Each Rolls-Royce Cullinan scale model is built to order with over 1,000 individual components and 450 hours of attention to detail
Scale model collection is a popular hobby among automotive enthusiasts. Based on the size or scale, the collection varies in terms of exclusivity, detail, features and price. For instance, one can buy an extremely rare 1:64 Hotwheels for around Rs 120-400 or a readily available 1:18 Bburago/Maisto product for more than 20 times this price. In the eyes of collectors, the former has more value.
In most cases, collectors stick onto just one scale and maybe a secondary Hotwheels collection. Mainstream scale model or die-cast brands (Maisto, Bburago, Welly, Road Signature, etc.) would be short of certain special cars. Meanwhile, these models would be available with more premium brands such as AUTOart, GTSpirit, Kyosho or Minichamps; thus making automotive miniatures an expensive hobby. The most sought-after scale remains 1:18 — anything smaller would be low on details while anything larger would be tough to store.
A good majority of OEMs also offer die-casts in their collectibles portfolio. As a prime example in India, Tata Motors introduced a 1:20 Tata Altroz model alongside the hatchback’s formal debut. However, none of these OEM scale models has hit headlines as Rolls-Royce’s new 1:18 scale Cullinan. Priced at $36,000 (~ Rs 28 lakh), it is one of the most extreme examples of an officially licensed collector’s item.
At this price point, though the scale model is a lot cheaper than the actual Cullinan (price in India is Rs 8.2 crore), the scale model is still more expensive than most of the brand new cars on sale in India, including the likes of Jeep Compass SUV.
Why so expensive?
Rolls-Royce states that each unit is built to order with over 1,000 individual components. In typical Rolls-Royce fashion, there are endless spec possibilities. Off the shelf, the limited-production scale model is available in Tungsten / Arctic White shade. As a whole, the package comes in an elegant display case with a removable perspex cover.
It takes around 450 hours for each model to be produced. In comparison, a real-deal Cullinan in the exact spec requires only about half this time. The models are hand-painted, polished and pinstriped with extreme precision. Interior material quality is almost identical to its actual avatar. Other highlights include opening doors and compartments, remote-operated LED lighting (exterior and interior) and immense attention to detail.
Still, from a collector’s perspective, the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan 1:8 scale model does not seem to be an ideal buy (regardless of the price). For starters, it is sized pretty much unconventionally and made complicated (and possibly unreliable for long-term storage) with electricals. If we had $36,000 put aside only to spend on scale models, we would opt the entire AUTOart range and build a mancave of our dreams.