Kit Reviews

Revell 1977 Chevy Van

77 chevy van1977 CHEVY VAN Revell #7221
MOLDED COLORS: White, Clear, Chrome Plated
SCALE: 1/24
MSRP: $20.99 USD

Like the AMT “Vantasy,” this kit’s 13-piece engine is a 350 small block Chevy with Turbo Hydramatic 350 transmission, this time done in typical 1970s simplified Monogram style. The undersized four-barrel carb and distributor are molded to the intake manifold. The valve covers and alternator are the only plated pieces. Note the fan is a five-blade unit. There is no ignition coil, oil filler tube, or water hoses.
CHASSIS: The frame and floorboards are a single unit in this kit, and the gas tank is molded in place. The transmission mount is separate. Front suspension is a simplified three-piece unit, and the rear suspension is a six-piece assembly with separate shocks. The exhaust system is correct for a 1975 or later van with a two-into-one piping feeding a catalytic converter, this feeding a dual rear pipe with pipe hanger. The tips of course will need to be drilled out for realism. The only underhood detail to speak of is a two-piece radiator with shroud.

WHEELS AND TIRES: Plated 1968-77-style Chevy rally wheels ride on four black vinyl no-name tires that were Monogram Goodyear GT Radials in a former life.
INTERIOR: The interior is a one-piece bucket with no back wall, but with seat support and the engine cover molded in place. Two highback captain’s chairs are provided, but note there are no backs to them. The dash has decent engraving and features a steering column with molded in shifter and turn signal stalk, and a three-spoke Momo-type steering wheel. Separate are a cup holder tray for the engine cover, a CB radio, and a tape player.
BODY: The Chevy van body is nicely done and, like the AMT offering, has no side or rear windows–essentially a commercial van. At the front is a one-piece plated stock grille/bumper unit with separate clear headlight lenses and license plate, an optional front scoop-type air dam, and two plated windshield wipers. A plus is that the central portion of the grille is molded open. At the rear are two clear tail- lights (ready to be treated to the transparent red paint of your choice), a chrome stock rear bumper, an optional chrome CB antenna, an optional two-piece spare tire carrier, and an optional two-piece trailer hitch. There is also an option of two chromed side pipes, although there is no way to connect them with the exhaust system! Also optional is a clear skylight for the roof. Two plated two-piece California style side mirrors adorn the doors, however, there is a large sink hole in each mirror face, difficult to eradicate since each mirror has a half-round magnifier/blind spot mirror in the corner. The windshield is a one piece clear item that includes the vent windows, and is reasonably clear.
DECALS: The large decal sheet features a multi-tone blue side custom sweep motif, an Auto Crafters Custom Paint Works logo, three Accurate Plumbing Commercial and Residential logos for the sides and rear, amber and red side marker lights, a FOR SALE sign, two Chevy bow ties for the grille (one gold, one blue), a gold Chevy Bow Tie on a black license plate, two California VANNISH plates, and two Illinois 343 JK plates.

AMT Dirty Donny “Vantasy” Chevy Street Van

#AMT-691 VERSIONS: Street
MOLDED COLORS: White, Clear, Red Clear, Amber Clear, Chrome Plated
SCALE: 1/25 MSRP: $20.99 USD

ENGINE: The 23-piece engine represents a mid-level (for trucks and vans) Chevy 350 small block with a single four-barrel carb and Turbo-Hydramatic 350 transmission, and is very similar to the one in AMT’s currently out-of- production ‘72 Nova SS kit. The valve covers, carburetor, air cleaner, front cover, alternator, and four-bladed fan are all chromed–none of which would have been on a real full stock 350 from the factory. On the plus side, the engine includes a separate distributor and ignition coil, separate oil filter, separate starter, separate water pump, and a separate oil filler tube. Nicely done, but see the Comments section for some essential commentary regarding the viewing of this little jewel.

AMT did a superb job here back when this kit was first tooled. The frame and floor pan are separate and distinct. The frame itself has the upper front A-arms, gas tank, and most of the crossmembers molded in place save for the first unit and the second crossmember that connects to the separate engine mount. Front suspension is a 14-piece unit with separate kingpins, idler arms, steering box with column, and idler arm brackets. Working poseable steering is not designed into the kit but you can glue the components in a desired position, or, a mild rework of the kit’s components and a little ingenuity can give you working poseable steering. At the rear is a nine-piece suspension with 12-bolt style rear axle, separate shocks and leaf springs, and a three-piece driveshaft unit. The two-into-one exhaust system is one piece and (oh yeah, here we go again) must be drilled out at the tip for realism’s sake. The underhood area has a two-piece radiator and shroud, separate firewall, separate battery, and separate vapor can. Again, see the Comments section regarding these.

