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Testors 1971 Boss 351 (only it is not)


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Wanted to get back into building cars again so I opened up the easiest one I have in inventory. A metal pre-painted Testors 1971 Boss 351 Mustang in my favorite color combo Blue and Silver. I started to do some research to find out how to detail it appropriately and learned that is NOT a '71 but a '73 with only a '71 grille. I plan on changing the interior to factory white/black. Follow along if you are interested.

Boss 351 unopened.JPG

Boss 351 contents.JPG

Boss 351 sprues removed.JPG

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The prepainted finish is nice and the opening doors are an interesting modification added when Testors took the old MPC molds and turned it into a quasi diecast kit.  You are correct about the many incorrect things that go back to the annual kit so I will not list them here again except to mention do they think no one knows the difference between a 351C and a 428 engine.  ?

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11 hours ago, vamach1 said:

The prepainted finish is nice and the opening doors are an interesting modification added when Testors took the old MPC molds and turned it into a quasi diecast kit.  You are correct about the many incorrect things that go back to the annual kit so I will not list them here again except to mention do they think no one knows the difference between a 351C and a 428 engine.  ?

Good to know. Do you know what kits were issued with a 351 Cleveland?

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On 8/20/2020 at 8:23 PM, Bills72sj said:

Good to know. Do you know what kits were issued with a 351 Cleveland?

The quick answer is in 1/25th I have found very little.  I am not sure when this Testors kit magically grew in size to 1/24 since it is based on the MPC 1/25 plastic kit.  Some of the Mustang II kits had a different “race” engine instead of the usual 428CJ and 429 Boss engines that seemed to be in every large Ford and Mercury Kit from 1968 to the mid 1970’s despite the 351C (all varieties) and 429CJ engines being in 71 Mustangs and the 351HO and CJ in 72 and the final year of any V8 including 351C 2 and 4bbl In 73 before the 74 Mustang II when any size V8 was not available in 74.  I has posted pictures of various engines I’ve “found” over the years and I am not familiar with every kit that may have had a 351C in 1/25 so there could something out there but I would say this - never believe what the side of the model box says of the kits of that era.  Sadly a decal on the fender does not change the fact that the correct engine isn’t in the kit.  Tim Boyd did a comparison of Ford muscle car engines the Revell 70 Mach1 has a 1/24 Cleveland but that’s about it.  Search some of m posts where I point out the numerous things that would needed to be sourced to build a fairly accurate 1/25 Boss 351 Mustang.

Edited by vamach1
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43 minutes ago, Deuces ll said:

Testors should have included the Magnum 500s in that kit... Oh, well... Can't have it all... ?

Yes - that and a whole lot of other things.  The exhaust is wrong (no mufflers) and my #1 pet peeve for the body is the cowl vents in the hood were NEVER on any 71-73 Mustang built.  Someone at MPC must have assumed it would have them because the 70 Mustangs did.

Edited by vamach1
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1 hour ago, vamach1 said:

The quick answer is in 1/25th I have found very little.  Some of the Mustang II kits had a different “race” engine instead of the usual 428CJ and 429 Boss engines that seemed to be in every large Ford and Mercury Kit from 1968 to the mid 1970’s despite the 351C (all varieties) and 429CJ engines being in 71 Mustangs and the 351HO and CJ in 72 and the final year of any V8 including 351C 2 and 4bbl In 73 before the 74 Mustang II when any size V8 was not available in 74.  I has posted pictures of various engines I’ve “found” over the years and I am not familiar with every kit that may have had a 351C in 1/25 so there could something out there but I would say this - never believe what the side of the model box says of the kits of that era.  Sadly a decal on the fender does not change the fact that the correct engine isn’t in the kit.  Tim Boyd did a comparison of Ford muscle car engines the Revell 70 Mach1 has a 1/24 Cleveland but that’s about it.  Search some of m posts where I point out the numerous things that would needed to be sourced to build a fairly accurate 1/25 Boss 351 Mustang.

