So, I met Greg whilst doing business on eBay and after some chatting, I decided to do a submission for his work.
Now, he has purchased a Camaro SS from me but the car I am displaying here is an Interstate Batteries NASCAR kit. I am now, and will always not be a fan of both NASCAR and their model kits. I find them poor (usually AMT) quality and I dislike the race cars themselves. That said, this is a heck of a nice build. The model to the left is the AMT kit and is a very prevelant model. It is CHEAP ($9- $11) and also not a very good investment as there were too many sold.
The pic above was taken of the real McCoy and is the #18 Monte Carlo owned driven by Bobby Labonte. The green and black look is great and makes the car “pop”.
The car above is the model made by Greg and it is a super-accurate facsimile. He obtained the super-glow green paint, and after multiple attempts, got it just right, That, some excellent interior detail (that I’d have skipped totally), and great decal work later, and you get one heck of a looker. Super cool of him to share and I’m glad to have met another fellow modeler.
This is a review of the AMT ’63 Corvette Stingray #6520
I’m a hypocrite. YUP. Major one at that. In my article Five Kits to Avoid in my “tips” section, I stressed, no, begged the public to stay away from this kit. Why? Well, if you were kind enough to read the original article, you’d have already known that the kit fits badly, has a lot of flash, can have bad chrome, and much more. I swore I’d never build one again. Well…
There is no shortage of 1963 Corvettes to build, and they come in many different forms. You can go straight SNAP-tite, or go detail crazy with the Prestige kit. MOST of the AMTs have the same amount of good – or – bad and there will be subtle differences here and there. One will have slicks, and another will be molded in a lousy olive-brown. Seeing one of the above kits’ “innards” would be a good idea if you are looking for something specific.
CAR BACKGROUND :: Quite possibly the most coveted Corvette design ever made, the ’63 split-window Corvette was made for one year and was such a cool look that today they carry a price tag and following like none other. It was a gorgeous car by ANY standard, and even though it carried a larger-than-life pricetag (hundreds more than a comparably-fast Camaro SS), was purchased over and over again. Offered with many differing 327 V-8 options, the svelte sports car was quick, nimble, and hard to beat. Unfortunately, it would be many years later before the massive big blocks would grace its tidy fenders, but that wasn’t the point of the ’63. The point was having a car that was the best on the block – and you’d be hard-pressed to argue it wasn’t that year. Man’s car, indeed.
I’ve built many of these – especially when I was much younger. My first was a convertible, and it was Testors Silver. It was a REALLY nice brush job because of the easy-on metallic silver paint. It was my best for MANY years and one I’ll never forget. This one is done in a Gloss Tan, and I added clear coat to spruce it up a bit. I added white walls and a side mirror because they are typically not included. I honestly didn’t think I could make one of these abysmal AMT Corvettes look this good. I’m not bragging – mind you – just making a point about how bad these kits can be.
Kinda dainty, isn’t it?
No, not a rip-roaring 427 like some of the later-year C3s. The 327 was a nice engine for the smaller Corvette, and it made a great noise too. This one is done as stock as humanly possible. Air cleaner – I admit – should probably be black, but with the black bay, I wanted it to “pop” a bit more. I also didn’t wire one since the distributor cover makes it a useless undertaking. The remainder of the look is typical AMT low-grade. It would at least be nice to have a few decals to spruce it up, but alas, no.
The underside is a dog. Nothing to attach; the exhaust is molded (meaning nothing fancy and no way to side-exhaust it); the axles are metal bars and look awful, and the wheels are allowed to roam outside the wheel wells because of how badly the axle bars fit. Making the whole thing worse, the tips aren’t attached to the mufflers. It is like the muffler stops, and then there is a tip sticking through the body of the car… for looks. Hate all of it. Just don’t look underneath, I spose.
I have fallen I LUST with this interior. The metallic orange looks like a bright version of the “saddle”, and I think it brings it to life. AMT has managed to not muck up this interior as there is a lot of detail and things to work on. Gauges, handles, knobs, and so on. Lots to do and look at.
Never thought I’d say this, but I am glad to be a hypocrite in this instance. YES, the kit still does have the worst chrome (sometimes faded and attached to the trees in big/bad places), the body floats on the chassis; the engine is small; the underside is one piece (so un-customizable and boring), and the hood is a garbage fit. However, I can say it looks good on display and looks the part of one of the most iconic shapes to grace a car. I can also say that as good as this one turned out, I will likely never do this car again! Kinda sad, but then again, I am thrilled with it, so why bother?
It is still amongst the cheapest models you can purchase too, so if you care for a go – NOW is the time. NOT for the investment-minded, however!
This X-Ray is for a super rare Jo-Han Marlin. This kit includes:
1 set of reversible whitewall/black tires and one set of rims; V8 engine.
Good: Low flash; RARE AMC kit.
Bad: Tough paint scheme; low parts count; TINY chrome tree; not particularly popular; EXPENSIVE.
This X-Ray is for a reissued ’76 Gremlin. This kit includes:
1 set of tires w/slicks and two sets of rims; V8 engine; bigger decal sheet.
Good: Tons of parts; newer and more exclusive decals sheet; second glass set tinted.
