Tag Archive for Kit Review

1966 Batmobile (Deluxe Edition)

batmobile1966 BATMOBILE (DELUXE EDITION) Polar Lights #POL837
VERSIONS: TV Car
MOLDED COLORS: White, Clear, Chrome Plated
SCALE: 1/25 MSRP: $42.98 USD
MODIFIED REISSUE

ENGINE:
This new edition of last year’s Batmobile kit has two engine options. The first is a 27-piece Ford (or Lincoln) sourced 429 big block with C6 Cruise- O-Matic transmission. The valve covers, domed pie-plate open-element air cleaner, oil pan, and four-barrel carb are all chromed. Despite the high parts count, the overall level of detail is somewhat soft compared to most recent kits from other mainstream manufacturers, but what is here can be painted and plumbed into a fine replica. The second, newer engine choice is a three-piece “jet turbine” engine (remember Robin’s famous line “Atomic batteries to power…turbines to speed” as the Batmobile prepared to get underway?). The turbine may be non-prototypical, even sheer fantasy, but it does look pretty cool in that engine compartment.

CHASSIS:
This new edition of the Bat-car has not one but two chassis units–one for the big block (the more prototypical one) and one for the new turbine engine. Both basic chassis pans have both frame and floorboards integrated into one unit, with the front suspension A-arms molded on place. The big-block chassis has the gas tank molded in while the turbine version has saddle-mount fuel tanks and the rear part of the turbine exhaust system as part of the basic chassis. On both units, the engraving level is minimal but generally good, and reminiscent of the simplified Polar Lights car kits of a few years ago. Front suspension (different for big-block and turbine versions) is an eight-piece assembly with poseable steering. The rear suspension (shared between both versions) is a seven-piece affair with separate shocks and springs. Separate also is the X-member stiffener and the four-piece exhaust system (yes, again, the tips need drilling out for real- ism) on the big-block chassis, and the engine cables/hoses and jet exhaust ducts on the turbine version. The underhood area is a separate inner fender unit (two different units are provided, one for the big block car, one for the turbine ver- sion) that glues to the body from beneath, and has separate fuse boxes, battery, firewall, and master cylinder. The radiator attaches to the chassis and is met by the shroud that is part of the inner fender unit.

WHEELS AND TIRES:
Chromed Rader five-spoke mags with unplated “bat” spinners ride on no-name semi-wide black vinyl tires with decent tread detail.

INTERIOR:
Platform-style, the interior builds up off the chassis floor. Only the transmission hump is molded in place (and this applied to both chassis), all else is separate. The side panels have three-dimensional coves but are bereft of additional detail. The bucket seats have no backs to them, but the backs will not be seen anyway, so in this case the point is moot. The console and rear wall are one piece, to which attach a lever of some kind that isn’t the shifter–and that attaches to the tranny hump. There is a separate fire extinguisher and mounting plate that attaches to the rear cockpit wall. The dash is a one-piece simplified unit that also includes the front wall and pedal faces, and this is well engraved, with a fluted dash pattern. Attaching to this is a three-quarter-rim steering wheel or a full Lincoln/Thunderbird-style steering wheel with horn ring. And yes, Virginia, there’s a Batphone on the console, and even an optional Bat-Ram lever for the dash. No less than nine separate decals–including gauges–go onto this, and two for the half-rim steering wheel!

