Kit Reviews

Tamiya Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Tamiya’s new Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Tamiya has released their new Mercedes-Benz 300SL 1/24 scale kit, and it is a beauty!

Check out the photos to see this great new kit.

MENG Ford F350 Super Duty Crew Cab

MENG Ford F350 Super Duty Crew Cab

We got a sneak peek at the new 1/24 scale MENG Ford F350 Super Duty Crew Cab kit. It is a beast! The box itself weighs over 2.2lbs, and it’s a big and thick box too boot! The kit is fantastic. We would have to say it’s on par with anything that that is made today: from Tamiya, Fujimi, Revell, AMT, this MENG kit is well done, no flash, and it just looks right. Check out all the pics to see what the fuss is all about. We will be doing a full build of this one soon.

Here’s a quick shot of the 6.4L Turbo Diesel Power Stroke V8 motor, and Six-Speed SelectShift Automatic transmission and transfer case.



Playing around with a die cast dually bed:



Here are some detail shots of a real 2010 Ford F350 SuperDuty from Gilbert Rodrigues:


Some updates on the build in progress. Laid down a base red color coat, in preparation for the metallic red nail polish finish that will be sprayed on later. Swapped out the Yokohama Mud Digger tires for some from an Aoshima kit, and they look fantastic!!!



Some painted pics:

Update: April 14, 2014.

Well, it’s pau (finished).
It was a fun build, and I did not follow the instructions to the letter, I painted some things that I wanted, and didn’t paint areas that others have said I should have. Oh well! It was a great kit to build, and will be buying more soon.

Revell ’49 Mercury Wagon

Revell ’49 Mercury Wagon

Revell’s new ’49 Mercury Wagon was just released, and it’s a great one! Check out these photos for a quick look.

Revell 1968 VW Beetle

Revell ’68 Volkswagen Beetle

1/24 Scale

Revell has released their latest VW kit, a “1968” VW Beetle. There are quotes around the year, 1968, for a reason. It’s hard to tell exactly what year it is. For one thing, it’s not a stock US ’68 Bug. It may be stock for the Brazil/Mexico/European versions, of course. The U.S. versions did not have the smooth bumpers in this kit. 1968 was the first year of the fuller/wider bumpers. 1967 was the last year of the good looking bumpers with the over-riders. The rear lights are also the smaller pre-’68 versions. The overall shape and proportions of the body is very good.

The engine is definitely not a 1968 stock motor. 1968 had a single port 1500cc motor. The Revell kit has a dual port motor, with a dog house fan shroud/oil cooler. The dog house cooler did not show up until the ’70s.  The rest of the engine looks pretty good. Stock exhaust and heater boxes looks good.

Chassis/Floor Pan
The floor pan is not as good as the Tamiya one. It’s molded with parts like the front end, wider running boards, and the trans shifter tunnel a little off.

It’s interesting to see a right-and left-hand drive dashboard. That’s a first for any VW kit! The door panels are separate, and so is the complete headliner. The seats have some good frame detailing. I like the small straps that are separate for hanging on or getting in and out of the Bug.

The glass is nice and clear. The side vent windows are engraved into the windows. The rear taillights are the smaller pre-’68 European versions, which are usually painted orange and red (we call them Euro lens, of course!).

The chrome is very nice as well. As stated above, the bumpers are not stock ’68 ones. There are separate wipers, front turn signals, right and left mirrors, head light buckets, door handles, antenna, horn grilles, and four stock style rims/hub caps.

Wrap Up
It’s nice to Revell put so much into an early VW Bug kit. I just wish they would have got it right with the year, or make up their mind as to what year it really is. It’s more of semi-custom Bug, and a cool set of EMPI rims would have been very nice touch!

