AMT’s new 2012 Corvette Convertible is out, and your humble editor spent a little time on this basic promo-style model kit.
It went together well, and the ScaleFinishes.com Lamborghini Orange paint job really made this model stand out.
Revell has released a slightly modified version of the Monogram Sprint Car from 1987. The major changes are the newer Gambler style of two-piece body work, the newer style of top frame rails, and newer rims. Everything is pretty much the same from 1987.
Our thanks go out to Damian Fontes for building up this review sample for us. Mahalo nui loa, Damian!
The 5.7 liter V-10 is represented here by a 19-piece assembly. Overall engraving level on the components is very good, better than many recent toolings from Revell of Germany (from whom this kit originates.) The six-piece engine cover obscures most of that fine detail from view, as does its mid-engine placement. No less than seven decals adorn different areas of that engine cover, which is a very nice touch indeed.
As with most supercars today, the chassis builds off an aerodynamic pan and the R8 is no exception. The pan has the lower A-arms of both front and rear suspensions molded in place and features excellent underside detailing. All four wheel housings are separate from the pan unit. Front suspension is an eight-piece assembly with poseable steering, and the rear suspension is a six-piece unit with fine coilover detail. The all-wheel-drive aspect of the R8 is replicated well here, though it wouldn’t be seen unless the body was removed. Detailed disc brakes with caliper detail are at all four corners, and you have a choice of Audi or R8 logos to adorn the calipers. The exhaust system is part of the engine unit, and is nicely done, with separate plated exhaust tips that only need some black paint inside to deepen the visual impact.
WHEELS AND TIRES:
Plated five-spoke Audi cast wheels with separate plated spiders ride on black vinyl big-and-little no-name wide low profile tires with excellent tread detail.
The interior bucket has the console and rear wall molded in place. Side panels are separate and have very good armrest representations. The seats are two-piece, with fine engraved detail representations of the side seat adjustment controls. The dash is a four-piece unit with separate instrument hood, column (with stalks), and flat-bottomed steering wheel. Dash engraving is first rate, and no less than nine decals adorn it, including gauges, multifunc- tion panel, and horn button. Separate detail parts include shifter, brake lever, console trim, and hanging pedal unit (with dead pedal footrest.)
The R8 Spyder isn’t just a coupe with its roof whacked off; it’s a whole new body design, captured very well here. The one piece body has the front fascia molded in as well as the characteristic louvers on the rear deck. Those louvers and the side scoops are molded open. At the front are a separate plated grille (Euro-style) with Euro-style license plate, two five-piece headlight units with separate lens covers and reflectors, separate louvered gills, and a chromed Audi four-rings logo. At the rear is a separate fascia panel with separate rear trim panel containing louvered gills, Euro-style license plate, clear taillight lenses backed by deep chrome bezels (get that transparent red paint out, folks), rear spoiler lip, clear high mounted center brake light lens (transparent red again!), gas cap, and another chrome Audi rings logo. The side scoops have blanking plates, and this as well as all other open scoop, louvered, and gill areas have decalized black grille mesh. Two-piece side mirrors have plated faces, and the wipers are delicate separate pieces also. The rear engine hood has excellent underside engraving and is hinged at the front end. Optional is an up-top with clear rear window and optional clear side windows. The windshield frame is molded to the body but has a separate inner liner panel with overhead spotlight engraving and decalized light lenses. The windshield itself has the area to be painted semigloss black clearly marked out for masking, with a separate rear view mirror. All clear parts are very thin and distortion-free.
In addition to what we’ve already mentioned, the extensive decal sheet also includes all three mirror faces, wheel centers, R8 and V10 logos in silver, amber turn signal areas for the taillights, and your choice of Euro-style license plates–white and black SPYDER, black and white Audi rings, Netherlands 11-DOA-1, France SP-313-DR, Italy BO 525 PS, Great Britain R313 FST, and Germany IN R 8101.
None. This is a curbside model, actually an unassembled promo.
As was the case with the companion coupe kit/promo, the basic chassis pan has the engine, transmission lowers, and drive shaft sections molded in place as well as highly simplified versions of the independent front and rear suspensions. These last items are not quite 100% scale accurate, as they had to allow for the two straight metal axles that attach the wheels and tires to the chassis. Overall detail on the pan is a tad on the soft side. The exhaust system is separate, consisting of a one-piece twin-pipe unit, two mufflers/resonators, and two separate exhaust pipes with hollowed-out tips. Separate also is the transmission support, exhaust pipe support, and (unique to the convertible) front and rear cross bracing. Four disc brakes with caliper detail attach to the chassis and act as guides to insert the wheel bosses. Of note here also is that the chassis does not attach to the body by means of metal screws–a real plus point for the traditionalists among us.
