1966 Pontiac GTO

This is a review of the Revell ’66 GTO kit #854479

This is a re-do build, but is one where I didn’t get “before” pics. Sadly, I forgot all about it, but never mind. This revell kit is substantial and has a lot of quality parts – many chrome – and is easier to make than 90% of kits out there. No lie, this “goat” is definitely one of the GOAT kits out there.

Revell has been busy with reissuing this one, so there is no shortage of good kits out there. The 2 “Royal” kits refer to the Royal Bobcat racing treatments that some of these got back in the day. They include a wealth of racing decals and such, but are otherwise little different that the other ones. I can honestly say that you will not find a bad kit with these.. they are high quality and are super good builders.

CAR BACKGROUND :: Beyond the Italian counterparts, any of which are better than this car by MILES, the ’66 GTO is the best GTO made. The stying, the speed, the pinache, the sales… this car really had it all. It was a colossal improvement over the plain-jane ’65, and though the ’67 was a close facsimile, it still didn’t carry the skin this tiger did. Carry a GTO, indeed. The 389 tri-power was strong enough to throw this car to 100mph in the 13 sec range and would still pull for plenty above that as well. Even regular 4-barrel versions would probably scare granny’s knickers off her and it couldn’t look any better doing so!

1966 Pontiac GTO by Revell

Done in Tamiya Gold with a nice black pin-stripe, this was heads and tails better than the Testors Aztec gold I used in my other build. It was more smooth and easier to blend. This kit comes with all the goodies, though – nice side mirror; 3 different colored pin-stripes; redline tires,… as complete as you can get out of box.

1966 Pontiac GTO by Revell

Easily one of the better interiors you’ll work with, the Revell ’66 GTO is highly detailed, needs nothing added, and is fantastic when done for even the worst modeler. I added the wood-look wheel, and kept the console chromed up. The gauges are decals and make for an easy good look. Only way this could be sharper is with a white/two-tone look.

1966 Pontiac GTO by Revell

The engine bay is awesome as well. I cannot say enough about the presence of the tri-barrel atop the big block. Say what you like, but it looks pretty nasty. I added the wires and some small detail here and there, but with NO work, this is still a fanatically good engine to display. Bout the only downside is the entire bay needs painted flat black after you paint the body so it matches GM engine bays. It is a LOT of cut work and is tiring. It sure “pops” when done, however.

1966 Pontiac GTO by Revell

The underside is a blessing to work with as well. The wheels are easy to make and apply to the axles; the engine and exhaust mate well; there is a good amount of detail; and plenty to work on if you like to OVER-paint the bottom of your kits (tank, shocks, cross-member, etc). I DID add my own exhaust tips, but the originals were really decent to begin with… I just wanted more chrome.

1966 Pontiac GTO by Revell
1966 Pontiac GTO by Revell

This is one of my favorites kits and, I have to admit, one of my favorite muscle cars. The ease of putting it together after working tirelessly on the engine, interior, trim, and such will put such a smile on your face. It has very few faults and is still among the mid-range kits to buy as well. Because of the reissues and the plentiful nature of the kits currently, it isn’t much of an investment. It is one of the best kits you’ll make, however.

10 Astonishing

X-RAY: 2006 Dodge Charger SRT Super Bee 1/24, Lindberg

This X-Ray is for a 2006 Dodge Charger Super Bee by Lindberg. The kit includes:

1 set of tires and rims; SRT Hemi V8; well-detailed interior; small decal sheet. Good: Only full model kit for the Charger that doesn’t include Lambo doors and 25″ wheels; good fit and finish; nice rims. Bad: Overall cheap feel; Less attractive “truck-front” Charger; only one color trunk stripe limits paint choice.

Price: $20

’68 Dodge Charger R/T (custom)

This is a review of the Revell 1968 Dodge Charger R/T #85-4202

I had not built this one til recently and I can say that – besides the detail work in places – it is a fun kit to work with. There is low/no flash, tons of parts and speed parts, and assembles well. This was another kit I had trouble with getting JUST RIGHT in past attempts, but in the end, I just needed it to look sharp, and I wanted it to be a smidge custom. I got both…

Thankfully, to all that appreciate THIS Charger above the redneck cousin ’69, the kit I bought was just recently reissued. The two above include the older “Landy’s drag version and the more rare Euro version, but are both every bit as fantastic as mine was. The “Landy” version comes with decals for the build driven by the famous drag racer. The blue one is – I think – the same as the one I purchased. I have never bought or seen it in person, but given to Revell’s track record, it must be close.