Tamiya LaFerrari

Tamiya’s New LaFerrari 1/24 Kit 

Tamiya sent their new, and gorgeous, 1/24 scale kit of Ferrari’s newest supercar, the LaFerrari. This kit is incredible. It is on par with their earlier Enzo kit, but with a more beautiful body and shape. There is also available separately a photoetched detail set, and carbon fiber decals, that you can also buy (they are not included). The carbon fiber decals are not the standard template-style, they are already in the shape/pattern that is needed.
The photoetch is the new style, with no frets holding the parts to the trees, which makes it so much easier to use. If you are going to build an all out LaFerrari, I would highly recommend the photoetch set and the carbon fiber decals.

The Kit:

The body is flawless. I couldn’t find any flash on any part, seam, or piece of plastic. The hardest part I think is figuring out what color to paint it. After some quick research on the ‘Net, it looks like there are a few colors to choose from. Of course the standard  Russo Ferrari red is an option, as is black, yellow, and white. I saw some light blue, dark blue, and even the Lambo-style orange that I love so much. After some soul-searching, and roll of the dice, I think I’m going to go wild, with a black and white paint job. Black on most of the body, with white around the lower part of the front, side doors, and back end. I will update this page along the way while it is being built. Thanks for looking!


Revell BMW M3 DTM 2012

Revell BMW M3 DTM 2012

1/24 Scale
$35 (est MSRP, Online)

Following up on Revell/Germany’s great DTM Audi A4 cars, there are two new BMW M3 DTM kits released. We haven’t seen them here in stores yet, but they are available from online sellers and stores. Check out the photos to see what’s in this great looking kit!


Revell VW Convertible

Revell/Germany VW Beetle Cabriolet

Revell/Germany VW Beetle Cabriolet

Revell/Germany 1970 VW Convertible

1/24 Scale
$30 US (est)

Revell’s new 1970 VW Beetle Cabriolet was recently released, and we stopped by the local hobby shop to pick it up. It seems that the R/G (Revell/Germany) kits are not sent out for us to review. We have to pick them up ourselves. This kit was released in Europe first, and there were some reviews of it that popped online shortly afterwards. The body is pretty well done. There was very little flash, the chrome was excellent, and everything seemed at first glance to be good. It’s nice to see the correct bumpers (see the review of the 1968 VW Bug posted here). It also has the correct headlights and taillights for that year/era. It says that it’s a 1500cc motor, but with the dual port heads, and the dog house oil cooler, I am pretty sure it’s a 1600cc, but I could be wrong. I have been yelled at already for my two cents on the ’68 Bug, so take my “expert” opinion with a grain of salt. I like the separate door panels, they are nicely engraved, and the pop up door locks are a nice touch. I don’t like the way the chassis is made or set up. The chassis pan should be one piece by itself. R/G has engineered it in a way that makes it look okay when it’s put together, but by themselves, the chassis doesn’t look right. It’s all about the illusion anyway, right? The end result works. That’s that.

It has right- and left-hand drive dashes and pedals. There is a soft up top, and the big convertible boot which is a nice two-piece unit. I’ll let the photos show you the rest of the story.

Final word:

I love it! And since I bought it myself, that says a lot! Good job, Revell!

Atlantis Models

1950 Alfa Romeo Type 158 and the 1949 Lago-Talbot 4.7L Grand Prix

We received the new double kit of the 1950 Alfa Romeo Type 158 and the 1949 Lago-Talbot 4.7L Grand Prix kits, both in 1/24 scale. We love the retro looking art work for the boxes. Each of the kit is modeled in either red (Alfa Romeo) and blue (Lago-Talbot). The kits have engines, which will make those who love to detail classic inline six-cylinder engines happy. The only thing we don’t like, but it’s an easy fix, is the use of a clear insert that you have to paint silver to replicate wire wheels. We will run a series of articles on creating your own wire wheels, and sources to purchase aftermarket wire wheel kits as well.

I have seen the Lago-Talbot referred to as Lago-Talbot, and Talbot-Lago. So which way is correct? It looks to us that both are: It depends on the car you are referring to. This car, the Lago-Talbot Grand Prix 4 1/2 liter, was from the racing works at the Talbot-Lago factory, and it seems to replicate the 1949 version of the car that was all over the world in F1 races of that time.  We have seen factory race team trailers from that period with Talbot-Lago painted on the sides. If anyone has some insight to this, please let us know.

