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AMT/Ertl 1969 Ford Galaxie Hardtop

December 2004
RELATED TOPICS: AMT | 1/25 | 1960S
AMT/Ertl no. 38154
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Light gray, clear, clear red
Pros: Body proportions/detail
Cons: Engine fit tight
Here's another welcome reissue from AMT/Ertl. It's good to have it back, especially if you're a fan of big American iron.

AMT/Ertl kits of this vintage typically had good body proportions and detail and featured simplified chassis, engines, and interior detailing; this kit is no exception. With only 97 parts (40 of which are optional/custom), this is a pretty straightforward build.

The highlight of this kit is the body - you'll find good proportions and crisp details. The emblems are somewhat lightly represented, but didn't disappear under primer and lacquer paint.

One flaw here is the lack of an XL emblem on the center of the hood's nose. This emblem is similar to the ones on the roof sail panels, so one of those could be used to make a foil-cast epoxy emblem for the hood.

The engraving of the panel cut lines is also crisp with the exception of the bottom of the doors, which I rescribed. The body assembly also includes the radiator support, with engraved radiator detail, and the firewall. Although the instructions show that the firewall should attach to the interior tub, I glued it to the underside of the body so I could adjust the hood-to-cowl fit.
Body prep is also typical for a kit from this era. There isn't much flash for an old tool, but there are some sink marks in the decklid from the body and interior tub mounts. These require filling, priming, and blocking.

The hood also needs attention because of a deep groove on its underside for the optional hood scoop/injector stacks cutout. I flowed super glue into the groove and gave it a spritz of accelerator; this is a quick cure and gives strength to the hood.

Seams on the roof's sail panels will also need to be removed. Though minor, these are a bit tricky because they are near the roof emblems.

Otherwise, the body was easy to prep for paint, and just as easy to detail with Bare-Metal foil. I painted my review example in Ford code Y Indian Fire Metallic using MCW no. 6930.

The kit's chrome has no rough or bare areas. The grille is easy to detail with a wash, and the front bumper is free from mold lines; the rear bumper only has minor mold lines near the ends.

The kit includes a nonstock hood scoop and some custom chrome parts that cannot be used, as the custom roll pans are no longer included in the kit.

The kit also includes separate clear-red tailamps. These need a bit of silver detailing on the outer edges, and also contain the backup lamp detail in the centers.

The one-piece kit glass has connecting runners - typical of kits this age. The glass fit well, although mine needed polishing to remove some minor scuffmarks

The interior is an especially simple assembly, even for an AMT/Ertl kit of this era. Built stock, the interior consists of only four parts: the tub, dashboard, steering wheel, and chrome shifter. There is an optional steering wheel and shifter. Typically the front seats were separate assemblies, but on this kit they are molded to the tub; this makes detailing the console and door panels more difficult. The engraving on the seats and dash was well done, but the side panels have minimal engraved detail.

I finished the interior with off-white seats and door panels, and a black dashboard, floor, and package shelf. I mixed Testor's flat acrylics to represent the original off-white color. No inside rearview mirror is included, so I raided my parts box and installed one. When detailed, the interior looks fair and fits snugly into the body.

The engine is a decent assembly that appears to represent the 429 4V engine that was optional on the big Fords. The stock engine is a 20-piece assembly and includes a separate waterpump, an oil filter, an ignition coil, and an upper radiator hose in addition to the usual separate pieces for a kit of this ear. It goes together well, although the details are a bit soft compared to more-recent kits.

The kit includes optional heads, cam chain, and valve covers to make the engine look like a single-overhead-cam "Cammer" engine. I removed the chrome plating from the valve covers and oil pan and painted them the coordinating engine color.

Two optional intake setups are included: A two 4V setup and a fuel-injection version with eight separate chrome-plated velocity stacks. There is also a set of optional exhaust headers.

Of note is the transmission: It's molded to the engine and represents a four-speed manual. Three- or four-speed manual transmissions could've been ordered, but would have been very uncommon.

The engine assembly fit together well, but was a tight fit to the chassis and in the body. The air cleaner-to-hood clearance is tight; make sure the engine is placed as far into the frame as possible. I sanded the air-cleaner mounting pin off the top of the carburetor to make sure it was flush.
The chassis assembly is a simple affair; most of the detail is engraved on one plate. This includes the suspension and the exhaust system, except for the two front pipes that connect the exhaust to the exhaust manifolds. There are also two custom exhaust pipes to attach to the optional headers; the molded-on exhaust should be removed.

The chassis assembly also includes a separate battery that attaches to the inner right-side front fender apron. The chassis plate is attached to the body with two plastic mounting pins at the rear.

The rear wheels are attached via the tried-and-true metal axle; the front wheels attach to plastic stub axles that attach to the front suspension. An optional set of stub axles is included to lower the front stance.

The engraving is deep and crisp enough to make paint-detailing the exhaust and some of the suspension components simple.

The chassis is a tight fit because of the body's tuck-in, though it fits well when past the rocker panels and lower front fenders. The mounting pins aligned perfectly and the wheels center nicely in the wheelwells. The stance is close, but not perfect; the rear sits just a tad low.

The wheels and tires are a mixed blessing. Included in the kit are nicely rendered chromed stock wheel covers, and a set of chromed custom wheels. The custom wheels resemble a deep-dish set of Shelby-style 10-spokers.

The kit includes two sets of tires, neither of which I found acceptable for a replica-stock build of this car: the well-known Goodyear Polyglas L60-15s, which look too wide; and a set of Firestone blackwalls that are too short and too narrow for this big Galaxie. It certainly would've been possible for one of these cars equipped with white-letter Polyglas tires, I didn't feel they fit the car.
I found a set of original AMT/Ertl Firestone Supreme whitewalls that are likely the tires this kit had when first issued. These fit the car much better. The wheels attach to separate wheelbacks.

The instructions are clear and decently illustrated. Though the assembly sequence is called out numerically, the parts themselves aren't numbered on the sprues. No painting instructions are included. Assembly is straightforward, and took 11-12 hours to complete.

A simple decal sheet is included, and consists of nonstock multicolored striping and two license plates. I didn't use any of the kit decals on this model.

I'm glad to have these older kits back, and I found this one to be a very satisfying build. A nice model is possible right out of the box, but with the addition of just a few bits and pieces from the parts box, a respectable replica can be produced without a lot of effort.


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