CAR BACKGROUND :: Ok, so everyone AND the Pope knew this review was going here, but that is the legacy of this classic muscle. The movie Bullitt was a movie that increased the popularity and collect-ability of this beast more than any of its achievements ever could. The stories of this car being so powerful that McQueen’s 390ci Mustang had to be modified “heavily” just to keep up, is just pure muscle car adrenaline. The ’68 Charger was more than just the movie, however. The dramatic reshaping from the heavier and less muscular ’67 was something the country couldn’t ignore. The “coke-bottle” styling and dramatic move from the hatchback made this car look like it meant business. Not that the ’66-67 Chargers weren’t fast – as the Hemis of the muscle car era were pretty much the same speedy goodness, but the ’68 made them look the part as much as a Lamborghini does. The 426/440 versions of this car could rip the ┬╝mile in the mid-13s at over 105 miles per hour. These were STUPID fast cars and could easily rip the rear tires – even at speed! The most iconic muscle car chase in history is a good place to be for a car.. and it is deserved for this one!

Yup… orange was NOT a stock color in ’68. I don’t care! I LOVE an orange Charger and not just because of the good ole’ boys, but I think it is VERY mopar. I used Tamiya Orange and it is just stunningly glossy. I also went with the hood scoop and slick tires (that ARE a bit too big, LOL). This kit comes with everything you could want and I only add/changed things because of wanting to customize it some.

So, with my terrible picture skills, I didn’t post the interior of this one. Safe to say it is very detailed and is needing little. I believe I added a different shifter for the more “drag” look, but the rest was good enough for me.

You will NOT see this engine bay in too many places! I chose to FORGET the 426 Hemi and, instead went with a nice looking 383. Whaaat?? Yup. The motor fit nicely and looks the part. I get that the Hemi would look more apropos in this bay, but I was TIRED of making hemi-powered Mopars and the 383 was a really good engine in its own right. The ’68 made some 335hp and would surprise many of the bigger engines out there with it’s quickness. Again… nice change from the same old thing. The rest of the bay is typical Revell and needed nothing.

The 383 matched up well under the car and the turbo mufflers add to the menacing look. I really love the tips that come with this car too. The rectangle ends that these Dodge’s had were very good looking and add to the kit’s quality. No real fabrication was needed and there wasn’t a lot of frustration here. You have to be careful with the front valance when assembling as it hinders the radiator if you attach too early, but otherwise – it is killer!

Yeah, this isn’t the Bullitt Charger… it isn’t the Charger from the Blade movies either, though you could build either with ease. It is what I could see myself liking and potentially affording easily – what with 440s and Hemis commanding upwards of $60k. This kit is REALLY good though and not just because of the famous movies the car has starred in. It is one of the better kits out there and with the reissue, costs a lot less than many. Not the BEST investment with the re-issue, but there are a lot of legendary builds you can make with this kit… and that’s the point!

9.5 Excellent

*Revised* : Revell/Monogram ’69 GTO

Letting everyone know there is a revision on this review. The Monogram and Revell kits have another difference in included parts that I didn’t realize was there. Go *here* and go to the green text to see what I’m on about!

X-RAY: 1990 Pontiac Grand Prix 1/25, Monogram

This X-Ray is for a RARE 1990 Pontiac Grand Prix from Monogram. This kit includes:

1 set of tires and 2 sets of rims; fuel injected V6 ; well-detailed interior; smaller decal sheet. Good: Fantastic reproduction of the popular coupe; Monogram quality; good tires. Bad: Molded in red = tougher to change color and paint pieces; decal sheet has no stock decals; NOT a very fast/exciting vehicle to build; cost.

Price: $30+

X-RAY: 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Thunder Z 1/25, MPC

This X-Ray is for a very rare MPC Thunder Z Camaro. This kit includes:

1 set of tires and 2 sets of rims; 305ci, V8; custom exterior skirts/effects; modest decal sheet. Good: Awesome custom Z28; crazy finished look. Bad: Awesome custom look still has lousy stock 305; orange decals make for few paint choices; few other speed parts (tach, seats, hurst shifter, engine, etc); few parts period.

Price: $60+

X-RAY: 1968 Chevrolet El Camino SS 1/25, AMT

This X-Ray is for a ’68 Chevy El Camino by AMT. This kit includes:

1 set of tires and custom rims; 396, V8 engine; well-detailed interior; decal sheet. Good: One of AMT’s better kits – with a lot of parts and great detail; Separate bed for easy painting; reasonable price. Bad: Decals sheet is TINY/useless; ZERO custom parts.

Price: $25+

Performance Book-ware!

