X-RAY: 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 1/25, Revell

This X-Ray is for a rare 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, 1/25, Revell. This kit includes:

1 set of tires and rims; supercharged V8 engine; nice interior; hood with glass insert; metal exhaust tips. Good: Really nice exotic kit; plenty of parts; very little flash to trim. Bad: LOTS of glass to glue/ruin; decal sheet is mediocre especially instrumentation (too light); cost <> return.

Price: $35+

X-RAY: 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 Ram Air 2’n1 1/25, Revell

This X-Ray is for a 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400, 1/25, Revell. This kit includes:

1 set of tires with slicks; one set of Cragar rims (no stock Pontiac rims); 400ci, V8 engine; detailed interior; drag car THUMPER II parts – blower, decals, etc.; large stock/race decal sheet. Good: VERY customizable; race setup looks killer; decal sheet is awesome; chrome typically excellent. Bad: Rear valance is POOR – light holes are wrong size and badly molded; rims are TINY compared to other Revell kits (I’d replace immediately); price is getting ridiculous.

Price: $45+

Star Wars Y-Wing Fighter

This is a review of the Bandai Veh model #005

I figured I’d take a small hiatus from cars and such and, as I am a BIG Star Wars fan, I thought I’d go over some models as the year progresses. I cannot say I am very knowledgeable of REALLY good S.W. models, but I am going to do some here and there for those who are as big a fan as I am.

The Y-wing is a fun design, but I can say it isn’t as movie-popular as a tie fighter. It makes appearances here and there, but I find it is a fun little design either way. The original movie versions don’t have a LOT of the detail on them, but the one to the left is close to what they would have.

The Y-Wing comes in a very VERY light grey plastic and I think it looks a little too sterile. I used a Tamiya Light Grey to spruce it up a bit and I think it works. The stripes are another story. They are GARBAGE. They are actual stickers vs. water decals and they look awful no matter how precise the placement. They don’t work well over the little “dots” of detail here and there on the ship and they are tough to use altogether. I used Testors Tangerine and a darker grey for the stripes and I promise it looks better than the decals. The glass is semi-gloss black and I used silver/dark red for the “R_” unit. Kinda like R4, but there wasn’t a true “R” unit for this ship in the movie series. There is a LOT of wiring and hoses that could be colored too, but no pics on line really show what they should be EXACTLY, so I left it all grey like in the film.

Something of note as well, the skeletal spindles are an annoying fit to the ends and are VERY breakable. I appreciated the way they did the design to include a couple more pieces than they could’ve done, however, I think they sacrificed stability in this case. The directions for these Bandai models are on the far side of terrible as well. They are TINY, and they aren’t very specific as where the pieces finally lay. Thankfully, there aren’t too many pieces to have to contend with, but they are still crap… and not for the very novice.

The box is tiny, the parts are slightly small in number, the decals are JUNK, and the directions are abysmal. However, the kit IS really easy to build, the kit is really inexpensive and the end result is perfect for a Star Wars fan with little shelf space.

9.0 – Very Good

’65 Chevrolet Impala SS396 and… what??

This is a review of the Monogram 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS Kit#2470 X2

What the hell does the title mean?? Well, I like to keep things a bit variable on here, so this is a lot different than my typical blah blah review. I AM reviewing the kit to the left, but I’m also reviewing the FOOSE kit to the right. I have always liked this kit and aside from the front grill being a true bastard to get in place, it is one of the best kits made – IMHO. I say the review is different because I made two cars… one bone stock and with the Iris color that matches the box, and the other…. welllll…

Ok…. so the one in the bottom right… the red one… the one with the scantly clad girl. I CAN’T say enough about how much this ruins most of the respect I have for Hasegawa kits. I don’t even know where to start! The fact it is a 1965 and the cover says 1966? That they have the name on the side of the car, but couldn’t take the extra step to call it an “Impala” – rather “Coupe Type I” on the box? Do I dare mention the un-needed trollop on the hood of the car for no reason whatsoever? And why the heck do we only get the girl’s figure?? Where’s the rest of her?!!? Anyways.. the three above are really the only options for building and I cannot vouch for the AMT. You’ve seen in my reviews that Revell/Monogram will ALWAYS beat a MPC/AMT, but I honestly can say I have no idea on this one. I can say that the AMT is so costly, that I’d buy the Revell anyways. The FOOSE kit comes molded in white and has a few more custom parts than the stock kit I made, so it’s good too.

