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Revell-Monogram 1/25 Scale Automotive Special Report

By Michael Benolkin

Revell-Monogram continues to be the most prolific model manufacturer on the planet. They have consistently issued a variety of new, re-engineered, and classic kits in a several major subject areas, but their number one emphasis is on automotive kits. Over the last few months, we have received samples of over 30 different car kits - I dare say that this is nearly equal to all of the car kits released over the same period by ALL of the model manufacturers combined worldwide! Wow! If you are a car buff, this is a great time for you! In this special report, we'll take a quick look at 10 of their newest releases and what they're about.

First up is the 1939 Chevy Sedan Delivery Lowrider. As the last word indicates in that title, this is one of their popular Lowriders series kits. The kit is molded in white plastic and contains Dayton lowrider wheels and pinstripe art on decals. The kit is comprised of 92 pieces and also contains the required variety of clear parts, tinted lenses, and chromed details. It wouldn't take much work to add some blue LED lights to the underside to replicate the fluorescent lighting effects found on some of these custom cars.

The Ford Thunderbird Predicta is a re-release kit without any changes to the molds (which is why it appears under the Monogram Classics label). The original car was based on a 1955 T-Bird, and featured a bubble-top canopy, steering control via stick (instead of a wheel), and was powered by a fuel-injected Chrysler engine - it was well ahead of its time! The kit replicates this show car molded in red and white plastic, with clear and chrome-plated details. The wheels are black vinyl with the whitewalls done as styrene inserts. A detailed engine compartment and interior are provided.

Another familiar Monogram Classic kit is the Lil Coffin custom show rod originally built (full scale) in the early 1960s. This classic kit captures the show rod with some interesting features for a kit of its age - opening car doors, a detailed steering and exhaust system, and that very unique De Soto engine up front. The kit is molded in maroon and white plastic, with clear and chrome-plated parts as well as black vinyl tires. A total of 116 parts are provided, including the display skeleton.

Revell continues to offer polished renditions of the famous muscle cars, this first example being the 1968 Pontiac GTO 400. The GTO (aka Goat) is probably one of the first cars that will pop into your mind when you are asked about a muscle car (especially if you grew up in that era as I did!). The GTO was Pontiac's flagship muscle car, cramming a 400 cubic inch engine under the hood. For those who've never experienced the pleasure of 'standing' on the throttle, not only does the car move out right now, you can watch the fuel gauge move rather quickly toward the E! This kit faithfully captures the GTO. It is molded in white plastic with clear and chrome plated parts and black vinyl tires. The kit is comprised of a total of 75 parts, which include a detailed engine and interior.

The next in the classic muscle car series is the 1971 Plymouth 426 Hemi Barracuda. This kit has appeared previously under the Revell, Monogram and combined Revell-Monogram logos. Nonetheless, this kit has withstood the test of time and provides the muscle car modeler with a good starting point for a beautiful machine. Molded in white plastic, this kit also contains clear and chrome-plated parts as well as black vinyl tires. The parts count here is 77 pieces, which includes a detailed Hemi engine.

Revell also re-released another familiar kit that has previously appeared in various Revell and Monogram boxings - the 1980 Ford Bronco. This kit is molded in white, with black vinyl tires and clear and chrome-plated parts. The kit in a more detailed offering, comprised of 101 parts. Options are provided for a variety of street and off-road configurations. While the mold is starting to show its age with a hint of flash appearing on the parts trees, this kit still offers excellent detailing inside, underside and under the hood.

Revell recently began offering the 'Complete' series, standard kits that come pre-packaged with glue, a paint brush and several colors of acrylic paint. One example we have is their release of the New Volkswagen Beetle. This kit is molded in blue and black plastic, and contains the requisite clear and chrome-plated parts and vinyl tires - a total of 62 parts. The acrylic colors included are black, gray and aluminum. This kit features a detailed interior and positional front wheels, though no engine compartment is provided.

The next example from the 'Complete' series is the new Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible. This kit is 91 parts, most molded in red, with the remainder in clear or chrome plated, and also contains black vinyl tires. The acrylic colors included in the kit are black, gray and aluminum. The kit features a complete interior, a detailed engine compartment and drivetrain, optional up or down convertible top, and optional custom parts.

Revell-Monogram continued the Pro-Modeler series after the reorganization, and this release is a nicely updated 1940 Ford Convertible. This kit was previously released under the Monogram label, and is a complex kit containing 190 pieces. The kit is molded in white plastic, and includes clear parts for windows/lenses and black vinyl tires with the whitewalls pre-printed. Another nice touch here is that R-M packaged the clear and chrome parts separately to avoid scratches. The kit box shows a classic factory stock version, which this kit can replicate, but optional parts are included to transform this car into a street rod as well.

Last, but definitely not least, is one of the new series of pre-decorated cars in the Revell line-up. We've seen several examples (as you will as well in the coming months) in which the kit comes with a pre-painted and pre-decorated body, and the remaining parts are molded in several colors to minimize painting (or eliminate the painting altogether, if you're so inclined). These predecorated kits are becoming quite the rage on hobby shop shelves since modelers possessing lesser skills can now achieve the same polished final product that the masters used to do exclusively. Not only do these kits provide a potentially nicer end-product, but they can be completed in less time as well. This series is a nice bridge between the snap-tite kits and the complex kits for young and/or inexperienced modelers. The example we decided to use for this article is the latest release and is quite unique - a pre-decorated, snap-tite 'Smart Car', a two-place electric vehicle with a choice of pre-painted body options. Very unique!

Our sincere thanks to Revell-Monogram for these review samples!

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