2022 STARTS WITH KINDNESS…

So, 2021 was a very fun year as far as model car building and model sales were concerned, and even though the Covid numbers seem to be trending in the wrong direction, 2022 is already starting out with kindness and a bit of hope. How do I mean?…

You see, this nice man named Frank contacted me through my website and informed me he had some three dozen 1960s model cars to “donate” to a good home. I was floored. I am about to purchase another big lot (around 400 cars for a really charitable price), but this guy – a complete stranger – was giving these cars away. The above pic is just a sample of the cars he’s given (and ones that will be on eBay before too long) and quite frankly I couldn’t be more shocked and blessed.

Not every day someone drops $1000 in your lap.

My point to all of this besides that of a braggart? Well, there are a lot of unsavory things happening in America as a result of the past few years and I find little things like today’s gift are reminders of the goodness still out there from people like Frank.

In closing, I wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone and would ask that people remember to be as kind as they can – for tomorrow may never come for you to do a caring act – one that someone else will always remember.

Thanks Frank!

–Kev

*** 2021 YEAR IN REVIEW AND BREAK! ***

Well, this year has been a goofy one and one that is meant for modelers – as staying safe is a bigger concern than socializing. That said, it has been a busy month – with doctor’s appointments and moving (bought a new house).

I will be off writing until the New Year but rest assured I will have many new reviews and x-rays as soon as the holiday is past – so be on the outlook.

Also, remember to get in touch with me for a fan submission. I am always looking to praise the other builders for their best work. I AM NOT critical and will not embarrass anyone. Your work is appreciated as it continues my career and hobby. Thanks to all the viewers and have the best of Holidays!

X-RAY: Chevy Blazer 1/24, Monogram

Early Monogram Chevy Blazer parts picture

This X-Ray is for a rare Chevy Blazer kit by Monogram. This kit includes:

1 set of 4×4 tires and rims; V8 engine; lots of chrome; decal sheet.

Good: Awesome rare truck used in many TV shows and movies; square-body trucks are getting very popular and pricey IRL; nice molded color.

Bad: Molded color makes it difficult for painting; tires a bit on the fake looking side; decals are ugly and only work with certain colors/no stock decals; pricey IRL means pricier here too.

Price: $65+

X-RAY: Cobra Street Racer (Mustang II) 1/25, Revell

This X-Ray is for a rare Mustang II Cobra (King Cobra-ish) racer kit by Revell. This kit includes:

2 sets of tires and one set of rim; V8 engine; reasonable chrome tree; stripe kit (not pictured) to match the box.

Good: Sporty take on a really dull Mustang; “ok” number of parts; more impressive than stock.

Bad: “Ok” number of parts is still smaller than usual; STILL a Mustang II; getting pricey.

Price: $50+

X-RAY: Cadillac Eldorado 1/25, Jo-Han

Jo-Han Cadillac Eldorado Snap Kit 1/25 parts picture

This X-Ray is for a Rare Eldorado Snap kit by Jo-Han. This kit includes

1 set of whitewall tires and rims; no engine, no removable hood; reasonable interior.

Good: Famous look and attractive Eldorado; nice chrome.

Bad: NO engine/hood; 20 pieces is still disappointing for an expensive model kit; price is escalating.

Price: $65+

1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28

This is a review of the AMT ’67 Camaro Z-28 #6638

Another of my youngster builds, the ’67 Camaro is a favorite because it was a simple-looking sportster with classic lines. The kit was a tougher one when I was little and is still a slight challenge for the semi-pro. Still, I had to have this one and it had to be in the same look as my early build. Needless to say, I am happy with it – or it’d not be here LOL.

1967 AMT Camaro kits

The 1967 Camaro – the progenitor of the species – is a famous one and a muscle favorite. They ARE over-seen at car shows, are overvalued, and are WAY over performance exaggerated, but they are still very prevalent. The AMT versions are about all the same and typically have just a few differing pieces. The one I did and the other 3 newer AMTs above have the good decal page that includes the stripes in black and white, and other stock stuff. The top right is older and I am not sure about its sheet. The Revells are not ones I’ve ever seen in person as I’ve always gone back to my AMT that I made years ago. It isn’t the better of the two, but it is remembering for me.