Bad: REALLY cheap plastic; not many speed parts; STILL an AMC Gremlin.
This X-Ray is for a SUPER RARE 68 Chrysler 300 by Jo-Han. This kit includes:
1 set of tires and THREE sets of rims; V8 engine; lots of chrome
Good: Beautiful full size Mopar; detailed engine bay and interior; lotsa chrome.
Bad: Molded in a yellow NOBODY wanted; not an amazing amount of pieces; CRAZY expensive.
This X-Ray is for a 1927 “Touring” (Ford)Street Rod by Revell. This kit includes:
1 set of tires and rims; V8 engine w/some add-ons; lots of chrome; decal sheet.
Good: Awesome little roadster with decent number of parts; inexpensive.
Bad: Molded in horrible orange; only roadster – no 2,3 in one.
Hello all. I will be listing an XRAY every day for the next two weeks (7/16 –> 7/30). I have an amazing amount of inside pics and will be showing them daily for the next bunch of days.
Reminder to contact me if you have any collections you wish to sell. 30 or 3000, I BUY EM! I will give $100 to anyone leading to a sale and $200 to delivery/shipping. This has been a GREAT hobby during my illness and I appreciate the sales more than most know. THANKS!!
This has been a long time coming!
There is a big difference in the cost of these baddies. The ’66 I’ve seen for as little as $14, whereas the ’68 can be as high as $300. I am NOT posting pics of the numerous possibilities for each year, but I will mention them in the year-specific reviews.
So here we go! – ALL the Ford Galaxie models from 1960 to 1970!!
** Of note, the 1959 Galaxie is one where the body is in multiple pieces and I do NOT do those types of kits. There are 1971/72 LTD resin bodies floating around as well, but I haven’t been able to get one and the full decade seemed a good stopping point!
1960 Ford Galaxie Starliner – 1/25, AMT
This is a BEAR of a model to build and with that, is actually one of AMT’s good kits. The interior / exterior / engine detail is amongst the better you’ll find on a kit with the AMT logo; the piece count is through the roof; the engine bay is higher quality; and overall, it is worth the price of admission.
I painted mine Testors Purple Gloss and though it turned out a little darker than the lighter Orchid from Ford in 1960, it looks the part. The engine – a healthy 352ci, V8 – looks very impressive in the ultra-detailed bay. This could be AMT’s best Galaxie engine detail of the bunch and it really needed nothing. The interior was done in grey and is a nice match for the purple – even if not a specific combo for that year.
The engine is a 352ci V8 and wouldn’t be the top big-Ford engine after 1960. That said, the 360hp is one of the higher ratings for a Galaxie and would make this lovely cruiser move in a big way. The ’60 Starliner also set a Bonneville salt flats record with 157.90mph. Damn.
The GOOD: Most pieces of any Galaxie kit I made; low flash; reasonably priced.
The BAD: More chrome trim to detail than a 57 Chevy; not much for custom unless you buy the “Custom version”.
Between the funky suspension, the mass amount of chrome to color, the poor fit of the rear bumper AND the odd fit of the front one, this is a rather difficult car to get just right. Heck, the front fender ornaments are enough to make anyone without perfect eyesight go blind.
This is one of the VERY few AMT kits that include non-molded chrome wipers, however, and it’ll also include the side mirrors (X2), the rearview mirrors, and both directional and gear-change stalks. Like I said, most pieces of the lot!
The underside is not only well detailed, but is also fairly easy to make look good. I didn’t like the tips, so I added my own, and I also didn’t like the dog-dish hubs, so this one has 5-spoke mag wheels. Would have preferred the wide whitewalls (like the box/instructions show), but they weren’t included and I had no more in the ole’ scrapyard.
The Starliner is a CHEAP Gal to buy – usually between $20-$30 and there is a decent number still out there. There is a custom model as well, but it is – IMHO – not as classy as this one and might be a bit more expensive. They are a reasonable investment as well as I don’t suspect this one will be re-done anytime soon. The obscurity and ho-hum musculature do not always rate highly with the model gods.
8.25 – Good
1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner – 1/25, AMT
More along the same lines as Galaxies would appear for the next bunch of years, the ’61 is a sharp convertible. I can say this one is a LEVEL 1 compared to the previous model and the piece count is on the shade side of “snap” or “static” kit than a full model kit. The engine has 6 pieces, the underside has EVERYTHING molded, and there isn’t anything in the interior to cheer about.
The 3n1 customizing part of it does mean there are some two dozen pieces to turn this mild cruiser into a crazed bewilderment of futuristic hot rodding. Since I am doing all stock versions of the Gal, there is no need for these and they more often turn into a pile of throwaways than anything else. You could part them out on eBay, but I’ve never understood the $3 sales as being worth the time.
I tried to do the LIGHT yellow motif, but the Bug Yellow from Testors is a bit too bright. No prob. It looks great and makes all the chrome work show up. Almost as bad as the ’60, the Sunliner has long strips of chrome and is furthered with chrome accents all over. For a convertible, there is a lot to “silver”. I have to admit my hood is a tad darker than the rest as well. I 99% of the time get it right but missed this one. Too much re-do to… well… RE-DO, so it is what it is.
