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What is the best 73-87 Chevy/GMC kit in your opinion?


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What is the most accurate '73 to '87 kit out there? I just bought a Revell '77 GMC Wrecker Truck and was far less than impressed. The visor, sunroof, mirror holes, and incorrect rear window lower edge make this cab unuseable. Not to mention the cast-in engine block... However it was worth the price of admission for the one ton wheels and tires. Those are particularly difficult to source.

What other pickups are out there which are more correct? I want to stay as stock as possible. I have the most interest in 1973 to '80 model years, prefer a 2WD if there is one, and I am okay with kit bashing.

New guy here, so I hope I am not rehashing a question that has been answered before. But in my defense, I did multiple searches here and did not find the topic.

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In my opinion the best square body GM truck is the MPC/AMT version currently out as the Deserter 4x4 truck, I think it's an 84 model. The same basic truck was available as a 77-80 style step side in various kits but they are pretty pricey for untouched kits. A cheaper option for an early truck is the 1/25 Revell kit, it's a 77 step side and was out most recently in a box that says Hot Rod with a black truck with red exhaust pipes on it. The cab is a bit lacking in the window area compared to the MPC piece bit it's significantly cheaper too. The cab will go with the bed from the Deserter kit if you want a fleet side truck. There is also a fleet side long bed available in resin from Morgan Automotive Detail.

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Also, is there a decent 8 inch rally wheel available in any kits?

Do you mean Truck rally wheel? Scenes Unlimited offers a resin version of the GM truck rally wheel. He also sells some nice dually wheels and tires, much better that what is in that wrecker kit.

 

I agree with Brian that the best 73-80 GM truck is the MPC 78 Chevy stepside, but that kit is hard to find and not cheap. It is a 2wd and builds nicely. The recent Revell 77 GMC pickup with snow plow is better than the wrecker but still has it's issues. 

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Another vote for the Deserter and/or any of the earlier variants of that kit. Even being the best one, it does have a few accuracy issues. Overall, the biggest accuracy problem I see is the incorrect 2bbl carb and intake. While that would be ok on the original 2wd release, the 4x4s should have a 4bbl carb. Speaking of the 4x4, that's the other accuracy issue. The transfer case is the NP203 full time version, which is correct for the '78/'79 model years, however, the '80 and up should either have the NP205 ('80) or the NP208 ('81-'8, though the 205 was a delete option). Neither issue is hard to take care of.

As far as finding them, try looking at the swap meets at model shows instead of the usual online places. You can find them MUCH more reasonable at shows. I got an unbuilt '78 2wd for $35 at a show a while back, and have seen the '78 first issue 4x4 (red w/multi color stripes) at a recent show for around the same price range.

Alternatively, if you go with the Plow Truck kit, or any of its Chevrolet variants, the bed from the wrecker fits right on it with little alterations. You would want to change the transmission to a TH400 or perhaps an SM465 to be more accurate to the heavier truck over the 3 speed that's in the kit. The transfer case is usable as it, as it is the correct NP205 part time case that was optional at the time.

Edited by Longbox55
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Hmmmmm...I fairly recently picked up a Revell "plow" kit, and the first thing I noticed on opening the box is that it seemed kinda BIG. Then I noticed the box is marked 1/24.

The intention was to do a full-detail Blazer based on the old MPC snapper, but they're obviously different scales.

Anybody have an issue with that?

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Hmmmmm...I fairly recently picked up a Revell "plow" kit, and the first thing I noticed on opening the box is that it seemed kinda BIG. Then I noticed the box is marked 1/24.

The intention was to do a full-detail Blazer based on the old MPC snapper, but they're obviously different scales.

Anybody have an issue with that?

The Revell Mad Mudder kit is closer to a full detail kit but it needs a few things to be built stock. No top on the Blazer and the hood has holes in it for the exhaust. I haven't check to see if the drivetrain and hood from the GMC Plow truck would work, but it's a start. I thought someone offered a resin hard top for the Blazer, can't remember who.

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The axles in the Mad Mudder were designed to stick out past the fenders so unless one builds some big flares for the wheelwells, swapping in the axles from the plow truck is probably your best option. If you use the engine from the Blazer, a different set of exhaust manifolds and an exhaust system will be in order, along with the aforementioned hardtop. 

Seeing how I am going to be raiding a plow truck for some parts, I might have to see if the above is possible and I just might have another WIP on my hands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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You all have been perfect help. I compared around and I think the Revell 1:24 GMC plow truck will work best. All of them are 35-40 year old designs, so I don't expect perfection. I am a showroom stock kind of guy, so I want a bench seat, which is a vote against the Deserter kit. The Deserter has quite a sink mark in the bed side. The stock bumpers in the plow truck kit are nice. I want to build a few of them in different factory two tone color schemes. Thus it will be necessary to add the side trim, which will have to be scratchbuilt.  I have ordered a few Revell 1:24 GMC plow trucks.

I will also scratchbuild door panels. None of these old tools had decent door panels.

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Hmmmmm...I fairly recently picked up a Revell "plow" kit, and the first thing I noticed on opening the box is that it seemed kinda BIG. Then I noticed the box is marked 1/24.

The intention was to do a full-detail Blazer based on the old MPC snapper, but they're obviously different scales.

Anybody have an issue with that?

Try Ebay as they have the Monogram 1/24 blazer. At this time there is an unbuilt one going for $30 + shipping with about a day to go on it.

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Wonder if the rest of the GM trucks in that series will be reissued?

There was the GMC smoothside that was reissued as the plow truck, 

A Chevy stepside that was reissued a few years ago.

A Chevy blazer , reissued once as a sheriff's truck

and a GMC Jimmy. I don't think the Jimmy was ever reissued. Only kit I ever seen that had one of those cool "Hickey" hoods. It had big fender flares too.

Cool thing was all the custom parts like the hoods, flares, wheels etc would interchange between all those kits.

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You all have been perfect help. I compared around and I think the Revell 1:24 GMC plow truck will work best. All of them are 35-40 year old designs, so I don't expect perfection. I am a showroom stock kind of guy, so I want a bench seat, which is a vote against the Deserter kit. The Deserter has quite a sink mark in the bed side. The stock bumpers in the plow truck kit are nice. I want to build a few of them in different factory two tone color schemes. Thus it will be necessary to add the side trim, which will have to be scratchbuilt.  I have ordered a few Revell 1:24 GMC plow trucks.

I will also scratchbuild door panels. None of these old tools had decent door panels.

The side trim can be built using Evergreen plastic strip. The curved pieces on the front fenders might be a tad tricky but can be done! 

Your best bet is to find a hobby shop that stocks the Evergreen and go through it to find the size that best suits your design.

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