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Short review - AMT Trojan Horse Mustang II Funny Car


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I love building funny cars, but wanted something fairly simple that I could build pretty quickly. This kit has a low parts count, will be simple to paint, and is an interesting subject, so it fit the bill.  Here are my comments:

Pros:  Not much flash, the rear slicks are - I think - the same as in the Connie Kalitta Mustang from a few years back, except they are lettered for M&H. The decal sheet will take care of all the paint except the rear panel, which needs to be painted black.  That will be pretty simple as it is a separate piece.  I will paint the body silver and the rear end black, then glue it together.

Cons: The rear of the body is an accurate Mustang II (although not the same shape as the real Trojan Horse.)  The front has very wide wheel bumps, and may be a bit tall too.   I think it was first issued as the Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull, which was not a real funny car. In general, I don't think AMT put their top designers on this kit.  Unlike Johan funnys, which had 1 piece bodies, or Revells, where the front end/grill and rear panels followed the seams of the cars, so there was little evidence they were separate pieces, this kit was designed as if the front had been cut off with a sawzall and a new one put on - see the picture.  There is therefore a huge seam across the hood to be filled.  And guess what - no alignment tabs, so I glued some in.  The engine is a 392, whereas I think the real one was a 426.  When you go to glue the block together - no alignment pins!  When you go to glue the heads on - no alignment pins!  The chassis is molded in halves, each half having half of a crossmember or part of the rollcage.  They are hard to get lined up right, because - no alignment pins!  You just butt things together and glue.

The decals are nice, but the real car looks to be silver, magenta and purple, and the decals are magenta and black (you paint the body silver.)  You will also need to fill in the rear and rear side windows and paint them black to match the real car.  

If I can get the grill properly aligned and the seam filled well, I think I will enjoy building this, but it will not be the "fairly simple" build I had in mind.

IMG_1417.jpg

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Interesting comments.  This tool dates from an era at AMT (around 1974-76) where a good deal of new styrene (kits) were introduced, but many were clearly sub-par in terms of fit and finish.  Lack of alignment tabs, as Chris rightly points out, was a problem with many of these kits.  

My understanding was that the Trojan Horse was the first issue from this tool.  It was followed by a whole series of derivative kits using the same chassis and powertrain, but different bodies.  Top of mind:  Monza, Corvette, Astre, Vega, '74 Satellite, and others I probably can't recall at the moment.   And lest we forget, the infamous "Peanut One" kit.  I always thought the Mustang body was pretty well done as a replica of the real 1/1 scale car, but some of the other bodies were pretty outlandish in terms of proportion or style.   

The engine was called out as a 417 Donovan on at least one of the various box arts, and if I am recalling correctly, the engine block had vertical ribbing that was not on stock 392 Hemis and similar in appearance to what I recall was in at least a few shots of the 417 Donovan from the magazines back then. 

I built this kit  few years back with the Satellite body ( the body somewhat modified to make it a bit more stock-like/less outrageous).  0ther than the front and rear end caps issue that Chris also noted, it was a fairly OK kit for the era  But not at the level of execution of the Revell funny car kits, the JoHan Mustang/Pinto, or in some ways, even the prior AMT funny car trio (NitroCharger andn the Torino and Nova(?) spinoffs. 

TIM  

 

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The Mustang II was first issued as the "Champ", a fictitious car.  That issue wasn't around long before the Trojan Horse appeared.  Apparently AMT lined up a deal to put Larry Fullerton's name on the kit after the Champ was issued.  The "name" funny car and Pro Stock kits seemed to be more popular than the fictitious ones back then.  AMT issued the same few kits (Mustang II, Monza, Pinto, and the stretched Vega panel) with the beer decals later on; maybe they were trying to wring more sales out of them by doing that.

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I don't recall ever seeing an AMT kit --- new tooling-wise --- with any type of alignment pins . I've got a few of the Matador annuals ; none of them have pins for the engine block halves , transmission halves , etc. , etc. When I was a kid , that used to frustrate me to no end ! Ha ha ha . 