Since mine was an “open” kit, there were some missing pieces and the side mirror was one of them. I added a round, era-correct mirror off something that was parted out and it definitely helps. This kit also didn’t come with the larger whitewalls (the stock ones were standard “black” and bland) and it really needed it. The hubs were standard issues and barely fit.
The interior is really decent for as few pieces as the car included. There are all of THREE pieces – wheel, dash, and interior tub with seats attached – THAT’S IT. The bottom is even worse – ONE piece. No shocks, exhaust, driveshaft – NOTHING to attach. The molded exhaust had molded tips, so they had to go for some classier ones.
The GOOD: Tons of pieces if you want tricked-out custom; Low stock piece count does equal easy build; low flash for an early AMT.
The BAD: Disgusting piece count for stock build, lots of chrome trim to detail; not a fan of the future-happy custom bits; price is getting insane for a lackluster kit.
The car’s motor is a bit of a model-company boo-boo. The engine – a 390ci, V8 – didn’t come with two 4-barrels. It came with one 4-barrel OR a tri-pack (3-2s). Worse still, the intake manifold is molded with the wrong carb setup AND includes the piston banks, so you can’t switch out unless you scrap the whole engine. Thankfully, the larger cover keeps the mistake away from prying eyes, and thus the rest of the bay is halfway decent.
At the end of the build, you definitely feel a bit on the cheated side. Mine was over $130 and I’ve seen them as high as $250+ – just for the privilege of having 40 pieces to put together and enough detail work to make you loopy. This is THE ONLY 61 Galaxie kit that includes the engine, so it makes sense for the high-balling price, but it is still a tough one to swallow.
I cannot say it is my favorite IRL car either. I’d put it somewhere near the bottom of the Galaxie list, unfortunately. Why? Well, honestly it is a very bland car. It isn’t the fastest, best looking, best decorated, or most expensive – it just is mediocre… like the kit itself.
There is no reason to necessarily buy this one for an investment either as they have really reached the high side of value and I don’t think they will go up more than just yearly inflation. There are too few from this era who care and even less who need this particular model, so I think it is a fair assessment.
5.5 – Mediocre
1962 Ford Galaxie 500 Convertible – 1/25, AMT
For 1962 the Galaxie has become more of a streamlined cruiser as it has shed some of the extra chrome and all evidence of fin-ery. This kit isn’t quite the “snap” kit the previous one was, but there still lingers the vast lack of pieces in the box. Like the previous customizing kit, and maybe a bit more to be sure, this kit has extra custom pieces a-plenty. Everything from antennas to bumper deletes, from spotlights to fancy grilles.
One thing is still very amiss and that is a chassis that is more than an afterthought. Aside from deciding the pitch and ride height, there is nothing to work on and – for this one – includes the writings from Ford scratched on to many of the parts depicting their wonderful build quality. I am 1000% glad that this was a quick-to-die trend so that I didn’t either have to stare at “fully aluminized” on the mufflers of more AMT kits, or spend half a day sanding them off.
In my case, they are there for the simple fact – there is NO extra detail anyway, so there is no reason to spruce it up by wasting hours sanding them off.
I painted this one Testors Turquoise and it looks very much like the Peacock Blue (see left). This car has the rims and tires from the kit and there was very little to add. This is the first Gal kit with the fender ornaments and the name is now on the back panel.
The Interior is more or less the same lackluster of the ’61, but it does seem to show up better. The rearview, directional / gear stalks, and side mirror are included and the seat detail work is good enough to two-tone if desired.
The GOOD: Overall fit is fairly good; easier chrome work to detail; low flash, accurate representation.
The BAD: Again, a poor amount of stock paraphernalia; chassis is still a 1-piece pony; cost – like the ’61 – is hideous.
I kid you not… the ’62 was all of ONE PENNY cheaper than the ’61 😆. The two would be super comparable when both are in the same condition, but like most open kits, it depends on a great many things for pricing. Expect it to be high either way. It also, like the ’61, is not a good investment. I believe they are at the echelon of pricing and should be bought to build more than kept.
This is the best engine to this point and is the best real-life engine as well. The venerable 406ci tri-carb was truly a beast and turned this cruiser into a furious tire-burner. Motor Trend said of the 406: has “something like Ferrari performance at a fifth of the price”. With a 0-60 in the mid-6 second range and a quarter-time toward the bottom 15-second range, this boat of a car sure pulled like a sports car.
This 406 does have the tri-carb setup and stock overall look. I like this engine bay real well, though it is hampered by a molded windshield filler bag and a firewall-to-body cutout. Still, could be much worse and is VERY accurate in representation.
Worth $150? Well, not in the least bit. Worth building for the one who needs it? Absolutely. The pieces fit well; there is little float in the chassis; the tires and rims are nice; very little to add, and it is a very sharp design. The hood will need flexing to fit and you’ll hate all the chrome to get perfect, but it is a good kit nonetheless.
8.5 – Good
1963 Ford Galaxie 500 XL – 1/25, AMT
XL, huh? Ford had to break out an XL for a vehicle that was already as long as an F-150? XL for a vehicle 3in wider than a Hummer H2? Funny the old world isn’t it?
