X-RAY: 1989 Chevrolet C1500 454SS

1990 Chevrolet C1500 SS454

This X-Ray is for a (1990) Chevy C1500 454SS truck by AMT. This kit includes:

1 sets of tires and rims; modern 454 V8 engine; small decal sheet.

Good: Dang cool looking truck, SUPER rare; good number of pieces; single piece body.

Bad: Even with a 454, not very powerful; WAY too much black; ZERO custom pieces.

Price: $45+

X-RAY: ☼RARE☼ 1969 Pontiac Firebird 1/25, MPC

This X-Ray is for a ◘SUPER RARE◘ 1969 Firebird MPC kit! The kit includes:

1 set of tires +slicks and 2 sets of rims; 400ci, V8 AND bonus turbine engine; stock and CLEAR PLASTIC hoods; average decal sheet.

Good: Clear hood gives look at engine; lots of parts and options, low amount of flash.

Bad: Many of the shortcomings that the newer Firebird 400 has, this one does as well; no T/A decals; UNREAL pricey at this point.

Price: $125+

1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Roadster (Custom)

This is a review of the Revell ’67 Corvette Roadster #85-2968

This is one of those kits that I never saw and/or wanted to build til I was older. Funny how it is VERY prevalent and inexpensive, but somehow I never really got around to building it until my last full set of builds (which I sold 2 years+ ago). It is a shame too as this is a rather good kit with only a few problem areas. It is a fantastic looking car, so it IS worth the work.

Like I said… prevalent. The ’67 is most likely the most coveted, so not surprising there are many iterations of the convertible (roadster for the distinguished of us). The two AMTs above are as rare as an un-grilled steak and are more expensive than 10 of the normal Revell ones. I’d LOVE to see one up close, but I’m guessing that may never happen. The other kits are fairly similar to each other. The red Monogram/Revell ones can be molded in red or white, so you need to look closely when deciding. The newer convertible (top-left) has a few extra pieces – including an aftermarket hood – and is common in stores. And I cannot fail to mention the Austin Powers kit… Wow… that was needed? I can say the kit IS build-able stock save for the 427 stripes… they’ve been replaced with A.P. movie stars/stripes. At least you have a Felicity figure to stand next to it!

These kits are the optional hardtop coupe that is typically adored further than the roadster and are much rarer. They are gaining in price and can run you over $50 currently, so they are also starting to get pricey. They are all good builds (tho I’ve not seen the ULTRA rare MPC… it could be garbage) and are just as powerful to look at as the roadster.

CAR BACKGROUND :: Got to love older ads. A car sooo cool it can run with chicks on horses! I don’t get it. Anyways, this was THE car of cars in 1967. More than a muscle car, the ’67 Corvette was the top echelon of Corvettes – and stayed there until just recently. It exuded sports-car thrill, had one of the strongest V8s on the planet and looked as if Zeus designed it himself. And, yeah, it was lightning fast as well. The 435hp version would easily hit low 13s in the quarter at almost 110 mph. This was one of a select few that could see a hemi in the rear-view and would scare all but the stock-car drivers into submission. This roadster version would be 90% as fast and you’d get to hear that rumble first hand with the top down – something the coupe owner could only dream of. Such a brilliant car.

You’d be hard-pressed to find one in a color like this. I have made a ’63 and ’65 bone stock, so I decided to go with a mild custom color to do the ’67. The Tamiya Brilliant Orange, to me, just looks amazing. I wanted something completely different and I think I succeeded. The kit is fantastic, however, and there is nothing else needed to get this look – save for the whitewalls (mine kit didn’t come with em).

To me, the Corvette engine bay is a two-part love and hate relationship. Well… not hate, but dislike anyways. The 427 looks like a monster inside the small opening. It is a handsome engine and the tri-cover really sets it off. The fan shroud – even in the worst kits – looks massive and detailed and the brake boost is a decent size. The dislike part comes in with the hidden battery and washer bottle, cutouts in the fender arches, and the hood – which can be a fitting nightmare. This one worked fairly well, but there was still some bending needed to make it right.

The interior is a nice place to be in this kit. Because of the openness of the seating, there is a lot you can detail and see regularly. The doors are nice, the dash is 100% correct, and the whole thing is just a good look. There are drawbacks to this, however. The windshield has a small area to be glued into the frame and then the frame must be glued to the car. Both harrowing experiences, I suggest using model masking tape to hold the pieces together for pin-point gluing. I’d also suggest you pre-fit the glass to see if any manipulation is necessary to get the pieces together. Not done yet. The small triangular window vents need the glass glued inside them and then glued to the windshield frame you just had a heart attack over! This whole set of events could easily ruin the build and makes this a far tougher kit than the rest would suggest. When right, it is handsome, but it is a killer when wrong!

