Revell 1/25 KS Pittman Willys Drag Coupe
By Fabrizio Fae
This kit from Revell's Motor Sports series depicts the legendary K.S. Pittman's 1941 Willys drag racer that set many records for gas-powered coupes in the 60s. Cars like the Willys were perfect for drag racing due to their small size and light weight. Although they resembled normal streetcars with head and taillights, etc. under the hood one might discover a supercharged Hemi engine, drag slicks, and the raised suspension of a full-on racecar.
A red racing Willys is the first thing you notice on the box top. One side of the box includes three nice pictures of the finished model. On the other side you have more kit information, such as the finished model's length (7"), the number of parts included (94), and that the kit is molded in white plastic and includes waterslide decals. There is also a brief history of K.S. Pittman's career of racing the Willys around the country. You will also find a skill level on the box, in this case it's Skill Level 2, which means this kit is an intermediate level build and requires glue and paint, and is for modelers age 10 and up.***image1**
The best part is opening the box! Inside there is one bag containing all the white plastic parts and body, and individual bags containing the chrome parts, clear pieces, tires, photo-etched front grille, and a sheet of clear acetate for the windows, the instructions, and the decal sheet.
The instructions are a 12-page booklet; they are very simple and easy to read. The instructions include a history of K.S.Pittman and his car, a list of color recommendations, a parts diagram and a clearly illustrated construction sequence. They also include a decal placement diagram that illustrates three versions of the car.
The body is solid and nice. It's a one-piece molding but you can separate the hood from the body. I would carefully sand down the gaps between them before priming and painting, to insure sufficient clearance between these parts once they have been painted. There is some flash that needs removal on the rear of the car but it's not a big deal.
The interior is that of a race car, so it is very minimal but with lots of details. The seat, once painted, gets decal seat belts. There is a roll bar to install behind the driver seat. The steering wheel is very nicely done and its three spokes are drilled out. Another nice touch is the chrome plated foot-shaped gas pedal. The dashboard has three holes for the instruments; the instrument gauge decal is glued to the back of the dash. This gives a more realistic effect. The 1:1 car also had side windows and you use the clear acetate to make them. There is a template in the instruction booklet to facilitate this. Be careful when you cut them, don't injure yourself, and don't worry if you make some mistakes, there is enough clear acetate to make three cars.
The engine is like that of the 1:1 car, a V-8 Hemi with manual transmission. The transmission and oil pan are painted aluminum and the rest of the engine needs to be yellow. The valve covers, exhausts, blower, air scoop and other small parts are chrome plated. These parts are beautifully cast with minimal flash, except where they connect to the sprues. The kit has two front grilles. One is solid chrome-plated plastic and the other is beautifully photo-etched. I strongly suggest using the photo-etched grille because it gives more detail to the whole car. You will need to make a slight bend in the middle of it so that it conforms to the car's front end.
The chassis is well detailed and its suggested paint color is semi gloss black. The suspension system in silver will make a nice contrast on the chassis. The wheels are 5-slot chrome and naturally the rear wheels are much wider than the fronts. The tires are hard rubber. The back tires are slick with raised letters so you can paint them and the front tires have radial tread.
The clear parts are the windshield, rear window, and headlights. The taillights are molded in clear red plastic.
Revell did a great job printing the decals. They depict three versions of the car and include sponsor logos and race category markings. Before you apply them check out the instructions to choose your preferred version. No matter which version you choose the decals will make this car stand out.
This is a very nice kit, and it will be very enjoyable to build. The plastic has minimal flash here and there, but overall the parts are very nice. The kit can be built in three racing versions or many other ways: use your imagination! You will have fun no matter how you build it. I would like to thank Revell for providing the review sample.