’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.

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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

’65 Chevrolet Corvette

This is a review of the Monogram 1965 Chevy Corvette Kit# 2925

Corvette kits are always fun to me because you typically are working with a car that in real-life is super expensive – even thrashed and garbage. I also have to admit that the Corvette kits are typically good as well. There are a few that are awful and you have to be careful not to buy a “snap” kit or a 1/8 scale kit (which are plentiful) unless you specifically want one. This car is in place of the ’63 split window that NOBODY makes a good model of. I am currently attempting to make the AMT ’63 split window (“Widowmaker” comes to mind because of the horrifying kit quality), but this one was made in lieu of it either way.

Now, the above kits are all of the same goodness except for the two black ones… being black. They are a horrifying bright black and every single piece is coated in it. You can definitely run into issues with bad chrome as well, but the black pieces are just terrible to cover. If you want black-on-black-on-black-on-EVERYTHING black, they are good, otherwise you want the red ones. I don’t remember what molding the two reds came in (white or red), but either color is easier to prime for painting. I believe mine was red and I was going for red anyways, so, yeah there’s that.

CAR BACKGROUND :: I really love these posters from the muscle car era! Anyways, this is the successor to one of the most expensive, coveted, and beautiful Vettes made – the ’63 split window Stingray. This car is still every bit as special and, unlike the ’63, has a fun big-block inside. Not quite the king of rock n’ roll, the 396ci worked like magic in the Vette. At 425hp, this tiny car was a rocket – running the ¼mile at over 104mph. This bad-boy theoretically had the same horsepower as the rompin’ hemi, but way better aerodynamics and less weight. My guess is that with better tires, the ’65 would run as fast as any hemi made. I actually like the hood of the ’65 more than the ’63 as well. The hood bulge is also fantastic and less “classic” looking.

This is a personal favorite. The Tamiya Bright Red is absolutely stunning and as glossy as can be. I actually used Camaro rims off another kit because i like the ’65 rallye rims vs. the wire wheels (with knockoffs) that came with the kit. I really wish I had whitewalls to put on this one, but regular tires it is. I really dislike the crisscrossed wipers and HATE them on this car because the wipers are glue-on and thicker than most other model kits that have them molded into the body’s plastic (which the AMT ’63 has).

LOVE the older Corvette interiors and this one is no different. I decided to go red on red and I think it looks perfect. This interior had a truck-load of chrome to do; a glove-box that is round and bi-colored; and a speedo cluster that is just great to look at. I also like the seat detail and there is probably more chrome strips and other chrome work that can be done past what I did as well. All good, nothing missing.

So, yes… not a 427 tri-carb. I get it. This IS a rather good motor with a ton of horsepower just the same. The engine is correct orange-red, has a nice radiator, and has chrome all over. I dislike Corvette engine bays as they have a hidden battery and to me it just makes the bay look naked. The bay does have everything you need though and even though it is smaller than most muscle cars of the day, it is very displayable. Honestly… you could, however, put the biggest 1/24 scale engine in this bay it is so cavernous.

The bottom of this car is good but typical Corvette oddity. The exhaust rounds over the gas tank and ends through the rear panel. The remainder is small everything – small exhaust, small rear end, and small driveshaft. There is also nothing evil underneath and the exhaust fits to the engine easily.

The final say is that this model kit is really good. There is a load of detail and the build quality makes the AMT seem a tinker toy. The Monogram cars are becoming more and more rare and are a great investment. There are a whole bunch of the ’63s to go round, but I still think that it is a waste of time and money (even if I did say earlier that I am trying to fabricate a car out of one). These are definitively a good build though and you should get one while you can.