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I just love it. Traditionally, I’d be the one to scoff at the color, but I’ve liked this shape for a long time and wanted it in orange. This kit is NOT really for the novice especially with all the glass issues, but the kit is otherwise a nice build. There is little flash, lots of parts, a good decal sheet (with 3 stripes), and a great overall fit. These are still relatively cheap as well since they were just reissued multiple times. Not a BIG investment yet, however, I’d look to the coupe version for that. I’d build em both!

8.5 Very Good

X-RAY: (1989) Ford Probe GT 1/25, AMT

This X-Ray is for a (1989-ish) Ford Probe GT by AMT. This kit includes:

1 sets of tires and 2 sets of rims; 6-cyl engine; laughable decal sheet.

Good: Extremely famous sports coupe; reasonable number of parts.

Bad: Decal sheet is embarrassing; 6-cyl is boring; PROBE GT is boring; getting expensive!

Price: $30+

1965 Ford Galaxie 500XL

This is a review of the AMT ’65 Ford Galaxie kit #6467

Here it is. THE favorite classic / muscle car I’ve owned. I traded my Firebird – that I cherished for over 4 years to get this car and it was a dream come true. My first REAL classic. See, I had owned a ’70 Duster for my first car, but the story behind it was really terrible and needless to say… I never had it on the road for more than 45 seconds (moving it around). This car was out-of-the-lot ready to cruise. I had a LOT of fun at shows, misery with repaint after an elderly woman backed into the side of it, and a pain inside when I sold it to a gentleman in Germany. Through this ownership, I built two different ones to be look-alikes to the car I was driving (for the shows) and I remember the them as being easy to build and nice to look at. I was NOT missing this in my current collection… not even on a dare.

As AMTs go, these kits are all pretty good and the finish is outstanding. I am slightly biased because of my liking for the car, but honestly, the kits are very good. The new “Green Gasser” above is a terrible looking kit. The green is as disgusting of a mold as you could find and it is everywhere in the kit. The “Rides” version allows for a donk-ish looking lowrider and is much more sensible than the gasser – which Galaxies are not known for being. The others are rare, expensive and have a lot of goodness to them – lots of parts, extras, and good molding.

CAR BACKGROUND :: “No Galaxie made after ’64 was worth a shit”. Words from an over-stuffed jackass at one of my first car shows. Smug, arrogant and as incorrect as the goofy-ass look on his face. See, Mr. Special Guy had a ’63 & ’64 Galaxie – both with 427s – and thought the WORLD of em. They were gaudy, and way overpriced. Anyone who swears by one year of a model has no appreciation for cars. Beyond that, the FOUR I’ve owned after ’64 were all attractive, powerful, and sweet riding cars. Now if he were talking about the ’64’s prowess at the dragstrip, that is fine… but he’d be shocked at the record-setting number of NASCAR wins the ’65 had – he’d probably faint. Schmuck aside, the ’65 Galaxie was a fantastic riding car. Coined as the “velvet brute” or “velvet authority”, the car was tested to be quieter than a Rolls Royce. The seats were deep (though not very supportive) and the C6 transmission, though a slight dud performance-wise, was as smooth as honey. The 390ci in my car (slightly different than the 427ci in this kit) had a stout 300hp and some 427lb-ft of torque. Enough for high 16s in the quarter and brisk driving to say the least for such a LARGE car. The 427, however, would not only destroy tires with zero effort, but would also get the beast into the mid-to-high 14s. Stout indeed. Really, where the car is happiest, is when you are just cruising around. It is quiet, comfy, and looks like a dream!

As you can see in the pic from the beginning of this review, my car was Wimbledon White. Yup, not today. Not only did I not want a representation of MY car, but I wanted to try a different color scheme altogether. The red was just the ticket – Tamiya Pure Red. Matches the pic from my favorite muscle car book (pic below) and it is superb to me. I used two kits to get 4 of the stock hubcaps (as the kits seem to come with TWO only), and had to add a side mirror since the kit didn’t come with one. I also forwent the hood ornament as they are tricky anyways and I like the less formal hood better.

Golden 390. It is a very attractive engine and the bay is one of AMT’s better ones. The brake boost could be better pronounced, it could use a radiator shroud, and the battery is facing the wrong way with terminals facing the radiator wall – otherwise, the rest looks admirable. This hood fits rather well also, but it will most likely need trimmed toward the cowl – as the size isn’t ever quite right. If you get one that is perfect, great, else expect a little whittling before paint.