CAR BACKGROUND :: Not sure if EVERYTHING around you will be different (like the ad touts), but if you had a cheating wife, lousy job, and a kid flunking High School… you may have given it a try! Kidding aside, the ’65 Impala is a bit like my other ’65 fave – the Galaxie 500. Both are large, comfortable and come with good engines, but are more-or-less forgotten in the muscle/collector world. Which also means – to some degree – to the modeling world. It was only due to FOOSE getting their paws on the car this that the model was reissued. With that, I can say “fooey!”. This is a really splendid looking car with fancy lines, a handsome grille, abundant comfort, and a set of engines that can take the car from the sublime to crazed lunatic. The kit I made has the 375hp V8, and though it would only produce a high 15sec quarter, would still leave most of the bigger cars in its wake. But, look at it! It is stylish like a lot of mid-60’s cars dream of. Just great!

Ever since I saw the cover, I HAD to make this one in Iris. Alas… there is NO Iris paint available unless you go to GM themselves. I was NOT paying $40+ for the color, so I went shopping. What I found was that Krylon Gum Drop looked super close to Iris! $6 and some clear coat and voila! – instant Iris! This Revell kit is also fantastic with all that comes with it. There is literally nothing you need with building this one. Even the exhaust tips are usable… though I did change em out.

Now, for the Impala’s ugly, evil stepchild. The custom Impala I made is a mishmash of parts from everywhere. Outwardly in this pic, the door handles were deleted; the tires and rims are from FOOSE; and, obviously, the Hot Magenta color isn’t stock. Because this was set up for FOOSE, the suspension was an easy fix. Not like other fun stuff, though!

To the left, I went with the stock white w/black interior and had a ball doing the chrome. The Monogram kit has amazing detail and I had fun getting it done. On the other hand, the custom one was rather fun too. The steering wheel is from another kit (and is very race oriented); I added a Hurst gearshift; went full-chome on the dash; added a custom directional; and used a pink/white motif.

Now I know what you are going to say… Yes, the one on the right is a BIT more impressive. So much so, I use it for my header on this website. NO, it isn’t the greatest engine ever (it isn’t even wired), but I like how the chrome looks in front of the pink. It isn’t a 396 either. It is a blown 454 from a Chevelle. Not too much had to be done for placement either… SO worth it! The other engine is the 396 I mentioned earlier and it still looks stock-perfect. I could’ve chromed it up a bit more, but it looks like the typical “sleeper” in your dad’s car!

The chassis is also top notch. The stock pipes are really nice and fit well. And, like I already mentioned, the exhaust tips are fine, but I needed more chrome. Really good detail and easy engine placement make this a 100%, A+. That isn’t to say that there is no room for improvement. For the custom I scuttled the stock exhaust and went with a more formidable one. The muffler section is from a Mopar; the ends past the axle are off a Ford; and the tips are from a Murcielago! You can also see the tire difference from the stock 15″ers, to the 20+ inch FOOSE rubber.

Whether a 500+hp blown 454, or a purely stock cruiser, you’ve got a heck of a kit here. There is nothing to add (unless you go crazy custom like I did), and it wont cost a truck-load to buy because of the recent reissue. I wouldn’t wait for the price to skyrocket though.. actually, I wouldn’t wait at all!

9.75 – Outstanding

1970 Chevrolet Corvette LT-1/ZR-1

This is a review of the AMT 1970 Chevy Corvette LT-1 Kit#6218

**CORVETTE EXTRAVAGANZA** FINAL POST! –> This is another kit that has a warm spot in my heart. This was originally made during the first 6 or 7 kits I ever made and – back then – it came out really nice. I can say it was probably one of my best early on. Not on the scale of OCD that I currently employ, but it was GOOD. And also blue. I had painted it a gloss blue (I think by brush), and I wanted a close color to match what I had done all those years ago.

