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Everything posted by Mark

  1. Check out the decal sheet in the Jimmy..."Mustang Ranch, Silver Springs, Nevada"...
  2. I've got two AMT '67 annual kits (Barracuda and Mustang), and three '68 kits (Riviera, Torino fastback, and Galaxie), that are still shrinkwrapped. Two of the '68 kits have period store price tags. I've had the Barracuda since 1973, and I know where it has been since 1967. Neither of the people who had it before me would have had the capability to wrap it. I bought two of the Mustangs from a trustworthy collector/seller (now deceased) in the mid-Eighties. He knew where they were since 1972 (info is lightly penciled in on the box bottom; corner of shrinkwrap was cut and pulled away in that area). Opened the other Mustang upon receiving it, it's exactly what it's supposed to be. Same goes for a '67 Galaxie hardtop kit that I bought from the same guy, that I cracked open and built in the late Eighties. Two of the '68 kits were purchased at Toledo about twenty years ago, for (at the time) little more than what vendors were asking for current kits. I can't see the doll vendor who sold them to me going to the trouble of wrapping those. A couple of these do exhibit minor pulling-in of the box lids, but I've got a few others from the 1969 period that do not have any issues. That has more to do with storage conditions than anything else. Looking at several other AMT '67 annual kits (and one empty box) that are unsealed, not a single one of them has the tape marks or residue on the side panels and box bottom that the pre-'67 boxes will always have. Bagging of the unplated parts inside the box started later ('69 or '70) but I'll stick to my earlier statement: shrinkwrapping boxes at AMT started with the '67 annuals. That said, I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a shrinkwrapped kit, especially in an online auction...I'd have to see it.
  3. Looks legit to me...I've got several sealed AMT kits from that era, the wrap on each of them looks similar to that one. I've had a couple of them since the early Seventies, and a couple others bought from a reliable collector/seller (bought two of the same kit, both wrapped; opened one and it was "right"). Others were found for less than the price of a (then) current production kit, so I'm pretty sure nobody would go to any great length to do anything to those. One or two of mine are split along the seam on one side of the box, but they were that way prior to my getting them. AMT started shrinkwrapping their kits in late '66 with the 1967 annuals. Trophy Series kits were "phased in"; they generally stayed with the little pieces of tape on each side of the box, and were changed to shrinkwrap next time the kit was issued with different box art. Yellowing, excessive shrinking that pulls the top of the box into a "concave" shape, and drying/splitting of shrinkwrap are caused by storage conditions. If the box was sitting in an attic or other place with temp/humidity extremes, it would develop any or all of these conditions. The Chevelle kit was probably stored under optimal conditions over the years. That said, I've never spent that much on a kit, and if I were to do so, I'd have to see it "in person" beforehand. I've seen too many shrinkwrapped kits with stickers, writing, paint spots, and other issues under the shrinkwrap, as well as shrinkwrapped pre-'67 AMT kits, to trust anything but a hands-on inspection. A period store price tag would be a plus, though sometimes you don't want to see that on the top face of the box lid.
  4. Maybe GSA required mirrors on both sides, but my mom bought a 1995 Dodge Neon, brand new...with no passenger side mirror. She wanted one without any options other than an automatic transmission...not even a radio (which was still optional). Dealer found her one with the automatic, rear window defroster (required in NY, except on hatchbacks), side moldings, and a radio. Mom agreed to take the side moldings but insisted on no radio. The dealer left it in because they couldn't get the block-off plate for the instrument panel. And what would they do with an AM radio? My brother got the car after my mom quit driving; first thing he did was go to the junkyard and get a passenger-side mirror...
