’66 Ford Fairlane GT/GTA

This is a review of the AMT ’66 Ford Fairlane #6926 (from the Muscle Cars three-pack)

One of my favorite classic/muscle cars is the 1965 Galaxie 500. I owned one for almost 6 years and loved it. I especially loved the lines/style – to me it just looks fantastic. The Fairlane received similar upgrade looks the next year and I think it is almost as good. It, unfortunately, is kind of a hit-and-miss kit, but I’ll explain more later. I purchased the Muscle Cars kit as the other 2 cars are great as well and it makes for a great deal.

These are the typical kits you’ll find for the Fairlane and, save for the “427”, are all very similar. They are all molded in white/off-white grey, have a good amount of pieces and not a truckload of flash. The “427” is a very dramatic car and is getting very rare. I can’t say the fit and finish is any better, and I think the others are a more true representation of what was readily available for sale than the 427 drag car.

CAR BACKGROUND :: The ’66 Fairlane was shaped with the ’65 Galaxie in mind. See, for ’65, the Fairlane had the side-by-side front lights, but in ’66, they were stacked like the Galaxie. Rear lights were tall and thin like the luxo-cruiser as well. Unlike ’65 too, the ’66 (and subsequent ’67) Fairlanes were given a major power upgrade. The base engine was still the venerable 289ci, but for more oomph, the 390 4-barrel was a box you could now check off. Rated at 335 horsepower, the Fairlane went from a growl-y coupe to a tire-shredding muscle car. Mind you, high 14sec quarter times aren’t the fastest you’ll find, but you’d still hold your own with all but the craziest drag cars.

BUILD NOTES : Like I mentioned before, this kit is a bit of a troublemaker. It shares most its parts with the ’67 Cyclone I reviewed recently (which had its own issues) and then it adds its own bit of tedium. Make no mistake, the kit is VERY do-able even on your first try. Biggest things to look for are the fit and finish issues and I’ll mention them as I go.

Easily one of the bright spots to the car, this 390 is an easy engine to build, looks good when done, and has a fully optioned bay to boot. Only things I did for this one is a chrome air-cleaner and added wires. The rest remains a very nice display and can be made further with some extra wiring and decals.

So, I have made this car a few times and I’ve always gone with a blue color scheme. I hate it in blue. It is a shame too, since I love it in blue. WTF? Lemme explain… I love the actual car in blue. It looks utterly as good as it gets. I have just never made a blue Fairlane model car I’ve liked. This one is done in Model Master Turn Signal Red and I think it is my favorite look to date on this car. I also decided to go with the Cragar mag wheels instead of stock because my Comet has stock wheels. Problem areas worse than the Comet?… The front bumper has little area to glue (which can lead to damaging the paint if not careful); the rear bumper is never really as straight as you’d like; the hood louvers need to be trimmed well before you try to insert them into the hood; and the rear lights can be a bear to fit into the chrome inserts. SIGH.

This is really a cute story of blunder-meets-innovation. When I purchased this kit – as part of the threesome – I realized that when I kept pieces aside, I must have missed the interior of this car. Thankfully, I had the interior of a ’67 Comet just sitting around. So, the interior, engine, underside, and exhaust are all from a ’67 AMT Comet kit! To add insult to this injury, the exhaust ends are from a ’67 Charger, and the wheels are off a different kit too! I also had to add a shifter (because the one in the Comet was an auto) and the side mirror (as the Fairlane doesn’t come with one). 1966 Mercury Fairlane??

The good side is that the Comet/Fairlane kits have a great underside. The pieces are tight, fit well, and have a immense amount of detail (especially for an AMT). You wont need a lot of effort to make this one right.

So does adding to the Comet’s idiosyncrasies make for a scary build? No. The car is still easier than a lot I’ve done. This kit just requires some fore-thought, careful handling, and a small bit of your parts-drawer. That said, the car is plentiful (with a recent reissue) and an be bought for very little ($20+) unless you opt for the 427. The three pack is a good option as well and with a little looking around, you’d get three cars for around $65. Not half-bad. As far as investments, well, you’d be ahead to get a GOOD three-pack or the 427 version as both are getting more rare by the day. The others aren’t really great investments yet because of the reissue. I’d get one anyways!

7.75 – Good

X-RAY: 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Baldwin Motion

For this X-Ray we’re looking at the AMT 1970 Baldwin Motion 427 Camaro. This kit includes:

1 set of tires (2 slicks) with one set of rims (no options); Baldwin Motion hood with buldge; large rear spoiler; 454, V8; fairly decorated interior; optional side exhaust; extensive B.M. decals. There are no “street” parts – slicks, rims, roll bars, etc. Good: Best looking 1970 kit you can buy. Bad: Horrifying green mold with “dimple” on most of the kit’s top – due to an inside dome light.

