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OK, bringing this subject back to the fore. I recently got this gem off the 'Bay for an EXCELLENT price ($30.00), and it's not often seen there in either kit or built up form. This is AMT's '55 T-Bird which IIRC, hasn't been reissued for quite some time (many years), certainly nowhere near as often as their '57.

Here it is as it came very neatly packaged in a box............

I'm not sure when this was built.......the hardtop is very neatly spray painted red with no orange peel. Whoever built it, used very little glue as this was disassembled by me then put back together for the purpose of pics here.

Some body changes I'd do to make this more accurate. Tighten up the shut lines on the doors, correct the side window profile on the hardtop, and thin out the door jambs as they're too wide looking with the doors open.

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Interior is pretty neatly done for its age.......I'd probably paint the exterior Torch Red, with a red and white interior.

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Very basic engine detail shown here........IIRC, the kit provided plug wires (too big) and heater hoses. Much more detail I'd add to the engine bay, with a more in scale appearance to the wires and such.

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1955-57 T-Birds are at their best topless as there's no clutter to the clean beltline appearance. No headrests, roll bars sticking up in the air, and because the folding top stored behind the bench seat vertically, no top stack to spoil the lines.

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Yeah, this undercarriage is waaaay too "empty" looking for me! Some more structure needs to be built in to get rid of the empty spaces, and of course, brake/fuel lines, emergency brake cable, etc.

Well, that's my mini review of this one.......I've got no idea when I'd get around to restoring this one. I've got a 1/24th '55 that I built that I can certainly get inspiration from, but it may be YEARS before I get to to it. ;)

Edited by MrObsessive

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Most of the T-Bird kits I've see have smashed windshield frames. I recently bought a nice sealed 55 kit and when i opened it I found it was broken. The later issue 57 I bought to use as a replacement was broken also!

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Bill, thanks for the review and pictures of the '55 Bird. Out of all of AMT's 1/16 scale kits, that's the one I'd really like to see back.

 

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Most of the T-Bird kits I've see have smashed windshield frames. I recently bought a nice sealed 55 kit and when i opened it I found it was broken. The later issue 57 I bought to use as a replacement was broken also!

Interestingly, I have a beat up '57 built-up and its windshield frame is bent too. Not from being beat up-----------that's how I got it years ago slightly bent unbuilt, and it's gotten worse sitting in the box all these years. None of the three '55's I have has a bent windshield frame fortunately and yes, that seems to be a problem with those kits.

Round 2 I hope can find a way to package those better if they're to see the light of day again.

Bill, thanks for the review and pictures of the '55 Bird. Out of all of AMT's 1/16 scale kits, that's the one I'd really like to see back.

 

You're welcome Scott! I don't think that '55 has ever been reissued but I could be wrong. Sure would be nice if Round 2 could somehow find and clean up the tooling to be reissued someday. B)

 

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I've had four of the ones on your list: 57 Chev nomad; 57 Chev convert; 55 Chev Hardtop; 55 Chev convert. Here some pic's of the 57 Nomad. I haven't started it yet, but right out of the box, I noticed that the stainless trim on top of each of the quarters is too short—Something in between that of a 150 or 210 model and the Bel Air. Confusing, as they had it right on all of their other 57 offerings. I'll see if I can dig up the others in my stash.

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Man, that is one of my "GRAIL" kits.:wub::wub::wub:. I would love to  see a reissue of it .

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I noticed that the stainless trim on top of each of the quarters is too short—Something in between that of a 150 or 210 model and the Bel Air. Confusing, as they had it right on all of their other 57 offerings. I'll see if I can dig up the others in my stash.

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It's a real possibility that AMT might have had trouble molding that stainless so close to the other side window trim on that Nomad body. Maybe they figured if they split the difference, very few would notice. Judging by what these can go for on the 'Bay, those not in our 'Lunatic Fringe" don't seem to care! :o

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The '55 T'bird came with a superb set of Borrani wire wheels and is worth buying for these alone.

The biggest issue with these kits is the totally inadequate packaging. The boxes are large, but made from the same gauge card stock as the 1/25 scale boxes.
Hence these kits are very susceptible to damage during transport/storage. The windscreen frames of the convertibles are usually broken or at least bent
and often the roofs of the hardtops and wagons are smashed and/or the pillars bent/broken. Another notorious problem is the tyres and tubing included in these
kits having left terrible marks on adjacent styrene parts due to some chemical reaction. This is especially annoying when you find some or all possible issues I described
in a factory sealed kit you just shelled out a stack of wad for on eBay.

Also, in my opinion the kits are a tad substandard for their scale when it comes to the general level of detail and engraving and they do require a lot of work and
scratchbuilding skills to be made into plausible models. Check out the '55 T'bird's chassis shown above to see what I mean.