This interior is also VERY good for an AMT. The details are very well seen, and there is a lot to do. The ’65 dash is strewn with bright-work and the console is a nice touch. I had adapted the one I made for my car to have the column shift and a bench seat, but I kept the 4-speed and console for this one. The 427s with this setup were amazing, but the 390 would have been hot with it too.

I didn’t take pics of the bottom as this kit suffers from the AMT curse for lack of pieces/detail. The axle is a pin with “hole” add-ons; the exhaust is molded; the headers need extensions to fit to the exhaust; and there are no exhaust tips. Really, there is nothing to write home… or for this review, about. There is another issue and that is with the rear bumper fitting. It is a PAIN to get the bumper to sit correctly. The chassis sits back a bit to far and it doesn’t screw to the bottom. That leaves the bumper to sit against a small piece of the rear fender and along the chassis which likes to move. Same as the other AMT Galaxies after ’64 as the ones prior were pin-bottom. Maybe that was what that doofus at the show meant!

Yeah, I really liked the pic in the book and though I will never likely own it, I have built one pretty close. The kit itself is REALLY good. There is little flash, the engine bay is decent, the interior is really good and the bottom is workable. The trunk being a separate piece (which doesn’t line up perfectly at times and has a spot where the tree stem intrudes on the lid), and the hood is sometimes bothersome, but otherwise there is a lot of parts, and this makes a lovely car. Most of the pre-Jolly Green Gasser kits are starting to explode in value (as the JGG kit is a green mess of a thing), so best to get one before they are $100 or more.

8.75 – Very Good

X-RAY: 1990 Ford Mustang 5.0 Drag Car 1/25, Revell

1990 Ford Mustang 5.0 Drag Car 1/25 kit parts

This X-Ray is for a 1966 Ford Fairlane 427 by REVELL. This kit includes:

2 sets of tires and rims; 5.0L, V8; stock and cowl hoods; excellent decal sheet.

Good: One of the best drag cars of the ’80s & ’90s; truck-back is a welcome treat; Revell quality.

Bad: Most everything present for 90% stock, but chassis is for drag wheels; stock version not very exotic or muscular; expensive kit for a simple Mustang;

Price: $35+

X-RAY: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Station Wagon California Wheels 1/25, Revell

This X-Ray is for a 1966 California Wheels Chevelle Wagon by Revell. This kit includes:

1 set of non-stock tires and rims; 396ci, V8 motor; stock interior; good size decal sheet.

Good: Revell quality kit; lots of parts; one of the best model kit motors out there; about the only non-Lindberg stock ’66 Chevelle you can buy…. even if a wagon.

Bad: Expensive; rims are kinda silly (I know you try and make a wagon look bad-a$$, but it just looks like a wagon with fancy wheels); not enough “speed” parts for silly rims; wood panel look with custom rims?? No; Um… it is a wagon!

Price: $40+

1966 Buick Wildcat

This is a review of the AMT ’66 Wildcat kit#38457

Buick kits are a tough thing to find unless you are a Riviera fan. There just aren’t enough of em out there. A ’69 Skylark GS would be a heck of a model, but alas, not meant to be. This is one that I’ve wanted to build because a childhood acquaintance in my neighborhood owned one. I also needed another Buick in my stable – besides the GSX – so here we are.

There are very few options for this Buick and they aren’t great to begin with. The three without the bimbo are the exact same kit I built save that they look fancier. Mine had the same outlandish custom parts, they just decided a ugly yellow stock version was the way to go. The Hasegawa kit is expensive and lower quality from what I’ve been told. If you know different, let me know, but I think it is insulting enough of a cover to stay way from anyways.

I wanted to add a side note about the ’66 Wildcat kits and I believe it has to do with AMT being lazy again. This kit is of somewhat poor quality (which I’ll mention the downsides later), but more than that, it has other problems with being an accurate representation of the car – specifically, the interior. The dash, steering wheel, doors, and even seat are all for a 1965 Buick Wildcat. I’m not sure if the company just got lazy, wanted to be cheap, or made an honest mistake, but this is NOT a 1966 Wildcat dash. The steering wheel is also not the one seen here and is definitely from a ’65. The first time I decided to build this one, I sold it because of this, but I wanted a replica of this car, so I stuck it out with the incorrect interior. If I REALLY wanted to, I could look into a resin option or the like, but I didn’t want to shell out a bunch of money to fix it.