A 70 Mach 1. Hmmm, I think I have one of those. If I was shooting for accuracy, I would rob it. Anyway, since the tail panel is 73, the front bumper is 73 and the dashboard is 73, I scrounged up a 73 grille from an old built up. Some minor trimming and it fits pretty well. The factory paint job has at least 3 flaws in it so this one will a shelf decoration and not a show piece.

 

1 hour ago, vamach1 said:

Yes - that and a whole lot of other things.  The exhaust is wrong (no mufflers) and my #1 pet peeve for the body is the cowl vents in the hood were NEVER on any 71-73 Mustang built.  Someone at MPC must have assumed it would have them because the 70 Mustangs did.

I do not know enough about Mustangs to catch the cowl vents. Not going to fix it now.

 

1 hour ago, Deuces ll said:

Testors should have included the Magnum 500s in that kit... Oh, well... Can't have it all... ?

That would have been my first choice too. But after detailing the "sand dollar" wheels they are kind of growing on me. The BFG lettering on Goodyear treaded tires needs changed. Did this era Mustangs come with Firestones?

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9 hours ago, Deuces ll said:

Very possible... Or even Goodyears....

Either Goodyear or Firestone for the 60 and 70 series tires.  Speaking of 71-73 Mustangs, Here are some Testors “kits” all with that 73 type front bumper and one I repainted as a Japanese police car.  Also pictured is what a 1971 Mach1 429CJ and Boss 351 should look like in the metallic blue and pewter colors with of course the correct wheels and tires and everything else.  Danbury Mint did their homework on those beauties.

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14 minutes ago, Bills72sj said:

Hey, I don't mind. I appreciate the detail to help me with mine.

Thanks.  I forget some use their phones to view this site so a lot of large files may be an issue.  The Testors ones are inconsistent as the yellow mach1 had the 73 type trunk decal but the black one has the 71/72 type.  None of the Testors versions have the correct 73 MACH1 side stripes despite all the versions having the 73 only bumper and some having the 73 Mach1 trunk decal.  At least with the MPC kit it’s easy to not use the 73 bumper to try and make a 71 Boss but I figure it would be a real pain to grind down the 73 bumper on the metal body and repaint it as an alternative to piecing together parts to make an accurate Boss.

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4 minutes ago, vamach1 said:

Thanks.  I forget some use their phones to view this site so a lot of large files may be an issue.  The Testors ones are inconsistent as the yellow mach1 had the 73 type trunk decal but the black one has the 71/72 type.  None of the Testors versions have the correct 73 MACH1 side stripes despite all the versions having the 73 only bumper and some having the 73 Mach1 trunk decal.  At least with the MPC kit it’s easy to not use the 73 bumper to try and make a 71 Boss but I figure it would be a real pain to grind down the 73 bumper on the metal body and repaint it as an alternative to piecing together parts to make an accurate Boss.

Rex, I briefly contemplated grinding down the front bumper, but with all the other 73 features, I did not see the point. So I scrounged up an AMT 73 grille and got it to fit. I should have a pic in the next day or so.

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2 minutes ago, Bills72sj said:

Rex, I briefly contemplated grinding down the front bumper, but with all the other 73 features, I did not see the point. So I scrounged up an AMT 73 grille and got it to fit. I should have a pic in the next day or so.

Good call.  I used a 73 grille on the Japanese police car I converted from the Testors Yellow Mach1 kit.  I have see many real 73s that an owner has repainted and used the 71/72 side stripes and Mach1 fender decals because they preferred them over the wider 73 Mach1 stripes.  It still throws me off when I see that mismatch.