Price: ~$23

X-RAY: 1962 Pontiac Catalina 421SD 1/25, AMT

This X-Ray is for a 1962 Pontiac Catalina 421 Super Duty. This kit includes:

1 set of tires (2 slicks) with dog dish rims (no options); 421ci dual-carb V8; detailed (but plain) interior; thick glass; easy to follow directions. Decals are VERY slim and do not include the race decals for the racing versions. Good: Cheap and plentiful. Bad: Hood fit, and slicks-to-wheelwell fit.

Price: ~$20

’64 Ford Mustang

This is a review of the Revell 1964 Mustang Conv. Indy Pace Car #6859

The 64-66 Mustangs have a pretty long and deep lineage through the model car realm and the numbers of iterations are ridiculous. There are these five ’64s by Revell, there are 4-5 AMTs, and then there are almost a dozen Revell/AMT kits for 65-66. Yeah… lots to choose from. I like the Revell kits (no surprise if you’ve read my shtick before) better than the AMTs, otherwise I’d have a hardtop. My neighbor, a teacher in my school, had a ’65 coupe that was white with blue interior. To this day, one of my favorite looking cars of all time.

The above cars are standard Revell fare (save for the deluxe kit that had “nothing else to buy”… yeah right – 1 oversized brush and 3 paints will make a poorly painted, plain-Jane car alright!) and will serve as well as the one I made. The deluxe kit IS one of the more rare kits, so a better investment, but for building, they’re all good.

CAR BACKGROUND :: What you are looking at are the production numbers for the first 2½ Mustang years. Over 1,000,000 Mustangs sold to the public. It was one of the greatest displays of affection for a vehicle in our country’s history. To put that into perspective, the Corvette, the most famous American model we have, took almost FORTY YEARS to reach one million sold. Why was the Mustang such a seller? Well, for a short time, there was ZERO competition. Chevy was LATE to the party (Camaro bowed in ’67) and Dodge didn’t have an answer at all. Nowadays, Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger go at it ferociously from year to year (ZL1 vs. GT350 vs. SRT392 etc, etc) with horsepowers getting nearer to the 1000hp mark every day. Back in ’64/5, however, your choices were a lot less timid. The typical engine was a 200/225hp, 289 V8. Not bad as a boy-hood racer and it would have sounded impressive with just some exhaust mods. The baddest racer sported a 271hp 289 hi-pro, and would get through the ¼mile in about 15.5 seconds. Early Mustangs were never good sprinters from the showroom and it wouldn’t be until the 428CJ was introduced that 100mph would be seen in the quarter.. some 4 years later. That said, Mustangs were cheap, reliable, and above all, beautiful.

I saw an article a ways back about the owner of the first Mustang sold… a Skylight Blue ’64½ Mustang (owned by Tom & Gail Wise) and thought it a beautiful story. I wanted to use that color for mine as a tribute. This is a craft Blue Bonnet paint and it is a hair “grey-er” than I had hoped, but I think it is still pretty. I had done this one in a Poppy Red motif and really liked it, but the paint wasn’t good in some places, so I re-did it in the blue. One day, I’ll probably go back and include a white interior. Someday.

The earliest mustangs had a glamorous, chrome-laid, elegant, interior, and I can honestly say that my boring black with a smidgen too much dust (been displayed for a while now), doesn’t do it enough justice. This kit has a great interior with a chrome cluster, detailed shifter, deep-ridged seats and a tight fit around the body. Can’t give me one, but I can give the model an A+ for the interior.

Love the little 289 in these Mustang kits. They REALLY stand out. I chose the stock air cleaner look (prob 200/225hp) and grey wires. There is a lot of extra deail in here, though. Master cylinder, washer bag, full-size battery, engine brace, and a decent radiator all make for a good looking setup. Like a lot of Revells, the firewall is just too bare, but the engine wins enough points to carry the rest.

This is one of the Mustangs that doesn’t have the annoying wrap-around exhaust near the rear axle and I LOVE it. The rims are pretty and the tires are decent too. I added better exhaust tips as the ones at the ends of these were lousy. I know it is a theme with me, but most models have it as an afterthought and I think it adds to the display.

These Mustangs are truly a monument to American automobiles, and though a dime-a-dozen at this point, provide a lump in the throat for enthusiasts everywhere. This Revell kit is actually a gem of a car. I am still not a fan of the convertibles as much as the coupes, but I always enjoy building this kit. There are no pieces that will ruin the kit (stuff to glue to glass, ill fitting stuff, etc) and it has everything you need straight from the box. It is also a good deal right now as there are many out there. Besides the “rare” deluxe kit, they should only run about $25 total and that is as good a deal as the original car!

