This X-Ray is for a rare Snap-Together Chevy Blazer kit by Revell. This kit includes:
1 set of 4×4 tires and rims; molded-to-body V8 engine w/some add-ons; NO chrome; decal sheet.
Good: Very cool 4×4 truck that is snap easy AND has an engine bay for looks; VERY decent number of parts for a “snap” kit; reasonable amount of flash.
Bad: Grey color is BLAND; decals are super-70’s retro and ugly; no chrome means not very vibrant; pricey.
AGAIN… these modeling tips MAY be obvious to the experienced builder, but the point of this site is to help all types of builders – from novice to advanced. Hope these help!
TIP #1 – UPSIDE DOWN PAINT –
Unlike gas prices, jars of paint have not gone up too much over the years and even during Covid. However, this tip is to save on a trip to the Hobby store more than the cost. You’ve been there – red has dried up; steel has congealed at the bottom and needs stirring; paint has separated – making a white and yellow swirl. The way I’ve learned to help this is to set the paint jars upside down every other time used. That way the globs can fall into the thinner and not bunch so much. It seems to help but isn’t foolproof. Yeah… spending the $1.89 is just as simple, but the drive to the store may not be for some.
TIP #2 – CHROME PAINT PEN –
This particular trick is a two-parter::
The first trick is to use these for chrome detail work – whether around the window sills or for emblems – etc. The pens come in many sizes and can help a great deal with fine work that otherwise would look haphazard with a toothpick.
The second trick is a doozy. On a hunch, I found the bumper of the current project to be seriously faded. This is an EXPENSIVE kit, so not an “I’ll just buy another one and swap out” kinda kit. These chrome pens WILL refresh chrome pieces! I am not saying it is perfect, but the difference for me was night and day. Couldn’t have been happier to make a $200+ car look even better. NOTE:: Try this with an un-needed bumper before using it on a valuable one. I did and it made it less nerve-wracking to fix the expensive bumper.
TIP #3 – SAVE THE UNUSED PLATES –
Ok, so why is it a good thing to keep these extras that the model companies give or from kits discarded? Well, frankly, they are a free piece of flat plastic to make many fixes to missing/broken parts. In the pic right, I’ve used a plate to make an axle piece that was missing from the kit I was working on. Using a tree-cutter, I was able to fashion the right size and it will work splendidly. They work for those small square inserts on some models that would have a hole for an axle pin to go through and you could even fashion custom ones to lower or raise the wheels in a car. Too many uses for something most kits include!
TIP #4 – BUY MULTIPLES WHEN BUILDING A CHEAP-O –
This should be a no-brainer, but after decades of building, I don’t think of it either. Let’s say you wish to build a 1996 Corvette Convertible because your dad owned one. At any time, they are prevalent on eBay for about $13 – about 40% of what a typical kit would run. Why not buy TWO? You get to have two bodies to paint (maybe even different colors for comparo), two sets of chrome, glass and other scratch/fade-ables to pick and choose from. It very much makes sense, but is often forgotten or overlooked. So, splurge on the other 13 bucks… my kind of “happy meal“.
Well, if this has helped ANYONE, my job here is done. I’d like to think that somewhere someone is getting a light-bulb above their head about something I’ve mentioned. There are too many issues with model cars and especially ones bought that are opened and have issues to not try and put these tips out there. Please comment if you have a care and feel free to get in touch with me with some of your tips – I might just use them in my next Car Craft!
This is a review of the AMT ’77 Mustang II kit 099-38276
The ugly ducking… or in this case, stallion. This is another one of those that I actually bought and, unfortunately for me, sold quickly due to a badly bent frame and a sub-par engine. The car was fun to drive and got looks everywhere, but alas, was not to be. The model has also taken me a while to concoct for some reason, but it is done… and it is terrible. LOL.
For a car that is thought by most to be the most atrocious Mustang ever conceived, there are dozens of boxes and many, many iterations out there – though they are getting very scarce. 80% or better of the Mustang II kits out there are modified in some way – either the Cobra II form, or some drag/pro street version, but there are a good many that can be built o-natural.
NOTE: These Mustangs for the most part had the same style and features from 1973-1978 – with only slight changes to the car that the untrained eye would most likely miss.