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Used an airbrush for the first time in my life today. After a bit of practice, I shot some decanted flat white to change the interior color. I like airbrushing. :)

 

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Edited by Bills72sj
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For  those that are trying to replicate a Boss 351 here’s a few suggestions and some other things I noticed about the Testors diecast kit.  Somehow they body size did grow to 1/24 in transformation from the MPC 1/25 plastic kit and their diecast body.  I placed the MPC hood on the Testors version and sure enough is the MPC hood is smaller.  So If one wants to to a 73 Mach1 with 72/73 stripes the grille should be swapped with the MPC one.  Of course the 1/25 Revell 70 Mach1 1/24 351C engine would now not really be out of place.  I have not tried that transplant yet.  So back to the Boss - aside from grinding off the front bumper and using the chrome bumper from Missing Link resin the best bet would be to use either the MPC or AMT kits and add the ML grille and bumper and paint the color of your choice and order decals from Keith Marks.  I know I am overly critical of the MPC and Testors versions but another glaring difference between a Mach1 and Boss is the Boss 351 did not have the honeycomb panel between the tail lights.  Of course the “Boss” kits have the Mach1 rear panel which can be removed with a hobby knife.  Of course that means that area needs to be painted silver or black.  If there is one thing I give credit to Testors is the door panels which are an improvement over the typical flat tub of the original MPC kit.  Eventually I will finish building a Boss 351 using both an MPC and AMT kit but with of course major changes from the donor kits.  I just wish Testors had done a version without the 73 bumper and perhaps a painted body without the decals applied but I suppose that “kit” would not have looked as tempting in the packaging to the purchaser of their “ultra detail” series.  I bought some too so I guess their marketing was successful. ?

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Edited by vamach1
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On 8/20/2020 at 9:04 AM, vamach1 said:

The prepainted finish is nice and the opening doors are an interesting modification added when Testors took the old MPC molds and turned it into a quasi diecast kit.  You are correct about the many incorrect things that go back to the annual kit so I will not list them here again except to mention do they think no one knows the difference between a 351C and a 428 engine.  ?

You're correct, Rex...most of the diecast companies DO believe the difference won't be noticed...or they just don't care.  Most of them believe in the "Close is good enough" theory.  GMP comes immediately to mind as they were always the biggest offenders of the "Close is good enough" concept.

I wrote for a couple of different hobby magazines focusing on diecast reviews in a variety of scales.  With much of the diecast manufacturing community like Maisto, where the price point is less than $30, you expect inconsistencies.  Drive that price point up and collectors expectation go up as well.  This is what killed Franklin Mint.  When the attention to detail stopped being what it once was under the old guard, collectors complained.  Even when I wrote about it in my articles, they did nothing to improve themselves.  Even the then Director of the FM Diecast division called me to ask what could be done to save it and turn collectors around, I told him.  I mean a '63 Corvette Stingray with a ride height of a 4X4 for $160?  Really?

So many of the GMP products were done with the idea of subsequent releases (variations on the existing or original tooling) was done in the Close is good enough design concept.  In many cases, current iterations of a tool were done in a way to create subsequent releases as easily as possible.  When I reviewed GMP's 1/24th scale white Mustang Shelby, the operations Manager for GMP, Mark Sanderson, called me with every sob story possible and finally blamed it all on the factory in china.

The only company that understood from the very start was Danbury Mint.  Excellent diecast but even at that, had issues from time to time.  What killed DM was not the devotion by collectors or inconsistencies in accuracy...it was the manufacturing process where the factories in China drove the price through the roof.

In the end, if you buy it, the company has your money and most people will not send it back.  Modelers will fix issues for themselves and collectors (as in the case of diecast) will put it on their shelves without complaint.

This is how the "Close is good enough" concept works.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure when the Revell NEW release Of a 71 BOSS 351 will be out but I am going to put on hold many of those MPC and AMT 71-73 Mustang kits I started unless I am almost done.  Needless to say I am looking forward to the new tooling and I may just leave the hoods glued shut on the MPC and AMT kits as I cannot stand the promo type chassis that is not realistic especially compared to what the fenders and shock towers look like in Ford’s of that era.

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Making slow but steady progress. Pulled off the 'wrong' pad printed BFG tires with the Goodyear tread. Replaced them with the proper Goodyears. Lettering done with white Gelly Roll pen. Used my backer rod trick to keep the "air" in the tires since there are no rim lips for the tire beads.

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