BODY:
One of the most distinguishable cars in history, the Batmobile’s basic shape is captured well here by Polar Lights. The body itself is one piece, to which attaches a separate finned upper rear deck. Font and rear lower fascias are separate and attack at the break line, making seam cleanup simple. At the front are separate clear headlight lenses, lens covers/turn signal lenses, and two split grilles. At the rear are two split grilles, two variants of the “turbine exhaust” (one with a rear camera attachment), taillight lenses, twin drag chutes, and license plate (this item looks a tad too skinny and you might want to consider replacing it). The longitudinal interior arch between the canopies is a separate component with separate “Bat antler” antennas and a chromed beacon with separate clear lens. The hood has no underside structural detail but does have four ugly mold marks you will want to eradicate. The trunk opens on the model, revealing the famous Mobile Crime Computer, for which there are no less than three separate decals. At the rear deck are the Bat-Rocket launcher tubes (drilled, thankfully) and a small chrome radio antenna. An optional base is included should you prefer using aluminum tubing for the Bat-Rocket tubes, and alternative antenna mounts are given should you prefer using thin wire for the radio antennas. The clear front and rear canopies are nicely done and in this kit, a second rear bubble is provided with an external over-the-canopy arch if so desired. Anyone remembering the episode of the TV series where the Penguin hijacked the Batmobile and made it his “Penguinmobile” will wax nostalgic here, as two Penguin umbrellas are provided for modeling just that vehicle.

DECALS:
On the large decal sheet, besides items mentioned previously, are all the red striping for just about every edge of the car, and these seem to be in a Day-Glo red shade closely approximated by Testors Model Master Chevy Engine Red (really a red-orange). All the Bat motifs for the car’s sides and the wheel centers are included here, as are “Penguinmobile” logos! Three sets of license plates are included, one slightly different shape than the other–all Gotham City, of course: BAT-1, TP-6597, and 2F-3567. OTHER: In addition to all the extra plastic parts, a pair of resin-cast 1/25 scale seated figures of Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder are included, unassembled and unpainted, with their uniform logos on the decal sheet. The real star of this “deluxe” kit is a superbly done sheet of photoetched metal details that include front and rear grilles, Bat wheel spinners, all three Gotham City license plates, dashboard chrome trim, nameplates for all the Bat-gadgets on the dash, door handles, headlight grilles, rear interior deck vent and its associated trim, hood and trunk hinges and supports, gauge faces, Bat emblems for the doors, pedal faces for gas, brake, and clutch, radiator fan (big block version only), upper arch trim lever, center console shifter trim, a Batman TV series logo to display your car with, and the infamous Bat Chain Slicer! Not only that, but the right hand side of the photoetched sheet is toothed to act as a superfine razor saw! Holy superdetail!

Revell 1956 CHEVY DEL RAY

85-4946-lgRevell 1956 CHEVY DEL RAY #4946
VERSIONS: Stock (see text), Street
MOLDED COLORS: White, Clear, Red Clear, Chrome Plated
SCALE: 1/25 MSRP: $21.98 USD
REISSUE

ENGINE:
The Del Ray’s 29-piece engine represents a 265 smallblock with Powerglide automatic, and is extremely well done. Engraving throughout is superb. The instruction sheet does not mention at all that stock engine pieces are in the kit (a faux-pas to be sure, Revell), however, we will take those parts into consideration in this review. Of special note are the separate starter, fuel pump, front cover (with engine mounts), water pump, distributor with vacuum advance and separate coil, oil filler tube, upper and lower radiator hoses, and the correct-for-1956 exhaust manifolds–the familiar “ram’s horn” style did not come into widespread play until the advent of the 283 a year later. Only one intake option is provided, a single four-barrel carb, with a choice between a two-piece stock single-snorkel air cleaner (not mentioned in the instructions, but on the sprue) or a custom two-piece plated “pie plate” low restriction air cleaner. There is also a choice between a stock generator (on the sprue but not mentioned in the instructions) and an alternator. For valve covers, you have a choice between stock Chevy script type (on the sprue but not on the instructions) and a pair of custom finned chrome units. A decal is provided for the oil filter. This is one first rate Mouse motor, and the Powerglide on the end is a real plus for kitbashers. Spend some quality time wiring and detailing it and you have an absolute contest contender.

CHASSIS:
The one-piece chassis pan has frame and floorboards molded in place plus a separate gas tank/spare tire well component. There are two different front suspensions: a five-piece stock unit (on the sprue but not on the instructions) and a five-piece custom assembly with molded-in large diameter disc brakes. There are also two different rear suspensions: a seven-piece stock setup (again, not mentioned in the instructions but on the sprue) and a nine-piece custom assembly with molded-in large diameter disc brakes and raising spacers. Exhaust system is two-piece, requiring only drilling out at the ends. The underhood area is well catered to, with a detailed two-piece radiator unit, detailed firewall, separate washer bottle, two-piece battery and tray, wiper motor, twin horns, and master cylinder. Decals are provided for the radiator tank top, battery top, and the washer bottle top.

