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MPC White Lightning

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Is the MPC White Lightning kit the same as the AMT 69 Firebird kit? If not,  with one is better?

Edited by Pat Minarick

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6 hours ago, Pat Minarick said:

Is the MPC White Lightning kit the same as the AMT 69 Firebird kit? If not,  with one is better?

It's a 1979 "modified reissue" of the 1969 annual . No stock tyres / wheels , but can otherwise be built stock ; the (awful) T-Top deal is optional . And , yes , both engines are included : Pontiac V8 and , my favourite , the OHC 6 !  I got one , unbuilt , for dirt cheap --- mainly for its Spyders wheels .

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2 minutes ago, 1972coronet said:

It's a 1979 "modified reissue" of the 1969 annual . No stock tyres / wheels , but can otherwise be built stock ; the (awful) T-Top deal is optional . And , yes , both engines are included : Pontiac V8 and , my favourite , the OHC 6 !  I got one , unbuilt , for dirt cheap --- mainly for its Spyders wheels .

I got a glue bomb , wish it had the 6 in it. Is it the same as the Amt kit?

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5 minutes ago, Pat Minarick said:

I got a glue bomb , wish it had the 6 in it. Is it the same as the Amt kit?

Same as the AMT-labelled kit  , yes . By c.1988 or so , all of the old MPC kits were "rebranded" as "AMT" . A couple of years earlier , the MPC moniker was still in-use , but had "ERTL" ( e.g. , "AMT / ERTL" ) added  . That lasted through 1986-1987 , then the 'MPC' name was dropped in favour of 'AMT' .

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7 hours ago, Pat Minarick said:

Is the MPC White Lightning kit the same as the AMT 69 Firebird kit? If not,  with one is better?

....The big complaint with the old WL bird is the fact the roof is scored to create a t top deal...yuk......no stock wheels either....best bang for the buck is the AMT version from the mid nineties that is of an orange built car on the box .....molded in nice pale gray, clean and crisp, perfect chrome tree, and both the T/A hood and the dual scoop 400 hood are included....the Lightning only contains the T/A hood....just my 2 cents...oh, this version I suggest is cheap and there are always tons of them online....the Ace....:D

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10 minutes ago, AC Norton said:

....The big complaint with the old WL bird is the fact the roof is scored to create a t top deal...yuk......no stock wheels either....best bang for the buck is the AMT version from the mid nineties that is of an orange built car on the box .....molded in nice pale gray, clean and crisp, perfect chrome tree, and both the T/A hood and the dual scoop 400 hood are included....the Lightning only contains the T/A hood....just my 2 cents...oh, this version I suggest is cheap and there are always tons of them online....the Ace....:D

An even better bang for the buck is either of the ones issued when AMT was owned by RC2, believe it or not. Either the one with the blue Firebird on the box, or the "Johnny Lightning version with the yellow car on the box & with a 1/64th diecast included.

Why do I say this? Those two have got the optional Ram Air style air cleaner included, which the one with the orange car doesn't have. I've got both the orange & the blue cars, so I can verify this. Do note the blue car version does not have that air cleaner shown on the instructions, but it is in the kit. The yellow car does show it in the instructions.

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No, the biggest problem with this kit is that, like MPC's '69 Camaro, it was just halfassed converted from the '68 model. The wheel openings and body side character lines aren't right at all, and the body has other problems too. 

To get an accurate '69 Firebird, you'd have to kitbash this with something like a Revell '69 Camaro body, but I've never seen anyone want an accurate '69 Firebird enough to actually do that. I could do it, but there are about a hundred things I want to build more. 

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36 minutes ago, Bob Turner2 said:

An even better bang for the buck is either of the ones issued when AMT was owned by RC2, believe it or not. Either the one with the blue Firebird on the box, or the "Johnny Lightning version with the yellow car on the box & with a 1/64th diecast included.

Why do I say this? Those two have got the optional Ram Air style air cleaner included, which the one with the orange car doesn't have. I've got both the orange & the blue cars, so I can verify this. Do note the blue car version does not have that air cleaner shown on the instructions, but it is in the kit. The yellow car does show it in the instructions.

