Land Rover Defender

Made By:
Packaging (Design):6/10
Packaging (Durability):7/10
Casting (Body):8/10
Casting (Interior):8/10
Casting (Chassis):8/10
Casting (Engine):7/10
Paint (Exterior):8/10
Paint (Interior):N/A
Paint (Trim/Graphics):5/10
Overall Panel Fit:8/10
Total Score:7.2/10

Buy this car at eBay
Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender Packaging Land Rover Defender Rear Badge Land Rover Defender Dashboard Land Rover Defender Engine Land Rover Defender Underside Land Rover Defender Rear

Buy this car at eBay


Schuco uses a very "bare bones" window box, primarily gray and red. The only text is the Schuco logo on the top and front, the web address on one end flap, and the legal information on the bottom. A 4-wall cardboard tray fits tightly against the inside of the box, creating plain gray interior walls. The Land Rover is held to the tray with two screws, and a plastic blister is fit over both ends of the vehicle. The doors and hood are held closed with clear round stickers.



Generally nice work. The flat panels that make up the sides and roof can be pretty unforgiving, but I see no evidence of sink marks, ripples, or other body imperfections that are likely to show up. There is little fine detail work (also true of the 1:1), but components like the windshield wipers, side view mirrors, and grille are competently done. Other details like the door handles, marker lights, and various hinges are cast as part of the body. Paint applications are minimal: the fender flares, vents, window frames, fuel cap, and door handles are painted black, the turn signals are painted amber, the tail lights are painted red, and the reverse light is painted silver. Most of this work is decent, but the paint used on the marker and tail lights wears off easily. The headlight surrounds, grille, bumpers (actually part of the chassis), wipers, mirrors, running boards, and mud flaps are cast in black plastic. The headlights are quite clever: the main lights and marker/parking lights are all one piece, most of which is hidden by the headlight surrounds. This makes the Defender one of the few cars I've seen that has no visible mount pins in its lights, a feature that increases the realism of the replica exponentially. Clear plastic is also used for the roof panel (white appears to have been painted directly over the clear), windshield (like the roof, green has been painted over the clear plastic to look like body), and side windows. Bright chrome is used for the headlight buckets, mirror glass, and brake discs, while matte chrome is used for the wheels. A false "Land Rover" license plate, the Land Rover logo, and the Defender badge are printed on the nose, mesh is printed on the fender vents, another false plate and the badging is printed on the rear, defroster lines are printed on the rear window, and the LR logo is printed on both mud flaps. The print work is excellent as far as legibility, but misses the mark in a few places: the vents are not centered, the rear badging is noticeably crooked, and the rear Land Rover logo has been printed upside-down. The chassis is all black, but has separate suspension components, running boards, and exhaust pipe. A few paint applications would really look nice here. Engine detail is minimal, though a few silver paint applications have highlighted some of the details. Unfortunately, one of the details now highlighted is that the master cylinder is on the wrong side. The interior is, like the chassis, well detailed but easy to overlook because of the solid color. Close inspection reveals good texture detail, separate pedals, and seating for nine.



The doors and hood open, and the front wheels can be steered. Because the side windows are closed and the actual door handles are solid, the only functional handles to open the doors are the mirrors. The mirror mounts aren't terribly strong, though, so watch out that you don't pop one off trying to get the door open. The hood hinge is a bit floppy, but you don't see much with it open and it looks good closed.



Although the Defender lacks the subtle swoops and body contouring of many other cars, it is not merely a featureless box on wheels. Schuco has done a nice job capturing all of the hardware details that make the Defender what it is. The only real goof I see is the above-mentioned master cylinder, which would be correct if it had a right-hand dash. The door hinges are also a bit problematic, since they don't match the actual hinge points and look weird when the doors are open. Scaling is close, but the various possible measuring points make it somewhat difficult to measure exactly. It appears to be somewhere between 1/24 and 1/25.



As universally recognized as the Defender is, it's a little surprising that there have been so few replicas available in 1/24 scale. Happily, Schuco's model doesn't leave you with the feeling of "this is our only choice." The careless trim application is really the only place where it loses significant points, otherwise it really is a very nicely done replica. Recommended.


Have a question, comment, or criticism about this review?
Send me an e-mail with your thoughts!