WHEELS AND TIRES: Four 20” Camaro SS five-spoke cast-type wheels ride on big-and-little no-name low profile unidirectional tread tires. The instruction sheet points out how to mount the tire tread properly.
The interior floor does not have a rear plate and, unlike the coupe kit, no package shelf. All pedals are molded to the interior floor, and the lack of a third pedal indicates an automatic transmission-equipped car. The side panels are separate, have good three-dimensional detailing, and are bolstered at the rear for the convertible dog legs. There is no detail on the door-mounted speaker grilles; however, this can easily be rectified by the use of photoetched pieces or decal material from aftermarket sources. As is the norm for Round2, the front and rear seats are both molded in black vinyl and, as mentioned before in this column in other Round2/AMT curbside promo kit reviews, will require special treatment in painting as standard model paints don’t stick very well to vinyl. The console is separate, as is the shifter and parking brake lever. The dash is very well done, with decalized instruments and radio/multifunction panel.
The one-piece body has the convertible boot molded in place. Mounting to this are separate front and rear fascias, a separate rear spoiler lip, a separate clear high mounted brake light, a separate tiny satellite antenna, and a separate hood. The front fascia has the SS scoop molded in, and to which attach the grille, headlight bezels and separate clear lenses, and two tiny clear fog light lenses. The rear diffuser is molded into the rear fascia, and four clear taillight lenses (that need to be treated to a coat or two of transparent red) attach here. There are two separate “elephant ear” side mirrors that will need their faces covered with your favorite chrome foil. The windshield has the wipers molded in place, is thin and very clear, and attach from the outside of the car with tiny pin locators–care should be taken here so as not to break them.
Included on the smallish decal sheet are Z28 striping in black or white, CAMARO scripts, SS scripts for the grille, rear deck, and headrests, gold Chevy bowties for front and rear, a small CAMARO logo for the horn button, a black CAMARO plate, and a Michigan BCF 7714 plate. Spares are given for the instruments, radio/multifunction panel, SS logos, CAMARO scripts, and horn emblem. The decals are matte (not glossy) and this will be problematic in one area: the Z-style striping. These should be carefully cut away from the clear car- rier and applied separately to avoid any silvering issues after clear coating. OTHER: As with all recent Round2/AMT “Showroom Replicas” kits, no less than six instruction sheets are included in the box–in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese!
The 21-piece engine is an excellent representation of the LS3 V8 and six-speed automatic transmission as found in the real Camaro SS, with superb engraving detail throughout. High points include the pulley faces molded open where needed, the two-piece injector plenum and engine cover, and the separate plug-on-coil ignition units. Revell even provide decals for the fan belt unit, oil filler cap, and air cleaner! Built, the mill looks nothing short of fantastic.
The basic chassis pan has excellent engraving detail. The licensing and copyright notices are raised lettering and placed where they can easily be removed by the modeler; the outer frame rails and the space below the rear suspension. Front suspension is a seven-piece affair building up off of a separate cradle and featuring separate McPherson strut units and steering rack. Rear suspension is a 15-piece assembly (remember, the Camaro has independ- ent rear suspension) with separate trailing links, three-piece differential, and coilovers. Solid face disc brakes with large calipers can be found on all fours, with decalized Brembo logos in red for the calipers. The exhaust system is a six-piece assembly that features custom styled chrome exhaust tips for the custom version and real turned aluminum exhaust tips for the stock version. The engine compartment is very well catered to, the inner fenders being molded as part of the interior unit, featuring excellent shock tower and fuse box detail. Attaching to this are a two-piece radiator with twin electric fans and a firewall with a separate brake booster unit. Decals are provided for the brake booster, radiator, and striker plate. Note that the rear wheels attach via an AMT-style metal axle, while the fronts attach via metal pins.
WHEELS AND TIRES:
Both wheel options are 20” and chromed. The stock version is five-spoke cast Camaro factory wheels, while the custom version uses a five-spoke fluted design. Both use the same set of low-profile black vinyl no-name tires with excellent tread detail.
The interior shell is platform-style, with only the rubber floormat and footrest pedal molded in place. Side panels are separate, with very good three- dimensional detailing. Note that the upper contrast area is polished out while the rest of the panel is in a satin finish. Front bucket seats are two-piece units with detailed backs, matching the one-piece rear seat. The console assembly has a separate gauge panel, shifter, and brake lever. Moving to the dash, this has the gas and brake pedals in hanging mode, and has excellent engraving and a molded clear cover for the gauge faces. Attaching to this are a steering column with twin stalks, and the iconic Camaro steering wheel. Decals are supplied for the headrests, console gauges, main gauge faces, horn button, and speaker grilles.