......Well, thank you for that, Bob.....your info has just cost me another credit card hit from Ebay if that's the case...lol....:lol:.....gotta get one now.....the Ace.....:lol::D

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2 hours ago, 1972coronet said:

Same as the AMT-labelled kit  , yes . By c.1988 or so , all of the old MPC kits were "rebranded" as "AMT" . A couple of years earlier , the MPC moniker was still in-use , but had "ERTL" ( e.g. , "AMT / ERTL" ) added  . That lasted through 1986-1987 , then the 'MPC' name was dropped in favour of 'AMT' .

Thank you. Didn't know if it was worth saving. 

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1 hour ago, Pat Minarick said:

Thank you. Didn't know if it was worth saving. 

The only intrinsic value of that kit to me is its aforementioned OHC 6 and its Spyders wheels (deeper-offset on the rear wheels) . 

I just might put that OHC 6 into the AMT 1953 F-100 ...

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I have a scrapped Revell 69 Camaro body, and several MPC '69 Firebird kits in various guises, as well as several 69 Revell Camaros for parts purposes. I really want to do an accurate '69 Trans Am hardtop  and convertible before my eyesight and skills completely go away.

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1 hour ago, Ron Hamilton said:

I have a scrapped Revell 69 Camaro body, and several MPC '69 Firebird kits in various guises, as well as several 69 Revell Camaros for parts purposes. I really want to do an accurate '69 Trans Am hardtop  and convertible before my eyesight and skills completely go away.

Sounds like you've got everything you need, and I KNOW you have the mad skillz to do it! B)

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The Orange box with 400 engine is the best. My 69 Camaro reissue has a Pontiac OHC6 and 400 engine but no chevy V8. That's how messed up kits in the 70-80s got!

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4 hours ago, Bob Ellis said:

The Orange box with 400 engine is the best. My 69 Camaro reissue has a Pontiac OHC6 and 400 engine but no chevy V8. That's how messed up kits in the 70-80s got!

But at the time, that MPC 69 Camaro was the best available. The Monogram kit had a cartoonish body, but some nice parts.

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4 hours ago, Bob Ellis said:

The Orange box with 400 engine is the best. My 69 Camaro reissue has a Pontiac OHC6 and 400 engine but no chevy V8. That's how messed up kits in the 70-80s got!

.....Is it fact that the black 69 MPC Camaro also has the Firebird interior and seats ....always wondered before buying one....thanks, the Ace...^_^

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36 minutes ago, AC Norton said:

.....Is it fact that the black 69 MPC Camaro also has the Firebird interior and seats ....always wondered before buying one....thanks, the Ace...^_^

Yes, the reissue MPC Camaro had the Firebird interior bucket and seats.  But so did the MPC annual '69 Camaro kit.

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2 hours ago, Mark said:

Yes, the reissue MPC Camaro had the Firebird interior bucket and seats.  But so did the MPC annual '69 Camaro kit.

Did not know that, and I built one back in the day! I'll have to dig it out and take a look sometime soon. 

It DID have the Chevy engine, though, and not the Pontiac engine of the black reissue. 

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The Chevy engine probably migrated to the next-generation Camaro kit.  But MPC's '67-'69 Firebirds and '68-'69 Camaros were joined at the hip.  The '69 annuals both had the turbine engine option that was cribbed from the Jo-Han Chrysler kit.

The '69 Camaro body was through the mill: '69 annual, Dickie Harrell funny car, Jeg's dirt track car (with wheel openings whacked open like the AMT Modified Stockers) then restored back to stock, though with the RS hidden-headlamp grille (the annual had exposed headlamps).  The (awful) coupe body in the Fast & Furious kit was newly tooled, not related to the earlier one which is was altered into a convertible.

I've got one of those black '69 coupe reissues, want to see if I can get it looking halfway decent as I had planned to do before the Revell kit came out.