If you would like some reference photos, check out this link from one of our favorite web sites,–Alfetta-.html


Here are a couple of in-progress photos of the Alfa Romeo 159 Alfetta. The photoetched and aluminum wire wheels are from a Profil24 kit (The Maserati Birdcage Tipo 63 kit), and look fabulous! Check out the Profil24 web site to order.


Here is the Alfa Romeo 159 kit in primer. The top and body seams have been filled.


The aftermarket aluminum and photoetched wheels from Profil24 are gorgeous!



After a couple of quick coats with Ferrari Russo Red paint, and the Profil24 wire wheels, this kit is starting to look great!


Tamiya Red Bull Racing Renault RB6

Tamiya sent their soon-to-be-released 1/20 scale Red Bull Racing Renault RB6. This is the first new tooled 1/20 F1 kit since the Ferrari F60 back in 2009. I have to say, this kit is fabulous! It does have a high retail sticker price (TBA, but more than what we have seen lately), but I think that it is worth it.

Check out all the photos in the photo gallery, and see for yourself! I will be doing this one for a kit build/review for the January issue.


AMT 1957 Chevy Bel Air Two-Door Hardtop

BelAirAMTAMT 1957 Chevy Bel Air Two-Door Hardtop  #AMT-741
MOLDED COLORS: White, Clear, Red Clear, Chrome Plated, Photoetched Metal
SCALE: 1/25
MSRP: $44.95 USD
Note: this kit comes in a “collectible” tin almost identical to that of the ‘51 Fleetline, the only difference being the car illustrated.

AMT’s vintage-1962 kit of the ‘57 Bel Air had a fairly common-for-‘57 single-carb 283 (the more recent Revell ‘57 Bel Air two-door sedan also replicates this engine). This more recent (1998 Ertl) tooling has a superb replica of the “Power Pack” 270-hp dual-quad 283 with the characteristic “bat wing” air cleaner and three-speed transmission (if you’re wondering “why not a four- speed?”, here’s a historical fact: Chevrolet did not introduce that transmission into production until May of 1957. Most production cars that year came with the three-speed unit). Overall engraving on this mill is excellent, including the subtle cast metal texturing. The batwing-style air cleaner is a four-piece assembly with separate elements. One very welcome detail is that the Chevrolet script on both valve covers is very legible and won’t get lost under a couple of coats of paint. Attention to detail includes the motor mounts, molded as part of the front cover assembly, and the left exhaust manifold correctly has a generator mounting bracket. Separate engine accessories include distributor (with coil), fuel pump, water pump, generator, fan belt, four-bladed fan, oil filler tube, starter, breather hose, and both upper and lower water hoses. Also included are lengths of black ignition wiring, and instructions on how to drill the distributor and block, the correct lengths of wire for each plug, and the correct firing order. Nice!

The frame and floorboards are separate from each other, a common practice with today’s state-of-the-art kits, but back in 1998 this was one of the kits that trailblazed this new standard. Overall engraving level on the floor- boards is nothing short of excellent. The kit features an opening trunk, and the insides of the trunk area are well done with fine floor mat detail and a spare tire well. Front suspension is a nine-piece affair with separate upper A-arms, one-piece lower A-arm unit, stabilizer bar, tie rod with link gear, and separate spindles. Poseable steering was not designed into the kit, but is possible with just a little bit of extra work. The nine-piece rear suspension has separate springs and shock mounts, and the two-piece rear axle has visible molded-in brake line detail. Separate also are the motor mount locators for the frame, and the two-piece gas tank. The six-piece exhaust system (that’s right, six pieces) has texture and ribbing detail on the mufflers, and drilled ends to the pipes. Yes, that’s right, you don’t have to drill these out! Underhood detailing is superb to say the least, and besides excellent engraved details, features a separate brake master cylinder, twin heater hoses, steering box, two-piece heater blower, twin air ducts, two inner fenders, a washer bottle, a battery, and two separate horns.

