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Back to the Future DeLorean

January 2003
DeLorean DMC12 "Back to the Future"
Polar Lights No. 6811
Model Type: 1/24 scale plastic model kit
Molded Colors: Gray, clear, chrome-plated
MSRP: $11.99
Pros: Easy to assemble, kit includes parts for two versions
Cons: Chrome plating on body too bright, large attachment points of parts on trees
Next to the Batmobile, Dr. Emmet L. Brown's DeLorean time machine from the film Back to the Future may well be the most recognized movie car of all time. Dr. Brown's choice of the star-crossed, stainless steel-bodied 1980s icon as the basis for his time machine has immortalized what would have otherwise been just another flash in the automotive pan.

Although Aoshima has produced three different versions of its 1/24 scale Back to the Future Time Machine kits (including a version that was marketed in the U.S. under the AMT banner), Polar Lights has seen fit to tool up an all-new snap-together kit of the car as it appeared in the first episode of the popular sci-fi trilogy.
Assembling this well-engineered kit is a piece of cake Beginners will enjoy building this kit box-stock, and it's a great canvas for a first paint-detailing project.
The 48-piece kit consists of gray, clear, and chrome-plated plastic parts with two metal axles and a sheet of stickers representing license plates that appeared on the car in the movie. The parts seem to be molded out of plastic that's a little softer than the plastic in most model kits, but the castings are clean and reasonably well detailed, with little flash. The clear window insert wasn't bagged like the rest of the parts, but it came out of the box unscathed on our review sample.

The wheels and lights are molded together on a separate chrome-plated tree, and the chrome-plated body has been given a "brushed" finish in an attempt to simulate the look of stainless steel. It's a good try, but the chrome plating is still too shiny to be 100 percent convincing. If I were to build this kit again, I might try hitting the body with a layer or two of Testor's Dullcote to knock down the shine.
The large instruction sheet employs numbered exploded-view drawings to describe the construction process and includes coded painting callouts that are keyed to a chart providing Testor's paint color codes. The callouts typically provide only a single color reference for each part; if you want to do any serious detail painting, you'll be spending some time in front of the TV figuring out which colors to use on the model's many molded in details.

The model snapped together easily and without incident, but the attachment points between the parts and the trees were too large, requiring careful removal and filling in a couple of places. Nevertheless, the majority of the time I spent assembling this model was devoted to detail painting all the gizmos, not correcting any parts-fit issues.
Parts are included for two building variations: the lightning-powered veriosn that Marty uses to return from 1955 shown here, or the Mr. Fusion-powered version that Dr. Blown drives at the end of the movie.
I was pretty impressed with the molded-rubber tires, which are good-looking likenesses of the Goodyear NCTs that were standard-issue on the DeLorean. The kit's chrome-plated wheels are too shiny, but they are generally accurate, if simplified renditions of the stock DeLorean alloys.

The completed model is a good-looking curbside portrayal of one of Hollywood's most well-known star cars, and this well-engineered kit is an appealing and enjoyable project for modelers of all skill levels.


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