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

The (awful) coupe body in the Fast & Furious kit was newly tooled, not related to the earlier one which is was altered into a convertible.

I've got one of those black '69 coupe reissues, want to see if I can get it looking halfway decent as I had planned to do before the Revell kit came out.

I didn't know the whole body was a new tool, though it's obvious that the roof is very different from previous issues. It's worse. Everything else looked pretty much the same. 

Look up my "68 1/2 SS" up in under glass to see how I tweaked the body (of an older black reissue) to get it a little closer to a real '69 Camaro shape. With a backbirth this sorry, every little bit helps. 

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wl.jpg

MPC69Firebird.jpg

MPC69Firebird2.jpg

 

Hopefully one day Round2 will be able to reissue the '69 Firebird hardtop in the original box art: :wub:

295a93e1-f90b-415c-b1b4-e4c929ab1527.jpg

MPC69PontiacFirebird2.jpg

MPC69PontiacFirebirdChrome.jpg

MPC69PontiacFirebirdClear.jpg

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Neat....I've never seen that '69 Trans Am box art.  The MPC '69 annual I have has this box art:

 

 

69fbmd13.3.jpg

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Looks like the MPC '69 Firebird kit shared the optional turbine engine option with the MPC '69 Camaro, and probably more? There must've been some sharing or at least insert swapping between the Pontiac and Chevy F-bodies at MPC in order to explain the 1983 reissue of the MPC '69 Camaro which included both the Pontiac V-8 and OHC inline six-cylinder engines (see last image below):

MPC69Firebird1.jpg.489410e8a7eb61ba036b1cee3c708adf.jpg

MPC69Firebird2.jpg.cfaf7c6b5f5fa5c6ff369caf1477d30e.jpg

MPC69Firebird3.jpg.7eaa910079b89bbf930b9b38dfacbef9.jpg

 

1983 issue MPC '69 Camaro SS instruction sheet page, showing the distinctive Pontiac V-8 and OHC six-cylinder engines:

MPC69CamaroSS1.jpg

 

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One thing that really bugs me about this kit ,, and no one has mentioned yet is the grille openings in the front bumper. 

They really need to be bigger.

Shouldn't be too hard of a job though to just take the grilles right out and file the openings open larger until they look right then replace the grilles with some fine screen.

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NOSTALGIA!!! I built one of these when I was about 9. I thought the huge decals, side pipes, and T Tops were super cool at the time!

It was a muscle car before I knew what muscle cars were (along with the contemporary “Killer ‘Cuda ‘69 Barracuda, etc.). It spoke to me as a really cool car, something besides the endless Vettes, 70’s Bandit Firebirds (which were still cool), custom pickups and vans, and lame-mobiles like Mustang II’s, Dodge Sports, and the like that made up the “Annual” releases back then. 

I dd acquire an orange-on-the-box ‘69 to recreate it, but thought better of it, perhaps. I’m gonna cut T-Tops into and side-pipe a ‘Cuda body instead. ;) 

Edited by CapSat 6
Errant apostrophe

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1 hour ago, Can-Con said:

One thing that really bugs me about this kit is the grille openings in the front bumper. They really need to be bigger.

And the headlight bezels should be larger, too, but being molded as one with the headlight lenses makes for even more correction work. Ideally, the chrome part of the bumper/grille piece would've been molded separately from the inner grille opening piece(s), but that whole 20/20 hindsight thing applies here again.

33 minutes ago, CapSat 6 said:

NOSTALGIA!!! I built one of these when I was about 9. I thought the huge decals, side pipes, and T Tops were super cool at the time!

For sure. The box art was exciting to me as a ten year-old, and decals were a big part of the appeal-- the bolder the better. Lift-off roof panel and sidepipes were all the rage then, and MPC was quick to capitalize on those 1:1 automotive trends.

With three unique engines included, it's hard to complain too much, despite the simplified chassis and basic tub-style interior. Hopefully the reason Round2 cancelled(? delayed?) the reissue is to clean things up a bit and once again include the turbine engine option. :)

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