8.75 – Very Good

’70 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

This is a review of the Monogram 1970 Pontiac Trans Am kit #2794

Ok…, so I don’t really get too mad over bad model car decisions, but this one has me a bit vexed. I purchased this car about 3 years ago and paid about $40 for it. Not bad at the time, but failed in making it as the windshield got ruined. Time passed and I decided to give ‘er another try. See, I built this car when I was about 10.. yellow with white stripes (all but the trunk… I ruined that one!) and it was one of the better ones I ever did in that era. Sad to say it is long gone (though it would have looked ROUGH compared to what I do now), but I wanted to make the T/A live again. So, I found a couple of them at around $40-$50. Got one for about $41.55 and it came out.. well, you’ll see. This year, however, the car was reissued… less than $25 now. Ugh.

The kit to the left is almost identical to the one I did save for some extra wheels/pieces for custom. The one to the right is about the same to both except that it is the brand new reissue.

I’m not actually sure weather all of the above kits have the same flaw as the kit I made, but I’d like to point out another of modeling’s car factoid mistakes. So, the box of the model I built says Pontiac Trans Am with no year, so it is anyone’s guess. But here is the side leaf from the box ::

Well, 455ci engine sounds fantastic and things are square, right? Not even close. Firstly, Pontiac didn’t make a 455ci for the Firebird in 1970, it was a 400 Ram Air that produced 345, or 370hp. The 455 didn’t hit the Trans Am until 1971. Secondly, saying you wanted to make this a 1971-2 Trans Am 455, you would be stuck due to the grilles being different. See, this model definitely has the 1970 grille style (below left) and not the honeycomb you see in ’72 (below right). It also doesn’t come with the 455 H.O. decals (which makes sense, even if the box doesn’t).

CAR BACKGROUND :: Like I said above, the Trans Am didn’t come into legend until the ominous 455ci was dropped into it. Now, I have a small grievance with this notion. The T/A’s 400 Ram Air IV boasted 370hp and 445lb-ft of torque. The 455 was rated at a mere 300hp and 415 torque (yes, I get the goofy 71-to-72 rating differences). So, the bigger powerplant with the lesser rating gets the fame, while the identical looking, more powerful 400 gets little acknowledgement. Same thing for the ¼mile times. Both cars have 70’s tests that tout high 13s at over 100 miles per hour, but for some reason, the ’72 gets the nod. Honestly, having the 455 H.O. on the shaker looked amazing, but any of the ’70-’72 Firebirds are a treasure in my book.

This car does NOT photo well and I can’t understand why. It is done in Tamiya French Blue and looks a good bit like the Lucerne Blue of that year. Now, I know what you’re thinking… why a blue stripe on a blue car? Well, as I said before, this was an expensively rare kit and the decals were garbage. I barely got these to work, so blue it was. With that, I went with the flat black shaker as the white would have looked “off” and I didn’t want more blue on the car. This model had a bunch of fitting issues which I take as age and sitting vs. poor design, but I won’t know for sure until I re-do this one… and now that it is reissued… you can bet on it!

This is the interior of the last one I made, and it was so decent, that I just kept it. The interior is pretty Revell-standard detail and looks really nice when done. You can expect a two-tone white interior for my next build of this car. The only thing I needed to do is add a better gear-shift as the one that came with the kit was lame.

Another Vader-esque engine cover that hides most of the good stuff. The 400 is a nice engine to look at and I really like it. It IS incorrectly colored, as it should be the lighter Pontiac blue, but it is mostly hidden anyways. The next iteration will be correct. The bay is difficult as the fenders need to be painted and there is a lot of area to cover. Even still, there is a lot of detail; the firewall looks good; there is a lot of wiring to paint (if needed); and nothing to add.

The bottom of this car is REALLY nice. The exhaust is of the same loop-around that I dislike (both in models and in real life… to me it looks restrictive even if it isn’t in the least), but it fits nicely and looks good out the rear with the T/A tips that are included. They are tough to get straight and usually hang a bit low, but end up looking pretty cool when displayed. I think the tires were missing on this kit, so I used a Revell matched set to fix and used the stock rims.