Probably the classiest of the bunch, the ’63 has all the markings of a luxo-yacht. The long body design; the huge whitewalls with elegant hubs; the sublime blue interior, and that remarkable grille make for a fancy-ass vehicle.
Expletives aside, the AMT ’63 is still a bit of a dud when it comes to overall stock pieces. That said, with the custom pieces, you can build something right out of a 70’s cartoon fantasy – with fins, chrome accents, pipes, ports, you name it. To me, it doesn’t make any sense, but if it is your hook, you are well compensated… more than any other kit to this point.
Done to mimic Wimbledon White, this ’63 has a nice glossy finish and a really cool blue interior. I used a rare color – Nassau Blue Metallic. It is one I’ve tried to do a couple times on a car and it never was quite right. It DOES work wonders for an interior look. Added to that is an interior that is just heads-and-tails better than the previous couple of years. Lots of detail, deep pockets for the dash, and a chrome console to boot. There was no directional stalk, and the dash rearview was junk, but the rest is just super.
Underneath you’ll see the same garbage as previous years and with this one there is even less overall detail. The horrible words are gone from the ’62, but there is less to look at than most kits you’ll see. Again, everything is molded (somewhat poorly no less) and ride height is the only adjustment you can make. UGH.
The GOOD: Best customization to date; inexpensive; sweet-looking interior and engine; not easy to ruin.
The BAD: Bumpers could be tough to fit; underside is like a blank piece of paper.
The engine is the centerpiece for this one and you cannot argue it. The 406 is much more detailed than last year’s kit and with a more pronounced grille, looks more aggressive. About the only downside is that they made a 427 for this year and it isn’t included. Want the notoriety? Boost a 427 from a Thunderbolt and drop it in. It did wonders as an NHRA factory experimental 427 ran 12.2 @ 118mph. That is Lamborghini Murcielago territory. As far as I care, however, the 406 is really cool nonetheless. With 405hp, it’d make quick work of the 1/4 mile as well – somewhere in the low 15sec range.
These kits are still everywhere from a newer reissue and thus are usually out there for $20 or so. Makes for an easy purchase and less of a hike in blood pressure when painting. I would also grab a couple as these will invariably become much higher in value soon. There aren’t thousands like Corvettes and Camaros and they’ll not likely redo it again for a long while (if at all).
8.75 – Very Good
1964 Ford Galaxie 500 XL Convertible – 1/25, AMT
The last of the sled/classic looking Galaxies, the ’64 had one heck of a swan song. One would think then there would be a slew of these suckers around. Nope. There is the ONE ’64 that includes the engine and the rest are a whole bunch of static kits & promos with a sealed hood. I cannot say this one is my favorite, but I am also a bit confused as to why the complete diss from the modeling world.
This customizing kit had a lot of the same bizarro custom parts as previous years, but this one had an ace up its sleeve. Not an ace I would use, but it is interesting anyhow. You could – if you so chose – set up working lights at the front of the car! An odd thing to do with model cars (right up there with motorizing as far as I’m concerned) but this one came with all the mechanicals to do so.
This is NOT my first choice for a stunning convertible look, but I already used red and wanted to go with something different for all of them (yellow does get used twice but that’s another story). The Silver Smoke Grey paint (seen IRL, right) looks fairly close to the Antique Bronze craft paint I used and even though the chrome look isn’t shown off as well, the car’s presence is quite impressive. Like the ’62, I have not found a ’64 hardtop WITH an engine in the modeling world, and though I’m sure someone would make a resin, I found this one that is actually a decent kit.
It is a screw-bottom kit, so like many of them, there is very little to assemble and very little detail. The very best news is there are no wordy advertisements embossed on the various parts, but that is where the goodness stops. Molded exhaust tips were cut loose and new ones added, but the bottom is KayBee plastic junk.
The interior and engine are fantastic on this one, but the latter because of my ingenuity… or rather engine-uity. This car comes with a poorly detailed, single barrel, 390ci engine. More or less a travesty.
The new 427s (put out mid-’63) were not only the motor to have for speed, but looked just fantastic. Under this bonnet, the 427s not only made this car a dragstrip menace (bone-stock cars would easily see mid 15s / drag cars low 12s) but also took 30 Grand National wins in NASCAR.
This one is out of a previously mentioned ’64 Thunderbolt and fits just fine in the large engine bay. Using the included race headers, it matched up with the molded exhaust perfectly. Honestly, I’m a bit amazed by the outcome and how easy it was.
The GOOD: One of the most recognized classic Galaxies made; very low flash; easier chrome trim; VERY detailed interior.
The BAD: Underside yuck; headlight feature is unneeded, costly option; 390 engine is a disappointing find; cost, cost, COST.
Gotta explain about the price being a “5”. $120 seems like a steep cost but for one small fact. This was NOT a complete or perfect kit. There were a couple of pieces missing, the chrome was faded (since fixed), and the windshield frame was broken and badly repaired. Yeah… a good version or in the worst case SEALED one would probably fetch over $300 and be completely valid. There is no investing here, you either have one of the expensive models, or ya don’t. This one won’t be increasing any further IMHO, so buy it to build or forget it.