Four chrome American Racing five-spoke mags ride on black vinyl Goodyear Polyglas GT L60-15 tires. What the instructions don’t tell you, but the parts trees do, is that there is a full set of factory stock Chevy van/ truck open steelie wheels with four chromed Chevy bowtie period-correct “dog dish” hubcaps! Find four of a more pedestrian-style of tires in your spares box, and you’re on your way to a full stock build! 34 Model Cars #169 • July 2012

The interior builds up off the floor pan. Note that there are no interior side panels whatsoever (and there never were in any rendition of this kit.) Seats are two-piece high back custom captain’s chairs. The dash has very good engraving, and the engine cover is separate. You have a choice of stock or three-spoke plated Eelco-style custom steering wheels which mount to a plated shifter/turn signal stalk. A CB radio, placement optional, is also provided. BODY: The one-piece body is nicely done, capturing the character of the second-generation Chevy Van perfectly. This is a commercial van body, period– there are no engraved marks for opening up the side windows or windows in the twin rear doors, although with some ingenuity and a razor saw one could make that possible. There is an engraved line under the roof if you wish to use the optional clear sunroof to “let the sunshine in.” At the front is a stock grille/ bumper unit with separate clear headlight lenses and separate amber clear park- ing light/turn signal lenses. Also provided is an optional custom grille filler/roll pan, though there is no custom grille supplied with the kit (the spares box can easily fill this need if so desired). At the rear are a chromed stock bumper and two clear red taillights, while side marker light lenses are in clear amber (front) and clear red (rear). Wipers are separate, delicate chromed items, as are the three-piece side mirrors. The multiple options this kit provides for customiza- tion include clear bubble portholes for the sides (with instructions on how to drill holes in the body for them), window louvers for the rear doors, clear skylight units for the roof, a two-piece spare tire cover for the left rear door, two custom side panels with exhaust ports, two three-piece dummy side pipes, a roof spoiler, and two chromed road lights with separate clear lenses. The wind- shield and two side windows are separate clear parts that are reasonably thin.

Included in the kit are two decal sheets that are actually a tad larger than the length and width of the box! Included on these are four different mul- ticolor motifs for the upper side panels (two of which incorporate the Vantasy logo), five different multi-color motifs for the lower side panels, three different multi-color motifs for the rear door sections, two Vantasy logos, two Evil Wiz- ard logos, two winged deaths-head motifs, four eyeball motifs (two large and two small), three skulls with crossbones (one large, two small), one large and two small shrunken heads, four game dice motifs (two large, two small), two small wrench motifs, and a collection of one-off art of varying types that have to be seen to be described. As has been the norm for Round2’s kits lately, the decals are printed with a matte finish.

AMT Meyers Manx Dune Buggy

AMT’s Meyers Manx Dune Buggy

AMT’s newly reissued Meyers Manx Dune Buggy holds a special place in my heart. As many of you may know, I am a huge VW fan, ex-VW mechanic, and an overall VW nut. Even today I still get calls to help friends fix their VW. I had pushed for the re-release of the Meyers Manx for many years, and finally my persistence has paid off! John Grezula over at Round2 was very patient and understanding with all of my emails, calls, and downright begging to get this kit done. I got them in touch with Bruce and Winnie Meyers for their okay with the project, and then all systems were go. Now, two years later, after a lot of work by John and the gang over at Round2, I have my holy grail. The funny thing is, with all the VWs that I have had in kit form, I never had one of the original AMT Meyers Manx kits. They were just too expensive and out of my reach back then. Now, with this new reissue, I’ve ordered a case already, and hope to get one more soon. Now, on to the kit! The Manx kit is molded in white plastic, but in every case/carton the dealer gets there is a special red metallic version included that is indistinguishable from any other Manx kit. There are no markings on the box to tell you that it’s one of the special red metallic ones. If you buy the kit, you just have to hope you are one of the lucky few who gets a red metallic one! Also included in every kit is a neat cardboard diorama to display your Manx. Watch for a more detailed buildup and a complete rundown of what’s available out there to build the ultimate Meyers Manx!

The purple metallic special edition version, available only at the Auto World store:


Fujimi Pantera GTS

Hobby Link Japan sent the new Fujimi Pantera GTS for a quick review and build by Model Cars Magazine. It’s a fairly simple kit, curbside, and it went together easily.

