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Kits you'd like to see, but hey, you know they ruined the molds.


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#1 Greg Myers

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

Ok, you dream about these great kits. You ponder, "What ever happened to . . ?" What kits would you like to see them Reverse engineer back into existence?

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#2 martinfan5

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:01 PM

I see this thread being filled mostly with Jo-Han kits :lol:

#3 Nitro Neil

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:14 PM

The MPC 1933 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery that got turned into the Barnabas Van.

#4 Daddyfink

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:21 PM

Well, the Monogram 55 got turned into the Tom Daniel's Bad Man gasser. Parts from the Sizzler ended up in the School Bus, also a Tom Daniel's kit and most of the Aurora molds where back door'd by Monogram employees when they took over the Aurora inventory.

Yes, I would love to have some more of the Racing Scenes stuff in my collection.

#5 doggie427

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

The MPC '68 Dodge Coronet.
AMT '65 Fairlane

#6 Aaronw

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:57 PM

Johan kits... Since they would have to be retooled though step up the quailty, you know better detail and fix the fit into the standard box issues some of the larger cars had.

In particular the AMC products and 4 door sedans, oh and the Cadillacs... and the stationwagons and...

#7 Erik Smith

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:18 PM

1963 Pontiac Tempest

#8 Greg Myers

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 05:11 PM

I've heard the line on the Sizzler and the Sckoolbus many times. I don't buy it. I have both kits and none of the parts line up. It just ain't so. Urban Myth ?

#9 Casey

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:39 PM

Urban Myth ?


Might apply to the Aurora tooling Monogram acquired, too. Nobody seems to know for sure what happened to the "missing" tooling, but the most likely explanation I've heard/read is that is was scrapped.

I don't see the '55 Badman ever being returned to the original issue form. The current, modern tool Revell 1/25 '55 'vert is a great kit, and the Badman is a guaranteed seller, so I just don't see the potential sales from a backdated original version.

I could see the Sizzler and Blue Beetle being worth the backdating investment, but the stock-type '30/'36/'40 (pickup) Fords, not so much. I get the feeling Revell reissuing the recent versions of these kits every six years or so is enough to meet most of the demand, without needing to completely backdate any of them.

Getting back to the Aurora Racing Scenes kits, they are/were very nicely done, which is a testament to Tom West's design work, but the "working" features and inner parts seemed like overkill from a sales point of view. Plus, we know 1/16 scale kits are not good sellers, so I don't ever see Revell investing in any new or backdated/reverse engineered 1/16 scale tooling.

The kits which I think DO stand a chance of being backdated are some of the Tom Daniel-designed vehicles, such as the Dog Catcher (Sand Shark), Baja Bandito (Baja Beast), Sand Crab (Lil Van), Horn Toad (Rattler), Trick T (Stinger), etc. Plus, Revell has invested the money in restoring and reverse engineering the Rommel's Rod, Dragon (Circus) Wagon, and Tijuana Taxi kits, so it wouldn't be a first.

#10 High octane

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:04 PM

The MPC '68 Dodge Coronet.
AMT '65 Fairlane

I have the Coronet on order from Modelhaus as I'm not going to wait until Jamaica freezes over for a model company to issue one.

#11 Daddyfink

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:28 PM

The Aurora tooling story was told to me by Tom West. Yes, the same person who designed them. Some of the tooling for the 417 Hemi was destroyed when it was used improperly during production and not repaired, he as part of the tooling that made the engine block and it is fragged!

From what he told me, the train crash messed up tooling that no one really cared about at the time. The Knights, haunted house type stuff and John Kennedy, the kit, not the Pres. The tooling was taken over to Monograms facility and the shop guys where told to go over it and pick out stuff that was still viable. The rest was scrapped for the value of the metal. From what he knows, some of it was scrapped out the back door for its value and the profits shared with some of the engineers who gave the blessing to scrap the stuff. So, the tooling still may exist or it may have been scrapped.

He did tell me that they never got back the tire molds from Canada where the tires where being produced. So, those may also still exist.

As for the Sizzler and School bus tooling, I went off the tales I have heard. So we are in the same boat with that one.

Maybe next time I will share the story on the Tony Nancy Double Dragster tooling. That one is cool!

#12 Casey

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:05 PM

The Aurora tooling story was told to me by Tom West. Yes, the same person who designed them. Some of the tooling for the 417 Hemi was destroyed when it was used improperly during production and not repaired, he as part of the tooling that made the engine block and it is fragged!


Is that red-highlighted "as" supposed to be "has", as in Tom West has in his possession part of the tooling for the 1/16 Racing Scenes Donovan 417?

From what he told me, the train crash messed up tooling that no one really cared about at the time. The Knights, haunted house type stuff and John Kennedy, the kit, not the Pres. The tooling was taken over to Monograms facility and the shop guys where told to go over it and pick out stuff that was still viable. The rest was scrapped for the value of the metal.

From what he knows, some of it was scrapped out the back door for its value and the profits shared with some of the engineers who gave the blessing to scrap the stuff. So, the tooling still may exist or it may have been scrapped
.


So the Aurora Racing Scenes tooling was definitely shipped via rail from Long Island, NY (?) to Morton Grove, or at least the final stretch to IL via rail? More good info.

I have heard similar things along the lines of "if it's not being used, scrap it", but hadn't heard about the tooling damage before.



He did tell me that they never got back the tire molds from Canada where the tires where being produced. So, those may also still exist.

The 1/16 M&H tires included in the 1/16 Racing Scenes kits? Very interesting. Thanks for sharing that info, Jesse.

