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55 Corvette Review


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#1 Duntov

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 01:00 PM

HI:

I was wandering around the hobby shop yesterday, feeling sorry for myself (dangerous activity in the hobby shop) and picked up the 55 Corvette from Round 2. Cost was $19.90. The kit is pretty nice.

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It has a neat set of printed white walls that I really like (see the picture). The one big disappointment in the tire area is the two part racing slicks rendered in hard plastic.


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The body is well cast and represents the real car quite well. A nice set of decals with both black and white stripes are included. There are some other neat window decals but no street plates are included.


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The chrome tree is very well done and includes the larger “V” for the Corvette side script for 55 Corvettes only (it denoted the V-8 engine on the real car). This is a very delicate piece so be careful if you decide to use it. The head light buckets and bezel are cast as one piece with a rudimentary set of rock screens cast on the clear sprue. You will need to get the MCG photo etch to represent the screens and replace the “V” while you are at it….same with the side scripts although the cast on items are quite good. The stock hub caps are stunning when trimmed in red and mounted on the kit supplied wide whites.....great for a chevy street rod too!!!

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The rest of the kit has aged well. One nice touch is the inclusion of two different transmissions, one for the PG automatic and one for a four speed….you could fake a factory 3 speed here if you are crafty about it….check your references. There is also a nice separate one piece frame. An up-top is included too so you have a ton of latitude with respect to how you build this one. A set of headers that look a bit toy like are included but the stock items are by and large correct. The V-8 engine is very simple and uses the tab-slot affair and frame pins we used to see in the old trophy series 40 Fords to mount to the frame (yes I am that old!!!). Any more modern day small block could pass for the original 265 V-8 with a little work and proper engine mounts.

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The suspension is simlified but the rear end is a two piece "fully cast" item so you don't have the "half-cast" rear end typical of some other more expensive kits....this is a nice touch and real pet pieve of mine!!!!



Overall this is a good kit and I did not hesitate to add it to my collection when I saw it. I have built three other earlier issue stock versions, one for my own collection and two on commission as desk models for presentation with full size restorations of the real cars (given to clients). A reasonable price and lots of possibilities make this a good kit to have……..get one and have fun!!!!

Regards Bill (Duntov)

#2 rick6343

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 08:02 AM

Bill,

Thanks for the review. I like seeing what's inside these older kits, and this one looks surprisingly good.

#3 Eshaver

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:02 AM

Bill, uh whats wrong with being old ? Heck I live very close to a gentleman who still drives his 1954 Corvette he still maintains on his own too. Oh he's 77. I turned 60 back in December and my first model was A M T's 1961 Thunderbird convertable ............ Hey great revue !!!!!!!! Ed Shaver

#4 larrygre

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:28 AM

The big bugaboo with this kit (and the '53 sister kit) is the ride height. This will need to be adjusted or the car will look like a 4x4. I doubt that Round2 went in and fixed the tool, so its pretty much up to us. There was an excellent article on fixing the errors of the '53 in a very old edition (pre-1980, I believe) of the original Scale Auto Enthusiast and I don't have access to my library at this moment so I am not certain of the issue - anyone please feel free to step in and name that mag!

That four-speed is nice but historically incorrect. Four-speeds didn't show up in 'Vettes till 1957, so you had a choice of Powerglide or three-speed manual. That's all, folks.

Otherwise, details notwithstanding, it's not a bad kit at all, and a nice canvas to mess around with! More in the next issue of MCM!

#5 Kris Morgan

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:57 AM

Thanks for the review. i really like that they included the whitewalls.

#6 plowboy

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:27 AM

Thanx for the review Bill. I've often been tempted to buy that kit and build one just like the boxart. I've always thought that boxart was cool. Now that I know what's in it,I'm gonna have to pick one up.

#7 Erik Smith

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 11:03 AM

Wow! An actual kit review in the kit review section! Thanks for taking the time to photograph and post the review. I have an old version of one of the AMT corvettes and the cast looks cleaner on this one!