So, there is NO Revell and very little in the way of choices. Either the above two, or pick a different year! The one on the left is cheap, full of flash, and orange (ICK!). The one on the right isn’t an LT-1 (carries a 427), and can run $70 or better. Not a great selection. Thankfully the kit I am reviewing is actually really good.

CAR BACKGROUND :: When most Corvette/car “nuts” talk about the C3 Corvette, they are typically talking about an L88 or some other 427 juggernaut. However, hiding in plain sight is the master of the C3 body.. the LT-1/ZR-1. Not many of these baddies were made, but they were made to run like almost nothing else. To start, they used one of the most potent 350s made in the muscle car era – an astonishing 370hp and 380lb-ft. Then the ZR-1 package added suspension, stabilizers, brakes, the M22 Rockcrusher transmission, special radiator, and more. What you got was a car that was almost as fast through the quarter (14.3 sec) as an L88, but would leave the fire-breathing 427 in the dust around the bends. Absolutely one of the best Vettes made and a personal favorite of mine.

I HAD to go blue, like I mentioned earlier, and Tamiya Blue was the way to do it. What a shine this paint gave. It IS a runny paint, so care is needed with spraying, but when it is right… it is spectacular! I am pretty sure I had to add a side mirror since AMTs are notorious for not including them, and I swapped out the tires for some red-line ones, but the rest of the build was from the kit. Watch for the chrome around the side windows – the back side doesn’t have any.

With this Vette, I decided to go blue w/ blue. The Nassau blue looks really nifty in this one and AMT’s typical MEH interior took a hiatus for this kit. The interior is actually not too shabby and the lighter colors truly bring the detail out. I don’t think I added anything but the directional stalk. I do wish that there were more detail on the doors.. including more bulge for the armrests.

Whereas the last 350ci I did from the ’78 MPC kit looked as mediocre as its performance figures, this 350 looks pretty good. It fits well, has all the amenities needed, and is an easy engine to work with. I’m pretty sure this has an air cleaner from another kit, but the one included is ok too. Like all early Vettes, the battery is on the bottom, so consequently not visible. I hate the missing battery as it seems “nude” to me. It isn’t as aggressive looking as the ’68 L88 either, but it is very clean.

I didn’t get a pic of the underside. Oh, well. Suffice to say, this model has almost no shortcomings underneath. The exhaust matches well to the engine; the detail is above average (esp for an AMT); and the chassis fits well to the body. The only thing of a nuisance are the exhaust tips. If you don’t pre-plan where the pipes end, the tips will need help attaching to them. It isn’t overly tough, but something to be careful of.

I can honestly say that this kit is one of the better AMT kits you’ll get. There is little to add; everything fits well; there is little flash; and the detail is VERY good. These kits are starting to climb in price as the last reissue wasn’t a very good one, so grab one up. Grab two or three while you’re at it!

** THANKS FOR ENJOYING THE CORVETTE EXTRAVAGANZA! **

8.75 Very Good

1978 Chevrolet Corvette

This is a review of the MPC Chevrolet Corvette 25th Anniversary kit#1-3708

**CORVETTE EXTRAVAGANZA** cont. –> I have always had a love for the C3 Stingray, so I wanted to do this kit. I had already made this kit in a maroon that was similar to the one from ’78, but it was not a great paint, so I needed a re-do. And… here we go.

I will say this from the get-go, the Revell/Monogram kits are better than the AMT/MPC kits. They are quite similar, however, and the AMT/MPCs WILL work in a pinch. The AMTs have more flash and trimming and they have less pieces, but otherwise give the same look when completed. Better than nothing at all, I figure.