#13 Daddyfink

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:40 AM

Sorry, yes, he HAS part of the damaged tooling. And just in case some don't know about the train crash, there was a shipment of tooling and other items heading to Monogram from Aurora and it had a pretty bad accident. Apparently tow trucks had to be used to yank some tooling out of the mud! There was always speculation that the tooling was that of the Aurora Racing Scenes, but, it was not, apparently. Hence, they may still yet exist in the Monogram/Revell vault. There was a rumor started a couple of years ago that they where going to clean up the tooling and re-release the kits, but, that came and went and Revell even changed ownership.

#14 Art Anderson

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:07 AM

Sorry, yes, he HAS part of the damaged tooling. And just in case some don't know about the train crash, there was a shipment of tooling and other items heading to Monogram from Aurora and it had a pretty bad accident. Apparently tow trucks had to be used to yank some tooling out of the mud! There was always speculation that the tooling was that of the Aurora Racing Scenes, but, it was not, apparently. Hence, they may still yet exist in the Monogram/Revell vault. There was a rumor started a couple of years ago that they where going to clean up the tooling and re-release the kits, but, that came and went and Revell even changed ownership.


Jesse, allow me to share what I know of the demise of Aurora tooling here:

First of all, I (along with Professor James D. Russell, School of Liberal Arts & Education at Purdue University in West Lafayette IN) were both heavily involved in doing both box art and trade show display models for AMT Corporation at the time, and had made a trip to AMT, at 1220 Maple Road in Troy Michigan to deliver several built models to AMT. Once we'd completed that mission, we drove the approximately 1.5 miles or so to the offices of MPC, in Mount Clemens MI, where we met Tom West (then the Product Manager for MPC and MPC-Lionel Trains), to discuss the possibility of our doing for MPC what we were doing for AMT. Now, this was a year or two after Aurora had shut down,

Second, from 1981-89, even though I live in Lafayette IN, I was a member of Lake Michigan Model Car Club, then meeting at the Village Hall in Western Springs IL (SW suburb of Chicago), then and still, the oldest model car club in the US and likely in the World (started in 1951 as the home chapter of International Association of Automotive Modelers -- IAAM). Several members of LMMCC were employees of Monogram Models. One of those was the late Jack Willer, then a pattern maker for Monogram Models, and he gave me the most plausible explanation of what happened to all the Aurora tooling that has apparently disappeared:

Now, to preface this: For those old enough to remember clearly, the model car kit industry was seriously on the skids by the late 1970's, and the Reagan Recession of 1981-82 was pretty much the Hurricane Sandy for the industry, and also our hobby. During the Christmas 1981 shopping season, I was astounded to see, in the Marsh Supermarket where my now Ex- and I shopped for groceries, a massive pile of Monogram model kits, easily the volume of two 48' semi trailers, all priced at about half the then-normal retail price for model car kits. The market for model kits was THAT BAD. In fact, during the first quarter of 1982, Lesney-AMT shipped the grand total of 6000 model kits (which was lower than abysmal). The situation was just as bad at Monogram, and Revell.

The Aurora tooling, according to Jack Willer, was all received at Morton Grove, in varying condition (and Jack never mentioned any damage due to accidents in shipping!). Aurora, as with several other model kit makers in the 50's and 60's, did all their tooling in "beryllium-copper alloy", which was more easily cut by the then-common milling operations used. Now, beryllium is at the level of a precious metal, not unlike silver or gold, and copper has been, and certainly is today, nearly a precious metal. Given the dire situation that every model kit maker in the US faced in late 1981 and early 1982, Monogram saw but one choice, sell the tooling that they could no longer see as making saleable product for scrap. Most of it was stuff that Monogram management determined was not up to the very high standards they'd come to expect (and that model kit buyers also had come to expect as well from Monogram), so that was the tooling that got scrapped.

Jack Willer went on to tell me that this was one of the principal things that saved Monogram, and I for one am happy that it all worked out.

Now I know all about the stories of a train wreck, and the more fanciful tale about the tools being loaded on a ship to travel the Great Lakes from the St Lawrence to Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Michigan, to Chicago, and a shipwreck, but even Jack scoffed at that.

Jack's story of what happened is the one that has always had the most plausible reputation--I knew how bad it was in the industry in that 6 months or so, having held a 1" pad of legal documents detailing the Lesney-AMT bankruptcy (I was a creditor to the tune of almost $3,500 for unpaid invoices for built up models--I did get paid, in late August 1982, in full with interest!).

But this is what I know and believe to be true.

Art Anderson

#15 Greg Myers

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:44 AM

OKAY. It's all gone. Now let's get those computers moving and get these kits Reverse Engineered ! :o :blink: :huh:

#16 Eshaver

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:51 PM

Gee, the models I wish were avalible :

63 Chevrolet Nova
65 Falcon
65 Oldsmobile H T
64 Bonniville
64 Gran Prix
32 Chevrolet panel

#17 Casey

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:10 PM

It would be interesting to see a list of kits which were irreversibly modified. I'm sure some of the MPC annuals and some show rods would be on the list, but would the list really be that big?

#18 JunkPile

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:19 PM

Irreversibly modified kit: AMT '65 Olds 88

#19 Draggon

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:24 AM

And AMT's 67 Falcon that ended up as the modified stocker.
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#20 Erik Smith

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:33 AM

That's where the '63 Tempest ended up - AWB.
The '63 Nova wagon was modified too, no? Bossa Nova?
It's curious what happened to molds that were not modified, though, and have never seen reissues. '62 Tempests, '62 Galaxies, '62 and '63 Fairlanes?