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The Mustang II was first issued as the "Champ", a fictitious car.  That issue wasn't around long before the Trojan Horse appeared.  Apparently AMT lined up a deal to put Larry Fullerton's name on the kit after the Champ was issued.  The "name" funny car and Pro Stock kits seemed to be more popular than the fictitious ones back then.  AMT issued the same few kits (Mustang II, Monza, Pinto, and the stretched Vega panel) with the beer decals later on; maybe they were trying to wring more sales out of them by doing that.

Thanks Mark....knew you would chime in if needed......and yes, the "Beer" kits were an attempt by AMT management to wholesale more kits (the funny cars, the various semi-truck kits, the Model T Delivery, et al) using the Beer liveries as a way to convince the hobby trade these were "new" kits they had to order.   I was doing work for AMT at the time....I remember grousing at the working level about much that was going on there but don't recall much being said - good or bad - about the success - or lack thereof - with the Beer kits.   TIM  

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Interesting comments.  This tool dates from an era at AMT (around 1974-76) where a good deal of new styrene (kits) were introduced, but many were clearly sub-par in terms of fit and finish.  Lack of alignment tabs, as Chris rightly points out, was a problem with many of these kits.  

My understanding was that the Trojan Horse was the first issue from this tool.  It was followed by a whole series of derivative kits using the same chassis and powertrain, but different bodies.  Top of mind:  Monza, Corvette, Astre, Vega, '74 Satellite, and others I probably can't recall at the moment.   And lest we forget, the infamous "Peanut One" kit.  I always thought the Mustang body was pretty well done as a replica of the real 1/1 scale car, but some of the other bodies were pretty outlandish in terms of proportion or style.   

I built this kit  few years back with the Satellite body ( the body somewhat modified to make it a bit more stock-like/less outrageous).  0ther than the front and rear end caps issue that Chris also noted, it was a fairly OK kit for the era  But not at the level of execution of the Revell funny car kits, the JoHan Mustang/Pinto, or in some ways, even the prior AMT funny car trio (NitroCharger andn the Torino and Nova(?) spinoffs. 

TIM  

 

Is this not the same chassis that is in the Soapy Sales and Bounty Hunter Funny Cars.  

Tim if you have a pic of the Satellite could you post it, I have never seen a styrene body of this car

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 The engine is a 392, whereas I think the real one was a 426.  When you go to glue the block together - no alignment pins!  When you go to glue the heads on - no alignment pins!  The chassis is molded in halves, each half having half of a crossmember or part of the rollcage.  They are hard to get lined up right, because - no alignment pins! 

 

Half the time I end up cutting or filing alignment pins off anyway, because they're not in the right place to start with.

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Is this not the same chassis that is in the Soapy Sales and Bounty Hunter Funny Cars.  

Tim if you have a pic of the Satellite could you post it, I have never seen a styrene body of this car

This is an AMT chassis, not the one used under the MPC funnies such as the Bounty Hunter and Soapy Sales kits.  Back when all of these kits were first issued, AMT and MPC were competitors and not owned by the same company as is the case now.

Besides the Mustang II, the AMT chassis was used under a '73-'74 Plymouth Satellite, a mid-Seventies Corvette, a Ford Pinto, a Chevy Monza, and a Chevy Vega panel (not the sort-of-stock looking one AMT did from '71 through '77, but another, longer one).  The AMT Satellite body was blocky looking as I recall (I never had that kit). 

MPC did a Shirley Muldowney funny car kit with a '73-'74 Satellite body.  Her 1:1 car ran the '71-'72 style body.  MPC molded their stock Road Runner kit body with a molded-shut plain hood, and tooled different bumpers for it to make it look more like a one-piece fiberglass body.  Nobody ever ran a 1:1 version of that (73-'74 style) body that I can think of, yet two companies made kits with it.

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This is an AMT chassis, not the one used under the MPC funnies such as the Bounty Hunter and Soapy Sales kits.  Back when all of these kits were first issued, AMT and MPC were competitors and not owned by the same company as is the case now.