Only one wheel option is included–plated renditions of the ‘57 hubcap with drilled valve stem locations and separate spinners. Unlike the more prototypical 1962-vintage AMT kit, the wheels are one piece and not separate steelies and hub caps, so careful painting of the outer rim in body color is called for. The tires are black vinyl BF Goodrich Silvertowns with molded plastic whitewall inserts. A single steel wheel face and one extra tire is provided for the trunk mounted spare.

The platform-style interior builds up off the floor pan. Separate side panels have excellent three-dimensional detail and extend all the way back to form the trunk walls, joining at a separate trunk filler panel with good structural detail. Both front and rear seats have excellent engraving for the characteristic upholstery patterns, and the front seat backs have engraved trim piping. The rear seat armrest fairings are separate pieces (it’s possible that AMT/Ertl had planned on a convertible variant, which this seems to suggest) and the rear seat unit has the package shelf molded in. Moving to the dashboard, this has excellent engraving throughout and features hanging brake/clutch pedals and emergency brake release. The steering wheel has the horn ring molded in place (very thin, too!), and the column has the shifter and turn signal stalk molded in.

There has been controversy for quite some time regarding the shape, length, and width of this kit’s body. AMT’s original 1962-vintage kit and both recent Revell offerings (snap ‘57 hardtop and full glue ‘57 two door sedan) have bodies that are narrower and shorter than the body in this kit–which would suggest to the purist that this Ertl-tooled kit has incorrect proportions. Even taking that as a yardstick of sorts, the body in this kit is nicely tooled and well executed, with very crisp details. The body is one-piece, with the splash pan molded to the body lowers, and a separate hood and trunk. Engraved on the body are the keylocks, side chrome spears, the front fender hash mark trim, front and rear Chevrolet scripts, and the ribbed side coves with Bel Air scripts. Door handles and wipers are separate chrome pieces. Under the roof is a full headliner with molded-in dome light and sun visors. Optional are a pair of factory stock fender skirts. The windshield and rear window fit neatly into the body using positive alignment keys, and the vent window panes are separate thin clear components. The front bumper features separate “Dagmar” tips and the grille is molded separately, and not on the chrome tree–in fact, the grille is molded on a body- color sprue, while the floating grille bar is a separate plated piece with separate tiny clear turn signal lenses. The 1/1 scale grille was anodized gold, something you’ll want to keep in mind when building this or any other ‘57 Bel Air kit. At the rear, the bumper and taillight fairings are molded separately, with small red clear lenses. Headlight bezels feature excellent air intake detail, and the lenses have realistic prismatic engraving. The separate hood has superb underside engraving detail and features separate plated windsplits and front trim bar, and the separate trunk lid has superb underside engraving as well. Superdetailed one-piece hood hinges are an option for those modelers wanting to leave the hood in an open position. The large V emblems for the hood and trunk are on the chrome sprue, but like the grille and front fender hash marks, these should also be anodized gold on a ’57 Bel Air, so bear that in mind. DECALS: The all new decal sheet features two custom side scallops in white with black edging, a window sticker decal, valve cover decals, air cleaner markings, underhood data markings, and four sets of 1957 license plates–Florida 10V 8553, California LTH 392, Michigan TU 6632, and Indiana MA 2942. All the plates are a bit undersized, however. The decals are matte printed.

Included in the collectable metal tin the kit is packed in are a small sheet of chrome foil for window and side trim, an 18-page booklet with historical photos and advertising artwork of ‘57 Bel Air hardtops from GM’s historical archives, and a sheet of photoetched metal parts featuring the two ribbed rear side coves, Bel Air scripts, Chevrolet scripts, front fender hash marks, rocker panel trim, keylocks, front and rear V trim, windshield wipers, 1957 CHEVROLET license plate frames, and two small Chevy crests. The instruction sheet has a great deal of helpful features, including how to use the chrome foil and photoetched parts, and a comprehensive chart of all ‘57 Chevy exterior colors, two-tone combinations, and interior colors.