Reviews, pictures, hints, and links 1/24, 1/25 car kits
’70 Dodge Challenger T/A
This is a review of Revell’s 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A. Kit #2596.
This is a pretty slick Revell kit. There usually is flash on the wheel wells and bottom, but not enough to gripe over. I really like the fiberglass hood that comes with it. Being careful when fixing the front piece to the body is necessary as the sides that match to the front fenders sometimes need bending to be flush. This kit is a 2-in-1 as well but doesn’t include a whole lot of “street” goodies.
Most of these will get you the same results with the exception of #1. The “metal glow” kit has the T/A molded in a horrifying maroon that is as close to an original color as plaid. What’s worse is the entirety of the kit is maroon throw-up. #3 is also molded in red, though not “sparkly”. #2 is almost identical save the decals and instructions may be a bit different. #4 is a rarity and an expensive buy, but it is one that has a coveted feature. This 2-in-1 allows you to built a Challenger R/T with the standard hood. It is the only Revell kit that allows this Challenger to be made so. You can buy a resin hood on top of the other kits, but I’ve found resin to be often mediocre and a lot of work to make right.
AMT makes a few different kits for the Challenger, however, the Revell kits are a truck-load better. The pieces fit better, the flash is less, and the “finish” is better. These kits ARE very build-able, but I stay clear of AMT’s when I can.. they are just not built as well.
CAR BACKGROUND :: The 1970 Challenger was Dodge’s answer to the Chevelle and Torino. The car did so in many iterations. Hemi, 440, and T/A versions were as hot as any muscle car of the time period. Challenger 426s would easily run high 13s in the ¼mile and 440s were right behind by a whisper. This T/A was pretty lively for a small block as well. With 290 underrated horsepower, it would trip the lights at over 95mph in roughly 14.5 seconds. The car was sleek and stylish too, with a huge set of taillights on the rear panel and a blackened front valance that looked like it meant business. It also came in a plethora of tasty colors that sounded like something out of a cartoon: Go Mango, Plum Crazy, and Banana.
BUILD NOTES : Like I mentioned earlier, you have to be careful when putting the front clip on to the car so the fenders match up (see pic). The rear “wing” should be left off for painting and attached after since it will be a different color than the body. The hood should be semi-gloss black, but I like the flat black better. The “street” setup is lacking with this kit. The extra hood allows for a massive high-rise intake or a blower. There is zero else (not even headers) to make this a street rod besides what you add from other kits. There are custom rims, but no slicks. As a 2-in-1, this one is lame.
The engine bay is really good with an ounce of yuck. The 340 six-pack is one of the coolest model car engines you’ll find, but it is surrounded by mediocrity. The battery is molded into the fender and is low-detail. The firewall is BLANK. I added a wiper motor from another kit to help, but it is completely devoid of detail. I know pristine Mopar muscle usually has a color-coded, clean look, but this is a bit much.
This T/A was painted Testors Bug Yellow – a very bright yellow that looks a lot like the Banana of that year. The hood is flat black and so is the rear wing. I don’t usually paint the white letters on the tires, but I took the extra time to do these. The stripes are great, but care needs to be taken as there is a small bit that goes under the side mirror. The other decals are amongst the best in model-dom and there is a lot to place. One gaffe that should be of note is the rear taillight piece. The clear piece is often not the right size for the chrome insert and needs a bit of trimming. Make sure to fit before using glue or you may have a mess.
Interior is black and fully detailed with wood grain and wood steering wheel. It comes with a pistol grip 4-speed and has reasonable detail on the doors. It does come with a rear view mirror as well.
I have to say that I love the side exhaust of the T/As. They look nasty and are well detailed. Helps not having to fool with the axle as with a full exhaust too. Never had an issue with this one matching the engine as well. The other details are a bit lacking as there are no springs, shocks or extras of any kind. One final drawback with this underside is that you cannot opt for a standard dual exhaust. The Challenger R/T had cool exhaust tips and they would look great on this kit. Using them from another kit would work, but it would be extra cost.
Aside from the engine bay being a bit barren and there being almost nothing 2-in-1 about this kit, it is great otherwise. The parts fit well, the glass is easy and manageable, and the decals work to an.. R/”T”. The T/A kits are still fairly obtainable and the price hasn’t skyrocketed yet. The rare R/T Streetburner kit is starting to climb over the $40 range, but the others can still be gotten reasonably (This one was $22.50). This kit is an easy “thumbs up” but not for the serious gear-head. As stock Challengers go, however, this is a beaut!