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tim boyd

Stress Buster: Build Tutorial and Kit Review: Revell Slingster Dragster

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In this album I am showing my box stock buildup of the Revell Slingster kit that was issued just once in 2013. It was a completely new tool, but based almost entirely on the original Revell Sizzler dragster kit from 1961. The original Sizzler kit was a leading-edge effort at the time, but the somewhat odd, larger scale (thought to be around 1/22nd scale) was a liability, and the AMT Double Dragster kit released one year later quickly eclipsed it in terms of accuracy and scale realism. Still, it remained a highly desired kit in the collector world.

Building the new Slingster kit was an interesting experience. The 30+ page instruction manual covers six different building versions, but many more are possible based on how the builder chooses the frame configuration, engine and induction options, front tires, various body options, and decal treatments. I mostly built version "D" with its Bantam Competition Coupe body, but substituted the blown Chevy small block engine in the kit for the Hemi called out in version D. Everything shown here was in the kit box - no additions or kitbashing this time.

The kit, to be honest, did not fully meet current Revell quality expectations. The large number of prominent knockout pin (ejection point) marks was very notable, and the parting lines were very visible on many parts. The decals did not fit the body properly. The body alignment pins on the cockpit inner paneling were off by about 1/16". And there were some shortcomings in the kit content too, most notably the lack of brakes on the rear axle and the omission of an idler pulley on the blower drive belt (which carried over from the original Sizzler kit). The overall effort strikes me as more of an "extra credit" project for the company, rather than the fully comprehensive efforts found in most Revell kits of the last 15 years.

Still, it was a fun project, comprising less than than a week of casual building effort and yielding a fine looking model when completed. Bottom line, if you like building drag racing kit topics, you might want to grab kit or two of the Revell Slingster, both as a kit topic of its own and as a supply for future kitbashing projects.
*****

The box art of Revell's Slingster kit was heavily patterned after the original Monogram Sizzler kit from 1961. I chose to build "The Coupe" pictured at the upper left of the box top, except I substituted the kit's blown small block Chevy engine in place of the early Chrysler Hemi depicted in the coupe illustration.

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The kit frame is relatively simple but includes several build options: a full width or narrowed front end, and two different styles of roll cages and back frame configurations. I used a jig/plate to insure the frame pieces went together in an aligned manner (the frame here is shown painted after assembly).

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Other than the valve covers, the engine parts are not plated, which is actually a plus for period-accurate appearance. The blower assembly was brush painted with four different colors of paint. The jars marked with a "C" on the top are custom mixes with various amounts of Tamiya Gold, Silver, Copper, and Flat Black paint colors. The vertex magneto top is brush painted with decanted Tamiya "Hull Red" paint, a perfect match to the rare and desirable 1/1 scale counterpart.

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The kit assembly process has you assemble the quick change before the frame halves are joined, which comprises authenticity. Instead, I assembled and paint the frame as a unit without the quick change. I then glued the four-part quick change differential and axle together, painted it, and then cut off the axle ends as shown, which let me easily fit the center section of the quick change into the frame locators as shown. The axle ends were later glued in place, using the kit's styrene axle to align them properly.

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The completed engine shows what can be achieved with paint detailing only. If you have the time and the inclination, ignition wiring and fuel plumbing would only add to the authenticity. I also toned down the plated valve covers with Testors DullCote after detailing the ribs with thinned Flat Black paint.

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The brightly painted front axle components would have looked out of place with the character of the completed model if they were used as they appeared out of the box. So I sprayed them with a light coat of Tamiya Semi-Gloss clear prior to assembly.

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At this point the front suspension, wheels and tires, and fuel tank have been added. Although the instructions call for the engine plate to be painted to match the interior cockpit paneling, I painted mine to match the frame as the engine plate was often configured as a structural member of the frame assembly on many of these early dragster era projects. Again note the use of various colors of my custom mix Tamiya bottle paints on the simulated magnesium wheels.

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Assembly continues with the addition of the completed engine.

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The steering wheel is located to complete the frame assembly. This view has another look at the paint finishes of the simulated magnesium wheels. They were topcoated with Testors DullCote before assembly.