  5. The engines are still water-cooled, only all of the coolant is in the block and cylinder heads. There is no water pump to circulate the coolant, it just sits there and absorbs heat. No radiator is needed because they are only running for a minute or so at a stretch. They are shut off at the far end of the strip, then towed or pushed back to the pits. If the water gets too hot, it can be drained and replaced with cooler water before the next round, but the "down time" between rounds was usually sufficient to get the engine into the right temperature range. Often, you don't want ice-cold coolant when you are ready to race. The recent Bill Jenkins book mentions a late-Sixties aluminum engine block, and his desire to keep the engine temp at around 140 degrees. Jenkins and his crew rigged up a system to circulate heated liquid through the engine overnight so it would remain at the desired temperature. On his earlier cars, for between-rounds cool-downs, Jenkins wired the car's generator to act as a motor, then ran a shorter fan belt connecting the generator (now electric motor) and water pump pulleys.
  6. The only stuff that irritates me these days is basic things that are missed: removal of ejector pin marks or trademark info, sink marks and jagged parting lines not fixed, things like that. Sometimes, on an assembled model, you can see into the front of the interior around the firewall (Revell '53-'54 Chevies) or can look at the car from the side and can see clear through to the other side because there aren't any inner rear fenders (AMT '37 Chevies). Engine wiring isn't a big deal to me anymore (especially on older kits, where there's a gaping hole in the lower engine block with a metal axle passing through). Poorly done wiring looks worse than none at all (like when the wires are "parted" down the center, with four going to each cylinder bank). Leaving out the coil wire doesn't make sense either. Even if there isn't an ignition coil in the kit, scratching one from a piece of sprue or plastic rod isn't tough. When you are looking at a 1:1 car or truck, when was the last time the valve stems caught your eye? They are just "there", like balancing weights. One last thought...why are lift-off hoods okay when the 1:1 car has a hinged hood, but lift-off trunk lids or doors aren't?
  7. Not every '62 kit had parts for either the kart or the cycle; in fact, more didn't have them than did have them. You didn't even have to buy all of the ones that did have the parts, as some parts were in more than one kit. For example, one kit had plated wheels for the kart while another had an unplated set. Same with the exhaust pipes for the engines, and possibly the gas tank. The '61 kits didn't include parts for an extra item like this. Some of them had miniature billboard frames, and a printed sheet that you had to cut from the instruction sheet which had a space for the builder to write details about their model.
  8. In addition to the Joe Henning article in Rod & Custom, keep an eye open for issue #23 of Motor Racing Replica News; it contains an article on the Marmon Wasp. 1/25 scale dimensional line drawings are included. This article leaves parts sources "open" but mentions a couple of model airplane items as starting points for the tires. Like the R&C article, engine detail is ignored. The MRRN article breaks some of the parts down into shapes. A passable 1/25 scale shelf model could be constructed from the articles alone. Anything larger would demand a greater level of detail (including access to the engine), which would require a first-hand look at the 1:1 car.
  9. Wheels were the same, tires were not. The front tires were plastic, probably tooled up because the originals couldn't be located. I don't think any of the MPC kits had all four Cragar mags the same width. So if you want all four to be the same, you must either track down two sets of wheels, or get one wheel and do some resin casting.
  10. The LA Dart wheelie car body is indeed a rework of the Ramchargers Dart funny car body. The Ramchargers Dart has the front wheel openings too far forward for stock, but the LA Dart body has them too far back. That kit was cobbled together with the MPC Hurst Hemi Under Glass Barracuda interior and underbody, and the Dart body's wheel openings were shifted to match up with the front wheel locations on the Barracuda underbody. Besides that, the LA Dart body doesn't have a trunk lid, and the front bumper was left out of the kit (the 1:1 didn't have one). For this subject, if you can get your hands on a properly done, correct version in resin, that would be the way to go rather than tracking down all the necessary pieces and doing the conversion yourself.
  11. There are more of the "429" misprint box kits than there were corrected "427" kits in that same box. The misprint boxes were used for the initial run. The highest number of any given kit will be made in the first run. Subsequent production runs are usually way smaller (fewer kits) because not all distributors or stores restock at the same time.
  12. Decide what types of parts you want to build (suspension members, exhaust pipes, crossmembers, whatever), get accurate measurements of the 1:1 pieces, then convert the measurements to the scale you are going to work in. If the dimensions of the 1:1 item scaled down should fall between two available material sizes, take the smaller of the two (to allow for paint thickness). If you are making tubular/round cross-section parts that are straight, use plastic tubing with wire inside as opposed to plastic rod when feasible. If you are scratching a rectangular tube frame rail with a kick-up, or a crossmember with a drop center, you might want to cut it from a sheet as opposed to building it up from multiple pieces. After a couple of instances where you build something with one method and then decide another way is better, you will quickly figure out the best method the first time.