These kits are just a smattering of the 1968s available for building. They are 98% the same car as the ’67 and, in most cases, less expensive. If you need a gen-1 Camaro without paying through the nose, the ’68s are the way to go. Unless you NEED the antique kits, they are a steal in pricing – somewhere around $16.

CAR BACKGROUND :: What do you do if you are Chevrolet and your rival, Ford, produces a small sports car that sells some 600,000 units? Well, you come up with this car. The 1967 Camaro was Chevy’s answer to the Mustang phenom and though it wasn’t the supreme seller the trick pony was, it did bring Chevy into the small muscle fray. With a string of peppy engines, the Camaro did command performance (like the ad stated above). it did NOT, however, command it to the elites. Meaning, if you were in a Z-28 and found yourself next to a 440-6 Coronet, you were pretty sure you were taking the right on red to avoid being destroyed. Not that the Z wasn’t quick, at 14.9-ish in the ¼, it was cresting 100mph in a scant 16 seconds. Add a cam and some beefy tires, you were in the 13s in a jiffy. Pretty toey for the cheap Chevy.

1967 Chevy Camaro AMT 1/25 profile

My first one of these was white – painted with a paintbrush and done with older white Testors Gloss. It was lousy.. but it was mine. I used the stock stuff, added mag wheels, and changed the bad, dangling exhaust. Too funny. This one is done in Model Master Classic White and it looks like what I had hoped mine would’ve looked like some 30 years ago. I will say if you are thinking white, be ready for primer or extreme patience as this car is typically molded in a horrible grey, and the typical white paint sticks as good as a child’s reused scratch-and-sniff sticker. Ruined one body and had to strip another to get this one right. UGH. Stripes did work out – even with this being a 20+ year old kit.

Stock rims, red interior, and this one even had its own side mirror. Bueno.

1967 Camaro 302ci engine by AMT

If you look really close you’ll see the right valve cover reads “telrovehc”. Yup, upside down. Oh well… apparently I’m still too quick to build 😖. The engine bay is decently detailed for an AMT kit, but the engine is absolutely TINY. Even the real 302 to the right looks snugger. I know there are no hoses and it has white inner fenders, but it is just a TINY engine. The radiator shroud is decent; the battery is too small, the brake boost is a bit on the small side, but overall the engine is decent for the model type. I’d assume the Revell kit’s would be better. Who knows?… maybe I’ll buy a junker and swap out the bigger 302?

Most AMT kits have lackluster interiors and where I can say this isn’t an “A+” by any means, this is a decent-looking cockpit. Done in Red with red carpet, the inside certainly “pops” and I think it looks perfect with the white. Door detail is MEH and the dash is a bit lean there too, but it is a solid display.

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1967 Camaro Z-28 top view. Love the stripe kit.

The underside is a mix of decent and average. The overall detail isn’t too bad but the car suffers from a lousy looking exhaust that happens to be a difficult placement. The over/under muffler goes under around and between for a complicated setup. Tough to pin down and get centered. The exhaust tips are a bit on the small/thin side as well. And those mufflers… off a 10-speed bicycle? Miniscule and toy-looking. It came out really decent, but not a fan of the overall quality.

In the end, the Camaro ended up being exactly what I wanted and has made me smile more than once. Reminiscing staring at this car when I was little and I can say I hope it isn’t the last build for it. It was too enjoyable to walk this memory through. The kit is medium-priced as it has far fewer than the ’68 & ’69 models and is probably a good investment as it isn’t likely to be redone further. It is also the time to get one to build as the pricing should go up from here. And it isn’t a bad kit neither.

