Reviews, pictures, hints, and links 1/24, 1/25 car kits
’69 Pontiac GTO Judge
This is a review of the Revell 1969 GTO Judge kit #85-2072
My cursed kit…. The one I’ve wanted to build but never had. I’ve had this kit numerous times in the past and have had ZERO fortune in completing it. Not even very close. It is a kit that is possibly one of Revell’s worst made. It is one that hasn’t been remade in a few years and I hope it never is remade again. But.. after much coinage and perseverance, it has been done… but at a cost!
These are the only 2 of the 69 GTOs you’ll find. The one on the left is more expensive/rare and the other is molded in a hideous orange. I don’t think it quite the one from ’69, but it is over everything. It is so awful, that some of the chrome is blemished with it. UGH. The kit I did has a secret bonus set of parts. It contains the front and rear bumpers for the 1968 GTO – with decals included! It was a surprise – though I wanted the ’69 to be sure. IF you want the ’68, this is a cheaper way to go as the actual ’68 is getting stupid-expensive.
** REVISED:: Well, I have mentioned in my “About” that I am NOT the “all-knowing” guru when it comes to model cars. I’ve studied both cars and models for over 30 years, but I still get good info from modelers all the time. This time it is from Eric Kopa. He pointed out to me that the above Monogram kits do NOT come with the Ram Air air cleaner pictured here to the right. I NEVER even thought of it when I made the one you’ll see in this review because it wasn’t a necessity for me. It IS the correct way to go with a Ram Air GOAT, but the dual-snorkel one in the other kits will be period correct and look good as well. That said, if you want it to look exact – like mine does – you’d need the Revell Muscle version that I bought and not the others. Thanks again ERIC!
CAR BACKGROUND :: Be it the hidden headlights, the squatted stance from the fastback, or the stripes/wings you could add, the Judge is THE goat of the goats. I’ve always been a GTO fan. There are few years where I shrug my shoulders, and more often than not, I’d mortgage the house for one. The Judge, however, is the one that just commands viewers’ attention. Not that the engine or burnouts wouldn’t make ya look either. With a 400ci ram-air V8, this goat turned low 14sec numbers through the quarter… and it looked awesome doing it. Something else of note – these Judges were mostly orange. The Matador Red was the most sold color, but I don’t think it looks like a Pontiac color to me. Everytime I see it I think “cool looking Mopar… oh, right… GTO.” I cannot stress how much I like these in the white, blue or green setups. Personal preference, but I think the red-orange is wrong.
Ok, so where do I start? Well, the car is painted Testors Blue Ice. A bit too metallic, but very close to the ’69 color. The red-orange that comes with the other kit is terrible when just “glossing” it. There are too many imperfections and scratches for to be right and as I said earlier, the color is lousy. So, back to the “curse”. I have had everything happen to building this car that probably can. I’ve had broken pillars, bad paint (the spray was defective), runny paint, rear bumper issues, bad chrome, bad glass… it has been a struggle getting this one done. Beyond my bad luck, the kits have been flawed, the build quality is one of Revell’s worst, and I am whining a bit too much for this article! Anyways.. the rims are stock, and I used the flat, un-detailed tires. I should have replaced them, but I stayed with the stock kit’s instead. It does come with a good side mirror and outwardly needs nothing else. BIG note – watch attaching the rear bumper/taillight piece. It attaches with a small area and can ruin the paint on the sides if not careful with how much used. You will need to scrape off the chrome off the back side as well or you may have problems getting it to stick – especially where it is angled downwards.
I can say that I am the turd in the punch bowl when it comes to this interior. I used a REALLY lousy can of flat black and it looks terrible. I have been using semi-gloss lately and have been very happy with the results. However, when Wal-Mart stopped making their cheap flat black, I had to do some experimenting with others … and this was a fail. BUT, this IS a good, quality Revell interior. The seats have deep detail, the dash is nice, and the remainder presents well.
Ok, ok… get past that the fan shroud s/b painted. I missed it. The remainder of the engine bay is one of Revell’s “meh” ones. There isn’t a lot of detail on the wheel wells, the 400ci V8 is far too small, the fan shroud looks like it’s out of a F-350, and the firewall is barren. With wires and a decal or two, it came out good, but this is NOT a favorite of mine…. Maybe the shroud being painted wasn’t a bad thing??
The bottom of this car is fairly good. There is good detail; the exhaust is hearty looking; the tabs for the wheels are big and stout; and there is ample room for slicks. I didn’t have any issues here with the overall build, but I will mention that the curved back bumper likes to encroach on the bottom of the car – further making it tough to get it to adhere well. I also used better looking tips as the stock ones were just “ok”.
I can’t say how much it cost me to make this car because it is embarrassing. At $40+ a kit nowadays, you can add up many failures and get a good idea. The hood is a bad fit (every time); the engine bay is mediocre, and the rear bumper is a gluing nightmare. Add to that poor chrome; tire-stained windshields; unusable decals; and ever-rising prices, and this car is one to skip… if it wasn’t such a damn GOAT.