  13. Placed an order 2/5 (Sunday evening), it was waiting for me today (2/16, Tuesday). That's not terribly long. It was short one item (I had ordered two of a particular sheet but only one was included). I checked all of the sets without header cards stapled on to make sure the second one was not in with something else, then sent Becky an e-mail. I got a prompt reply, and was told the missing sheet was still in stock and would be sent out ASAP. Great service, great product...their closing will certainly leave a void (or an opening for someone...)
  14. Where the spokes meet the rim? Unfortunately, those are sink marks. Unfortunate, because those wheels are otherwise excellent. The fix isn't easy...strip the plating from one of each size wheel, fill sink marks, make molds, and cast them.
  15. It was RC2 that brought back the Beverly Hillbillies Oldsmobile, a couple years before Round 2 entered the picture. But logic would dictate that the folks at Round 2 would look at something like that when formulating their decisions about the tooling they now own...
  16. The '33 panel truck seems to be one of those things that "nearly everyone who wants one, has one". A buddy of mine had a clean builtup for sale last year: complete, unpainted, easily disassembled, even the unused decal sheet was included. It was cheaper than the conversion parts alone would be whenever a resin caster offers them. We set up together at three or four shows before he sold it. I'd have grabbed it myself, but I've got enough parts to make three or four now...probably two or three more than I'll ever get to. That said, the Vampire Van body does still fit the '32 Chevy fenders, and actually looks kind of neat in its own right...
  17. They're usually bought by second or third generation money (no clue how it was earned, plenty of ideas about how to spend it), or celebs/sports figures (who made too much too fast, and end up back at zero at some point). Rules only apply to working schmucks anyway...
  18. If they were for a dirt track car, you'd have "stagger"!
  19. The ones I have seen look good in the package. But, like most low-end diecast stuff, easy production and quick assembly trump things like detail and accuracy. You're money ahead picking up inexpensive/incomplete kits for parts IMO...
  20. There were four issues of the custom fastback: Mach I concept: issued 1967 (though the box art resembles the '68 annual kits). The chassis and engine are from the Sonny & Cher Mustang kit, a custom-only '66 convertible itself made from the annual kit. (There were two AMT '66 Mustang annual kits: the fastback, and a convertible with separate glue-on roof with vinyl texture.) The chassis was altered to add dual exhaust (up until then, it had a single exhaust setup molded in). The Mach I body was new tooling, the interior probably altered from the '66 fastback annual (the body from that kit went to the altered-wheelbase funny car kit). The Mach I was molded in red. Autolite Hi-Per Special: issued 1968. changes included different wheels (Appliance "Wire Mag" replacing the Mach I's Apache wheels). I believe the cut line for the "roadster" option was added to the body at this time also. Molded in metallic (not flake) blue. Superstang Gasser: issued 1969. This issue had a full-length plated parts tree (Mach I and Hi-Per had half-length trees). This issue included a drag version. The Appliance Wire Mag wheels are replaced by the "baby moon/chrome reversed wheels" that AMT put into a lot of kits over the years. The drag version had slotted wheels, slicks, and 13" tires for the front. Molded in yellow. Iron Horse: issued 1975 (possibly '74). This issue went is much the same as the Hi-Per Special; the drag version parts are removed. The Appliance Wire Mags are back, the chrome reversed/baby moons are out (though they are on the car in the catalog illustration). Molded in white. The chassis/engine and half of the plated tree from the Iron Horse were later united with the '66 Mustang coupe promotional model tool (issued once in kit form, in 1969) to create the oft-reissued '66 Mustang coupe kit that we know today. Remember, the '66 annual was not a coupe but a convertible with separate hardtop roof.