Vintage Advertisement 1978 Chevrolet Corvette

CAR BACKGROUND :: The 1978 Corvette is one of the slowest Corvettes made… almost slower than the ’53 pictured left. Worse still, there was no big block option. No dual exhausts. Not even a turbo. Even still, with less than 200hp, it was still one of the faster cars of the late 70’s (not saying a lot since one of the quickest vehicles of that time was a Dodge truck). That said, you can’t deny that it’s one of the better looking Corvettes. The long nose, large fender curls, and low profile make the car look ten times faster than it actually is. It was a car that begged to be noticed around every corner.

Like I mentioned earlier, the maroon had to go. Not only was it a lousy paint, but I feel it looked poorly on the Vette. This Light Blue Pearl not only turned out to be an easy paint to spray, but looks fantastic. It closely matches the Corvette Light Blue of that year, but I think it to be less like a toddler’s outfit and more like for a sports car than the actual. Most of the exterior is right out of the box save for the side mirror. I used this one off of an earlier year Stingray and it is far better than the poorly-molded plastic ones that came with the kit. I also used exhaust tips off of a ’63 Cobra and added a “Corvette” plate in the front to cover the gaudy, cheap looking “VETTE” molded into the middle of the front valance.

I had gone with brown in the maroon car and decided to keep it for this one as well. The interior is pretty good for an AMT and does include the rear storage compartments and straps. The only thing I had to do here is substitute a better rear-view mirror – as the one from the kit is mediocre at best. I can say that there isn’t a lot of room in these cars. I test drove one in the early 2000s and can honestly say that this Corvette is not for the donut-loving customer. You get this impression while working on this interior. I just finished a ’65 Bonneville and the comparison would be like a battleship to a bass boat.

Unlike my last article – where the engine was a giant bonus for the kit – this one is on the “meh” side. The stock 5.7 has been made a tad better with the addition of a chrome air cleaner, but this is a yawn of a motor and engine bay. The 185hp, 350ci looks as tepid as it performs and there is little to do to make it better. The bay itself is decent, but is also missing a battery. I added one behind the left wheel well, but shame on the kit for not having one. It is also missing a proper radiator setup; the engine is a bit small inside the bay, and the firewall instructions don’t work in the slightest (they say to glue the firewall to the chassis, but if you do, it doesn’t match up to the car – leaving a major gap). It turns out ok, but not the talking point of the kit. I think I may eventually re-re-do this kit and when that happens, I won’t do the paint, I’ll swap in a 454 instead!

In all fairness, my review of the chassis is a but unfair because of the late 70’s poor performing cars. This disgusting wrap-around, single pipe is not only a terrible look, but would be choking this poor 350 to death. I REALLY should have swapped a better engine and an exhaust from one of the $8 90’s kits I have. I helped the look to some degree by switching out the droopy tips for some sport ones from a ’63 Cobra kit. In theory, they would look better on the AC, but I have decided to not build the 289 and just do the side-exhausted 427, so these aren’t needed. As if all the above wasn’t bad enough, the chassis is another floater. There is enough play that you could pose this model as a car with hydraulics. With just a push here and there the body would drop and raise as if bagged… and it is terrible. You can fix it with some glue at the wheelbase, but I don’t like gluing cars permanently… to tough to re-do and makes cleaning too much of a chore.

Like almost all AMTs, the 25th Anniversary Vette suffers from fit and quality issues. The problems for this kit are easily side-stepped and, because it is cheap, it isn’t a heart-breaker if it goes wrong. If you can afford the difference, I would buy the Revell versions. They are just better. I bought this one as it is still cheaper and I was replacing one I had parts for but otherwise I would buy the one of the other kits. These ARE getting to be good investments as they are getting tougher to find, so I would get one sooner than later. Better now then when they are $60.

8.0 Good

1989 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1

This is a review of the AMT 1994 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 kit#6073

**CORVETTE EXTRAVAGANZA** cont. –> The C4 IS my least favorite of the newer Corvettes, and yet, I’ve built a few, read numerous articles on them, and almost bought one in 1999. Thing with this car is that model is cheap… I mean beyond dirt cheap. Between the numbers produced and the realization of the car’s mediocrity versus today’s Vettes, there isn’t a lot of desire out there to build em… which works for me. Scoring these kits (and other 90’s Vettes) is a true modeling “win” when you pay $9 a kit.