The interior is a beaut. The detail work on the seat, dash, and even the doors are fantastic and especially for a convertible. While I did an “ok” job on the ’61 & ’62, they didn’t have the detail work of this one. Would have liked to figure out a two-tone for this one to make it better, but went with the simplistic black.
The tires and rims were stock to the kit and there were 5-spoke mags for an option. A buddy of mine, Gary, uses larger 5-spokes for a real LOOK to his re-builds and I have grown very attached to them (hence the aggressive ones on the ’60 above). I find these classics also do very well with the stock footwear and the ones from this kit are quite attractive compared to the dog-dish ones I replaced on the ’60.
At the end of the build, I was a bit overjoyed as this is one I always wanted to build and this is a GREAT-looking finished model. There are too few parts; the chrome was bad (in my case), and the engine is rubbish for this car. Thankfully I got this one for chump change and – because of that – I may never buy one again.
8.75 – Very Good
1965 Ford Galaxie 500 XL – 1/25, AMT
This is the only Galaxie that I have done a full review of and you can see it here 1965 Galaxie 500. No biggie.. I’ll go over it again – more or less.
This is a favorite of mine as I owned one for almost 6 years and bought a 4-door version for another one. Saying that, I can also say that without any bias, this is a REALLY good kit. There are little issues like bumper fitting (front and rear), odd hubcap issues, hood issues, and rear trunk placement. Trivial things really… just look at the final product!
This Galaxie has the stacked headlights that will be featured in the forthcoming Fairlanes and are reminiscent of Pontiacs of yore. This is a much straighter, cleaner look from the previous years, and a good 100% down in chrome accents. It also had a revamped suspension – taken right from NASCAR – which gave the full-size Ford a better ride than ever.
Painted in a brilliant Tamiya Pure Red and following the pic in one of my favorite muscle car books (left), this Galaxie sure shows up. This could be the best red paint out there – plain and simple. It is very easy to spray and absolutely glosses like nothing else. There is NO clear on this one AT ALL.
The tires are off another kit because the stock ones aren’t whitewalls and the hubs, for some IDIOTIC reason, do *NOT* come in a set of four in half of the kits you can purchase! These are the ones on my real life 4-door and in the book’s pic, but for some odd reason, only 2 are found in a good many kits. UGH. Thankfully I had an extra chrome tree to pillage. This is the best chassis since the ’60 Starliner. There are shocks, springs, and more to put together, and the exhaust, though molded, is far better detailed. Where the past 4 years have a total of a dozen pieces or so, this chassis has more than that number by itself.
The interior is also one of the best in the decade o’ bigs – with more than just 3 pieces and a lot of detailing to accomplish, AMT is a winner with this one. I decided on a white w/black look and it truly pops behind the red. Honestly, I wanted to do so with a convertible or two, but they mostly had attached front seats and doors – making for tougher two-tone painting.
I had to add the side and rearview mirrors, however and deleted the seat belt ends that are included because I try and keep all the detail work similar for all cars I make. I don’t like one having carpet, seatbelts, and extra armrests if the others don’t. Kinda an OCD thing with me, but my way of building I suppose.
The engine bay is the only real downer for this kit, but it really isn’t the end of the world. The engine that comes with it is a 390ci, V8. The gold engine is how you’d find it and I really liked this motor. It is NOT the beast that the 427 is (mid-to-high 16s in the ¼mile), but it would make for a cool cruiser.
Using as a 427 is another story for this kit. There are options for the high-performance engine that came with the kit, but the end result doesn’t look like a 427 – more like a spruced-up 390. If you HAVE to have the better motor, grab one out of an AMT ’66 Fairlane 427 kit and make it right.
The GOOD: Excellent piece count; lots of interior detail; underside is more than ONE piece; for now – on the inexpensive end of pricing.
The BAD: Some fitting issues; engine looks good as a 390, but not a 427; far fewer custom pieces than before.
The pricing for this car is still in the reasonable range and has gotten a tad less because of the disgusting Jolly Green Gasser model (see left) that was just issued a few years back. They took the original mold, which included a ridiculous reverse hood scoop, molded it in a horrifying grass green hue, and slapped a Hobby Lobby price tag on it. The kit is GARBAGE and should be avoided like the plague. The other, older kits that AMT has made have about the same goodness and you can see the pics of them in the review I mentioned above. They are very good, should be collectible even with the recent reissue (because of how awful they are), and make a heck of a car when used.
My like for this car IS biased, but the kit is truthfully one to buy, and at less than $40 a kit, they are easy to fund as well. The front and rear bumpers can be a tricky fit; the hood will likely need trimmed, the engine is far from perfect, and the custom pieces are on the light side, but the car will be what you need when it is done. I’ve built three – and they always have been!
8.75 – Very Good
1966 Ford Galaxie 500 7-Litre – 1/25, AMT
For me, ’66 is the 1965’s ugly stepchild and I cannot see it any other way. The grille is less interesting, the taillights are the worst for all years I’m covering in this article, and I don’t like the rear pillar’s partially curved look. All my opinions aside, the kit isn’t really any better than the real car. I decided to go semi-custom to semi-fix this.
