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AMT kits suck!


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Boils down to a persons Point Of View.......

Most AMT tooling is 50 or more years old and is different than a kit tooled today.

I find that almost any model can be made to look good......depends on how much work put into the kit. 

Two AMT kits. AMT Lil Gasser converted into a log hauler:

 

LILLOGGER (20).JPG

A more stock build....same era kit ass the KW you spoke of.  Peterbilt COE by AMT

 

PETE1.JPG

PETE.JPG

Edited by Dave Van
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I stay away from AMT. I know they have good kits, but in my limited experience, I have had nothing but trouble. With that being said, this complaint just comes off as angsty and whiny. Revell, Monogram, even Tamiya have some goofy kits out there. One of the kits I consider terrible has been built and displayed by dozens of members here and they look incredible. It just made me realize I need to slow down my approach and take certain things into consideration where I may not have to do that with other kits. 

Chill, do some research, ask questions, and understand, like many have previously stated, that a lot of these kits are OLD tooling that were made before certain technology allowed for the detail and features we see in new kits. 

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With some knowledge about AMT kits you can find kits that are very good, but you have to know what to look for.
Most of the kits developed in the late 80's up to when Racing Champions bought AMT/ERTL in the early 2000's are quite good and some are very good, but you need to know what they are as they are reissued among other earlier not so good kits.
Round 2 who owns AMT, MPC, Lindberg and Polar Lights brands now hasn't done many new tooling car or truck kits, most of what they do is reissues of older kits and some are bad and some are good.
One thing you can do if you are uncertain on a model kit is to go to scalemates.com and look the model up, they have timelines for most kits and you can see when it was first issued, if it's of that time period they are often quite good, but unfortunately all information on the Scalemates site is not correct but most of it are fairly right and you get a hint anyway.

Edited by Force
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Sometimes certain kits require actual modeling skills because of their age.

There are newer kits that are no picnic either.

It's just part of the hobby that either you deal with, or you give up.

It's been said a thousand times before, but if we were all just "model assemblers" instead of "model builders", the hobby would be as dull as white toast.

 

 

 

 

Steve

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7 hours ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

Are there better quality kits on the market these days than AMT? 

 

AMT kits suck because:

 

1. they are too expensive for the low quality

2. the parts lack precision and excellent fit

3. many parts don't have holes/slots/grooves for other parts with tabs to insert into 

4. the instructions aren't very good

5. the assembly diagrams aren't very clear as to where to precisely locate parts 

6. some parts don't fit well

7. some parts are put into hollow places and they are allowed a certain degree of rotation as the transmission and the engine bell housing: there should be a keyway with a tab to keep these mating parts from rotating upon each another and why doesn't the rocker covers have tabs to mate with holes in the top of the engine's head? 

 

I'm working on the W-925 Kenworth tractor right now.

 

The limp stretchy Goodyear vinyl tires are cheesy and not made of nice firm well-fitting rubber. The bead area is too large in diameter to fit the rims snugly. I tried using that 3/8" foam rod stuff. The beads of the tires just get pushed right over the measly little flanges of the rims under the pressure of the stuffing material.  The visor for the top of the cab has no tabs/holes to locate it. Where am I going to apply the cement? Both the cab and the visor are to be custom painted but cement doesn't adhere well to paint. With mating tabs and holes I normally scrape the paint away on those spots and put glue there.  There is no precise way to locate the 5 marker lights on top of the cab. 

 

This expensive plastic AMT kit is rather mickey-mouse quality. 

 

Is Revell or Monogram much better in overall quality than AMT?  Virtually every Monogram kit model had snap-together parts with optional gluing. 

 

For close to $40, I'm rather disappointed with this AMT Kenworth kit. I expected much better for the price. 

You've probably noticed that when it comes to AMT kits, people aren't exactly rational about this topic.

