Reviews, pictures, hints, and links 1/24, 1/25 car kits
’71 Plymouth Duster 340
This is a review of the AMT 1971 Plymouth Duster 340 #A1118M
This is a reissue of one of my favorite kits (see green box below). That isn’t just because it is one of my favorite muscle cars of all time either – this is a really good kit. There is very little to have to fix and almost nothing to add. There is NO “street” pieces and very little in personalizing, but for a good representation, it is tough to beat.
The above kits are are pretty much all the same. They all have the same parts and decals. They are also pretty much the same price – and right now a very inexpensive one (though the blue boxed one is more rare).
These two kits are not only on the cheap side (quality wise), but are also not what they appear to be. MOST kits out there that have “street machine” on them have most of the standard parts as well. These DO NOT. They have the shells enough to make a Duster, but these are powered by a cheap looking Viper engine. On top of that, you’ll have goofy wheels and un-matching Viper rims. Honestly, it is stupid as there is nothing else about the car to show 400+hp. No roll-bars, giant wings, no front spoiler… ZILCH. It is as unobtrusive as a Yugo with nitrous.
CAR BACKGROUND :: The Plymouth Duster (and sister car Dodge Demon) was one of the flashiest cars of the ’70’s. Sassy Grass, Moulin Rouge, In-Violet, and Curious Yellow were stunning colors that made the typical Satellite look like part of the landscape. That isn’t to say that they were slouches either. Though none officially received a 440 or 426, they were gifted a wonderful 340ci, with a very underrated 275hp. That was good enough for mid-14 second quarter mile times. More than that, though, the Duster also handled really well since it wasn’t carrying a big block up front. You may lose the drag vs. a 440 Charger, but wait til the first big corner.
BUILD NOTES : So, what does this really good kit give? Well, there is almost nothing to add. The engine bay is well appointed (more later); the underside is great; the interior has a TON of detail, and there are decals galore. There is nothing needed besides imagination and some really fun paint choices. About the only downside is that there are virtually NO customizing parts in this kit.
You are looking at one of my favorite engine bays. There is enough detail for anyone here and there is room for anything else you can imagine. Nicely detailed battery; wiper reservoir; wiper motor; detailed radiator; and master cylinder. The “340” decal is rubbish and doesn’t include the center piece. I made the one pictured and it was much better than the original. I also “wired” the engine – black – but you could even forgo it since the distributor in the back of the motor.
I’ve made this model three or four times and had only one “ruining”. I’ve done a couple of yellows and a moulin rouge (ruined one) but never green… which is silly since it is easily my favorite. This is Go Green – which is basically the same as the Sassy Grass, but there is no Sassy Grass model paint. I used the white stripes and decided to forego the black hood/hood decal. I used it with the other 2 builds and was just sick of it. I also didn’t like the quality of the “340” decal either. The ONLY thing I had to add to this car is better side mirrors. The ones that come with this car are absolutely abysmal. They have too small of a base to look right and are chrome – which is tougher to paint/have last. I used the typical side mirrors Mopar used for ’68 and ’69. I used the decent tires that came with the car and really like the rims. I also added the Duster decal to the hood because it looked good. Not stock, but I think looks nice. I also decided against the rear taillight surround decals. Again.., used them before and wanted a change.
This interior is one of the better AMT ones you’ll work with. Lots of detail and good, solid pieces. I added a directional stalk, but otherwise love this interior. I was debating on using white for the interior, but already had this nice black one built, so I went with it.
I love the underside of this car. The chassis is well designed; there is ample detail with shocks and sway bars; the exhaust fits well and the tips are as good as you’ll find on a Mopar. I wish the wheel fit were a little better, but really, it just all works.
This is a must have. Not just because the car itself is a legend, but also because of how good and how easy it is to build. There is nothing (besides maybe the hood sometimes) that doesn’t fit nice and tight. Right now, especially with the re-issue, these are everywhere. Hobby Lobby has them for $16 after coupon, but they are still $20 or less elsewhere. Not a real good investment, but one heck of a build.