This is another car I bought IRL, albeit for a very short stay. Mine was a white, boring, 4-door and it had more problems than I care to list. I liked the look enough to buy it but I can say I wished I hadn’t – even beyond my car’s flaws. On to the customizing…
So the first obvious thing is the Black Metallic color. Not stock, but eye-catching. The next step was the tear-drop hood – needed for the extra height of the engine. Wheels and tires are obviously off another vehicle… and I have NO idea which one (maybe the street ’69 Mercury Cougar?). They are definitely 19″ or so (by scale) and I think give a nice custom look. I have made this car two other times and can say this is my favorite. In fact, I had another kit to use parts from and painted it a Classic White, and though it was a near PERFECT paint job, couldn’t convince myself to replace the above look.
The chassis is back to a dud, however. There are almost no extra pieces to assemble and looks rather plain. The wheels, thankfully, were easy to fit on the over simplistic axle. I also added two tips after removing the molded garbage as well.
The real trick with this build is not only getting the rear bumper to sit anywhere that isn’t the bottom of the car (which floats badly), but also finding a way for the trunk to not bottom out the chassis. It is a real mess of a fit and easily one of the worst builders in the lot because of it. This is never one you’ll pick up by the roof of the car.
The interior is actually fantastic compared to the rest of the build. Excellent detail, great textures, numerous pieces, and – in this case – a nice blue shade. Yup, used the Nassau Blue on this one too. Had to add the side mirror and the rearview mirror from the parts bin.
The GOOD: Excellent interior; cheap pricing; stock 7-Liter is a good look.
The BAD: Really bad fit and finish (especially the rear); poor underside look; not many speed parts.
This is NOT the engine the ordinary modeler will build using pieces from this kit. Not remotely. The 7-Litre, as it was advertised, has been modded slightly and wired for extra effect. The dual 4-barrel, high-rise intake, and Cobra air cleaner are also from the parts bin (though there are custom parts for a Grand National racer included).
This motor would not be the standard 335hp, 428ci that you’d find and would most likely be pushing 400hp or more. With most testing magazines of the time mentioning how tepid the 428 was compared to the ’65s 427, the extra horsepower would be happily accepted.
The cost for this kit is right at the $30 mark and even less if you procure a non-sealed one, and because there is little to add (usually), is not a money drain. I don’t like this one enough to spend more than five bucks, but the average Joe can build a really nice ’66 without using overtime pay AND maybe have some extra to build a custom ride like I did.
5.5 – Poor
1967 Ford Galaxie 500 XL Convertible – 1/25, AMT
The last drop-top Galaxie in the article, the ’67 is a rare one. Like, really rare. There have been TWO convertibles on eBay sold this year – one at $300 and one for $125 that was 75% built and missing pieces. Get out the credit cards, friends.
For an older, AMT kit, this one ain’t half bad. The final build is solid; the parts list is better than most; the chassis isn’t a one-piece pony, and the look is one of the best – period. It is NOT without its faults and one has to look no further than the engine bay to see a BIG one.
First, the car was painted Tamiya Yellow Pearl which looks like a color I’ve seen a lot of online – whether stock or yellow of choice for respray – I cannot verify. I was trying to not dup colors at all, but I saw this one over and over and had to use it. It isn’t the SAME yellow, but I still failed in my attempt.
Now, about that engine. The side marker (which bugs me how it is completely not centered or more glamorous) says ostentatiously – “427”. Now unless you have perfect eyesight or a magnifier of some kind, the only thing you’ll really see is a silver blur. Yeah, talking to you older model builders 🙃! The ugly truth is that this year produced so few of the 427s, it is almost “unicorn” level. A yellow 427 convertible? Looking for Hoffa too?
Now the scarcity turns uglier when you realize the engine included in this kit is a 428 or maybe a 390. There is no 427 beef to it and no parts to make a genuine “hot” look. Now the custom engine IS a SOHC beast with high dual quad intake, headers, and more, but it isn’t the stock 7-liter (or litre) in any event and would look goofy as hell in this delicate convertible.
What IS there is the 7-litre, 428ci that is found in many of the Gals in the mid-to-late-’60s. The engine bay ends up looking really nice, and unless you use magnifiers with your shelving, will never be noticed to be a non-matching engine to the car. The remainder of the bay looks really decent but gets a few points deducted from a mediocre radiator, and microscopic brake boost (which I may fix in future).
The GOOD: One of the better-looking Galaxies; decent piece count; plenty of suspension parts to detail.
The BAD: Engine mismatch; engine bay shortcomings; as much as the conv. looks impressive, the coupe is the one to get; ULTRA rare and pricey.
The interior, done in all black, is very detailed and includes a 4-speed and A/C vents. The dash is fairly accurate, the doors are lean on detail (but it’s there), and besides the stalk for the wheel, there is nothing else to add. Again, the 4-speed would be better mated to the 427 here, but it is a nice look for the open top.
As far as the chassis is concerned, there are far more pieces in the suspension than I detailed and one could have a field day with the “piece paintings”. I do not do that with any one car as there are too many builds that have NOTHING to detail – and as I’ve said before, I like to be similar in builds so as to not one-up others. Exhaust was painted, mufflers were left streaked for a from-factory look, and I added better tips to the ends.