There seems to be consensus that paying outrageous prices for dubious kits of plain vanilla American cars from the '60s represents the pinnacle of the hobby, and to suggest otherwise, you might as well spit on the flag and kick a puppy while you're at it.

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6 minutes ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

 

My model-building experience level which everybody is dying to know:

1972-1974: various model airplanes by Revell

1983: PT 109 American navy torpedo boat by Lindbergh, commanded in World War Two by an officer named John F. Kennedy, was rammed by a Jap destroyer, but he and his crew survived as they were aided by friendly natives on a nearby island, kit fit together nicely but did not like the cheesy stick-on decals that bubbled and were hard to locate precisely

1983: Monogram 1982 Camaro Z-28

1987: Harley-Davidson motorcycle, AMF Super Glide, 1971, FXE, kit brand don't remember

1992: Kyosho radio controlled sailboat kit, painted the hull with tan rattle can paint , came out pretty nice

 

I've always liked Revell and Monogram fit and instruction sheets. I assumed that all kit brands had the same quality. They always had holes and tabs for precisely locating small parts and holding them in place. I know well enough to scrape off chrome paint from parts that need to be glued there. I use Testors clear brush-on liquid cement as tube-type airplane glue is gooey and messy. I do know that model vehicles are much harder to work with than model jet planes which have many fewer fiddly parts. Helicopter models can be finicky too. I bought this AMT Kenworth model because I like classic trucks and never built a truck model before. I didn't consider the kit quality when I bought it but only the vehicle model it represents. There is a Revell Kenworth tractor kit but I don't like the sleeper on that model. No, I will finish this model but I will have to wing it some. I've got too much time and money into the stupid thing already. Those Monogram cars had nice-fitting genuine rubber tires. I think the good kits used to be American or European made and not from some country were there are many Wongs, Lees and Chins in the telephone book. 

For nearly 40 dollars I expected much better from AMT. In the old days most kits did not exceed $10 and were commonly sold in drugstores. 

Quote

 

 

Edited by Plumcrazy Preston
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David you are not wrong about the price and the fitting of parts. This an old set of tooling for sure. Not an excuse for non fitting parts. I am sure in the old days this parts fit better than they do now. Plastic is abrasive and does wear the molds. If you want to find out how old a kit is before you buy it ask here. There has been some good advice given to try help you out, take that and move forward. You will end up with a nice model or a nice learning experience when you are finished.  

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5 hours ago, Greg Myers said:

this is one of their popular  kits as well ?

download (5).jpg

I used to love building the Revell Nomad kits. With the molds older, the hinged versions never seem to line up correctly when installing the doors. Now if they made newer molds, I’d do it. Nowadays most of the Nomad kits are hinged doors versions. Unless there is one that isn’t I’m not aware of.

I do like the flames on that kit though. I’ll skip the “surfer hood ornament” ?

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HI!

My experience with AMT kits goes back to early 60's... and many of the same kits are still with us, as you know all too well. Obviously, what was "state of the art" back in those days looks a bit dated. Back then, a big part of the thrill was to build exciting NEW cars. I guess the current owner of those old molds figure that nostalgia will carry the day 60 years later. If they sell, who's to argue? Retro-deluxe anyone? At least, the packaging is exciting... Besides, many NEW TOOL subjects are excellent kit, as Revell as shown us often times.

I won a couple of MPC kits as door prizes last year, and I was sadly disappointed at what was in the box. Nostalgia would not save the day, alas. 

Finally, in my experience, many AMT kits bought between 2005 and 2015 were defective (bent, short molded, etc.). I do a lot of kitbash, so I made do with most of them... but a novice modeler probably would have found it discouraging.

A simplistic kit, maybe. A faulty product? No so much...

Just my two cents, for what it's worth.

CT 

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I understand your frustrations with those old AMT kits... Like others have stated , many of the classic AMT kits' tooling date-back 45-60 years (give or take) . Even in the 70's when I started building ( my first glue kit was in 1976 ; I was 6 years old ) , AMT's kits were challenging for the reasons you've outlined (e.g. , no positive-mounting spots mainly --- crummy two-piece tyres of unknown composition were / are junk , too ) .