R-M nailed the iconic Camaro shape. The one piece body has front and rear fascias as well as rocker panels molded in place. The breakdown of the front grille/lights assembly is interesting, with separate chromed bezels for each attaching to the backside of the grille unit (which encompasses upper and lower grilles, neither of which are molded open, however) and an optional custom front air dam. At the rear is again a unique method for the taillights, with a transparent red strip including the lenses backed by twin chrome bezels, and your choice of the stock diffuser or a custom one with aero extensions. Also optional are custom aero side skirts. The hood is hinged and has excellent underside detail. Separate pieces include door handles, two-piece side mirrors, and rear spoiler. The one-piece main transparency has the windshield and rear window as well as something of a headliner with overhead console detail and twin sun visors. Areas on both windows to be painted in semigloss black are frosted. There are four raised circular mold marks on this that will need to be removed as they are quite prominent. Two small rear side windows also have frosted areas to assist with painting.
On the decal sheet, in addition to what’s already been mentioned, are Z28-style hood and deck striping in black or white, custom hood and deck strip- ing in black, two “hockey stick” side stripes in black, black areas for the side windows, gold Chevy bowties for front and rear, CAMARO and SS scripts, front and rear side marker light lenses, two black and silver SS plates, one Michigan CAMARO plate, and two Illinois K59 787 plates.
Like the AMT “Vantasy,” this kit’s 13-piece engine is a 350 small block Chevy with Turbo Hydramatic 350 transmission, this time done in typical 1970s simplified Monogram style. The undersized four-barrel carb and distributor are molded to the intake manifold. The valve covers and alternator are the only plated pieces. Note the fan is a five-blade unit. There is no ignition coil, oil filler tube, or water hoses.
CHASSIS: The frame and floorboards are a single unit in this kit, and the gas tank is molded in place. The transmission mount is separate. Front suspension is a simplified three-piece unit, and the rear suspension is a six-piece assembly with separate shocks. The exhaust system is correct for a 1975 or later van with a two-into-one piping feeding a catalytic converter, this feeding a dual rear pipe with pipe hanger. The tips of course will need to be drilled out for realism. The only underhood detail to speak of is a two-piece radiator with shroud.
WHEELS AND TIRES: Plated 1968-77-style Chevy rally wheels ride on four black vinyl no-name tires that were Monogram Goodyear GT Radials in a former life.
INTERIOR: The interior is a one-piece bucket with no back wall, but with seat support and the engine cover molded in place. Two highback captain’s chairs are provided, but note there are no backs to them. The dash has decent engraving and features a steering column with molded in shifter and turn signal stalk, and a three-spoke Momo-type steering wheel. Separate are a cup holder tray for the engine cover, a CB radio, and a tape player.
BODY: The Chevy van body is nicely done and, like the AMT offering, has no side or rear windows–essentially a commercial van. At the front is a one-piece plated stock grille/bumper unit with separate clear headlight lenses and license plate, an optional front scoop-type air dam, and two plated windshield wipers. A plus is that the central portion of the grille is molded open. At the rear are two clear tail- lights (ready to be treated to the transparent red paint of your choice), a chrome stock rear bumper, an optional chrome CB antenna, an optional two-piece spare tire carrier, and an optional two-piece trailer hitch. There is also an option of two chromed side pipes, although there is no way to connect them with the exhaust system! Also optional is a clear skylight for the roof. Two plated two-piece California style side mirrors adorn the doors, however, there is a large sink hole in each mirror face, difficult to eradicate since each mirror has a half-round magnifier/blind spot mirror in the corner. The windshield is a one piece clear item that includes the vent windows, and is reasonably clear.
DECALS: The large decal sheet features a multi-tone blue side custom sweep motif, an Auto Crafters Custom Paint Works logo, three Accurate Plumbing Commercial and Residential logos for the sides and rear, amber and red side marker lights, a FOR SALE sign, two Chevy bow ties for the grille (one gold, one blue), a gold Chevy Bow Tie on a black license plate, two California VANNISH plates, and two Illinois 343 JK plates.
ENGINE: The 23-piece engine represents a mid-level (for trucks and vans) Chevy 350 small block with a single four-barrel carb and Turbo-Hydramatic 350 transmission, and is very similar to the one in AMT’s currently out-of- production ‘72 Nova SS kit. The valve covers, carburetor, air cleaner, front cover, alternator, and four-bladed fan are all chromed–none of which would have been on a real full stock 350 from the factory. On the plus side, the engine includes a separate distributor and ignition coil, separate oil filter, separate starter, separate water pump, and a separate oil filler tube. Nicely done, but see the Comments section for some essential commentary regarding the viewing of this little jewel.
