’s version has it in all the right places! Bask in the detail here – you can actually see right through the cooling ducts to the front bumper – it is details like this that make me happy I went for this over the GT Spirit version. One of my favourite features on the NISMO version of the GT-R is the extra cooling with red accent as shown below – I’m not sure why, but it just seems to do it for me and Frontiart has replicated it well. Again, you can see the front grilles aren’t a solid affair and add to the realism of the model.

There is yet more mesh at the back, just above the exhaust tips. One trick they missed here was that the exhausts are silver all the way through. It would have been nice if Frontiart had painted the inside black to add that sense of depth that they’ve provided elsewhere on the model – not major, but a gripe nonetheless. You can also see the carbon work on the rear bumper and side plates of the rear wing. Elsewhere on the model the carbon is nice and glossy and even, but here it just looks odd. Having checked some pictures of the real car for reference, this is definitely a mistake which is a shame.

Now onto the wheels and don’t they just look phenomenal?!?! The rims are a lovely gloss black with cross drilled discs behind and golden calipers. All the lettering and badges are present and correct – gosh these look so real! If you look close enough, you’ll see that the holes in the discs have been counter-sunk and not just drilled through. Excellent work Frontiart!!

Two huge brownie points for Frontiart are the Dunlop branded lettering on the tyres (a bit faint, but I’ll let it slide) and the inclusion of an air valve – yay!

Other external features such as the side and bonnet vents, red accented wing mirrors and door handles are all nicely done.

If you ask me, the heating elements on the rear window are way too thick and pronounced which does detract from the model ever so slightly, but I guess we should be grateful they included them at all? The little aero flick above and behind the front wheels is another design feature I really like and I should point out that the paint is also flawless here – I’ve seen other models struggle with paint thickness in areas such as this.

Until the recently announced 2017 model year R35, I found the interior to be quite boring on the GT-R. Luckily the NISMO adds a bit of flair in the form of red seats and red stitching around the cabin. Frontiart reproduced this well right down to the air vents. The only minor gripe is the mould line visible on the steering wheel. All buttons and controls are visible, as well as the speedometer etc. behind the steering wheel.

The red and black sports seats look great and the added NISMO branding on the headrest looks spot on.

The highlight of the interior for me is the contrast red stitching throughout and Frontiart have truly delivered in this area – it is pretty much perfectly uniform all around! It looks so good and I especially like the detail on the door handle and the red push to start button.

Like I said, I’ve not seen GT Spirit’s NISMO effort in the flesh, but based on what I have seen I’d say it is good enough for anyone looking to get their hands on this particular car. Now that I actually own this model, I’m very very happy that I do and I think the detail pictures speak for themselves – I guess the deciding factor here would be price for the vast majority of collectors. The GT-R and Skyline before it hold such an important place in collecto’s hearts, so I’m just glad there is choice……although an opening version wouldn’t go amiss either!

Thanks for taking the time to read this review – I hope you enjoyed it.


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