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In the end I can say that being “stiffed” never felt so good. The T/A is easily one of my favorite cars and this kit does it justice. The taillights will most certainly need trimmed; the back fin fits poorly; the shaker is tough to fit AND it has to fit through a hood that also fits horribly; the tires were missing; and the windshield looked as if it were dragged through gravel. I still love it. As far as a collector kit… it is officially a DUD with the reissue. Even the older ones have plummeted in value. The good news is that it is readily available to buy and put together. I will do a major update and revision when I re-do this one, but that is for 2021 (I guess?).

8.0 – Good

’69 Ford Mustang Shelby GT-500

This is a review of the Revell 1969 Shelby GT-500 Kit#2158

This is a bit of a pain in the a$$ – fantastic kit.. and it really is just because it is a special car. I just saw a $229,000, burgundy colored ’69 at a local custom car show and I can tell you it was astounding. It was also not worth half that amount of money (or more), but who’s counting? What it is… is a must have PITA.

I have worked on the two above as well and I can tell you two things. One – the convertible is just not as nice of a final product as the coupe, and two – the other kit is molded in one of the WORST yellows you’ll find in the model kingdom. It is all over everything and makes for some terrible re-coating to cover. All of the kits include the same pieces (save for the conv. items) and have very little in the way of “street” add-ons. The good thing is that I didn’t have to add a blessed thing to the whole kit.

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CAR BACKGROUND :: Carroll Shelby sure made some waves in the automobile world that will stretch on decades after we are gone, but the ’69/’70 GT-500s would be an ending of a muscle car streak of badasses that started in the early 60’s. The name wouldn’t return until some 30+ years later. That did not mean that this car was devoid of performance. The GT-500 came with one of Ford’s best engines – the legendary 428 Cobra Jet. It was amazing to look at, had an amazing sound, and gave amazing performance. With the 4-speed, this horse would dip into the high 13s through the ¼mile and had the torque (some 440lb-ft) to turn tires to jelly. Now, I said before that the one I saw wasn’t worth a quarter million dollars, and I stand by that. I can say whole-heartedly, however, that if I had the money in hand.. I’d fork it over without a breath.

I have to admit that the Bug Yellow I used for this Mustang is a bit too bright, but honestly, it is close to the Bright Yellow (Grabber) from 1970. I really like the way this one came together, but I can also say it is not an easy finish to a nice build. The hood has tiny vents, the rear valance is painted black, the lights have chrome dividers between the sequential lights, the decals need holes cut around the stripes so they fit round the side markers, and so on. The kit is really good though. I’ve built this one a couple of times and haven’t had any issues besides my own shortcomings.

I didn’t get a great image of this interior and the black further does it no justice. There is a mass amount of detail all over the inside and little is needed to finish her off. I think I added a directional stalk, but everything else is there.

The underside of this one is good too. I’ve always hated the Mustang exhausts in most of these kits as they wrap around the axles and are more of a pain then a help. This exhaust is especially disappointing as the dual exhaust is attached to a bar that is supposed to connect the middle exhaust. It doesn’t, however, connect to the fancy tips, just ends before the back of the car. I’ve long thought of adding an extension to make it look more realistic but getting it right between the bottom and body of the car would be difficult to say the least. It is easily my least favorite look of this car.

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Like I stated earlier, the engine is a sight to see in real life, and this Revell is a fine replica of it. It has more detail than most : brake boost; full size battery (though annoyingly molded); large fan; meticulous radiator surround with hood latch; engine stiffeners… it is grand to say the least. I left the bay yellow (as if a rotisserie resto) because it brings out the look further. They only downside is the firewall as it is as bare as a shaved cat… er.. horse.

I cannot say enough about this kit except to say it is a well designed model that needs a lot of detail attention. In the end, it is an exceptional kit that needs to be gotten – in either coupe or conv. form. The good news is that these kits are not only plentiful, but rather inexpensive. You can’t get these in the store anymore, typcially, but are still available online for $25 or so. It has been a few years since issue as well, so not a half-bad investment – especially since it is a great build.

8.75 – Very Good