9.0 – Very Good

X-RAY: 1964 Pontiac GTO 2’n1 1/25, Revell

Here is another X-Ray – look into the ’64 GTO kit by Revell. This kit includes:

This kit is one of the few ’64 GTOs molded in white. 389 tri-power V8; Two hoods (one cut); elaborate decals (though not much for GTO); 2 sets of rims- stock/street; 6 tires (4 reg, 2 wide); detailed interior; STREET: dual high-rise intake, sport decals, rear end risers (could use a few more add-ons for true “street” look.)

Price: ~$20

X-RAY: 1970 Plymouth AAR Barracuda 1/25, Revell

This is the first of my model X-Rays, where I will be showing the entire contents of the kit for informational purposes. This kit includes:

Stock hood; full, detailed interior; 340 6-pack (no option); T/A side exhaust; extensive chrome; AAR Barracuda decals. No custom/street parts. Rims – 1 set. No slicks.

Price: ~$30

’79 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

This is a review of the Revell 1979 Chevrolet Camaro #2165

I remember when this kit was a cheap-o sold at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. I remember saying, “I’ll get one soon”. I didn’t. Now, to get one, there is a very steep price to pay. They are rare and expensive WHEN you can find them, and I’ve seen a drastic dwindling of numbers over the past couple of years.

None of the above kits are any more prevalent but they are all, for the most part, great. The two black ones are… unfortunately black – very tough to paint over top of the shiny black plastic, but the kits themselves are great. All these kits are 3’n1 kits except possibly the top, right one (I’ve not opened one to know).

CAR BACKGROUND :: “Hugging the road” is about all these cars were worth. With a measly 175hp, 350ci under-hood, this was more of a gorgeous cruiser than anything of a dragstrip killer. I can’t image someone who owns one of these in mint condition would really care about the tepid performance, but with everyday 4-door saloons running 13sec quarter mile times, it is tough to look sporty in a 16sec car.

I have always been a fan of this car since my track & field friend from high school had one. His was modified and had giant tires in the rear, but I wasn’t looking for a perfect re-creation. I like the Diamond Dust from Testors as it makes a nice smooth coat. I did decide to switch out the rims from the kit to something a bit cooler looking. This is another kit I’d like to eventually re-do as well, but I’ll wait for a reissue rather than pay $60.

I generally like the 70s interiors and this one is no exception. I went with the typical grey interior and I think I’m glad I didn’t go with black. I also don’t think I had to add anything to it. My friend’s also had gaudy, red-flame seat cushions… umm… no.

I certainly have nothing against Chevy 350ci engines. They typically look good, sound better, and drive pretty smooth. Problem with this one is strength. As I said earlier, this is a fail, but it was the same fail as most cars of the late 70s. The Revell engine bay is rather nice though. There is an ample radiator; great secondary detail, a good sized brake boost, and it is clean. I would think that it could be “spiced” up a bit with a big chrome air-cleaner and some wires, but I wanted bone-stock. I can’t say that I didn’t want to shove a 454 underneath, and had the model been cheaper, it would have been there.

Here is a very clean, well designed undercarriage. The mufflers are a bit small and the exhaust tips are weak, but the rest is sharp. The engine mates to the exhaust easily, and the detail is really good too. I added some nice “ends” to the exhaust, but it really didn’t need help.

Well, I can say without hesitation that this is a MUST HAVE. The decals can be a problem with open/older kits; the hood fit is meh; and the overall fit is on the loose side – but these are small issues that take little away from a good kit. These are also a great investment. They are running in the $40s and $50s currently and I’d wager that they’ll be in the hundreds within a few years. However, I care little for the $300 investment potential… build the damn thing!

9.25 – Excellent

WANTED! – model collections!

I am looking for model car collections to purchase! These can be personal collections, from an estate, or a store closing. If you have 1/24, 1/25 model car; scale model boats, trucks, planes, army, and wish to sell them off, please contact me! I would be willing to listen to quality offers and will pay promptly for the merchandise. I am disabled and am wanting a new “career” of sorts, so I am dead serious in this request. Please email me with any questions.

—Kev

’68 Chevrolet Corvette L88

This is a review of the Revell 1968 Chevy Corvette Kit# 2544

This is the one. The one I saved. The ONLY one I saved from the last time I sold my lot so I could start over. The reason?? It came out just perfect. I think that maybe someday I’ll give it another try, but I would surely have to break this one first. I can say the build quality of this kit made it very easy to build it right, but I think it gorgeous just the same.

These are the typical other models that you can get and aside from the one on the left being molded in red, they have most of the same pieces. I think these are utterly, and hopelessly STUPID 2 ‘n 1 vehicles. I admit, however, the one with the blower gives a good argument for it. But I believe this car is more for aggressive style, than blower-soaked dragster.

