Diecast Delights: A BMW M635CSi in 1/18th Scale

You can come back now. Those of you who were mortified by the sinister direction in which Diecast Delights turned with the Cadillac Escalade review the other week can relax.
We’re back to cars, and nice ones at that for a little while, starting with this one. It’s an AutoArt E24 M635 CSI, and not only is it one of the nicest models in my collection but it’s also probably one of the nicest items I own, and probably ever will.
Some of you have owned 1:1 scale E24s and survived to tell the tale. When I bought this model back in 2006 I was still in full time employment at a BMW dealership, and even in an environment where crazy deals can be had on parts and labour, I was frequently reminded that running an old 6-series as a daily driver is the preserve of the brave, patient and financially flexible.
A long, lingering, lusting glance is received by every E24 that happens to pass me in the street, but I know in my heart that I’ll never own one. It’s just one of those things I have to accept on a daily basis. A 635CSi deserves somebody to look after it who will lavish it with car and attention and not seek ownership short-cuts.
So I bought the model through our Parts and Accessories department. Got a good deal, naturally, and every now and again I’ll get it out and fondle it with an age-related 6-series brochure from The Carchive open on my lap. Perfectly normal behaviour.
As you see, it’s a lovely thing to behold. Since then AutoArt have made leaps still further towards hyper-realism and their retail prices have soared way beyond my reach, but this E24 is surely as good a rendition as anybody really needs.
The proportions are impeccable and the shark-nose snarl is captured perfectly. The headlamps look deep, full of life and ready to hi-beam the next dawdling mortal out of the way in the fast lane. The foglamps, too, which are treated by most E24 drivers as daytime running lights if my observations are accurate, look great.
Tilt the hood forward and that legendary race-bred six-cylinder mill visually erupts in your face. If we’re picking at nits (let’s) we could say that the moulded-in wiring for the plugs and that harness that runs across the manifold is a bit crude, but at least everything is where it should be.
Otherwise, the blue-lidded fuse and relay box, the suspension strut tops and a host of other details are faithfully denoted.
Likewise the luggage compartment. It’s richly carpeted and the comprehensive BMW first-aid kit is in place and legibly labelled. A couple of points are knocked off here by the dog-legs on which the lid hinges, they’re a bit crude and clunky (though they work well enough).
If anywhere is going to drop this model’s score it’s the interior, and then only if we’re hyper critical. The accuracy is pretty much spot on. Dials, buttons, controls, all are accurate and well placed. Carpet is laid (and laid well), they’ve even included the footrest to the left of the pedals.
The only criticism is the plastic its all made of, which sadly fails to reflect BMW quality on any visual level. It’s all too thin and shiny-looking. And yeah, I know this is the harshest of harsh criticism- put simply it’s pretty much all that stops this model being perfect.
OK, I don’t mean perfect, I mean perfectly good. If this line of models was to be re-released AutoArt would probably make tiny incremental improvements and I’d like to think the a change in the interior plastics could be a priority. Of course, if the E24 was to be relaunched it would cost $$$. I’ve just looked at the completed listings on eBay and immediately burst into fits of barely controllable laughter as the values these models currently command are enough for me to retire on with immediate effect.
Bye, then.
Oh, 95%.
(All images copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2015)

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  1. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    You could always get the 1:18 Group A racer with the paint job to remind all BMW drivers that their car is but the first step in a long series of buying other things branded BMW.
    I particularly recall the real versions of these being beaten by the Walkinshaw Rover SD1s of which there is inexplicably no 1:18 model available, but for which their seems to be some demand. http://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=110805&page=2

  2. stigshift Avatar

    Beautifully detailed, except for the metallic flakes in the paint. Looks like it was shot with actual automotive paint. The metallic chunks look 18 times too large.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      You know,I actually meant to mention that in the review but totally forgot. You’re right, though, looks like some groovy ’70s Metalflake finish.

  3. Rocky McCoy Avatar

    Nice model. BTW, your series on diecasts has corrupted me fully. As of today, I’m over 80-vehicles into the 1:43 scale universe. Damn the e-that-is-Bay for making it so easy. I did try a couple of 1:18’s (by Norev and SunStar), but found them too big to play with, take up too much space and cost a bit (but not too much) more.

  4. wisc47 Avatar

    Every once in a while TouchOfModern has AUTOArt models at a considerable discount, something like $40 off retail. There was some pretty tempting stuff the last I checked but ultimately, even at the discounted price I just couldn’t justify it. Now, had they discounted their Alfa Tipo 33 it would’ve been an entirely different story. I’d snatch that thing up and keep it at my desk for inspiration.