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AMT 1957 Chrysler 300C


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#1 Olle F

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 07:52 AM

I just finished building AMT’s Chrysler 300C, and even if this kit has been on the market for a while, I thought I’d share some impressions and make y’all aware of some possible problems you may run into when building it.

First of all, you need to know that I am a bit picky. I have tried to describe everything I found, so it might sound like this model is a piece of junk after reading about all the problems I had. This is definitely not the case. The kit is one of the best kits I have ever built, with a possible exception for R/M’s ’69 Yenko Camaro. But that’s probably because I just love ’69 Yenko Camaros. :wink:

I might also add that I’m by no means an expert on 300C’s, so there might be inaccuracies that I just didn’t notice. But it looks convincing enough to me, even after studying a lot of pictures of the real thing. You can see some pictures of my box-stock build here: http://www.modelcars...opic.php?t=4631

Anyway, here goes:

Interior:
No problems here, it’s a 3-piece tub (separate side panels) with very good detail. Most of the engraving is nice and pronounced, and overall it’s really good and very easy to detail with paint and BMF. Way above average.

Body and trim:
The body is one of the weak points in this kit. It’s nicely molded, but the amount of waves and sink marks was almost overwhelming. For example: I could actually see the headliner through the roof, so if yours is as bad as mine you need to get ready to do a lot of work if you want that arrow straight body with a black paint job. I filled the worst spots and sanded out most of the imperfections, but some of it came back after while. I think the problem is that my kit was molded in a very soft plastic, which actually seems to move around a bit over time. On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about breaking any parts, they’ll just bend… :roll:

The chrome parts were very nicely done and fit well. There were some minor issues though. For some stupid reason, AMT’s tooling guys decided to attach the rear bumper to the sprue at the top. Of course, this leaves some nasty and very visible marks when you cut it off. Those who have seen the taillights on R/M’s ’59 Impala know what I’m talking about. I sanded and polished the top of the bumper and put some BMF on it, so at least it looks ok. The emblem on the trunk is probably 2 full scale inches thick, and needs to be sanded thin to look good. Another solution (if you happen to notice this before painting the body, which I didn’t) is to simply drill out the recess and countersink the emblem. Whichever way you go, it will be a tad to big to fit in the recess. No biggie, but you might want to dry fit the emblem before you paint the body. The headlight bezels are nice, but they are a bit rough around the edges. The area around the reflectors should be painted body color, so the best thing is probably to do what I did, and glue them to the body before paint, and fill/sand/rescribe around the edges as necessary. Mask the reflectors before painting and put BMF around the perimeter, and they’ll turn out great.

Engine:
Wow… Everything is nicely made, way above average, and most parts pretty much fell in place. There’s even a dipstick for the transmission. 8) The only boo-boo is that one valve cover will end up upside down if you glue it on like the mounting tabs indicate. The engine compartment is very crowded due to the amount of details, so you may want to leave the oil filler tube and oil filter off until radiator hoses and exhaust system are in place. The upper radiator hose fit fairly well after some bending (the soft plastic came in handy here) but I couldn’t get the lower one to fit at all. This is no big deal though. If this hadn’t been a box stock build, I would just have made new ones.

Chassis:
Again… Wow! Tons of detail, and everything fell in place just like it should! The separate frame is a wonderful feature that makes the model extremely easy to detail. However, the frame rails had some waves in it, which will show if you paint it semi-gloss, like I did. I couldn’t see an easy way to correct this, so I decided to just live with it.

Fit:
Overall, I was really impressed to see how well everything fit. I sure didn’t expect that with the amount of separate parts you get in this kit. There were some issues though, and here’s my major gripe with this kit: It was very difficult to make the interior tub come up far enough in the body. I still don’t know exactly what the problem is, but it seems to me that the tub is a tad too tall (maybe 1/32”-3/64” or so) to allow the chassis to be mounted right. It might be intentional, but the sides of the floor pan will show under the rocker panels. I painted the edges body color, so it kinda looks like the spot welded lip you see under the rocker panels on a real car. Another approach would be to section the interior a bit by filing the bottom edges of the side panels and the back seat. Whatever you decide to do to resolve this, you have to pay close attention to how you mount the glass and the dash, or the door panels won’t line up with the window openings. I thought I mounted the glass correctly, but I still had to bevel the edges of the dash pad and the package tray for clearance. Separate glass pieces are nice, but I wish they could come up with a way to make the locations for these pieces more defined.

Another issue was how the frame fits to the bottom of the radiator support area. This could be due to a bent frame in my kit, but I ended up with a large (maybe 1/8”) gap between the top of the front frame rails and the body. I solved this by gluing the rear of the frame first, then I put some CA-glue on the tabs up front, pressed it together and crossed my fingers. I’m still waiting for this to pop loose when someone slams the door.

Decals:
There isn’t much in the standard kit, but the custom version comes with some graphics. Nothing I would use on a car like this though. The air filter decals are a nice touch, but the license tags are way too big to fit on the provided frame. It was easy enough to make my own on the computer, and you can also use decals from another kit, so it’s no big problem.

Overall impression:
It’s a great kit, and my only major problems were the waves in the body and to make the interior tub fit. It can be fixed in various ways, as long as you’re aware of it before you start.

#2 lordairgtar

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 08:17 AM

Really great review. Looks like I'll have to pull that one out of the closet and check it out. Mine's the first issue, so maybe the plastic won't be as soft as yours. Thanks for the heads up on the emblem fit and other issues.

#3 MrObsessive

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 09:33 AM

Thanks for the review Olle! I have the kit somewhere in my stash, but it's been a long time since I looked at it.

One of the things I do remember about the kit and it drives me bonkers, is the waaaaaaayy too thick rear glass. It's so thick that when looked through at a certain angle it has those lines on the edges like you'd see in someones eyeglasses!

That's the only thing stopping me from building it.........I have some Squadron "Thermaform" which I may try to use to make new rear glass.

Otherwise, I'll have to vacuform it somehow. :shock:

As far as the tub not fitting up in the body far enough, that could be once again due to the too thick glass. I haven't attempted to dry fit my kit, but your review so impressed me that my curiosity is up and I'll dig the kit out and take a closer look.

Another faux pas I remember albeit minor, is the shape of the trailing edge of the fins. On the 1:1, the top of the tailfins over the tailights should have a bent over kink on them, where as on the kit the fins are almost straight from a side profile.

No biggie as it's not that noticeable (except to us "Obsessive" types :lol:) and shouldn't be hard at all to fix.

Thanks again for the heads up!


#4 Olle F

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 10:45 AM

Bill,

It's not only the rear glass, the windshield is just as bad. They both look like Coke bottle bottoms, you can see that clearly in my pictures. Both are compound shaped, and have to be vacuum formed. Have fun. :wink:

The thickness of the glass did cause a problem when I fitted the interior, that's why I had to bevel the dash/shelf areas. But when the interior was installed with the door panels flush with the top of the doors, it was still visible under the rockers. I'll see if I can take a picture of this to make it more clear what I'm talking about.

#5 Olle F

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 11:06 AM

Ok, here's a picture where you can see how far the floor pan comes down, even with the interior installed flush at the top of the doors. You can see the ends of the floor pan at the arrows. Can't really see anything else than that the tub is too tall, or what do you think?

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