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CAR BACKGROUND :: I get a kick out of the advert to the left not mentioning anything about the previous model. The exceptional ’67 is one of the most stunning Corvettes produced – even to this day. I own a ’98 C5 and I can say with certainty that the ’67 is still (maybe by just a small amount) a more breathtaking looking vehicle. Ok, so what about the ’68? Well, I don’t think it has anything to be concerned with. I have always been in love with this car’s looks. It has a voluptuous curve all the way back to that sleek trunk-lid and it then falls off a cliff to one of the best rear fascias to grace Corvette-dom. Adding to the fantastic lines is a hood that covers the same L88 427ci that was in the last Vette. With 430 underrated horsepower, this thing rockets through the ¼mile in the low 13s at almost 110mph. We are talking “top 10” fastest of the early muscle cars! And it does so with the beauty to match.

This car was painted with Testors Bright Red and several coats of clear. I typically do not use clear coat because I do not have a paint booth and keeping fuzz and lint off for 2-3 more coats is just a nightmare. I then decided to use the stock rallye rims and the tires from the kit. Didn’t need to add a thing to this kit. It’s that good.

So, obviously a good interior needs to look even better when it comes to convertible cars because they are always on display. I generally hate them, but not because of that, but because the dust collects in them ten times faster. I really did like this interior, however, and can’t say enough for the detail. I could have taken a bit more time on it, but I was so stoked about the body being really good, I didn’t go the distance on the interior. Who cares, right?

So here she is – the L88. A 430 horsepower rating is laughable to anyone who knows Corvettes. This one looks the part, but I admit, I wished the wires were better on it. This was one of the first ones I made and I think it could be tidier. The remainder of the bay is quality stuff though. Like the ’65, I do miss the battery, but there is a lot of other decor to go ’round.

Undercarriage is also a good place to be. The exhaust is still the same annoying over-top type that most early Vettes had, but they look good when you get ’em where they need to be. There are straps, suspension parts, and axle pieces that could be chromed (or further detailed), but really, the bottom is hardly ever viewed and it looks clean anyways.

I adore this build. I adore the car. I seriously adore every bit of it. It is not the best model ever made, but it is one of my best. The end result DOES have a lot to do with the quality of this kit. There are no missing pieces and enough detail so you don’t have to add anything. The fit, save for the goofy chrome exhaust cut-outs, is epic. Moreover, you’d be hard pressed to find a kit this good, for this money. These kits are crazy inexpensive and all over the internet (try just over $20!). Get out and get one – ASAP.

10 – Astonishing

Car Craft 101

Heya! So, thus far I’ve shown off a couple of kits for review and had a few FYI posts, but honestly I wanted to do a model building 101 for noivices/newbies (MAYBE for veterans as well, but I’m not that good).

TIP #1 – DUAL THINNERS –

It is a cheap fix but I think it is a needy one. I have found that while working on model cars having TWO containers of thinner is key! You should use one for the darker colors and to flush the first amount of paint off the brush and then use the second thinner bottle for final rinsing and for whites/silvers. If you use a brush to paint the car itself, you’d be nuts not to use this technique, but I think you’ll get better life out of your brushes either way.

….

TIP #2 – JEWELRY CONTAINERS –

Ok, I haven’t lost my damn mind. These are jewelry holders that you can find at many craft stores. These are interlocking containers that will hold 80+% of your extra car parts and separate things so you can keep your batteries in different places than your air cleaners. Sounds ridiculous, but really, as someone who has hundreds of car kits worth of parts, you cannot go wrong having a holder of sorts. I have bought drawer boxes and can tell you that they are bulky, take up way too much room and make wherever you are look like a garage bench. These holders fit neatly in desk drawers or the like and take up little room. Great find, seriously.

TIP #3 – ROTARY DRILL –

This may seem a tad bit overdoing it for the every-now-and-again builder, but these are cheap and come in VERY handy. They can be used to make exhaust tips, but also work to make holes in the undercarriage if you need to make new ones and they are fantastic in axle repair. I’ve had at least 10 or so car kits that I’ve needed to fix/move the axle to work – either because of faulty parts or because of non-stock pieces. They are quiet, usually are USB powered (which is also handy) and come with multiple bit sizes.

TIP #4 – TREE EXHAUST –

What the hell am I on about, huh? Well, it is so simplistic that most builders will have seen/done this handy FREE trick. The chrome trees that come with cars have a natural supply of tasty exhaust possibilities. Everything from the smaller pieces working with ends of a normal exhaust, to larger ones being used for headers/side exhausts. You have to be leery of the flash lines that are on most of them, but a quick trim with a sharp knife gives you a LOT to work with. Some are long enough to give straight exhaust all the way down the car and that is fantastic!

That is my Car Craft list for February 2020. I will try to give some tips of the trade every so often to help those who need some advice. All others may bask in my unneeded ramblings and move on to more enjoyable pictures and such.

—Kev