CAR BACKGROUND :: Wow. Even when new in 1966, Buick decided to specifically market toward the “older” clientele. Why not just offer some free Gold Bond with every purchase? It is a shame too, because even though Buick has built some handsome, lively vehicles in its day, but they are still considered the “old-folks” car. The GSX, GNX, Grans Sport, and Regal Turbo were all fierce driving cars, however, they still get snubbed too often as boring. This Wildcat is no slouch either. Sporting a 360hp Super Wildcat engine, this land-yacht would run mid-15s in the quarter. Imagine grandpa pulling up next to a Mustang and putting the smack-down on it? No… I’m not saying against a GT-500 mind you, but this isn’t just a pretty face. Beyond the speed, the car looked classy as hell, had chrome for days, and would be one of the more comfortable cruisers at ANY car show. Unlike the new commercials, THIS is a Buick.

AMT 1966 Buick Wildcat kit

One of the first repeat colors I’ve used, this one was done in French Blue and came out great. The whitewalls were pulled from another kit (as they are straight black from the kit) and a side mirror didn’t come with this one, but otherwise the exterior was a nice finish. I cannot say the rest of the car is anything but cheap garbage, but the end look IS fantastic.

AMT 1966 Buick Wildcat kit

One of the worst I’ve had the “pleasure” to work with, only the 425ci engine itself is worth writing home about. To start with, the radiator looked like the pic right originally. NICE straight plastic junk! There is no radiator to insert between the pin circles in front of the fan. That is it. UGH. I pulled out a radiator from the parts bin and fit it between to give the bay a bit better look. Had to replace the original fan too because it was too thick to put anything in front of it. Like a lot of my builds, you won’t get this look from the stock kit. The battery is a bit generic; the firewall is barren; the brake boost is a joke; there is too big a gap in the wheel well (and this was a pinned chassis!); there is no washer fluid bottle; no decals at all; and no radiator cover. It is just a hot mess. I’ve made it palatable but do not look for “special” here.

AMT 1966 Buick Wildcat kit

So, I went with a champagne interior to look like that of the beige that came with that year Wildcat. It is ok, but considering the inside snafu, I wasn’t too concerned with being 100% amazing with the interior build. Again, if I owned this car IRL or wanted a super accurate facsimile, I’d need to go resin shopping and maybe not find everything in the end. The kit’s gated shifter is also laid out incorrectly; there is no directional stalk (which I need to add at some time); and no rear-view mirror. All really disappointing.

I didn’t take any photos of the underside as there is very little detail; the pins make the car look very fake; the writing on the muffler about “used with Buick copyright” nonsense makes it look like a Matchbox; the exhaust is molded and not defined; there is NO extra pieces to attach (springs, shocks, axle, etc); and the engine has the hole in the bottom for the axle pin – which looks grotesque. I would NOT display the bottom of this car on a dare… it is just awful.

AMT 1966 Buick Wildcat kit

There are worse models out there, but this one is a doozy. You CAN make it what it needs to be and even fairly authentic with some extra money (I assume), but overall, this is a flop. The Wildcat hasn’t been reissued in a while, so kit values are starting to creep up in value. Some are more rare than others too, so get em for an investment while you can… just don’t bother building them.

5.0 – Poor

FAN SUBMISSION! :: Steve Lowe

The son of an aeronautical engineer, Steve has been perfecting his trade of building for decades, and there is a lot of attention to detail and heart in his work. I’m not a “body-man” myself (and not just in the waistline) and I can say HE is. The pic of his Viper-Jag called Fang is one of the better melding jobs I’ve seen.

He wasn’t just good on the hobby table either, He fabricated this Avenger GT-12 – GT40 lookalike – from scratch and made a fun driver for himself. The Green Bean, which honestly doesn’t give enough kudos for such a nice build, was something ANYONE should be proud of, and was a fun time for him. After 4 years, he parted ways with it, as trying to move and keep it was too much of a hardship at the time. I’d like to find ONE person who doesn’t regret having to ditch a car!

After many years, and some skill honing, Steve was able to re-fabricate the bean in most of its glory – this time in 1/25 scale. Again, it took some supreme work to get her looking a 10th as the real McCoy did. An amazing amount of effort and work went into making his car and I have to give it to Steve for his passion, ingenuity, and life-long hobby. Thanks to him for his story, and for his work. –KEV

X-RAY: 1962 Buick Electra 225 (Pro Shop) AMT, 1/25

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This X-Ray is for a ’62 Pro Shop Buick Electra from AMT. This kit includes:

1 set of tires and both hubcaps and uncovered rims; 401ci, V8 motor; body-only custom options (nothing for engine); small decal sheet.

Good: Very classy ride with some impressive custom body pieces; lots of chrome; cheap price.

Bad: Very “grandma” looking car stock; no whitewalls even though pictured on box AND instructions; decals are lame.

Price: $20+