#8 vwrabbit

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:23 AM

Just working on this kit now. Debating between replicating #16 (150 MPH Daytona Beach land speed record-white/black) or #55 (Watkins Glen Vintage Grand Prix-yellow/black). Hard to find detailed pictures of either. And Duntov, love the nickname! My guess is you are a classic Corvette racer/GM engineer fan?

Tim

#9 Duntov

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:20 AM

Just working on this kit now. Debating between replicating #16 (150 MPH Daytona Beach land speed record-white/black) or #55 (Watkins Glen Vintage Grand Prix-yellow/black). Hard to find detailed pictures of either. And Duntov, love the nickname! My guess is you are a classic Corvette racer/GM engineer fan?

Tim


Thanks Tim.... yes Duntov denotes that I am a major Corvette "SICK-O"..... a real 66 big block coupe in the garage and too many 1/25 th cars in boxes and on the shelf!!!!!

#10 bigphoto

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:11 PM

Just working on this kit now. Debating between replicating #16 (150 MPH Daytona Beach land speed record-white/black) or #55 (Watkins Glen Vintage Grand Prix-yellow/black). Hard to find detailed pictures of either. And Duntov, love the nickname! My guess is you are a classic Corvette racer/GM engineer fan?

Tim

Thanks Tim.... yes Duntov denotes that I am a major Corvette "SICK-O"..... a real 66 big block coupe in the garage and too many 1/25 th cars in boxes and on the shelf!!!!!



Hey he could be a ARDUN head flattie fan too as he did those before the Vette!! :P

Thanks for the review I have been debating getting this kit also but being of the Blue Oval persuesion makes it difficult at times :P

#11 vwrabbit

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:11 PM

Nice!

Thanks Tim.... yes Duntov denotes that I am a major Corvette "SICK-O"..... a real 66 big block coupe in the garage and too many 1/25 th cars in boxes and on the shelf!!!!!


And thanks for that bit of info! Never knew that!

Hey he could be a ARDUN head flattie fan too as he did those before the Vette!! :P

Thanks for the review I have been debating getting this kit also but being of the Blue Oval persuesion makes it difficult at times :P


To add to the review, the problem I found with this cast (but may also be a problem w/the original) are all the little cast pins throughout. For example, on the top side of the rear springs and front lower A-arm assembly, just to name a few locations. I think I remember a few on the intake manifold too.

Tim

#12 62rebel

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:42 PM

ejection pin marks are pretty prominent on this era kit; they had lots of them and some flash when they were new. i've never been a great fan of the wheel retainer design on these, but it did make it easier to alter ride height either by flipping the spindle or cutting it apart and moving the pin. if i recall, these were among the first AMT kits to have separate interior sides, which made detail painting so much easier...

dangnabbit. another kit i have to re-buy now.

#13 vwrabbit

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:38 AM

I might have to pick up another one or 2 of this one also. There's another vintage racer that I'd love to build and something mild 60s hot rod I'd like to try. Now that I know what to look out for when building this kit, it won't be as much tinkering.

Tim

#14 Leadworks

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:25 PM

Hi Bill, Picked up the same KIT for my Grandson.....and were going to do it...just like the Box Cover.....Good luck on yours...

#15 Dave Darby

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 02:51 PM

I built the box art car for the '53 (same tool) in the 3 car set back in the 1990's, and I can vouch for the ride height issue. However, I will say that the SAE article Larry Greenberg speaks of is incorrect. I believe Bill Coulter wrote it, and he felt that side trim was running uphill. Bill suggested taking a pie-cut out of the body to 'correct' this. The fact is, on the 1 : 1 car, the rockers run downhill, so if the body was sitting on the ground, it would give an uphill appearance. So I would leave the body be, and concentrate on the ride height. I believe I corrected this on the box art car by flipping the spindles over in front, and trimming the springs in back. And yes, the divider between the seats came off sometime between delivery and photography.

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