Most of these kits are of the same 1989-1995 Corvette ZR1 and with the exception of the front ends of the ’89s (the one in this review and the yellow one), they are all about the same builds. Really, the 35 or so horsepower difference will be of no matter from the earliest to latest, so take your pick.

CAR BACKGROUND :: In the late 70’s and through most of the 80’s, the Corvette was – at times – lethargic and pathetic (though damn good looking), and at times, adequate. Nothing special though. In 1990, the Vette returned to “very good” with its new engine. The stock LT-1 netted you 300hp and a top speed of 170mph. Not bad, but, not too far from the speeds of the Camaro/Trans Am of that year. However, in 1989, Chevrolet came out with the baddest Corvette since it’s inception in 1953 – the ZR-1. Named after a 70’s Vette with a strong 350 and excellent suspension mods, the 1989 ZR-1 toted a 5.7 Liter, DOHC V8 with a tire-shredding 375hp. That meant low 13 second quarter times at over 110mph. More than that, however, was an almost 180mph top speed. All of this for about $65,000. They called it the King of the Hill, and it was!.. until the new Viper hit the showrooms. Still, THIS was the Corvette that took the Corvette from just mere sports car to a true exotic.

Tamiya Cobalt blue. Looks a LOT like the Bright Aqua that came on the C4 Vettes. I’m actually not sure there was an aqua colored ZR-1 or if it were even an option, but this is the color LT-1 I test drove in the late 90s and I loved it! The hood looks a bit off in the front and that is because of AMT’s ignorant design. The nose has a small piece that goes across the front and is supposed to line up correctly with the hood. With work you get it close, but only the luckiest get this 100% right because it is just THAT poorly made. From various angles it looks spot on, but it is EASILY the worst aspect of this kit.

The interior is not half bad, but it is terribly difficult to bring out the 80’s bling. The orange dials, numbers, buttons, and needless lights were hit as best as possible, but it never really looks like the “2001 Space Odyssey” that IS the Corvette dash. It was a fun bit of nostalgia painting the interior of the car I had driven all those years back. You see, a BIG problem with the ZR-1 is that, for the most part, the interior and exterior look almost identical to a 300hp LT-1. Mind you, when the car hot-footed past you, you’d realize the mistake you’d made, but otherwise, there wasn’t much glamour with the extra punch.

Now the engine is a whole other subject altogether. The LT-1 is rather simplistic looking and very a-kin to a Trans-Am. This aluminum bada$$ has the extra bling that tells you there is a brick in the proverbial boxing glove. The engine bay is a bit of a pain because of all the blackout treatment you have to do (that long front end is ALL flat black), but it comes out looking very menacing.

The big takeaway here is that this kit – though flawed – is so stupid cheap, that you could almost do three before getting to some normal kit pricing. The chassis floats too much under the car; there is a lot of glass trim to do; the tires seem a tad big for the wheel wells; and the exhaust tips are among the most useless in the model car industry. That is ok as heck, because you just spent a total of $12 on the kit… and it just doesn’t matter!

8.0 Good

2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

This is a review of the Revell Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Kit#2015

So, there are literally 60 years of Corvettes to choose from, which equates to literally hundreds of different kits. Why this one then? Well, this is a fantastic car that is not only a dream to behold, it is a killer performance value. The kit is really decent too. I had done this one years ago and I can say it is easy to work with as long as you are patient. There is only one production run of this model car to this point and it has two covers. They sport the same pieces, decals, and options and there is nothing else out there – save for a lousy snap kit.

