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


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#61 Casey

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

I've never seen the '70 AMT version. Do you have any pictures?

 

 

IMG_1649.jpg

 

 

I'm confused. What do you mean "The Chevelle was "backdated" to the 1970." "There was never an AMT issue of the Red Alert in 1970 trim. " ? You seem to be talking about two different things here. :huh: :blink:

 

 

The AMT '70 Chevelle SS 454 kit was never issued with the Red Alert decals is what Mark said.



#62 Greg Myers

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:54 PM

Gotcha. and I got both kits to build a better mouse (Rat) trap. :P


Edited by Greg Myers, 03 December 2012 - 02:55 PM.


#63 tooltas

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

obs or bigfoot 1 or the 72 gmc step sides or some of the 4wd trucks



#64 Casey

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:32 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.

 

 

This seems to jive with what Jesse said.

 

 

http://culttvman.com/main/?p=6365

 

 

 

What is the story about the Aurora train wreck?

 

Tom West was the R&D Product Manager for the Aurora Kit line at the end of the run. He says:

 

“The infamous train wreck (somewhere outside Albany, as I got the word) did in fact happen. Evidently it was a derailment which sent the car carrying a load of molds out into a field. Since they were so heavy, the molds were not tied down and pretty well tore up the car when they went through the car.

“The loss was actually in the area of 14 1/2 molds officially (or 15 1/2, something like that). The molds were taken to Chicago to the Morton Grove facility, where the insurance company paid on the loss. Obviously, the other 1/2 mold was not particularly functional, but then the insurance company never had to produce parts from the remaining 1/2 mold.

“There were some figure kits involved, a couple of aircraft molds, and the Addams family house sounds right, as mentioned on one of the other responses. I know that one of the accessory (black) parts molds for World War I aircraft was in there as well. I believe it was the Albatross CIII and two more kits that were the ones affected. Can’t remember which the others were.

“Aurora molds were pretty much dismantled by Monogram beyond the ones lost in the wreck. When they got the molds, they gave their marketing group the list and told them to tell management which tools they would use in a certain period of time, like 3 years or 5 years, or something like that. Everything after that was open to the tooling guys, who, I understand, were given a bonus based on the amount of beryllium steel (cast cavities) that they were able to salvage from those molds. This material can be remelted and recast into new parts. Much of the classic oddball Aurora product was melted down in what sounded like a real feeding frenzy which eliminated the greatest part of the Aurora mold library, especially unwanted figures.

 

Since that time I have talked to various people who would have been involved, and everyone was just following orders and nobody ever made a decision to scrap those molds. Tom Gannon, the Monogram President at the time was the only one who would take credit for the direction that set that in motion, as he felt it was good business to eliminate the stuff from the marketplace to eliminate competition. As if some of that old Aurora stuff was really going to compete with what Monogram was doing.

 

Hope this helps clear up some of the confusion.”

 

–Tom West

 


#65 Greg Myers

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:16 PM

no mention here of these gems : 392.gif417.jpg



#66 Ben

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:20 AM

Revell will finally dig out the Aurora molds they have and dust off these gems. :D392.gif417.jpg

Is this confirmed? I thought all the Aurora Racing Molds had been destroyed?



#67 Greg Myers

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:37 AM

I don't see mention of any of the above kits mentioned in here : http://culttvman.com/main/?p=6365


Edited by Greg Myers, 05 April 2013 - 08:38 AM.


#68 Casey

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 11:54 AM

Is this confirmed? I thought all the Aurora Racing Molds had been destroyed?

 

I'm not sure it can or will ever be confirmed, and I know Art Anderson has mentioned a similar story to the one Tom West told, so it's reasonable to think the 1/16 Aurora Racing Scenes tooling is gone.

 

Per Jesse's earlier post, as told by Tom West:

 

"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!"

 

 

Assuming that's true and it arrived at Morton Grove in '77, and considering how poorly the 1/16 Racing Scenes sold for Aurora, I would think it would've been an easy choice for scrapping.



#69 Greg Myers

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:16 PM

Hard to believe they didn't sell. I was in the Navy at the time, Okinawa '70-'74 so I wouldn't have a clue. Didn't see any at the base hobby shop. Jut look at this stuff and drool. http://www.straightl...org/aurora.html

 

aurorahead.gif



#70 Chuck Kourouklis

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:24 PM

Yeah, spent X on these - a big enough X, don't you worry - and I got no regrets at all:

 

IMGP1183-vi.jpg

 

They're everything they've been cracked up to be.  Not slapping 'em together any time soon, so if tech advances quick enough to make 'em re-doable, I may just have some usable masters.



