Revell - Monogram 1948 Ford Woody Kit No. 85-2540
At the end of the Second World War, folks were anxious to buy new cars--didn't matter so much what, just so it was a new car. After all, the country had been through 12 years of economic hard times, and nearly 4 years of being totally mobilized for the war effort, and the cars on the street were beginning to show it. The average age of the American car being depended on for daily transportation was almost 10 years.
Ford was the first car maker to resume production when the War Production Board authorized the resumption of civilian car production in May of 1945, delivering the first postwar car, a Ford V8 Tudor sedan to President Truman in a ceremony at the White House in July.
The new Fords were (like everyone else's offerings) warmed over 1942 models, with some trim changes to make them look new. Fords had new grilles and bumpers. 1947 saw only a number of slight detail changes, as there was to be an all-new Ford car for 1949. As such, the only difference between a 1947 Ford and it's 1948 counterpart was the year on the title.
Ford was known as the leader in the station wagon field, dating back to the 1929 Model A, and the 1948 was the heir to that crown. Revell- Monogram has caught the appearance and appeal of this car quite well in their latest offering. What a kit this one is!
First, the body. This car, while a simple shape, is not an easy one to capture in miniature, but R-M has done so quite well. The body shell is one-piece, with fenders, running boards, and front clip molded as part of the shell. This does create a dilemma, though--where to put the mold separation lines on the front fenders--there is just no place to make a safe, clean separation. R-M put them on the convex surfaces, well away from chrome trim, etc., where they can be dealt with easily, although my kit has a fair amount of misalignment on the top of the left front, which will require a bit of putty. The wood structure of the body is well-defined, and to their credit, R-M did not try to engrave wood-grain everywhere, only lightly on the plywood panels. These bodies are made from oak and ash, with mahogany plywood panels, all of which really do give a smooth-grained appearance, especially in scale. All of the chrome bolt heads are represented, along with the door hinges. It does appear that the fabric roof material has a much too-pronounced pair of seams (like a 60's vinyl top), while the box art picture shows a real car with either invisible, or very fine seams--no problem, just sand them down a bit.
The separate firewall has a separate battery, and heater unit. The hood has separate, two-position hood hinges (open or closed), a feature not seen from R-M since the early 80's. Separate chrome parts include the bumpers, headlight & parking light bezels, grille, all door handles, windshield wipers, hood ornament, and hubcaps. Headlight lenses are clear plastic.
The chassis is a model kit in itself. The frame has the 'lightening" holes in the crossmember, using a separate part here (like the Monogram 37 Fords). The springs are separate from both front and rear axles, and there are brake drum backing plates (wonder of wonders!) The brake master cylinder, which on pre-49 Fords was beneath the floor, is a separate part, as is the one-piece exhaust system. The engine is very nicely tooled, 17-piece unit, with the optional oil filter, and even a decal for the air cleaner.
There are nicely detailed wheels, with the tip of the axle stub forming the center of each one. Keep in mind here that the Ford torque-tube rear axle had exposed axle ends that protruded through the center of the rear wheels, unlike later cars.
There is an all-new tire in this kit, a post-WWII Goodyear 6.00X16 Power Cushion with really great tread and side wall detail. Unlike many RAM tires, this one is truly accurate as to width.
The interior is where this kit really shines! (and there is even a bit of chrome there!) This interior is a true platform, a first for Revell-Monogram. That is, the sides, rear, and dash assemble to the actual floorboard. Curiously, there are only 2 seats, while most station wagons had 3, in order to be an 8-passenger vehicle, when the need arose. However, that is the only drawback to the interior, because, EVERYTHING else is there, including stuff that has never been a part of any interior of any model car kit, anytime!
Wood-bodied station wagons had exposed wood all over the interior, and this kit has every stick. Of special note is the inner part of the roof, with it's fore-and-aft ribs, and the crossbows. There are six window glass parts, and each of them has the wood framing, in order to allow the builder to have an entirely wood-grained interior. The dash has the large, chrome-plated die cast radio console done as a separate plated part, and the steering column has a plated gearshift and horn ring. There are clear plastic instrument lenses and a clear dome light lense--nice touches!
Last, but not least, there is a beautiful decal sheet, with decals for the mahogany panels, California and Hawaii license plates, gauges, under hood decals, and a bunch of surfing decals, you know, surf shops and stuff like that. Kit of the Year? Maybe, this one will certainly be a contender, buy one today, and then buy some more of them--you won't be sorry!
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