Revell 1/25 Team Rahal's Miller Lite Reynard
This kit is to represent the Max Papis driven Miller Lite Reynard. This car is part of Team Rahal Racing owned by Bobby Rahal, and ran out of Hilliard, Ohio. The introduction on the kit instructions goes on about Rahal's three CART Championships, 24 wins and his title of CEO of CART. It doesn't mention his current Formula 1 involvement with Team Jaguar. The Miller Lite Reynard proved quick with a win at the Grand Prix of Miami.
The Kit contains 56 pieces, with the main pieces molded on seven white sprues. There is a sprue of chrome plated wheels, a clear tree with windshield pieces, and two black rubber trees of tires. That's right two sets of tires - Firestone slicks and rains. The kit also contains two sets of wings for the speedway version or the road course version. So that's two different rear wings and two different front wings. You pick and choose. Make sure you choose the right pair as clearly illustrated in the instructions. Remember the rain tires were only used on the road course. The kit provides a driver figure and helmet/suit decals for Max Papis. The decals look of high quality with little carrier film, produced in Italy.
The interesting thing about this kit is its Miller Lite sponsorship and its inclusion in the Revell catalog. Usually alcohol and tobacco advertising is a taboo subject for 'toy' companies. Granted the box cover does include the text "Adult collectable - Ages 21 and Over." I am not sure if that means you get I.D.'d when you buy the kit or what. I can't imagine every model shop owner checking for a buyer's age before selling the kit. I don't know who would even be in charge of enforcing such a statement, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency? What have things come to in this country? On the other hand I am delighted to see Revell have the gumption to put this kit out. I applaud them because it must have been a hell of a battle getting this kit to market. I pray that this paves the way for future authentic scale models regardless of the sponsor and its political correctness.
This kit is Revell's sixth or so variation on the CART series of kits. I like the variations offered and have no problem with Revell using the mold to its fullest potential. With two sets of wings (speedway and road coarse) and tires (slicks and rains), there are many versions that could be built. The kit is a real bargain and can build into a fabulous looking model. Having said all that and not trying to look a gift horse in the mouth it isn't without its drawbacks. Not all of the drawbacks will bug everyone but some of them just drive me crazy. First off the scale, it just seems a tad small. I know the difference between 1/24th and 1/25th isn't that much and some kits actually scale up to 1/25th when measured, but it just doesn't seem right. Revell's current line up of NASCAR kits is 1/24th.
One other drawback, to me, is in its basic build engineering. The kit is spilt down the horizontal center of the car. Meaning the driver figure/upper half of the car and lower half of the car/chassis/floor pan must be assembled together in two main pieces. This will leave a huge seam mark down the longitudinal center of the build.. To boot, the front suspensions is molded onto the lower half of the monocoque. What all this means for those of us with the perfection bug is a little bit of creative engineering.
I have seen this problem tackled in a number of ways. All of them remove the front suspension and assemble the top and lower half of the car together. This can then be filled and sanded up, removing the nasty seam and then painted. The extent to which you either prepare the driver figure before all this or cut the bottom of the floor pan out, seems to be up to a matter of choice. I myself will probably forgo the the driver figure, rig up the seat with some out of scale belts and do up the helmet to rest on the side pod or something. The front suspension will have to be re-attached and the ride height will need to be set up.
I mention a few of the drawbacks I see with the kit, but some of them may actually turn out to improve my building skills and problem solving. The kit can also be build right out of the box well, if you can look past a flaw or two. So who's to say it's really not a great kit that can work for all types of modelers. The subject matter and sponsor make it a great kit to add to the collection. I still can't believe Revell got it issued with a "21 and over" warning. That has got to be a modern first. This reason alone makes it is significant kit, support Revell and go out and buy one.
I would like to thank Revell for the review sample.