CAR BACKGROUND :: I am one of the few crazies in this world who thinks the Mustang II isn’t the ugliest of the breed. It IS very close, mind you, but I still maintain that this can be an adorable car from certain angles…, and I think that is part of the problem with most Ford enthusiasts’ view of them. See, Mustangs were not built to be adorable, gas misers. They were “pony cars” and were thought of as fun-driving, free-spirited cars. After a time, bigger and extra-potent engines phased that image into one of muscle-car-dom and when Ford said they were making the new one to be enviro-friendly, well, nobody bought them. No. People bought them. People SWARMED to buy them. So much so that the 1973-78 Mustang II is still the second best-selling Mustang of all time and one that will most likely stay there for the remainder of its namesake. So why the cold shoulder by most? Well, the Mustang II is also the slowest Mustang ever built. At a woeful 80+hp to start with, the highest engine power you could opt for was a tepid 132hp, 5 liter V8. That doesn’t sound horrifying, right? I mean my 2020 Hyundai only has 147hp and still runs low 8s to 60 miles per hour, so it can’t be that bad, right? Well, yeah. The top line Mustang II Cobra with the V8 would, if not broken down getting to the race, run 9.5 sec to 60 and through the ¼ mile in about 16.8 seconds. Unfortunately, the Cobra doesn’t have the Hyundai’s 8 speed automatic, higher-quality tires, and traction control. The Mustang II I made has the V6 that was only rated at 93hp and that would raise the quarter into the upper 17s. Yup, about 12 seconds to 60mph.
Would this car be better thought of if it didn’t have the build quality issues and maybe more horsepower than a Prius? I suspect not. The car is an acquired taste to look at; has an odd driving position (I drove mine for a while and hated it), and with anything over 200hp, would probably be skittish to drive briskly. It is still one I have a soft spot in my heart for and potentially always will.
My ’78 was a trunk-back (or Ghia) and I think it was the better look/design (looked way more cool with my son Aaron posing next to it as well). The hatchback to me looks more “Gremlin-y” and more economical. Anyways, this one is painted Italian Red and is a bit darker of a red than I had intended. It worked like I needed it to and I think it is a fine example of the kit and car. Missing is a side mirror (which I will be adding, and I used tires from another kit as the ones from this kit were very “truck-like”. To note: the hood is a lousy fit; will probably have a bit of flash to remove; may need carefully bent; will need care painting as the cut-out for the scoop is VERY thin and shows with some paints, and there is a TON of chrome to be done, so buyer beware.
The engine bay actually looks respectable for an MPC-turned-AMT kit. The V6 fits nicely and has just enough detail to merit an open hood, but just barely. Well, it is NOW because of some mods I’ve made. There was NO brake boost AT ALL, so I added a Ford-looking one. The battery included also looked lousy… like that of a riding lawn mower (pic right), so that had to go too. Also pictured right is AMT’s half-ass attempt at a radiator wall. Sorry, looks more like an odd barrier for a tank to drive around than that of a holder of antifreeze. I don’t remember what this one is out of, but it does the job.
The interior is standard AMT fare with reasonably detailed doors and dash, missing rearview mirrors and directional stalk, and a steering wheel out of a drag car. It matches as well as a 460ci engine would. Disappointing. I used one from a late-60’s car and it looks much better – even if still not stock-fare. I am sure some of the above kits mentioned have one that is better, but mine certainly didn’t.
This underside is also typical AMT/MPC garbage. The bottom of the car looks like a cheap K-Mart toy; there is very little detail; there are no extra pieces to attach (shocks, sway bars, springs, etc); the exhaust is lame and one-piped, and the only saving grace is the dual exhaust that I affixed to the end. YUCK.
It did come out exactly as I hoped. It looks about what I wanted for the fun little car. It is a shame that these kits are mostly junk and in need of help. The tires are off a pickup; the body floats badly; the hood is usually a disaster; the glass has scratches in all but the newest kits, and too many pieces missing. I know adding a piece here and there isn’t too bad, but overall I added a side mirror, rear view mirror, tires, rims, radiator, shroud, brake boost, exhaust tips, steering wheel, and a gear shift.
It makes for a very large sigh when you also have to plop down some $60 for a stock one and maybe $45 or so for a pro street version (to say nothing of the RARE ones for $100+). Thankfully mine was from a set of 400 I recently purchased (and will be selling soon on eBay), so I paid well under $60, but it still hurt to pay for a kit this crappy. If you need it to build it, I guess you’ll pay whatever (like I would), but if not, I’d pass on this one.
GREAT investment… and that is about all.
This X-Ray is for a RARE SUPERFLY Grand Prix kit by Revell. This kit includes:
1 set of tires (not pictured whitewalls) and rims; big-block V8 (likely 455); bigger chrome tree; custom pieces
Good: VERY rare kit of an underappreciated Pontiac; Chrome -if good – is excellent to look at; lots of parts for an old MPC
Bad: MPCs are known for flash and poor fit; not a fan of the Superfly version; not as cool as a $25 Firebird; almost as expensive as the real McCoy.
This X-Ray is for a RARE Sunbird kit by Revell. This kit includes:
1 set of (split) tires and rims; smaller in-line engine; small chrome tree; widebody pieces
Good: VERY rare body style/kit; widebody makes for an aggressive look.
Bad: Aggressive look does not mean aggressive performance; overboard on the look; pricey for what it is.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.