As I mentioned above, this is top-3 most expensive of the 11 car kits I’ve built for the article and if not for my bud GGal, could have been the MOST expensive. It is a very decent build, but NOT any kind of investment. You’ll spend more than a dozen kits worth procuring it and it may already be at its peak. Save it if ya got it, build it if ya need it. Love it for what it is!
8.5 – Very Good
1968 Ford Galaxie 500 Fastback – 1/25, AMT
I own this car. I will never NOT own this car. It is my best classic/muscle car to date and I couldn’t be happier with it. I can say that I hate the cost of the kit more than for the car, however, and it did have some serious shortcomings for MY needs.
As you can see, the car kit comes with a straight, hidden-light grille and my car didn’t. No sweat. Instant lights! Not an easy undertaking and not one I relish to do without extras. Let me explain. I had the benefit of buying THREE kits at once – 1 complete, 1 85%, and 1 mish-mash. Total cost? $475.03. 😳. Yup. I used one of the grilles to fashion the lights knowing I had two backups (though one more haggard than the other). Did it first try. With that, I was able to sell the other 2 kits and my total cost for the ’68 was $202.53. Still a handful no doubt, but I’d be curious what a sealed ’68 would go for. $400? $600? More?
The kit IS a rather good one. There is a good amount of parts; the bumpers/grille are easy to use; the suspension is very detailed, and there is little worry for mistakes. I can say there was a fair amount of flash, and the chrome was a bit worse off than I’d hoped (for all 3 kits, no less), but the quality of the finished product was very good.
Painted Tamiya Dark Blue, it matches my car’s Presidential Blue very closely. The body sits atop the chassis very tightly – even without screws. The chassis has all the trimmings – shocks, torsion bar, springs, driveshaft, and separate subframe. It is one of the better undersides in this article and – in fact – in the early AMT world.
For me, the goodness didn’t stop at the bottom as the interior is a great place to be as well. I did the two-tone In homage to my car and that included some slight fixes. First, the buckets with console were deleted and refitted with a very close matching bench. Taken from a Torino rear seat (I’m almost sure), I added the back off another kit and added sides to match. It not only looks correct but gives a very “filled” look.
In addition, I also had to add both directional, and column shift stalks (the latter from a shortened 4-speed shaft). There are a few other differences between this one and my car, but things I didn’t want to muck with. The “390 GT” emblem isn’t like mine (mine is just 390); my car has A/C and this one doesn’t; this one has power windows and mine are crank; the emblems on the rear lid are upper model ones and mine doesn’t have em.. etc, etc, etc.
The engine is a nice one and matches the 390 in mine. Unfortunately, the valve covers look more like a 428 in real life, but the overall look is close enough. I wired this one, but it looks smart on its own. This bay isn’t all that great, however, and it shows. The radiator is a joke; the brake boost is even smaller than the ’67 (and I should have replaced THAT one); the battery had to be replaced, and there is no other wheel well detail (wires and such). As good as the bottom is – and even how well you could over-detail it – it is a shame the bay is such a dud. I have it looking respectable, but AMT failed on this one.
The 390 is a good engine. I’ve owned 3 of them and they’ve been nothing but silky smooth to drive. With the automatic, it would run this giant 5-passenger car to 60 in under 9-seconds and would probably surprise a Mustang owner or two at the stoplight. More of a cruiser, the Galaxie’s plush bench seats are just comfort personified.
There was an R-code 428ci for this year, and mated with a 4-speed, would probably show the taillights to the 390 by the end of the strip. However, the 390 would be easier to live with, would get better mpg, and would demand far less money to purchase for the gain of 20 or so horsepower.
The GOOD: Tons of stock and speed parts; classic Torino fastback look; solid build; easy.
The BAD: (For me) Only straight grille; engine bay has typical cheap AMT faults; a price that could be as much as a new fridge.
The tires and rims were about the worst part of this one. The hubs and mags included were older and about as shiny as a penny found at the playground. I changed them out for a set of Cragar/American Racing-looking ones to match mine and the look is killer. I also used a set of white letter tires from a newer AMT fit, and though mine aren’t Firestone, the match is perfect.
The price is slightly better than the ’67 because I might have had to pay $500 for one on another given day. It is still a BIG investment to buy one – especially considering it is something you could accidentally ruin. It is also NO kind of investment as they have peaked now and couldn’t possibly get any higher besides yearly inflation. If ya gotta get one, just be prepared for a giant hole in the wallet.
8.75 – Very Good
1969 Ford Galaxie 500 XL – 1/25, AMT
Unfortunately, I cannot say that 1969 has been very kind to the looks of the ole Gal, and I believe that this really poor kit from AMT doesn’t make it a whole lot better. The car floats badly, has a really generic, cheap-toy-looking rear bumper, and the bottom is as dull as a school pencil.
I suppose the worst part about this kit isn’t even the fact that it is a horrible build, but it is the cost. The newer reissues are garbage and they are $50+ and the older, better ones are upwards of $130 or more. That is a lot of coin for a kit this bad. Where is that garlic bread?
Here it is. I painted it a Silver Blue by Tamiya and I think it matches the car to the right. I can’t get info on exactly whether this is stock or a fancy repaint, but it looked good, so I tried to match it. I had to add a side mirror and looking back on the build, I wished I had done something with the tires as well. White walls and maybe some Mustang hubs would’ve done wonders. Oh well.