I am no longer prepared to pay collectors' money for them and meanwhile replaced them with the corresponding 1/18 scale diecasts, which at the end of the day are a lot
more satisfying from a modelling perspective if you are not a die hard 1/16 scale evangelist, but simply want to have bigger scale models of these cars.
IMO 1/18 made 1/16 plastic kits somewhat redundant anyway, especially when you put a little extra work into the diecasts.
The only thing I kept from those 1/16 kits are the optional custom wheels and tyres, since they are too small for the kits anyway, but work a treat in 1/18.
 

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The '55 T'bird came with a superb set of Borrani wire wheels and is worth buying for these alone.

The biggest issue with these kits is the totally inadequate packaging. The boxes are large, but made from the same gauge card stock as the 1/25 scale boxes.

Practically every AMT 1/16 '55-'57 T-Bird kit I've seen on eBay in the past year ('cept mine :P ), has had a broken/bent windshield frame. I sure hope that when Round 2 reissues the '55 Nomad, they resolve the packaging issue. That one's got thin A pillars as well, and I'd like to snag one of those again. Round 2's been on a roll with their latest reissues, so there's hope that won't be the case with inadequate boxing.

And yes, the Borrani wheels in the '55 kit are VERY nice! The junker built up I have stashed away has those Borranis on it, however it's missing the fender skirts. I bought that one years ago at an NNL I believe and the seller didn't have them on hand. I wish the Borranis weren't so wide though. They would look really nice mounted on those kit's WWW tires, but not without some major grinding down of the wheels themselves to thin them down.

If I can dig that built-up somewhere in my stash, I'll see about posting pics of it also. 

Edited by MrObsessive

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Man, that is one of my "GRAIL" kits.:wub::wub::wub:. I would love to  see a reissue of it .

Mine too! Lost one on eBay a few weeks ago for under $50 in unbuilt condition, eBay never sent me the outbid notice. Lost it by .50 cents.

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Mine too! Lost one on eBay a few weeks ago for under $50 in unbuilt condition, eBay never sent me the outbid notice. Lost it by .50 cents.

That's just WRONG!! :P  I've lost my share of auctions, but never by that close a margin. I normally get skunked pretty bad by snipers. I see that nomad in copper gloss with a white top, skinny whitewalls, and those CRAGAR mags. A beautiful car....:wub:

Edited by bismarck

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I have both the 1955 and 1957 T-Birds, and a '55 Nomad  that I built in the '70's, that I plan to re-build, as they were painted with good old Testor's Pla  Enamel back in the day. They should come apart easily. I rebuilt the rare AMT '57 Chevy Hardtop Several years ago, and really enjoyed it.

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Back to these kits. How does one install the vinyl tubing given in this kit for the spark plug wires? I'm presently building AMT's 1/16 scale '65 ('64 1/2) Mustang. But, I can not get the vinyl tubing to go on to the nubs provided for them on the coil or distributor. It's too tight. I've tried a small nail to stretch open the tubing some more. But, as soon as I pull out the nail, it immediately goes back to it's original diameter. And will not fit on the plastic nubs. 

Any ideas? I've talked to a couple of guys in our local model car club. Neither of them had an answer. If it's impossible to use the kits "wiring," I may just build the kit without any engine wiring at all. That detail does not matter to me that much. It would be nice to use it. But, I'm not going to substitute it with something else if it does not work. 

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36 minutes ago, mk11 said:

Tried hot water yet?

Yes I did. It didn't seem to help. But I have good news. I tried a little soap. Between that, the OptiVisor, and a little patience, I was eventually able to get the coil wire on. Now we'll see what I can do with the plug wires. I'm hoping this will work. I like the looks of the vinyl tubing for the coil wire and the two radiator hoses so far.

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I've got the Mustang and the Cobra in the stash - can post pics if you like.  They are huge when you're used to working on 1/25 - 1/24 - 1/20 scales.

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F*** IT! Those BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH plug wires can not be put on! Or, in the long run, stay on. BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH! I hate when things like this happen. I'm 62, almost 63. I've been models since I was 7. I should be able to do this! 

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How about just cutting the nibs off and drilling little holes?

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Yup.  Or, putting straight pin segments into those holes so you have something more substantial to seat the vinyl tubing on?

HATED those as a kid.  Gave me FITS. These days I'd use the kit tubing as boots and find actual wire close as possible to 1/16.

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On 1/26/2021 at 10:55 PM, mk11 said:

How about just cutting the nibs off and drilling little holes?

 

On 1/27/2021 at 2:27 PM, Chuck Kourouklis said:

Yup.  Or, putting straight pin segments into those holes so you have something more substantial to seat the vinyl tubing on?

HATED those as a kid.  Gave me FITS. These days I'd use the kit tubing as boots and find actual wire close as possible to 1/16.

Thank you both. Those are good suggestions. Had our on-line model car club meeting two nights ago. Got basically same advice from the guys there. Drilling out and using wire the same basic diameter as the vinyl tubing. That seems to be best suggestion. 

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