Besides the Mustang II, the AMT chassis was used under a '73-'74 Plymouth Satellite, a mid-Seventies Corvette, a Ford Pinto, a Chevy Monza, and a Chevy Vega panel (not the sort-of-stock looking one AMT did from '71 through '77, but another, longer one).  The AMT Satellite body was blocky looking as I recall (I never had that kit). 

MPC did a Shirley Muldowney funny car kit with a '73-'74 Satellite body.  Her 1:1 car ran the '71-'72 style body.  MPC molded their stock Road Runner kit body with a molded-shut plain hood, and tooled different bumpers for it to make it look more like a one-piece fiberglass body.  Nobody ever ran a 1:1 version of that (73-'74 style) body that I can think of, yet two companies made kits with it.

Thanks Mark I guess I never had a AMT funny car, or I would have know that

Terry

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Besides the Mustang II, the AMT chassis was used under a '73-'74 Plymouth Satellite, a mid-Seventies Corvette, a Ford Pinto, a Chevy Monza, and a Chevy Vega panel (not the sort-of-stock looking one AMT did from '71 through '77, but another, longer one). 

 

As I mentioned in an earlier post above, there were also Pontiac Astre and a fictitious "Peanut 1" kits based off this tool.  And yet another one I had forgotten, a "Ford Pinto/Mercury Bobcat" kit that had body inserts for both makes.  How cool is that?    There may have been a companion dual Vega/Astre kit as well, but I can't recall for sure.  

TB

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Tim if you have a pic of the Satellite could you post it, I have never seen a styrene body of this car

Terry....I thought I had photos of this in one of my Fotki albums but I couldn't find them.  

I had taken photos of this build along with the earlier AMT Nitro Charger for an article, but it never got published.  The photos are hiding somewhere on my current desktop after the folder structure I had used for organizing (Nikon Picture Perfect) did not transfer over from my old to my new desktop when I purchased it c. 2013 or so.  Curses! 

TB 

 

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Yes, there was a Vega/Astre wagon kit that could be built either way. One just sold on eBay in January for $70.95.   I found a pic of the box on Pintrest and attached it.  

My biggest issue with the Mustang II I have is not the lack of alignment pins or tabs - it is the fact that the grill casting also includes part of the hood, leaving a big seam that includes two major dips that must be filled and contoured properly (not to mention that the width of the elevated part of the hood in the center is a slightly different width on the body vs. on the grill casting, making getting it looking good hard.)  I am not a mold designer, but if Revell could design a mold, as on their JJ Vega, to have the seam between the grill and body virtually unnoticeable, you would think AMT could have done the same

AMT just retooled the grill casting to change the depth of the headlights (and maybe do something to the grill too) so I wish they had gotten the width to match the body when they retooled.

The whole idea I had behind building this was to get everything painted so I could assemble it in a hotel room. My wife and I are relocating back east and I will have some evenings in a hotel by myself and I wanted to be able to work on this.  At the rate things are going, I don't think that will happen, so work on this will probably resume in 6 weeks or so once we are fully settled in to the new place.

astre.jpg

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My biggest issue with the Mustang II I have is not the lack of alignment pins or tabs - it is the fact that the grill casting also includes part of the hood, leaving a big seam that includes two major dips that must be filled and contoured properly (not to mention that the width of the elevated part of the hood in the center is a slightly different width on the body vs. on the grill casting, making getting it looking good hard.)  I am not a mold designer, but if Revell could design a mold, as on their JJ Vega, to have the seam between the grill and body virtually unnoticeable, you would think AMT could have done the same

Is there enough material present on the hood or grille piece to account for the loss of material on the wider piece? Considering the real body is a one piece molded fiberglass part, I would align the nose and body piece as best as I could, let the plastic welder flow, then contour as necessary after the joint has fully cured.

Edited by Casey
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Is there enough material present on the hood or grille piece to account for the loss of material on the wider piece? Considering the real body is a one piece molded fiberglass part, I would align the nose and body piece as best as I could, let the plastic welder flow, then contour as necessary after the joint has fully cured.

Thanks Casey.  I am going to try just that, and I'm prepared to do some sanding afterwards!!

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