My only complaint is the side windows: they are bowed out, not flat, but that can be fixed with some clear acetate or clear styrene. It’s a great kit, and a fun build.










Revell 2010 Ford Mustang GT

2010 FORD MUSTANG GT – Revell #4272
MOLDED COLORS: White, Clear, Chrome Plated
SCALE: 1/25
MSRP: $24.98


ENGINE: 24 pieces comprise the 4.6 liter SOHC modular V8, and the parts count is only one indication of how much detail Revell has lavished on the engine alone.  The engraving is first-rate to say the least.  The five-piece induction system and detailed serpentine belt/pulley unit are especially worthy of mention.   A tiny decal is provided for the oil filter cap – now that’s attention to detail.   There’s plenty of good references, both in print and online, on the 4.6 as used in the 2010 Mustang, and these will come in handy when it comes to detailing and painting the engine.    Completed, it looks fantastic.

CHASSIS:  The basic chassis has very good engraving throughout and features only the gas tank and spare tire well molded in place.  Front suspension is a seven-piece unit with separate steering rack, and the rear suspension is a nine-piece assembly with separate sway bar and traction bars.  Disc brakes are found on all fours, but these could stand to be augmented by a reasonably decent photoetched set such as that from Crazy Modeler and a set of resin calipers from Hobby Design or Crazy Modeler.  The exhaust system is one piece with two turned metal exhaust tips – a feature we have come to like very much from our friends at Revell.  The underhood area is well catered to, with the engine compartment molded as part of the interior unit and the battery, fuse holder, and washer reservoir molded in.  Separate engine compartment goodies are the two-piece radiator with electric fan, radiator shield with expansion tank, firewall with two-piece master cylinder unit, and shock tower brace.

WHEELS AND TIRES: Plated 19” five-spoke Mustang cast wheels ride on black vinyl no-name low profile performance tires that have very good tread detail.

INTERIOR: The interior shell has only the package shelf molded in place; all other components are separate.  Side panels are separate, have excellent three-dimensional detail, and include rear B-pillar insets.  Decals are provided for the door handles (!), speaker grilles, and Mustang logo.   Front seats are two-piece with back detail, and the rear seat is a one piece unit that can be omitted by those intending to turn this pony into a quarter miler or oval racer.   Moving to the dash, the basic unit has superb engraving, a separate hanging pedal unit, a separate turn signal stalk,  three-spoke Mustang steering wheel, and a clear gauge cover to which you have your choice of any of six decalized gauge faces with different backlit shade, just like the real car.  Also decalized are two choices for the radio/multimedia/navigation screen.  Shifter and hand brake are separate components, and there is a sun visor/overhead console/rear view mirror assembly that slots in at the front inside of the roof.

BODY: The subtle differences between the 2010 restyle and the 2005 original have been carefully crafted by Revell.  The subtle side curvatures have been handled very well.    The front fascia/main grille is a separate part, to which attaches the separate headlight reflectors with clear covers, the tiny clear side marker lenses, the chrome galloping horse emblem, and the clear fog light lenses.  At the rear is a separate fascia with molded in taillight reflectors that will need to be treated to a shiny chrome of your choice, and over these go two clear light lenses that will need the transparent red treatment.  A chromed gas cap and separate lip spoiler finishes up the rear.  Side mirrors are two-piece with separate chrome lenses.  The hood has the GT’s domed appearance and very good underside structural detail.  All windows are thin and virtually distortion-free, and fit flush from outside the body.

DECALS: On the all-new decal sheet, in addition to those previously mentioned, are hood/cowl/top/trunk/rear deck striping in silver, white, or black, the black rear panel between the taillights, wheel centers, rear side marker light lenses, the center high mount stoplight lens, silver GT emblems, gas cap center, two black and white GT license plates, two Illinois “2010 GT” plates, and two Arizona “GITTYUP” plates.

COMMENTS: Revell’s deft updating of their excellent 2006 Mustang into the 2010 mid-cycle refresh makes a really good kit even better.  The detail in this kit is nothing short of superb, and built, it’s impressive.  One could only wish for someone to do a photoetched detail set for this one to enhance what’s already there (ahem, MCG????)   If there was any issue to be taken with this kit, it’s the opinion of many that Revell should have waited and brought this kit out as a 2011 GT with the fantastic new 5.0 liter “Coyote” V8 engine – and perhaps they just might have that in mind, knowing Revell.  A companion Shelby GT500 is on the way too, in both 1/12 and 1/25, and we will look under both hoods as soon as we can.  In the meantime, what’s here is highly recommended; I just have to do one in Grabber Blue – now THAT is a looker!