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1986 Ferrari 288 GTO

This is a review of the Testors Ferrari GTO kit #221

I was young… really young when I saw a picture of this Ferrari. It was in a book that my brother-in-law gave me for Christmas. I was floored with its look, its speed and its name. This is a kit I’ve done some four times and I can say, that with a few exceptions, this is a heck of a kit.

There are a BUNCH of 288 GTO kits, but only a few in 1/24(5)th scale. These two above I’ve NOT done or even seen in person. The Fujimi was typically more expensive and only recently have I found Italari kits to be good.


CAR BACKGROUND :: Well, here we are. My absolute favorite car ON THE PLANET. I know I might get a lot of flak about that tid-bit of knowledge, but there it is. Looks just like a 308, right. Well.., no. The 308 design was widened, given fender flares, a bank of large headlamps, and a snarl that is every bit as intoxicating as you’ll find. The 2.8 liter V-8 has been twin IHI turbocharged and given a raucous 400 horsepower. In 1984, there was NOTHING on the road faster. With a top speed of 190 miles per hour, the GTO was an amazing leap from the 308/328 regime. R&T (to the left) timed the ┬╝ mile in a lethargic sounding 14 seconds at 113 miles per hour. The shift point is at 112 for this car and I think gearing was the culprit for the loss of time here. A Motor Trend article during the same time span ran the car to 60 in 5.0 seconds, and through the quarter in a blazing 13.2 seconds. Now, I’ll say that there are quite a few cars today that will butcher that, but back in ’84, there wasn’t much that would be quicker… and nothing that would out-last it. The car was more than just specs, however. The design was done by Pinninfarina and it was a masterpiece. It took the best of the 308 and made it more… more everything. More muscular, more squat, and more aggressive. Inside there wasn’t a lot to ogle about, but when the engine climbed to red-line, you wouldn’t have cared if you were sitting in a bucket of piranha fish. Glorious.

This is another re-do model build. I’ve remade many model cars, but this could be the best of them – and not because of the car, but the improvement. I kept a LOT of the other car, but the body’s detail is where I improved – using tape to do the black grove through the middle of the car and took more time throughout.

Testors 1985 Ferrari (288) GTO kit

What remained was a true tribute to the car’s glory. The Tamiya Italian Red came out just fabulously. The original red I used – I believe – was just a Testors “red” and it was NOT a good paint job at all. The paint seemed to not cover the red molded plastic for some reason and it looked very flat. The only “fix” I did with the whole car were the exhaust tips.

Testors 1985 Ferrari (288) GTO kit

I didn’t try to do any photography for the interior as this kit has 360 degrees of glass and trying to make out anything with a photo becomes folly. I can say that the interior looks correct, has most of what you need, and has good ridge detail. The instrumentation is a bit on the light side, but looks very accurate.

The engine is another story altogether. The twin-intercooled V-8 looks like something out of a sci-fi movie and is nicely detailed. There are enough parts to make anyone happy and it all fits very easily to the chassis. The lid is a bit of a mess, however, as you have to cut it out and then add four tabs to hold it in place. It would seem Testors could’ve done a better job getting it in place, but when it’s done, it looks damn good anyways.

Testors 1985 Ferrari (288) GTO kit

I don’t usually do underside pics of newer cars, but the GTO shows off a lot of detail from below. The pieces fit easily and it looks pretty tidy. I added tips off some other exotic kit (as the ones for this car were weak-kneed) and I think it helped the look a lot. One thing of note : the tires look great and are very textured, but over time can split BADLY. I had two from the last one I made split so badly, one was 7/8 ripped and the other had fallen off the rim completely! Not all tires will do this, but these did for some reason, so beware.

Testors 1985 Ferrari (288) GTO kit
Testors 1985 Ferrari (288) GTO kit

They say never to drive your heroes and I can happily say that doesn’t apply for building em. This is a honey of a kit and doesn’t have the typical fit/finish issues that some exotics have. The side mirrors are grey (instead of the red that like the other body pieces); the tires can be explosive; the full glass makes the interior all but useless; and the growing cost will make you think twice. It is still a really good build. With numbers thinning more by the day, it should make an excellent investment too. You know what I’d do.

9.0 Excellent

X-RAY: 2009 Aston Martin DBS 1/25, Tamiya

This X-Ray is for a VERY RARE Aston Martin DBS kit by Tamiya :

1 set of tires and rims; detailed interior; small chrome decal sheet w/etched parts; Good: VERY RARE model kit of a Aston Martin; decent amount of pieces; etched parts. Bad: Engine is mostly cover; molded in an odd black-purple color; EXTRA EXPENSIVE!

Price: $125+