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The diminutive Bantam Coupe body is a nice single piece component. I finished it with MCW Automotive Finishes 1957 Chrysler 300 Gaugin Red. The decals are from the kit, though the layout I used was different than the assembly instructions. Note that the center scallop on the rooftop extended beyond the opening and had to be cut and relocated past the opening. This was further indicative of a certain lack of attention to detail that I found on several elements of this Revell kit.

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Next comes the interior paneling. The molded in alignment pins of the upper cowl do not properly align with the lower cowl and were removed before gluing the components in place. Had the upper and lower paneling shown here in silver been painted body color instead, the assembly as shown would represent one of the other completed versions of the Slingster kit. It certainly has an era-correct configuration and appearance.

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The two biggest additions - not shown below - for those who are motivated to do so would be (in priority order) 1) rear brake drums and 2) an idler pulley for the blower drive belt. The next level of detail would be to add ignition and fuel plumbing, and perhaps a hydraulic throttle line.

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Adding the Bantam Coupe body shell completes the project. The next several images shown the finished model from several different angles.

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For those who are interested, there are several more images of the completed model beyond what is shown below at this link....

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Revell's Slingster kit, despite some relatively minor issues, is a fun project and a great modeling "StressBuster" between your more ambitious and detailed tabletop projects. It can be built in a myriad of different configurations with zero kitbashing required, and can be assembled from start to finish with a few evening's worth of work even with the extensive paint detailing shown here. It is a kit well worth searching out for those interested and captivated by the early rail dragster era and the model kits that replicate the same. I'll do my best to answer any questions or respond to any comments you have. Thanks for looking! TIM

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Edited by tim boyd

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Hey Tim- a great story and it looks like you had fun!

I was too young to be a modeler in the 1962-3 era, but I did get the later releases of the Double Dragster and the Tony Nancy dragster set the same evening as an adult and I stayed up all night just playing with all the pieces and options!  I can see how exciting it was for kids back then!

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Tim,

nice job! I built one a while back but scratch built a chassis as I needed it longer to fit both engines (aka "the odd couple" dragster style) It's a fun little kit despite the few short comings you exprienced. I didn't have those problems since many of those parts I didn't use. I used Buick finned drums I casted in resin (62 buick wagon) and drilled out the center to fit over the axle. They fit nicely in the wheels.

Paul

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I love it!  I wanna build one (or five).

So, the original kit was 1/22 scale or so - is the newly tooled version actually 1/25 (or thereabouts) and smaller than the original or is it just labeled as such in the box and still in that larger scale?

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1 hour ago, CabDriver said:

I love it!  I wanna build one (or five).

So, the original kit was 1/22 scale or so - is the newly tooled version actually 1/25 (or thereabouts) and smaller than the original or is it just labeled as such in the box and still in that larger scale?

They corrected the scale issues with it and is now supposedly 1/25

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Love it, Tim! 

@CabDriver

This version is a 1:25 recreation of the original. Fun fact, though. When it came to recreating the decal sheet someone fumbled just before the goal line and forgot to downsize their scale from the original size so they're a bit big and don't fit well. 

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5 hours ago, Dennis Lacy said:

Love it, Tim! 

@CabDriver

This version is a 1:25 recreation of the original. Fun fact, though. When it came to recreating the decal sheet someone fumbled just before the goal line and forgot to downsize their scale from the original size so they're a bit big and don't fit well. 

Hmm, I didn't notice that but I didn't use the decals either so the sheet still sits complete in the parts box...

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8 hours ago, Dennis Lacy said:

This version is a 1:25 recreation of the original. Fun fact, though. When it came to recreating the decal sheet someone fumbled just before the goal line and forgot to downsize their scale from the original size so they're a bit big and don't fit well. 

Interesting...and the obvious explanation of why the decals intended for the Bantam coupe were too large and why I then had to cut the center scallop apart (while it was wet, no less) and then apply the end portion behind the roof opening on my build as shown below.  Also noted the same issue on the buildup on the box side panel, but the instructions sheet showed the decals as fitting the downsized body properly.  

DSC 0785

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This outtake (unused) image from my 2020 "Collecting Drag Racing Model Kits" book project (CarTechBooks.com) of the Bantam bodies shows the difference in scale between the roughly 1/22nd scale Sizzler kit and the 1/25th scale Slingster kit....

   DSC 0943

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