WHEELS AND TIRES:
18” O-Z style hollow five-spoke wheels ride on black vinyl wide low profile no-name tires. The stock steelie wheels and chromed dog dish hub caps are still here on the sprues (no mention of these at all in the instructions) and are only missing the proper tires to mount them. These, of course, can either be borrowed from another kit, or found in resin from an aftermarket supplier.

INTERIOR:
The interior is platform style, building up off a basic floor that has the gas pedal, rear seat, and package shelf molded in place. Side panels are separate and have excellent three dimensional detailing. The two-piece front bench seat and molded-in rear seat have excellent upholstery engraving. The dash is a six-piece affair with a chromed central trim insert, chromed under-dash tissue dispenser, steering column with shifter and turn signal stalk, and stock steering wheel with molded-in horn ring. Decals are provided for the main instrument cluster, radio face, Bel Air speaker panel, and clock. The headliner is also catered to, with a separate clear dome light.

BODY:
Revell did a superb job with the body on the Del Ray. The one-piece body has the correct side trim and “Chevrolet” scripts molded into the sides, however, they are very light and almost certainly will get lost under a decent paint job. At the front is a plated grille with separate clear turn signal lenses, plated headlight bezels with separate clear lenses, front valence panel, plated bumper, and optional license plate frame. The hood has separate hinges and very light underside engraving, and on the outside has a separate Chevy crest, V emblem, trim strip, and hood ornament (all chromed). At the rear are a plated rear bumper, two-piece taillight units with red clear lenses, a plated Chevy crest, a plated V emblem, and an optional license plate frame. Door handles, radio antenna, wipers, and two-piece rear view mirror are all separate chrome pieces. All window transparencies are commendably thin and clear.

DECALS:
On the decal sheet, in addition to the items mentioned earlier, are flame designs in yellow for the body sides, two black Chevy bowtie outlines, a silver “California Wheels Pro Touring” motif, two silver Chevrolet scripts for the rear flanks, two silver front fender hash mark trim, two Chevy crests for front and rear, and two California FIFTY6 plates.

Monogram 1970 Plymouth Road Runner

RoadRunnerMonogram 1970 Plymouth Road Runner #0892
Note: Our kit review model was built by Damian Fontes.
Visit the Model Cars web site at www.modelcarsmag.com and click on Kit Reviews to see more photos.
VERSIONS: Stock
MOLDED COLORS: White, Clear, Chrome Plated
SCALE: 1/24
MSRP: $16.98 USD
REISSUE

ENGINE:
The 17-piece engine represents a 440 Wedge with the Six Barrel intake option. Considering the age of the tooling, the fit isn’t exactly perfect; however, a small amount of putty and a bit of sanding here and there will fix this. The fan belt, alternator, and fan are all somewhat undersized and would be best replaced for accuracy’s sake–the spares box, and some good photographs of the actual engine, will help here. Additionally, the air cleaner, alternator, and valve covers are all chrome plated, and the factory stock originals weren’t, so removing the plating and painting these parts is all important. Another “need to fix” is the hol- low rear to the oil filter unit attached to the front cover. Decals are provided for the air cleaner’s 440 SIX BARREL logo and a Mopar stripe for the oil filter. Built and detailed, with the few fixes as noted above, the engine looks pretty good.

CHASSIS:
This is typical “Monogram simplified” and is identical to the chassis in their 1982-vintage ‘70 GTX kit and the 1995-vintage ‘70 Superbird. The basic chassis pan has good engraving throughout and has the front A-arms and gas tank molded in place. Front suspension is a simplified one-piece unit that includes the torsion bars. Rear suspension is also a simplified one-piece unit, with the exhaust system molded in. Since the exhaust pipes attach to the rear axle in a very unrealistic manner, simply removing these and gluing them directly to the chassis yields a more realistic installation. The squarish exhaust tips need to be carefully hollowed out to look like anything but a block of solid plastic. The underhood area/engine bay is molded to the body, with a separate radiator wall and radiator. Molded to the engine bay are the battery, expansion tank, and washer fluid reservoir, while a separate master cylinder attaches to the firewall.

