Diecast Delights:- THAT Aston Martin Vanquish in 1:18 Scale

There isn’t a huge amount that’s been left unsaid about Bond Cars, and The Internet is well stocked with information about every one of them. The model you see before you is a depiction of one of them, but I’m going to pretend it isn’t. I’m not really interested in having a model of James Bond’s Vanquish, I just wanted a model of A Vanquish. It also so happens that I think Die Another Day is one of the worst 007 films ever committed to celluloid.
So below is a review of a very affordable and really, really good model of an Aston Martin Vanquish. Bond be damned.

This is a model by a company called Beanstalk. As far as I can see, Beanstalk were basically a marketing firm who, somewhere around 2002 consulted with Ford to make promotional models. They produced four different 1:18 models; the Ford Thunderbird, Jaguar XKR and this Aston from Die Another Day, and the prototype Ford GT (which will be appearing in this slot before too long, Skaycog). Whatever happened to Beanstalk after this is lost to me, as far as I know they’re no longer around.
I can only vouch for the two I own, but you can judge for yourself just how good these models are. Feel free to click the pics to biggen ’em up.
The brake discs are drilled and the calipers fixed in place rather than rotating with them. The little tiny Aston Martin winged crest in the wheel centre is perfect and the wheel bolts are individually represented. The front grille is neatly detailed, albeit for the horizontal split (The lower half retracts to expose the four “missiles” when you flick a switch underneath).
The license plates are printed in the correct UK typeface and the front foglamp / driving light combination looks convincing, even down to the colour of the bulb.
The proportions are pretty much perfect. The effects of scale mean that the metallic finish of the original has translated into something closer to metalflake on the 1:18. And if I wanted to be a real fusspot (and I might as well be) I might say that the wheels look slightly undersized and the tyres a bit high-profile, but looking at pictures of the original there isn’t an enormous amount in it. It would be nice if the tyres could have been branded and sized, like quite a lot of Maisto and Bburago models manage, too.
Of course, we should remember that the stunt cars used in Die Another Day were actually essentially Vanquish shells mounted on Ford Explorer chassis, so there’s the ghost of a chance that the car Beanstalk took their measurements from wasn’t 100% Aston anyway. But I doubt it.
The underhood view is pretty special. There’s not much in the image above to tell you that you’re not looking at a 1:1 Vanquish. Full marks to Beanstalk for having gone to the trouble of adding the “Handbuilt In England” plinth on top of the air cleaner housing; this particular car was overseen during construction by Stuart Bull, or so it says.
Actually, a quick google around puts me in the opinion that the model engine bay actually looks more interesting than the full size one.
There’s a little golden “V12 Vanquish” plaque on the threshold into of the interior, its a beautiful detail even if the bolts holding it in place appear big enough to snag your trousers on in a manner most unbecoming of an MI6 agent.
The interior itself lives up to the promise of the engine compartment. Every detail you could want to see is evident. The HVAC and Hi-Fi controls are all there, and look to be correct. The big red start button is prominent, as is the little analogue clock above it, complete with an accurate face (though I can’t read the time off it). The instrument cluster is fully detailed and the two-tone leather of the steering wheel is replicated.
Beenstalk have even gone to the effort of recreating the quilted roof lining material.
That roof, by the way, can be deployed when the ejector seat is activated (there’s a concealed button by the passenger seat). Also unpictured, the vents atop the hood pivot out of the way to allow for the machine guns to pop through, and there are those missiles in the front grille. The car has spring suspension all round, although the active springs are concealed and a reproduction of the actual Vanquish suspension system is shown instead. The front wheels steer, naturally.
My guess is that these models are going to become scarce and increase in value. I’ve been told that, around ten years ago Beanstalk 007 Vanquishes were being cleared out through KB Toys for like $20 to $30 each. A look on eBay shows that they do get sold from time to time for that little money. Mine was a particular bargain, the seller informed me before sending it out to me that one of the mirrors had broken off; fixing it was a 15 second job.
Taking into account the question marks about the wheel / tyre / stance relationship, I am forced to have to drop the Beanstalk Vanquish’s score down to 85%, but it surely wins extra credit for the fact that this model was originally sold for such a low price for a model with so much detail.
(All images copyright 2015 Chris Haining / Hooniverse)

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  1. Rover_1 Avatar

    One I've got. There were a lot of these around. For true collectability it really needs to be paired with the villains XK8.
    <img src="http://media.voiture-miniature.com/images_miniatures/139680.jpg"width="450"&gt;
    And both kept mint, boxed.

  2. Rover_1 Avatar

    And the theme of a more prosaic Ford basis has been proceeded with, with some alacrity, for those who think 1:18 replicas are too small. http://www.autoblog.com/2008/01/10/mustang-based-
    And even better, not just any Vanquish but the one modelled here. http://www.exclusivemotorcars.ca/index.html
    And these people can even put in the real V12, (although the stunt cars in the movie were Ford V8 powered.) http://www.amcarguide.com/custom/vanquishd-pony-c
    <img src="http://www.exclusivemotorcars.ca/wallpaperoutside_43.jpg&quot; width="620">
    And if that's not enough, there's this, based on an XK8 http://www.wickedmotorworks.com/cardetails.php?ca
    <img src="http://www.wickedmotorworks.com/thumbs/940×500/img/1531_IMG_9202.JPG&quot; width="500">
    <img src="http://www.kitcars.com//Classifieds/Pictures/20292-5.jpg&quot; width="500">
    <img src="http://www.kitcars.com//Classifieds/Pictures/20292-7.jpg&quot; width="500">

  3. Maymar Avatar

    <img src="http://photos.ecarlist.com/1x/F9/92/Ra/kO/Yx/ta/41/1l/9t/PA_800.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>
    Well, looks like Stuart Bull was absolutely a real Aston Martin employee, so that's pretty neat.

  4. Manic_King Avatar

    That's one impressive model and it gets 85%… Waiting to see what else do you have, maybe Ford GT gets even more points. Amazing bang for the buck, these Beanstalk cars. I don't think Bburago ever managed that high quality, for example.

  5. krazykarguy Avatar

    It's a beautiful model let down by the wrong size metalflake in the paint…