#71 Greg Myers

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:29 PM

That's what I'm talkin' about, reverse engineering. :o



#72 Casey

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:46 PM

They're everything they've been cracked up to be.

 

I remember opening the Pinto & Custom Painters kit I bought on eBay in '99 or so, and the disappointment shortly thereafter. The locating pins on the windshield were huge, the body had way too much roll at the rockers, and the nose and fenderlines seemed very "square". The figures are great, and the best part of that particular kit IMHO. Bell bottoms, pointy collars, and a 'fro scream early '70s, but the head can interchange with the F/C Drivers' bodies, making them even more versatile.

 

The F/C Chassis (mine was a swap meet glue bomb buy) set had some nice details, but since the chassis is molded in one piece, the tubing is only half round.  :(  Good for a quick glance, but not nearly as realistic as the Revell 1/16 F/C and T/F kit chassis. The M&H tires are phenomenal, the 5-spoke American front wheels sensational, and the Donovan 417 is in a league of its own.

 

Hard to believe they didn't sell.

 

 

According to Tom West's History of Drag Racing Models which ran in SAE in '90 or so, they didn't sell well at all.



#73 Chuck Kourouklis

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:50 PM

I just come to a different conclusion, Casey. For the era, the bad parts aren't so far off, and the good parts are pretty unbelievable.



#74 Casey

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:00 PM

I just come to a different conclusion, Casey. For the era, the bad parts aren't so far off, and the good parts are pretty unbelievable.

 

They are great, but they do have some shortcomings in a few areas. I think the Racing Scenes kits tend to get a bit overhyped since Aurora is defunct, similar to what's happened to JO-HAN kits, but I don't see the quality of the RC parts ever being equalled. The Tom West article really spelled out why, and I wish he'd write a follow up, adding some more history of his time at Aurora.



#75 Chuck Kourouklis

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:22 PM

Well yeah, Tom's article spelled out the biggest problems with the bodies, so I went into this knowing just what to expect there; and without any nasty surprises, it was easy to be blown away by the rest.  

 

It's also interesting that there's something to the engraving "flavor" that seems similar to the MPC big-scales of the time - don't know why a shared molding facility would bring that about if different artisans handled the tooling, but there does seem to be a certain subtle kinship there.



#76 kitbash1

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:27 PM

Since that time I have talked to various people who would have been involved, and everyone was just following orders and nobody ever made a decision to scrap those molds. Tom Gannon, the Monogram President at the time was the only one who would take credit for the direction that set that in motion, as he felt it was good business to eliminate the stuff from the marketplace to eliminate competition. As if some of that old Aurora stuff was really going to compete with what Monogram was doing.

 

Hope this helps clear up some of the confusion.”

 

–Tom West

 

Ah yes, the old " we were just following the orders of Superior Officers " the most lamest excuse used though history, both in war and in business.  This time it's robbed us of some very neat kits.



#77 Casey

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 05:35 PM

Ah yes, the old " we were just following the orders of Superior Officers " the most lamest excuse used though history, both in war and in business.  This time it's robbed us of some very neat kits.

 

It may also have saved Monogram, according to what Art Anderson said, and maybe a few others.

 

 

 

Well yeah, Tom's article spelled out the biggest problems with the bodies, so I went into this knowing just what to expect there; and without any nasty surprises, it was easy to be blown away by the rest. 

 

I don't think I ever had anything from the Racing Scenes in my hands until I bought a parts lot on eBay in '99 or so, and Tom's articles definitely made me want more. This was on page two of the SLM article Greg linked to, but had the RS line been more successful, we might've seen these, too:

 

19459_1186775231198_1282823678_30453433_

 

 

It's also interesting that there's something to the engraving "flavor" that seems similar to the MPC big-scales of the time - don't know why a shared molding facility would bring that about if different artisans handled the tooling, but there does seem to be a certain subtle kinship there.

 

It was somewhere in Michigan, this molding facility? Not sure if I even am remembering correctly or where I read that (here maybe?). That would be wild if it was in MI and was the same place Lindberg molded its kits recently...road trip to eastern Michigan!