AMT did a superb job here back when this kit was first tooled. The frame and floor pan are separate and distinct. The frame itself has the upper front A-arms, gas tank, and most of the crossmembers molded in place save for the first unit and the second crossmember that connects to the separate engine mount. Front suspension is a 14-piece unit with separate kingpins, idler arms, steering box with column, and idler arm brackets. Working poseable steering is not designed into the kit but you can glue the components in a desired position, or, a mild rework of the kit’s components and a little ingenuity can give you working poseable steering. At the rear is a nine-piece suspension with 12-bolt style rear axle, separate shocks and leaf springs, and a three-piece driveshaft unit. The two-into-one exhaust system is one piece and (oh yeah, here we go again) must be drilled out at the tip for realism’s sake. The underhood area has a two-piece radiator and shroud, separate firewall, separate battery, and separate vapor can. Again, see the Comments section regarding these.
WHEELS AND TIRES:
Four chrome American Racing five-spoke mags ride on black vinyl Goodyear Polyglas GT L60-15 tires. What the instructions don’t tell you, but the parts trees do, is that there is a full set of factory stock Chevy van/ truck open steelie wheels with four chromed Chevy bowtie period-correct “dog dish” hubcaps! Find four of a more pedestrian-style of tires in your spares box, and you’re on your way to a full stock build! 34 Model Cars #169 • July 2012
The interior builds up off the floor pan. Note that there are no interior side panels whatsoever (and there never were in any rendition of this kit.) Seats are two-piece high back custom captain’s chairs. The dash has very good engraving, and the engine cover is separate. You have a choice of stock or three-spoke plated Eelco-style custom steering wheels which mount to a plated shifter/turn signal stalk. A CB radio, placement optional, is also provided. BODY: The one-piece body is nicely done, capturing the character of the second-generation Chevy Van perfectly. This is a commercial van body, period– there are no engraved marks for opening up the side windows or windows in the twin rear doors, although with some ingenuity and a razor saw one could make that possible. There is an engraved line under the roof if you wish to use the optional clear sunroof to “let the sunshine in.” At the front is a stock grille/ bumper unit with separate clear headlight lenses and separate amber clear park- ing light/turn signal lenses. Also provided is an optional custom grille filler/roll pan, though there is no custom grille supplied with the kit (the spares box can easily fill this need if so desired). At the rear are a chromed stock bumper and two clear red taillights, while side marker light lenses are in clear amber (front) and clear red (rear). Wipers are separate, delicate chromed items, as are the three-piece side mirrors. The multiple options this kit provides for customiza- tion include clear bubble portholes for the sides (with instructions on how to drill holes in the body for them), window louvers for the rear doors, clear skylight units for the roof, a two-piece spare tire cover for the left rear door, two custom side panels with exhaust ports, two three-piece dummy side pipes, a roof spoiler, and two chromed road lights with separate clear lenses. The wind- shield and two side windows are separate clear parts that are reasonably thin.
Included in the kit are two decal sheets that are actually a tad larger than the length and width of the box! Included on these are four different mul- ticolor motifs for the upper side panels (two of which incorporate the Vantasy logo), five different multi-color motifs for the lower side panels, three different multi-color motifs for the rear door sections, two Vantasy logos, two Evil Wiz- ard logos, two winged deaths-head motifs, four eyeball motifs (two large and two small), three skulls with crossbones (one large, two small), one large and two small shrunken heads, four game dice motifs (two large, two small), two small wrench motifs, and a collection of one-off art of varying types that have to be seen to be described. As has been the norm for Round2’s kits lately, the decals are printed with a matte finish.
AMT’s newly reissued Meyers Manx Dune Buggy holds a special place in my heart. As many of you may know, I am a huge VW fan, ex-VW mechanic, and an overall VW nut. Even today I still get calls to help friends fix their VW. I had pushed for the re-release of the Meyers Manx for many years, and finally my persistence has paid off! John Grezula over at Round2 was very patient and understanding with all of my emails, calls, and downright begging to get this kit done. I got them in touch with Bruce and Winnie Meyers for their okay with the project, and then all systems were go. Now, two years later, after a lot of work by John and the gang over at Round2, I have my holy grail. The funny thing is, with all the VWs that I have had in kit form, I never had one of the original AMT Meyers Manx kits. They were just too expensive and out of my reach back then. Now, with this new reissue, I’ve ordered a case already, and hope to get one more soon. Now, on to the kit! The Manx kit is molded in white plastic, but in every case/carton the dealer gets there is a special red metallic version included that is indistinguishable from any other Manx kit. There are no markings on the box to tell you that it’s one of the special red metallic ones. If you buy the kit, you just have to hope you are one of the lucky few who gets a red metallic one! Also included in every kit is a neat cardboard diorama to display your Manx. Watch for a more detailed buildup and a complete rundown of what’s available out there to build the ultimate Meyers Manx!
The purple metallic special edition version, available only at the Auto World store:
Hobby Link Japan sent the new Fujimi Pantera GTS for a quick review and build by Model Cars Magazine. It’s a fairly simple kit, curbside, and it went together easily.
My only complaint is the side windows: they are bowed out, not flat, but that can be fixed with some clear acetate or clear styrene. It’s a great kit, and a fun build.