  21. Around here, Toys R Us had AMT car kits around Christmastime about five years ago. The selection was pretty basic; mostly reissues of Sixties annuals like the '66 Galaxie and Mustang, '69 Torino fastback, and '64 Impala, with a couple of newer ones like the stock '57 Chrysler thrown in. They were priced at around $10 each which wasn't great at the time, but not outrageously high either. These were not on the shelves but were in the center of the wide aisles, so it was apparent that they weren't coming back on any kind of permanent basis. TRU got out of model kits around 2003 if my memory is correct. They seemed to have an abundance of the new-tool AMT '57 Chevy kits, in all versions. They blew those out for $3.33 each. I bought all of the Pro Shop version that I could find, sold all but a couple, which more than paid for the ones I did keep.
  22. The car pictured on the box is a '67 Galaxie, but that's not what is inside the box. The USED CARS kit was a giveaway item made to promote the movie. Inside the box was a bag of plastic parts from a late-Seventies MPC kit. Some of these contained Dodge pickup kit parts, most contained a Camaro kit. One I saw had the bag of parts from the Camaro but the plated tree from the Dodge pickup. The instruction sheet was a joke item with "tips" on prepping a used car. The kit wasn't meant to be assembled, and probably couldn't be assembled with what was in the box. I don't think all of these kits had plated trees, clear parts, or tires. As an aside, in the mid-Eighties a pilot episode was filmed for a potential USED CARS series. Nobody picked it up, and I'm not sure it aired on network TV. The pilot is available if you know where to look for it (I've seen it; it's not worth bothering with). At the time, I had heard that if the series had aired, AMT had (or was going to get) licensing to produce a series of three or four USED CARS kits. Supposedly, one would have been the '66 Buick Wildcat (this was before that kit appeared in the AMT/Ertl Customizing series). No idea if any of this is true, but the series was never picked up anyway...
  23. Here are a few to think about...when was the last time you saw... SMP: 1911 Chevrolet AMT: T-57 1957 Thunderbird (first issue Styline kit, in the small box) AMT: Ohio George '33 Willys with plastic tires AMT: 1969 Cobra (convertible with separate glue-on hardtop roof) AMT: 1969 El Camino "Derby Champion" issue AMT: 1967 Fairlane "Color Me Ford" issue AMT: 1967 Corvette "Color Me Vette" issue AMT: 1965 Fairlane "SSS" issue (only reissue with stock parts) AMT: 1963 Nova "Crew Wagon" issue AMT: 1965 Galaxie "Jolly Green Gasser" issue AMT: 1965 Chevelle wagon "Surf Wagon" issue AMT: any of the Elegance Series kits AMT: second issue Meyers Manx (no display, and box art is different from the first issue) Monogram: Deuce Sport Coupe Jo-Han: 1969 Rebel Revell: Tweedy Pie with Boss Fink
  24. The Popcorn Wagon is an MPC kit. It's 1/20 scale (the second issue box may say 1/25). It's pretty accurate to the 1/1 show car, but the reissue has some unplated parts that were brass plated in the original issue. The front tires are plastic (apparently the original vinyl tire tooling doesn't exist, or couldn't be located). I'm not sure if the reissue had a decal sheet, if it did then I'm pretty certain it didn't match the original. I picked one up a couple of years ago, but the chassis wasn't usable for my intended purpose so I sold the kit. Not a bad kit if you like it as-is, some of the parts might be good kitbash material. The Chuck Wagon show rod that was reissued a few years ago is a variation on this kit, much of the basic vehicle is the same. The Chuck Wagon did not exist in 1:1, the Popcorn Wagon did. The Surf Woody kit is pretty accurate to the 1:1 show car, and has some optional parts and versions. The small-block Ford engine is pretty decent considering the kit was created over 45 years ago. It has a neat dual McCullough/Paxton supercharger setup. The 1:1 and original issue kit had dual narrow slicks on the rear. The reissue has single wide slicks. I don't think the wheel pieces were changed; if you picked up one of the new AMT slick parts packs you could probably slip two pairs of those on to replace the wide single slicks. The decals in the reissue replicate those in the original kit.
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