WHEELS AND TIRES:
There are two wheel options, both chrome plated. Stock Magnum 500 five-spoke cast types, same as the aforementioned GTX and Superbird kits, or a set of mid-1970s-style Mopar slotted steel wheels with 1970-71-style dog dish hubcaps. Though some ‘70 Road Runners did come from the factory with steelies and dog dishes, these aren’t the right kind. Missing Link Resin Casters offers a set of 1/24 scale steelies and corrected dog dish hubcaps for Revell and Monogram 1/24 scale 1970-71 Plymouths that are far more accurate. Tires are four black vinyl no-names (former Goodyear Steel Belted Radials). Optional on ‘70 Road Runners were Mopar’s Rallye wheels, and if that’s your pleasure, grab a set from the Revell (or Monogram) ‘70 Challenger T/A, ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda, or ‘71 Plymouth GTX.

INTERIOR:
This is the star of this kit. When R-M planned this upgrade from the 1982-vintage GTX kit, they decided to tool up a whole new state-of-the-art bench seat interior, and the execution of this is very good indeed. The basic in- terior only has the rear seat and package shelf molded in place. Side panels are separate and have superb three-dimensional detailing. Upholstery engraving on the side panels, rear seat, and two-piece front seat is nothing short of excellent. The dash is as the original GTX (and Superbird) with decent engraving and the steering column molded in place. The steering wheel (with delicately molded horn ring) is separate. Also separate is a complete hanging pedal assembly and a chromed pistol grip floor shifter. Decals are provided for the two main gauge faces, but the instruction sheet mistakenly identifies them as part numbers; the numbers actually refer to indicators for these items on the decal sheet.

BODY:
What is here is for all intents and purposes the same body as the 1982-vintage GTX, albeit with the GTX scripts removed. R-M did a good job on the body; the shapes are all there, and it doesn’t look clunky. At the front is a new grille, correct for the Road Runner, with separate clear headlight lenses, and a chromed front bumper with two tiny clear turn signal/running light lenses. Note the L-shaped projections on the front bumper, which are rubberized on the actual car and should be carefully painted accordingly. The rear end has a sepa- rate taillight panel with two plated taillights (Tamiya’s Clear Red makes quick work of these), and a separate plated rear bumper. Note there are no separate clear backup light lenses as there are with the ‘70 GTX kit–those were excised with the Superbird release. The hood gives you the option of mounting the Air Grabber scoop in the open or closed position; the open scoop has the requisite decals for its sides. Dual two-piece plated side mirrors complete the exterior.

DECALS:
Included on the all-new, matte finished(!) decal sheet, in addition to those previously mentioned, are front and rear side marker lenses, PLYMOUTH block letters for the rear panel and a Road Runner script for the grille in silver, lock cylinders in silver, the black panels and striping for the hood and cowl, 440+6 logos for the hood sides, a 440 logo for the rear of the hood bulge (this is the first time that this identifying feature of 1970 Plymouth B-bodies has been done in any kit), stock Road Runner side striping and logos in yellow, rear Road Runner stripes in your choice of black, white, or yellow, two 1970-vintage Plymouth Rapid Transit System logos, a white Plymouth billboard, two red/ pink/yellow custom side stripes and two matching stripes for the hood and cowl, two PLYMOUTH MAKES IT plates (one with yellow lettering, one with blue lettering), two Illinois 440 SIX plates, and two Wisconsin 16441 plates.

AMT 2012 Corvette Convertible

AMT’s new 2012 Corvette Convertible is out, and your humble editor spent a little time on this basic promo-style model kit.

It went together well, and the ScaleFinishes.com Lamborghini Orange paint job really made this model stand out.