CAR BACKGROUND :: If the C5 was the corner stone for the Corvette’s entrance into the technological arena, then the C6 was the fortress. The C6 Corvette was a performance icon – taking on Porsches and Ferraris in stock form and destroying them in ZR-1 mode. This done at 1/3rd or more of the competitions’ prices. The Z06 was the pantheon of cost cutting performance. For a mere $60,000, you got 500hp, a 0-60 in under 4 seconds, and a top speed of 190mph. Beyond that, you ended up with a ┬╝mile time that was on par with the ’05 Ford GT, Audi R8, and Ferrari F430 – @ just 11.9 seconds. Considering the average cost for the cars I just mentioned was around $220,000, you get the idea what a performance deal this car actually was. Beyond that, the car handled as good as anything on the road, was equipped with most comforts (save decent seats), and could go from 0-170 in ONE GEAR. Damn.

Mica Silver. I was thrilled when I saw the color by Tamiya. The “mica” colors had been fantastic for my builds to this point, so I thought – YES! Well.. not really. The color was far and away less glossy than I had hoped. It also wasn’t that easy to coat evenly. I can say I do NOT recommend it. Aside from my OCD, the car still shows well. I used the secondary 5-spoke rims (included in the kit) and had to add nothing. The black trim around the windows is a pain in the tookus and there is a LOT of glass that can be glue-ruined if not careful.

The interior is really good and detailed save for the console. They included the standard radio and such that would be found in a base ’06 Corvette. The Z06’s came with a screen and better dials. The remainder of the interior, unfortunately, is boring black plastic and carpet. It is a curse that the Corvette interiors are basic and unspectacular. Even the Bose system in my C5 is from a Pontiac parts bin and looks out of place in a car with the lowest wind resistance of ANY car that year.

Where I just trashed Porsche’s (and that particular 959’s) engine for it’s looks, the Z06 looks like it could run the front end off the car. It sits tightly between two walls of bottles, containers, hoses, and other paraphernalia. The red engine covers are a crappy fit and should have been designed better. Also when detailing the aluminum line that comes out of the side of the right cover, make sure to be sparing with the paint as it will run down the hose into other crevices of the cover. It will look terrible and you’ll be forced to re-do. There was also nothing to add here but detail, so “A-” at least for Revell’s bay.

I cannot come up with any other problems besides needing patience for this one. There is a lot of detail work and a lot of glass-work that can ruin this car. The rear fin is all red clear plastic, but needs to be painted mostly black. The front grille needs painted black, but is in a tough indented area with little room for error. The front lenses for the fog lamps are glass but need glued in place into a spot less than a centimeter wide. Like I said, tedium and patience. Anyways, the car will show well, is still a simple build, and will be easier to insure than the real thing! It also is a SOLID investment as they are becoming fewer by the day, so grab one either way!

8.25 Good

CORVETTE EXTRAVAGANZA!!

I have always been a Corvette fan… rather nut. I have collected a ton of memorabilia, driven some, and own a ’98 C5. The next 4 reviews are going to be an homage to the Corvette – the greatest American sports car. I know… the Hellcat, Mustang, Viper, and a slew of others can claim what they wish, but no other namesake has lasted this long, with this set of spec sheets. So sit back and enjoy the Corvette Extravaganza!!

—Kev

X-RAY: The Munsters Blueprinter: Koach & Drag-u-la, 1/25, AMT

This is an X-Ray of a different animal altogether! This is the retailer-only kit Munsters, which includes the Koach and Drag-u-la, made by AMT, 1/25. It includes :

2 full AMT kits! – The Koach and Drag-u-la are vintage recreations of the classic show’s monster vehicles. The Koach includes a set of tires with larger drag tires for the rear; an avalanche of chrome pieces – including some insane exhaust pipes; a 289ci Ford engine; and a small set of decals.

The Drag-u-la includes a coffin??… gold colored wheels with 2 different rims for front and back?? A dome for the driver???… a blown 289ci Ford engine; a tombstone?!!. O..k….

Good: Exclusive kit with 2 Munster favorites, fun oddities not in typical fare; awesome displays. Bad: Only a fair number of pieces; tricky glass to work with; it’s a coffin!??

Price: $65+