The story of the 1/16 Aurora Racing Scenes model kits

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If you love the Aurora Racing Scenes kits like I do, I think you'll find that this article is full of interesting information!


*dead link*

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Posted · Report post


If you love the Aurora Racing Scenes kits like I do, I think you'll find that this article is full of interesting information!

The link to the photos and drawings is worth a visit! I had to save some of the drawings to hard drive. Great reference material!

I remember these kits. They were out of my price range and my skill set at the time they came out. Good thing, too. I most likely would have made a royal, hot mess of them. I was eight years old and figured I needed to use a whole tube of Testors glue per model. One tube - One model. It just balanced out in my mind!

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Posted · Report post

The link to the photos and drawings is worth a visit! I had to save some of the drawings to hard drive. Great reference material!

I remember these kits. They were out of my price range and my skill set at the time they came out. Good thing, too. I most likely would have made a royal, hot mess of them. I was eight years old and figured I needed to use a whole tube of Testors glue per model. One tube - One model. It just balanced out in my mind!

LOL, thinking about that amount of glue, I can just smell it! LOL

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Posted · Report post

I have a friend that has all of these maybe a couple times over. I recently ask him if "reverse engineering"392.gif was possible would he allow his to be used to reproduce them, he said yes.

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Posted · Report post

And was totally tasteless. :P

as are most of these kits, mear toys in my opinion. :huh: If someone is going to take the time and effort to "clone" something , why not the Racing Scenes from Aurora ?pg06%20&%2007.jpg

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as are most of these kits, mear toys in my opinion. :huh: If someone is going to take the time and effort to "clone" something , why not the Racing Scenes from Aurora ?

Indeed!

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Posted · Report post

as are most of these kits, mear toys in my opinion. :huh: If someone is going to take the time and effort to "clone" something , why not the Racing Scenes from Aurora ?

I remember when this stuff came out. I was surprised that my LHS didn't have it but, of all places, Woolworths did. I was big into Revell's 1/25 funny cars at the time, so I was disappointed to see that Aurora had issued all this stuff in a scale I didn't care about (1/16?) I'll bet if they had done these in 1/25 they could've given Revell a run for the money in accuracy.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

A Hudson model has been on the wanted list for years. Maybe not at the top of every list....but on it.

The other factor in the Hudson being viable is that it appealed to the non model car crowd. I have attended a number of the HET National conventions (Hudson Essex Terraplane) as a semi official Moebius rep. The real car Hudson enthusiast is a die hard hobbyist. They buy about anything that is well done with a Hudson badge. I displayed Moebius Hudson build ups at their shows.....and these guys could not wait to buy multiple copies of the kit themselves. This is the kind of market a kit needs today.

I doubt the molds for the Aurora 1/16 drag kits are still around. Many of the Aurora molds that Monogram bought are gone or were damaged behond use. They were great kits but even back in the day they got blown out at discount stores. I paid $5 for my garage set.

You doubt the molds are still around ? Where have you been the last twenty years or so? This has to be the greatest Urban myth of the modeling hobby. Did you miss the train wreck ?

Now to your "Blow Out at the discount store" name a kit that hasn't been blown out once they were past their prime. I think most kits at one time or another have found their way to the "blow out : table. Did I tell you the story of the $20 Pocher kits at K Mart? :o Your Hudson kits will end up there sooner or later. Who would have thought Revell would be "Blowing out" the last of the AM Grand Sport Corvettes? :huh:

Edited by Greg Myers

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Posted · Report post

I doubt the molds for the Aurora 1/16 drag kits are still around. Many of the Aurora molds that Monogram bought are gone or were damaged behond use. They were great kits but even back in the day they got blown out at discount stores. I paid $5 for my garage set.

I recently spoke to Peter Vetri of Atlantis Models, one of the most knowledgeable folks in the industry when it comes to the location, condition, and viablitly of old tooling (especially Aurora) and he confirmed the Racing Scenes tooling is gone. Sold for scrap by Monogram back in the 70's.

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Posted · Report post

I recently spoke to Peter Vetri of Atlantis Models, one of the most knowledgeable folks in the industry when it comes to the location, condition, and viablitly of old tooling (especially Aurora) and he confirmed the Racing Scenes tooling is gone. Sold for scrap by Monogram back in the 70's.

This is old news , but hearing it hurts. I know they can not keep everything that would cost a fortune to house all the old molds in a heated building. If not stored properly they would end up stuck together . All the moving parts could not be left together they would have to be greased up for storage.

