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Friday, January 8, 2016

Welly 1:24 Mini Cooper S Paceman




There are SUV's that are practical, can carry loads of passenger's or cargo, and can go anywhere where the pavement ends.  Then there are SUV's that are designed more for the suburbs transporting kids around and hanging around shopping malls as the only time the four wheels are used is in inclement weather.  Then there are SUV's that pretend to be sports cars, like the BMW X6, the Range Rover Evoque 2-door, and now a Mini Cooper.  It's bad enough to see a Mini stretched to four doors and raised to look like an SUV than it is to see one dressed as a coupe with the same features minus two doors.  That is the Paceman, and this replica is pretty awesome!




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Colored in Brilliant Copper metallic this Paceman S by Welly is nicely-done, and while it has a few funny styling quirks it looks pretty sporty.  The front has large headlights with detailed projector beam and signal lights; in typical Mini fashion the headlights are mounted on the body instead of the hood when it opens.  The grille is N-shaped, the lower bumper has a grille with two scoops, foglights, and a Mini Paceman plate front and rear.  The sides show a typical Mini look with a white roof, white exterior mirrors that tend to sag down for some reason, and black trim that stretches around the vehicle.  The front fenders have a diagonal slot with the S logo in the center.  The windows are flush and while the sunroof is not as big as the Range Rover Evoque it still lets a good bit of light to come in.




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The rear has large taillights with chrome outer rim where I added the reverse lamps at the corners, PACEMAN and Mini badge on the tailgate (the latter is also the release handle for the rear hatch), lower C-pillars, and a lower black bumper with dual exhaust tips poking out.  It may seem a bit quirky at first, but with this amount of detail it looks great.  The double 5-spoke wheels are accurate to the real car and feature low-profile tires and detailed brake calipers behind them; the rear units seem to create drag on the rear wheels.  With today's aerodynamic underpinnings it's hard to see the good stuff underneath, but luckily there was some room to see the body structures, front lower control arm, rear link suspension, and exhaust system.  I added details to all the silver parts except the rear muffler where it is a separate piece that is already coated silver.  I do say I hate the manufacturer stickers that are added to the base (especially for BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles) that are really sticky and leave chrome dots behind.  The remedy is to use some Goo-Off to remove the sticky mess though do be careful as the stuff tends to eat away at plastic, so be careful.




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The hood opens up to reveal a treat: the S's 1.6L turbocharged DOHC I-4 that produces 181 hp.  The turbo is not afraid to show off as it is visible at the front of the motor even with the heat shield in the way.  The airbox at the back connects to the turbo at the front, with the hose from the intercooler to the throttle in the upper-left back corner of the engine.  The details are sublime, but Welly did an excellent job with the plastic cover over the valves, the coolant resovoir tank at the front, and the unibody frame structure that surrounds the engine.  I was disappointed for such a sporty vehicle with the turbo S engine to come away with the 6-speed automatic instead of the manual, but my usual fix was underway.  In fact, it was easy to do as all I had to add was a clutch pedal and detail the shifter, which already looks like a manual shifter, to make it look more like the 6-speed manual.  There, now it's sporty and fun!




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The doors open up to the usual Mini interior with the central large speedometer in the middle as a label with the navigation system in the middle showing off a map of some sort.  Fuel and temperature gauges are little yellow slashes just above and below the nav screen.  Below is the mini-badge radio and HVAC controls with lower toggle switches for the power windows and locks.  A/C vents are round and the center ones near the large speedo has a resembalance to the Mickey we all know from Disney; as does the shifter and cupholder area.  The driver gets a nice 3-spoke steering wheel and a tachometer with warning lights to get the needed information for such a performance trim vehicle.  I added silver touches to the glove box handles, shifter, steering wheel, buttons, and to the door panels that includes a sweeping oval shape that crosses over to the rear panel sections.  The seats are typical Mini support in the front with a single arm rest in the middle, while the rear seats are limited to two people, which in turn creates a nifty center silver bar that can allow Mini accessories to attach to the center bar.  Too bad the rear hatch does not open, but at least you don't have to worry about cargo room as the rear seats fold down and offer the same cargo area as the standard Mini Cooper S hatchback.






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Normally I would not go for this funky Mini variant, but the execution that is typical of Welly 1:24 scale models recently was too hard to ignore, and now with a manual shifter it adds more of a sporting flair to the S nameplate of the Mini line and the coolness factor to the Paceman SUV-sports-car-something.


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