Yup, Mike, plastic is definitely thinner there - though the two-stage detents seem to indicate smaller and larger rectangular patterns, for whatever that might mean. You're welcome too, Case - the tires follow current Revell practice and they don't mandate any wonky orientation in the treads in their fit. Wheels fit from either side.
Ah, shoot, guys - there's a post missing here, in case anybody was wondering where the chrome is. Was trying to work from a tablet, wiped out what looked like a duplicate post, and that must have been the one. Will try to correct later...
You and I were essentially saying the same thing about the yearly updates, Steve - but even if the drip moldings themselves were optional, MPC kits from the era were still too unfinished around the greenhouse for window seals and anything other than smooth, flat A-pillars. This wasn't just true of their Gen 3 F-bodies (and a really obvious on the 1/16 Firebird, especially as compared to Revell's), but their C4 'Vettes, and their Fiero to a somewhat lesser extent. Not that anybody should care so much about a droopy little EXP, but MPC's lack of greenhouse detail was really telling there:
and seeing how comprehensively detailed these MPC kits were otherwise, skimming over such visible areas seems a little mystifying.
Besides lower cladding, taillights, and m.y.-appropriate wheels, the earlier MPC '28s also had BFGoodrich tires. The rubber was updated to Gatorbacks when AMT appropriated the tooling in the late '80s. Something that's always annoyed me about these early-'80s-sourced MPC kits is the incomplete look many of them had about the greenhouse, from omitted window seal and drip molding detail. Always thought AMT's own '83 Z-28 - never modified tor a later model year - was superior in that regard, and for being the only bi-scale 3rd-gen Camaro to nail the headlight bucket shape in the front fascia.
Revell's predecorated C7 street kits do a lot with their 56 pieces, and this kit gives me very much the same impression - those are 64 pretty intricately molded and cleverly arranged parts. Initial takeaway anyhow, and I'm a parts geek from waay back.
I was going to say that one of the more noteworthy aspects of this tooling is that it revives the practice, last seen in the '90s, of AMT sharing significant amounts of tooling between full-detail and simplified versions, this time perhaps weighting the compromise toward a more complicated snapper than to a simplified glue kit. It's more accurate to characterize the practice as sharing tooling between glue kit tooling and promos, which is how AMT made its bones in the first place - but the snapper seems a bit more complex than your average promotional model. The body mold isn't any too polished either.
That "empty" look is thanks in no small part to MPC's early '80s practice of omitting any sort of drip molding or window seal details on a number of kits, their F-cars, EXPs, and C4 'Vettes among the more notable examples. Looked iffy on their 1/25 kits and really obvious on their 1/16s of the time. Detail and parts texture would be nice elsewhere, but the bodies had a generally unfinished look. The 1/16 'Vette had an opening hatch, but not this Firebird. It was Revell's 1/16 F-cars that had all the opening panels. Hatch glass was a little humped on those kits and more accurately shaped on the fixed MPC hatch. Trying to recall if the black frit/defroster line detail was even there on the first release of this kit back in '82. Look closely at the model and I believe you'll see a rear seat back piece curling around the side under the edge of the top surface catching all the light - I don't recall that being a hollow seat back. The Revell 1/16s seemed physically just a bit smaller, perhaps a bit more accurately shaped overall, not quite so sharply engraved and a little overly "geometric" in the dirty bits, but they had window seal/gasket detail. I I r c, The one thing the MPC '82 Firebird kits caught that neither Revell nor Monogram did in theirs was that little flaring aero piece just ahead of each front wheel at the rocker level on both sides.
Well, much of the engine is on its own tree and hey - maybe the transmission halves are integrated with the block now 'cause there's a 440/TF combo on the way. Ben and Joe, I think you've hit upon us the second most likely successor to this version - second only because the wedge would require another tree instead of just carrying the Hemi over.