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Revell 68Chevelle & AMT 68 El Camino


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Doing some painting on the engines of these two kits, and I have some observations for you all. First off, the Revell kit depicts a 375 HP 396 (L-78) with a low rise aluminum manifold. Revell's kit comes with the timing chain cover molded to the block but with a separate water pump, AMT molds the water pump and timing chain cover together as one unit. Point to Revell, it is easier to detail paint the separate water pump.

Revell has a 4 speed while the AMT kit has an automatic. I believe the AMT 396 depicts the low 325 HP version with a Turbo Hydro 400. The AMT also has the Air Conditioning system which was probably not a big seller for the race oriented Chevelle. but probably was for the luxury oriented El Camino, a point for each.  Revell detailed the heads with end bumps (or casting identification nubs) while AMT did not, point for Revell.

The AMT oil pan is a three step sump while the Revell oil pan only has 1 sump at the end. Since I have a 68 396 I know that the low HP version came with the three sump pan, but do not know about the racier version. I suspect though, that the Revell oil pan is incorrect, so a point to AMT.

Revell has a separate fuel pump and oil filter, the AMT engine does not, 2 points for Revell. The Revell kit has a better defined distributor and separate coil, while the AMT distributer is smaller and the coil is molded to the intake. Neither one has the vacuum advance canister molded to it. 1.5 points to Revell.

The AMT fan is all one piece whereas the Revell version has a separate clutch which is on the chrome tree. It should be aluminum but either way, better detail and easier to paint, point to Revell.

Revell uses slots in the engine to mount it to the frame, AMT has pseudo engine mounts molded to the block that fit on numbs on the frame, point to AMT.

Both kits show the correct alternator mounting bracket for their individual engines, a point for each.

While it does not matter too much, the AMT carb looks better than the Revell unit, 1 point for AMT Both kits have chrome valve covers and a chrome open element air cleaner. It's hard to tell from internet pictures, but I believe the AMT version better simulates the stock one, a point to AMT.

So, as it stands now, Revell has 8.5 points to AMTs  6. Once I get the engines put together we will see which one "feels right."

Sorry for no pics, but I will have some when the engines are assembled.



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I think the Revell kit will prove to be the better of the two, but remember there is several years between the time these kits were developed. So AMT might prove to be a very good kit for it's age. I have my name on a waiting list for this new tool and I hope Revell can get back on it's feet and start offering additional kits of this quality. 

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I think the Chevelle kit is based on the Nova kit, at least the engine has the same mounting slots as the COPO and Yenko big blocks. The front suspension looks suspiciously like the front end in the 66 Chevelle wagon, which was based on the 66 El Camino.

I think Revell went through their parts bin and picked pieces that would work for a new kit. Excellent use of already molded items by the way and I'm not faulting them in the least.  I would love to see the 69 Chevelle, and perhaps a 68 or 69 Pontiac GTO/La Mans version in the future.  Heck, maybe even a new 1/25 scale Buick Skylark/GS, now that would be very cool indeed.

Of course, Revell could also use this frame and modify the snap 70 Chevelle which would be awesome!  The AMT versions leave a lot to be desired as far as  I'm concerned.


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13 minutes ago, RDean58 said:

Of course, Revell could also use this frame and modify the snap 70 Chevelle which would be awesome!  The AMT versions leave a lot to be desired as far as  I'm concerned.


Did you see the '70 Revell snapper I posted Under Glass last night? 

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The engine in the AMT kit may be built to 'represent' the 350hp 396 as well (esp. 1970-c.1972) . The presence of an A/C setup negates an L78 , as that wasn't an option with that engine (correct my info if it's incorrect) .

That same AMT 'generic' Mark IV is in the 1970 Monte Carlo SS-454 as well . That setup represents the 360hp LS-5 engine (and , perhaps , the 1971-1972 LS-5 as well) .

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Here we have some in progress photos of the engines. The AMT engine allows you to do silly things like this,



Overhead views. I think the Revell kit has a bit wider valve covers but I'm not sure. Both of them represent a big block Chevy pretty well.



I can see that both engines have a problem with the mounting pins for the valve covers, I will need to fix that. The Revell has the pins at the bottom of the cover while the AMT kit has the pins on the front and back.  The Revell engine looks more realistic from the front view.


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How do the frames stack up? I think AMT did a better job on that. Here is some photo proof :-)


Overall look of the frames, AMT to the left, Revell to the right. The AMT kit has separate springs, upper and lower control arms, shocks, and sway bar while Revell molded the springs to the axle, and molded the upper control arms together and the bottom control arms and sway bar as one piece.  Also what I found curious was the fact that Revell choose to have the transmission mount cross member molded separately. Now, as you can see there is a difference between the Automatic mount and the Manual transmission mount, so does this mean we have an Automatic equipped Chevelle in our future?  Just putting this thought out there for speculation.


Revell Front suspension, has a total of three parts. The springs are separate but everything else, lower A-arms, tie rod, front spindles, and front sway bar are molded as one item. To get the tops of the spindles to glue to the upper control arms, I had to use some super glue and clamps to keep them in place until the glue set.


AMT front suspension, The lower A-arms, tie rod, and front sway bar are molded as one piece. You get separate upper A-arms and more realistic spindles in the AMT kit. The spindles have a positive mounting system whereas there are two mounting pins at the bottom, one that goes in the lower A-arm and the outer goes into the tie rod, so the front tires will be pointing straight. Neat.



The AMT rear suspension.


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The Revell rear suspension.

I've got to give AMT points for the front and rear suspension, and the overall look of the frame.


Revell tire/wheel on the left, AMT on the right. The AMT tires are depicted as L60x15. On one side is white lettering while on the other is the redline. The real life Chevelle SS 396 came from the factory with F70x14 tires. I am not sure the Revell tires are suppose to be that size, but  they do physically look a lot smaller.  My personal preference is the bigger sized tire, it looks better under the El Camino wheel wells, but probably the Revell tires are more proto typical correct. I think both wheels will respond to detail painting very well.

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Great information you're providing here. A couple of observations from your excellent photos: The Intake Manifold on the AMT engine seems a little flat and inaccurate the area of the Thermostat housing. The Revell intake shows the correct cooling crossover and mounting point for the thermostat and upper Hose mounting point. The Revell rear suspension  shows a detailed view of the rear Sway Bar that is part of the F-41 Suspension option. The side by side wheel and tire comparison shows a marked difference as the Revell combination looks like a 14" and the AMT looks like a 15", and with the stated size on the tire there is no doubt. The unnamed clear lenses and the Transmission Cross Member leave some interesting possibilities.  

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The engines are coming together, here is where they are right now.  An observation I've made, the Revell power steering pump (number 163, has no cap to put fluid in. The AMT one, even though it is not the correct shape, does.

AMT 396


Revell 396



AMT 396




Next up will be the exhaust manifolds and belt & pulley system then the engines will be done.  Both engines are turning out really well and represent a big block Chevy great.

Thanks for looking, all comments welcomed!




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I've ran across a fit problem with the Revell 68 Chevelle engine. It seems like the water pump needs to be thinned on the back side and the upper pulley hole needs to be reamed out in order for the alternator bracket to line up on the engine. Otherwise the whole assemble sits out to far and the pulley bracket is about 1/16 of an inch away from the block. On the other hand, both alternator and power steering pump are a push in fit, no glue required.

More later!


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