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Revell-Monogram 1991 Pontiac Firebird

December 2007
1991 Pontiac Firebird
Revell-Monogram No. 85-2068
Model Type: Injection-molded
Molded Colors: White, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $15.00
Pros: Accurate body with fewer sink marks than before; accurate appearance, great decals
Cons: Fit and final-assembly issues; inner door panels incorrect
This reissue of the 1991 Firebird Formula has a few surprises. Issued in the early 1990s, it was based on Monogram's 1/24 scale 1982 Trans Am. Previous issues were molded in dark green or bright red, and had just a few decals; this kit is molded in white, exhibits none of the previous tendencies for sink marks in the body and rear spoiler, and has a comprehensive decal sheet.

Also included for the first time are custom chrome wheels that look like modern pro-touring Radirs.

For a kit that was originally tooled nearly 25 years ago, flash was minimal.

The engine builds up without problem, though the fit of the chrome intake plenum and runners isn't terribly precise. The engine, transmission, and oil pan are molded in halves; you'll want to do some filling and sanding of the visible seams.

The radiator, which glues to the chassis, is a bit taller and wider than necessary, and needs to be trimmed along the sides and the top. The chassis will not seat properly at the front if you don't modify the radiator. There is good engraved detail under the hood, though areas around the engine look a bit barren without any hoses or wires. Some of the firewall details, such as the heater fan and brake master cylinder, are molded in place rather than being separate items. Careful detail-painting helps these parts look more realistic.

Interior detail is good, and the gauge- face decals are a welcome addition. The front third of the door panels are an incorrect design for the 1991 Formula; the interior is molded as a one-piece bucket. The seats are molded in three pieces, consisting of the bases, cushions, and the front halves of the headrests.

A separate third brake light unit mounts to the ceiling over the luggage area. It's easiest to locate after the rear glass is installed. The rear glass exhibits a few visible gaps after gluing in place.

When I had problems with the radiator fitting the support, I realized the separate front air dam wouldn't fit; it has two thick tabs designed to trap between the chassis and the front fascia. There is not enough room for the tabs to fit in the tight gap between the chassis and fascia. I decided to remove the locating tabs from the air dam, as there are also a pair of locator tabs on the chassis to help locate the air dam, and the finished appearance doesn't suffer because of the tab removal.

I glued the front and rear fascias on prior to painting, which made final assembly a bit tricky. I recommend not gluing the rear bumper into place until after the chassis is installed. I painted the multicolor taillight panel using Internet reference photos for accuracy. After all of the parts were glued in place and dried, I applied the various decals to the body and under the hood.

Overall I enjoyed the build, and the final appearance is quite good.


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