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Retro Hobby/MPC Taco Trike

December 2005
RELATED TOPICS: MOTORCYCLE | GLUE
Taco Trike
Retro Hobby No. 21510P
Model Type: Injection-molded
styrene
Molded Colors: White, clear red, clear blue
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $13.95/$55.80 (set of four)
Pros: Nice to have old kits available again; decals lay down well
Cons: Parts-fit issues

This old MPC kit, formerly known as the Wedge Chopper, is part of a series of four bike kits rereleased by newcomer Retro Hobby of Canada. The Trick Trike Series comprises this model, Tiki Trike, Mike Trike, and Mail Box Chopper. All are part of the Flashback Vintage Model Kit Reissue Program.

It's nice to have a chance to pick up old favorites again, or build a kit you've missed the first time around. I didn't build this kit when it was originally issued in 1972, so I looked forward to a quick, fun build of a light subject.

My enthusiasm sagged a bit when I began construction. Right away, there were fit issues with the body halves. It took quite a bit of filling and sanding to get the joined body halves square and symmetrical, or at least close to it.

During this process I deviated from the kit instructions, which call for the steering-arm assembly to be mounted in the body by slipping it between the body halves. This would leave a seam where the painted halves joined, so I permanently joined the halves and cut the steering arm in half at a place inside the "yoke" or mounting area.

I was able to reglue the arm halves and still have functional steering, so everything worked out fine.

I primered the body with gray Testor's lacquer from the Model Master Custom Lacquer System, then sprayed on a few light coats of Go Mango Orange lacquer for the body color. I chose Testor's flat black lacquer for the interior, and Testor's Chevy Engine Red for the engine block.

The tires had quite a bit of material that needed to be removed before they were ready to accept the wheels; this required some patience, a steady hand, and a sharp No. 11 blade.

I used a combination of parts and decals: red headlight and taillight lenses (you Grave Digger fans know where that came from), blue front and back glass, and California Chili Chopper artwork.

Several sets of markings are included on the decal sheet, allowing for mix-and-match possibilities. The decals released cleanly and laid down with no problems.

I enjoyed building this model, although it was a bit more work and less of a "fun" build than I thought it would be. That's not an indictment of Retro Hobby, but a reality check to myself for falling victim to the "older is better" way of thinking. Not every old kit was 100 percent clean and perfect, though we might have thought so at the time.

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