I've always enjoyed the following AMT kits , esp. as a child :

1.) 1934 Ford Pickup

2.) 1953 F-100

3. ) Ford F-Series Pickups of the 70's 

4.) Chevy Vans of the 70's

5.) Various AMC offerings ( Gremlin , Pacer , and Matador Coupe ) 

6.) COE Tractors (those were pricy back then ; I rarely afforded them) 

I stuck with MPC (mainly their Annuals) and Monogram ( easy to assemble ; low parts count ) . Revell's kits were weak sauce in the 70's and 80's , bordering on impossible to assemble (the aforementioned Tri-Five Chevy's were atrocious by c.1976... but , the box art always sucked me back-in ! Same with their 1956 F-100 ) .

I'd advise to *avoid* some of the MPC reissues , too , if you want to avoid frustration . I built the 1975 Dart Sport kit which was reissued in c.2013 , and had to put it --nearly-complete-- back into its box . Why ? The front wheels' mounting "slabs" are off-centre from side-to-side !  I recently purchased the 1976 Dart Sport reissue , loaded for bear . I now know that I have to correct the front wheels' mounts ---or 'bash' it with the AMT 1971 Duster 340 . But , I'm reserving that project for the 1973 Duster (MPC annual) .

The quickest way to determine how old an AMT or MPC kit is (other than its reproduction box art) , is to look for the decal that Round2 puts on those boxes ; the round decal typically reads Retro Deluxe (though I've also seen that decal on the 90's era AMT kits --- 1968 El Camino , 1970 Monte Carlo , 1971 Duster , 1960 Ford Starliner , 1958 Edsel , and others whose names I'm forgetting at this moment ) .

Don't give up on the hobby , man ! ( but please stop supporting Amazon... ) .

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“Some AMT kits suck” would be a better, more accurate thread title. 
It’s faulty logic to say the AMT kit you have sucks, therefore AMT kits suck. 
I actually enjoy the challenge on a lot of problem children kits. 

Edited by Erik Smith
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8 minutes ago, 1972coronet said:

 Don't give up on the hobby , man ! ( but please stop supporting Amazon... ) .

This is sound advice. Better yet, support your local hobby shop if you have one in your area. If not, there's planty of online hobby stores that provide you far better prices and service. Even eBay is another great source for hobby kits.

Edited by BlackSheep214
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11 minutes ago, BlackSheep214 said:

This is sound advice. Better yet, support your local hobby shop if you have one in your area. If not, there's planty of online hobby stores that provide you far better prices and service. Even eBay is another great source for hobby kits.

Even if you're in one of those places that is locked down because of the virus,  the local shops should offer some sort delivery service.

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2 hours ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

For nearly 40 dollars I expected much better from AMT. In the old days most kits did not exceed $10 and were commonly sold in drugstores. 

 

David,  I have failed at kits before and many of us have failed and been angry and frustrated. We have discussed it many times. Sometimes we try. The kit again and sometimes we don’t. These same kits many was 2.50 and 10.00 and look what they are now. I have went to bed figuring out a problem. This is a hobby maybe put it away build something else and come.back to it.  Good luck we are here if you need us..

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I felt the same way back in the 80s, especially the 359 1100 cab kit. The Ertl semi kits seemed far superior to the AMT back then to me. Then I built my first M.T.F.A. resin  conversion. Suddenly the AMT kits didn’t seem so bad. Then later I joined Hank’s Truck Forum and  this forum after that. I was inspired by several of the great model builders I saw.
If you’re not familiar with the subject you’re building, rig building requires some research and engineering on the builders part. If you’re wanting a kit to just assemble, check out the Revell USA KW W900 or 359 Peterbilt. These were originally snap kits but build up fairly easy and present pretty well. 