I also think the wanting for the 1/16 scale parts is because our eyesight is not what it once was.

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From Tom West, who was there ... the story of the Aurora mold train wreck and later "feeding frenzy" by Monogram that saw a lot of the Aurora tools sold for scrap.

http://culttvman.com/main/?p=6365

I've never seen that post.....but heard the same story from someone higher up than Tom at Monogram. Pretty much validates the 'myth'.

And repeats what I said about scrap vs running the molds.

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Posted · Report post

Per Tom West's articles on the history of drag racing models that appeared in SA(E) some years back, the Racing Scenes were phenomenal kits done in by poor marketing. One of the reasons they were poor sellers was Aurora's insistence the kits be broken down into "scenes," as was its practice at the time. That meant the modeler had to purchase three or four kits to build one complete model, which added up to a lot more than the cost of one Revell 1/16th scale funny car kit (which the Racing Scenes were intended to compete with.) When Aurora finally did get around to combining the scenes, the resulting kits (Vega and Pinto) were still more expensive that Revell's. West also opined that Aurora didn't do themselves any favors with the Racing Scenes box art, which he called "more suitable for denture cleaners" than for supposedly exciting drag racing model kits.

West also mentioned that the Racing Scenes tooling was difficult to run even when it was brand new due to the complexity of the molds and breakdowns were common.

Furthermore, there's absolutely no sound business reason for the Racing Scenes to be revived via reverse engineering when Revell still has the molds for its excellent 1/16th scale funny car kits in its tool bank.

Three things helped kill the Aurora kits:

-the Aurora name: Aurora was never really taken seriously by model car builders

-the pricing of these items: Revell's complete car kits were more reasonable than Aurora's parts packs. Combine that with "not taking Aurora seriously", not knowing how good the parts in their kits were, and not being able to get a handle on how good they were from the poor packaging

-Revell having "name" cars while Aurora didn't

That said, Aurora probably would have been smarter to just offer the garage scene items in 1/25 scale, and if those took off, get into doing some car kits later. The garage items, plus a decent ramp truck, with photographic box art, might have stood a chance...

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Posted · Report post

I remember Tom West, the designer of the Aurora kits bemoaning the kit bodies. One of them, I believe the Pinto won't sit on the kit chassis without major work.

As for price, if I remember the prices correctly the Revell kits sold for about 2/3rds the price of the Aurora kits and the Revell kits were name cars.

I do remember these being blown out at several non hobby shops. When I think about that and the K-Mart Pochers, I do want to kick myself.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

these guys aurora-racing-scenes-donovan-417-blown-e7.jpg

Edited by Greg Myers

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Posted · Report post

that was a great web site, lots of pictures and the whole history right from the source no guessin', fussin', nor fumin' goin' on there. :huh:

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Posted · Report post

Collect and build 1\16 Aurora , love it !

post-15361-0-14841000-1426342018_thumb.j

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Posted · Report post

Collect and build 1\16 Aurora , love it !

Very cool! Welcome to the board!

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Posted · Report post

Your shop looks awesome!!

Welcome to the board :D

Cheers

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Posted · Report post

Three things helped kill the Aurora kits:

-the Aurora name: Aurora was never really taken seriously by model car builders

-the pricing of these items: Revell's complete car kits were more reasonable than Aurora's parts packs. Combine that with "not taking Aurora seriously", not knowing how good the parts in their kits were, and not being able to get a handle on how good they were from the poor packaging

-Revell having "name" cars while Aurora didn't

Wouldn't agree with much of that from a personal point of view. I built a handful of their 1/32 hot rod kits in early 1970s and enjoyed them. The name (or packaging) didn't bother me and the UK prices were, for a teenager at the time, acceptable.

steve

PS Apologies for going somewhat off-thread.

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Posted · Report post

Unfortunately the link is gone and is labeled as a dead link. Would have been an interesting read? Always a hazard when old threads are brought back.

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Posted · Report post

Some I saved 417.jpg392.gif

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Posted · Report post

More eb2a_12.jpgaa2a.jpg I think it's time for some "Reverse Engineering" :)

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You can buy the 392 and I believe the Donovan from Mark on here. (off board obviously) I have a mint chassis, the drivers and the pinto body. I started correcting the Pinto body and turning it into the Titanium Pinto. I think you can buy the Pinto from Comp Resins I believe? Tom West has many of the pictures of the Radici & Wise car on his facebook page. Along with many other reference sets that he took for his "X Ray" drawings.

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I have a friend that has all of the Aurora 1/16th kits in his "stash."

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