The interior is relatively ok comparatively to the rest of the kit, but not anything exciting either. The 4-speed definitely helps the overall “bland”, but there is good detail, and the fit of the interior is solid.
The GOOD: Only flip light grille Galaxie in the article; easy build; surprisingly low flash; still a Galaxie.
The BAD: Low piece count; very few speed parts; lousy tires; not the best Galaxie.
The engine bay is about as good as the multitude of AMT kits and that means ho-hum. The 428 was a good engine for the Galaxie and in this one, it helped this grocery-getter to get ’em pretty fast. Low 16 second quarter mile times would be fairly routine with the 4-speed aside the driver. 360 horsepower will do that regardless of how much lead in the ass.
Underneath there is actually a good deal of detail considering the piece count. It is a screw bottom kit and that means holes. I did fill the holes and painted over them, but there is no way to really make it “amazing”.
I paid FAR too much for mine as I bought one of the rarer, old kits. The reason the kit still got a mid-level rating is that there are many kits out there between the $40-$70 range. They are the newer, less reputable kits, but still usable for a build. I can say the older ones could be an investment if you get one reasonably priced. The art on the box and better quality plastic would be a draw in the future. Like I said above… for building you shouldn’t have to pay more than $20 for it, but if you need to build it like I did, then so be it.
5.5 – Mediocre
1970 Ford Galaxie 500 – 1/25, AMT
You’ve seen this car many times if you perused the TV set in the 70s and 80s. Any crime drama, police show, and chase scene would potentially have one of these cars in it. Big, beefy, and full of large, tire-smoking V8s, the Galaxie of 1970 was the perfect low-key police car… or thug getaway. I didn’t procure a 2-door for this article and I sure wasn’t turning this one into a 2-door like someone else did online
Doesn’t matter. The 4-door is a respectable-looking sedan and in this case, rounds out the Galaxie article in perfect fashion. The model is a “police car” version and that means guns, lights, screens, bullbar, and more for the cop cruiser. That was not my intention here, but there is still an “unmarked” flavor for this car. I can’t help but love it for that… its stigma is absolute.
I’ll say this straight up… this car has too much metallic. Like a RIDICULOUS amount of metallic. I used a craft paint that was Cinnamon Metallic to try and match the car to the left, but it is a bit too light and the metallic is far too excessive.
The outward look of the car does look like an unmarked cruiser and I can easily say it is a few dents and a spotlight away from being perfect. That said, it is also the permutation of what thousands of families had in their driveway through the early 70s.
Well, in all fairness, I did make a couple obvious changes and a few that weren’t so. The tires are from another kit and that is because I ditched the bigger cop tires and dog dish hubs. These are out of my parts bin and look very close to the hubs you’d find on these sedans. I also had to replace the side mirror because the one included was a joke. Too small and thin, the square one I used is much more realistic.
The next change is the big one. The engine. The one that comes with this kit can only be described as a cheap knock-off Boss 429 that you’d find in a Mustang. It looks ludicrous and wouldn’t be in any vehicles (beyond maybe some knucklehead ordering them or swapping them out). I stole a 429 out of a 1971 Thunderbird kit – one I will probably never build anyways – and put a proper 429 in this car. It looks right, it fits right, and makes way more sense.
The GOOD: Really cool cop car vibe; solid built kit; easy to make; fairly cheap.
The BAD: Lower piece count; crap engine; no classy rims; 4-doors.
The interior sans police options is a bit on the dull side, but then again, most 70s sedans were a bit of taupe. The beige interior looks smart and needed just the two stalks on the column to look right. The dash is fairly detailed, and the rest remains standard low-level Galaxie. It isn’t something you’ll take a lot of extra time for, but it will fit the bill when installed.
The price of this one is the key beyond the really decent kit. The big Ford is a steal at under $30 and because it was just reissued and slathered all over Hobby Lobby’s shelves, and for that reason, it should also be a decent investment. Not a stellar one as this isn’t a ’70 Superbird, but an ok investment as I believe it will not be reissued ever again. The better thing to do is make it. Build a cop car, build an unmarked, or just build the fine sedan it is. It is a good kit… cheap.
8.75 – Very Good
There you have em. The Galaxie model cars from 1960 through 1970. I can honestly say I will never do all 11 again and may never do any of them individually either. There are a few I’ve built that I like better than any other time I’d made them and there are a few, like the ’61 and ’69, that are too awful to ever fool with again. You never know.
Thanks for reading and checking them out. Hope you enjoyed this even a bit as much as I did building them
Galaxies, Galaxies… everywhere full-size Fords. I am almost done with a 2-month long project and it is a MUST SEE for anyone who’s loved a big Ford of yesteryear!
This X-Ray is for a Super Stallion kit by Revell. This kit includes:
1 set of sport tires and rims; supercharged V8; small chrome tree; custom Mustang body
Good: VERY aggressive looking Mustang; many parts; nice decals to add; Best Mustang you could buy this year.
Bad: According to the instructions, 590 horsepower only equated to 12.8 in the ¼mile… kinda ho-hum; maybe not enough add-ons to be different than a Cobra?; decals this big can be problematic.