8.5 Very Good

X-RAY: ☼RARE☼ 1970 Plymouth (Roadrunner) Superbird 1/25, Jo-Han

This X-Ray is for a RARE Plymouth Superbird kit by Jo-Han. This kit includes

1 set of tires and 2 sets of rims – stock and race; 426 Hemi engine; decal sheet; wing and nose clip.

Good: Unlike Monogram’s newer Superbird, this one gets the Hemi and the decals to match; classic race look.

Bad: Jo-han quality = flash, poor quality chrome, 50% fit; no stock decals, parts count is still low.

Price: $95+

X-RAY: Chevrolet Vega Mini-Van 1/25, Monogram

This X-Ray is for a RARE Chevy Vega Mini-Van (wagon) kit by Monogram. This kit includes

1 set of tires and mag wheels; V8 engine; small two-seat interior; custom parts

Good: What do you do with a bland Vega?… customize and make a wagon out of it!; reasonable number of parts; cool kit.

Bad: It’s still a Vega; the only decals included are wood panels for the “wagon”; NO stock option.

Price: $65+

X-RAY: Porsche 924 1/24, Monogram

This X-Ray is for a Porsche 924 Monogram kit. This kit includes

1 set of tires and rims; no engine, no removable hood; reasonable interior; small decal sheet.

Good: There are very few of 924 kits out there; VERY easy; famous front engine Porsche.

Bad: Well, NO engine; 20 pieces is disappointing; decal sheet IS tiny.

Price: $25+

FAN SUBMISSION! :: Mike Blaskovich

I met Mike a couple months back and to say the least he is a born again modeler. With just a handful of personal vehicles from family experiences, he is now working pretty hard to get some nice stuff done.

Dukes of Hazzard diorama

Anyone who is a fan of older cars will instantly know what they are looking at in the above pic. The Dukes of Hazzard was a fun, mid-70’s muscle fest set in a fake southern town with all of the colloquialisms you could possibly find. Two hot-rodding young men set to outrunning the local police, solving mysteries, annoying their Uncle, and finding ways to demolish every 1969 Charger they could get their hands on.

1969 Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard

The set above includes the Dukes Charger MPC kit – which is LOUSY, but Mike’s got it lookin’ really good. I did the same kit and can say I’d almost rather get the extras from this one and add it to a Revell kit to make the car… the MPC is just lousy. The kit also comes with a Hemi motor which would NOT be used in the show at any point, so keeping the hood down is probably for the best unless you change out to a 383 or 318 – like the show used.

The next vehicle wasn’t used nearly as much – and neither was her other vehicle for that matter. Daisy’s jeep was a cool addition to the show – what with all the dirt thrown around and it was always a hoot to watch her scurry around the police and their inability to drive in a straight line.

Yeah, this is Daisy’s other beast that she drove around – a ’74 Satellite (Roadrunner). The Roadrunner was just a decal set by the time her car came around and it was powered by a lethargic engine as well. This kit comes with a small block that is basically a 360/340 look and would likely be a 318 in the show for cost savings. The yellow looks good here and the stripes – which I find to be horrible to get just right – look really good. I’ll be remaking my ’74 soon and will hope it turns out this good!

Last and not least (in my book) is a car that screams 1970s-80s cop shows. Now don’t get ahead of yourself, this is NOT the Roscoe car from MPC. This is the 78 Monaco that comes in TJ Hooker, Joker Goon Car, and the latest reissued police car. Why? Well, the real Roscoe car is FAR more pricey. In my opinion, this later model Fury/Monaco is the better looking car. I owned one, made one HERE, and REALLY want to buy another one. That said, this car WAS in the show at one point or another and makes for a hell of a good display.

Mike’s rendition of the Boar’s Nest is hysterical and super cool as well. There is a lot of memory to go with the overall look and he’s got one heck of a display – getting these all to look just about right. Full length display, dirt looking ground (though I might have gone with real dirt), and decent scale size make it all pretty dang sweet.

Thanks to Mike for the cool pics. Keep on building!