The old Ertl IH kits were good, but be prepared to pay a big price for them. The Ertl 4300 IH is available under the AMT name now. Due to wear in the molds it isn’t quite as clean as it once was and there is a little issue with the front axle needing to be moved forward. The Revell of Germany kits were pretty decent in regards to fit but a little more expensive. 
Italeri kits are expensive but fit well, but some folks don’t like the multi piece cabs.

Then there is Moebius. I have never owned one of these, but the are probably the newest tool of an American truck available.

 In semi truck building, other than the former snap kits, AMT kits are the cheaper priced kits. They can be made into some nice builds.

Edited by DRIPTROIT 71
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I suppose I'm just getting too old, but it's always been my opinion that subject matter is the most important factor in choosing a model.

Granted, my skills have improved as I've progressed in the hobby and I suppose that I might be in the minority in my view that if it's a subject that I want to build, I can deal with a kit's inadequacies.

The absolutely most rewarding work I do is to take a sub-par kit, (by today's standards) and re-engineer and re-build it to meet the standards of today.

 

Model building has become more to me than just following the instructions and gluing part A to part B.

It's more of an exercise in creativity, and I really care little about pins or tabs or how well the parts fit.

 

I take great pride in the fact that my models stand out on the show table because I know that the educated modeler knows what went into re-engineering a simple, "poorly fitting" vintage kit to make it as good, or better, than all of the "perfectly" engineered kits that share the table with it.

Personally, I have nothing but affection for all of my old AMT kits because, A; they offer many alternatives of subjects that nobody else offers, and B; because I'm not afraid of them.

I demand that the kit bends to my will, not the other way around.

 

 

 

Steve 

Edited by StevenGuthmiller
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Sheesh! Some of you guys take this way too seriously. Build simply for the enjoyment and the artistry. Having the basic subject to begin with is what is valuable for me. I'll work it over to get the results I am after even if it will never be perfect in someone else's eye.

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22 minutes ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

I suppose I'm just getting too old, but it's always been my opinion that subject matter is the most important factor in choosing a model.

Granted, My skills have improved as I've progressed in the hobby and I suppose that I might be in the minority in my view that if it's a subject that I want to build, I can deal with a kit's inadequacies.

The absolutely most rewarding work I do is to take a sub-par kit, (by today's standards) and re-engineer and re-build it to meet the standards of today.

 

Model building has become more to me than just following the instructions and gluing part A to part B.

It's more of an exercise in creativity, and I really care little about pins or tabs or how well the parts fit.

 

I take great pride in the fact that my models stand out on the show table because I know that the educated modeler knows what went into re-engineering a simple, "poorly fitting" vintage kit to make it as good, or better, than all of the "perfectly" engineered kits that share the table with it.

Personally, I have nothing but affection for all of my old AMT kits because, A; they offer many alternatives of subjects that nobody else offers, and B; because I'm not afraid of them.

I demand that the kit bends to my will, not the other way around.

 

Steve 

I am with you brother. You just said what I was trying to moments ago. Subject subject subject. Then MAKE it what you want.

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2 hours ago, Venom said:

About a week ago I bought four AMT kits at Walmart. It was the first time I’ve ever purchased any AMT’s. I will never buy an AMT again.

I bought 3 AMT kits at Ollie’s a month or so ago. They were reissued kits mind you. What kit did you get? I’ll take them off your hands. LOL!

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For those who already made note hate AMT kits, look at some of the WIP threads and Finished kits threads. You will find numerous  that are AMT kits. They all come out pretty darn good - warts and all, if you work at it. A fair majority of my auto kits are AMT kits. 

Edited by BlackSheep214
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Some time ago I would have agreed with the topic's title.  Then they came out with the '50 Chevy pickup, have built it 3 times (not counting the Canopy Express), and have 3 more in the stash.  Their Ferrari 250 SWB fits the topic, but I adapted.  I've built some other brand worse quality kits, takes skill and time to make a decent model, that's all.

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